allegations and refutations
by: prof. muhammad ‘imaarah
was islam spread by the sword?
many western allegations claim that islam was spread by the sword although the historic facts, which are so solid and stubborn, and the witnesses of the non-muslim western and eastern scholars refute such allegations and false accusations.
victims in all of the wars of the messenger muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, in twenty battles throughout nine years are exclusively ranging between 386 to 203 of non-muslims and 183 of muslims, comparing to the number of the victims of the christian religion wars between the christians catholic and protestant sects in europe that was surveyed by voltire (1694-1778). it is said that the death toll had risen to ten millions, i.e. 40% of the inhabitants of the central europe.
all of the islamic conquests were against the armies of the roman and persian occupations that occupied and subjugated the countries of the east religiously, culturally, linguistically, politically, and civilizational for ten centuries. moreover, no war broke out between the islamic armies and the inhabitants of the eastern countries while the victims of the two occupational western wars, the first and the second, in the 20th century only were sixty millions.
when the islamic conquests freed the earth, it also freed the hearts and beliefs of the people along with it. so after the religious persecution that had been practiced by the romans against the eastern christianity, that is always used in setting examples and dating the eastern churches for the age of the martyrs till now, islam left the people free in their lives and faiths. it really suffices to know that the percentage of muslims in the islamic state, after a hundred years passed over the islamic conquest, did not exceed 20% of its inhabitants! in the ottoman empire, the state of islamic caliph, the percentage of non-muslim inhabitants was 49.8% of the whole population.
if this is just a “sample” of the solid and stubborn historic facts, the witnesses of the non-muslims scholars on the peaceful spread of islam really fill the books. amongst them are:
the english orientalist george sale (1697-1736 a.d.), who translated the noble quran into english, said: “the religion of muhammad received unparalleled warm welcome all over the world. whoever says that islam spread by the power of the sword, his word is a pure allegation and vulgar error.”
the prominent english scholars sir thomas arnold (1864-1920 ) who is the best historian wrote about the spread of islam in his book entitled; the preaching of islam, said: “the common hypothesis of the sword as the factor of conversion to islam seems hardly satisfactory..the theory of the muslim faith enjoins toleration and freedom of religious life for all those followers of other faiths. justinian, the roman emperor (438-565 a.d.) is said to have had 200,000 copts put to death in the city of alexandria, and the persecutions of his successors drove many to take refuge in the desert.
the islamic conquest brought, for those copts a freedom of religious life such as they had not enjoyed for a century…and there is no evidence of their widespread apostasy to islam being due to persecution or unjust pressure on the part of their new rulers. even before the conquest was complete, while the capital, alexandria, still held out, many of them went over to islam, and a few years later the example these had set was followed by many others…
such are just a “sample” of the witnesses of the non-muslim scholars. it can be added to the other “sample” of historic facts and realties. they both declare for the prejudiced and unfair people, who rant about what they know not and claim that islam was spread by sword, that these allegations have nothing to do with the fact, objectivity and impartiality.