The Expansion of Islam Into Worl Religions Essay

Submitted By Bejou1
Words: 1751
Pages: 8

The Expansion of Islam and Buddhism to World Religions Today, there are just over twenty one major religions in the world. Two of them being Islam and Buddhism with just a bit under two billion people between the both of them. These religions have grown to be two of the most predominant religions of our time however they were not always major religions. They rather started as small religious traditions and later developed in to two of the world’s most renowned religions. Each religion had certain traits that attracted people to them, some traits were similar but some were also different. Both religions attracted people due to their preachment of equality in gender and socially. Also, although the culture of each religion was very different, they were both strong in their aspects. Islam began attracting many people during the life of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh.) and after due to its fearless and brute Muslim military, strong cultural and political light, equality of all beliefs along with other very appealing factors of the religion as well. Buddhism also attracted many people during the life of Siddhartha Gautama and after his life by its preachment of social, gender and racial equality, escape from the traditional Indian Caste system, the Buddhist movement as well as the Indian emperor’s conversion to Siddhartha’s religion.

After the death of the prophet, Islam could have easily disappeared, as many towns had already regressed immediately following his death. However as is apparent by the size of the religion today, Islam rather grew to one of the most prominent religions. Following the prophets death, “Caliphas” or deputies were set in place by the prophet’s advisors to serve as judges in Islamic courts, generaldeputies, close substitutes in the absence of the prophet himself as well as Muslim military leaders. Looking to page 357 of Traditions and Encounters in Benjamin of Tudela on the Caliph’s Court at Baghdad, it states that how after the prophet’s death, the caliph served as the “head of the Muslim religion, and all the kings of Islam obey him.” This displays the type of authority that was invested in the Caliph. By the Caliph being the military leader of Islam as well as the goal of Islam being to insure the teachings of the prophet were not forgotten, the Muslim military (Umma) went on the offensive to bring back the towns that had renounced the teachings of the prophet after his death and insure his teachings indeed stuck with them. The “Umma” also went out beyond the Arabian region to take over those who were willing to accept the religion. They took most of Mesopotamia, Palestine, the Byzantine Empire, North Africa and Persia, also later spreading to the Iberian Peninsula. By the Umma spreadingto many regions, it enabled the religion to spread with it. The weaknesses of these regions also helped the Umma take them over.

Strong Islamic government and culture present in the Arabian region heavily contributed to the religions rapid growth to a “world religion.” An Islamic government provided order and stability, along with specific cultural expectations that Muslim followers would abide by. The sharia, or Islamic law, was the law that Islamic governments used and that citizens abided by. Many cultural expectations stemmed from the Sharia. The Sharia also intertwined the five pillars of Islam, which made it extremely religious as those were the five foundations of Islam. By citizens having to abide by a very religious Sharia, it helped keep citizens faithful and behaving according to the law and government. The Sharia and Islamic government established a very pro Islam and “Islam is all” society and way of life.

Islam had many other appealing factors that attracted people to the religion. Islam encouraged people to strive to increase their wealth and encouraged commerce as well. Also although Islam was a patriarchal society, women enjoyed more rights than those in any other land. Islam called for