Historians have broadly discredited the narrative that the prevalence of Islam in the world today can be explained due to forced conversions. Without denying that there may have been a few extremely good instances of compelled conversion―in blatant violation of clear Islamic directives―
This article describes a number of the distinguished factors within the Islamization of various regions of the arena in records, such as daʿwah, trade, intermarriage, migration, influencers, Islam’s emphasis on justice and unity, and the universality of Islam.
The examples utilized in this article are not exhaustive, however they help us develop an appreciation of the complicated nature of the spread of Islam, a process which without a doubt can’t be oversimplified into a slogan together with “Islam turned into spread with the aid of the sword.”
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In 1993, the historian Richard Eaton claimed that “Islam became history’s first actually global civilization.” While the prevailing popularity of the Muslim ummah (community) as a useful “civilization” is up for discussion, the scope referenced by using Eaton is more accurate nowadays than ever:
Islam today is undeniably a international dīn (way of existence), professed by way of an envisioned 1.8 billion human beings as of 2015. For some, the prevalence of one of the world’s youngest religions can handiest be defined by using the “reality” that historically, Islam “spread by means of the sword”―this is, through systematic pressured conversion.
As discussed inside the first article on this collection, this is a very shallow declaration. However, the previous analysis does improve every other important query: if Islam was not unfold with the aid of the sword, what are the factors that have led to its incidence the world over nowadays?
The current article discusses these elements and their role in Islam’s historical trajectory in distinctive areas of the sector. This evaluation is organized inside the following way. The first phase covers 5 distinguished factors that specify how non-Muslims had been uncovered to the message of Islam: daʿwah, trade, intermarriage, migration, and influencers. The 2nd phase covers three prominent elements that in most cases give an explanation for why non-Muslims embraced this message when they have been exposed to it: Islam’s emphasis on justice and unity, and the universality of Islam.
It is vital to observe that this is not an exhaustive listing―in truth, each person convert had his or her personal precise reports that led them to embrace the religion. However, to talk about each case could be redundant, even supposing it were possible. It is therefore important to generalize the dialogue on the spread of Islam for the sake of a meaningful evaluation, however no longer in one of these manner as to lose sight of the fact: there had been honestly endless one-of-a-kind manner used to supply the message of Islam, and countless exceptional reasons for accepting it.
I: The spread of the message
Daʿwah, or the act of inviting others to have interaction with the message of Islam, follows obviously from the Muslim’s obligatory concern for humanity’s success and salvation. “Invite (udʿū) all to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and type recommendation” (sixteen:one hundred twenty five) is a clean Qurʾānic directive to Muslims.three Allāh additionally informs Prophet Muhammad ﷺ of his project inside the Qurʾān (33:forty five-6): “O Prophet!
We have sent you as a witness, and a deliverer of suitable news, and a warner, and a caller (dāʿī) to [the Way of] Allāh by His command, and a beacon of light.” After the Prophet ﷺ, every member of the Muslim ummah shares in the obligation of daʿwah to the volume they may be capable.
An early dāʿī became Muʿādh ibn Jabal, sent with the aid of the Prophet ﷺ to provide daʿwah in Yemen and Hadramawt. The significance of this challenge is indicated in a letter despatched by way of the Prophet to his contacts in Yemen after dispatching Muʿādh, wherein he stated, “I actually have sent you my high-quality man.”four According to the historian Ibn Ishāq, the Prophet ﷺalso informed Muʿādh at the manner of daʿwah earlier than he left, such as the following: “Be tolerant, not harsh; unfold the phrase, and do not alienate them.” Bukhārī and Muslim also recorded a model of this narration.
Muʿādh was continuously at the flow in the course of the region, no longer settling in one vicinity for too long, on the way to maximize the attain of his daʿwah. It is noteworthy that this identical location soon became the point of departure for journeying scholars and merchants who added Islam to many parts of the sector, such as Madagascar, components of Southeast Asia (as discussed underneath), and some place else. As one pupil has stated, “there exists archeological evidence pointing to a Yemeni mosque—what exactly that means is open to discuss—in Quangzhou from the 11th century, and to a tombstone from Mogadishu dated 1358.”nine
The function of the daʿwah efforts of Sufi Muslims within the unfold of Islam is broadly identified. An archeological take a look at of the oldest surviving Islamic monuments in present-day western Kazakhstan concluded that those have been “built underneath the have an impact on of the Sufi strand of Islam, which retained its affect within the Kazakh steppes till the early fifteenth century,” indicating that Sufism performed an critical role within the initial spread of Islam in this location.
This reinforces in advance guidelines of the have an impact on of traveling Sufis including Abū’l-Hasan al-Kalamātī and Abū’l-Hasan al-Usbānīkathī (each fl. 10th century) inside the spread of Islam in Central Asia, particularly during the length of Sāmānid rule (819-999).
Similarly, Sufism played a main function in the Islamization of Kashmir, a disputed territory within the foothills of the Himalayas with a populace that is presently upwards of 95% Muslim. It is tough to pinpoint the beginning of the Islamization of Kashmir, but there are information of a Syrian Muslim military trendy arriving there, in all likelihood as a prisoner of struggle, as early as 711. There also are information of Kashmir’s Hindu kings requesting Islamic scholars to be sent to their courts, ordering the Qur’an to be translated into the Kashmiri language, and using Muslims in their court management and military14
However, the greater exactly traceable records of Islam in Kashmir dates to 1323, when the Buddhist ruler of Kashmir, Lha (additionally called Rinchen), “subjected himself to the teachings of the faith of Mustafa [i.E., the Prophet ﷺ], and the proper standards of the straightforward path of Murtaza [i.E., ʿAlī ibn Abī Tālib], and embraced the Islamic religion with sincerity and conviction.” Lha (after conversion, Mālik Sadr al-Dīn) was an “inquisitive and alert” young guy, “keen on the business enterprise of learned men,” and he were stimulated all through a assembly with a journeying Sufi scholar recognised as Bulbul Shah (d. 1327), reportedly because he determined that Islam turned into “easy, loose from vain ceremonies, caste, and priesthood.”sixteen
Mālik died shortly after his conversion, however no longer before he helped Bulbul Shah establish a khanqah (a Sufi faculty) and a langar khāna (network kitchen) that fed the negative of all backgrounds two times a day. Many Kashmiris converted at the arms of Bulbul Shah. One of his students, Ahmad, later have become the leader Islamic pupil of Kashmir under Shah Mīr, Mālik’s former chief minister and also a Muslim, who got here to strength in 1339.
Thus commenced the Shah Mīrī (or Swati) dynasty; his descendants dominated Kashmir for the following two centuries. It turned into throughout this time that another Sufi scholar, Mīr Sayyid ʿAlī al-Hamdānī (d. 1385), got here to the location to teach Islam, ushering in the 2nd wave of da‘wah to Islam in Kashmir. In addition to Kashmir, the broadly-journeying Hamdānī is known for his da‘wah in components of Syria, Iraq, Khawarzm, Central Asia, India, and in all likelihood even Sarandīp (Sri Lanka).
A prominent example of Sufi daʿwah is that of the Ba ʿAlawi tarīqah (order) started out by using Muhammad ibn ʿAlī al-Faqīh al-Muqaddam (d. 1255) of Hadramawt in Yemen; subsequently the Ba ʿAlawis are also called Hadramīs. Due in massive part to a shift in alternate routes due to the Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258 (mentioned in element beneath), beginning inside the 14th century, members of the Ba ʿAlawi tarīqah increasingly traveled to the Malay-Indonesian Archipelago thru India for exchange, migration, and daʿwah.
As Ulrike Freitag has cited in her look at of Islam on this place, “the emergence of Sufism, and from the 12th century onwards the Sufi orders, provided spiritual practices which were attractive to non-Muslims as nicely. Charismatic Sufis who knew a way to read and write, who practiced medication […] drew Muslims and non-Muslims alike into their circles.”
Other reasons for why the Sufi daʿwah of the Ba ʿAlawi turned into so powerful on this vicinity―for the reason that some 250 million Muslims live in Southeast Asia nowadays―are outlined somewhere else in this article, even though extra research on their effect is wanted. As Syed Farid Alatas has stated, dialogue in their daʿwah has been “conspicuously absent within the literature at the history of Islam in Southeast Asia.”
Some signs of the effectiveness of daʿwah in the spread of Islam are visible in the frantic measures taken with the aid of a few government to try and save you Muslims from wearing out daʿwah paintings. The enslaved Muslims added through early Spanish colonizers to the “New World,” as an example, frequently escaped and ran away, finding safe haven in Native American settlements. The Spanish government feared each the spread of Islam of their colonies and the chance of joint African–Native American rebellions.
The intensity of their anxiety turned into pondered inside the severity of punishments; one runaway slave who became plausibly Muslim changed into recaptured and boiled to death in Costa Rica in 1540, and Muslims have been condemned (one to death, one to existence in prison) in 1560 for “having practiced and spread Islam in Cuzco, Peru.” On 5 exceptional events in the sixteenth century, Spanish government exceeded legislation in efforts to restriction the influx of Muslim slaves into the colonies; they have been defined as an “inconvenience,” as a minimum partly due to their daʿwah pastime
Following in this culture, Muslims have given daʿwah in one-of-a-kind ways actually everywhere they’ve long past, and it’s miles consequently not far-fetched to assert that daʿwah has been the maximum important component in the spread of Islam. Every example of conversion to Islam that is described in this text includes daʿwah in some form.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ himself was a service provider at one degree of his lifestyles, and exchange has historically been instrumental in the spread of his message. The lands that came below Muslim rule after the early conquests blanketed a number of the maximum important change routes (e.G., massive components of the Silk Road), business centers (e.G., Damascus), and ports (e.G., Aden) of the pre-modern international. The Muslims also inherited the ever-moneymaking spice alternate flowing across the Indian Ocean. As Muslim merchants traveled, they unavoidably―and, it may be assumed, regularly very intentionally―uncovered non-Muslims to their ideals, values, and way of existence.
The early emergence of Muslim groups at the Malabar Coast in southwestern India is a becoming example of the position of exchange in the unfold of Islam. The pre-Islamic Arabs and Persians often visited the ports of the Malabar Coast to exchange with merchants coming from further east. These connections were so robust that there may be a mosque, called Cheraman Jāmiʿ Masjid, this is extensively believed to had been initially constructed through Muslim traders in 630―at some stage in the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
The narrative of the origins of this mosque is unverifiable, however it does suggest the opportunity of a very early Muslim presence on the Malabar Coast. The Muslim buyers who settled in Malabar and intermixed with the nearby population came to form the Māppila Muslim community this is commonplace inside the area nowadays. By the tenth century, in step with the ʿAbbāsid historian al-Masʿūdī, a settlement known as Saymur (south of present-day Mumbai) become home to approximately 10,000 Muslims. Many of those are possibly to were indigenous converts, the “extraordinary majority” of them embracing Islam to escape their reputation as downtrodden, low-caste Hindus.
Looking further east, it’s miles arguably no accident that China’s oldest and largest mosque―the Great Mosque of Xi’an, concept to have been constructed in 742 CE―stands in the city (then known as Chang’an) that marked the easternmost factor of the Silk Road. In addition to Chang’an, early Persian and Arab Muslim traders additionally traveled by means of sea to Guangzhou, Quanzhou, and Kaifeng; the ʿAbbāsid ruler al-Mansūr (d. 775) boasted that there have been no limitations for change among his new capital, Baghdad, and these business centers.
An predicted a hundred and twenty,000 “non-Chinese,” which includes Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, were killed in Guangzhou in 877 in the course of a riot, offering us with a sense of how many Muslims (most of them traders) traveled to and settled in Guangzhou by myself. Trade took Muslims as far as “al-Shīla” (Korea), wherein a lot of them had settled by using the overdue 800s.
In the case of Southeast Asia, there’s evidence relationship as a ways lower back because the 7th century that Arab investors have been active inside the vicinity, specially in Sumatra (Indonesia). A shipwreck determined off the coast of Java and dated to the 12 months 960 protected a stone mildew to make medallions that read “al-mulk lillāhi al-wāhid al-qahhār” (“All Sovereignty is Allāh’s, the One and Only, the Dominator”). By the 10th century, groups of Muslim investors had began to settle in Southeast Asia, the most distinguished of them in Champa (Vietnam), from which the present-day Cham Muslims of Cambodia and Vietnam originate. By the eleventh century, they were active in present-day Brunei and the Philippines
A key turning point within the Islamization of Southeast Asia became the Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258. Given the damage achieved to infrastructure and the breakdown of authority in Iraq, the Persian Gulf and the Tigris-Euphrates river gadget should no longer function the number one alternate route for the spice change from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean, consisting of growing European markets.
The Red Sea course rose to prominence, which include the ports of Alexandria, Cairo, Jeddah, Aden (from wherein Hadramī dāʿīs regularly embarked, headed east), Cambay (Gujarat and Mumbai), Calicut, and Pisai (Malacca and Aceh)39 Freitag has cited that “the presence of excessive fame and economically successful [Muslim] traders seems in itself to have provided an example which appeared well worth emulating. Conversion to the faith of the monetary elite held blessings which includes the promise of turning into a part of an global business community.”forty
By the 14th century, the spread of Islam throughout Southeast Asia was nicely underway, peaking with the prosperity of the Sultanate of Malacca (1403-1511); notably, the rulers of Cambay and Aceh were additionally Muslim by way of the early 15th century.forty one According to the Portuguese apothecary Tomé Pires, who visited Malacca in 1507, it was the most critical metropolis inside the international, and whoever managed it “shall have his fingers on the throat of Venice”―a connection with Europe’s reliance on the spice alternate that flowed via the metropolis.forty two
The unfold of Islam in Eastern Europe gives any other instance of the valuable role of exchange in this manner. In the late Nineteen Thirties, an Arabic silver coin relationship from the time of the Umayyad ruler Marwān II (r. 744-50) turned into determined within the village of Potoci in Herzegovina In nearby Hungary, Muslims had served as minters and money-changers for the court docket, have been closely worried in the customs system, and had managed the manufacturing and sale of salt, all before the Golden Bull of 1222 declared that no Muslim or Jew could serve within the administration Much in advance, King Ladislas I (r. 1077-ninety five) had mentioned sure traders in Hungary, known as “Ishmaelites” who had nominally converted to Christianity but continued to profess and practice Islam.
And in 2013, excavations at a cemetery in Orosháza revealed that the our bodies were buried with their heads going through south (i.E., within the course of the Kaʿbah, as consistent with Islamic practice). The village additionally showed an unusual “loss of pig bones” and the presence of measuring devices, strongly suggesting that its population have been Muslim merchants.
Another case of exchange serving as the street for the spread of Islam is that of East, Central, and West Africa. Due to their proximity, Arabia and East Africa had a long pre-Islamic history of close political and exchange members of the family. Soon after the advent of Islam, traders took the lead in introducing the faith to this region. The East Africans evolved and maintained near ties with Muslim outposts inside the Indian Ocean, specially the ports of Yemen, the Persian Gulf, and India;
this delivered with it so much cultural trade that Ibn Battūtah, visiting inside the 1300s, noticed that the identical meals he had enjoyed in Mogadishu (Somalia), Mombasa (Kenya) and Kilwa (Tanzania) changed into provided to him in Sarandīp (Sri Lanka). The merchants’ “shipping” of Islam was reinforced by a regular movement of refugees coming from Arabia within the seventh-tenth centuries, a lot of them fleeing civil wars or herbal failures. One of them, ʿAlī ibn al-Hasan Shirāzī, later established the Kilwa Sultanate, which at its top protected the complete Swahili Coast. Despite all of this exchange and settlement, it became not until the 13th century that the Islamization of East Africa commenced to accelerate.
The baqt in Sudan played a key position inside the spread of Islam in East-Central Africa. In 652, having completed the conquest of Egypt, Muslim forces moved south and met Nubian forces at Dongola (Sudan). Rather than press for a fight, the two aspects agreed to a baqt, or peace agreement, which turned into remarkably honored for 6 centuries. The baqt enabled Muslim students and buyers to travel freely in the location, thereby introducing Islam to the Nubians.
During the early 9th century, big deposits of gold and emeralds have been found in the wasteland south of Aswan.fifty one This triggered Egypt’s Arab Bedouin tribes, many of whom had firmly embraced Islam through this point, emigrate into this place, and, over the years, to penetrate deep into gift-day Sudan and calm down. It is clear that the spread of Islam on this location took centuries, and Islam could be said to have supplanted Christianity inside the vicinity of Nubia simplest by the 14th century on the earliest.fifty two
In the Central-West African location, too, Islam become delivered by using Muslim traders from North Africa. It is not any coincidence that some of the primary cities to expand a large Muslim populace in this vicinity were Awdaghust (Mauritania) and Tadmekka (Mali), two of the southern termini of the famous Trans-Saharan exchange path.fifty three The geographer Ibn Hawqal (d. C. 988) recorded that Kumbi Saleh, the capital of the Ghana Empire, had a community of Muslim merchants. Around the years 1009 and 1040, respectively, the kings of Takrur (Senegal) and Gao (Mali) had embraced Islam.
By 1085, Islam turned into spreading quickly in Kanem (Chad-Nigeria).54 These tendencies, sincerely all initiated through Muslim merchants, paved the manner for effective Afro-Muslim empires consisting of that of Mansa Musa, which in turn facilitated the in addition unfold of Islam within the place, as described above. And, as became the case in lots of locations, Islamization right here became a very long process and changed into still observably underway when the German explorer Heinrich Barth traveled via the area in the 1850s.fifty five
Migration, each compelled (e.G., as slaves or refugees) and voluntary (e.G., monetary migration), has played an important function inside the spread of Islam, particularly since the 15th century. However, there are earlier examples; in truth, the earliest presence of Muslims out of doors of Arabia turned into that of a collection of Muslims who sought refuge in Abyssinia for the duration of the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and at his instruction.fifty six
It ought to be mentioned that though Muslims who have been pressured emigrate have given daʿwah—an instance of this was given in the phase on daʿwah above, and any other instance is that powerful daʿwah of Jaʿfar ibn Abī Tālib to the Abyssinian ruler, the Negus—the argument here is that their mere presence inside the regions to which they were relocated can be seen as a form of the unfold of Islam. In different phrases, as Sylviane Diouf and others have argued, anywhere these Muslims went they commonly brought with them their embodied know-how of Islam.
Forced migration delivered the primary Muslims to the “New World” by way of way of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, laying the foundations for an early Muslim presence within the Americas. It has established difficult to reliably estimate how many slaves of African starting place were Muslim, however they need to have numbered at least within the masses of heaps. The United States makes for a useful case study, and it may have held a better percentage of Muslim slaves than every other region within the Americas. 24% of the African slaves brought to the Thirteen Colonies or, later, the USA were from Senegambia, which makes it probably that they have been Muslims.fifty eight The metropolis of St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest constantly-occupied European town within the mainland United States, and changed into originally built in large part by African Muslim slave people.fifty nine
Gradually, the descendants of these forced migrants became distanced from Islam, however they held on to enough consciousness of their historical past with a view to set up pseudo-Islamic communities in the early 20th century, which includes the Moorish Science Temple of America (MSTA) and the Nation of Islam (NOI), and to eventually return to mainstream Islam en masse beginning inside the overdue Nineteen Seventies. Today, Muslims of African descent make up round 25% of the U.S. Muslim population.
A much less recognized case of compelled migration of Muslims befell by way of way of the Indian Ocean slave exchange prepared by using the Dutch East India Company (DEIC). The first recognized Muslims in gift-day South Africa, the Amboyan Mardyckers from Southeast Asia, had arrived in 1658 not as slaves but as political prisoners or mercenaries for the DEICHowever, the DEIC soon started to move slaves to Cape Town, acquiring them from the Muslim-majority regions of East Africa, South Asia (specially the Arakan-Bengal coast), and the Southeast Asian islands via raiding the coasts. By 1731, forty two% of the population of Cape Town had been slaves; it’s far noteworthy that a great element of those may additionally have been Rohingya Muslims.
Educated Muslims from Southeast Asia―specifically Shaykh Yūsuf al-Maqassarī (d. 1699) and Tuan Guru (d. 1807), both of them exiled political prisoners―hooked up the roots of Islam in South Africa. Shaykh Yūsuf’s farm at Zandvliet became a sanctuary for fugitive slaves from Cape Town. Tuan Guru established Cape Town’s first madrasah (Islamic seminary) in 1793, and the town’s first mosque turned into opened in 1798.sixty five By 1850, approximately forty% of Cape Town’s populace turned into Muslim, and via 1891 their range had risen to over eleven,000, in element because of the arrival of indentured worker’s from South Asia starting in the 1860s.
Examples of voluntary (or economic) migration are greater numerous, in particular due to the fact this has been the driving pressure behind the unfold of Islam to absolutely each usa in the global―even the ones as remote as Fiji―for the reason that 19th century. One example is that of the well-known Afghan (and Baluchi) cameleers who “helped to pioneer Australia,” precise the large Outback, where they did the whole thing from exploring and engaging in rescue missions to laying railway and telegraph lines.sixty eight In the procedure, they married European or Aborigine girls and installed their personal settlements, which had been commonly built around a small, makeshift mosque. Another instance is that of Canada, in which Lebanese Muslim immigrants started out to arrive in the past due nineteenth century, often hoping to take part in the Klondike Gold Rush or the beneficial fur change; a number of them, including Ali Abouchadi, have become very a success entrepreneurs and laid the rules for Canada’s present-day Muslim network.
Intermarriage among Muslims and non-Muslims has been historically important for the unfold of Islam in many contexts. This is a place of research that best lately has begun to acquire interest, as maximum converts to Islam via this system have been ladies and, as Maya Shatzmiller referred to in 1996, “now not only became female’s voice on the situation [of conversions] absent, but the sources devised a historiographical debate from which the feminine attitude became omitted all collectively.” More than many years after this observation, there’s a tremendous body of research that has explored the nexus of intermarriage and conversion in Islamic records, however a good deal greater work wishes to be performed in this area.
Conversion thru intermarriage changed into crucial to organising the early Muslim community Spain. In around 785, Pope Hadrian in Rome wrote a letter expressing his subject that a few Catholics in Hispania appeared simplest too inclined to marry into Arab Muslim households, and Christian-Muslim unions were condemned at a council in Cordoba in 836.seventy one One prominent case become that of Sarah, daughter of Alamund of the Visigothic royal circle of relatives.
She was married twice to distinguished Muslims, and in later centuries her descendants shaped a number of the leading Muslim families of Seville, such as the Banū Hajjāj and Banū Maslamah.seventy two One of her descendants became the famous pupil of records, fiqh (jurisprudence) and hadīth (Prophetic narrations), Ibn al-Quṭiya (d. 971), who prominently noted the position of his splendid-grandmother in his discussion on the early records of Islam in al-Andalus.seventy three A similar case is that of the daughter of the Visigothic nobleman Theodomir (d. 743), who married one ʿAbd al-Jabbār ibn Khaṭṭāb. The descendants of this couple got here to be referred to as the Banū Khaṭṭāb and formed an influential circle of relatives of Islamic pupils that lasted until the give up of Islamic rule in Murcia inside the 13th century.seventy four
The early cutting-edge Ottoman Empire additionally offers many examples of intermarriage related to conversion. A case in point is that of Beatrice Michiel of Venice who, in 1591, “opted for conversion with out coercion or compulsion” and changed her call to Fatima Hatun. Having been raised a Christian and married two times, she escaped her difficult second marriage by way of fleeing to Constantinople, in which she converted to Islam and married one ʿAlī Agha. Her son from her first marriage, Giacomo, followed his mom into Islam almost a decade later. A similar case was that of the spouse, unnamed within the sources, of Ferenc Csiszar, a man from 16th-century Várad (present-day Oradea, Romania).
She reportedly went to Buda (Budapest) to marry a “Turk,” which possibly concerned a conversion to Islam no matter this no longer being a condition for the marriage.seventy seven This trend was referred to by the Jesuits involved in missionary work in Ottoman-ruled Hungary. It turned into also common sufficient for King Matthias Hunyadi (r. 1458-ninety) to experience forced to put in writing to the Pope soliciting for that the Christian guys—and in a few instances, women—whose partner had left to convert to Islam have to be allowed to remarry in preference to hope for their partner’s eventual return or worse yet, go trying to find their partner in Ottoman territory and probably convert to Islam themselves inside the method.seventy eight
In British-ruled India, several dalit women (i.E., those from the downtrodden Hindu caste of “untouchables”) transformed to Islam as part of intermarriage with Muslims. There are at the least nine pronounced instances among 1924 and 1946, though 4 of those came about between March and May in 1926 on my own. Considering that those have been best the instances that had been registered by the colonial police pressure in the province of Uttar Pradesh (UP) due to the fact they sparked considerable unrest, the real rate of conversion can also were a whole lot higher.
It has been stated that although there were energetic daʿwah efforts among the dalits of UP, “in lots of instances of individual conversion, especially via decrease castes, the cause [for intermarriage] become neither proselytism nor doctrinal conviction, but romance,” though romantic motivations had been “probable aided through extra mobility.”eighty
Intermarriage has continued to play an essential function in conversion to Islam in greater recent times. One case is that of immigrant Muslims marrying Latina ladies inside the United States within the mid-20th century. A 1947 observe of Palestinian immigrants in Chicago discovered that one guy had married a Mexican-American girl and had kids with her.
Similarly, and from around the identical time, there are data of Yemeni Muslim guys in southern California marrying Mexican-Americans and South Asian Muslims in Harlem marrying Puerto Rican-Americans.eighty two By the early 1990s, there had been an predicted one hundred Latino converts to Islam in southern California alone, commonly girls who had married Muslims for the reason that mid-Seventies.eighty three A substantial trend of their conversions became that “the conversion of 1 woman might result in a string of conversions inside her own family.”eighty four After having converted, these Latina Muslims led the effort to perform daʿwah in Latino groups within the U.S.
Another current case is that of Chinese and Filipina girls in Hong Kong changing to Islam via their marriages to South Asian Muslims. Muslims from British-dominated India first arrived in Hong Kong in massive numbers inside the early 20th century as personnel of the British administration. During the Japanese profession of Hong Kong all through the Second World War, many disadvantaged Chinese women married those Muslims.
Beginning in the early Nineties, Filipina domestic employees in Hong Kong, by and large devout Catholics elderly 21-35, increasingly more started out to transform to Islam and to marry Pakistani Muslims. In the Wan Chai district alone, there were one hundred Filipino converts between 1993 and 1996, making up for about 70% of all converts to Islam, and this fashion persevered strongly into the early years of the 21st century.
The conversion of social, political, and/or personal influencers to Islam has traditionally performed an crucial function in drawing their fans, admirers, topics, and/or friends in the direction of the message of Islam.
In the existence of the Prophet ﷺ, a distinguished instance of an influencer become Saʾd ibn Muʿādh. Saʾd was a chieftain of one of the clans of the Banu Aws tribe of Yathrib. The Prophet had despatched Musʿab ibn ʿUmayr to train the converts inside the metropolis and to invite others to Islam, but Saʾd strongly disapproved of this and confronted Musʿab. After a conversation, Saʾd embraced Islam, and then convened his clan and asked them how they felt approximately him. They answered that he became their chief, great in judgment, and committed to their nice pastimes. He then knowledgeable them that he had embraced Islam, and by nightfall his entire clan had followed him.
The Prophet ﷺ also despatched letters to rulers in the area of Arabia, implicitly acknowledging their role as social influencers and welcoming them—and, through them, their fans—to Islam. These included the rulers of Abyssinia, Byzantium, and Persia, and the governors of Ghassān (an Arab Christian customer kingdom of Byzantium), Yamāmah (an Arab nation in present-day important Saudi Arabia), and Alexandria.
Part of the knowledge behind the Prophet’s choice to ship those letters is discovered inside the reality that in many elements of the world, the conversion of an influential political chief to Islam was an essential milestone in the unfold of Islam in that location. The case of the Umayyad leader ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān (r. 685-705) is illustrative, specifically as it implicitly famous that this process (i.E., conversion through affect) performed a function even in the Islamization, even of regions that have been conquered via Muslim forces. (Shām turned into the primary area outside of Arabia to completely come underneath Muslim rule). However, as Thomas Carlson has argued, the Islamization of Syria became “a multi-faceted social and cultural manner” that could not be taken into consideration complete even in 1516, while the Ottomans conquered the region―almost a thousand years after it fell below Muslim rule.
Many factors played a position in the Islamization of Shām. One of them became Shām’s centrality to the early Muslim empire, because the Umayyad dynasty (r. 661-750) selected Damascus as its capital. The Umayyads sought religious legitimacy as a means to justifying their rule, and Syria became the first area in which efforts toward that end took form.ninety one ʿAbd al-Malik publicized Islam in Shām as a depend of coverage: he made Arabic the reliable language of the empire’s administration, minted noticeably Islamic cash for the primary time, had milestones presenting the basmalah installation to help vacationers locate guidelines and had the iconic Dome of the Rock built in Jerusalem.
By institutionalizing Islam in Shām, ʿAbd al-Malik and other influencers within the place after him―such as leaders which include the well-known Salāh ad-Dīn (Saladin, d. 1193) and distinguished Islamic students including Ibn ʿAsākir, al-Nawawī, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Kathīr, and al-Dhahabī (all fl. C. Thirteenth century)―inevitably enabled non-Muslims to have interaction closely with Islamic ideals, practices, and worldviews. From there, many non-Muslims selected to embrace the religion, a few rejected it, and others may additionally have even borrowed from it.
A social influencer involved inside the unfold of Islam in components of Southeast Asia become the well-known Chinese Muslim admiral Cheng Ho (d. 1433). Between 1405 and 1433, Ho led seven maritime expeditions for the Ming dynasty, which took him to the foremost ports of the Indian Ocean and as far away as Mombasa (Kenya). Curiously, a lot of Ho’s team were Hui Muslims like himself, and a few finished hajj all through the voyages.
ninety three Ho, his Muslim shipmates and the Chinese Muslim envoys who followed them to Java and different parts of Southeast Asia all helped Islam unfold in this vicinity, generally by way of setting up mosques.ninety four Their pioneering efforts may be favored via the truth that, today, there are over one hundred and five million Javanese Muslims, making them the fourth-biggest ethnic institution amongst Muslims (at the back of simplest Arabs, Bengalis, and Punjabis).ninety five To nowadays, many mosques in the area are named after the mariner, inclusive of the Cheng Ho Mosque in Palembang, Indonesia.
A extra latest example of a social influencer’s role within the unfold of Islam is that of Warith Deen Muhammad, the Supreme Minister (1975-6) of the pseudo-Islamic, US-based totally movement known as Nation of Islam (NOI). Having embraced Sunni Islam privately, he progressively reformed the NOI to conform to the orthodox Islamic lifestyle and called on his followers to do the identical. In what can be taken into consideration the most important mass conversion to Islam in US records, an predicted 70,000 NOI contributors accompanied W. D. Muhammad into the fold of orthodox Islam.ninety seven
It is important to notice that influencers have been not always in privileged positions within society; “grassroots Islamization” led through personal influencers also befell. This changed into the case, for example, in the Lindi and Mtwara areas of southeastern Tanzania inside the early twentieth century. In the overdue 1800s, maximum people within the location were not Muslim, however today Muslims shape a huge majority of the population. Many conversions took place between 1910 and 1950 thru a system wherein ordinary villagers served as “crucial mediators.
Muslim investors and Sufi students had lengthy been gift on the Tanzanian stretch of the Swahili Coast, however that they had not been capable of supply the message of Islam within the rural areas that were similarly inland. At the equal time because the height of an anti-colonial war (culminating in the Maji Maji conflict of 1905-7), “everyday villagers who had spent a while at the coast started out to paintings as Qur’an teachers, while local networks of lineage elders recommended the development of mosques.
”ninety nine German officers defined those men as schamba-waalimu (“field-teachers”). They have been “in any other case undistinguished villagers, respected for their mastering and dedication, however neither specially wealthy nor of excessive ritual or social status,” but they’re remembered for taking the initiative to “fetch” Islam from the coast and spread it throughout the vicinity.a hundred
Another case of conversion through influencers who were no longer in specifically privileged positions in society passed off within the early centuries of Islamic records in the shape of the mawālī gadget of patronage. The Arabic phrase mawla can be used to refer to a “consumer” in a patron-consumer relationship. During the early duration of Muslim rule in what is today known as the Middle East, non-Muslims could commonly turn out to be “customers,” or mawālī, of the emerging Arab Muslim elite as a way to guard and pursue their own hobbies.
As Patricia Crone has noted, this did now not always require the patron’s conversion to Islam.one hundred and one However, the opportunity to interact with their Muslim buyers is probable to have influenced many customers to convert. Soon, most of the mawālī had mawālī in their personal, for this reason developing a “snowball impact” of conversions to Islam through non-public networks of influence, specifically in the first four centuries of Islamic records.
Lastly, on the subject of the spread of Islam thru influencers, it’s far vital to briefly revisit the pioneering thesis of Richard Bulliet on this field of research. Through a quantitative evaluation of the names listed in biographical dictionaries from the early centuries of Islamic records, Bulliet showed that Islam unfold very slowly as evidenced by using the slow charge of the alternate, for instance, from names that had been identifiably Christian to those that were absolutely Muslim. Looking often on the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain, Bulliet also confirmed that the local “conversion curves” of this era are ‘S’-fashioned, accelerating as increasingly more of the population transformed earlier than leveling off, as a result implying that human beings often selected to transform because of their non-public interactions with Muslims.
Bulliet helpfully as compared the spread of Islam to the version of diffusion for a brand new era or technique, a system which usually additionally follows an ‘S’ curve: “a few innovators might first adopt the new approach, then it might capture on with a bandwagon impact inflicting the steep upward thrust in the middle of the curve, and eventually there might be a gradually diminishing wide variety of latest adopters as the potential marketplace for the brand new technique have become saturated.” Thus, Bulliet posited that the extra Muslims a non-Muslim was surrounded by and in my view interacting with, the more likely they were to transform to Islam, until most non-Muslims inside the place had converted.
II: The reputation of the message
The previous dialogue targeted on how the message of Islam spread. The query of why it was everyday by way of individuals is greater hard to explore, definitely due to the fact we’re unable to determine their specific motivations. Some converts, consisting of Malcolm X, wrote about their adventure to Islam, for that reason giving us a glimpse into the motives behind their choice. However, for the overpowering majority of cases in Islamic records, we are able to most effective speculate widely on three of the motivations that were arguably maximum distinguished. These motivations have already been discussed in relation to the examples provided above, but are elaborated on in this phase.
The Islamic emphasis on justice
The historian Bahjat ʿAbd al-Latif has mentioned that, “[f]rom its very inception, the message of Islam confirmed incredible challenge for the bad and the deprived who regularly incorporate the majority of the populace, and it aimed to liberate them and lift their status. This become possibly one of the strongest incentives for accepting the call to Islam…”a hundred and five Richard Eaton has described this because the “faith of social liberation” thesis.106
This thesis is rooted in the Islamic emphasis on the pursuit of justice, in contrast to other religion traditions which allowed for (if now not endorsed) passivity and promised only otherworldly salvation. Discussing the origins of Islam and the very cause for Prophet Muhammad’s personal retreats to the Cave of Ḥirāʾ leading up to the first revelation, Ahmed Afzaal has argued that “[s]ooner or later, the disaster of that means caused by a touchy person’s come upon with the brutal truth of injustice must be addressed in the realm of social and cloth truth.
While one’s perfect interest lies in developing the suitable theodicy and a wish for salvation inside the hereafter, the trouble of injustice can simplest be competently addressed by pursuing the achievement of the material hobby of the vulnerable, terrible, and the marginalized.” Thus it’s been widely mentioned that the various earliest ṣaḥābah (partners) of the Prophet ﷺ have been folks that were deprived in Makkan society.
It need to be referred to that the cases on this class, which may also readily look like mere “conversions of convenience,” were no longer necessarily without conviction on part of the converts. Many deprived converts, including the companions Yāsir al-ʿAnsī and Sumayyah bint Khayyat, did now not convert to Islam merely as it promised to exchange their cloth reality; if that have been the case, they likely might have relapsed under the severe torture which brought about their martyrdom.
Rather, it’s far conceivable to anticipate that they’d conviction in the truth of the Islamic worldview, the enchantment of which protected—but turned into not limited to—its emphasis on social and monetary justice. Of route, this is not a denial that some conversions probable had been nominal, but a reminder that comfort must not simply be presumed to have been the number one motivation.
One common instance of the attraction of Islam’s “social liberation” is the unfold of Islam in South Asia. Hinduism’s caste gadget, one of the maximum enduring sorts of social stratification in records, relegates the decrease castes consisting of shudras (worker’s) or dalits (“untouchables”) to a significantly deprived role, with little to no desire of upward social mobility. Thus, early Muslims in South Asia “endeavoured to hold Islam to numerous Indian castes that were despised, rejected and discriminated towards. These castes common Islam once they have become aware that it turned into based upon justice, equality and unity among humans.” British officers found this system underway as past due as the early 1900s, and Indian historians together with Niharranjan Ray have also attested to it.
In the context of the early cutting-edge Ottoman Empire, many Christian ladies chose to transform to Islam because it supplied them a extra favorable situation. Lady Elizabeth Craven (d. 1828) of England remarked that “the Turks in their conduct in the direction of our intercourse are an instance to all other international locations.” Muslim ladies in the Ottoman Empire—who were taken into consideration legal topics at puberty—had get admission to to many legal privileges, including the right to very own and manage property without male interference and the proper to sign up their proceedings in courtroom.
113 Non-Muslim Ottoman women could also get entry to these Islamic courts for judgment and often did, preferring them over their personal Christian or Jewish community courts. They had been especially inquisitive about the relative freedom that Muslim girls loved to obtain a divorce to get away an unfulfilling marriage. Many of them went a step similarly and converted to Islam.
Another example is discovered in the context of the Second World War. In the months following the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, many Jews tried to get away persecution through converting to Islam. Between April and October, as a minimum 20% of Sarajevo’s Jews embraced Islam or Catholicism. The Ustaša regime (the Nazi’s local Croatian fascist ally) changed into so alarmed by way of this that they quick banned conversions. Nevertheless, Fehim Spaho, the Grand Mufti of Yugoslavia, urged Ustaša officers to protect the Jewish converts to Islam and told the ʿulamā (students) to provide them safe haven, and lots of were saved from the Holocaust on this way.
Even today, this trend may be visible in the charges of conversion to Islam in prisons, in particular in the United States, which has the highest incarceration rate of any united states in the global. Up to forty,000 prisoners convert to Islam inside the US annually, making up approximately eighty% of all non secular conversions within the jail machine. Prisoners convert for a number of motives, which includes safety (particularly from the prisons’ gang and/or drug cultures), as a shape of repentance and non secular renewal, or due to the emphasis on social justice that they see as vital to the Islamic tradition. This ultimate thing isn’t an overstatement; Muslims were at the forefront of the motion for all prisoners’ rights in the U.S. For the reason that Sixties, and even today they’re “arguably the most proactive litigants” in the jail machine.
The Islamic emphasis on team spirit
The Islamic emphasis on solidarity has saved Muslims related to the religious, demographic, and sociocultural “heartland” of the ummah regardless of their “distance”―both physical and metaphorical―from it. Practicing the obligatory pillars of Islam helped keep man or woman Muslims and the small, emergent Muslim groups in a long way-off areas united: salah (each day prayer, preferably in congregation) helped the Muslims unify domestically, and hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah at the least once in one’s lifetime, if physically and financially succesful) helped them identify as crucial individuals of a worldwide ummah.
It isn’t any surprise, for example, that when turning into the primary acknowledged Japanese convert to Islam on November 1, 1909, Omar Yamaoka was disembarking in Jeddah via December 10, on his manner to perform the hajj.one hundred twenty Immediately in a while, Yamaoka’s next initiative became to have a mosque constructed in Japan, a physical unifying space for Japanese Muslims; the Tokyo Mosque opened in 1938. By then many other Japanese had embraced Islam and there has been a trend of looking to carry out the hajj quickly after conversion; 8 Japanese Muslims attempted to perform the hajj between 1934 and 1938, 5 of whom sailed for Makkah at least two times.
Two descriptions of the experience of cohesion and confirmation that converts find as they perform the hajj have been written within the past century with the aid of Muhammad Asad and Malcolm X.
Asad, fine acknowledged for his English translation and statement of the Qurʾān, embraced Islam in 1926 and carried out the hajj soon afterward. Describing the Black Stone within the Kaʿbah, he said, “The Prophet changed into nicely aware that each one the later generations of the faithful would constantly observe his example: and whilst he kissed the stone he knew that on it the lips of future pilgrims might all the time meet the reminiscence of his lips inside the symbolic include he consequently provided, beyond time and beyond demise, to his whole community.” And heading to Mount ʿArafāt, he felt as if “the wind shouts a wild paean of pleasure into my ears: ‘Never again, never once more, in no way once more will you be a stranger!’”
Malcolm X converted to orthodox Islam due to his experience of the hajj in 1964. He himself commented at the effect: “Islam’s conversions round the arena should double and triple if the colorfulness and the proper spiritualness of the Hajj pilgrimage had been well marketed and communicated to the outdoor international.”a hundred twenty five The hajj can thus be stated to have cemented the conversions of Yamaoka, Asad, Malcolm X, and countless others.
The hajj additionally served as a sort of worldwide forum and market. In pre-present day times, the adventure for hajj frequently took months, if no longer years, and many Muslims intentionally extended the journey by stopping in most important cities and facilities of change and studying with pupils along the way, and by way of staying for prolonged durations of time in Makkah and Madinah to trade information, understanding, and ideas, and to exchange in items and services. This exchange now not handiest provided a sustained integration into the ummah for latest converts however additionally unfolded home windows of opportunity that might result in even extra conversions.
A case in point is the famous hajj of Mansa Musa of Mali in 1324-5. He is stated to have led a big caravan and carried a lot gold, which he disbursed in charity and gifts along the way, that it prompted hyperinflation and derailed the economies of Cairo, Madinah, and Makkah for years. He became so famous for freely dispensing his wealth that he inspired curiosity approximately his distant country and as a result initiated a steady flow of Muslim investors, vacationers, and scholars to Mali.
On his manner lower back, he added again many Islamic texts as well as several pupils, along with the Andalusī poet and creator Abū Ishāq Ibrahīm al-Sāhilī, who settled in Timbuktu and turned into tasked with main the development of the city’s famous Djinguereber Mosque. He therefore played an influential role in Timbuktu’s emergence as the preeminent Islamic town in West Africa, from wherein Islam progressively unfold to the relaxation of the area.
Of path, this sense of harmony extended past the enjoy of hajj as well. For instance, in 1894 the Ottoman sultan selected to send a British convert to Islam, Abdullah Quilliam of Liverpool (additionally known for starting Britain’s first mosque), as his consultant to the opening ceremony of the Shitta-Bey Mosque, the primary primary mosque in Lagos in gift-day Nigeria. He was warmly received by way of Muslims throughout West Africa, and at least one individual from the place, John Thomas Brimah, later embraced Islam after studying Quilliam’s The Faith of Islam.129 In the phrases of the Sierra Leone Weekly News, “The existence of Islam in Liverpool […] seems to have stimulated West African Mohammedans [sic] with new life.”a hundred thirty
The universality of Islam
Dr. Umar Abd-Allah stated it maximum eloquently: “In history, Islam showed itself to be culturally pleasant and, in that regard, has been likened to a crystal clear river. Its waters (Islam) are natural, sweet, and existence-giving however―having no shade of their very own―replicate the bedrock (indigenous lifestyle) over which they glide. In China, Islam regarded Chinese; in Mali, it seemed African.
Sustained cultural relevance to awesome peoples, diverse places, and exclusive times underlay Islam’s long fulfillment as a global civilization.” This displays a longtime precept of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), articulated via Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Taymiyyah, and others, that every one customs (ʿurf) are permissible via default besides what is confirmed to be forbidden.
Richard Eaton has determined approximately Islamization in Bengal, particularly, that “what made Islam in Bengal now not most effective traditionally a hit but a continuing essential social fact has been its capability to conform to the land and the lifestyle of its humans, even at the same time as reworking both.” The same can be stated about a number of the areas to which Islam spread.
The spread of Islam has been a historic success in big part because of the truth that it typically passed off in ways that had been now not overtly disruptive of local cultures and life. This is a very critical factor in nowadays’s sociopolitical weather, as a great deal Islamophobic and anti-refugee rhetoric, specifically in Europe, is primarily based on the ostensible danger of Islam to Europe’s Judeo-Christian heritage and culture.134
Historically, however, early Muslim groups generally adhered to a different way of life, adopting everything they deemed applicable within the dominant (or hegemonic)135 way of life and refraining from what they felt really conflicted with their faith. The Muslims definitely exposed the non-Muslims round them to Islamic traditions and values in culturally sensitive approaches however did not impose these upon every person (though there were uncommon exceptions to this, as discussed previously).
An instance of that is the function of literature, an crucial factor of way of life, within the spread of Islam in Southeast Asia―especially, the corpus of the Book of One Thousand Questions. This is alleged to be a set of 1,000 questions thatʿAbd Allāh ibn Salām, a Jewish rabbi in Madinah, had positioned to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ earlier than he decided to embody Islam. Originally compiled in Arabic, it changed into translated into Malay and Javanese. The Javanese translations, specially, had been adapted to be relatable to Southeast Asians, each Muslims and non-Muslims, and have been used to illustrate the discursive and intellectual energy of Islam and, in flip, to offer non-Muslims with a culturally-grounded text that addressed their questions about the dīn.
Another illustrative case is that of the different “our bodies of exercise” of Islam determined on the Indian Ocean island of Mayotte, which has a population of simplest about 260,000 people, ninety seven% of them figuring out as Muslims. Scholars have cited that the humans of Mayotte “have lengthy considered themselves Muslim, and their allegiance to Islam is salient in ritual and cosmology.” However, though the fundis (instructors) normally defer to the authority of the Qurʾān and Sunnah (the Prophetic instance), the relative isolation of the island has allowed for strange neighborhood traditions to broaden which interpret the scriptural texts in distinctive approaches. These variety from a “spiritual dance” known as daira to a strict prohibition at the fundis from indulging in politics.
Perhaps the maximum first rate instance of the universality of Islam is its capacity to absorb even the Mongols after they triggered unprecedented destruction in huge parts of the Muslim area. As Ishayahu Landa has stated, “[t]his problem is of unique significance, as it offers a fantastically rare case in Islamic records in which the rulers followed their subjects’ faith and no longer vice versa.” Of the four khanates which had been carved out of Genghis Khan’s tremendous empire, the Mongol management of three of them embraced Islam within a century of his loss of life.
The details of this technique make for too deep a discussion to be dealt with right here, but what is important to notice is that the Mongol converts were able to absolutely enter the fold of the Muslim community even as holding on to lots of their cultural ideals and practices. A working example is El-Qutlugh Khatun, a Mongol princess who done the hajj in 1323, soon after conversion. She become defined by using Ibn Hajar al-Asqalānī as “a good Muslim who regularly gave suitable advice to the Muslims” and it became mentioned that she gave large amounts of sadaqah (charity) whilst on her adventure, which includes 30,000 dinars in Makkah and Madinah on my own. At the identical time, she changed into “sharp-minded and brave/skilled in horsemanship,” rode a horse (in preference to a camel, as changed into the norm), and in my opinion led traditional Mongol ring hunts inside the Arabian wilderness to feed the pilgrims she became travelling with.
As cited in the introduction to this text, the examples provided above are not exhaustive, nor has their relation to the unfold of Islam been discussed as thoroughly as it could have been. However, they together serve the motive of this article: to illustrate that Islam ought to—and historically did—unfold by approach other than “the sword” (i.E., forced conversion). The examples exhibit the position of daʿwah, change, intermarriage, migration, influencers in the conversation of the message of Islam, the function of Islam’s characteristic emphasis on justice and unity, and the universality of Islam inside the tremendous popularity of this message.
It is was hoping that the many historical “moments” which make up the larger “tale” of the unfold of Islam will encourage readers to discover unique moments in greater element thru their personal research. This is vital for growing our appreciation of the complexity of the unfold of Islam, that is one of the most transformative methods in human records—comparable in scale and intricacy to Christianization or secularization—and which without a doubt can not be oversimplified in a slogan such as “Islam became spread by means of the sword.” It is also hoped that the discussion in this article can inspire and tell daʿwah efforts inside the gift.
Lady Evelyn Cobbold (d. 1963), a Scottish noblewoman who declared “I am a Moslem” all through a non-public target market with the Pope,one hundred forty four recorded the subsequent in her diary: “The extra I read and the extra I studied, the greater convinced I became that Islam changed into the maximum sensible faith, and the only most calculated to clear up the world’s many puzzling troubles, and to convey humanity peace and happiness.”a hundred forty five The dialogue in this article has centered often on some of the greater outstanding structural factors that have contributed to the unfold of Islam,
such as exchange and migration. However, it’s far vital to word that during current years there has been a “cultural turn” inside the historiography of conversion to Islam. Memoirs, diaries and other first-hand bills of converts, wherein they describe their trips to Islam, are an increasing number of becoming available. These, together with a growing body of psychological studies on why many people convert to Islam these days, provide two critical regions of similarly studies close to conversion to Islam in records.