The Spread of Islam: Online Discussion Questions (Also Unit Three Due Dates)

All right, lovely people!  Here we go, off into the medieval period.  You should have received a copy of the unit three reading guide and vocabulary assignment today in class– if you’ve misplaced yours, please make sure to download a copy from the Unit Three materials page.

Significant due dates for this unit are as follow:

  • African Trade Systems Simulation (Wednesday, September 9th)
  • In-Class Comparative Essay (Wednesday, September 16th)
  • Unit Three Reading Quiz (Friday, September 18th)
  • Unit Three Vocabulary Assignment (Friday, September 18th)
  • Unit Three Test (Thursday, October 1st)

This unit is going to feel a little fragmented, since we’ve got Labor Day coming up this Monday and Fall Break (Sept. 21 – 25) during this unit as well.  The best advice I can give you is to stay on top of your reading and to make sure that you review your notes during your break so that it’s not a total shock when you get back to class.

One more piece of business– remember, those of you interested in applying for the Governor’s Honors Program this summer, there’s an informational meeting in the ID lab in the Freshman Academy at 7:45 AM and 3:30 PM tomorrow, September 3rd.  If you can’t make it to the meeting, please check in with Ms. Biddy in room 2106.

As to tonight’s homework– you should have received a copy of The Spread of Islam in class today.  Please read the article carefully, and then respond in comments to the following discussion points.  Remember, the usual commenting policy applies– one good comment which addresses the prompts fully can receive a maximum grade of 95%, while one good comment PLUS a response to a classmate’s comment is eligible for a full 100% of credit on the assignment.  Please provide specific examples from the text when possible to support your position.

You may additionally find the following video a helpful visual:

Your discussion prompts are as follow:

Based on your readings and our discussions in class today, what factors led to the rapid expansion of Islam between the 7th and 15th centuries?  What made Islam attractive to people in sub-Saharan Africa? In India?  Central Asia? Southeast Asia?

How did Islam change as it moved into new regions?  Do you think these transformations– and those which took place during the diffusion of Buddhism and Christianity– are beneficial to religions, or harmful?  Justify your answer with evidence from your readings.

Additionally– and I know that I don’t need to remind you wonderful people– as we are discussing religion, please remember to keep your conversation academic and respectful, and remember that I am moderating all comments.  And comments I find inappropriate will be prevented from posting.

Have a good evening, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

80 thoughts on “The Spread of Islam: Online Discussion Questions (Also Unit Three Due Dates)

  1. Islam expanded rapidly because of economics. Because most of Arabia and the Middle East in general is desert, so the people there had to resort to nomadic ways. These nomads spread Islam throughout their travels. This was attractive because of women’s rights. Other religions did not even mention women’s rights, while Islam gives women rights over themselves and other various rights.

    Islam changed itself while it was being diffused. Some people bend religions to their liking. An example is Ashoka and how he warped Buddhism to where he could still rule. Another way is when other religions’ beliefs are mixed with the first religion, creating new concepts. I believe they can tear religions apart because the religion could be so far distorted, that it could become a totally new one.

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  2. Many factors led to the expansion of Islam. Some of these things were military conquest, trade, and women’s rights. What made Islam attractive to Sub-Saharan Africa was the trade opportunity. What made Islam attractive to India was there was no ruling class to follow like the caste system. What made Islam attractive to Central Asia was the amount of power that Islam had. What made Islam attractive to Southeast Asia was the trading opportunities as well. Another thing that was attractive to all of these regions was women’s rights, more than other religions or cultures.

    Islam changed some of its culture and beliefs as it moved into new regions. As it took on new territories, it also borrowed some of their cultural beliefs, as well as with other religions like Buddhism and Christianity. I believe that this could be harmful. When a religion does this, it could just add on more and more things and beliefs, that the people doing this may think it will turn out well, when in reality it is just straying farther and farther away from what the religion was supposed to be. An example is not with a religion, but a person that is a parallel to what was happening to Islam. When Julius Caeser was in his prime, he began to think very high of himself. Instead of being a leader, he let his fame get to his head and believed thinking he should be equivalent to a god. He believed that people needed to bow down to him, and to treat as though he were a god. After being the good general that he was and doing Rome so much good, he began to think more of himself, and he began to lose who he really was for Rome. Islam started turning into Caesar, started to lose what it was in the beginning.

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    • I think that Stephanie provides good evidence to support her feelings about incorporating other ideas into Islam, but I do not agree. I think that adding more ideas makes things better because it gives people more views about certain things. If a person has different thoughts than those around them, they can see things in a different way. Also, it creates more cultural differences. It helps keep the Arab Muslims different than the African Muslims because they both have Muslim beliefs, but they also each have beliefs from their native cultures. This would also help them when interacting with people. For example, if the Arab and African Muslims wanted to meet up for a conference or something they would have things in common and things that they had very different views on. So, if they were making a decision they could see how it would affect Muslims as a whole and the sub groups of Muslims rather than just Muslims as a whole.

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  3. The main reason why Islam spread so quickly was because of economics. Most Muslims were nomadic but with the growth of the Muslim population, they couldn’t feed everyone by being nomads so, they went in search of fertile land and water since they lived in a desert and you can’t grow many sustainable crops there. As they acquired land, they spread their religious practices also. Islam gave women recognition in society unlike other major religions, which made it very popular.

    While Islam was growing, it was changing too. As they moved to different regions with different cultures, the Muslims usually lived as the minority, though the majority religions were interested in some or all of the Islamic culture (Sub-Saharan Africa)

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  4. The spread of Islam was a rapid event caused by military forces and economics. The geography of the middle east might be described as a dry, infertile area with very little water and living creatures. Due to this geography, the people resorted to nomadic ways in order to survive but this did not allow these people to flourish. As these ways were viewed as unreliable, the people decided to move in search of fertile land in which they could flourish and thrive. When these groups did so, they spread their religion along the way. The idea that women were given status/credit in society was very pleasing to people as at the time there were very few to no other religions like this. Not only women, but others who believed women were an asset to society found this idea pleasing as well.
    While the Islamics migrated in search of fertile land they integrated with the cultures and societies around them. This integration forced the religion to be slightly modified in order to blend with the culture. This was not the only religion whom was forced to change during its diffusion, other religions such as Buddhism and Christianity have been changed since they were first practices. These changes have made them more socially accepted and i believe without these changes, these religions would have not been able become so popular and diffused at the ease in which it had.

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    • Just a note, Nic: the proper term for those who practice Islam is Muslim. “Islamic” is an adjective, usually used to describe culture or government structures, not individuals. 🙂

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  5. The spread of Islam was gradual, but because of the distance it traveled, its diffusion was rapid. Islam spread rapidly beginning in about 700 CE because of increasing missionary activity, conquests, and extensive trade. As a religion, Islam, was accepting of other beliefs. The conquest was not to convert people, it was just to get more land, and as a result of the expansion, the religion went to these areas and people began to willingly convert; they were not forced. The missionary occurred as the expansion was occurring, they weren’t forcing people to convert, they weren’t even encouraging people to convert, all the missionaries were doing was teaching what Islam was about. When Muslims traded with other areas part of their culture and religion went with the good they were trading, and other areas began to adopt their ideas and customs. Many of the people who converted to Islam were attracted to the religion for the same basic reason, even if they were from different areas. That reason was spiritual acceptance and equality. The poor were viewed as spiritually equal to the rich. This concept was especially attractive to the poor Hindus because the caste system in their religion would not allow them to be seen as equal to those in a higher caste.

    Islam changed as it moved into different regions because each region already has a culture and customs; at this point they are just adding onto them. So, when Muslim culture was introduced to them they just incorporated it into what they already did. For example, in Spain the guitar was introduced; most Spanish music includes a guitar, so this was very beneficial to the Spanish. In Europe, Muslim and Jewish science and philosophy was incorporated; the Europeans wanted to learn new things, and ultimately Muslim and Jewish ideas changed European intellectual life. I feel as though the changes made to Islam as it diffused are good because the changes allow people to adopt new ideas and ways without having to completely change themselves. They can be the same person they always were, but also be a totally new person at the same time.

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    • I disagree with your first statement because the article we read today implied that there was RARELY forced conversion, not that the converts were not forced at all. There were instances where they forced people to convert but it was scarce and only happened under certain circumstances. For example, there was limited involuntary conversion during jihad or conquers. Also, they were definitely encouraging the conversion to Islam. That was one of the main things of the Shurism movements. There were also missionaries who went to areas to promote the religion and expand land. Therefore, they did, in fact, encourage the conversion especially through raising the taxes of people who practiced minority religions.

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  6. The rapid expansion of Islam was achieved through both trade and military conquest. In search of resources and hoping to spread their word, the Islam people invaded many regions. Islam appealed to the elite people of sub-Saharan Africa because of it’s praise for merchants and it’s political succes that left the elites and rulers envious. The religion of Islam attracted both warriors and lower caste civilians due to it promising spiritual equality rather than the Hindu ideas of successive reincarnation. In the region of southeast Asia, Islam spread through sea trade along the coast. But, it was more appealing to the inland people who wanted to find a way to integrate with the wealthy coastal population during a period of expanding trade. Islam being the first religion to penetrate the region in a systematic fashion, it had more of an influence on the central Asian people. As Islam moved Islam integrated with most of the existing cultures. For example; Muslims learned about Indian science and mathematics, including the numbering system that passed to the middle east where it was later learned by Europeans who called the numerals “Arabic”. I believe these changes are beneficial to religions to universalizing religions because it is through cultural integration that they have been able to have such great followings, as exemplified with with Islam that happens to be one of the largest monotheistic religions.

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    • I agree with your explanation of how Europeans terming the Arabic numerals from the Middle Eastern numbering system is beneficial to religions by means of cultural integration. The math and science incorporated by Europeans from the Muslims initially from the Indians has left everlasting consequences on subsequent civilizations. Also, the creation of a new Hindu cult does appeal to those who can neither completely agree to either religion and provides ease.

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  7. Conquests, long-distance trade, and missionary activity are factors that led to the rapid expansion of Islam between the 7th and 15th centuries. Islam’s “praise for merchants and its political success” made it more attractive to the people of sub-Saharan Africa. In India, Islam attracted low caste members and warriors, “drawn by the promise of spiritual equality rather than the Hindu ideas of successive reincarnations.” In central Asia, what turned people to Islam were force and persuasion. The text read, “Arab conquest pressed into Iran and Azerbaijan in the seventh century, and further conquests occurred in Tranoxania, the most settled part of the region…Muslim traders and then Sufi missionaries…[spread] Islam among the tribal groups.” In southeast Asia, Muslim merchants influenced ruling classes and elites, while Sufis set up schooled and preached in villages. This allowed Islam to “[appeal] to inland people as a way of integrating with the coastal populations” by means of trade.
    As Islam moved into new regions, it merged with the cultures of the regions. For example, in India, “a syncretic movement arose within Hinduism, the bhatki cult, that accepted monotheism and spiritual equality…” I believe that these religious transformations are beneficial because although it altered some aspects of each religion, whether it be Christianity, Buddhism, or Islam, it resulted into new cultures and traditions that can appeal to more people, lessening conflict and enhancing cohesion. For example, in southeast Asia, costumes, dances, and festivals resulted because of the Islamic presence.

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    • I agree with your example of the syncretic movement example to prove how it was a beneficial religious transformation. Islam definitely was impacted by its movement around different regions and like you said I agree that the Islam did merge with the surrounding cultures of the regions.

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  8. The factors that led to the rapid expansion of Islam were conquest, persuasion, trade and appeal to lower class. The religion also spread because it had many beliefs about what to do and what not to do in order to go to heaven. Islam was attractive to Sub-Saharan Africa because of trade, influence of leaders and unity of upper class. For example the ruler Sundiata utilized muslim bureaucrats and converted to Islam. Islam spread in India because it appealed to the lower castes systems and persuasion. Islam spread in Central Asia due to conquest, force, persuasion and trade. Islam spread in Southeast Asia because of the missionaries and merchants. For example, Sufis traveled inland and they started setting up schools and preaching in villages.

    Even though all of these regions were influenced by Islam they had different rules. In Sub-Sarharan Africa, the Sudan region portrayed themselves as divine but, that is a contradiction with the Islamic faith. In India, some Hindu groups developed a new religion that mixes Hindu and Muslim principles. In Central Asia, Islam did not bring a huge culture change like it did in the Middle East. In Southeast Asia Islam merged with the regional cultural influences. I think that the transformations were beneficial. They allowed people to chose whether they wanted to convert or not and they appealed to the lower classes. Since the lower classes made up most of society this was a good thing

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  9. The rapid expansion of Islam in the 7th and 15th centuries was caused by conquests and religious wars, trade, Sufis and other missionary efforts, trade, and cultural integration. It diffused through military conquests and religious wars not due to forced conversion but instead by the power and triumph they revealed, which is one reason why people were attracted to the religion. In India, the people the warrior caste and lower class people were attracted to Islam because of the spiritual equality and commitment to charity. Where places like Central and Southeast Asia converted due to force and persuasion of Islamic missionaries like the Sufis and trade that influenced elites in the area. Sub-Saharan Africa had about 40% of their population convert to Islam because of rulers that integrated the Islamic culture in to their society, and commerce that had brought the language and political ideas of Muslim areas into Sub-Saharan Africa. Other areas were attracted to the religion because it blended with their preexisting culture.

    Islam mixed with other cultures with things like their stories, which were Hindu epics and stories whose characters were changed to Muslim ones. They also somewhat mixed their Arabic language with the language of the areas they made efforts to convert. I believe the changes were beneficial to Islam because it made the religion more attractive to areas that didn’t want to lose their traditions. Also, it helped make converts feel better about converting because their was still a part of their old life in Islam.

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  10. Islam spread due to a multitude of reasons in several locations. The earliest of these reasons was the establishment of the Islamic Empire and it’s conquest of other regions. After the fall of the Islamic Empire, Islam was still very popular, and it continued to spread. What made it so attractive at this time was it’s treatment of people that were disregarded by other major faiths. These groups include women, merchants, and the poor, all of which were either looked down upon in some form by other religions.

    As many other religions, Islam diffused into the cultures it encountered. The best example of which is Sufism, which focused primarily on mysticism and borrowed many elements from Christianity and Buddhism. Islam diffused in other ways too. This can be seen in places like Southeast Asia, where it blended with local culture, bringing famous Hindu stories to the region in the form of shadow plays, and created popular festivals, dances, and costumes. While some might argue Islam’s diffusion into other cultures takes away it’s identity, these changes were not just essential for converting the local population but arguably inevitable, as people discovering new meanings and creating new traditions for their religions reoccurs many times throughout history.

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    • I agree with your the evidence on your second reason. Also, I have full support with the mention of festivals, dances, and costumes. However, in this situation I believe that it was not inevitable. A religion can uphold its original state and belief even through conquests of other lands.

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  11. Some factors that led to the rapid expansion of Islam include the spread of the religion through trade, missionary activity, and military conquest. Also Islam was very appealing to women because they were given more freedom compared to other religions around the same time. Islam was attractive to people in Sub-Saharan Africa because of the trade and money that the religion brought. In India Islam became attractive because the lower castes were seen as spiritually equal unlike in Hinduism. In Central Asia Islam became appealing because it was the first outside religion to infiltrate the region. Finally in Southeast Asia Islam became appealing because of the trade and goods it brought to this region.

    I believe that the transformations of religion is not harmful. Islam as well as other religions changed as they moved into different regions because they were meet and ultimately blended with many different types of culture. For example, the five pillars of Islam did not change during the spread of the religion to other areas of the world. For the most part the same religious beliefs were widely held after hundreds of years of it being spread. Certain areas did not accept some of the specifics regarding art or family life but that doesn’t mean the whole religion became distorted.

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  12. The main reason Islam spread was because it was a pretty convincing religion and it traveled quite a lot from Mecca and Medina. The main reason it spread was not for converting people but it was for resources because they lived in a barren desert with not much food, requiring them to move and invade to be able to produce food. Once people were taken over they were not forced to convert but they were forced to pay a tax to practice other religions. This could be a incentive to convert and others converted because of the Muslim armies won many battles leading them to believe that it was powerful and a justified cause.

    Islam changed in ways like they adapted and incorporated some of the other religious beliefs into there own such as adopting some Buddhist and Christian monasticism. This could be harmful because not only does it change from what the original text says but it also adds on more rules and things to observe which can be off putting to some.

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    • I disagree with your second reason because wouldn’t it be a positive thing that they have some Buddhist and Christianity aspect in their religion so people would get along better that way.

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    • I agree with you people who have been practicing a religion for years a certain way would not like it if it were altered because of other culture or regions of the worlds ideas.

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    • I disagree with your statement because I believe that if a religion is influenced by a preexisting culture in an area, it would make it easier for people to convert and for the religion to expand. I don’t believe that it would change the original religion too much because the whole idea of it being influenced is that the basic principles of a religion are still there, there are just some new traditions or ideas added to it.

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    • You say that they were “…forced to pay a task for practicing other religions…,” but this is incorrect. The taxes you refer to were applied to individuals who practiced a religion based around polytheism, since polytheism is essentially a direct stand against the teachings of Islam. (The tax was also applied to roman Catholics)

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  13. Islam spread so rapidly because Muhammad belonged to a merchant tribe so the religion was able to travel great distances with him. The religion was attractive to people (especially of low social class) because all followers were equal in terms of representation, encouragement of merchants and trade more than most other belief systems, as well as its commitment to charity.

    Islam changed after a movement called Sufism. Sufi leaders wanted a stronger focus on religion. I believe that changes to a religion can be beneficial because people from a region practicing a religion may not be able to follow all the same rules as people from a different region practicing the same religion.

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  14. A factor that led to the expansion of Islam was through military conquest (but rarely) for land and access to resources.For Muslims resources were scarce It was also attractive to the wealthy because of the praise for merchants and political success.
    It was attractive to other people because they gave to charity and believed in spiritual equality. Another reason why it was attractive to people is that the status of women at the time was higher than others. In Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia they liked the trade. In India they were attracted to it because there was no caste system.

    While expanding into other regions Islam changed cultures in other regions. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Islam took on some Christian aspects like choral and dance styles. Islam in Southeast Asia merged with the culture resulting in festivals and dances.

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  15. The expansion of Islam was due to its ecomomic reasons. Since they couldn’t grow enough food to feed the people they had move to a fertile place to grow their crops. People were so attracted to it because it had women rights where women could actually do something. Also is had trade opportunities and in India you didn’t have to follow the caste system.

    As Islam moved to other regions, it incorporated other culture into it making people like it and not force it out. This was beneficial because when Islam was mixed into these new culture, people didn’t notice that much of a difference since that the Muslims were also following some of their traditions. If the people liked the religion and what it was doing, they would convert. The ones that were taken over my Muslims didn’t have to convert, but they did because it was beneficial to them since Muslims got taxed less like it said in our reading eventhough it was not true.

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    • I agree, with your point that Islam rapidly expanded through not forcing people to follow the religion. This would lead to people to practice Islam if they liked the religion. The major factor that lead to people practicing Islam was the idea of spiritual equality, where women had a high status.

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  16. Islam spread rapidly for a few reasons such as trade due to the religion’s idea of sharing and helping others out. Trade was what specifically attracted the different kingdoms in Sub-Saharan Africa. Islam was attractive to many Hindu’s in India because the lower class learned that they might not actually have to be reincarnated to go to a form of the afterlife. It was attractive to Central Asia because it was one of the few parts of the world that had not already been influenced by other universal and main religions before, making it easier to get converts. Similarly to Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia was introduced to Islam by trade.

    Islam changed in different regions because it took a lot of the traditions and combined it with the religion.These changes help the religion because it gets people to convert to something completely new, while still holding onto some of the old customs that they have. It generally lets them just be more open minded people. However for religions like Christianity, it causes the religion to split into different sects and could be seen as a more negative transformation. Christianity split into Roman Catholicism and Greek Orthodox with the fall of the Roman empire, which caused conflicting views.

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    • I definitely agree with the fact that a split in religion could have negative effects but, Islam also had a split. It was between the Sunni and Shi’a. This had some negative effects because it caused tensions between the Sunni and Shi’a just like the split of Christianity cause tensions between different groups.

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  17. Islam spread primarily through trade, appeal, and conquests. Although Islam was not purposely finding followers, they did have several conquests for resource and land. This led Islam to be in direct contact with the rest of the world (parts they conquered). Muslims also gave rights to many oppressed slaves, women, and often drew in warriors. Lastly, trade was a crucial factor for Islam’s spread. Through trade, not only goods were transported but religion was as well.

    As the Muslims diffused and conquered territory, they encountered change in their religious belief. Although the Islam religion did maintain some of its culture, it was modified by a mean of possibly fitting/adapting in with other religions or a change in belief. I believe that although the religions change did have negative effects on the religion itself in that it would not be as stable (different beliefs), it was changing for the better and led to many more followers.

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    • I agree with this because the Muslims were constantly trading and conquering territory and the places they traded to or conquered had people who became Muslim. Also the religion changed because the different cultures where Islam spread the people put their own twist to and interpreting the religion differently

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  18. Islam spread through trade, conquest, and missionaries from 700CE and on, as it says in the second paragraph of the article. There were various blatant reasons as to why this religion was attractive to others. For example the article states “with an explicit set of beliefs about what to do and what not to do… win access to heaven and avoid hell.” The religion also greatly appealed to the lower class because of charity and spiritual equality.
    As it was spread throughout sub-Saharan Africa, India, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe, Islam did borrow and share certain aspects and concepts with other blossoming religions such as Christianity and Buddhism. I believe this could be beneficial but also harmful to the people practicing the religion, the people not practicing the religion, and the religion itself. As ideas are shared, the faith strays farther and farther away from its central beliefs. It does not lose everything, but some key points may be compromised, such as punishments or positions of power. Now the change could be beneficial to the people of that faith, because people from other religions might have a better understanding, and might be less inclined to disrespect it and it might bring everyone together and help forget other major differences.

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    • When the key beliefs of a religion are lost, doesn’t that hurt the religion? If one strays from the central beliefs is it still the same religion?

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  19. Some factors that lead to the expansion of Islam are conquests, far-reaching trade, and an increase in missionary activity. It was attractive to people in Sub-Saharan Africa, India, Central Asia and Southeast Asia because everyone had spiritual equality. The status of women was also high in this religion making it very appealing to women.
    As Islam expanded it’s territory and moved to other regions it did not force its religion on people. The people that were not Islam usually had to pay a higher tax but they were not forced to convert to Islam. They also highly tolerated Christianity and Judaism. I think the transformations were beneficial because people were not forced to convert but had the option. Islam also blended with other cultures creating many new traditions. For example in Southeast Asia Islam blended with regional cultures like dances, festivals and shadow plays. An example in Sub-Saharan Africa would be artistic styles such as architecture.

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  20. Conquests, trade, and missionary activity are the factors that led to the expansion of Islam. Islam attracted the people of sub-saharan Africa because of trade. For example, Sundiata converted to Islam and hired Muslim bureaucrats because their trading partner, North Africa, had many Islamic people. Islam attracted people in India because in Islam, everyone is equal; this is the complete opposite of Hinduism, so it would easily attract people of the lower castes. Islam spread to Central Asia through force and persuasion. Because of the Mongol invasion in the thirteenth century, it made connections between Central Asia and the Middle East much easier so the Islamic people could easily persuade the people living in Central Asia. Islam appealed to people of Southeast Asia because of trade. Muslim merchants established contacts in coastal towns and also influenced the ruling classes. Elites began to convert, and once Muslims moved inland, more people decided to convert as a way of integrating with the coastal populations, because of the expanding of trade.

    It changed as it moved into new regions by taking certain characteristics of the people in the region and combining it with their own. Some of Islams characteristics also merged with others, for example, Bulgarian choral and dance styles have been applied to Christian and folk themes. I think syncretism is a good thing because it can expand cultures and make them even more original and interesting. For example, in the example I said above with the Bulgarian choral and dance styles being integrated into other religions, that makes those dances more personal and enjoyable.

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  21. The spread of Islam occurred due to military conquests, trade, and missionary activities. In military conquests, Muslims wouldn’t force conquered people to convert to Islam. Instead Muslims would heavily tax people who were not followers of Islam, pressuring people to convert to Islam to stop the heavy taxes. In trade, merchants traveled bringing their religion with them. By traveling merchants who followed Islam, had spread the Islamic faith to areas as merchants traded. For missionary activities, missionaries traveled to areas conquered by people who followed Islam such as into Europe and Southeast Asia. Islam was appealing to people of lower status because of the equality that Islam promised if people converted to Islam.
    As Islam diffused, it left distinct characteristics on the areas islam occupied. An example would be Islam in Europe. In Spain, Muslims occupied Spain. When Muslims were driven away from Spain, they left behind their influence on the area. Previous Muslim leaders had established political and cultural frameworks. Muslim art influenced Spanish architecture and design. Music in Spain was also influenced by the Muslims. Since Muslims were fairly advanced in terms of education, Spain attracted many scholars taking advantage of the knowledge left behind by the Muslims. The Muslim influence was beneficial to areas because it helped developed cultures for areas like what happened in Spain.

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    • I agree with you on how military conquests, trade, and missionary activities effected Islam’s spread but maybe not only the appeal of equality between lower social class but some people could have converted because of the promise of more equality to women.

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  22. The rapid expansion of Islam during the 7th and 15th centuries was because of military conquest, trade, and missionary activity. It appealed to people of a variety of different classes. In sub-Saharan Africa it appealed to the elite by providing cultural unity. Islam attracted the warriors and those in a lower caste because of the idea of spiritual equality instead of incremental reincarnations. In Central Asia drew the attention of the women by offering them a higher status. However, in Southeast Asia the elite converted first and more people were drawn to the fact that it united the population.

    As Islam moved into different regions it affected the different cultures in that region by uniting them and assimilated into the cultures themselves. This can be very detrimental to a religion by altering the religious texts and the meaning of the religion. For example, some passages about the words of Muhammad were altered of just false.

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    • I agree with what you said in the first paragraph, but in the second most of the texts stood the same and while the meaning may have changed, it would be the only way for a religion to appeal to different cultures

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  23. The main factors that led to the expansion of Islam were conquest, trade, and missionary activity. All of these things involved exchanging ideas and got people to see the benefits of Islam. There were multiple reasons for conversion to Islam. In Europe, many people converted because they were taxed higher for not being Muslim. In sub-Saharan Africa, people converted to Islam mostly because of trade. For example, Sundiata converted in order to be more similar to trading partners in other parts of Africa. Additionally, once rulers and elites started converting to Islam in order to be more like trading partners, other people wanted to become Muslim as well, since Islam had, in a way, become a status symbol. When the Mongols came to Central Asia and developed relationships between there and the Middle East, most people became Muslim because they wanted something in common with their trading partners. In India, Islam was an attractive option because Turkish conquerors were destroying Hindu temples, which perhaps limited the amount of devotion one could give to their Hindu religion. Since the Turkish leaders were Muslim, people again saw Islam as a status symbol, similar to what happened in Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, since all Muslims were officially equal in the eyes of Islam, Islam was attractive to many low-caste Indians as it offered spiritual equality. In Southeast Asia, people wanted to convert to Islam because it was seen as a status symbol here as well. People in the interior of Southeast Asia’s island countries converted because they saw it as a way to be more similar to new trading partners on the coast.

    Islam changed slightly as it spread from place to place. In Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia for example, women had more importance than in original Islam. In India, Islam changed because it integrated some Hindu ideas and stories in order to gain more converts. All of these things show how Islam changed in order to adapt to cultures in the different places where it was spreading. I believe that when a religion changes in different places over time it is beneficial to the specific religion because it allows each religion to adapt to a new culture. Therefore, the religion is more likely to survive because it is less foreign to the people of that specific area. For example, when Buddhism diffused to China, it had to incorporate some Confucian ideas (such as ancestor veneration) in order for it to be accepted by the people of China. Another example is when Christianity was spreading to Asia. Since the Roman leaders did not agree with the Nestorian-christian beliefs and people in Mesopotamia and Persia did not like Rome, this form of Christianity was appealing to the Mesopotamians and Persians. The fact that Christianity had been able to adapt allowed it to spread even further.

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  24. Islam spread primarily through trade, persuasion, force, simply because people liked Islam better then their religion, or because people were impressed by the Muslim military conquests and believed that because they had such a good military that their religion must be true. Islam was attractive to people because it gave a strict set of rules of what to do, or what not to do, to get into heaven, and anybody could get into heaven. This was a great incentive for people to convert from Hinduism to Islam because if they followed the rules they could get into heaven, without being reborn several more times. Another reason for why people converted to Islam was through persuasion, which was usually non-violent. Usually the persuasion came in the form of higher taxes if you weren’t Muslim. Another form of persuasion was the fact that, supposedly, all Muslims were treated equally in the laws of the law and society. While in reality this wasn’t the case it was still a strong force of persuasion. Again this was another strong reason for why Hindus converted because there is not a caste system in Islam. Islam did change when it came into India. An example of this would be Muslim leaders using Hindu stories with Muslim characters. Hinduism also changed by evolving to include a sect, the bhatki cult, that believes in monotheism and spiritual equality.
    Trade, economic, and political relationships were a great incentive for why people converted to Islam, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Kingdoms of Ghana and Mali both used Muslim bureaucrats and converted to Islam as a sign of goodwill toward the North African Muslims that they traded with. Islam and native Sub-Saharan African cultures combined, for example women were given a semi-prominent place in Sub-Saharan Africa, and kings were still considered “divine”. In Central Asia Islam spread mainly through forced conversion and persuasion, mainly through the examples given above. Islam also spread in Central Asia through Muslim traders and Sufi missionaries. In Southeast Asia Islam spread through trade and missionaries. Merchants and missionaries influenced people on the coast, mostly the elites at first, into converting to Islam. People form the inland converted to Islam when they were trying to move to the coastal societies. Islam changed when it interacted with the local culture by allowing costumes, festivals, and other cultural influences to exist within the religion.

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    • I agree with your factors leading to the rapid spread of Islam. I like your examples you provided throughout your explanation. One thing that I see that could be argued would be your first part of your first sentence. I don’t think non-Muslims would just convert because they saw Islam as better. The second part of your first statement could be more valid.

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  25. “Conquests, far reaching trade, and, increasingly missionary activity” caused Islam to have a rapid expansion. A lot of people were “attracted to the religion simply because of its manifest power and triumph”. Which meant that they could be anyone and still triumph in life. Lower classes were drawn to it due to the “commitment of charity and spiritual equality”. It guided people in telling them what and what not to do in order to get into heaven or hell. In sub-Saharan Africa, missionaries and religious wars by Muslims expanded the religion, made it known and people began to recognize it. By “the late twentieth century about 40 percent of all sub-Saharan Africa were Muslim.” It also recognized all the hard work that merchants did, in comparison to other belief systems that viewed them as the lowest of the low. Elites and ruling classes converted first because they liked the ideas behind the belief system and then spread it through merchants and political success. Also traders that were Muslim intermarried with African Elite, which had a lot of influence over everyone else, spreading the religion. In Central Asia, Arab conquests to Iran and Azerbaijan, brought Muslim contact. Muslim traders and Sufi missionaries began to travel from towns into more nomadic places, spreading Islam to smaller tribes. Also when Turkish people migrated to the Middle East they were introduced to Islam. The Mongols and their conquests “brought new contacts between central Asia and the Middle East… completed conversion of territory to Islam.” What attracted a lot of people to this religion was the high status it gave women. In India, “wider and more durable Muslim conquests” helped spread it throughout India much quicker. It didn’t believe in the caste system and its successive reincarnation but was based off of spiritual equality. In Southeast Asia, trade was expanded and the Sufi’s set up schools and preached in each village, traders from Arabia and India brought Muslim merchants to SE Asia. Overall Islam did have many changes due to the rapid expansion, but these changes are beneficial. Islam has been changed to match with the culture it is present in, making it more accepted everywhere. Having a religion shaped with your culture allows for the decrease in conflicts that many other strict religions may have.

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  26. The major factor that led to the rapid expansion of Islam was by military conquest, trade, and missionaries. The Muslims were able to spread to diverse regions of the world rapidly through military conquest, therefore, Muslims were able to be surrounded by many other civilizations and persuade other non-Muslims to convert to their religion. Many non-Muslims were persuaded to convert because many elites in their region had already converted which made them attracted to the religion. Also by converting to Muslims, they weren’t heavily taxed and by following Islam, everyone was to be equal. The conversion were usually peaceful and was not forced. Muslims were able to spread Islam through Sub-Saharan Africa by religious contact and missionaries that went south to spread the religion to ordinary people.
    As Islam moved to new regions, the religion transformed by incorporating local traditions and other religious beliefs. Islam in Spain could differ to the Islam in India because people in Spain could have incorporated Christianity beliefs while people in India could have incorporated Hinduism beliefs. The Sufi leaders borrowed some ideas during Sufism and emphasized works on charity and Islam in India, blended Hinduism with Islam. The new transformed religion could be beneficial since religions can be influenced by the cultures around the region, making people have a connection, making them convert. Example of transformed religion: The Indonesian Islands was introduced to Islam by the arrival of Sufis missionaries that tolerated many Hindu and Buddhist beliefs and rituals into the Islamic doctrine.

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  27. Islam spread rapidly through contagious and relocation diffusion because the test was talking about how it spread due to military conquest and trade. It also spread because people wanted a stable power source to support them when there is a threat. It spread rapidly because Muslims were constantly moving around (trading military conquest) and the religion did not leave anybody out (poor and merchants). It also attracting people for economic reasons like trade and being able to avoid a heavy tax.

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  28. The major factor that led to the rapid spread of Islam between the 7th and 15th centuries was that Islam attracted people from the lowest castes and promised spiritual equality. Islam attracted the lowest classes because of its commitment to charity. Islam attracted people in sub-Saharan Africa, India, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia because it offered a higher status towards women. Islam also expanded rapidly through trade, and the increase of missionary activity. For example, in Southeast Asia, Islam expanded by trading ships from Arabia that brought the idea of Islam from Muslim merchants. As Islam expanded through military conquest, many people converted to Islam due to manifest power and triumph. As the religion expanded to new regions it changed, Islam developed an Arabic language and Muslim religion and new political ideas. Islam began to shift its beliefs towards a mixed Arabic-African language. In addition, as Islam expanded Muslims developed advanced knowledge of science and mathematics, which include a new improved numbering system. I think these transformation that took place during the diffusion of Buddhism and Christianity are beneficial to religions, because it can offer other religions an idea a developed knowledge in science and mathematics. For example, the transformation of Islam began to developed an advanced knowledge of science and mathematics, which include a new improved numbering system.

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  29. Between my readings and our discussions in class, I believe a factor that have led to the rapid expansion of Islam between the seventh and the fifteenth centuries are done through the military’s conquests, trade, and missionary activities. Islam became attractive because during its military conquests, it did not forced the conquered people to convert but they did put a heavy tax on those who are not followers of the religion. That allow the non-followers freedom to choose whether to convert or not but they eventually convert because of the heavy taxes. As for trade, merchants trading with other religion allow the religion to spread. And for missionary activities, they traveled to area that have been conquered to spread their religion. Often Islam appealed to lower class people because Islamic beliefs promised equality.

    Islam changed as it moved into new regions because as it spread it took up certain characteristics of the people in region it has conquered and combined it with their own characteristics. For example;Some folk themes and Christianity were applied from the Bulgarian choral styles and dance styles. The spread of religion is a positive factor; it allow the expansion of cultures and opening them to more interesting and complex backgrounds.

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  30. The expansion of Islam can be contributed to many different factors including: war, trade, and missionary. There was also an extra tax placed on anybody who was not Muslim, this encouraged people to covert to Islam without having to force the religion onto people. Being Muslim was also attractive because it put people on a more equal field in a religious aspect. This made Islam very popular in India because people of lower castes were equal with groups perversely above them with Hinduism. Islam appealed greatly to the lower classes of all nations because of the commitment of giving to charity that came with being Muslim. Islam was attractive to southeast Asia because there was an exception of merchant and trade. This accepts of merchants help Muslim beliefs to spread across the trade routes. In central Asia was excepted raptly because of the power Islam held.

    Islam altered as it spread across the world with changes in tradition and beliefs. As the religion spread aspects of other religions and culture were adapted into Islam changing the religion more and more it spread. This can be both beneficial to Islam and it can cause serous damage. For example The spread into some West African regions caused harm because the kings still saw themselves as divine despite identifying as Muslim and if they spread that from of the religion it would be false. As more and more culture gets added to Islam more and more of the original religion get boggled down cause it harm. This could also be beneficial because allowing the religion to be alter made the people happy and made it so they wouldn’t revolt.

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  31. Based on the document and discussions and notes in class today, factors like military conquest and taxation on people that weren’t Muslim in their territory caused a rapid expansion and diffusion of Islam between the 7th and 15th centuries. People that converted to Islam could trade better and with more contacts in sub-Saharan Africa. Also, Islam represented high social status in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa. As for Central Asia, Islam was altered to fit the already established cultures and gave women a high social status. For Southeast Asia, Islam was a way of integrating with the coastal populations and helped expand trade.

    Islam changed as it moved into different regions by becoming a way of integrating with other cultural groups and opening new trade routes and contacts. Islam also changed by being altered by the different groups of people that already had an established religion. I believe that the changes were beneficial, since every group had their own way of thinking and their own culture. Islam today is not the same as it was back in the 7th century, but it seems to have benefited from being transformed by the different cultural groups that adopted it because of the addition of women’s rights and higher social status and equality.

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  32. Some factors that led to the rapid expansion of the Islamic faith are the power its military possessed, the equality of all people in the religion, and approval of its praise to merchants and political success. Many people thought that the Islamic world was very powerful, it had conquered a lot of territories and land such as North Africa, Spain, Afghanistan and Pakistan, parts of India, etc. That was enough to already get people to convert. another factor that attracted people to Islam was its pretty explicit set of beliefs, its hard to get excited or want to convert to a religion that one doesn’t have a good idea what to do. In Islam it’s pretty easy to see what is right and what isn’t, and what people need to do to make it into Heaven, and what not to do to find one’s self in Hell for all eternity. Equality for all people, including women, was a factor that invited people to the religion. Patriarchal societies were prominent around the 7th to 15th centuries, and a religion that encouraged the equality of women spiritually, socially, as well as economically, was pretty attractive to women, as well as people who supported the equality of women. An example of Islam’s change as it moved to new regions is the Ottoman Empire. Traditional cultures in the area combined with Islam to create the distinctive Bulgarian song and dance styles applied to Christian and folk traditions. If changes such as those harm or benefit the religion all depends on the change, because a change that changes the religion that is the opposite of the religion’s beliefs isn’t really a good thing, but in this case, it’s pretty neutral.

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    • It also adapted well with Christianity and Judaism, because it uses the same characters, like Jesus and Abraham, in the in Koran. This may allow people to convert because it has the same ideas and rules as well.

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  33. Based on our readings and discussions, there were a few main factors which I feel heavily influenced the speed with which Islam grew outward from Mecca. One of the main factors that I feel gave Islam more speed is the fact that everybody gets something out of it. All people who join are offered salvation in eternity for following a few basic rules that essentially revolve around being a good person, which is fundamentally easy peasy. A person who is down on their luck economically receives donations from the community so they can right themselves. On that note, there was essentially no downside to converting: you weren’t going to be prosecuted, you payed fewer taxes, everyone is likely to treat you better, and you generally improve your standing in the community. Islam expanded through countries like India and areas like Sub-Saharan Africa because of Crusade-esque religious conquests.

    Islam did in fact morph through its growth, as any young religion or adolescent person does. As an ideal or religion moves into a new region it is bound to act as a picky snowball, selectively picking up tid-bits of culture and other laws, rules, and people as it goes. These sorts of changes are usually beneficial to a religion, being that it allows the religion to appear more homely and appealing to newcomers and prospects.
    Of course, there were also changes in the religion that stemmed from a disliking of found cultures. “Sufi leaders worried about […] the diverse intellectual life that had developed as Islam interacted with Greek scientific heritage” Sufism was a movement that developed in the time frame of 900-1200 CE, and wanted a stronger focus on religion.

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  34. Islam spread due to military conquest, word of mouth through trade, and “persuasion”. The people of Sub Saharan Africa converted to Islam because to establish goodwill between them and the North African Muslims and also because of Arabic’s development as a large trade language. The people of Central Asia converted to Islam because of the missionaries and Sufi traders who persuaded the people. They also converted due to the Arab conquest in Iran and Azerbaijan. India’s conversion to Islam was largely in part due the conquest and attack of Hindu temples and shrines in India. Southeast Asia was converted through the talk of the religion through trade and the elites of Southeast Asia converted.

    Islam not only changed in many ways when moving into new regions, but it also influenced regions where Islam is no longer the dominant religion. For example, even though Islam entered the Balkans and then began losing territory, it did not leave without leaving its influence, in Bulgarian choral and dance styles. Islam also went through a change when the Arab Muslims attacked India. They were introduced the Indian math and science system.

    Changes that religions go through when diffusing from region to region are harmful to the religion. When a religion is established, it is centered around certain beliefs and ideals and when regions change these ideals it sometimes weakens the message trying to be conveyed by the religion. For example, Buddhism’s original message was not to worship Buddha as a God, but to follow his path to nirvana. When the religion diffused, this idea was lost in it, and it changed the original message of Buddhism.

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    • Though even after Islam has mostly receded back to its core within the Middle East and Northern Africa, I think its important to point out that Islamic people and religion still have much influence over the world and it’s culture. From Turkey across to India and even bleeding into other countries with a extreme Islamic minority have still managed to integrate their ideas and culture into places they really even are. Which is exactly what you said but I wanted to say more than, “I agree”.

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    • I do agree with the majority of the points you made about the spread of Islam. However, I don’t believe that conversion in India was mainly caused by Muslims attacking Hindu shrines. Yes, this occurred, but Muslims also adopted Hindu culture, even building their own shrines alongside Hindu temples. I also don’t agree that changes in the religion are harmful to it. Buddhism did experience a change in its core beliefs, which caused it to split into two separate branches of Buddhism, but there hasn’t really been any serious conflicts between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. The religion is still widely practiced today, so was the change really detrimental to it? Also, Islam changed as it spread to new territories, but the beliefs that the religion is based on didn’t change. By changing to fit new cultures, Islam was able to expand even farther past its empire, while maintaining its core beliefs.

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  35. I missed the discussion in class but from what I read in the article, there were numerous reasons for the spread of Islam throughout the world. One of the reasons was obviously, as with almost any religion originating at the time was, through the trade and economic system. Merchants throughout the Islamic area would naturally bring their faith with them wherever they went. This allow Islam to spread through natural word of mouth. Another instance was that heavy taxes would be place on non-Islamic people that would eventually force conversion through less violent and forcible means. Missionary activity through the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa also help promote the religion of Islam.
    In India the caste system is constantly restricting the abilities of the average citizen and Islam promotes everyone as equals under the eyes of God, and this was very tempting to the people of India just as Buddhism had before it. Political, Economical, and general interest in the new religion help Islam spread through Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa. SW Asia had the sea trade route to aid in it spread and Central Asia was mainly taken over due to military conquest. Battles between the Islamic people and various displaced tribes within central Asia, the Hun and Turks, caused the religion to spread as Arabic people pushed the tribes back. “A final stage occurred during the Mongol invasions of central Asia and the Middle East in the thirteenth century… conquest brought new contacts between central Asia and the Middle East which in turn completed the conversion…”

    Islam changed depended on the area its being practiced. Throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa and India there are numerous different ways that people chose to practice the religion. Because of this, Islam can have a numerous of effects on religions but mostly detrimental towards other religions thought not as religion itself. Like stated in India, “Muslim religious leaders also adapted to the cultural setting, using Hindu stories but with Muslim characters and building shrines on the sites of Hindu temples and thus appropriating existing sacred territory. This clearly shows that the MASSIVE scale spreading of Islam within a few hundred years distinctly imposed on other forms of earlier religions.

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  36. The rapid spread of Islam, starting from 700 CE, was caused by conquests, extensive trading, and an increase in missionaries actively looking to convert people. Overall, Islam was attractive because converts were not required to pay the heavy taxes that adherents of other religions had to, its beliefs taught people how to gain access to heaven and avoid hell, it had an emphasis on helping the poor, which appealed to lower classes, and it was attractive to merchants because it validated merchant activity. Islam was attractive to people in sub-Saharan Africa because conversion showed amity toward trading partners in northern Africa, the unified religion was useful in trade, and Islam represented a high status in the social hierarchy. Indians were attracted to Islam because conversion was encouraged by the Muslim ruling class and it promised spiritual equality without mandatory reincarnation first, which mainly appealed to soldiers and the lower classes. Islam was attractive to Central Asia due to conquest and persuasion. Islam was attractive in Southeast Asia because Muslim merchants influenced ruling elite in coastal towns and many elites converted and so inland people were attracted to it because it was a way to integrate with coastal peoples.
    As Islam moved into new regions, it adapted to local customs and cultures. For example, in Spain, Muslim styles of art impacted architecture, decoration, and music. Also in sub-Saharan Africa, kings were still portrayed as divine and the practice of chopping off the hands of thieves was banished, but Islam was still prominent and women were also given relatively high importance in the region. In India, Islam and Hinduism merged together, creating multiple syncretic religions. Additionally, Muslims adopted the local culture of India. For example, they built shrines alongside Hindu temples and retold Hindu stories using Muslim characters. Lastly, in Southeast Asia, Islam and regional cultures merged together, influencing things such as customs, festivals, and dances. I think transformations like this, and the ones experienced by Buddhism and Christianity, are beneficial to religions. I think this because by changing, religions are able to adapt to local cultures and appeal to a larger number of people. This way the religion would be able to spread farther than it would have if it maintained strict uniformity, while also keeping its core beliefs.

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  37. 1.Conquest, trade, and increasingly missionary activity were key factors to the rapid expansion of Islam between the 7th and 15th centuries. Islam appealed to many sub- Saharan Africans because it represented high social status for the elite, and because it greatly increased trade. The religion was also appealing to those in Central Asia and India due to the high status it presented for women. However, for Indians it was also appealing because it presented equality between all, which Hinduism did not due to the cast system. Lastly, Islam was appealing to those who lived in Southeast Asia because of the trade it presented for them which greatly increased their economy.
    2.As Islam moved into new regions what mostly changed were its cultural practices. New rituals, dances, and festivals were added to the religion’s traditions. I believe this was not at all harmful, just like with Buddhism and Christianity all three religions underwent change, yet they are three worldwide practiced religions. It seemed like throughout the passage every time Islam was introduced to a new region there was less resistance by the people, which means that the changes it underwent made it more acceptable and appealing to others.

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  38. I agree with you @sarahpunch on your comment about the religion’s ability to change and take in new customs and practices made it more appealing to outsiders. I also agree that if the Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism were too strict they would not have expanded as far out as they were able too due to their flexibility.

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  39. The rapid expansion was caused by multiple factors such as military and trade conquest. These conquest led to not only the expansion of territory but eventually as we spoke about in the class the Muslim people taxed minorities more making it a more viable reason economically to switch to Islam. The attractive point other than the religion itself was the empire that came with it. Although the expansions were justified by resources some were in defending the faith which i didn’t understand. In Europe for example Islam helped culturally develop and socially develop Spain for example further. In Spain the Muslim culture played a big influence in the philosophy along with art and music. Such as the guitar was originally a Spanish instrument.

    Islam did change as it moved into new religious territories already pre occupied by other universalizing religions such as Christianity and more specifically Roman Catholicism. Those cultural groups provided to be a benefit in more people to tax but was also I believe to be a benefit and not harmful to the religion of Islam. Adding people to their religion by conversion especially people from prior christian faith was very important for the spread of Islam although this may have some harm in the diffusion of the word as long as every body is still reading both the Quran and Hiaj. The word would always be the same word spread along with the language being spread through trade.

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  40. The rapid spread of Islam between the 7th and 15th centuries was ultimately because of trade, missionary activity, and economics. Islam was made attractive to people of many parts of the world because of initial contacts caused by trade in Sub-Saharan Africa, no opposed Caste System for Muslims in India, because Islam was not forced but rather made persuasion made it attractive in Central Asia, and in Southeast Asia Islam was spread by sea-trade which later made its way into inland people who then was influenced the ruling classes through merchants.

    As Islam moved through different regions it was later changed by its surround culture. Islam adopted new ideas and picked up new customs of other surrounding cultures. For example, “Muslims learned about Indian science and mathematics, including the numbering system that passed to the Middle East”. I believe that these transformations are beneficial because it later appealed to a more variety of people that included different societies and different cultures.

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  41. Based on the evidence from the passage and today’s discussions, I would have to say that the factors that contributed most to the massive diffusion of Islam would be its military might, its economic advantage, and its toleration of the other two main monotheistic religions that were gaining influence over the Middle East at the time; Christianity and Judaism. During the 7th century, for a city-state to lose a battle would be for its God to fail them, or so it was considered. Muhammad’s victory and take over of Medina showed not only that the religions present in Medina were “false” like they said, but seemed to show that Muhammad and his followers were right, so the conquered people accepted the new teachings of Islam voluntarily. Islam’s support of the merchant class allowed for the Middle East to remain a trade center, so the religion was easily spread along trade routes throughout Northern Africa and Southeastern Asia. Even the now catholic-dominated countries of Spain and Italy had some Muslim travelers that spread the faith in small towns and villages, giving the poor class a valuable place in the world through its teachings and inspiring them to continue passing it on by word of mouth. Islam spread through central Asia by fighting the Byzantine Empire and the empire accepting the religion into its society.

    The interpretations of Islam vary depending on the individual’s feelings, as with most religions. During the spread of Islam, some regions merely adopted some of the values from the Qur’an, while others may adhere strictly to what is written or take their own personal understanding of what is written and share it with others.

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  42. The spread of Islam was not only because of the dedicated work of the founder, Muhammad (570-632 CE), spreading the religion throughout Eurasia and Northern Africa, but because of the Muhammad’s successors and followers keeping it from becoming unstable. The stability of a religion which spreads throughout Eurasia and Northern Africa is hard maintain and keep stable in one location, especially in the Arabian Desert in Saudi Arabia. They ada

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  43. Islam Began to spread at about 700 BCE because the caliphs wanted more land so that they could have more money. It spread Mostly through trade and Military conquest. When it was spread through trade the merchants would trade their goods with either other merchants or with other cities and they would also pass off their culture which was associated with their religion. When people began to learn more and more about Islam this way people began to want to convert to Islam because they knew the benefits of it. When Islam spread through Military conquest The people of the military Would conquer the people in an area and the conquered people would be allowed to keep their faith even if it was polytheistic. However if they were not Islamic then they would be taxed by the caliphs. When the conquered people would learn about Islam from the people of the empire that they had just been conquered by and they could Convert after hearing what Islam is. The conquered people were not forced to convert and the Islamic empire would not encourage the people to convert, instead they let them convert on their own.

    As Islam spread into different Areas the people of the area would adapt The new religion to some of the customs of their culture. People would add different things or take them out depending on their culture. In Europe they incorporated Islam with sciences like Architecture. In India they gave Women more rights within this new religion. Also people developed new dances and rituals as the religion spread. I believe that it depended on the area on whether or not these changes were beneficial or harmful.

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  44. Conquest, merchant activity (trade), and acceptance of Judaism and Christianity were factors that helped spread Islam between the 7th and 15th century. It was attractive to people in Sub-Saharan Africa because it began to provide cultural unity for upper classes, when traders began to marry African elites. It also was attractive because it influenced long distance trade with other regions, since Islam became kind of a generalized religion. It was attractive in India because Islam was mainly attracted by warriors and people from lower classes. The reason why is because Islam promises spiritual equality among all people. It was adopted in Central Asia because Muslim traders and the Sufi missionaries began to spread Islam through nomadic groups. The reason why Islam spread to Southeast Asia is because of the Muslim trading ships from Arabia and India.
    Islam changed depended on the type of cultural that was in the region originally. For example, in India, Muslims took Hindu stories and used Muslim characters in order to help create a balance between the cultures. Usually transformations of a religion can sometimes be beneficial .The reason why is because there can be many countries that have the same belief and this can be a connection between countries. This can result in more trade, less fights and more cultural unity. For example in Sub Saharan Africa, Islam spread down the stretch of the East African coast. This allowed trade to increase, due to cultural unity.

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  45. The spread of Islam was not only because of the dedicated work of the founder, Muhammad (570-632 CE), spreading the religion throughout Eurasia and Northern Africa, but because of the Muhammad’s successors and followers keeping it from becoming unstable. The stability of a religion which spreads throughout Eurasia and Northern Africa is hard maintain and keep stable in one location, especially in the Arabian Desert in Saudi Arabia. They adapted to their situation by moving it, but this decision was made while Muhammad was still in command. They adapted to Muhammad’s death by creating leaders known as Caliphs (632-661 CE) as a succession to Muhammad. No one themselves will be as important and enforce laws like Muhammad, so they created sort of an oligarchy to manage the area. People found the factor about how status of people do not matter at all in this religion, whether man, woman, or child, and this made many civilizations attracted to Islam. So the factors which affected the spread of Islam were geographical location, political improvement, and social hierarchy status.

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  46. Factors that contributed to the spread of Islam included trade, military conquest, and attraction to the religion. Islam was attractive to the people of Sub-Saharan Africa because it emphasized “trade and political success”. For example, Sundiata used Muslim bureaucrats to simply make a positive “gesture” towards North Africa. In India, many conversion from Hinduism to Islam were made by mainly people from the lower castes and warriors. This is because Islam saw everyone as spiritually equal. People from Central Asia were mainly converted to Islam through persuasion. Southeast Asia was attracted to the religion because it allowed the inland people to integrate with the people living on the coast. This benefited them because it opened up more opportunities for trade.
    Islam would change to fit the people of each society as it spread. For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa they did not follow the Islamic punishments, such as “cutting off the hands of thieves”, because they were too cruel. Based on this, I believe the transformations that took place were both beneficial and harmful. They were beneficial in the sense that the transformations fit the morals of the society, which made it easier for them to convert to that religion. The transformations were mainly harmful towards the religion itself because the original message and reason behind it is eventually changed.

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  47. The rapid spread of the religion of Islam happened cause of it’s constant conquest, extensive trading, and through the work of missionaries seeking out people to convert, sent by Muhammad himself. It was very attractive because the people of this religion did not have to pay heavy taxes like the people who were not with this religion did. It taught it’s believers how to get to heaven and how to avoid damnation. It was very attractive to the lower class because of the religion’s commitment to charity and spiritual equality.
    Unlike some religions Islam did not force people to convert, they would often put a special tax on minority communities instead. The use of a Jihad(holy war) was used for defense of the faith and not forced conversion, as Muhammad explained.

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  48. There were many different factors that led to the rapid diffusion of Islam. Some of them include military conquests, far-reaching trade, and increasing missionary activity. Despite Muslims not forcing their religion on the people of the areas they took over, the religion still spread and gained more followers. Also, the prophet Muhammad was born into a merchant family, so he traveled with them. It appeared attractive worldwide, especially to lower-class groups because of its commitment to charity and spiritual equality. It also attracted traders because it legitimated merchant activity more than other belief systems.

    After the religion of Islam diffused to new regions, changes came about in a movement called Sufism. Basically, Sufi leaders were worried about the interests of the later caliphs and the diverse intellectual life that had become prevalent in the Islamic culture. They wanted a stricter focus on religion. This ties into Buddhism and Christianity because some of the Sufi leaders used ideas from these religions like emphasizing works of charity and offering a highly emotional religion complete with intense rituals. In the long run, this transformation benefited Islam because the Sufi leader’s enthusiasm for the religion helped persuade many people to convert. Therefore, Islam gained many more followers because of this movement.

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  49. The primary reasons that led people to adopt Islam were economic factors. During the time period Islam was promoted through trade, military conquest, and some missionary work. However all these relate back to economics. When a region fell under Islamic control, the people who converted would have lower taxes than those who had different religions. A good example of this is in central Asia. In regions like sub-Saharan Africa trade was the main reason. These people converted as a sign of good grace to their trading partners. Typically these leaders adopted the religion than their followers. These people didn’t follow the religion strongly and only adopted certain principles. Islam spread in India due to how appealing it was to lower castes. Similar to Buddhism, Islam preached spiritual equality attracting many Hindu converts. The reason south east Asia converted was largely due to trade. Merchants spent time with the elite class of this region, converting them, and in turn the lower class.
    The only way Islam could spread this far if it was flexible. A rigid religion typically can’t appeal to multiple cultures. These changes are beneficial to Islam because it enables it to travel farther.

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  50. The main reason that led to the rapid expansion of Islam between the 7th and 15th centuries was because of economics. Many Muslims were nomadic people nut with such a high growth in population, they were no longer capable of feeding everyone this way so they searched for fertile land and water supply because a desert cannot be sustainable for crops. As they gained land, they also spread their religious practices along the road. Also a key point that made Islam very popular was that they gave women recognition in society as opposed to other religions that did not. People from Central Asia mainly converted to Islam because they were persuaded. Southeast Asia was accepting to the religion because it allowed the inland people to integrate with the people living on the coast. This was beneficial to them because it brought more opportunities for trade.
    Islam differed depending on what type of culture was in the region originally. For example, in India, Muslims took Hindu stories and used Muslim characters in order to help create a balance between the cultures. Typically transformations of a religion can sometimes be beneficial depending on the religion and the region.This is because there can be many countries that may have the same belief and can be a connection between countries via trade routes. Therefore as a result there is more trade, less conflict and more cultural unity. For instance, in Sub Saharan Africa, Islam diffused down the stretch of the East African coast, and this allowed trade to increase, due to the culture becoming united.

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