How can Islam
be called the religion of peace when it was
spread by the sword?
WAS ISLAM SPREAD BY THE
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
1. Islam means
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).
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 exhort 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.
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."
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
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.
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
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?"
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
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
"Let there be no compulsion in religion:
Truth stands out clear from error"
11. Sword of the
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
"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."
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 is Islam. Which sword is forcing people
in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers?
14. Dr. Joseph
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".