Even the most fanatic Christians could not ignore its corruption as a factor helping the spread of Islam. A. Miller states: “Paganism, with its numberless false Gods, still covered a large portion of the earth, and even Christianity, alas, had become extensively idolatrous in both the Greek and Roman Churches. It was at this moment that Muhammad appeared before the world as a stern and austere monotheist”.[385]After explaining the spread of Islam among Christians and the expansion of Muslim power, he says: “But what, it may be asked, is the moral lesson to be drawn from the character and results of these two great powers? (Roman See and the Rise of Islam). Both have been permitted by God, if we rightly judge, have been permitted by Him as a Divine judgement on Christendom for its apostasy and on the heathen of their idolatry”.[386]

“Thus did God in His Holy Providence deal with many nations both in the East and in the West that were thickly peopled with Jews and Christians”.[387]

“Islam is a community of high faith in One God. It arose in large measure as a revolt against the Christian dilution of monotheism. The humanity of Jesus was affirmed in Islam, not negatively, but in positive acceptance of Jesus as a great prophet”.[388] “Islam resolutely and constantly rejected the category of incarnation. Even more offensivewas the Christian claim that the Son of God died on the Cross. Certainly God cannot suffer or, a fortiori, die. One strong reason for the pulsing power of early Islam was the fact that its dramatic protest gave unhesitant outlet to man’s deep longing for ultimate unity”.[389]

More than any other religion, Christianity has attempted to enforce and systematise the use of images. “Christianity has not been the most monolithic of the great religions; Islam has been that…Christianity has produced a wealth of symbols, in stones or glass, statues or icons, sermons or hymns”.[390] If it was not for Islam, a Christianity, which had long become a corrupt superstition, would have become yet more corrupt, in the East, and would have sunk to the condition in which it is in many parts of the Christian world now.[391]

“Looking back we can see that the victories of Muslims (and therefore the spread of Islam) were due rather to the weakness of their enemies then to their own skill; all the ancient kingdoms had been eaten away internally by corruption, love of ease or the debility of old age”.[392] “The spread of Islam was very rapid indeed. Many different causes made this possible. Division among Christians, and between Eastern Christians and their neighbours…most important of all the Muslims’ enthusiasm for their faith which made them courageous”.[393] Another writer asks: “How did Islam spread? First of all, there was the overpowering personality of the prophet himself…but the success of the Muslims was partly due to the weakness of their neighbours; both the Sasanid empire in Persia and the Byzantine empire in the Levant were declining, while Christianity in the Eastern Patriarchates had become involved in bitter, futile and unceasing controversy”.[394]

In fact, the Middle East seemed to be waiting anxiously for the new Religion of Islam. The Middle East had been conquered by a variety of people: Persians, Greeks, Romans. But notwithstanding their great political influence, the civilizing effect of their rule was never significant. Outside the town directly occupied by them they never succeeded in getting their religion, language and arts accepted by the subject peoples. Under the Ptolemys,quite as much as under the Romans, Egypt, the immutable, remained faithful to its past. In fact the conquerors adopted the religion, language and architecture of the vanquished.

Where the Greeks, Persians and Romans had failed in the Middle East, the Arabs (the Muslims) were to succeed, swiftly and peacefully. Though apparently the one country least inclined to accept foreign influence, Egypt, had forgotten its six or seven thousand years of civilization and had a new religion, a new language and a new art, all of which were destined to endure, only a century or so after being invaded by Amru.[395] This is true of the other countries in the regions: Persia, Iraq, Syria, etc. this was true even of India and China.[396] An obviously partial Christian writer states: “and yet we cannot shirk a last consideration, in which the blame turns home upon ourselves. The survival of the fittest is a principle that has a more than a merely biological bearing. And in God’s mysterious counsels it would seem that religious privilege, however sacred, is not exempt from its working. Islam survived because Persian and Byzantine rule was unfit, and because the salt of the latter’s Christianity had lost its savour”.[397] Divisions had weaken Christianity and many were happy to escape these tensions by accepting the ineluctably monotheistic faith of Islam and the new brotherhood it offered.[398]

The political corruption and tension in the area further prepared the ground for the spread of Islam which was already prepared by religious tension and corruption. The Arabs did not treat their new subjects harshly; their rule appeared preferable to that of Byzantine and Persians, whose warfare and taxation often left the inhabitants of an area in a state of resentment and insecurity. On the whole, Arab rule was a good proposition in comparison with that which had gone before.[399]

In Egypt “the Copts disliked the Greek rule and doctrines of Byzantium to which they were subjected, and they welcomed the Arabs as deliverers”.[400]

In fact “the Muslims in Egypt were assisted by Christians who preferred to pay tribute to the Muslims in return for toleration than to suffer persecution at the hands of fellow Christians”.[401]

When Islam appeared, the Monophysites were in the majority in a large area. “They were a decisive majority throughout an area from Upper Egypt to the head-waters of the Tigris and the Euphrates. They could neither be suppressed nor be expelled, but they could revolt against the Roman Empire, as they had already revolted against the Catholic Church as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Their chance came when the Muslim Arabs invaded the Roman Empire little more than half a century after Justinian’s death; and the disaffection of the monophysites towards the Empire partly accounts for the rapidity, and the apparent ease, with which the Arabs wrested Syria, Mesopotamia and Egypt out of Melchite Roman hands”.[402] The existing Christian communities must have been weakened by the violence and uncertainty of their life and the Sectarian divisions from which they had suffered.[403]

To summarize, the main religious qualities which attracted people to Islam were:

(a) Simplicity of the theological doctrines of Islam. All the theological doctrines are based on the existence of God and His absolute Unity and sovereignty; strict
monotheism. Even the doctrine of prophethood is based on God’s attributes, mainly on His mercy, His love of mankind and His bounty (Lutf). So is the doctrine of resurrection (Ma’ad) which is based on God’s justice. (These two are the second and the third theological doctrines in Islam). All doctrines in Islam are therefore based on the doctrine of absolute monotheism.

(b) Rationalism of Islamic teachings. As Professor Montet has put it: “Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered
etymologically and historically. The definition of the term rationalism as ‘a system that bases religious beliefs on principles furnished by the reason’ applies to it exactly”.

(c) Its complete harmony with conscience, for it is based entirely on the most intuitional conviction which is the existence of God and His Unity, without artificial complication and contradiction.

(d) The inclusiveness and comprehensiveness of Islam covering all aspects of physical, social, mental and spiritual life of individuals and societies, and hence
the harmony of faith, religion and life.

(e) Lack of formalism and mediation. The Faith and God of every Muslim is always present with him everywhere. He does not need special time, place, condition and formality to reach his God. He speaks to his God directly, at least five times a day.

His faith is a combination of discipline and closeness to God which required simplicity. Its rituals are disciplinary, mentally relaxing and spiritually fulfilling.

(f) The vividness, dynamism and resilience of Islamic theology and of Islam

(g) The creativity of Islamic theology, its universalism and compatibility with time and space.

(h) The cohesion and harmony of Islamic theology,

(i) The shortcomings of other theological systems.

These qualities attracted the minds of people and made it possible for Islam to appeal to them quickly and spread quickly.



It has been stated that there is no priesthood in Islam. The absence of priesthood and ecclesiastical orders in Islam is associated with Islamic theology.

Islam means submission to God and Muslims are submitted to the authority of Allah only. Submission to God does not need any mediation or mediator. This is why all the prophets are regarded by the Muslims as Muslims, and this is why Islam is introduced as the natural religion that is based on and is harmonious with human nature and conscience, for the authority of God is a natural thing to believe in. We have also pointed out that the terms Muhammadan or Muhammadanism, used by non-Muslims, is objectionable to Muslims on the grounds that they do not worship Muhammad, nor do they regard him as divine, in the way that Christians regard Jesus as the Son of God, nor indeed is he central in their religious beliefs. Nor is he the mediator between God and His servants, nor is he the redeemer, the Alpha, the Omega, or the Light of the World. Allah is first and last and Muhammad is simply His messenger and apostle. It is, of course, inevitable that Muhammad should be regarded with considerable reverence by his followers. Muhammad was and remains, for Muslims, as a man and the Messenger of Allah. Abraham, Moses and Jesus are likewise so regarded as men and Messengers of Allah.[404] “The prophet Muhammad was but a man; of purely human nature. He was neither a great God, nor even a small God, nor even an auxiliary God. The prophet led us into the light of truth, but however great any respect for him may be, he is not raised above the level of Man…he was God’s apostle and servant”.[405] It is thus clear that the role of Muhammad in Islam is different from that of Jesus in Christianity, or other founders of religions.

Prof. Guillame in his book “Islam” remarks: “A prophet’s personality should be able to stand on its own merits. If it can, it needs no portent; if it cannot, a portent merely compromises the credibility of the whole narrative by importing the incredible”.[406] This applies to Muslims’ beliefs about Muhammad. He is not divine, the Son of God, or anything of similar nature. He is the prime example of a kind of personality that stood on its own merits. This is why his words, deeds and approval are taken as an ideal pattern[407] and regarded as the Islamic tradition and he was accepted as the leader of theMuslim society, but not as the mediator or redeemer.

Allah does not need any one to mediate between Him and His creatures, hence the absence of an ecclesiastical system, order and professional religious establishment in Islam.

We can thus understand why there is no professional priesthood or hierarchy in spiritual matters in Islam. The role of religious leaders in Islam is not that of the people who have the right of mediation and intercession between man and God, but it is the role of specialists who know about Islam because they have spent time and energy studying it. This is why they are called Ulama (scholars) and not priests, for they place their authority and claim on the knowledge of Islam.

However, since it is not regarded as a religious profession, as is the case with Christian spiritual leadership, Muslims generally, except for minorities, regard Ulama only as people who have knowledge of Islam and nothing more. There is no financial privilege attached to it automatically. There is, therefore, no trading for religious positions.[408] The history of Christian spiritual leadership has witnessed claims and counter – claims to succession to church posts and therefore has witnessed rivalry, corruption and trading for vacant episcopal positions.[409] This was the case with Christian spiritual leadership in Egypt, Persia and then later of the church leaders in the area under the Ottoman Empire.[410]

The basic doctrine of religious leadership in Islam started with Muhammad himself. He never claimed to be more than a person unto whom God revealed the truth (the messenger of God).[411] The ultimate authority is God and He is the source of knowledge and His Knowledge is the only truth. Muhammad was in fact the first Muslim (Quran, 27:91). He is not God incarnate, as Jesus is for Christians. But he is Islam incarnate (Abdu Allah, God’s servant). Muhammad does not share anything with God in any way. His authority is solely accidental and not original.

He did not claim to be the only mediator. His authority was merely based on his knowledge of the will and intention of God and not on personal spiritual leadership and mediation. Everybody is potentially as close to God as he was because God is equally close to everybody.[412] Muhammad, unlike Jesus who is supposed to have claimed to be the “Alpha and the Omega and the Light of the World”, did not claim to be more than a man. He himself said: “I am al-Qualham”, meaning “I am the complete, perfect man”. A man came to him who was over-awed by his presence and became reverential towards him. He said to him: “Be at rest. I am not a king. I am only the son of a woman of the Quraysh, who eats dried meat”. His answer to his name was: “at your service”.[413] We are making no mistakes and we are remaining within the zone of existential recognition. Muhammad, the Messenger, is not being worshipped, deified, or made into a symbol. He is accepted by Muslims as a witness of how things are, as being a completely open person in flowing harmonious accord with existence so that he knows it inwardly and outwardly. The preachers of Islam cannot claim for themselves what he did not.[414] The organized clerical and ecclesiastic system of Christianity stems originally from Christian theology and Christology.

But Islamic theology and its doctrine concerning God and His Messenger Muhammad do not conform with the doctrine of Mediation and intercession and, therefore, Islam rejects the doctrine of professional mediators and ecclesiastics. It is said that the first pulpit set up in Egypt was destroyed by order of the Caliph when the scandal reached his ears, for it raised the preacher in unseemly dignity above his brethren.[415] This shows: a) that a preacher of Islam is simply an equal member of the society; b) that the absence of priestly orders in Islam is based on Islamic values, mainly theological. A corollary of Islamic brotherhood is equality: equality amongst themselves and before God. At the head of Islamic community is God himself; and His rule over His people is immediate and direct, without any intermediary. Even Muhammad is not the head of this community of equals. When the chief of a tribe that had adopted Islam said to the prophet: “Thou art our prince”, the prophet answered quickly: “The prince is God, not I”.[416] Islam is the direct government of Allah, the rule of God, whose eyes are upon his people. In Islam God is not distant from His people and needs no mediator. Islam does not therefore need clergy, church priests, or sacraments. What is the good of a mediator between man and his maker, who has known him before his birth and is nearer to him than his jugular vein? Man is alone in the presence of God in life and death; he may always address Him directly, without introduction and without ceremony. The most rigid Protestantism in Christianity is almost a sacerdotal religion, compared with this Islamic monotheism; unbending, and intolerant of any interfer­ence between man and his Creator. Man may surrender only to God, surrender himself directly only to His mercy, “From Him to Him” according to Muslim formula. This surrender of man to God directly is the true faith. That is why Islam is the only true religion, because it alone sets a religious soul in the presence of God and nothing else. This direct exclusive surrender is the ensign of Islam, its badge among the nations. This exclusive direct surrender dispenses with all forms of mediation, intercession, interposition and intervention. In Islam, Muhammad was not in a position to mediate or accept repentance or forgive sins, only God can do these things. The Quran says: “God is the one who accepts repentance from His servants and forgives sins”.[417]

The doctrine of the unity of regnum and sacerdotium, religion and politics in Islam is also responsible for the absence of priesthood, church, orthodoxy, papacy, bishoprics, hierarchy, council of synods, formalism, symbolism, in the Christian sense, in Islam.

While there is no priesthood and church hierarchy and feuds in Islam, they play a major role in Christianity. They are actually essential parts of it. Confession to a priest and visiting a church or a priest is an important part of Christian religious life in Christianity. The corruption of priests and the decadence of priesthood is therefore associated directly to the decadence of Christianity. This has been the cause of many conversions in different parts of Christian world to other religions. It becomes even more serious when it is directly vested in worldly power. Such was the case in the Persian Empire, the Byzantine Empire and Abyssinian Kingdom, and in areas under colonialism or neo-colonialism. This can explain a lot of Christian formalism or great ceremonies associated with Christianity based on the emphasis that Christianity has laid on priesthood and spiritual feudalism. This is why we can also easily understood when and how Christian priesthood became corrupt and Episcopal sees were put up for auction; and in many cases unsuitable persons were appointed to religious positions for money and power, who in turn worked only for money and power. People turned from Christianity whose ministers had brought it into shame and discredit, and they sought a moral, ethical and religious life in the pale of Islam. Priests not only lived with women but they lived with many married women.

The tendency for supporting feudalism and aristocracy among the church leaders was to strong that in the areas where they were abolished because of Muslim conquest the church leaders established themselves as the feudalists and aristocrats of Christian society. This is especially true of the church hierarchy under the Ottoman Empire. A man who rejected the authority and institution of priesthood could easily find himself in harmony with the Islamic doctrine decrying such things. There are convincing sources explaining that many Movements inside Christianity favoured the progress of Islam and its spread among the Greek renegades in the middle of the seventeenth century.[418] In many cases the disagreement and quarrel between the Christians and their priests made people leave Christianity and accept Islam.[419]

In some cases local priests approved the open profession of Islam by many male members of their flocks.[420] In some cases religious leaders embraced Islam first.[421]

It cannot be denied that intercession and priesthood is an essential part of Christianity. The corruption of priesthood and the decadence of a number of its churches have therefore contributed to blasphemy and conversion. The corruption of pastors, particularly the higher clergy, is a responsible factor for the spread of Islam in many Christian societies. This can be seen clearly when the seats of bishops and archbishops were put up to auction to the highest bidder in the Greek Church during the Ottoman Empire. The already corrupt priesthood became more corrupt. They in turn burdened the Christians with taxes, ordinary and extraordinary; they made them purchase all the sacraments at exorbitant rates, and made them pay for baptism, confession, holy communion, indulgences and the right of Christian burial. This compared to the role played by Muslim Mullas in Muslim community can explain the conversion of some of the Christians to Islam. Muslim Ulama have no right to levy taxes or charge for any religious ceremonies. There is nothing in Islam which can be exclusively the responsibility of Ulama. What is performed by Ulama can be performed by anybody with enough knowledge. The spiritual leadership is not vested in any particular person, body, group or institution. In Islam only God is worthy of exclusive obedience while in Christianity obedience is the basis of spiritual feudalism.

Again the absence of intercession and mediation between God and His servants (Ibado Allah) and the doctrine of direct access to God in Islam has probably made it appeal to those Christian reformists, such as Calvinists, who tried to do away with the Christian doctrine of mediation and priesthood . The doctrine of mediation and priesthood is so fundamental in Christianity that without it Christianity can no longer be regarded as Christianity. They are based on the actual role of Jesus in Christianity (as Judaism with the concept of “Chosen People”, which eventually leads to the doctrine of intercession and racialism and Zionism, and can no longer be regarded as pure and original Judaism). However, the role of Jesus Christ as God incarnate has recently been treated as a myth (see The Myth of Jesus Christ as God Incarnate by a group of intellectuals at Oxford University).

Many Christian historians openly acknowledge that the unsuitability of the clergy for the priesthood is one of the main causes from which have come many losses that the church and Christianity suffered.[422] It is not our intention here to introduce the negative elements in Christianity that caused the losses that the church sustained. But since some of these negative points are illustrations of positive points in Islam and thus caused the attraction of Christians to Islam, we have briefly referred to them.

The feudal, partial, biased and vicious attitude amongst various Christian sects and their leaders especially amongst Latins, Greeks, Nestorians and Armenians caused their rejection by the Mongols and they did not therefore meet with the success that their extensive missionary work deserved. Their ignorance, polygamy, drunkenness, covetousness put them at the disadvantageous position compared to the moral and ethical attitude of Buddhists and Muslims.[423]

Trafficking of the sacred rites, trading in spiritual positions and working for money, power and lust were some of the factors contributing to the failure of church leaders in winning Mongols.[424] While church leaders used their alliance with Mongols to do things that discredited Christianity in Western Asia,[425] Muslim scholars did their best to direct the Mongols’ attention to the furtherance of civilization, culture and peace. Mongols were already by themselves a savage and blood-thirsty people , but they were also encouraged by Christian leaders in their massacre of the Muslim population.[426] hi many cases the methods used by church leaders to advocate their religion scared the people instead of attracting them; their violence, prejudice, superstition were in strong contrast to the gentle, humane, scholarly and tolerant attitude adopted by the Muslims. In many cases the propagation of Christianity by the church leaders was intended to serve as an instrument of the political advancement of their colonial government. They were thus used as political tools. This of course made people more interested in Islam and drew their attention to its values.[427]

Analysing some of the factors helping the spread of Islam, T. Noldeke states: “A fact specially worthy of note is that Islam was accepted by a majority of the East Syrian Christians – the Nestorians of the lands watered by the Tigris, whose ancestors could not be brought to apostasy by all the fierce persecutions of Persian Kings, hi explaining this result, perhaps some weight ought to be assigned also to the consideration that, in adopting the priestless religion of Islam, the Christians rid themselves of the totalage and oppression of their own clergy”.[428]

It is not difficult to understand how, in fact, the very absence of priesthood in Islam attracted many people to it and how the existence of organized ecclesiastical power actually frightened away the followers of other religions in favour of Islam. Buddhism came into being as an attack upon the web of priesthood and priestcraft which Brahmanism had woven round the whole frame-work of Indian society.[429] Many followers of old faiths also abandoned them for the same reason in favour of the priestless Islam. The escape from ecclesiastical tyranny is considered as a factor helping the spread of Islam, particularly in areas previously under the Persian and Byzantine Empires, specially in Syria and Egypt.[430] The easy conquest of Andalusia by Muslims is also attributed to the corruption of the Christian priesthood there.[431]

The political development of the Islamic world differs completely from that of Europe because of the absence of a church.Islam does not recognize the need for penitence in the Judaeo – Christian sense…It has no real sacraments for priests to administer and therefore does not make any kind of distinction. It has, therefore no special priestly class and hierarchy.[432]

“Islam is not a sacerdotal religion. It does not believe in any mediation between man and his maker who knew him before he was bom; and is closer to him than his jugular vein. Any Muslim of decent character canleadtheprayers in the Mosque, though this is done by a leader recognized for his piety and scholarship called Imam”.[433]

The fact that Islam boasts of no organized clergy made the task of spreading Islam the duty not only of professional spiritual leaders but that of every Muslim, man or woman. This in turn made the task of adaptation to local or modern life easy. Indeed, the absence of such an institution is one of the unique features of Islam which only serves to bring out the remarkable capacity of Islamic society to cohere and also to serve the spread of Islam without being hindered by religious formalism.[434] This makes it easier for Muslims to spread Islam without needing official permission from religious organisation to do so. hi fact, much of the success of Islam resulted from the initiative of individual local non-professional preachers. In most instances mass conversions were the result of the individual initiative of laymen, not of large-scale deliberate missionary activities as pursued by various Christian missionary socie­ties, often competing in the same area.[435] The absence of organised missionary society in Islam proves this.

In contrast to both the Sassanian and the Christian Roman and Byzantine govern­ments, the Muslim state did not employ organized religion as part of its administrative machinery, which is one reason why it is not, as a rule, concerned with enforcing complete agreement on theological and legal doctrines.[436]

“There is in Islam no spiritual authority whose function is to interpret dogma”.[437] The absence of spiritual authority in Islam caused the absence of spiritual and religious dictatorship and tyranny in Islam. Comparing Islam to other religions which claimed infallible spiritual authority such as Christianity and Zoroastrianism, we can under­stand why many people embraced Islam mainly to rid themselves of spiritual authority and tyranny, e.g. “Although payment of poll-tax for long relieved Persians of the necessity of changing their faith, yet many of them became Muslims either for reasons of expediency or because they were weary of the tyranny of the Magian priesthood and their number gradually increased”.[438]

A very important point related to the absence of organized priesthood or an ecclesiastic system of any kind in Islam is that organized religion and clergy could not really be employed for political and military purposes and could not employ others to do this because it did not exist, hi contrast to Islam, the clergy in Christianity were an organized

international estate; and the pope, the head of the Western clergy, was a great figure in political and military affairs encouraging wars to enforce Christianity. In the view of Urban II, for instance, the pope was to be generalissimo of the Holy War. The crusade was to be the foreign policy of the papacy, conducted at its nod.[439] An enterprise such as wars and crusade seemed naturally destined to conclude that the organised clergy were more able to impose wars and crusades on their peoples than were spiritual leaders in Islam. The role of Islamic spiritual leaders was more confined to religious affairs and spiritual matters. While crusades, for instance, were encouraged and organized by Popes and they remained essentially connected with the papacy, and while it was by Popes that Holy Wars might be directed, not only against the Muslims of the East, but also against heretics in the West (for not only were they the papal policy: they were also a part of papal finance), there was no organized priesthood to do the same in Islam.[440]

“Islam differs very markedly from the other great world religions in being so much a lay brotherhood. Its missionary expansion has been due to the favour and responsibility of ordinary Muslims in spreading their faith”.[441]

The absence of priesthood in Islam has placed the responsibility of preaching and spreading Islam on the shoulder of everyone, be he a layman or a Mulla. This is why traders, immigrants, soldiers, etc., have all participated in spreading Islam, e.g. the first person who preached Islam in Java, after the earlier Indian Muslims, was a trader from the Hadramout who settled in Grusek and died in A.D. 1419. His name, which has been preserved on a monument, is recorded as Mulana Malik Ibrahim. He was followed by other traders.[442] Again, after Asia, the continent of Africa has the largest Muslim population, whose numbers there, as elsewhere, have of late been steadily increasing. Here too, as elsewhere, the cause is not to be sought in organized missionary labours, but in the unsponsered (unorganized) voluntary efforts of laymen, travellers and traders.[443] “Islam has never had missionaries who were missionaries only. But it is also probably true that the masses of Islam have more generally, both geographically and as to periods of time, been inclined towards missionary work, towards the spread of their faith by one means or another”, states an author.[444] “A careful study of available facts (of the nineteenth century) will lead to the conclusion that Islamic advance is not due to a missionary propaganda such as we are accustomed to think of in connection with Christian work”, states a churchman.[445] After all a religion with no professional, organized priesthood and no ecclesiastical system is more likely to spread by its own religious qualities.

Dr. Blyden’s description of Muslim preachers is as follows: “The Arab missionaries…disseminate their religion by quietly teaching the Koran. The native missionaries – Mandingoes and Fulans – unite with the propagation of their faith active trading. Wherever they go they produce the impression that they are not preachers only, but traders merely. And in this way silently and almost unobstructively, they are causing princes to become obedient disciples and zealous propagators of Islam. Their converts as a general thing become Muslims from choice and conviction and bring all the manliness of their former condition to the maintenance and support of their new Creed”.[446]

Even A. Atterbury, who is clearly not only a churchman but a fanatic, is left with no choice but to admit that: “After making all due allowance, we are left with these simple facts: that indigenous agents have been at work, particularly throughout Western and Central Sudan…as men seeking self-support by means more or less honourable, but carrying with them as they go teachings of Muhammadanism and the Koran. They familiarize the pagan tribes with Islam. Doubtless they win some converts”.[447]

The absence of priesthood in Islam, though disadvantageous on occasions, has provided Islam with informality and popularity. In competing with Christianity, for example in Africa, Islam has the additional advantage of being propagated entirely by Africans who live at the same level as the people.[448] Again, the absence of priesthood in Islam has created simplicity and informality in Islam which in turn attracts many people who would not like to see their religion made up of formalities and ceremonies.

The absence of religious authority and spiritual dictatorship in Islam is associated with another principle of Islam; namely that there is no mediation of Man, place or anything barring humanity from his God. The Muslim is always in touch with his God directly, anywhere and any time. He takes his prayer mat. If he loses his religion it is less likely to be from lack of a building or a medium.[449] Nevertheless, the Mosque has always kept its reverence as the place of worship and the community centre for the faithful.

Islam has never known a temple-type cult and therefore never a temple. A Muslim is not a member of a Mosque. In fact, it has been said that there is no counterpart in Islam to the Christian Church.[450] The Mosque and its ritual is simple and appealing. Islam has rejected ritual dancing, music, singing and other formal primitive rituals. Islam has confined its liturgy to a few simple texts taken chiefly from the Quran. The Mosque has no altar and no sanctuary, for Islam has no sacraments or ordination. The imam is neither priest nor pastor, but a leader in prayer. He may guide thebeliever in matters of religious law and ritual, but cannot intervene between man and God. Publicprayeris adisclipined, corporate act of submission to God. It admits of no drama and no mystery and has no place for liturgical music or poetry, still less for representational painting or sculpture, which Muslim piety rejects as blasphemy verging on idolatry.[451] In their place calligraphy has developed greatly.

It should be borne in mind that the corruption of Christian priesthood and Christianity is still a factor in discouraging people from Christianity. The following account by an English publication is illustrative, “hi 1976, in England, a vicar who admitted being homosexual has been chosen as the head of “the new gay Christian move­ment”. The new group was formed in London by 150 homosexual men and women from different churches. The aim of this society is to press churches with recognising that there are Christian people who are honest, upright Christian people who are homosexual. The group elected as its president the Rev. Peter Elvers, vicar of Thaxted, Essex. Mr. Elvers, 46, married with four children, received the support of two bishops, who said that there was certainly no reason why he should quit his position. Mr. Elvers thought there would always be two camps in the church with different views on homosexuality. A Church of England spokesman agreed that it was divided on the subject”.[452]

It is an irony that the church, its leaders and Christianity which condones homosexu­ality fiercely opposes Islamic ideology being presented to the public in Christian society and regards it as propaganda. The same publication published: “Sir Norman Anderson, chairman of the Church of England of Laity, warned that a series of meetings organized by the Islamic Council of Europe is a propagandist body and would go in for Islamic apologetic and proclamation”.[453] Both accounts illustrate the corruption of church leaders.

It has been explained that there is no religious hierarchy in Islam The nearest to Clerical Institution in Islam is the activities of the Sherif, or descendant of the prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima. The Sharifs have, from the earliest times, in various roles, e.g. Imams, been active figures in the spread of Islam everywhere, especially in Africa. The Sharifs performed a variety of functions such as teaching, leading prayer, praying and in some cases, healing and divining. The roles of the Sharifs in the spread of Islam in Africa was so great that it has been recognised as parallel to that of merchants. Religious authority enhanced the mobility of the Sharifs who might travel with relative impunity over long distances and sometimes otherwise inhospitable

regions. Some Sharifs were also traders. They usually acquired an influential position in Muslim Societies. “In several cases, Sharifian descent was part of a dynasty’s title to rule. This was so with the Fatimid dynasty ruling in North Africa”.

It has been observed that the religious activities of Sharifs sometimes assimilated, in public opinion, to those of traditional practitioners of supernatural arts. It has been suggested that these elements, whether they verge on magic and superstition or aspire to most fervent piety, in many cases constituted the main initial appeal of Islam in non-Muslim eyes in some parts of Africa. Many skills may be traced – in interpretation of dreams, in healing by faith, in divining the future – but underpinning all was – quite simple, belief in the power of prayer. It is here that we must first seek an understanding of how the religion took root in Black Africa.

Muslim religious leaders have often controlled Mass or political agitation against non-Muslims, e.g. Salem I and Ibrahim the Ottoman Sultans both became enraged with Christians in the empire because of their conspiracy and disturbance of peace. Salim I and Ibrahim decided to punish and kill them, but were with difficulty dissuaded by their Mufties who declared that killing of the protected peoples (Dhimmis) was against Islamic Law. Salim I was deterred, not by the project, but by the honesty of his Mufti. About the time of Idris Aloma (beginning of the seventeenth century), when the Katsinawa were pressing very hard upon Kano, it is said that they would have destroyed the city, had it not been for clerical intervention. After the Suban’s conquest of the Capital Bagirimi, clerics there interceded with him, pleading to stop looting the city. There are many cases of the power of Muslim religious leaders thus exerted for stopping fanaticism, bloodshed and use of force against non-Muslims.

Discussing the concept of leadership – the position of leaders – ulama – in Islamic theology and politics, one must first understand the position of the Prophet Muhammad, the Imams and khulafa and then the ulama and fuqaha, for they derive their leadership from that of the Prophet, the khulafa and the Imams.

Islam is the only religion which is not called after a person, persons, a group or a race.

It is the religion the name of which explains, though briefly, its ideology and its view of the world. Other religions are associated with persons, groups or a race. This showsthat leadership in Islam is ideological rather than otherwise.

The Muslim’s loyalty is to Allah as the only head of the Muslim community and as the only source of guidance, revelation and Islam and as the first leader (Hadi) of the Ummah and humanity. Muhammad worked as a road sign on the straight path (Serat al-Mustaqim) of felicity and salvation for which everyone is personally responsible. (The term Ayotallah used by the Shia for religious leaders means road sign to Allah.)

The organised clerical and ecclesiastical system of Christianity stems originally from Christian theology and Christology. But Islamic theology and its doctrine concerning God and His messenger Muhammad do not conform with the doctrine of mediation and intercession (a purely spiritual work), and, therefore, Islam rejects the doctrine of professional spiritual leadership, mediation and ecclesiastics.

The term used in Islam for guidance is “Hedayat” and the term used for leading and leadership is “Imamate”. In Islam, guidance is always ascribed to God. He is the guide (Hadi) and guidance comes only from Him for only He knows the best and leads best. The Prophets do not guide, they simply convey the guiding divine message and God himself guides. Thus, guidance and leadership in the Islamic community originally and basically belongs to God alone and He bestows it upon others, in the same way that He alone is the all-knowing but lets others have access to some of His knowledge. We know that leadership originally belongs to Allah and He bestowed it on the Muslim community.

But did Allah bestow this leadership directly on the community of the faithful or did He do it through His messenger? The Sunnis believe that Islam is a democratic system, for the Caliphs are elected by people directly. The Shi’ites suggest that Imams are to represent divine will and Allah, they therefore must be appointed directly by Allah, leadership accordingly conveyed to the community but through Imams.

The role of Jesus as the first leader in Christianity is a purely spiritual one and so is the role of those who claim to be his successors. Their main or their only task is redeeming, intercession and mediation. This is why crucifixion plays a very important role in Christianity and the cross has likewise a symbolic significance and clergy and spiritual mediation cannot be ignored in Christianity. In fact, Christianity without the cross, clergy, spiritual mediation, church, intercession, atonement, etc. is not Chris­tianity any more. This has made the concept of leadership in Christianity a purely spiritual one.The unity of God in Islam has influenced Islam’s entire ideals and realities. The role and responsibility of Muhammad was neither only spiritual nor only a material role, but a spiritual-material, physical-psychological, religious-political role.

It is thus clear that the role of Muhammad, as the first human leader of the Muslim community in Islam is different from that of Jesus, Buddha and Gautama or other founders of religious, because Muhammad did not found Islam but spread it. God is the founder of Islam. Muhammad in Islam, as the first leader of the Muslim community, is the prime example of a kind of personality that stood on its own merits. This is why his words, deeds and approval are taken as an ideal pattern and regarded as the Islamic tradition and was accepted as the leader of the Muslim society, but not merely as the mediator, redeemer, saviour or divine.

Muhammad is introduced in the Qur’an as Rasoolo Allah (the messenger of God) and so are the other Prophets. Their authority is based on two principles:

(a) receiving the divine message and;

(b) spreading the message and seeing that it is carried out. The authority of other Muslim religious leaders likewise is based on two principles:-

(a) to understand the message revealed to Muhammad and,

(b) to spread it and see it is carried out.

Neither the Prophet nor his successors have any authority to change the message, to add to it or omit anything from it. The titles given to Muhammad, beside Rosoolo Allah (the messenger of God) are the teacher, the purifier, the leader, guide and moral example.

Islam is societistic, because the object of Islam is the totality of humanity. In Islam, the human face, man’s humanity and the entire humanity count. The truth cannot be the property of a person, persons, a group, groups, a race, a nation and cannot be monopolised. It belongs to everybody, to all creatures and to the entire humanity. The human mind or soul has no vision of a relation between man and his fellows greater or a nobler than that of intellectual intercourse, and certainly no vision of a world other than that in which any man may influence, determine, transform or refashion his fellow men by argument or examples.

For a Muslim it is not enough to know the truth to believe in it and to behave

accordingly. The spirit of truth (Islam) in the hearts of Muslims cannot rest unless it manifests itself in thought, word and deed to everybody. Pursuit of felicity for and the prevention of evil. The doctrine of ‘Amr bil Maroof va al-Nahy An al-Munkar’ is not only an Islamic doctrine but it is the spirit and the sole purpose of all divine religions and certainly of Islam. The Muslim community is the community of ‘Amr bi al-Ma’roof and thus leads humanity and deserves the leadership. This duty is the duty of the community first and through it the duty of its members. The leadership thus basically belongs to the community and then to its members.

The logical consequence of Islamic theology, tradition, Qur’anic verses and of what has been suggested so far is that the concept of Islamic leadership bears the following features:-

(1) The concept of leadership must be harmonious with the doctrine of Tawheed.

(2) God is at the head of the Muslim community.

(3) Leadership has been given to the Muslim community and to the Prophet as the divine trust.

(4) Leadership is not a political power, it is a responsibility to provide security and peace for the Muslim society to enable it to fulfil its divine purpose and goal.

(5) Leadership is closely associated and actually based on the doctrine of Amr bi al-Ma’roof va al-Nahy An al-Munkar (bidding the doing of good and forbidding the abominable).

(6) Leadership as a social responsibility (Wajib al-Kafai) originally belongs to the community as a whole and the government and leaders simply represent the
community. (Government responsibility does not release the community from its own responsibility but it simply becomes a double responsibility of the community
and government).

(7) Leadership as a responsibility in Islam started with Muhammad and his leader ship was based on his Resalah (his mission as the messenger of God) and his
authority was purely accidental and not original.

(8) Prophethood is the responsibility of spreading the word of God, leading and guiding the society and teaching and educating it, so that it is able to fulfil the
divine purpose.

(9) It is not correct to add the adjective “religious” to leadership (religious leadership) in Islam because it is not only leadership in religious affairs but it is the general leadership because there is no separation between religion and

politics in Islam. Islam is an all-inclusive religion and leadership in Islam is also an all-inclusive leadership.

(10) Islamic leadership is not only a spiritual leadership because there is no place for the doctrine of original sin, repentance, redemption and intercession in Islam. Man is a free responsible being and cannot be charged for the wrong done by others and cannot be redeemed by others for the wrong he has done.

(11) Leadership in Islam is not a profession.

(12) Leadership in Islam cannot be monopolised by a group, a race, a nation, etc.

(13) Leadership in Islam is associated with specialisation and responsibility. The line between the leaders and ordinary people is that of specialisation not that between spiritual leaders and layity.

(14) There is nothing which must be performed only by religious leaders which cannot be done by ordinary people except those which need knowledge of Shari’ah and specialisation in Islam.

(15) It is forbidden to earn money for performing religious duties. Religious leaders are not therefore allowed to ask for performing them. Leadership is not thus a
secular or a commercial position.
(16) Leadership is a responsibility not a position, it is associated with duties not with

(17) Religious leaders cannot form a class in the Muslim society because Islam believes in a monotheistic classless society.

(18) There is no hierarchy and military order in Islamic leadership.

(19) Religious leaders are not infallible, though they are excused for their mistakes and rewarded for their sincere efforts.

(20) Leadership in Islam is not a selective affair but an elective responsibility and is done by natural election of those suitable.

(21) Leadership is not an hereditary office.

(22) Since leadership is based on the knowledge of Islam, specialisation, sense of responsibility and piety, superiority in these is associated with superiority in
leadership. The most suitable is the most superior.

(23) Mosques in Islam are different from churches in Christianity. Mosques are not only the place for performing rituals, because the concept of worship in Islam
covers all various kinds of activities performed for a holy and divine purpose. Mosques are socio-political-religious institutes. Mosques are not sacred in
themselves. The more useful they are the holier they become. They must lead to piety and the more they lead to piety the better they are. Leadership in Islam
is not thus based on the physical authority of the Mosque.

(24) Leadership in Islam is not a symbolic institute and is not associated with symbolism and symbols.

(25) Leadership is not a formal and ceremonial institute. It is not associated with special uniform, custom, investiture, coronation, etc.
(26) The Islamic terms for leadership are Imamate, Zi’amat, Hedayat and similar terms, not spiritual leadership, religious leadership and similar terms.

(27) Religious scholars and leadership are independent institutions in the sense that they are not attached to secular governments (illegal governments) and are therefore capable of challenging the forces of oppression and of fighting injustice and un-Islamic authorities. The true religious scholarship and Islamic leadership has always honoured its independent status and has always remained by the people and against the tyrannical rulers, foreign intervention and colonialism. The study of the revolts and revolutions led by many religious scholars against tyrannical rulers and colonialism explains this; revolutions led by such scholars as Uthman Danfodio, Al-Haj Umar, in West Africa, Al -Mahdi, in the Sudan, by Sayyed Jamal al-Din in the Middle East and recently by Ayatollah Rooho Allah Khomeini in Iran.



Soon after the establishment of Islam, Muslims led the march of civilization with outstanding achievements in many fields; in philosophy, literature, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, architecture, trade and science. This was during the dark ages of Europe. They linked the pre-Islamic civilizations of Greece, China, India, Rome and Egypt to that of Islamic and changed it to that of Renaissance. The comprehensive achievements were major contributing factors towards the European Renaissance and modern civilization.[454]

Arabic soon became the international scientific and intellectual medium of commu­nication. Centres for the translation of books into Arabic were established within less than a century of the Hejra. Some of them became highly specialized, e.g. the “Institute of Philosophy” or “Dar Al-Hekma”. Well-organized centres of learning, equivalent or at least similar to those in modern times, were established throughout the Islamic world from Bukhara in the East to Muslim Spain in the West. Western European scholars flocked to Islamic Centres of Learning.

The adoption of Arabic as the intellectual and scientific international language, the spread of higher eduction, the extensive research carried out by Muslim scholars, attracted the attention of scholars amongst the followers of other religions. The impression that the Islamic intellectual values made upon people was so deep that it caused serious concern among Christian church leaders. They complained about the interest that young Christians took in Islamic philosophy, Muslim sects, schools of thought, Islamic teachings, books, literature, poetry and sciences. Some Christian intellectuals could even compose poems in Arabic.[455] In fact the intellectual influence of Islam was so great that in A.D. 936 a church council was held at Toledo to consider how to stop the impact of Islam on Christianity and the intercourse between the two communities.[456]

The intellectual freedom under Muslim rule was so great that even non-Muslim intellectuals outside Muslim territories preferred to emigrate to Muslim territories and enjoy intellectual freedom under Muslim rule. Many did so mainly to escape from the intellectual depression in countries under non-Muslim rule. This shows that they felt more free under tolerant Muslim rulers and amongst Muslims. It was to Turkey that persecuted Spanish Jews fled for refuge in enormous numbers at the end of the fifteenth century. The Cossacks, who belonged to the sect of the “Old believers” and were persecuted by the Russian State Church, found in the domininions of the Sultan the toleration which their Christian brethren denied them.[457] Many Christians outside Muslim domains were looking forward to submitting to Muslim rulers and wishing they were under Muslim rule so that they could enjoy the intellectual freedom and the free atmosphere that the Muslims enjoyed.[458] Many passed over from Christianity to Islam under the rationalistic and intellectual tendencies which prevailed in Muslim society as early as the era of the Mu’tazila,[459] and has continued ever since.

Ecclesiastical despotism, censorship of moral, ethical, philosophical and intellectual initiatives, fierce control by church and government over religious matters, sectarian and racial hatred, the strong prejudice against other religions and other ways of thinking, the concentration on trivial religious subjects, hypocrisy in church, saint-worshipping, the great emphasis on formalism and formal ceremonies, and many more factors of intellectual dimensions discouraged and deterred intellectual activities and caused learned men, priests and church leaders to be disappointed with their rational and spiritual life and made them leave Christianity, in many cases, in favour of Islam. The simple folk followed the flow of intellectuals. A list of the learned men and highly respected intellectuals and church leaders who changed their religion in favour of Islam can easily be drawn up. We have mentioned some of them elsewhere. Names of personalities like that of George Amiroutzes of Trebizond are frequent among the converts.[460] Islam was taken as a refuge for the intellectual groups in many periods of intellectual tension.

Not only was the church unable to fill the intellectual gap; it widened it. The result was that the Protestant movements gained strong support as one of the many movements in the search for intellectual identity. The intellectual groups in the East, including Christian intellectuals, in Spain, North Africa, Persia and Europe under the Ottoman Empire, took refuge in Islam for intellectual and spiritual fulfilment. The history of heretical, revolutionary, puritanical or protestant movements of Christianity cannot be dealt with here. They all shared the desire to search for a rational, intellectual and spiritual explanation and justification for Christianity. This kind of movement has taken place in all religions, including Islam. But we seldom find scholars and intellectuals who leave Islam for another faith in search of intellectual fulfilment, for there is enough intellectual material in Islam for them. On the other hand, many followers of other religions have accepted Islam for intellectual purposes and fulfilment.

The intellectual values of Islam appealed to intellectuals of different backgrounds. The spread of Islam among the intellectuals of India suited their special mystical, gnostic and pantheistic background; “Bishop Lefroy has conjectured that the positive character of Islam allured the minds that were dissatisfied with the vagueness”.[461] While the social quality of Islam enticed the low castes in India, its intellectual quality drew the attention of the high castes and intellectuals; hence the influence of Islamic literature and contact with Muslim savants. Many princes and princesses of the Rajput family of the nineteenth century in Rajputana and Bundelkard were attracted to Islam this way. They even had Muslim tutors for their sons.[462] Hindu spiritual leaders were attracted to Islam this way too.[463]

Another important intellectual point in Islamic doctrines which has influenced other fields of Islamic thought and practice is the concept of worship; it is only God who is worthy of worship; nothing and nobody but Him. But the concept of worship, like that of freedom, as has been explained already, in Islam is different from that of any other religion. There is no dichotomy between secular and spiritual, between physical and mental, social and individual, between political and religious values. Worship in Islam is not restricted to ritual practice. If the object of our life as a whole is to be the worship of God, as it is in Islam (The Quran, Wa ma khalaqto al-jin wa al-ins ella Le ya’bodoon),[464] we necessarily must regard this life, in the totality of all its aspects, as one complex moral responsibility. Everything which truly helps the individual, the society and mankind as a whole can be regarded as worship; and be rewarded if well performed or punished if not fulfilled. On the other hand, anything which is harmful to the individual, society and mankind is regarded as disobedience to God, and is forbidden and must be punished. This doctrine, intellectually very rewarding and rationally very fulfilling, has drawn the attention of many peoples. Accordingly, there is no conflict between Reason and Religion, Man and Religion, Nature and Religion, Religion and Science, Secular and Spiritual, Individual and Society in Islam. Scholars and intellectuals therefore do not find themselves in a predicament of contradiction and are rewarded religiously, materially and spiritually. This is why Islam was able to promote philosophical, scientific and intellectual activities along with religious progress , thus attracting scholars and intellectuals and influencing other societies. The fact that non-Arab Muslims and converts of many nationalities developed, or at least helped the development of Islamic disciplines, studies and sciences amongst Muslims shows how Islamic intellectualism and scientific activities attracted scholars and spread Islam amongst intellectuals.

Early in its career, Islam spread fast over lands already permeated with various intellectual tendencies, backgrounds, civilizations and cultures, and amongst peoples of high intellectual calibre. Intellectuals of various religious backgrounds found in Islam a far more liberal and relaxed intellectual and mental atmosphere than they were used to in their own faith. Not only Arabs and Muslims but also subject Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, many of them previously depressed under the iron hands of persecuting Byzantine orthodoxy and Magism, found themselves encouraged and involved in intellectual activities.[465]

“The Arab himself previously had no learning and the pre-Islamic era in Arabia was rightly called the era of ignorance (Al-Jahiliyya). Yet, encouraged by the intellectual aspect of Islam, he quickly learned from others and encouraged the conquered peoples to learn and exchange knowledge. These soon found it desirable to accept Islam and hence to learn Arabic and study the Quran”.[466] For hundreds of years Islamic centres of learning stood supreme and scholars came from all parts of the world to teach and learn. “Travel became a mania, from Cordova in Spain to the cities of India. All that Europe knew in the Middle Ages of Greek, Persian and Indian philosophy, mathemat­ics, astronomy, chemistry and medicine came from Arabian sources. The Hall of Science (Bait al-Hikma) in Baghdad was copied in Cairo in A.D. 1005, which had then become the centre of Saracenic arts. Thence the westward spread is to be noted in Malta, Sicily and Sardinia, until Frederick II of Hohenstaufen became Emperor in A.D. 1215. Known as the Wonder of the World, he dressed as a Saracen, spoke Arabic and founded the University of Naples for the study of Arabic medicine at Salerno and Bologna”.[467]

Islamic rationalism particularly gained converts amongst the intellectuals from Byzantine, Persia, Egypt, Mestopotamia, etc. In fact, the bulk of rationalists in Islam came largely from the new converts, descendants mostly of non-Arab elements.

Intellectual exchange between the conquerors and the conquered followed immedi­ately the establishment of Muslim rule and administration. In fact, there were many Muslim scholars, companions of the prophet, amongst the Muslim army who began preaching Islam. The establishment of Muslim rule in India was followed immediately by a zealous intellectual movement. This is more or less the case with other lands into which Islam penetrated. This is mainly because either the rulers usually took scholars with them wherever they went, or, if not, scholars followed them soon. This can be clearly seen from historical reports.[468] hi fact, wherever Islam entered during its earlier youth, the Middle Ages “the era of ignorance” especially as Western Europe knew, this dark period in human history simply ceased to exist.[469]

“In the West, too, the Arabs (the Muslims) had a great influence, as great, in fact, as that exercised by them in the Middle East, but of a different nature. Whereas in the countries of the Middle East religion, language and the arts were the principle areas aifected; in the West it was their scientific, literary and moral teachings which produced the greatest impact. The influence of the Muslims throughout the Middle East was felt not only in religion, language and the arts; it extended to the cultivations of the sciences also. The Muslims were in regular contact with India and China and transferred to those countries much of the scientific knowledge which Westerners were later to regard as purely Hindu or Chinese in Origin”.[470] But a more direct influence of Islam on Europe came mainly from Muslim Spain. The ignorant, barbaric, illiterate Europe turned to the only masters of their day, the Arabs (the Muslims), in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, to Muslim centres of Spain. Science penetrated into Europe through Spain, Sicily and Italy.[471] The influence of the Muslims on Europe was so immense that it appeared in branches of knowledge, such as philosophy, medicine, science, mathematics, geography, astronomy, literature, architecture, arts, commerce, etc.

“Muslim civilization attracted the non-Muslims far beyond the spell usually cast by ideas and habits of a dominating group on groups of lesser standing and influence. Not only were the contemporaries conscious of the higher standard of living of the Muslim world and its material superiority in general…but these that did come in contact with Arab thought and Arab manners often responded with reluctant admiration and not infrequently found themselves imitating Muslim ways. The splendour of Cordova dazzled the eyes and stirred the imagination of the Latin world”.[472] The revival of Europe took place in large measure by progressive acquaintance with Muslim learning.[473] Arabic scholarship as transmitter of ancient thought was a powerful inspiration for the Medieval West. The West not only avidly accepted the material offered by the Muslims, but adopted as well the interpretation given this material by the Arab thinkers. The mutual scholarly relationship amongst the intellectuals of Islam and Christianity resulted in conversions to Islam. There is evidence showing that the spread of ideas, and conversion from Christianity to Islam, had taken place due to a growing respect for the cultural and scientific achievements of the Muslims of Spain which as we have seen had aroused the curiosity and even envy of the Latin West.[474]

It has become quite usual to assume that there was a period, as loosely defined as the Middle Ages themselves, but roughly coinciding with the period of Islamic conquest and expansion, during which the light of learning went out in Europe, and that it was only later, under the influence of the new development within the bounds of Islam, culminating with the Golden Age of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad and

theUmayyads in Andalus, that the old classical learning and philosophy was revived in Christendom and prepared the way for the Humanistic Renaissance.[475]
The Christian West came to be grateful for Islamic achievements and Arabic writings. When it met Muslims, particularly in Spain, the Christian West found itself far less informed than were the Muslim lands about Plato, Aristotle, medicine, mathematics, astronomy and sciences generally. The West was alerted to the riches of Muslim sciences, philosophy and culture during the Crusades and by contact with Muslims in Southern Italy and Sicily. But from the eleventh to thirteenth centuries the chief source of knowledge of “the wisdom of the ancients and East” (knowledge of which initiated the Italian Renaissance) were the schools and scholars of Muslim Spain. Even old Greek philosophic and scientific texts were translated from Arabic into Latin and thus recovered.[476] From the early Middle Ages great Islamic universities were places where Islamic scholarship developed. Europe became their debtors not only for the recovery of Greek learning but for the mathematics and sciences that they themselves created.[477]

Islamic centres of learning, specially the Courts of Toledo, Cordova and Palermo, attracted Christian scholars in the waning years of the Middle Ages. Muslim learning provided an impetus to the revivification of independent thinking in Southern Europe in the Upper Middle Ages leading into the Renaissance.[478] There is no doubt that the influence of Islam was not restricted only to purely intellectual and scientific fields but was extended to ideology and theology and the flow of Islamic rational thinking in the field of religion.

“Scholars from Europe visited Muslim Spain to learn philosophy, mathematics, astronomy and medicine. The oldest European uniyefsities owe an enormous debt to those scholars who returned from Spain bringing with them the knowledge that they had gained at the Arab universities of that country”.[479]

The Spanish Christians of the ninth century neglected their classical traditions in favour of Arabic. The Christian zealot and writer, Alvaro, in A.D. 854 bitterly deplores this attitude, complaining how Spanish Christians are attracted to Muslim literature, civilization, culture, tradition and so on.[480] hi Sicily, Haskins has pointed out: “As nowhere else did Latin, Greek and Arabic civilization live side by side in peace and toleration, and nowhere else was the spirit of the renaissance more clearly expressed in the policy of the rulers”.[481] Arabic works, Arabic commentaries on the works of Greek masters profoundly influenced European thought. Many scientific works of the Arabs and Muslims themselves, specially in medicine, mathematics and astronomy also came to be translated. In Italy, the Latin scholars came into close contact withthe devotion to scientific knowledge which characterized the Arabs and the Arabicized Jewish scholars. With interest came methods; a rationalistic habit of mind and an experimental temper.[482]

Intellectualism in Islam has also been a factor in the spread of Islam from a different point of view. Islamic rational literature and elements have created a diversity of interpretation and thus the coming into being of various schools of thought and sects. While the unity of Islam has always been preserved, various schools of interpretation and sects have been regarded as different dimensions of Islam and Islamic intellectu­alism. Islamic Shiism or Sufism, for instance, has attracted various people to Islam. It is difficult to imagine how some peoples could have become Muslim without Shiism, Sufism, or other intellectual dimension or even traditional interpretations of Islam. They have added to the richness of Islam and thus helped the spread of Islam. There have been different humanities and Islam has provided each of these humanities with appropriate food for thought and spirit. Orthodoxy has never been defined by ecclesiastical councils, as in Christianity.[483] No such councils have ever been held, owing to the absence of an ordained priesthood in Islam.[484] It is thus logical for each interpretation and each school and sect in Islam to claim orthodoxy. This can be seen in the claim made by both Shiism and Sunnism to Islamic orthodoxy without contrasting each other or damaging Islamic unity, for in the long run they both believe in the same principles. This leaves the intellectuals a large space for intellectual activity which in turn attracts more intellectuals to Islam. This is, in a way, another reflection of the creativity of Islamic theology.


“Read” the prophet of Islam was told, and “reading” was the first instruction delivered to him. Reading and writing is thus an early standard for Islamic society. Islam demanded from its very inception a fully literate tradition.

Islam is a book religion and was a book religion from the first moment on. Unlike Christianity God did not descend from heaven and gave himself in the form of Jesus. He gave a book to man. Revelation in Islam is in the form of Word of God, a book -the Quran. Jesus, by contrast, left no written word to his followers. The Old and New Testaments are the accounts given by ordinary people long after the actual historical happening. Quran, by contrast, is the direct word and revelation of God.[485]

The first revelation, verse or Surah of the Quran began with the word “Read, Recite” – Iqra – and probably hence the holy book is called the Quran. The Arabs offered the old civilized world, particularly Persia, Iraq and Egypt, a language which, as B. Thomas says was the reason of its richness and flexibility well fitted for becoming the scientific and classical as well as the religious idiom of an empire in as much the same way as Latin served for Medieval Europe.[486]

The establishment of the Arabic language as the international scientific – intellectual language of the time was made possible by the Quran. The Quran, which was from the first acclaimed as verbally inspired, has never suffered textual corruption as the Bible has done. Contrary to the Bible, the Quran was collected and standardized very soon and early. It was collected during the lifetime of the Prophet, hi the earliest period dialectical differences of reading were current, but Uthman, the third Caliph, ordered revision and standardization of the text lest Muslims should suffer from the same disabilities that Jews and Christians were under their variant reading of their scriptures. This is only one example of the ways in which Islam was able to avoid perils which were unforseen by the earlier religions.[487] Thus, while the Bible and Testament have undergone changes and critical analysis, the Quran has remained unchanged. The Old and the New Testaments have undergone many changes, having been handed down under prevailing circumstances of oral traditions during long historical times and thus far from their original forms. But the Quran has been kept out of any kind of interference and change. It is therefore clear that the Muslims established for themselves a literary reputation and tradition which is the source of the legacy of Islam and its vast literary heritage.
There is a story, still sometimes told, which pretends that the Arabs destroyed the great library of Alexandria, and fed the priceless books to the city furnaces. This is completely erroneous. A great ptolemaic library at Alexandria had been burnt by Julius Caesar in 48 B.C., and a later one by the Christian Emperor Theodosius in A.D. 389. There was no library of importance in the city when they surrendered to the Muslims in A.D. 641 and this lie about Muslims is not found in any writer till the thirteenth century, six hundred years after the event it is supposed to describe. In fact, the Arabs respected learning and they were not opposed to Christian or classical culture and they were to be the preservers of Ancient Greek manuscripts and learning throughout the Dark Ages.[488]

The Muslim literary influence was so vast that for example in Spain it was found necessary to translate the Bible and liturgy into Arabic for the use- of Christian community.[489] In fact, the influence of Islamic Arabic literature was so deep, vast and overwhelming that like their Arab co-religionists, foreign converts to Islam came to appreciate the imperative need to retain the integrity of the Arabic language. Accordingly, they applied themselves to the study of its literature and produced its grammar to writing.[490]

The account given by Alvaro, the Christian Zealot and writer, shows vividly how even non-Muslim Spanish were attracted to Muslim literature:

“My fellow-Christians delight in the poems and romances of the Arabs. They study the works of Muhammadan theologians and philosophers, not in order to refute them, but to acquire a correct and elegant Arabic style. Where today can a layman be found who reads Latin commentaries on Holy Scriptures? Who is there that studies the Gospels, the Prophets, the Apostles? Alas, the young Christians who are most conspicuous for their talents have no knowledge of any literature or language save the Arabic; they read and study with avidity Arabic books; they amass whole libraries of them at vast cost, and they everywhere sing the praises of the Arabian Lord. On the other hand, at the mention of Christian books they disdainfully protest that such works are unworthy of their notice. The pity of it! Christians have forgotten their own tongue and scarce one in a thousand can be found to compose in Fair Latin a letter to a friend. But when it comes to writing Arabic how many there are who can express themselves in that language with the greatest elegance, and even compose verses which surpass in formal correctness those Arabs themselves”.[491]

Not only did Islam spread through Arabic language and literature, but local literature and vernacular languages also helped the spread of Islam. A book of Religious Duties “Kitab al-Faraid”, written by the Faqih Tayyib al-Wanagi in Harari language probably in the seventeenth century, is recited today during the month of Ramadan. The book deals briefly with Islamic ideals and realities. The book follows the pattern of a widely diffused model of local folk-literature: the “genre” called by the Somali-Saddehliya (by three and three). The book and its style has been extremely useful in keeping the attention of the reader and in making more accessible to him, as a prospective convert, Islamic notions of theology and morals.[492]

A similar procedure for Muslim influence is applied in the Amharic-speaking countries in Africa. Their popular poetry with its traditional rules and forms is employed to explain Islamic creeds and to ridicule those Christian beliefs which appear less acceptable. The songs again follow a popular vein and make Islamic ideas more accessible to the minds of local populations by a kind of mimetic attitude which is further evidence of the “souplesse” of the preaching of Islam in Africa.[493] hi Ethiopia, the need to keep alive Muslim religious culture and spread it among the pagan Galla who had new arrived on the Ethiopian plateau encouraged the use of the Harari language.[494] Recently the Galla language, folklore and songs have been employed for preaching Islam.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Muslims of Bosnia – Hercegovina developed a literature of their own, produced in Serbo-Croatian but modified in form to accord with Ottoman models. The Balkan Muslims showed special fondness for folk songs and popular poetry..particularly fascinating are the Bosnia Muslim epics,[495] but perhaps the best-known poems in Bosnia Hercegovina.[496]

Islamic literature has also helped its spread in the form of mystical and Sufi literature too. The attraction of sufi literature cannot be ignored. Islamic sufi literature has been regarded as the finest, the richest, the most transcendental and inspiring literature the world has ever produced.

“One of the most interesting of the things that have been discovered of late in Islam (which has helped its spread) is the existence there of popular, folklore tales (Marchen, that is; we have no exact word in English) that are precisely the same as those current in Europe and, in fact, throughout the world. We had long imagined that the stories that the Muslims had were all of the Arabian Nights type; but we have learnt that there is this other side of their story-world, and that in it are precisely the kind of stories that you meet within Grimm’s or Hans Andersen’s Marchem”.[497] One of the means which helped the spread of Islam among the Kinghiz is the folk-song in which interwoven with tales and legends the main truths of Islam make their way into the hearts of common people.[498]



It has been explained before that in Islam there is no divorce between material and spiritual, physical and mental, religious and political affairs. Islam is an all-embracing, all-comprehensive and inclusive way of life covering all social, political, religious and moral aspects of individual and society. It is unanimously accepted that the distinction made by Europeans and Christians between religion and politics and morals does not exist in Islam. A natural consequence of this inclusive unity is the unity of ethics and religion in Islam. This unity is so strong that the most minute act and thought in Islam is measured in moral and ethical terms by seeing good (Hasan) or bad (Qibih) which in the long run are categorized as imperative (Wajib), forbidden (Haram), recommended (Mustahab), disapproved (Makrooh) or allowed (Mubah) according to the ethical and moral values they correspond to and represent.[499]

The most important feature of Islam is its moral, ethical and humanitarian aspects. These in Islam are based on equality of people, brotherhood of believers, justice of the ruling party and acceptance of priority only on the basis of piety, knowledge and hard work for the cause of society.[500] Many people were attracted to Islam purely because Islam provided them with justice and equality.[501]


The basic concept and purpose of Islam and indeed of all religions, according to the Quran (Quran, 62,2; 3,77; 2,151) and as understood from Islamic sources, is humanistic, ethical, moral, spiritual and religious. It is often stated in the Quran that the purpose of prophethood and religion is to endow man with knowledge so that he can work for the betterment of himself. Man in Islam is portrayed as the source of potentiality (Fa hamalaha al-Insan[502]) and is placed above nature and not below it. But this man is not a guilty creation as he is in Christianity and is not a collective creation as he is in Christianity. But it is a collection of individuals and therefore each individual is responsible for bis own action[503] (wa la Tazero wazeraton wezr okhra) (La ha maktasabat wa Alaihama Aktasab[504] and therefore no one canpay for a crime committed by another. In Islam man is not placed against nature but it is part of nature and to some extent is placed above nature in our world. But there is not only one universe to be the only purpose of creation, for according to the Quran there are many universes. Man is not thus the centre of creation though it is a marvellous creation.

Western culture, including its religions, Christianity and Judaism, is based on Greek thought. Ancient Greeks believed in plurality of natural forces and thus believed in polytheism, each theo representing a particular part of natural force. Greek also placed humanity against natural forces and against theoism. Christianity, which derived its intellectual justification from Greek thought, also placed humanity against God. Human beings were guilty of disobeying God and had to be punished for committing sin. Human beings were thus against God. An intermediary being had to be made to be placed between God and human beings and thus God the Son was made to pay for the crime human beings committed but this makes the whole thing more unacceptable, for reason does not accept that an innocent being (particularly Son of God) pays for the guilty part and the actual God being so meek, weak and small to punish mankind and punish the wrong part.


Since it is partly in the power of prayer that we must seek an understanding of how Islam and its moral values took root in many areas, particularly in Black Africa, influencing its new surrounding and being influenced by them, it seems necessary to see briefly into Islamic prayer. It has been explained that the concept of Worship in Islam is different from that in other religions. Consequently, the concept of prayer in Islam is also different too from that other religions. Leaving aside the Islamic concept of prayer, we must explain that Islamic prayer comprise two major forms:

a) Salats which are principally the five daily prayers, Friday prayer, the festival prayers etc.

b) Dw’a of spontaneous prayers which are not regulated and offered when and how the Worshipper chooses. The contribution of Salats to social disclipine and moral standards and spiritual values is evident. Even daily prayers are recommended to be performed in congregation. Friday and Festival and many other kinds of prayers are by definition congregational. “The impact of such a prayer, bringing even the newest converts under a strict routine, has been remarked since the earliest days of Islam.[505] The times and practices of the required prayers, specially among settled people, determined the shape of the day and organised life and disclipined the community. “Congrega­tional prayer as well as reinforcing social discipline, early became a significant part of the pomp and circumstance of the State. Aisa, the woman who, according to some accounts, ruled Bornu for seven years, had in two ways signified her authority by going to war, and by attending the Friday prayers with the court officials. In some areas, such prayers were the occasions on which the ruler appeared to his subjects…The ruler might receive important visitors on these occasions; proclamations were read; matters of general policy, for instance plan for an expedition, might be discussed and resolved, private citizens petitioned the ruler”.[506] Prayers beseeching God’s help and protection for travellers, sick, poor, merchants and so on, and prayers asking God’s help against natural disasters such as drought, storm, earthquake, etc. were of special relevance in various areas”. Successful prayer, whether for rain, or healing or victory or any other specific need, might open the door for conversion and further Muslim penetration of new area”.[507]
Explaining the reasons for the triumph of Islam over Christians, a contemporary Western Writer with first hand experience of comparative religion in Africa states: every Muslim was a missionary of Islam in that he practised and demonstrated his faith in public several times a day, whereas a Christian ritual was more and more confined to priests and special occasions, with the layman playing a passive role in his devotion. Public worship five times a day, creates a sense of genuine brotherhood. Moreover, this brotherhood bom of communal rites performed in the open air undoubtedly transcends differences in race, colour, and even social position, so that it is not surprising that miscegenation is no general problem in Muslim countries. Africans, very conscious that white is the colour of purity in Christianity doctrine, black the colour of the devil, found, and find, no such psychological discrimination in Islam.[508]Islamic prayer also helped Muslims raise their moral responsibility.

Moral: Islam with its power to create new institutions or to transform old ones was a force for moral and social revolution. First-generation converts inevitably continued to observe many traditional non-Islamic practices. But the revolutionary power of Islam continued to influence the new convert society. A society newly subjected to Muslim influence might display many manifestation of change: the building of a Mosque, the established of a Quranic school, the presence of a new social and economic grouping made up of Muslim traders, the introduction of the Islamic code of law, the adoption of new form of dress, the feeling of the sense of brotherhood accustomed to the new Culture, profound changes were likely to occur. Ancestor worship, for example, a cult observed in many pagan societies, might disappear in the face of Muslim disapproval. Its passing was likely to weaken the ties making possible the emergence of smaller family grouping.[509] In the shaping of new civilized society, Islam was a significant, revolutionary power which possessed a clear advantage over other agents of change and even over missionary Christianity in many areas.

Islam was presented as to put “shame to the Christians, even by those who were its recognised opponents. Ricoldo in his praise of various Muslim practices and institutions, as he personally found them, states: “they received us indeed like angels of God, in their schools and college and monasteries, and in their churches and synagogues (i.e. in Mosques) and their homes: and we delightly studied their religion and their works, and we were astounded how in so far places we could find works of such perfection. We refer here briefly to some of the works of perfection of the Muslim, rather to shame the Christians than to commend the Muslims. Who will not be astounded, if he carefully considers how great is the concern of these very Muslims for study, their devotion in prayer, their pity for the poor, their reverence for the name of God and the prophets and the holy places, their sobriety in manners, their hospitality to strangers, their harmonising and love for each other”.[510]

The Crusaders also found the Sacracens rather better than they had been led to expect, and some of them, therefore, left the Crusaders and settled among the Muslims, for Islamic moral standards, their equitable and generous treatment of most Christians at their mercy and the Muslims’ disapproval of moral laxity of the Crusaders, made the Muslims Models of morality in the eyes of some Crusaders.

An interesting example of the contrast between a Muslim ruler and society and a Christian ruler and society from moral point of view is given by Tripoli. Tripoli’s contemporary estimate of the rule of the Mamlook az-Zahir Baybars who more than any other man worked for the final destruction of the Latin States and Crusaders may be regarded by some as satirical but it is nevertheless a factual account. It shows that Muslim rule was favourable to that of Christian. Taken in its context in Tripoli’s argument, it supported a theory of the approaching conversion to Islam. He introduces az-Zahir Baybers as follows: “he detests and hates wine and prostitutes, saying that these make strong men silly and effeminate. For five years, therefore, in virtue of his proclamation, no brothel with prostitutes has been found in the land which is subject to him, and no one dares to drink wine, except secretly. When he was told that his predecessors (rulers of the Latin states) were accustomed to employ five thousand mercenaries out of the rate, or form, on wine and prostitutes, he replied, “I prefer to have a few Chaste and Sober Soldiers, rather than many who are baser than women, and who war for Venus, rather than for Mars, the God of Wars and Battles”. Hepraises marriage…He disapproves of having concubines and condemns the sin against nature.

He requires his subjects to live justly and in peace, and protects the Christians who are subject to him, and specially the monks who are on Mount Sinai, and in the various parts of his dominion. He appears to be favourable (to Christians) and hears their causes immediately, decides them and concludes their suits. His own monks, who are called fugara, he willingly hears and honours.[511]


Islam is held to be above all the religion of reason. No knowledge lies outside its scope. It appeals to reason. But from the earliest times it has made its appeal to the heart also. Sufism is the name given to the mysticism of Islam. Its roots are to be traced to very early times. The practice of Sufism developed, however, not in the renounciation of the outer life, but in bringing into its every aspect a consciousness of God, and a ceaseless vigil on purity of motive and inner integrity.

The road trodden by the Sufis represents the warm, personal faith that has been part of the experience of Islam.

The Arabic word for road, ‘Tariqa’ is used to describe this journey of the heart, and also designates the ways or orders formed by those who have banded themselves together to seek such an experience.
Islamic mysticism (Sufism) has always appealed to certain people under the impact of secularism, industrialism, materialism, atheism and all other isms. It is finding a new momentum.[512] Although Sufi Muslims, like other Muslims did not employ propaganda, they have always helped the spread of Islam. This is partly because they do, to some extent, have their own hierarchy and employ missionary activities.

It has been suggested that the Islamic religion favoured urban society. , Islam first spread in the urban areas throughout the Muslim World. However, the rural areas came under Islamic influence too. While orthodox Islam appealed to urban society in certain areas, mystical Islam appealed to the rural population also. It is believed that the striking personalties of many Sufis and missionaries caused a large number of Iranians for instance, in the countryside to convert to Islam in the ninth, tenth centuries. Prior to the ninth century, Islam was dominant in the towns and cities, while the countryside was predominantly non-Muslim, but through the efforts of the Muslim missionaries and Sufi orders even the countryside was made Islamic. This was made possible after the rise of Islamic mysticism in Iran with Abu Yazid (Bayazid) of Bastam who died in 261/875.[513] He was not, however, the first of the Iranian Sufis. Before Bayazid lived Ibrahim Ibn Adham of Balhk (d. 160/777), his disciple Shaqiq (d. 194/ 810)[514] Abu Abdullah M. Ibn Karram (d. 255/869) the founder of Karramayya Sufi order, from Sistan, who was especially noted for his piety and ascetic life also made many converts in the mountains of Western Afghanistan mainly among the lowest classes. Khanegahs or centres of the order were established in many towns of Khurasan. The Karramiyya order spread outside Persia, in Syria, Egypt and Hijaz.[515]

Abu Ishaq al Kazerooni (d.426/1034) the founder of a Sufi order became vastly engaged in missionary work. “Through the efforts of such people as Abu Ishaq the number of Muslims in Fars (in Iran) greatly increased” and many Zoroastrians embraced Islam and thus Zoroastrianism lost much ground.

Sufi preachers are also credited for persuading the Qarakhanids, the Great Turkish dynasty and people to embrace Islam. Sufism and Sufi movements has also been recognised as a factor causing conversions to Islam in the Hindu Society of India. The largest class of conversion in Indian society were voluntary and by conviction. They were not produced by Kings or soldiers. They introduced a new factor into the building up of the Muslim Community. This factor is the Sufi movement. Sufi Saints or Pirs were present in the Punjab in the eleventh century and they soon penetrated farther into India in the thirteenth. Many of them were men of great learning, but they were guides to the good life as well as scholars and poets who had their Murids or disciples. Some like Khaja Muin al-Din Chisti of Ajmer and Khaja Nizam al-Din Awlia of Delhi settled near cities where their tombs became shrines and centres of devotion and prbselytism. Others lived in groups in Khanegahs the traces of which are numerous in old Muslim cities. These people were, in general, aloof from the courts and the orthodox ulama of the colleges; they appealed direct to the people and were evangelists as well as the spiritual preceptors of Islam. They are often thought of as forming a bridge of understanding with the Hindu Bakhti movement with their emphasis on the inner life and the Unity of all believers in the one God. Kabir, the founder of Hindu sect who preached the Unity of Religions is an example of this. But an even more important aspect of their work was the preaching of Islam among the Indian people. The Sufis, rather than Kings, Warriors, or adventurers were responsible for the bulk of the Muslims in the sub-continent.[516] And they, as a class, for all the eclecticism of some of them, were responsible for the sense of mission which tended to bind together peoples of the most diverse racial and social origin into cultural and religious Unity.

On the other hand, India’s contribution to the development of Sufism is a point of importance. Sufism, like many other Islamic developments is a result of multi-racial and international, intellectual and spiritual co-operation of Muslim peoples. Arabs, Berbers, Spaniards, Africans, Turks, Persians and Indians and many more peoples and races have helped the development of Sufism in Islam. To the Spanish Ibn al-Arabi, to the Turkish-Persian-Afghani Jalal al-Din Roomi and many more international Sufi spiritual leaders, Sufism owes its development. Sufism, in fact, became the meeting ground for Muslims with diverse cultural, geographical, religious, sectarial and historical background. Sunnis, Shiites, orthodox and heretics all met together with Sufism.

The international feature of Sufism has helped it to become a factor in spreading Islam among many peoples in many regions. Sufi Islam and Sufi orders (Tariqa) in tribal or African communities, for instance, was adopted as an institution which proved with revolutionary consequences, to be superbly attuned to their shifting environment. As much as the Orthodox circles of the towns is concerned, it was through these Sufi orders and circles that Islam was grappling with the fundamental problems of African syncretism.[517] Sufi Khaneqah also became the centre of humanitarian aids such as caring for poor, sick and strangers.

Islamization usually had two aspects in many areas. The propagation of Muslim learning, especially in the Quran and Sharia, and initiation into the Sufi orders.[518] Many of the holy men were Sufis rather than teachers of Islamic disciplines. Sufism made an immediate appeal to many peoples who rapidly produced their own teachers and ascetics. Still while the holymen of the Nilatuc Sudan, fall for the most part into one or other of the categories of religious teachers or Sufi leaders, Islamic learning and Sufism were, by no means, mutually exclusive, and some holymen were proficient in both fields. A holyman whether a scholar or Sufi, was regarded as a processor of Baraka, spiritual power which manifests in supernatural performance (Karama) both during his life and after his death.

One Sufi way (Tariqa = Silsila) that is growing rapidly is the Yashruti order. It is named after the Shaikh who lived in the ancient port of Acca, Palestine, a hundred years ago. His grandson is now its leader, but the greatest influence belongs to a lady, Sayyida Fatima al-Yashrutiyya.

Today, the order is spreading in many countries; in parts of Asia and Africa, Madagascar and Mozambique, for instance. (Sayyida Fatima is the daughter of Shaikh Ali Nooral-Din al-Yashruti. She is now in her nineties, born in Acca in the occupied Palestine, but after the Zionist invasion of the occupied Palestine, in 1948 her land and home was occupied andhad to leave her home[519] for Beirut where she lives as a Palestinian Refugee.

In an address to the General Assembly of Christian Missionaries on 18th June 1909, the Rev. W.H.T. Gairdner expresses his anger at the peaceful approach of the Sufi order of Senussi and its success in spreading Islam in Africa at the cost of Christianity. “Lastly comes Africa. I need not say one word to you, fathers and brethren, to tell you of the crisis in which practically all of Africa is in volved between the religions of Christ and Mohammed. The thing is notorious, and this conferenceat least is well aware of its seriousness. The two main causes are, first, the influence of the Senussi movement, which has radiated from the Northeast Sahara, and is felt, I believe, wherever Islam is advancing between the 10th and 5th degrees of latitude North; and secondly, the influence of traders, who carry Islam everywhere. This applies generally to East Africa and the Central and Western parts of the Sudan.
“How can these things be dealt with? In regard to the first, Dr. Kumm, in his recent journey across Africa and along the Muslim fringe, everywhere found tribes on the Shari River and North Congo streams up to the 5th parallel in process of being Islamized; and he found that the impetus was coming from the Senussi movement. The Senussi monasteries are the true fountainhead of North African Mohammedan extension, and Senussism, though utterly anti-modernist, is nevertheless not Ortho­dox. As Pastor Wurz writes, a blow at the heart of the expansionist movement in the Central region would be a work carried on in the Senussi centres of the Sahara. This seems impossible. He adds: “What can we do in this matter but pray and wait?” This then is what it is the duty of the Church to do. And then there is that advancing fringe-from the Shari river to the Bahr-al-Arab. A Christian traveller has now been across that fringe. Is not that fact a challenge to your churches and societies, to advance along the path thus indicated, eastward from the Cameroon and Nigeria, westward from the missions on the upper Nile? And before leaving this aspect of the subject let me point out the importance of praying down the French opposition to non-Roman effort in all its vast African Islamic Empire.”


Ithas been stated that by allowingpeople to live a lascivious life Islam succeeded in drawingthe attention ofthosewhodidnotseekmorethanlust. Onthe contrary, Islammanaged to put an end •to lust for the sake of lust. It tried to establish a spiritual and religious purpose for evenhuman instincts anddesires. Islamput so manyrestrictionsonhumanactivitiesandthoughtforthepurpose ofbringingthemunder divine control thatmany converts could bearnomore, e.g. wine, gambling, warfare and women were, inthepre-Islamicperiod, amongst the things most dear to the Arabs’ heart, who were the first people attracted to Islam. The moral and ethical values of Islamkept contributingtothe spread of Islam. The later converts such as Crusaders preferred to stayunder Muslimrule. Many Europeans also preferred to live underthe Ottomans andliveamorallife.[520]

The rise of the standard of morale and ethical values as the result of Islamic ethical teachings amongst Muslims has made many Christian scholars suppose that the debased moral, ethical and spiritual conditions of Christians had driven them to seek a healthier moral and spiritual atmosphere in the faith of Islam.[521] Islam was regarded by many as a rational revolt against empty seclusion, monasticism, laziness, celibacy, monkishness, hypocrisy, saint-worshipping, spiritual hierarchy and class distinction, associated with Christianity, Hinduism and other religions.

It is noteworthy that on many occasions the non-Muslim communities were attracted to the moral and ethical quality of Islam though they did not officially accept Islam itself as their religion. A Hindu sect called the Bishnois, after contact with Muslims, renounced all Hindu deities, started adopting Muslim customs of salutation, Muslim names, burying their dead and most important of all stopped their religious rite of widow-burning. They explained this by saying that because they slew a Muslim who tried to stop them burning widows they had to make up for their mistake by adopting Muslim moral codes.[522]

The working of the moral superiority of Islam compared to some other religions or at least the moral superiority ofMuslims as compared withthat of the Christianpopulation, as a contributing factor towards the success oflslam, canbe confirmed by historical facts: “One of the chief reasons for the success oflslamseems tohavebeenthe moral superiority of the Muslims as compared with that of the Christian population of Abyssinia”, saysT.W. Arnold.[523] The Muslims were active, energetic, educated and honestas comparedto Abyssinian Christians.[524] Thismoralsuperiorityofthe Muslims compared to the followers of other religions goes far andwide to explainthe progress of Islam in many countries. The Christian historians have recorded that “at the time of the Muslims conquest of Spain the moral virtues had declined and given place to effeminacy and corruption and people had gone astray into paths of vice”.[525] In these circumstances Islamic moral values and virtues were looked upon as attractive points and factors in increasing the number of converts.

Comparing the fast spread of Islam to Christianity in a case study of an African community, a modern writer states: “Today there are obvious rewards for those Mossi who embrace Islam; besides such tangible rewards as obtaining wives and children (getting settled to a decent life), there are the intangible ones of upward social mobility and great prestige. It is important to note that most liberated slaves and serfs are now Muslims. Formerly these Mossi had low status, but today those who have been to Mecca bear such proud titles as Hadji. On the night before Ramadan, one of these men gave a talk before a Nobere Chief during which he chided the Chief for his impiety and voiced the hope that the new Chief would be a true Muslim. He admitted that the Chief might interpret such a speech from a former serf as impertinent, but he begged him to accept censure as coming from the servant of ‘Nabiyam’ (the prophet). The same person refused to pay homage to the Chief at the Annual Sacrifice to the ancestors; and, when admonished, returned the daughter whom the Chief had given him as a wife. In earlier days a Chief would not have given a daughter to a serf and moreover a disrespectful serf could be killed instantly”,[526] “Every Mossi, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, wishes to have a proper funeral, and now that travel has increased, the fact of being a Muslim or Pagan is of great importance. Many young migrants to Ashanti have reported that their dead Pagan comrades were unceremoniously disposed of, while the Muslims took care of their dead co-religionists”.[527] “Many French admin­istrators and Christian missionaries allege that Mossi youths embrace Islam because they like beautiful robes and fezzes of the Muslims; but this is a naive explanation for the conduct of a highly sophisticated people. Most young men in Nobere wear Muslim-type clothes because such clothes are the mode. What is of interest, however, is that when Pagans become Muslims they wear cleaner clothes and affect a different style of life”.[528] “The local consensus is that Muslims are much better behaved than Pagans because they do not swear, fight, or get drunk. The men chosen as Imams are required to have such characteristics as mercy toward evil-doers, benevolence, magnanimity, physical beauty and virility”.[529] “Mossi Muslims have modified their marriage behaviour to harmonize with what they consider an Islamic tenet that ‘a man should not marry the widow of his father’. The Muslim Mossi profess to look with horror on these marriages among their Pagan brothers, preferring the levirate instead”.[530] Men who have visited Mecca are believed to have returned filled with wisdom and understanding.[531]

A Western writer of the nineteenth century explains his admiration for the Islamic moral impact on African blacks as follows: “As to the effects of Islam when first embraced by a Negro tribe, can there, when viewed as a whole, be any reasonable doubt. Polytheism disappears almost instantaneously; sorcery, with its attendant evils, gradually dies away; human sacrifice becomes a thing of the past. The general moral elevation is most marked; the natives begin for the first time in their history to dress, and that neatly. Squalid filth is replaced by some approach to personal cleanliness; hospitality becomes a religious duty; drunkenness, instead of rule, becomes a comparatively rare exception…chastity is looked upon as one of the highest, and becomes, in fact, one of the commoner virtues. It is idleness that henceforward degrades, and industry that elevates, instead of the reverse. Offenses are henceforward measured by a written code instead of the arbitrary caprice of a chieftain – a step, as everyone will admit, of vast importance in the progress of a tribe. The Mosque gives an idea of architecture at all events higher than any Negro has yet had. A thirst for literature is created and that for works of science and philosophy as well as for commentaries on the Koran”.[532]

Mungo Park, the first explorer of a large district of the Western Sudan, expresses his experience about Muslim morality in Africa; the Mandingoes, a Mohammadan tribe through whose territories he travelled, he describes as being a very gentle race, cheerful in their disposition, hospitable, inquisitive and credulous. The propensity to pilfer, so common amongst barbarians, though he suffered by it, he thought to be not greater than could be found among many European nations. His impression of the women was most favourable. “I do not recollect”, he says, “a single instance of hard-heartedness towards me among the women. In all my wanderings and wretchedness I found them uniformly kind and compassionate. One of the first lessons in which the Mandingo women instructed their children was the practice of truth. Their wives were not ill-treated. In a third and all-important matter, that of sobriety, the advantage was entirely with the Mohammadans”. “The beverages”, he says, “of the Pagan Negroes are beer and mead, of which they frequently drink to excess: the Mohammadan converts drink nothing but water”.[533]

While corruption, bribery, decadence and ecclesiastical oppression in Christian communities caused revolts, Christian writers constantly praised the moral and ethical values which existed among Muslims, e.g. Christian writers often praised the Turks for the earnestness and intensity of their religious life, their zeal in the performance of observance prescribed by their faith, the outward decency and modesty displayed in their apparel and mode of living, the absence of ostentatious display and the simplicity of life observable even in the great and powerful.[534] The good manner and behaviour of the Muslim soldiers even during war has been praised by some Christian historians.[535] Many of the Christians who would have been ready to die as martyrs for Christianity if the mythical choice between the Quran and the sword had been offered them left Christianity for Islam more and more strongly after years of captivity. The influence of Muslim thought and practices and humanity won converts where violence would have failed.[536]

On the other hand the moral and ethical corruption of Christian society especially at the level of priests and clergymen helped the people, who did not approve of them, leave their religion in favour of Islam and join the Muslim community with strict moral code and value. The clergymen were accused of keeping concubines and of drunken­ness and rivalry.[537] Their lack of interest in their religion and welfare of Christian society and their ignorance caused a lot of damage to their religion. The majority of them were accused of being scandalous revellers, who seldom performed their religious duties and usually held drunken revels in their parsonages. They sold the property of the church. They quarrelled with one another; much to the scandal of the laity and the neglect of the mission.[538] If this was the condition of the spiritual leaders, the condition of the laity was certainly worse.

The dissatisfaction and even disapproval of some Christian communities of the moral laxity and ethical corruption prevailing the Christian society as a whole led them to adopt moral codes very similar to those of Muslims, i.e. the Bogamiles’ condemnation of wine and the general austerity of their mode of life and the stern severity of their outward demeanour would serve as a strong link to bind them to Islam. They were peaceful, silent, did not laugh loud and their appearance was very similar to that of Muslims.[539] Their rituals, moral attitude, religious beliefs and their practical life were so similar to those of Muslims that they would find it very easy to join Muslims. This is probably why there existed a great respect by non-Muslims for orthodox Islamic doctrines and Muslim orthodox leaders. It is said that twenty thousand Christians, Jews and Magians became Muslims when the great orthodox Imam ibn Hanbal died.[540] It is said that another orthodox doctor of the Hanbali sect converted the same number of people to Islam. This shows the disapproval of non-Muslims to the moral looseness and ethical laxity and their appreciation of Islamic moral stand.[541]

One of the greatest achievements of the Islamic ethical quality is the way Islam changed the uncivilized, harsh, barbarous and destructive Mongols into civilized, cultured, loving and considerate people. The pre-Islamic Mongols cannot be compared to post-Islamic Mongols: Muslim Mongols cannot be compared to non-Mongols, hi spite of his zeal for the spread of Islam, Uzbak Khan was very tolerant towards his non-Muslim and Christian subjects who were left undisturbed in the exercise of their religion and even allowed to pursue missionary labours in his territory.[542] At the beginning, before the Mongols accepted Islam, they ruined everything, destroyed places of learning and worship, and despised historical values. After their conversion to Islam they tried to make up for what they had done. Some of the finest historical buildings of Islam are from the Mongol period; some of the greatest Muslim scholars are the products of their period in the territory under their rule. Many documents revealing the moral rule and ethical codes the Muslim Mongols believed in are available.[543]

The Mongols of Hindustan, for instance, gave the peninsula for nearly two hundred years. A.D. 1526-1707, a succession of Princes who, in spite of their passion for war,were, as the result of their conversion to Islam, the ablest, the most enlighted, the most tolerant and humane, and the best who, till within the very recent period, it has ever been known. “The administration of Akbar,” writes B. Smith, “one of the greatest monarchs of all time, need not shrink from comparison in any respect with that of his great contemporary Elizabeth of England. He introduced not only religious tolerance, but entire religious equality among his subjects. Shah Jahan was a great organizer; and Aurangzebe, with his energy and with his magnificence, filled a large place in the horizon of Europeans themselves. The architecture of the Mongol Emperors, like that of their co-religionists, the Moors of Spain, is the admiration of the whole world”.[544]

The moral influence of Islam on Mongols was so deep and extensive that even Christian spn itual leaders praised them for it. Pope John XXII in 1318 wrote to Uzbak Khan, thanking the Muslim Prince for his fair treatment of his Christian subjects and the kindness they received at his hands.[545] It has been suggested that the main reason for the large conversion to Islam between 1906 and 1910 among the Russians was the higher moral level of life in Muslim society as well as the stronger feeling of solidarity that prevailed in it.[546] The idea that Islam was looked upon by non-Muslims as God’s sword and the whip of punishment and the Muslims were taken as protected by God, who advance likes the waves of the sea with the angels around them on all sides, shows the moral standard that Muslims maintained, represented and stood for.[547]

On the other hand the moral restrictions enjoined by Islam deterred many people who did not believe in any ethical values from changing to Islam, e.g. the prohibition of spirituous liquors by the law of Islam especially stood in the way of the adoption of this religion by the Russian people.[548] Russia remained Christian for Christianity permitted drinking of spirituous liquor which was very much loved by Russians. Validimir, the Russian Emperor, rejected the Muslims’ attempt at his conversion on the ground of Islam’s prohibition of wine, the use of which, he declared, the Russians could never give up, as it was the very joy of their life.[549] (It is likely that the permissiveness of the Western society in modern times is likewise discouraging the progress of Islam in the West and all permissive societies). But those who did believe in moral values in Russia did accept Islam for its moral attitude, and the influence of the moral strength of the Muslims themselves caused a number of conversions.[550]

“Acceptance of Islam involved a whole number of serious obligations (as well as moral restrictions). Various religious exercises, some of them – e.g. the fasting for one month – by no means acceptable; and besides, compulsory service in the field which, as we learn from the Quran itself, was at times found irksome”, admits a very prejudiced Western writer.[551] Exemption from Islamic tax, military service and from Islamic rituals aided the protected communities in a variety of ways.[552] It was the payment of alms and the claim for alms (payable only by Muslims as against poll-tax) which determined the Arabs to revolt after the prophet’s death.[553]

We can thus conclude that Islamic obligations and moral and ethical restrictions discouraged those with moral laxity and weak character and personality to accept Islam. This has been the case from the early development of Islam to the present time, when Western permissiveness militates against Islamic standards. We have men­tioned cases in which princes and feudal nobles who had accepted Islam at first abandoned it because it did not and would not allow them to practice the moral latitude and the ethical laxity to which they were used to and did not agree with their feudal privileges.[554]

Al-Wabisis, of the Quraishi clan of Makhzum, repudiated Islam because he had been punished for drinking wine, and went to Byzantine territory where he became a Christian.[555] Jabalat B. Iyham, a prince, also repudiated Islam and defected to Christianity because Islamic equality would not allow him to exercise princely privileges.

Prohibition of wine, gambling and many other vices so dear to people, and the obligation of fasting in Ramadan, certainly deterred some of them from Islam. Fasting in the entire month of Ramadan, for instance, as long as the sun is above the horizon, in oriental heat of the summer days is a severe task. One can readily believe that in the month of the fast towards the end of the day, the majority of the faithful are thinking of Islamic restrictions concerning physical lust and desire or even comfort. Still more important is the Salat or daily prayer which besides involving moral and physical obligations directly involves many indirect obligations.[556] However Noldeke believes that: “The common prayer and its formalities (and its direct and indirect involve­ments) have done much to give stability to Islam”.[557] The aristocratic feeling of the Arabs long stood out against making a reality of that equality among its professors which Islam demanded.[558] But those people who had suffered the inequality of the age did appreciate Islamic equality and thus embraced it.
Islamic moral qualities changed Muslim communities in various continents into models of morality, i.e. Leo Africanus calls the Mandingoes, a Muslim tribe in Africa, the most intellectual and the most respected of all the Negroes.[559] W.T. Arnold states that the modern travellers praise them for their industry, cleverness and trustworthi­ness. These Mandingoes have been among the most active missionaries of Islam.[560] This is similarly true of other Muslim tribes or communities in Africa, as elsewhere, e.g. the Hausa whose language became the language of commerce for the Western Sudan.[561] The moral code followed by the Muslim Fulbes and their highly ethical behaviour in Africa fascinated and astonished their European admirers.[562]

The importance of the moral and ethical values amongst Muslims was so great that on many occasions the Muslims tried to differentiate their religion from the other religions in terms of moral values, e.g. they introduced Islam to their Chinese fellow – countrymen as being in agreement with the teachings of Confucius with only this difference that Muslims follow the tradition of their own ancestors with regard to marriage, funerals, the prohibition of pork, wine, tobacco and games of chance, cleanliness and washing of the hands before meals.[563]

Musa, the great Muslim conqueror of Africa, cleverly and tactfully promoted the moral standard of those who accepted Islam. He would propose the embracing of Islam to the captives. After improving their understanding and making them fit to receive the truth sincerely, he would, by way of putting their ability to trial, employ them. If they developed a good disposition, behaviour and talents he would instantly set them free and promote them according to their merit. But if they did not improve themselves and showed no aptitude for their position, he would send them back to their own common rank.[564]

To provide a better example showing how the moral and ethical quality of Islam helped its spread we would like to point out first to the moral code followed by the founder of Islam and then by his immediate successors, for they were the true incarnation of Islam. They were examples of honesty, decency, sincerity, trustworthiness, peace and good behaviour.[565] A more recent example is that of Abd al-Qadir al- Jilani, the founder of Qadiriyya order, which has been most widespread of the religious orders of Sufi Islam. It has been said that he himself was the most popular and most universally revered of all Saints of Islam.[566] It is said also that Qadiriyya activities have been entirely peaceful, humanitarian, educational, moral and based on voluntary conver­sion. The guiding principles that governed the life of Qadiriyya teachers, preachers and followers, were love, tolerance, generosity, good-will, respect for other religions, understanding, faith in what they preached, did and confirmed.[567] Another missionary order, Tijaniyya, also followed the same principles as Qadiriyya.[568]

The behaviour of Muslims and their moral attitude is probably one of the strongest and most effective factors in attracting non-Muslims to the real inner quality of Islam. It is rather difficult to see this in abstract terms. But when a Muslim entered a Pagan village he would soon attract the attention of the people by his cleanliness, his frequent ablutions and his regular prayer, by his work and trade, by avoiding wrong things, byhis intellectual and moral superiority, and by his sincerity. He would soon command the respect and confidence of the native people to whom he showed tolerance and respect, with whom he would communicate and mix and share privileges and knowledge and with whom he would consider himself equal and related and so on. The acceptance of Islam by anybody including Negroes would not only give them many truths regarding God and man which make their way to their heart, and elegant the intellect; but they can at once communicate the Shibboleth of admission to a social and political communion which is a passport for protection and assistance from the Atlantic to the Wall of China.[569] They would be members of so big a community and at the time so classless, desegregated and equal.

Islam provided the African with a spirit which improved their material life, provided them with zeal that made them build commercial centres, centres for learning, universities of high standard, historical monuments and places. These in turn helped Africans improve their ethical, moral and spiritual standard. Comparing the standard of morality amongst Muslims to non-Muslim individuals, it is admitted on all hands by a scholar that Islam gives to its new Negro converts energy, a dignity, a self-reliance, and a self respect which is all so rarely found in their Pagan and Christian fellow countrymen.[570] As regards their sense of responsibility and their industrious labour for their well-being, he believes that Muslims were engaged mainly in manufacturing and work involving considerable skill, and a commerce highly organized and building great societies and cities whose very existence when first they were described by European travellers, could not but be half discredited. He believes that prosperity is consistent with Islam and is encouraged by it.[571]

“Islam has always possessed”, writes N. MacNical, “within itself certain great and permanently precious elements. It filled the Muslims with valour and sent them forth to conquer in a name and for an end that lifted them above what was selfish and tribal. It fills them with a spirit and temper that makes them strong, and often chivalrous leaders, one that arms men against the subtle temptation that life brings. The qualities of simplicity and austerity are natural accompaniments of such a religion”.[572]

There are qualities in Islam that throughout history have given it strength still. These springs are still flowing within the religion, creating in not a few of its children manliness and courage and dignity.[573]

Another principle of Islam is a source of justifiable pride to its followers. This is the sense of brotherhood which binds together into one all its members. On the whole Islamic fraternity is a real achievement. “In the Mosque”, says Dr. Titus, “this ideal is triumphant; the beggar, the sweeper and the prince worship side by side”.[574]

This sense of pride, this feeling of superiority, this assurance and belonging have also helped the spread of Islam in Indonesia and Malaya. It is the element of prestige associated with adherence to Islam, here as elsewhere in Africa and America, which accounts for its successes in Indonesia. The process of Islamization in Malaya pursued the same pattern as in Indonesia. The pilgrimage to Mecca and attachment to Islamic moral and ethical code and to Islamic community after returning from Mecca particularly is of great importance in strengthening Islam here.[575]
hi Africa too a significant attraction for the convert was the opportunity to link himself with a prestigious group and enjoy the hospitality and solidarity of Islam, two precious advantages placed immediately at the disposition of the neophyte.[576] Of greatest relevance for explaining the reason for Islamic growth and spread is the fact that Islam represents to the indigenous inhabitants a cultural force. By identifying himself with it, the African is lifting his morals, enhancing his social standing, and acquiring a new dimension of intellectual growth.[577]

Islamic rituals and prayers also supply the new converts with a strong sense of moral responsibility and confidence. Islamic rituals work as the strong phase in the process by which Islamic influence infiltrated, for instance, in a Pagan African environment: “The second phase (the first phase being the visits by merchants and holy men) may perhaps be said to have been when Pagans…adopt Muslim prayers. I have found several interesting examples of this in both the Gambia and the Gold Coast. Thus in many parts of the Gambia protectorate, especially among the Jola, even professed Pagans will often attend Muslim funerals, keep Muslim fast, and say Muslim prayers. Again in centres such as Kpembe and Yendi, in the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast, a considerable number of the Pagans regularly recite Muslim prayers, hi Yendi, for instance, all the members of the native court whom I questioned affirmed that they did so…They had adopted Muslim prayer only as a sort of insurance policy, since Muslim teachers had assured them that this would guarantee their eternal felicity. Here, too, I found that the Chief (the Ya Ya) regularly appoints Muslim functionaries to perform various duties on his behalf.. .[578] I was told that fifty per cent of the population of Tamale probably said Muslim prayers, while not more than twenty per cent, at most had made any genuine break with Paganism. Attachment to Islam by performing Muslim prayers seems to provide them with a higher civilization, a more refined culture, a sense of superiority and moral responsibility.[579]

In fact, no other religion in the world has been so successful as Islam in eliciting aprofessional pride in its adherents.[580] To this the noted German thinker and founder of the School of Wisdom at Darmstadt, Herman Keyserling (1880-1947), in the “Travel Diary of a philosopher” bears testimony: “Even the faces of the faithful, who being unmistakably of the blood of the Hindus, betray the serf-consciousness, calmly superior expression which characterizes the Muslim everywhere…How right are Englishmen in regarding and trusting the Islamic element in India as the decisive one…Islam is an expression, among others, of the Western spirit…”[581]

The sense of superiority provided by Islam worked as a factor both in attracting new converts and in strengthening the Muslims’ faith in their religion, hi the middle of the ninth century, al-Jahiz (d. A.D. 869) connects the greatness of the Quraish (the tribe of the prophet) with the nature of their religion. He ascribes the decline of the Turkish Toghuzghuz to their acceptance of Manichaeanism, which he finds worse than Christianity in its emphasis on asceticism and pacifism, and he adds: “The Quraish (alone) among all the Arabs professed the religion of steadfast courage” (danubit-Tahammus) His contemporary, Umara bin Aqil, when taken to task by Mamun (d. 833) for comparing in a verse his own situation with that of Hatim Tayy and Harim bin Sinan, two pre-Islamic heroes of generosity, tells the Caliph: “I am better than both of them: I am a Muslim while they are unbelievers; and I am an Arab (as they were)”.[582] “Above all things,” states Noldeke, “Islam gave and gives to those who profess it a feeling of confidence such as is imparted by hardly any other faith. The Muslim is proud of being a Muslim”. He continues, “All those who make faith and assurance of salvation the chief heads of religion, ought to work for Islam. A religion amongst the followers of which suicide is almost unknown has surely some claim on our respect”.[583]

Since Islam does not discriminate against race or colour, neophytes do not have a feeling of inferiority. Dignity and pride are accentuated through the stress on equality and brotherhood among all African Muslims.[584]

In America (U.S.A.), Islam is giving the black people the dignity and pride of belonging which their Christian environment failed to secure for them. It is highly probable that Islam will become eventually the religion of the Negro in America if present trends continue.[585] Under the banner of Islam the American Negro, like other downtrodden people, i.e. the dispossessed dwellers of Mecca when the prophet began to preach, are not only regaining their human dignity, but also for the first time are exhibiting the moral qualities identified with practising Muslims: abstinence from smoking and drinking, fidelity and, above all, discipline and solidarity with fellow-Muslims.

The Negro Muslim has become thrifty and industrious; he is taught to depend on himself not on others, to become active in agriculture and manufacturing pursuits and to lead an exacting regimented life.[586] This is particularly evident in the Black Muslim movement in the U.S.A. Discipline among Black Muslim women is strongly manifest. They are schooled in the need and art of home-making and taught to respect their families, their husbands, never to talk to strangers nor wear make-up and fancy dress. They are gaining initiative and identity. Formal training centres are open for young women known as MGT (Muslim Girl Training).[587] Both Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, the two leaders of Black Muslims, performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, returning with pride and prestige. They acquired a more direct appreciation of the true nature of Islam, namely, that it is the White man’s and not only the Black man’s religion, that Islam does not preach violence except in self-defence, that Islam preaches love and brotherhood among all races.[588]

This point has been expressed in the writings of Malcolm X where he explains his experience of the Pilgrimage to Mecca.

“There was a colour pattern in the huge crowds. Once I happened to notice this, I closely observed it thereafter. Being from America made me sensitive to the matters of colour. I saw that people who looked alike drew together and most of the time stayed together. This was entirely voluntary. There being no other reason for it. But Africans with Africans, Pakistanis were with Pakistanis, and so on. I tucked it into my mind that when I returned home I would tell Americans this observation, that where true brotherhood existed among all colours, where no one felt segregated, where there was no ‘superiority complex, no inferiority complex’ – then voluntary, naturally, people of the same kind felt drawn together by that which they had in common…[589]

We can thus see that it is the true love for mankind based on the principle of human dignity as a whole which is preached and practised by Islam. This is the kind of love which is free from all kinds of prejudice. The kind of love which is admired by both Whites and Blacks equally and has helped the spread of Islam among mankind throughout the history of Islam and is still helping its spread.

Religion owns two principle faculties, an idealistic and a behaviouristic. The ideals of Islam are reflected in its theology which attracted many converts to Islam; and its behaviouristic characters are reflected in the Islamic principle of god works, that is, right-doing, serving God and His community. This is the core of the Islamic moral and ethical system which also has produced many converts, hi the Middle Ages, Islamic moral codes also helped its influence on non-Muslims; the Muslims in Spain and also Muslims taking part in Crusades had moral influence on non-Muslims. “Married persons are more honourable than monks and priests”[590] seems to echo Muslim morale.

hi modern times also the ethical qualities of Islam seem to be attracting people. It is suggested that the Inquisition, prejudice, Bolshevism, drink, divorce, racism, coloni­alism, drug-addiction, moral carelessness, permissiveness, suicide are caused by Christianity, and every point scored against Christianity should be placed to the credit of Islam.[591]

Canon Taylor has advised that because of the known hostility of Islam to intemperance, as the best and most effective barrier against the trade of Christian nation in intoxicating liquors, Africa should be left to Islam.[592] hi fact, it is frequently confessed by Christians that the arrangement of Western nations for the great evils connected with the wholesale traffic in ardent spirits and slave on the Congo and in the ports of West Africa (in particular and in the whole of Africa in general) is just too difficult to answer, if regard be had to nations and government as such.[593]

Islam on the contrary offered Africa equality, pride, confidence, decency, civilization, culture, etc. Even Western writers with an unsympathetic approach to Islam have confessed these. W. Muir states: “There can be no question but that, with its pure monotheism, and a code founded in the main on justice and humanity, Islam succeeds in raising to a higher level races sunk by idolatry and fetishism. Like those of Central Africa, and that, in some respects, – notably in that of temperance – it materially improves the morality of such peoples”.[594]

It is melancholy to contrast with the widespread beneficial influence of Islam, in Africa, the little that has been done for Africa till very lately by Christian nations that have settled in it and colonized it for a long time till all its natural resources have been fully exploited and terminated, hi fact, it is not still left alone (i.e. South Africa). “Till a few years ago,” writes B. Smith, “the good effects produced beyond the immediate territories occupied were absolutely nothing. The achievement of Vasco do Gama, for which Te Deums were sung in Europe, proved for centuries to be nothing but a direct curse to Africa…The message that European traders have carried for centuries to Africa has been one of rapacity, of cruelty, of selfishness, and of bad faith”.[595] “It is a remark of Dr. Livingstone that the only art that the natives of Africa have acquired from their five hundred years’ acquaintance with the Portuguese, has been the art of distilling spirits from a gun-barrel, and that the only permanent belief they owe to them is the belief that man may sell his brother, ‘for this’, he says emphatically, ‘is not a native belief, but is only to be found in the track of the Portuguese'”.[596] It is not wholly without reason that the white man is still an object of terror, corruption, drunkenness, exploitation, racism, slave-trade, and his Creed an object of suspicion and repugnance to the Negro race.[597]

B. Smith writes: “A religion which indisputably has made cannibalism and human sacrifice impossible; which has introduced reading and writing and, what is more, has given a love for them; which has forbidden and, to a great extent, has abolished, immodest dancing, gambling and drinking; which inculcates upon the whole a pure morality; and sets forth a sublime and, at the same time, a simply theology; is surely deserving of other feeling than the hatred and the contempt which some portions of our religious press (writers and authorities) habitually put upon it”.[598]

The prophet of Islam, Muhammad, set the best example for the moral and ethical standard suggested by Islam.[599] “The career of Muhammad, though thoroughly human, has, nonetheless, ascended the highest summit ever attained by any man. Upon the Muslims he desperately sought to impress that his humanity was like unto theirs, inspired though he surely was. No other life can match in sublimity and power his own achievement in all phases of existence. No words can adequately portray the penetrating depth of his communion with the life of the Cosmos in its infinite meanings, extending from eternity to eternity, as he communed with the Creator of the Universe, thanks to his everlasting mercy and forgiveness. Were it not for this communion, and Muhammad’s own veracity in the transmission of his Lord’s message, subsequent ages might well have rejected his affirmations. Yet thirteen hundred and fifty years have now gone, whereas the message which was delivered unto Muhammad by his Lord remains the wonder of truth and enlightenment. Suffice it to cite one corroborative example, namely, the truth revealed by God to Muhammad that he is the seal (last) of prophet and messengers. Fourteen centuries have now elapsed and no one professing to be a prophet or a messenger bearing a divine mandate has truly captured the imagination of men. Prior to Muhammad, prophecies were successive and divine messengers not unknown…though scarcely anyone of these proclaimed a universal message intended for all mankind, neither declared himself the seal (last) of the prophets and divine messengers. Only Muhammad makes these assertions, and the centuries believe him”.[600]

The personality of Muhammad the prophet, powerful yet attractive, revealed., .by Arab writers themselves more patently than that of the founder of any other world religion, has won hearts of both soldier and mystic for fourteen centuries.[601] “The persecutions, insults and injuries, expulsion and attacks suffered by Muhammad and his early followers and his strong adherence to preach against the gross idolatry and immorality of his people all show his sincere belief in his own mission, and his possession of an irresistible inward impulse to publish the Divine Truth of his revelations regarding the unity in Godhead and other moral reforms. His preaching of monotheism; his enjoining righteousness, and forbidding evil deed, were not attended for many years with material success. In proportion as he preached against the gross idolatry and superstition of his people, he was subjected to ridicule and scorn, and finally to an inveterate persecution which ruined his and his followers’ fortune. But he unflinch­ingly kept his path; no threats and no injuries hindered him from still preaching to the ungodly people a purer and higher theology and better morality than had even set before them. He claimed no temporal power, no spiritual domination; he asked but for simple toleration, for free permission to win men by persuasion into the way of truth. He declared he was sent neither to compel by miracles, nor to constrain outward profession by the sword. He honestly and sincerely conveyed the message which he had received or which he conscientiously or intuitively believed to have received from his God and which had all the signs and marks of truth in itself. What is meant by a true prophet or revelation is not more than what we find in the case of Muhammad. The general office and main business of a prophet is to proclaim to mankind the Divine perfection, to teach publicity purer theology and higher morality, to enjoin the people to do what is right and just, and to forbid what is wrong and bad. It is neither a part of the prophet to predict future events, nor to show supernatural miracles (though he may do or be able to do or is able to do these). And further a prophet is neither immaculate nor infallible.[602] Muhammad just did what he was supposed and expected to do sincerely, faithfully, peacefully, willing and with his utmost ability and power. His moral behaviour, his methods of preaching give us a clear picture of an ideal preacher of Islam.

Dr. Marcus Dods writes:[603] “He (Muhammad) saw truth about God…and he had an irresistible inward impulse to publish this truth”. In respect to this latter qualification Muhammad may stand comparison with the most courageous of the heroic prophets. For the truth’s sake he risked his life, he suffered daily persecution for years and eventually banishment, the loss of property, of the goodwill of his fellow-citizens, and the confidence of his friends – he suffered, in short, as much as any man can suffer short of death which he only escaped by flight, and yet he unflinchingly proclaimed his message”. No bribe, threat or inducement could silence him. “Though they array against me the sun on the right hand, and the moon on the left, I cannot renounce my purpose (which was the preaching and the spread of the truth which corresponded entirely with Islam)”. Similar statements are made by many others regarding the prophet’s sincerity. [604]Those who knew him best: his wife, his cousin, his earlier friends, they who, as Muhammad said, alone o f his converts, turned not back, neither were perplexed, were the first to recognize his mission. The ordinary lot of a prophet was in his case reversed; he was not without honour save among those who did not know him.[605]

Muhammad was forbearing, honest, just and chaste. His hand never touched the hand of a woman over whom he did not have rights.. .or who was not lawful for him to marry. He was the most generous of men. Neither a dinar nor a dirham was left him in the evening. If anything remained and there was no one to give it to, night having fallen suddenly, he could not retire to his apartment until he was able to give his excess lo whoever needed it. He was never asked for anything but he gave it to the asker. He would prefer the seeker to himself and his family, and so often his store of grain for the year was used up before the year ended. He patched his sandals and clothing, did household chores, and ate with his womenfolk. He was shy and would not stare into people’s faces. He answered the invitation of a slave and the free-bom, and he accepted presents even if they consisted of merely a draught of milk or a rabbit’s leg, while because of hunger he would at times tie two stones around his stomach. He ate what was at hand and did not refrain from any permitted food. He did not eat reclining. He attended feasts, visited the sick, attended funerals, and walked among his enemies without a guard. He was the humblest of men, the most silent, without being insolent, and the most eloquent, without being lengthy. He was always joyful and never awed by the affairs of the world. He rode a horse, a male camel, a mule, an ass. He walked barefoot and bare headed at different times. He tyrannized nobody and accepted the excuse of the one who begged his pardon. He joked but he only spoke the truth. He laughed but did not burst out laughing. He did not eat better food or wear better clothes than his servants.

Mu’adh Ibn Jabal said: “The messenger of Allah commanded me, saying, ‘Oh, Mu’adh, I command you to fear Allah, to report truthfully, to fulfil an oath, to act loyally, to avoid wrong actions, to care for the neighbour, to have mercy on the orphan, to be soft spoken, to be generous in extending greetings, to do good acts, to limit expectation, to cleave to the way, to study the Quran, to love the life beyond this world, to be anxious in regard to reckoning, to act humbly: I forbid you to obey the man of wrong actions, to disobey a just man, to put a land in disorder. And I command you to fear Allah at every stone, tree, or village, and that you show regret for every wrong action, secret or public'”.[606]

In short, those thinkers who most profoundly analyzed the nature of things have failed to produce a wiser view of life, salvation, happiness and humanity than that produced by the prophet Muhammad. The importance of morality, religion and humanity in theworld of Islam scarcely needs to be emphasized. A religion and mentality which at least offers man happiness and hope deserves our attention.[607]



Of necessity, all the worlds religions emerged, whether they were formative or reformative, from a pre-existent culture and depending on their relative success in winning assent. All have partially or totally affected the cultural milieu from which they emerged or to which they spread. But unlike many other religions, Islam spread quickly and flourished fast outside its own birthplace. It rapidly expanded and spread beyond the place of its origin and came with a rush out of Arabia and in a short time overspread a vast domain where it met prevailing old civilizations and cultures and radically affected a variety of cultures and civilizations.


hi the fifth, sixth and succeeding centuries, schism rent in the Byzantine Greek Church. Whereas former controversies had raged over the attempt to define the nature of the Trinity, the new heresies were concerned with the analysis of the Incarnation and its expression in the technical terms employed by Greek philosophy. The furious rivalries provoked by these arguments, so dear to the subtle intellects of the Greeks, were to be one of the principle reasons for the otherwise almost inexplicable rapidity of the Great Arab conquest.[608]

During the eight and the ninth centuries special movement took place in the Byzantine Empire neighbouring Muslim World under the influence of Islam. During the eighth and the first half of the ninth century, the Church and Christianity faced a new question – the propriety or impropriety of using images in Christian devotion. The Crusade against sacred statues and pictures, initiated by Isaurian and Amorian Emperors, was called Iconoclasm, and its adherents Iconoclasts. The movement was essentially Asiatic. The Emperor who began it belonged to a race of hardy mountaineers from the Taurus, and it seems probable that they had come under the influence of Islam. Though we know the Iconoclasts only by the accounts of their enemies, it is clear that the aversion to images was only one of the many points in which they differed from the practice of the Byzantine Church. They further condemned the worship of the Virgin, the veneration of relics, the invocation of the Saints, and above all, the practice of monasticism. There is an Islamic air about all these tenets, specially that this development was taking place in that part of Christendom bordering the Muslim World.[609] It is very probable that Leo the Isaurian, observing the immense progress made by Islam and the abuses to which Byzantine Christianity was prone, conceived the idea of purifying the worship of his empire, and at the same time benefitting the state by doing away with the increasing multitude of monks, whose useless lives seemed a danger to society. The power of Iconoclast Emperors also rested mainly on the army, which was strongly opposed to images, a very Islamic trait.[610]

Leo began his Crusade in A.D. 725. He destroyed many images, particularly the miraculous figure of the saviour. The Pope in Rome took the other side and condemned Iconoclasm (728). Constantine V. was a more strict Iconoclast than his father. He persecuted image-worshippers and condemned their practices in a Synod. The next Emperor Leo IV was also an Iconoclast. Although Iconoclasm gained momentum for a while in the Byzantine Empire, the more powerful Christianity in Rome regarded it as heresy (and probably an Islamic movement) and opposed it until in 786 a Church Council restored the worship of images again and Rome and Constantinople were united again in the worship of images and saints. The Iconoclastic movement lasted a little longer until it was completely crushed by the original dominant image-worshipping Western Christianity. But the Iconoclastic movement gained momentum now and again in the East. Leo the Armenian, like Constantine V, summoned a Synod, at which only the East was represented, and again condemned images and their worshippers, Emperor Theophilites (829-842) was also a strict Iconoclast.

It is instructive to notice that the triumphs of image-worship usually took place in the reign of women in the Byzantine Empire.[611] It is also interesting to notice that the Eastern spiritual zeal usually remained true to the original faith and that the controversies of West usually led to innovation heresies. This is probably the intellectual explanation for the revolt of Eastern Christendom against the papal authority. The Byzantine and Orthodox Christianity, though extremely hierarchical acknowledged no one head like the Pope. It was no accident that Notaras said that he would rather see the Sultan’s tiara in St. Sofia than a Cardinal’s hat. Later on, in the hour of extreme danger many people cried “better Turks than Latin”[612] for the Turks were against the Pope’s domination over East European Peoples.

Strange enough as it may seem, the immediate result of Muslim domination was beneficial to the independence of Christianity in East Europe from the Pope in Rome and from the West. Sultan Muhammad encouraged Christians in their fight with the Popes in Rome, hi fact, as a Muslim, he was ready to give the Christians much more than his orthodox Christian predecessors had kept for themselves. The Emperor had always been the head of the Church, and, by virtue of his sacrosanct character, had interfered in and controlled the course of ecclesiastical policy. A Muslim sovereign had no such ambition. Muhammad put the whole “Greek Church” under the control of the Patriarch and thus Christianity under a Muslim sovereign enjoyed full religious freedom and absolute authority. This brings us to the Muslim Intellectual Tolerance which has been dealt with in another place. Our primary aim here is to show how Islamic religious influence was felt even in the areas where Islam did not establish itself as the religion of the majority. This was, in fact, the transitional phase and stage in the full conversion to Islam; a stage that almost all peoples who converted to Islam had gone through.

Islam compared to Christianity, was a straightforward religion of action, entirely free from complexities and confusions. As a result it presented to simple and clear minds a more satisfying basis of life than did the comprehensible hair-splitting dogmas of the Greeks. Islam has sometimes been called a Christian heresy and heresies are often over-violent reactions to genuine abuses. In this sense Islam may indeed have been an unduly vehement protest against the fact that the real message of Christianity had been submerged by the subtleties of Greek dogma.[613] Religious intellectualism owes its values to spiritual intellectual fulfilment.

To the Christians, who made up the majority of the population converted to Islam West of Baghdad, Islam provided a more straightforward and more simple version of Monotheism. No matter how hard the advocates of Christianity, such as Lull, tried to discredit Islam by asserting that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and of the Incarnation was more appropriate to believe in than the Unity and power of God, the people concerned saw it for themselves that Islam was the shortest and the most straightforward path to Monotheism.

The religious influence of Islam on Christianity can also be seen in the Bogomils and their doctrine. They practised fasting and prayed five times a day. They objected to the use of wine and held it lawful to conform externally to other religions. It is pretty clear from these characteristics and from their strict moral code that the Bogomils were one of many sects which were influenced by Islam and their doctrines and religious and religious conduct were a mixture of Christian and Islamic principles.[614] Perhaps the sects still found in Russia – the Philippowtsy, the Dukhobortsy, the Skoptsy and many others are allied to Bogomils. The Bogomils, however, have a twofold historical importance. Firstly, their doctrine spread westward and produced the Albigenses, Cathari, andotherprecursorsofmodernProtestanism. Secondly, they created areligiousquarrelin the Slavonic states, which not only facilitated the Turkish conquest of Europe, but also prepared the way for the acceptance of Islam by large’ bodies of Slavs, especially in Bulgaria and Bosnia.[615] The Bogomils like their predecessors, Iconoclasts, were persecuted by the Church. They were put to death by the thousands for their religious belief just as the Muslims of Bosnia Hercegovina are being dealt with in the 1990s.


Being a very strict monotheistic religion, Islam opposed all forms of image and symbol worshipping. Spain was deeply influenced by the higher civilization of the Muslims. But the most important of all, for us in this book, is the religious influence. As a result of Muslim rule, and as a result of religious isolation from Europe and Rome, the Church of Leon and Spain differed in doctrine and ritual from that of Rome. More interesting, however, is the fact that the Spanish Church and Christians rejected the use of images. This became a cause of dispute between Rome and the Church of Spain. The abandonment of images by the old Spanish Church is doubtless in the same manner to be attributed to its four-hundred-year cohabitation of the peninsula with the Muslims.[616]

Islam also influenced other communities indirectly too, e.g. many Africans absorbed Islamic influence, but did not become Muslims themselves. The Bambara adopted a position midway between Islam and traditionalism. Chiefs referred both to shrine-priests and to their Imams; they required the ritual ceremonies of the earth-priests as well as the prayers of the Muslims.[617] Local chiefs on the Middle Niger had come under Muslim influence. They had Muslim names Mansa Ali, Mansa Mohammad etc. They cultivated close relations with Ulama, among them al-Sadi, the author of the Turkish al-Sudan. Many areas and communities took a position halfway between Islam and their traditional faith. This was a stage before full conversion to Islam.


The Christians who lived under Islamic rule in Spain were generally known as “Mozarabs”, from an Arabic noun meaning “Arabizers”…They accepted Islamic culture not only because it was dominant but because it was attractive. Many Mozarbas completed their acceptance of Arab culture by acceptance of the Arabs’ religion – not pressed to do so by the authorities, but anxious not to be identified with the trouble­makers. Among the Mozarabas who continued to practice Christianity, the exclusive use of Arabic names became increasingly common, even for Churchmen. One example of this and of integration with Islamic culture was Rabi Ibn Zaid, Christian Bishop of Cordoba around A.D. 800.[618]

The vitality of the culture that evolved in the Spanish caliphal state attested by its ability to flourish after that state’s collapse. The Mozarabs, those Christians who had adopted Arab and Islamic culture and who were permitted to live in large communities under their own institutions, thus enabled to play a pioneer role in the diffusion of Islamic culture to Western Europe, either when they travelled or later, when they found themselves once more under Christian role. Thanks to them, to the Jews who were also allowed by the Muslims to live their own lives unmolested, and to the centuries during which Europe accepted the existence of an Arab state flourishing on its territory, the West became aware that far from being barbarian and intolerant the subjects of the Caliph enjoyed an enviably higher standard of the culture and civilization than they knew themselves. Of course, this did not convert them to Islam but it prepared them to be influenced by its culture, civilization, art and to accept treatment by its physicians.[619] Alfonso X who ruled Castile and Leon from A.D. 1252 to 1284, has won a rare accolade from history in his surname El Sabio “the wise”. He did not win this sobriquet through being successful or adroit – he was neither a military conqueror nor a particularly skilled politician. He won it for his intellectual patronage of learning, and in particular for the transfer of Islamic ideas into Europe.[620] The influence of Islamic culture and Muslim civilization usually prepared the ground for full conver­sion to Islam and can be regarded as a stage in the process of fall Islamization.


The Jews adopted themselves even more easily to co-existence with Islam. They found much in the religion and culture of the Arabs that appealed to them. The Islamic conception of God – “He begets not nor is He begotten” – was as transcendent as the Judaic. Arabic language and literature also appealed to the Jews.[621] A Jewish historian, S.D. Goitein, has written: “The acquisition of the Arab language by the Jews meant also their adoption of Arab ways of thinking and forms of literature, as well as of Muslim religious notions. Arabic was used by Jews for all kinds of literary activities, not only for scientific and other secular purposes, but for expanding and translating the Bible or the Mishmah (codification of the Oral law) for theological and philosophi­cal treaties discussing Jewish law and ritual and even for the study of Hebrew grammar and lexicography.[622]

Despite a historical aptitude for philosophy and linguistics, the Jews in Palestine or Alexandria had never worked a system of grammar and lexicography for Hebrew. In Andalus (an Arabic environment), Jewish grammarians Yehuda Hayyuj and Jonah Ibn Jonah discovered that all Hebrew words, like Arabic, went back to trilateral roots.[623]

The readiness of Jews to adopt names shows the intimacy of Jewish and Arab co­operation in Andalus. “The Jewish historian S.D. Goitein has written: “Arabic names are used for the same purpose without scruple, and the custom of bearing double names, one in the language of the country and one in Hebrew, is by no means common”.[624]

Like most miracles, the creation of a Semitic civilization in Spain (through Andalus or Muslim Spain) can be explained in rational terms, though when explaining has been done, a sense of the miraculous may well creep back.

Arabic-speaking Islam exerted the more intense, more durable hold, (compared to the previous eastern influence on Spain, namely that of Phoenicians) because it compro­mised in a potent trinity a religion, a state, and a culture.[625]


There can, however, be little question that Spanish and European contact with the Islamic World helped to shape and enrich World and Western civilization. Muslim scholars preserved the Works of the Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, whose ideas were to be a formative influence in the making of medieval culture, and were ahead of their European contemporaries in the study of mathematics, medicine and science, contributing indirectly to the revival of learning which occurred in the twelfth century Europe. The philosophical writings of the Spanish Muslim scholar, Averroes, were crucial influence in the evolution of scholastic thought.[626] European architecture was also affected by the penetration of Islamic architectural styles, especially through Sicily and Spain. Commercial relations with the Islamic World were of great importance. The Muslim traders enjoyed a higher degree of literacy and had a good knowledge of book-keeping. The merchants of Italy and other European countries learned sophisticated business methods from their Muslim and Arab counterparts[627] “for Islam, unlike Christianity, held the merchant in honours”.[628]

There canbe little doubt as to the role oflslamic civilization andlslamization. A western writer and scholar explains this question as follows:” To explain the phenomenon of the easy and vast spread of Islam would require a book, but one prime factor must be emphasised since it was itself to have an immense influence upon later Christendom. That factor is the brilliant civilization which the Muslims made and, with it, their process of Islamization.[629] Another Historian explains this in the following manner: “it was the Arabization (Islamization) of the conquered province, rather than their military conquest that is the true wonder of the Arab expansion”.[630]


“The new learning which was the stuff of the twelfth-century Renaissance came to the West mainly through the two Arabic sources of Muslim Spain and Muslim Sicily”.[631] “It is very probable that, like the rest of the Medieval history, the debt of the West to Islam is nowadays insufficiently appreciated. In arithmetic, for example our very numerals are Arabic, and fundamental importance of this alone is soon maik clear to anyone who tries to sum in Roman figures”.[632] The Arabs emerged as the international leaders of the World and remained as the leaders for two centuries from A.D. 650 to 850. After the commencement of their decline, they remained the leaders in thought and science for five centuries more.

“When the Arab-speaking peoples fell behind, they had already passed on the torch of art, learning, science and industry to Western Europe”.[633] When Rome collapsed the Arabs were just in time to snatch the fallen torch. The West once more plunged into barbarism, but before the Arabs fell, they handed the trust to Europe with interest.[634] But the influence of Islam was impeded by Europe’s profound hostility towards the Muslims.[635]

As the Arab Empire disintegrated, two channels were to open enabling the science, learning and skills of the Muslim World to be drawn back into Europe. It is amazing and fascinating to watch how these two channels of Spain and Sicily opened just in time to enable Europe to inherit Arab civilization. For the main source of that civilization in Syria and Iraq were soon to be overrun by hordes of Tatars (and Mongols) who were utterly determined to destroy the whole of that culture. The Eastern Muslim countries have been in wilderness ever since and only in our lifetime have begun to regain consciousness after six centuries of coma which resulted from the concussion.

But just before this shattering blow fell, the gateway of Spain and Sicily began slowly to open and the accumulated skill, learning and science of Islam and the East matured in Damascus and Baghdad and carried from thence to Qairawan and Cordova, poured into Europe at the very moment in which it was extinguished at its source. The perfect time can scarcely be described as other than providential. No one remembers the Aghlabids, yet in this, one of the greatest process of history, their timely conquest of Sicily played a vital part.[636]

“It is true that the majority of European writers have considered the Muslim conquest of Sicily to have been a disaster. Yet it may be argued today that Christendom, in the long run, benefitted from it more than did the Muslims. For if the Muslims had remained in Tunis and the Christians in Sicily, one of the principle channels through which Arab civilization enriched the life of the West would never have been opened”.[637]

In Baghdad, the Khalif Mamoon was presiding over the aura of culture, literature, art and science and the Umayyads of Spain could not resist the temptation to compete with their rivals in the East. The translation from the Ancient Greek Authors which had been so diligently executed under Mamoon, had spread to Andalus, where learned studies were actively pursued. The chain of inheritance by which Europe was to regain its civilization led from Ancient Greece to Baghdad to Cordova and from Cordova to France, England and Western Germany. At the end the Arabs gave to Europe the light of knowledge. Much of the fine flower of the culture and the chivalry of Andalus was to be permanently absorbed into the civilization of Western Europe.[638]

European seamanship was largely derived from the Arabs…Italian, Spanish and Portuguese seamen, however, the men who were to discover America and the sea route round the Cape of Good Hope learned their trade from the Arabs.[639]

Islam in many instances gained from the conversion of those peoples who had evolved a more distinct culture than that of the conqueror. The conquered, first as clients and later as a dominant force in Islamic society, continued to acquire and utilize the products attending Islam, namely the language as well as cultural and social norms. The resultant interaction of Islam, the religion, and its medium of expression, the Arabic language, with the cultural background of the converts – Persian, Hellenized Syrian and Egyptian – abetted both “internationalization” of Islam and its acquiring distinct culture of its own which in turn attracted more converts.

The Arab supplied the broadened Islamic fraternity with Islam and the Arabic language, the two principle media of coherence, together with a broad spirit of tolerance through a deliberate policy, carefully defined, of non-interference in the communal affairs of the conquered. In the resultant diversity Islam found its greatest enrichment, and to the religious nurture of unity and solidarity a new dimension, the cultural, was added.

The survival of indigenous cultural values introduced by converts to Islam, while imparting to the faith a local colouring tolerated by it, did not transgress or compromise the prerequisities of belief as defined by the “Shariah”, the fundamental law of Islam, nor did the acceptance of them over-ride the exigencies of communal solidarity which the Islamic government and policy imposed on all believers.

Not by force of arms or by administrative fiat did the Arab Muslim, the minority element in the land conquered, impart cohesion and solidarity to the society of converts. By a combination of magnanimity tempered with justice and exemplary conduct, the soldiers in earlier centuries like the merchants in recent times opened up by wedges for the expansion of Islam into southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, areas where the force of Islamic arms was never felt. While valour and example played a significant role in the spread of Islam, we cannot discount the impact of Quranic legislation and the qualities of leadership exhibited by the Caliphs and those close to Muhammad in his life-time. Legislative fiat and circumstances combined to create, assimilate and consolidate a monolithic Islamic society.[640]

We can thus clearly see that Islamic attitudes towards cultural exchange and integration of civilization and society have helped, as a factor, in the spread of Islam. Not only by offering cultural privileges did Islam spread and make new converts in the era of its highly sophisticated culture, but it also spread by borrowing culture from the conquered in the formation of Islamic culture.

Continued growth and spread of Islam can be explained in terms of Islamic willingness to tolerate views and practices stemming from alien cultural norms brought into Islam by the converts which a more rigid system of religion would not countenance. Flexibility at this crucial stage of conversion is an important factor contributing to Islam’s success. What would ordinarily be deemed heretical at this instance of conversion inevitably drifts or is lured towards orthodoxy.

Account must be taken of the fact that Islam soon came to be embraced by many peoples of non-Arab stock, a fact which is significant for two reasons: first, it reminds us of the ability of Islam to appeal to men of various backgrounds – a further example of diffusion and a demonstration of Islam’s character as a missionary religion; and second, the obverse side, the effect upon the nature of Islam as a religion that spread into other cultural regions. Here the impact is mutual.[641] There were, however, other reasons for the spread of Islam and Islamic learning, one of the most important of which was the openness of Islamic society.[642] Islam and Muslims not only offered what they had, but were also willing to evaluate and accept what was offered to them. It is to the credit of the Muslims that when they came into contact with other systems of thought and men of keen intellect they did not evade the challenge to their culture which was presented, for fear that alien philosophy and thought should upset the revealed truth. This genuine relationship and openness attracted the cultured and the intellectuals, for they felt they were participating in the formation of a great international culture and civilization. E. Rosenthal states: “It is not the least important and attractive feature of the Muslim genius that is was able to accommodate all these strangers and make them feel at home”.[643]

Islam’s willingness to adapt as well as to offer has helped its spread greatly. The rapid spread of Islam in modern Africa is a sign of its adaptability.[644] “The advantage Islam enjoys in its growth stems from its remarkable capacity first to absorb, then ultimately to purify and integrate norms of cultural response quite alien to the orthodox tenets of Islam”.[645]

As a result of its cultural attainment Islam has left its mark upon the world, while at the same time it has opened itself to the invasion of various thoughts and cultures. Similarly, geographically situated as a bridge between East and West, between the ancient civilizations and modern civilization, between past and present, it has not been impervious to the influence of thoughts and cultures. As a religion this has meant that it has reflected both Eastern and Western religious insights and current of thought, while at a cultural area overlapping into both it has participated in the strength and weakness found in each. Consequently, Islamic culture has both borrowed from other cultures and has also contributed to the world culture and thus has spread its culture and thoughts. In fact, one of the main reasons for the rapid spread of Islamic culture is its special characteristic as a mixture of cultures. Ernest Baker states: “We may guess that Islam acted more profoundly on Western Christianity from its bases in Spain and Sicily that it did from its bases in Mosul, Baghdad and Cairo. There are two reasons that support this conjecture. The first is that there was never established in Syria itself the p otent influence of a mixture of cultures, such as is found in Sicily… The second is that the Latins of Syria (Crusaders) were never able to draw on the riches of a Muhammadan culture as the Western Mediterraneans were able to draw on the riches of the culture of Cordova and Muhammadan Spain”.[646] Thus the more colourful and international the Islamic culture became the more attractive it was.

Such was the background of medieval Islam when it proceeded to create a gigantic melting pot of races and creeds, out of which emerged a rich culture, unique in the annals of mankind and, in some aspects of its scientific and philosophical contributions, foreshadowing the subsequent Renaissance of Europe.[647]

The internationalistic and multi-racial aspect of Islamic culture and civilization on a world-wide scale is brought to light by the brilliant insight of Arnold J. Toynbee: “Islamic civilization is a heir to an antique parent, the Syriac which became resplendent in the time of King Solomon and Hiram of Tyre. It also branched out into the affiliated Arabic and Persic civilizations. And between the current Islamic and the ancient Syriac appear the intermediaries of the Baghdad-centred Abbasid Empire, the Islamic ‘Church’ and the wandering peoples. In the Arabic-Persic complex one sees not only the Sunnite-Shite sister grouping, but also the Arab and non-Arab peoples within Islam. Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, North Africa, the Sudan and al-Yaman fall into the Arab sphere, hi the non-Arab orbit are Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkestan, Muslim India, Malaya, and Indonesia. An outer ring of non-Arab Muslims is constituted by Muslim Negro Africa, Muslim Russia and China, as well as by the isolated, *\ough not always inconsiderable, communities in Europe, the Philippines, Japan and the Americas. Moreover, the persistent, world-wide character of Islam manifests itself on the political, ethical and religious fronts”.[648]

No doubt the process of cultural exchange was aided by the racial and general affinity between the conquerors and their subjects. The consequences of assimilation were of immense significance. It left its permanent mark on the Islamic civilization that emerged.[649]

The tolerant attitude of Islam toforeign material and its power of assimilation are likely to create the impression of lacking originality. But Islam’s originality consists exactly in the capacity of adapting the alien inspiration to its needs, of recreating it in its own garb and of rejecting the unadaptable.[650]
The willingness to adopt various cultures is reflected in the continuity of cultural exchange amongst Muslim states and between Muslims states and non-Muslim states, despite the breakdown and the absence of political relations amongst them. Nothing impaired the cultural coherence of the region. Scholars travelled freely throughout the Islamic world. Common faith and common education overrode political divisions. Political and denominational, national and social, affiliations overlapped.[651]

As one looks at Islam over the centuries one is impressed by the degree to which communal solidarity has been maintained. One of the factors contributing to this has been the creation of a homogeneous intellectual outlook, which has partly incorporated and partly supplanted previous intellectual outlooks in the territories where Islam is now dominant.[652] Islam thus helped create an international homogeneous culture and universal intellectual outlook which in turn attracted new converts amongst those who would find in Islam cultural and intellectual fulfilment.

“Islam also insisted (particularly in Africa) upon the individual being responsible for his own belief. The matter of personal responsibility for belief and conduct is, as we have already seen, a very big problem for many Africans. Islam (unlike Christianity) also allows an African convert to practice old customs and leaves room for cultural freedom as long as old customs do not contradict Islamic principles”.[653]

“Since the Islam of the early centuries was both a religion and a political community, this meant that Islam henceforth began to exhibit that variety of regional and cultural forms which have continued to the present day and hence the diversification of Islamic culture”.[654]

Islam adapted itself to the practice of people in the Philippines. In Indonesia again Islam was blended with indigenous customs and norms which resulted in a curious cultural dichotomy. Nevertheless, in view of the heterogeneity of Indonesian culture and social structure, Islam to the Indonesian becomes a unifying and durable cultural ideal, the realization of which gives him social status and prestige. It is the element of prestige associated with adherence to Islam, here as elsewhere in Africa and America, which accounts for its successes in Indonesia.[655]

In Africa as in Asia and elsewhere, Islam has easily assimilated some local ideas and practices which were dominant in those lands before their conversion, in so far as they are not directly opposed to the basic tenets of the Islamic faith. Naturally we find today more examples of this assimilation in recently converted populations. Already the Imam Ahmad b. Ibrahim said about the converts of his time (sixteenth century): “Their Islam is like a cloth, woven in Argubba”. (The district of Argubba, in Ifat, was famous for its weavers of very fine gauze).[656] Muslim law mixed with indigenous elements also constitutes a unifying factor, thus helping the spread of Islam, particularly in Africa. Being simple and practical, Islamic law and therefore Islam was bound to come to the fore in a time of more frequent communication and multiplied contacts. Wherever Islam precedes Christianity it retains its integrative role. Elsewhere it remains a rival of Christianity, being easier to adopt. Islam has raised the Negroes’ level of civilization and culture.[657]

From the very beginning Islam was taken as an inclusive, coherent way of life, physically, intellectually and culturally both as regards individuals and the commu­nity. It soon succeeded in establishing its own culture, which though at the beginning was religious and national (Arabic), changed quickly into a universal, international and supra-racial culture bringing together all the races and cultures of the countries it covered. Islam did not disapprove of the cultural heritage which did not openly contradict with Islamic principles. On some occasions Islam even encouraged the flourishing of customs and cultures by using them as a means to strengthen Islamic principles.

The peoples in the countries under Muslim rule did not therefore lose much of their culture. Moreover, the cultural superiority of Muslims attracted nations greatly. Besides the countries which yielded entirely but voluntarily and willingly to Islamic culture, many Christian peoples were also attracted to Islamic culture: many Christian Spaniards adopted Arabic names and followed their Muslim neighbours in manner, dress, and even religious ceremonies:[658] many were circumcised and in matters of food and drink followed Muslims. The term Muzareb (Musta’rab; Arabicized) applied to Christian Spaniards who adopted Arab culture. Arabic language took the place of Latin. The Christians, including religious leaders, were influenced by Islam even at the expense of their national and religious culture. The same can be applied to the term Mawalads – the Spanish Muslims of no Arab blood – who made up the majority of the Spanish population and later claimed themselves as the national party of the Spanish Muslims.[659] hi North Africa Islam took firm root among the Berbers, the natives, as the form of a national movement and was regarded by them as their own cultural and political system.[660] The rise of the Al Morawids as a great national movement that attracted a great number of the Berber tribes to Islam also shows that Islamic and national cultures, feelings and political movements really were intertwined and helped each other.[661] There are similar local and national feelings to adjust Islam to the cultures and ways of living in almost all parts of the Muslim world.

In the areas where Christians and Muslims lived together, the Christians were so greatly influenced by the Muslim culture that they almost abandoned the principles of their own culture, e.g. the practice of contracting marriages without church sanction or without any religious ceremony in which we find an approximation to Islamic law which makes marriage a civil contract.[662] Intermarriage between members of Muslim and non-Muslim communities also helped the spread of Islamic culture. Males and females from both religions chose spouses from the other faith.[663] Intermarriage helped the spread of Islam in many countries, including China.[664] In China, as elsewhere, the Muslims adopted Chinese habits and manners to some extent and respected the national feelings of the people and national customs.[665] Intermarriage was a very normal thing amongst Muslims and non-Muslims,[666] which worked as a means of cultural exchange. This was mainly because Islam did not approve of any discrimi­nation or segregation; and Muslims therefore were accepted by others and accepted others into their community and hence the integration of culture.


[385] Andrew Miller, ChurchHistory, p.281

[386] Ibid,p.286

[387] Ibid

[388] W.F.S. Ferre, Reason in Religion, p.315 (lstEd.)

[389] Ibid,p.316

[390] D.L. Edwards, Religion andChange, p.205

[391] SeeB.Smi1h,A/.M,p.l26

[392] StephenMeill, Christian Faith and Other Faith, p.42

[393] Anothony Denny, WorldFaith andModernProblems, p.68 (1969)

[394] G.E. Morrison, The Christian Approach toMuslims, p.32

[395] G. Le Bon, The World of Islamic Civilization, Chap. Islamic Civilizing Influence on Europe

[396] Ibid

[397] W.H.T. Gairdner, The Reproach of Islam, p.104 (1910)

[398] Ninian Smart, The Religious Experience, p.499 (4Ui Ed.)

[399] Ibid,p.499-500

[400] Geoffrey Parrinder,^e/!g;o«in4/”rica,p.271 (lstEd.)

[401] A.R. Stedmsm, Living Religions, p.109

[402] A. Toynbee, An Historians Approach to Religion, p. 248

[403] J.W.Sweetman,/.C.r.,p.8

[404] Morrish,£/C.,p.l85
[405] K.W. Morgan (ed.), Islam – The Straight Path (195 8, NY., p.40)

[406] Guillaume,Islam f2ndEd., 1956), p.2

[407] The Quran, 4, 59, 80

[408] See O’Leary, Islam at the Crossroads, p.17

[409] Renaudat, p.388, p.377, pp.574-5; (Arnold, P.I, PP 170-1); Marcobizi, believes that the want of a sufficiently large intellectual clergy was one of the three reasons why Islam spread amongst Christians

[410] W.T. Arnold,?./, p.170-1

[411] The Quran, “inna ma ana Basharo Methlokom”

[412] The Quran, “nahno Aqrabo illaikom men Habl al-warid”

[413] See Abdal-Qadiras-sufi, The Way of Muhammad, pp.6-7 (197). Abd al -Qadir, Hie autiior, is an English scholar who has embraced Islam

[414] Ibid

[415] T.Arnold, The Legacy of Islam, p.lO9n Ibid,p.286

[416] The Quran (42:25)

[417] C.E. Farah, Islam, p. 104.

[418] Like Hie Calvinists’ and Protestants’ movements and influence that facilitated conversion to Islam in areas under Ottoman Turks; Joselian, p. 140

[419] Garnett,p.268(p.I,p.l87)

[420] Zmarvich,fol.II,p.l59(p.I,p.l88)

[421] Tuhfatal-Hind, p.3 (Dehli, 1309)

[422] Zmarvich, fol 15,197, 143,144, 149

[423] c.d. Ohsson, tome, 11, pp.226-7; Chun, P: Williams of Rubruck, pp. 158-9 (p.I, pp.225/6)

[424] William of Rubruck, pp. 158-9

[425] Maqrizi(2)time,Ire,Partie,p.98,p.lO6

[426] Ibid

[427] Crawford (2) vol.n, pp.274-80 (p.I, p.404)

[428] Noldeke, Sketches from Eastern History, p.85

[429] SeeMaxMuller’s Chips from a German workshop, vol:L pp.210-26, especiallyp.220 and Spence H&vAy’sLegends and Theories oftheBuddhists, pp. 13-20; alsoBosworth Smith’s Mohammad and Mohammaddanism,ppA-5

[430] Levy, The Sociology of Islam, p.21 (vol. 1)

[431] Ibid, vol 1, p.27

[432] H.J. Schoops, TheReligions ofMankind, pp.235-6

[433] AC. Bouquet, Comparative Religion, p.278 (1961)

[434] C.E. Farah, Islam, p.9 (N. Y., 1970); for the absence of Priesthood in Islam also see: O’Leary, Islam at the Crossroads, pp. 16-8

[435] C.E. Farah, Islam,p.254

[436] V. Grunebaume,/s/am, p.130

[437] Emile Brehier, M.A.R. p. 89

[438] Levy, S.S.I., p.2

[439] Arnold, The Legacy of Islam, p .69

[440] Ibid

[441] KaHileen Bliss, The Future of Religion, p.56

[442] R. Levy, Sociology of Islam, vol 1, p.64

[443] Ibid


[445] E. Blyden, Christianity, Islam andtheNegro, p.431

[446] Ibid, p.13; see A. Atterbury, Islam, p.85

[447] A. Atturbury, Islam in Africa, p.87

[448] Religion in the Middle East, vol 2, p.235

[449] Kathleen Bliss, TheFuture of Religion, p.27

[450] The Worldoflslam, pp.54-5 (ed. J. Kritzek, 1969)

[451] L.E. Sweet, Peoples andCultures of the Middle East, p. 106

[452] The Daily Telegraph, April 5th, 19

[453] Ibid

[454] See Nakhosteen, The Islamic Origins of Western Education

[455] Alvai: Indie, Lum, 50(pp.554-6)(p.I,p.l4)

[456] Pseudo-Luitprandi Chronicon (41), p.155 (p.I, p.141)

[457] Arnold,P .I, p. 158

[458] Joannis Georgii, tome 1, 1725 (p.I, p. 159)

[459] Arnold, P.I, p.74

[460] Hertzberg, p.616, Finlay, vol v, p.l 18 (p.I,p.l62)

[461] Mankind and the Church, p.286 (London, 1907); Arnold, p.l, p.262

[462] ArnoldP./,p.292

[463] Ibid p.282; also Tuhfat al-Hind, p.3

[464] The Quran, 51,56
[465] See L. Stoddard, NWI, Introduction

[466] A.R. SteSLdman, Living Religion, p.l 10

[467] Ibid, pp.110-1

[468] Ibn al-Athir, 3:17, Dahabi, Tadkirat al-Huffad, 265-256; Amin, Duha al-hlam, 10 231

[469] T.B. Irving mhlam (ed. byK. Ahmad, 1975), p.101

[470] Le Bon, The World of Islamic Civilization, ch. 12

[471] Ibid

[472] V. Grunebaume, Medieval I slam, p.56-7

[473] Ibid,p.337

[474] J.W. Sweetman,/.CT,Part21,p.69

[475] J.W. Sweeiman, Islam and Christian Theology, Part 2, vol. 2, p,33

[476] J.B. Noss, Man’s Religion, 51hEd. pp.547-8; seeEmile Brehier, TheMiddleAges and the Renaissance (English Trans., Chicago University Press)

[477] Kathleen Bliss, The Future of Religion, p. 5 6 (London, 1969)

[478] C.E.Farah,/i/aw,p.ll

[479] A. Guillaume, Islam, p.85

[480] Alvaro, Indiculus Luminosus, Chap. 35. inMPL, CXXI, pp.554-6, Trans. Dozy, op. cit, p.268

[481] CH. Haskins, TheNormans in European History, p.235

[482] C.H.Haskins, The Renaissance ofthe Twelfth Century, pp.301-2

[483] See L. Gauthier, ScholastiqueMusulman, p.340ff

[484] See G. Houiani,Averroes, p.29 (London, 1976)

[485] H. J. Schoops, TheReligions ofMankind, p.230

[486] T. Ling, A History of Religion, p.286

[487] C.R. Norths Outline of Islam, p.60 (lstEd.)

[488] Geoffrey Parrinder, Religion in Africa, Chap. Islam

[489] A. Guillaume, Islam, p. 8 5

[490] E. J. Jurji, GRMS, p. 184, quoting M. Abduh

[491] Alvaro, Indiculus Luminosus, Chap 35, inMPL, CXXI, p.554-6 Trans. Dozy op. cit, p.268

[492] Religion in the Middle East (Ed Arberry), vol2, p.212

[493] Ibid

[494] Ibid,p.217

[495] KoslaHerman,NarodnePjesmeMuslimanauBosniaihercegovini (Sarajeuo, 1933)

[496] Hasanadganica Enciklopedija, Jugoslavia, vol.III (1958)

[497] D. MacDonald, Aspects of Islam, p.327

[498] Radloff,voll,p.472,(p.Lp.255)

[499] It would be better for someone like Rev, A. Atterbury who is bom biased against and ignorant of Islam to restrain judgement on Islam. It certainly would be better not to pass judgement at allihan to resort to passing judgement without adequate knowledge.

[500] The Quran, 49, 13

[501] Baladuri, p.137; Baladuri, op cit. pp.165-211 (Hitti’s Trans)

[502] The Quran 33, 72

[503] The Quran 6, 164

[504] The Quran 2, 286

[505] C.ff.XVol.3,p.316

[506] Ibid,p.317

[507] Ibidp.319

[508] J. Wellard, Lost Worlds of Africa, p. 126

[509] Robin Hallett, 4/nca to 1875, pp.380-1

[510] Quoted by Norman Daniel, Islam and the West, p.196

[511] Quoted from Norman Daniel, Islam and the West, p.201

[512] CharisWaddy, TheMuslimMind,p.l5l

[513] R. Frye, The Golden Age of Persia, pp. 138-141

[514] Ibid, p. 158

[515] Ibid,p,143

[516] V. A. Smith, OxfordHistory of India, p. 801

[517] C.H.A.Vol. 4, p.U

[518] Ibid,p.53

[519] CharisWaddy, The Muslim Mind, p. 158

[520] Arnold, P.I, p. 171

[521] Tabari, Tarikh, p.2103 (p.I, pp.70-1)

[522] Gazetteer of theNW., vol. VI, part 1, pp.302-3 (p.I, p.260)

[523] Arnold, P.I. p. 119

[524] Ruppel,voll,p.328,p.366

[525] TomDazy, l,pp.l5-20,pp.38-44(p.I.p.l35A)

[526] J. Middleton, Gods andRituals, p.362

[527] Ibid,p.361

[528] Ibid, p.362

[529] Ibid

[530] Ibid

[531] Ibid,p.365

[532] Witz, pp.252-4, B. Smith, Mohammad, pp.42-3

[533] Mungo Park’s Travels, Chap. VII

[534] Alexander, Ross, p.IV,Finlay,volV,p.29;Gaultierde Leslie, pp.l80-2(p.I. pp.171/2)
[535] Rycatt,voll,p.689(p.I,p.l72)

[536] G.C.VondenCruesch,p.l32(p.I,p.l74)

[537] Bizzi, fol, 36, p.64; Zmarevich, fol 11, fol 32; Crisio, fol 204 (p.I, pp. 187/9)

[538] Arnold, P.I, p. 188

[539] Kasman, quoted by Evans, p.xxxi; Aboth p.36 (p.I, p.202)

[540] IbnKhallikan,vol.l,p.45

[541] Wustenfield,p.lO3(p.I.,p.75)

[542] Arnold, p.I, p.243; see also for further information Hamer-Purgstall; GGHK., p.290

[543] Wassaf,pp.321-4;Karamzin,volIV,pp.391-4; Arnold,/(3)./, p.243

[544] B.Smith,.MM,p.215 (footnote)

[545] HamerPurgstall, GDGH, p.290 (p.I, p.244)

[546] R. duMMIX91909, p.252, p.294, p.413 (p.I, p.241)

[547] Elliot, vol. ii, pp.42-3 (p.I, p.260)

[548] Karamzin, tome 1, pp.259-71 (p.I, p.247)

[549] Arnold, P.I, p.245

[550] Eclus, tome, V, p.831; R. du M. tome, iii, pp.76-8

[551] D.S.Margoliouth,£Z)M,p.lOO

[552] Ibid p. 101

[553] Ibid

[554] See the history of the Jabahit Ibn -Ayham of Ghassani, in Kitab al -Aghani XIV, P (Bulaq, A.H. 1285)

[555] Abu al-FarajIsfahani, Aghani, 11,pp.l87-91 (London, 1910)

[556] For these see Noldeke, Sketches from Eastern History, p .65

[557] Noldeke, SEH, p. 66

[558] Ibid, p.77

[559] Ramusio, tome, 1, p.78

[560] Arnold, P.I, p.322

[561] Ibid

[562] Francis Moore, pp.75-7

[563] Vasileu,p.l6(p.I,p.311)

[564] Maqari, volii,p.IIXV(p.Ip.317)

[565] See Muhammad’s biographies, particularly Amold’sChap 1 andAmeer Ali’s

[566] Rinn,p.l75-u

[567] Arnold, P.I, p.332

[568] Ibid

[569] Ibid,p.359

[570] (The Nineteenth Century, Dec 1887), Bosworth, Muhammadanism in Africa, pp.798-800

[571] Ibid

[572] N. MacNicol, The Living Religions oflndia, pp. 150-1

[573] Ibid,p.l51

[574] T\tas, Indian Islam, p.171

[575] C.E. Farah, Islam, p.255

[576] Ibid,p.267

[577] E. Psichari, TerresdeSoleiletdeSommeil(Paii$, 1923), p.262seq.

[578] C.F.R.S. Rattray, Tribes ofthe Ashanti Hinterland (Oxford, 1932), p.I 1, p.559, p.579

[579] Ibid

[580] W.C.Smith,/Wam,p.98

[581] Vol. 1, New York, 1925, p.203,p.213

[582] QuotedbyV. Grunebaume, pp.31-2

[583] Noldeke, SEH,p.72

[584] C.E. Farah, Islam, p.272

[585] Ibid, p.275

[586] Ibid,p.276

[587] C.E. Farah, Islam, p.276

[588] Ibid,p.277

[589] The Autobiography ofMalcolm X(N.Y., 1966),p.34O

[590] c. f. Roman de la Rose, Stanza 5124 by Jeande MeuTg;LamentaIII, Stanza 2139-56 by Matheolus.

[591] G.W. Bury, Pan-Islam (London, 1919), et seq., quoted by E. Bolus, The Influence of Islam (1932), p. 17

[592] Quoted from A. Atterbury, Islam in Africa, pp.4-5

[593] lbid,p.7

[594] W. Muir, Mahomet and Islam, p.266 (1887)

[595] B.Smith,MM.,p.52

[596] Livingstone’sExpedition to the Zambesi; p.240; B. Smith, MM., p.52

[597] B.Smrtii, MM,pp.54-55

[598] lbidp.55

[599] For more details see about Muhammad see Amir All’s Biography ofMuhammad

[600] J. Jurji, The Great Religions of the World, p. 179

[601] Religion in theMiddle East, vol. 2, p.3

[602] For a detailed account of 1he prophet’s preaching, andihe preaching of Islam see Cheragh Ali, A Critical Exposition of the Popular Jihad, Introduction

[603] Marcus Do^A, Mohammad, BuddaandChrist,p$. 17-9, p.l 19

[604] See A. Atterbury,/.s/am!>!4/â„¢(c;)a,p.9-10;almostall, even Western, writers admit Muhammad’s sincerity inhis early life and propheihood

[605] B. Smim,AiM,p.l27

[606] Quoted and translated by Abdal-QadirAs-Sufi, The Way ofMuhammad, p.4-5 (DiwanPress, 1975)

[607] Le Bons, The World of Islamic Civilization, p.5

[608] J.B. Glubb, The Great Arab Conquest, p.28 (G.B. 1963)

[609] Claud B. Moss, The Christian Faith

[610] Sir Charles Eliot, Turkey in Europe, pp.208-9(G.B. 1965)

[611] Ibid

[612] Ibid

[613] J.B. Glubb, The Great Arab Conquest, p.30

[614] Sir Charles Eliot, Turkey inEurope, p.241

[615] Ibid

[616] J.B. Glubb, The Course of Empire, p. 118

[617] C.H.A. vol.4, p.194

[618] Desmond Stewart, TheAlhambra, p.56

[619] Ibid

[620] Ibid

[621] Ibid,p.58

[622] Ibid

[623] Ibid

[624] Ibid

[625] Ibid,p.32

[626] C.A.E. Lieber, Eastern Business Practice, Economic History Review, 2nd ser. XXI, 1968, 222 FF

[627] V.H.H. GKen,MedievalCivilization, p.10 (G.B. 1971)

[628] R. AllenBrown, The Origins of Modern Europe, pp.27-8(G.B. 1972)

[629] B. Lewis, The Arabs inHistory, p. 132 (G.B. 1958)

[630] Ibid

[631] Maurice Keen, A History of Modern Eu rope, ch.XI(G.B. 1967)

[632] B. A. Brown, The Origins pfModern Europe, p.224

[633] IB. Glubb, The Empire of the Arabs

[634] Ibid

[635] Stipp, The Rise and Development of Western Civilization, vol.1,p.340

[636] Ibid,p.34O

[637] Ibid,p.34O

[638] J.B. Glubb, The Empire of the Arabs, pp.341-2

[639] Ibid,p.343

[640] C.E. Farah, Islam, pp.152-4

[641] T. Ling, A History of Religion, p.288

[642] Ibid

[643] E. Rosenthal, Political Thought in Medieval Islam, p.2

[644] N.F. S. Ferre, Reason in Religion, p.316

[645] C.E. Farah, Islam,p.269

[646] EmestBaker in The Legacy of Islam, ed. by Arnold, pp.53-4

[647] E.J. Jurji, The Great Religions oftheModern World, p.182

[648] QuotedbyE.J. Jurji, G.R.M.W., pp.213-4

[649] Religion in theMiddle East, vol.2, p.546

[650] Grunebaume, A/e<flera//.s/am, p.324

[651] V. Grunebaume, Islam, p. 171

[652] W. M. Watt, Islamic Political Thought, p.63

[653] Anthony Denney, W.F.M.P., p. 29

[654] T. Ling, A History of Religion, p.302

[655] C.E. Farah, Islam, p.255

[656] Religion in the Middle East, vol.2, p.213

[657] Unity and Variety in Islam (ed. V. Grunebaume), p. 14

[658] Letter of Hadrian, i,p.385; John of Gorz (P./, p.139)

[659] Dozy(2)tomeii,p.53(p.I,p.l41)

[660] Arnold,P./,p.317

[661] See books on 1he History of Muslim Africa

[662] Bizzi,fol.38,b,63(p.I,p.l87)

[663] Zmarevich, for’, 149; Pashley, vol. 1, p. 10, p. 195 (p.I, p.207)

[664] Arnold, P./, p. 199, p.302;J.B.duHalde,D.G.H.p.p.E.C, tome ii,p.4,p.64 (Paris, 1745)

[665] Vasileu, p.l5;Broomhall, p.237, p.189, p.228

[666] Arnold,P./,p.353
Source: al-shia.org









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