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Was Islam Spread With Sword?



It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam would not have

millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been spread by the use of

force. The following points will make it clear, that far from being spread by the

sword, it was the inherent force of truth, reason and logic that was responsible

for the rapid spread of Islam.

1. Islam means peace.

Islam comes from the root word ‘salaam’, which means peace. It also means

submitting one’s will to Allah (swt). Thus Islam is a religion of peace, which is

acquired by submitting one’s will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah (swt).

2. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace.

Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of maintaining peace

and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it for their own vested

interests. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. It is precisely for

this reason that we have the police who use force against criminals and antisocial

elements to maintain peace in the country. Islam promotes peace. At the

same time, Islam exhorts it followers to fight where there is oppression. The

fight against oppression may, at times, require the use of force. In Islam force

can only be used to promote peace and justice.

3. Opinion of historian De Lacy O’Leary.

The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is given by

the noted historian De Lacy O’Leary in the book “Islam at the cross road” (Page 8):

“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 myth that historians have ever repeated.”

4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years.

Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never used the

sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian Crusaders came to

Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a single Muslim in Spain who

could openly give the adhan, that is the call for prayers.

5. 14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians.

Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years the British

ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled Arabia

for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians

i.e. Christians since generations. If the Muslims had used the sword there would

not have been a single Arab who would have remained a Christian.

6. More than 80% non-Muslims in India.

The Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted, they had

the power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India to Islam. Today

more than 80% of the population of India are non-Muslims. All these non-

Muslim Indians are bearing witness today that Islam was not spread by the


7. Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the world.

The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one ask, “Which Muslim

army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?”

8. East Coast of Africa.

Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One may again

ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, “Which Muslim army went to the East

Coast of Africa?”

9. Thomas Carlyle.

The famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book “Heroes and Hero worship”,

refers to this misconception about the spread of Islam: “The sword indeed, but

where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its starting is precisely in

a minority of one. In one man’s head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man

alone of the whole world believes it, there is one man against all men. That he

takes a sword and try to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get

your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can.”

10. No compulsion in religion.

With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could not use

it to spread Islam because the Qur’an says in the following verse:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from

error”[Al-Qur’an 2:256]

11. Sword of the Intellect.

It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers the hearts and minds of

people. The Qur’an says in Surah Nahl, chapter 16 verse 125:

“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching;

and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.”

[Al-Qur’an 16:125]

12. Increase in the world religions from 1934 to 1984.

An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, year book 1986, gave the statistics of

the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century

from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At

the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased

only by 47%. May one ask, which war took place in this century which converted

millions of people to Islam?

13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe.

Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest growing

religion in Europe in Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept

Islam in such large numbers?

14. Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson.

Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson rightly says, “People who worry that nuclear

weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize that the

Islamic bomb has been dropped already, it fell the day MUHAMMED (pbuh) was



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