Essay Samples on Emergence and Spread of Islam

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Essay Sample #1 - Arab Culture Research

Islam as a world's largest religion

As one of the world's major religion, Islam originated and developed in an Arab Culture in the year 610. The religion began and was fostered by the renowned Prophet Muhammad. His teachings gained popularity in the regions of Arabian Peninsula. After the death of Muhammad, Islam as a religion quickly extended to Egypt, West Africa, North Africa and Somalia. This expansion happened successfully due to the help of Military excursions known as futuhat or openings by the Islamic armies which opened other parts of the world to Islam. Another factor that contributed to this spreading of Islam is the political alliance of the Islamic nation (Fox, 2001). The political leadership imparted principles of morality that favored the people. This factor facilitated the victory of the militant groups as they conquered more countries beyond the Peninsula. This essay, therefore, seeks to give my personal account, as a Persian citizen in the year 1800, in regard to the society that Islam dominated during the 8th century.

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I remember, when the Islamic faith was introduced in Persia, during the reign of the Persian Empire, most of us got the chance to worship differently and to associate with various religions. For many people in our time, the choices were to either decide between the complex rituals and traditions of the pagan beliefs that or rather choose the simple Islamic faith which was easily followed and clearly understood. Although new, the Islam faith brought with it a form of social fairness and equality which was readily embraced by our society. These reforms brought about a new structure of family and social security for communities and hence became popular. The pagan way of worship comprised of social disparities that did not favor the people and thus many converted to this new religion.

How did the Islamic religion spread

While a majority of the people during our time believed that most of the Iranians, or the Persians, became Muslims forcibly by the conquest of the Arabs. This was, however, a fallacy since even after the advent of the Islam religion, for many years, most of us Iranians remained non-Muslims. In a similar regard, Persians, unlike other societies, were very rich in culture and hence the delayed embrace of the Islam religion. As a member present during this time, I can bear witness to the fact that, us, Persians, were not forcefully initiated into the Islamic religion. As a matter of fact, while compared to other countries that were attacked by Muslims at this time, Persians were not influenced by any of them since we never lost our religion, culture, or even our language. Nevertheless, with time, while the Arab society offered us the ideational foundation of the edifice of Islam, as the Persians, we adorned the religion with beauty and embellished it with a lot of spirituality.

Additionally, Islam was associated with unique features that made it, as a religion appear attractive to us. Some of these features include; the fact that Islam allowed people to keep a low profile and never made any form of demands to anyone. This being said, the Muslim converts in our time gained respect from the society, as they made a good first impression of their faith. Additionally, when the Islamic religion was introduced, most of us perceived it as a religion of peace since the Islamic Sharia Law wasn't applied to those of us who had not converted. The religion also made an effort to condemn any form of radicalism in the nation by Islam followers, and this attracted many people not only from Native Persia but also those from North Africa, and the Byzantine territory.

Sunni Muslim as the first who attacked Iran

As history would have it, the Muslims who first attacked Iran were Sunni. However, to the contrary of what was expected, most of our Persian people slowly but eventually became Shia instead of Sunni. For them, two very significant features influenced them to become Shia, other than the Sunni Muslims, who had first attacked our region. Firstly, the caliphate of Imam Ali played a great role in this case. Unlike in other countries, say Egypt, whose culture, the conquest of Islam eroded language and religion, our Persian nationals were essentially influenced by Imam Ali's great attitude towards us non-Muslims and Non-Arabs. While other Arabs, the dominant society, had some ill behaviors towards and against other nationalities, Imam Ali's caliphate drew most of the Islamic converts into becoming Shia Muslims instead of the Sunni. Similarly, the descendants of Prophet Muhammad was also another influential feature that made a majority of the Persians to become Shia Muslims. Owing to the oppressive governments which were against the Ah al-Bayt, the prophet's family, and the Shia, a lot of his descendants, immigrated into the Persian region, where they became famous and honorable.

Also, the Islamic religion's practice of helping the poor and disadvantaged in the society won many people over to this new belief system that was unlike any other religious system that they had before (Bloom & Blair, 2001). If I were a North African, Byzantine or Persian in the year 800, I would find these features appealing and would have converted to Islam since they would give me an opportunity to escape the pagan way of worship.

Negative feeling of Arab invasion

In my opinion, these features have, in one way or the other, changed as the religion spread beyond Arabia. Also, Quran was transcribed from Muhammad's spoken words. This development was undertaken by Abu Bakr and Umar who were the first Caliphs. The other change is the formation of Hadith which are traditions which are followed by Muslims around the globe. These developments differ slightly from that of the current world due to various interpretations of traditions by different leaders over the world.

In conclusion, despite the fact that there is a real negative feeling about the Arab invasion of Persia, most Iranians love the Islamic religion. In the modern day today, almost the whole of Iran is Islam and therefore, it is evident that there will not be any more religious issues regarding the conversion of a majority of Iranians into Islam. In the same vein, Islam has spread around the world, and for this reason, it has continued to become famous among the nations. There is, however, a major disparity between the developments of the Islam religion in the 8th century and that of the modern day today. This contrast is portrayed in the sense that, during its evolution, Islam was tolerant of other non-Muslim religions, which is not the case in the modern day today. Nevertheless, if the Islamic religion, will continue to progress and expand like in the period of the caliphates and the large scientific development, it will continue to spread and diversify across nations, with a lot of ease. On the other hand, it becomes a hostile and intolerant religion; then it will not progress much.

References

Bloom, J. M., & Blair, S. (2000). Islam: A thousand years of faith and power. TV Books Incorporated.

Fox, J. (2001). Religion as an overlooked element of international relations. International Studies, Review, 3(3), 53-73.

Essay Sample #2 - Spread of Islamic Religion Essay

Beginning of Islam Religion

The Islamic religion was begun in the year 610 by Prophet Muhammad. His teachings gained popularity in the regions of Arabian Peninsula. After the death of Muhammad, Islam as a religion quickly extended to Egypt, West Africa, North Africa and Somalia. This expansion happened successfully due to the help of Military excursions known as “futuhat” or “openings” by the Islamic armies which opened other parts of the world to Islam. Another factor that contributed to this spreading of Islam is the political alliance of the Islamic nation (Fox, 2001). The political leadership imparted principles of morality that favored the people. This factor facilitated the victory of the militant groups as they conquered more countries beyond the Peninsula. Also, because trade and commerce were the main economic activities in that century, it resulted in the easy conversion of the merchants involved.

The Islamic faith introduced gave people an opportunity to worship differently. They could either decide between the complex rituals and traditions of the pagan beliefs that existed or could opt for the simple faith of Islam which could be easily followed and clearly understood. This faith which was new brought with it a form of social fairness and equality which was readily embraced by the society. These reforms brought about a new structure of family and social security for communities and hence became popular. The pagan way of worship comprised of social disparities that did not favor the people and thus many converted to this new religion.

The features that made Islam attractive include keeping a low profile and not making demands from anyone. Thus, the Muslims gained respect as they made a good first impression of their faith. Another factor is the fact that people saw Islam as a religion of peace since the Islamic Sharia Law wasn't applied to anyone outside of the Muslim community. The religion made an effort to condemn any form of radicalism in the nation by Islam followers, and this attracted many people from North Africa, Persia or even the Byzantine territory. Also, the Islamic religion’s practice of helping the poor and disadvantaged in the society won many people over to this new belief system that was unlike any other religious system that they had before (Bloom & Blair, 2001). If I were a North African, Byzantine or Persian in the year 800, I would find these features appealing and would have converted to Islam since they would give me an opportunity to escape the pagan way of worship.

Spread of Religion

These features have slightly changed as the religion spread beyond Arabia. Also, Quran was transcribed from Muhammad’s spoken words. This development was undertaken by Abu Bakr and Umar who were the first Caliphs. The other change is the formation of Hadith which are traditions which are followed by Muslims around the globe. These developments differ slightly from that of the current world due to various interpretations of traditions by different leaders over the world.

Islam has spread around the world, and it continues to be popular among the nations. As long as it becomes tolerant to other religions, it will continue to progress and expand like in the period of a large scientific development. If it becomes hostile and intolerant, it will not progress much.

References

Bloom, J. M., & Blair, S. (2000). Islam: A thousand years of faith and power. TV Books Incorporated.

Fox, J. (2001). Religion as an overlooked element of international relations. International Studies Review, 3(3), 53-73.

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