How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword?

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How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword?

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الموضوع: How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword?

  1. #1
    تاريخ التسجيل
    Nov 2005
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    على الساعة
    05:50 PM

    افتراضي How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword?

    How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the 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 anti-social 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 sword.

    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 born".


    Islam Spread by the Sword? The Myth and the Reality

    Among the most widely believed myths about Islam in the West today is the myth of forcible conversion to Islam.

    Many Westerners do believe that Islam is so widespread in the world today simply because of a "holy campaign of terror" carried out by the early Muslims to convert non-Muslims to Islam. Non-Muslims were offered the freedom to choose either Islam or death.

    In a discussion with a Baptist Minister he said to me that "Muslims tend to kill non-Muslims and anyone who disagrees with them". In a syndicated column appearing in over 30 papers (on July 23rd, 1994) entitled, "Muslim persecution of Christians increasing" the author blames many Muslims countries for persecuting Christians then he quotes the Qur'an, "There is no compulsion in Religion" and ends the quote by rudely writing "Really?".

    How to confront such misconceptions? First, there is no need for us to be apologetic. We Muslims should search for the truth and present it as it is. This is how we have been instructed by Allah (SWT)

    "Say: the truth from your Lord and let him who will believe and let him who will reject" (Holy Qur'an, 18:29)

    Islam is the religion of the Truth. The Qur'an is the book of the Truth.

    "We sent down the Qur'an in Truth and in Truth has it descended" (Holy Qur'an, 17:105)

    "Put your trust in Allah for you are on the path of the manifest Truth" (Holy Qur'an, 27:79)

    Therefore, we should ask ourselves first, before we are asked by anyone else, what is the truth? Did Muslims really force others to convert to Islam? Is there any evidence for consistent forcible conversion throughout Islamic history? As a matter of fact, there is no such evidence anywhere in the history of Islam. Many distinguished Western historians have attested this fact-- foremost among whom is Sir Thomas W. Arnold in his book, "The Preaching of Islam". Also there is Marshall G. Hodgson in his book, "The Venture of Islam", Albert Hourani in his book, "A History of the Arab People", Ira Lapidus in his book, "History of Islamic Societies", L.S. Starorianos in his book, "A Global Hisotry, the Human Heritage" and many others.

    In fact, there is substantial evidence to the contrary, that Muslims were often seen as liberators of the oppressed people everywhere.

    The question that remains to be answered is why then so many people have chosen Islam throughout the more than 1400 years of its history. Islam has penetrated the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, West Africa, East Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Afghanistan, India, Western China, and the Malay Archipelago. Islam in all these regions replaced so many other well-established religions: Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism and Animism. What are the reasons behind the triumph of Islam over all these religions?

    First and foremost, Islam is an amazing blend of simplicity and rationality: a very simple religion yet very rational at the same time. Professor Hodgson explains: "Muslims made a personal appeal to people's religious consciousness. On the level of straight argument, they often put forward the populistic intelligibility of Islam. Muslims commonly ridiculed, in the name of intellectual good sense, the more mythically convoluted teachings of older traditions. This could seem attractively straightforward to people dissatisfied with taking things on faith from a learned priest whose mysteries they could not comprehend.

    A single Creator, to be worshipped by each person for himself, on the basis of revelation that had been given to a famous prophet whom millions already acknowledged. This was at once intelligible and plausible."

    The unambiguous and uncompromising belief in the Unity, the Greatness, the Wisdom of God, the Creator of the universe, is unparalleled among other religions. The French professor Edouard Montet said:

    "The dogma of the unity of God...has always been proclaimed in the Qur'an with a grandeur, a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of pure conviction which is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam. A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men."

    Besides its simple and rational creed, Islam offers an impressive set of rituals which has gained the admiration and, subsequently, the conversion of many non-Muslims. The second pillar of Islam, Salah [prayer] has been described as follows by Sir Arnold: "The religion of the Muslim is continuously present with him and, in the daily prayer, manifests itself in a solemn and impressive ritual which cannot leave either the worshipper or the spectator unaffected."

    In addition to the prayers, the other pillars of Islam, Zakah [alms tax distributed to the poor], Hajj [pilgrimage to Makkah], Siyam [fasting in Ramadan], have always been factors in attracting many hearts to Islam. Up until the present day, one still meets converts who were impressed by the social justice of Islam brilliantly expressed in the payment of Zakah. The genius of Hajj and Siyam has always been a determining factor in the conversion of many people. It is this union of rationalism and ritualism that explains the power that Islam has exercised over the hearts and minds of so many people.

    Islam simply gives the truth, neat and clear in a visible and tangible form. The neatness and clarity of Islam was presented to human beings in the form of a miraculous book, the Qur'an. The marvelous power and beauty of the words of the Qur'an have always been a decisive factor in conversion to Islam.

    The famous Jewish American convert to Islam, Maryam Jameelah, cited the Qur'an as the major factor of her conversion. After a deep study of both the Old Testament and the Qur'an, the contrast between the two ******ures became increasingly evident to her until she firmly believed that the Qur'an was indeed God's message to the human race.

    A conference of Christian missionaries in 1887 was discussing why Islam has almost swept away Crhistianity from the Middle East. What did Islam offer these people to forsake Christianity for good? One of the missionaries was insightful enough to say the following: "Islam brought out the fundamental dogmas of the Unity and Greatness of God, that He is mindful and Righteous. It proclaimed the responsibility of man, a future life, a Day of Judgment and stern retribution to fall upon the wicked, and enforced the duties of prayer, alms-giving and fasting. It replaced monkishness by manliness; it gave hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind and recognition to the fundamental facts of human nature."

    The formidable rationalism, ritualism and clarity of Islam did not only lead the Christians of the Middle East to forsake Christianity and embrace Islam in the past. It continues to do so with Christians in the West to the present day.

    A Muslim sister, from California, who was a practicing Christian and an active member in her nearby Presbyterian church, wrote in her conversion story that despite her active affiliation with the church, she always had serious questions about the fundamentals of Christianity which did not make sense to her. She debated her questions with her friends but never came up with good answers. The church couldn't give them good answers either, they only told them to "have faith". All her questions were answered when she took a course about Islam. Listen to her words:

    "This class brought back all of the concerns that I had about Christianity. As I learned about Islam, all my questions were answered. All of us are not punished for Adam's original sin. Adam asked God for forgiveness and our merciful, Loving God forgave him. God doesn't require a blood sacrifice in payment for sin. We must sincerely ask for forgiveness and amend our ways. Jesus wasn't God; he was a prophet like all of the other prophets. This answered all of my questions about the trinity and the nature of Jesus. I found a teaching that put everything in its proper perspective and appealed to my heart and my intellect. It seemed natural. It wasn't confusing. I had been searching and I had found a place to rest my faith."

    Islam is so strong and so self-assured that it does not need to use force to attract others to it. The moral and intellectual superiority of Islam over all other religions has manifested itself so clearly throughout the history of Islam. Despite all of the ills of Muslims everywhere, Islam continues to be the fastest growing religion on earth. Professor Huston Smith of the MIT in his book, "The Religions of Man" says:

    "In some areas where Islam and Christianity are competing for converts, Islam is gaining at a rate of 10 to 1."

    Thursday : 07/08/2003
    Many non-Muslims, when they think about Islam, picture
    religious fanatics on camels with a sword in one hand and a Qur'an in the other. This myth, which was made popular in Europe during the Crusades, is totally baseless. First of all, the Holy Qur'an 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 though 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 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 India and China in the East, one would realize that they were far too few to force people to be members of 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 when 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?

    «« توقيع شبكة الفرقان الإسلامية »»

  2. #2
    تاريخ التسجيل
    Nov 2007
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    12:09 AM


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How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword?

How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword?