The Fuel Behind the Rapid Spread of Islam During the Seventh Century

2007 Words Feb 27th, 2011 9 Pages
Belhaven university | The Fuel Behind the Rapid Spread of Islam During the Seventh Century | | WORLD CIVILIZATIONSProfessor ElliottContyna McNealyFebruary 3, 2011 | | |


The religion of Islam is the second largest belief system in the world with over one billion believers. As of 2009, almost one quarter of the world's population follow after Islam, second only to Christianity. But roughly 15 centuries ago, this was not true at all concerning Islam. The populations that now embrace Islam have roots in a polytheistic society where Islam did not yet exist. Christianity was clearly the dominant religion of that time period and the wide influence of the Byzantine Empire ensured the continued influence of the Church. Some
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During the time of the 7th century, Christianity was largely split into two main groups-- Orthodoxy and Catholicism. These two counterparts of Christianity often times were at odds because of discrepancies over where the true source of Church authority actually resided within the Byzantine Empire. As a result, Christian fringe groups in countries such as Egypt or Palestine would be easily labeled as heretics and would find themselves disassociated from the Church. When the Arab conquest claimed these lands, they tended to show more tolerance for non Muslims in exchange for good citizenship within the new Islamic environment. Also, Islam was fresh and hadn't begun to suffer from its own power struggles from within the belief system. As Shenk writes, “One wonders what parallels to Muslim Spain might be found in the rise of an Islamic presence in the heart of the European Balkans. Bosnia's capital Sarajevo adds the intrigue of its location along the historic fault line between the two major branches of the Christian heritage in the region, Orthodox and Catholic. In any number of centuries since the arrival of Slavic peoples in migrations dating from the sixth and seventh centuries (C.E.), recruitment efforts based both in Rome and in Constantinople (Istanbul today) were zealous to secure the allegiance of the newly arriving tribes for

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