It is a striking fact of history that within three centuries, after Prophet Muhammad started preaching Islam in Mecca, Islam spread over the area of three continents; Asia, Africa and Europe. There are many reasons why people have been, from past to the present embracing Islam. Muhammad Asad, a Jewish convert to Islam, says:“Islam appears to me like a perfect work of architecture. All its parts are harmoniously conceived to complement and support each other, nothing lacking, with the result of an absolute balance and solid composure. Everything in the teaching and postulates of Islam is in its proper place.” (Islam at the Crossroads, p.5)
In the race for the propagation of religion, Islam has always won over Christianity, in spite of the latter’s sophisticated and well-organized missionary activities. This has been the case in the course of fourteen centuries. As a result, most of the Christian missionaries started depicting Islam as a regressive, vulgar religion of savage people which was spread by the sword.
Yet, an unbiased Western Christian writer has written:
“…We may feel certain that if Western Christians, instead of the Saracens and the Turks, had won the dominion over Asia, there would be today not a trace left of the Greek Church, and that they would never have tolerated Muhammadanism as the 'infidels' have tolerated Christianity there. We (Christians) enjoy the
The zeal for understanding God’s creative power, as realized in the universe, led the followers of this religion to new ideas, new realms of knowledge and great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history.
We find that the spread of Islam was not limited to its miraculous early expansion outside of Arabia. During later centuries, the Turks embraced Islam peacefully, as did a large number of the people of the Indian subcontinent, as well as the people of Malaysia and Indonesia.
In Africa too, Islam spread during the past two centuries, while under the mighty power of European colonial rulers. Today Islam continues to grow, not only in Africa, but also in Europe and the Americas as well. Islam is the fastest growing religion now, with a following of about one and a half billion people.
Mr. Lamaan Ball, editor of Ask About Islam, adds:
Although in the early years of the expansion of the Islamic state much land came under the rule of the Muslims, conversion to Islam of its inhabitants took several generations. This is because conversion by force is explicitly forbidden in the Qur'an: