The Effect Of Prophet Muhammad On The Quick Spread Of Islam

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This paper will deeply investigate the following interesting question on Islam and it’s spread. What effect did the spread of Islam by Prophet Muhammad in Mecca have on the already religious Saudi Arabian society? In order to compose this paper with reliable facts, mostly primary and secondary were used, as well as tertiary sources. First, the primary source used was a website with a variety of collections of books composed of hadiths. To be more specific, the book Sahih Bukhari by Muhammad al-Bukhari, was the most useful, now that it focused more on Muhammad’s direct thoughts and views on Islam. Then, the secondary source used was a book written by the Muslim expert Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, which mainly focuses on the main opposing viewpoints in the spread of the Islam religion, “By Sword or By Conversion?.” Overall, these two sources complement each other greatly which helps answer a significant part of the question of analysis. Then, the remaining details are up to the corroboration of other diverse tertiary sources.

This primary source, more specifically a website, provides plenty of information on Islam in a very unique way, due to its structure. This website consists of a series of online Islamic collections of books that are all composed of hadiths. Hadiths are Muslim records of words and sayings from Allah, Prophet Muhammad, and others. The website itself was published in 2009 by a “group of Muslims living in different parts of the world,” as the site texts, with the goal of collecting Hadith books in one place offering a reliable source to all. They were able to do so now that they claim that all of the text on this website, have been proof-read by A’alim, a Muslim scholar, to revise that all stated is correct. However, there is one specific collection of books on this website that deeply focused on the answers to the main question. This book is called “Sahih Bukhari” and it was written by Muhammad al-Bukhari, finished in the year 846 CE and published in the 9th century. This book has the purpose of collecting not only Islam sayings in general but only Prophet Muhammads sayings. This will help reliably learn all about the religion, and what the prophet believed, in order to be able to answer the question. Although the information is very rich and the website itself is structured extremely well, it would have been nice for there to be at least one image related to the topic to get the reader visually intrigued as well. Opposingly, something that I appreciate about this source, is that they provide many other collections of books that I can corroborate with, now that they are from different authors, meaning different points of view.

This secondary source, more specifically an online book, provides an abundant amount of information on Islam in a very wise and formal way. In fact, this book is “ an expanded version of the talk given on the “Islam in Focus” TV program of May 2002,” as the site itself states. However, it was published in 2006 by the North American Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities (NASIMCO). But, it was actually written by the Muslim expert Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, who has, in fact, written over 100 other books and articles also on Islam and his view towards it. Not only does the previous makes the sources reliable, but he also quotes directly from essential sources such as the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, as evidence for what he states. In this book, Rizvi focuses on the spread of Islam and the impact it had on Saudi Arabian society. Not only this, but it also deeply focuses on the controversial views of whether Islamic belief was spread by war, or by peaceful conversion. One thing that could be suggested to change, is the fact that there are no visuals. While some might not mind, for others, images that are related to the topic can help the audience grasp the idea better. Opposingly, this was an extremely useful source due to the abundance of accurate information due to my corroborating. Plus, the setup was very different now that it was an online book, but I did enjoy reading through it now that it all flowed and made sense.

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Islam, otherwise known as the Muslim belief system, is considered one of the major world religions today. As a matter of fact, it's the second most populated religion, with 1.9 billion current believers. However, this started a long time ago. In fact, this system originates in the 7th century CE, approximately 1,400 years ago. It was created and spread by the highly praised Prophet Muhammad in modern-day Saudi Arabia, Mecca, and Medina. Islamic beliefs characterize for being monotheistic, believing in their only god Allah, as well as for considering Muhammad his messenger. The spread of this unique belief is currently viewed in various ways by society. Some people, mostly Christians, think that Islam was spread through warfare, while others, especially Muslims, think it was through peaceful conversion. Despite the opposing viewpoints, the Muslim belief and customs remains.

The spread of Islam through Prophet Muhammad was quite a unique one. Although it was one that provoked many challenges for the prophet, Muhammad was able to successfully overcome them. Because of this, he deservedly earns the title today as one of the most influential men in history. One might wonder, what exactly did he do?

Primitevely, Muhammad was born in the year 570 AD in Mecca, a city in the Saudi Arabian peninsula. Although it wasn’t very usual in society at the time for one to be born wealthy, he was. In fact, he belonged to the Quraysh tribe, which was one of the wealthiest families in Mecca at the time. On the other hand, his childhood was quite unfortunate. His father passed away even before Muhammad was born, therefore he was raised by his single mother Amina. Although this didn’t last long, for she died when he was only six, leaving him orphan. Despite this, Abd al-Muttalib, his grandfather took the role in caring for him, where he eventually passed away, leaving Abu Talib, Muhammad’s uncle, in full responsibility of young Muhammad. Ever since he was born, many saw something special in him. Because of things he would do that wasn’t normal for his age, he got to believe many people that he had a great future ahead of him that wasn’t an ordinary one. For instance, his nurse, who breastfed him, was known to always be short on breastmilk, yet whenever she first held little Muhammad in her arms, she suddenly had plenty. Plus, as he grew up, he was constantly kind, respectful and caring, because of this he was known all around. In Muhammad’s mid-twenties, he met Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, the wealthiest woman in his tribe, as she hired him to work for her. Although she was 15 years older, they developed a close relationship, wherein in the end, she gave up her hand to marry him. He ended up marrying her, where she became his first wife out of 11, all of which he meets throughout his life.

Initially, Muhammad spent a lot of his life learning about religion. But in the year 610 BCE, Muhammad’s life changed drastically. He received his first revelation from their praised God Allah, through angel Jibril, (Gabriel in Arabic) the messenger of God. He later received many more throughout the years, but most of the statements were conserved exactly the same. To do so, the prophet and his companions memorized them, as well as wrote them down to keep record. Over time, they put together all these phrases and commands, and put them together all in one book. The Qur’an. This is the holy book of the Islam religion even today. That day marks his first experience in prophethood. As a prophet now, he had the opportunity to present and eventually spread this belief amongst society, but shockingly he didn’t at first. Instead, he privately preached and presented the precious words with those close to him. Eventually, his loved ones encouraged him to get this ideology out there to the public. Islam consisted of the idea that if you were a Muslim and obeyed Allah you will be rewarded, while those who weren’t or didn’t obey, would be punished in their afterlife. Being Muslim involves generosiy as well as an apostle asked, “ ‘what qualities of Islam are good?’ He replied, ‘To feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you don't know.’ '

Muhammad’s process of spreading Islam is known to have two stages. First, his initial thirteen years in Mecca, and second, his final eleven years of living in Medina. As previously mentioned, he began his journey in Mecca. Here he started spreading the belief slowly through publications out in common areas, as well as through teachings which were more common. Since the beginning, people were against Muhammad and what he was saying, now that they were already religious. In fact, most of them were actually Christians or Jews. Because of this, society considered his words “intrusive” now that he was trying to lead people into thinking his way, and abandon their religion. This got many mad. Because of this, disbelievers threatened him and his family, they also made fun of him. Not only this, but he was constantly attacked verbally, even physically usually during his teachings, this all got to his head. At this point, Muhammad is tired of the persecution from society due to their complete rejection of him and his belief system. In response, Muhammad and his few companions packed up and left on their Mecca to Medina journey. Now, in Medina, he continued his old life as a prophet, gaining a fresh start. But not so fast. Meccans weren’t happy with the idea that the prophet Muhammad was leaving them just like that. They wanted revenge on Muslims. This all caused a series of battles between the years 624 and 628 BCE. In the end, Meccans were not successful in their attempt to get revenge on Muslims. To also help en the chaos Muhammad conducted two actions. First, he decided to make a pilgrimage to the Meccan city, this prohibits Muslims from entering Mecca. Second, he went even further and decided to propose a 10-year peace treaty with Mecca. This was signed and agreed upon both sides. However, in the year 630 BC, Meccans broke the treaty. Because of this, Muhammad had enough, therefore he sent an army out who conquered Mecca. This is where it gets controversial. Many non-Muslims believe that he spread it through violent actions because of this, but in fact, it wasn’t really. In other words, he didn’t conquer Mecca to forcefully convert them all into being Muslims, instead, to end the feud. In the two years that he had left of living after this, he made sure that society was still able to practice religions other than Islam. Eventually, many all over the Arabian peninsula ended up turning Muslim since it became more popular over time. Unfortunately, Muhammad passed away in June of the year 632 BC in Medina where he was buried. But his legacy remains. Today, approximately 24% of the world population are Muslims who, in fact, still stand by his exact words.

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