It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam would not have millions of adherents worldwide, had it not been widespread through 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 expansion of Islam.
1. Islam means peace
Islam comes from the root word ‘salaam’, which means peace. It also means submitting to the will of Allah. Thus, Islam is a religion of peace, which is acquired by submitting someone’s will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah.
2. Sometimes force has to be used to keep the peace
Every human being in this world is not in favor of maintaining peace and harmony. There are many, that would disturb you for your own interests. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. That is precisely why we have the police that use force against criminals and antisocial elements to maintain peace in the country. Islam promotes peace. At the same time, Islam exhorts followers to fight where there is oppression. The fight against oppression can sometimes 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 answer to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is given by the noted historian De Lacy O’Leary in the book “Islam on the cross road” (Page 8):
“The story makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword over conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have repeated.”
4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years
Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. Muslims in Spain never used the sword to force the people to convert. Later, Christian crusaders came to Spain and exterminated Muslims. There was not a single Muslim in Spain who could openly give adhan, this is the call to 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 did. In general, Muslims ruled Arabia for 1400 years. However, today, there are 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians, that is, Christians for generations. If Muslims had used the sword, there would not have been a single Arab who would have remained a Christian.
6. Over 80% of non-Muslims in India
Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted to, they had the power to convert each and every non-Muslim in India to Islam. Today, more than 80% of India’s population is non-Muslim. All of these non-Muslim Indians are testifying today that Islam has not spread by the sword.
7. Indonesia and Malaysia
Indonesia is a country that has the largest number of Muslims in the world. Most of the people in Malaysia are Muslims. One may ask, “Which Muslim army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?”
8. East Coast of Africa
Likewise, Islam has spread rapidly on the east coast of Africa. One might ask again, if Islam was spread by the sword, “What 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 are you going to get your sword? A minority of one. In the head of a man alone. There he still lives. A man alone from all over the world believes, there is a man against all men. That he takes a sword and try to propagate with it, will do little for him… You must get your sword! In general, something will spread as it can. ”
10. No compulsion in religion
With which sword did Islam spread? Even if Muslims had this, they could not use it to spread Islam because the Koran says in the following verse:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clearly from error” [Holy Quran 2: 256]
11. Sword of Intellect
It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers people’s hearts and minds. The Qur’an says in Sura Nahl, chapter 16 verse 125:
“Invite (all) to your Lord’s way With wisdom and beautiful preaching; And argue with them in ways that are better and more graceful. ” [Holy Quran 16: 125]
12. Increase in world religions from 1934 to 1984
An article in the Reader’s Digest ‘Almanaque’, in 1986, gave statistics on the increase in the percentage of the main religions in the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in the magazine ‘A Verdade Simples’. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had only increased by 47%. One may ask, what war has happened in this century that converted millions of people to Islam?
13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States and Europe
Today, the fastest growing religion in the United States is Islam. The fastest growing religion in Europe is Islam. What 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 care about nuclear weapons will one day fall into the hands of the Arabs, they do not realize that the Islamic bomb has already been dropped, it fell on the day Muhammad was born (that peace and blessings be upon him). ”