Minggu, 09 Januari 2011


Historians often have wondered at the remarkable success of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in forming a new society. The pace of consolidation of this society and its evolving into one of the greatest of civilizations also has been mind-boggling.

The rise of Islam is perhaps the most amazing event in human history. Springing from a land and a people previously negligible, Islam spread within a century over half the earth, shattering great empires, overthrowing long established religions, remoulding the souls of races, and building up a whole new world (the world of Islam).

As confrontation and challenge of the existing powers provided the context for the new society to expand the territories under its control, in two other respects, the size of the Muslim community and its influence continued to grow at a rather astonishingly brisk pace.

First, representatives of the Muslim community, inspired by the call of Islam to propagate the message to the rest of the world, reached distant parts of the world. Also, the Arabs originally were a trading community, and under Islam, with trade and business considered a virtue and thus emphasized, many Muslims built trade contacts across the lands and seas and even settled in other parts of the world. Indeed, trade and propagation were often inseparable.

Second, as the Islamic polity took shape and achieved consolidation and even dominance, people of other faiths and from other parts of the world often migrated to the broad Islamic polity in search of peace, security and prosperity. The new universalist polity, not racially Arab any more, attracted people from many parts of the world: Bilal (a slave from Abyssinia, now Ethiopia), Salman from Persia, Shoaib from Rome, and so on.

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