Spread of Islam  

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"The cause of the break with the tradition of antiquity was the rapid and unexpected advance of Islam. The result of this advance was the final separation of East from West, and the end of the Mediterranean unity. Countries like Africa and Spain, which had always been parts of the Western community, gravitated henceforth in the orbit of Baghdad. In these countries another religion made its appearance, and an entirely different culture. The Western Mediterranean, having become a Musulman lake, was no longer the thoroughfare of commerce and of thought which it had always been." --Mohammed and Charlemagne (1922) by Henri Pirenne

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Muslim conquests following Muhammad's death led to the creation of the caliphates, occupying a vast geographical area; conversion to Islam was boosted by missionary activities, particularly those of Imams, who intermingled with local populations to propagate the religious teachings. These early caliphates, coupled with Muslim economics and trading and the later expansion of the Ottoman Empire, resulted in Islam's spread outwards from Mecca towards both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the creation of the Muslim world. Trading played an important role in the spread of Islam in several parts of the world, notably Indian traders in southeast Asia.

Muslim dynasties were soon established and subsequent empires such as those of the Abbasids, Fatimids, Almoravids, Seljukids, Ajuran, Adal and Warsangali in Somalia, Delhi, Gujarat, Malwa, Deccan, Bahmani, and Bengal Sultanates, Mughals, Mysore, Nizams, and Nawabs of Bengal in the Indian subcontinent, Safavids in Persia and Ottomans in Anatolia were among the largest and most powerful in the world. The people of the Islamic world created numerous sophisticated centers of culture and science with far-reaching mercantile networks, travelers, scientists, hunters, mathematicians, physicians, and philosophers, all contributing to the Golden Age of Islam. Islamic expansion in South and East Asia fostered cosmopolitan and eclectic Muslim cultures in the Indian subcontinent, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.

As of 2015, there were 1.6 billion Muslims, with one out of four people in the world being Muslim, making Islam the second-largest religion in the world. Out of children born from 2010 to 2015, 31% were Muslim.

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