Our Prophet Muhammad (saas) expended enormous energy on preaching the Islamic moral values taught him by Allah until the very end of his life. By Allah’s leave, this message initiated through such sincere endeavors on the part of our Prophet (saas) spread across a very wide region in a short space of time by means of his honesty, determination and moral virtues. This message, which continued after the death of our Prophet (saas) was a means whereby millions of people came to have faith; in this way, people learned true love, peace and justice, based on the moral precepts of the Qur’an.
The Prophet Muhammad (saas), whom Allah tells us in the Qur’an He sent as a “Mercy to the Worlds,” abided by Islamic moral values with the utmost joy and enthusiasm right up to the end of his life, a life which constituted a role model for others. This message, single-handedly initiated by our Prophet (saas), soon spread, by Allah’s leave, over a wide area. And it continued after him, again through the efforts of sincere believers. According to the latest research, this joyous rise of Islam, regarded as the most rapidly spreading faith in the world, will cause Islam Allah’ın izni ile to rule over the whole world with the coming of the Prophet Isa (pbuh) and the Mahdi in the end times.
Ever since the first days of its revelation, Islam spread at enormous speed by means of the determination and sincerity displayed by our Prophet (saas). The determination and justice of the Muslims of that time who adopted our Prophet (saas) as a role model was highly influential in many Arab tribes’ turning to Islam. The moral values of the Qur’an brought about positive changes in the lives of the people of the region and replaced the chaos, injustice and blood feuds of the age of ignorance with peace and security. An order based on the true love, respect, compassion and justice of Qur’anic moral precepts was established for the first time uzun süre sonra among the people of the region.
Following the death of our Prophet (saas) on 8 June 632 (Gregorian), Islam continued to rise at a great speed, spreading within a few decades to Mesopotamia in the north, Africa in the west and as far as India in the east. Local people, who until shortly before had lived unaware of religious moral values became rulers of a world empire thanks to the reason, awareness and elevated culture bestowed on them by Islamic moral values. This Islamic State, the like of whose rapid rise had rarely been equaled, established a far more powerful administration than other regimes by spreading over a wider extent than the ancient Roman Empire. At the heart of this matchless development of Islam lies the fact it was made possible by the superior virtues, intelligence, foresight, determination and sincere endeavors of our Prophet (saas), by the will of Allah.
Our Prophet (saas) began communicating his message immediately after the Hegira. His method was to employ companions to call on the rulers of neighboring countries to adopt Islamic moral precepts. Our Prophet (saas) who acted on our Lord’s command on this subject in the finest possible manner, used wisdom and gentle advice to invite others to adopt Islamic moral precepts by way of these emissaries:
Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His way. And He knows best who are guided. (Surat An-Nahl, 125)
The Companions Begin Communicating the Message
The companions chosen by our Prophet (saas) also took with them a letter to the rulers of the areas they were sent to. The companions, who had an excellent knowledge of the languages of the areas to which they were dispatched, acted in the light of our Prophet’s (saas) advice and soon won people’s love and respect with the moral virtues they exhibited and their rational, wide and sincere communication. One of our Prophet’s (saas) pieces of advice on this subject that all Muslims must scrupulously abide by is: “Make matters easy, not difficult. Impart glad tidings and do not inspire hatred. Act as one, do not fall out among yourselves. Treat people with kindness and do not resort to violence.” (Muslim, 3263)
How Rulers Were Called on to Adopt Islamic Moral Precepts, and the Spread of Islam
How the Ruler of Abyssinia Negus was Called on to Adopt Islam
On the 7th year of the Hegira our Prophet (saas) first sent the companion Amr ibn Umayya with a letter to Negus Al-Asham, king of Abyssinia. The letter read: “From Muhammad, Prophet of Allah, to Negus, king of Abyssinia!...
O king! I desire you to become a Muslim.
In your name I give thanks to Allah, Lord of the Titles of the One and Only, the King, the Most Pure, the Perfect Peace.
And I bear witness that Isa, son of Maryam, is the servant and the Word of Allah. Allah breathed that Word (which is the address “Kun” that gave the body to Isa) and that soul into the most pure and chaste Maryam, who was completely withdrawn from the life of this world. And in this way Maryam became pregnant with Isa. This Allah created Isa.
In the same way that Allah created Adam by His mighty hand (and as a miracle).
I invite you to faith in Allah, He Who has no equal, and to worship Him, and to abide by me and to believe in those Allah has sent to me. Because I am the emissary of the message of Allah.
I call on you and your people to (have faith in) Allah, the Great and Glorious.
I have now communicated to you (the essence of Islam) and given you counsel. Now you accept that counsel!
Once the letter had been read to him Negus, king of Abyssinia, declared that he had no qualms about becoming a Muslim, and gave a letter to the emissary, Amr. B. Umeyye. That letter spoke of fulfilling the wishes of the Prophet Muhammad (saas). He also announced that he was sending him precious gifts and openly stated that he could even visit him in person if he so desired. This country, which first became aware of Islam thanks to the emigrants who first came to Abyssinia during the Hegira, became a means whereby the peoples of the area we today know as Eritrea and Somalia were influenced by and converted to Islam.
How the Greek Emperor Heraclius was Invited to Islam
According to historical sources, our Prophet (saas) sent the companion Dihya al Kalbi to call on the Greek Emperor Heraclius to convert to Islam in the seventh year of the Hegira.
Our Prophet (saas) also sent a letter to Heraklius, quoting verse 64 of Surah Al ‘Imran: “Greetings to those who follow the true path.”
“‘’ In the name of Allah, All-Merciful, Most Merciful!
“In the name of Allah, All-Merciful, Most Merciful, from Muhammad, Emissary of Allah, to Heraclius, Lord of the Greeks: Greetings to he who follows the true path! May I add that I invite you to Islam as one. Turn to Islam that you may find happiness. Turn to Islam that Allah may redouble your worth. But if you reject this, then that sin will equally be ascribed to you. And you, come directly to a word that is the same for you, O Peoples of the Book, and us; that is that we worship Allah alone, ascribe no equals to Him, and that none among us takes any other than Allah as his Lord. If they are unwilling, tell them, ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims (of those who have submitted to Allah)’.”
How Badhan, Governor of Yemen, Came to the Faith
In a letter that our Prophet (saas) personally had written to Badhan, the governor of Yemen at that time, he announced that Persia would be torn down and Chosroes killed by his son. Shortly thereafter, Badhan received a letter from Shireveyh, son of Chosroes, saying he had killed his father.
The killing of Chosroes took place on the night of the day and at the same hour of that night as our Prophet (saas) had told Badhan. At this, Badhan converted and announced to our Prophet (saas) that he had become a Muslim.
How the Ruler of al-Yamama was Invited to Islam
Haudha b. 'Ali, the ruler of al-Yamama, was a Christian. According to historical sources, our Prophet (saas) charged Salit bin Amr’ with calling this ruler to Islam.
In his letter our Prophet (saas) wrote: “Bismillahirrahmanrrahim! From Muhammad, Prophet of Allah, to Haudha b. 'Ali! Greetings to those on the true path!
You must know that my faith will soon shine as far as the furthest horizons of the world!
You, too, become a Muslim so that you may attain salvation!
And that I may leave the government of the country under your rule to you!”
In this way, our Prophet (saas) informed all the most eminent men of state of the time about Islam through the emissaries and letters he sent, and thus first caused these countries, most of which would later become part of the Muslim world, to hear the voice of Islam.
Following the death of our Prophet (saas) the blessed caliphs Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman and Ali followed in his path, continuing to represent a just order based on Qur’anic moral precepts over a wider area. With the conquests achieved at that time, the Islamic Empire began expanding passed the boundaries of the Arabian Peninsula, growing as far as Tripoli in the west, Horasan in the east and the Caucasus in the north. The peoples in the conquered territories soon adopted Islamic moral values. The foundations of the new states to be founded were also laid during this period.
Following the age of the Four Caliphs, the Umayyads (661-750) and the Abbasids (750-1258) led the way in the dissemination of Islamic moral precepts. During the Abbasid age new states far from the center were founded. In the east were the Ghaznavids, the Seljuks, the Sultanate of Delhi, the Timurs, the Golden Horde and Uzbek dynasties and the Baburs. In the west, the Umayyads of Andalusia, the Murabits, the Eyyubites, the Mamelukes and the Ottoman Empire served the spread of Islamic moral values with the states they founded and the work they performed.
The Spread of Islam in Different Regions
Islam is the official religion in Afghanistan, thought to have a population of 30 million, and 99% of the population are Muslim.
Islam came to Afghanistan with the sending by the blessed Uthman or Muaviya of the governor of Basra, 'Abdur-Rahman ibn Samura to that country. Islam spread rapidly once the people became acquainted with Islamic moral precepts.
The country was run by various tribes for a long while to come. In the second half of the 9th century a large part of Afghanistan fell into the hands of the Samanids, and later still the Ghaznavid State was established. Today, Islam is the official religion in Afghanistan, thought to have a population of 30 million, and 99% of the population are Muslim. In addition to Muslims, there are small numbers of Hindus, Sikhs and Jews. Afghanistan, which unified in the face of the occupation in the 1980s, possesses some of the world’s most significant mineral deposits.
Algeria became part of the territories of the Islamic Empire when it was captured by Islam armies shortly after the death of our Prophet (saas). Islam is the official religion in Algeria and around 99% of its 32 million population are Muslim.
In a declaration published in November 1954, the people of Algeria announced their wish to free themselves from occupation by establishing an independent state in the area based on Islamic moral values. Despite long years of oppression and cruelty, the Algerian people’s devotion to Islam had always remained strong and vibrant, the wealth of studies by scholars living in the countries being one of the main causes of this. Scholars such as Emir Abdulqadr, Sheikh Abdulhamid bin Badis, Sheikh Abdullatif, the famous thinker Malik Ibn Nabi and Sheikh Ahmad Sahnun were in the forefront of the Algerian people’s learning about Qur’anic moral precepts.
With a population of 230 million, of whom 87% are Muslim despite coming from widely diverse ethnic backgrounds, Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world.
Even if Islam reached Indonesia before, the first traces according to the historical records go back to the 1290s. A History of Islamic Societies, by the California University professor of History Ira M. Lapidus, describes how Marco Polo encountered Muslim communities in the Pasai region in the north of the island of Samudera.
The Ottoman Empire is known to have had various contacts with the communities in Indonesia in 1526. Freed by the Ottomans from Portuguese attacks and Dutch occupation, the people of the region felt a particular affinity for the Ottomans. That affinity revealed itself in a number of events; for example, sermons in the name of the caliph declaring their devotion began to be read in mosques. During the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II, relations intensified still further. The people of the region sent 10,000 Spanish florins to support the Ottoman Empire during the Crimean war between 1854 and 1856. In addition, the populace secretly established an Ottoman Fleet Society in 1909, aimed at supporting the Ottoman fleet, sending money, and also announced both during the Balkan wars and the First World War, despite British occupation, that they backed the Ottoman Empire. The people also extended a helping hand to the Turks during the War of Independence, and maintained the Hamidiye Schools set up during the reign of Abdülhamid right down to the present day. The fact that Turkish teams were permitted to enter certain areas in the wake of the tsunami disaster in the last days of 2004 is yet another indication of that closeness.
Islamic moral values first entered Moroccan territory in the year 686 with the Islamic armies under the command of Uqba Ibnu Nafi’. Today, some 98.7% of the population of Morocco, whose official religion is Islam and with a total population of around 34 million, are Muslims.
Moroccan lands are referred to as “al-Maghrib al-Aqsa” (Far West) in Islamic historical sources. The Maghrib is the name given to all those lands that comprise northwest African countries. Tariq İbn Zaid, one of Musa Ibn Nusayr’s commanders, entered modern-day Spain by crossing the Straits of Gibraltar and thus laid the foundations of the Andalusian Islamic state.
Islam came to Egypt in the time of the blessed Omar, between the years 639 and 642, by way of Amr Ibn Al-Aas. It spread rapidly among the people in Egypt, where governors chosen by the caliphs served until 868. Egypt, which was ruled by a great many dynasties, remained under the rule of the Ayyubid State founded by Saladin Ayyubi, who had defeated the Crusader armies, from 1171 to 1250. Following the Mamelukes and the Abbasids, Egypt came under Ottoman rule in 1517, achieving independence in 1922. Ninety-two percent of Egypt’s population of 75 million are Muslim, with Christian Copts, a second significant element of the population, representing 7%.
As stated earlier, the spread of Islam in Yemen took place during the lifetime of our Prophet (saas). When our Prophet (saas) first established the Islamic Empire, Yemen was under Persian control and was administered by a governor named Badhan appointed by that country. Badhan converted to Islam at the invitation of our Prophet’s (saas) emissaries and continued as governor of Yemen. These lands, which were ruled by various countries, came under Ottoman control in 1517. Islam is the official religion in Yemen, which has a population of 16 million, 99% of whom are Muslim.
Before Islam reached it, Brahmins and Buddhists has established various states in this region. According to various sources, Islam is known to have come to Malaysia after the year 1400. The marriage of Prince Prameswara of Malacca to the daughter of the king of Pasai and subsequent conversion to Islam was influential in the rapid spread of the faith, and Prameswara changed his name to Sultan Megat Iskandar Shah. Islam began spreading very fast in those regions under his administration following his conversion to the faith. Islam was adopted as the official religion during the time of Sultan Muzaffar Shah, who acceded to the Malaccan throne in 1446. At that same time, Malacca also became the centre of Islam in southeast Asia. As its commercial and economic importance grew, Muslim traders began visiting more often. The Malaysian Confederation was founded. There is enormous devotion to Islam in Malaysia, with its powerful economy, especially among the young. The country has a population of 25 million, with 70% of young people performing their religious obligations. The turn towards Islam is particularly powerful among university students.
Ubidiah Mosque, Malaysia
Following their first exposure to Islamic moral precepts in 639, Muslims settling in Egypt shortly afterwards began traveling to Sudan for its markets. That was how the Sudanese first became acquainted with Islam. The rapid spread of Islam in Sudan led to many people who had originally adopted Christianity now converting to Islam. Ninety-nine percent of Sudan’s current population of 28 million are Muslims.
The present-day land of Jordan joined the Islamic State in the time of the Rashid caliphs at the invitation of the blessed Omar. In the 12th century, Jordan came under the temporary control of the Crusaders, a result of the Crusader conquests. Wrested from the Crusaders in 1187, it then passed into the hands of the Ayyubids, Fatimids and Mamelukes. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517 after being taken by Sultan Selim the Stern.
Jordan has a population of 6.5 million, 95% of whom are Muslims.
Islam came to Tunisia in 648 with Abdallah ibn Abi Sarh. Subsequent conquests in the wake of that first arrival led to all of Tunisia becoming part of the Islamic State. Following the region’s accession to the territories of the Islamic State, the local inhabitants soon became Muslims, the entire population having done so in the 7th century. Tunisia remained a province of the Ottoman Empire until 1881, achieving independence in 1956.
Islam is the official religion in Tunisia, with a population of 12 million, 99.3% of whom are Muslims.
At the heart of this matchless development of Islam lies the fact it was made possible by the superior virtues, intelligence, foresight, determination and sincere endeavors of our Prophet (saas)
According to World Christian Encyclopedia figures, the 962 million world Muslim population in 1990 has reached 1.2 billion today, out of a total world population of 6.2 billion. That figure is expected to climb to 1.8 billion by 2025, and to 2.3 billion by 2060.
According to Canadian Society of Muslims estimates, Muslims will comprise 30% of the world population by 2025.
According to the U.S. Center for World Mission Islam grew more rapidly than Christianity in 1997. This figure, standing at 2.9% each year, is increasing. At this rate, Islam will overtake Christianity to become the world’s largest religion by 2023.
ISLAM’S BRIGHT FUTURE
Today, Islam has a population in excess of 1 billion and is the most rapidly growing faith in the world. The peoples of more than one quarter of the states of the world are Muslim.
During the last 20 years, the number of Muslims in the world has been increasing steadily. Statistics for the year 1973 indicate that the world population of Muslims was 500 million; now, it has reached 1.5 billion. Today, every fourth person is a Muslim. It is probable that the Muslim population will continue to increase and that Islam will become the world's largest religion.
The reason for this steady rise is not only the increasing population in Muslim countries, but also the growing numbers of people who are turning to Islam.
All of these developments have been revealed in the Qur'an: "When God's help and victory have arrived, and you have seen people entering God's religion in droves, then glorify your Lord's praise and ask His forgiveness" (Surat an-Nas 2-3)
The message of moral virtues initiated kararlığı ve samimi çabasıyla by our Prophet (saas), to whom the Holy Qur’an, the final scripture of our Lord, was revealed, and whose moral values, piety and closeness to Allah makes him a role model for all, continues to illuminate the entire world. By Allah’s leave, that illumination will increase still further, and the radiance of Islamic moral values will eradicate the wars, chaos and oppression being experienced in so many parts of the world. As revealed in the Qur’an and the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), this century will be the holy age when Islamic moral precepts come to rule the Earth, and the world comes to enjoy peace and well-being.
Another glorious rise in Islamic moral values, as described in this article that began in the time of the Prophet (saas) and soon spread over three continents, will, by Allah’s leave, take place in the end times, in the time known as the Golden Age, when the Prophet Isa (pbuh) and the Mahdi will appear. These tidings are imparted as follows in the Qur’an:
They desire to extinguish Allah’s Light with their mouths but Allah will perfect His Light, though the disbelievers hate it. It is He Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth to exalt it over every other religion, though the idolaters hate it. (Surat As-Saff, 8-9)
Our Lord will definitely abide by this promise. What believers need to do is to prepare themselves for this holy age by living according to the precepts of Islamic moral values and imparting these glad tidings to one another.