Islam Was Spread by the Sword

Islam Was Spread by the Sword

Islam Was Spread by the Sword

Many non-Muslims, when they
think about Islam, picture religious fanatics on camels with a
sword in one hand and a Quran in the other. This myth, which was
made popular in Europe during the Crusades, is totally baseless.

First of all, the Holy Quran
clearly says “Let there be no compulsion in religion”. In
addition to this, Islam teaches that a person’s faith must be
pure and sincere, so it is certainly not something that can be
forced on someone. In debunking the myth that Islam was “spread
by the sword”, the (non-Muslim) historian De Lacy O’Leary wrote:

“History makes it clear,
however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping
through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the
sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically
absurd myths that historians have ever accepted.” (Islam at
the Crossroads, London, 1923, p. 8.)

It should also be known that
Muslims ruled Spain for roughly 800 years. During this time, and
up to when they were finally forced out, the non-Muslims there
were alive and flourishing. Additionally, Christian and
Jewish minorities have survived in the Muslim lands of the
Middle East for centuries. Countries such as Egypt, Morocco,
Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan all have Christian and/or
Jewish populations. If Islam taught that all people are supposed
to be killed or forced to become Muslims, how did all of these
non-Muslims survive for so long in the middle of the Islamic
Empire? Additionally, if one considers the small number of
Muslims who initially spread Islam from Spain and Morocco in the
West to India and China in the East, one would realize that they
were far too few to force people to be members of a religion
against their will. Additionally, the great empire and
civilization established by the Muslims had great staying power
— its citizens were proud to be part of it.

The spread of Islam stands in
contrast to the actions of the followers of Christianity, who
since the time of the Emperor Constantine have made liberal use
of the sword – often basing their conduct on Biblical verses.
This was especially true of the colonization of South America
and Africa, where native peoples were systematically wiped-out
or forced to convert.

It is also interesting to note
that when the Mongols invaded and conquered large portions of
the Islamic Empire, instead of destroying the religion, they
adopted it. This is a unique occurrence in history – the
conquerors adopting the religion of the conquered! Since they
were the victors, they certainly could not have been forced to
become Muslims! Ask any of the over one billion Muslims alive in
the world today whether they were forced! The largest Muslim
country in the world today is Indonesia — and there were never
any battles fought there!

So where was the sword? How
could someone be forced to adhere to a spiritually rewarding and
demanding religion like Islam?



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