Under Muhammad’s successors, the caliphs Abu Bakr (632–634) and Omar I. (634–644) began the rapid expansion of the Muslim Arabs, whereby in less than ten years a large part of the ancient civilized countries of the Near East and in less than 80 years an area from the Indus to the Atlantic came under their rule. By 642 the Persian Sassanid Empire was destroyed, large areas of the Byzantine Empire such as Syria (636 defeat of the Byzantines in the Battle of Yarmuk), Egypt (639–646) and North Africa (647–698) were occupied and the Visigoth Empire on the Iberian Peninsula in 711 prepares the end. This huge area became the starting point for the peaceful and military expansion of the rule of Muslims. Especially since around 1000 it expanded in India and also in Central Asia among the Turkic tribes. In the 19th century, Asia Minor came increasingly under Islamic rule. From India, Islam also spread to Southeast Asia; from North Africa it penetrated south along the coasts in the east and west of the African continent. While Islamic rule on the Iberian Peninsula came to an end in 1492 with the capture of Granada and the subsequent expulsion of Muslims and Jews (Reconquista), it expanded under the Ottomans in south-eastern Europe in the 15th century and reached Central Europe in the 16th century (first siege of Vienna by the Ottomans in 1529). The capture of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmed II (May 29, 1453) sealed the end of the Byzantine Empire.
The subjugated peoples were not forcibly converted to Islam. The existing administrative structures were largely taken over. The religious communities of Jews and Christians (including different denominations: Nestorians in the East, Jacobites in Syria, Copts in Egypt and Greek Orthodox), also the Zoroastrians (Parsis), Manicheans, Mandaeans (Sabians) and others. were confirmed as largely autonomous religious and legal communities against taxes and under restrictions in the public practice of religion. In contrast to polytheists, they were considered to be protected and also privileged owners of revelation writings. In the 8th century, the process of linguistic Arabization began under Arab-Islamic rule, while at the same time the cultural heritage of the conquered peoples was incorporated into Islam. The non-Muslim subjects adopted Arabic as a means of communication that connected Islamic rule in its entirety. Islamization was rather slow and exhibited numerous local and regional peculiarities. While z. For example, if the Latin Christians in North Africa or the Buddhists in Central Asia had apparently soon become predominantly Muslims, large parts of the population in the Nile Valley, Syria and Mesopotamia stayed with their religions for centuries. So Islam has only gradually become the majority religion in its dominion; it developed in a multi-religious and polyethnic environment and under strong non-Islamic influences. In terms of mission history, the often only formal acceptance of Islam as the first step in a slow but steady process was followed by its consolidation among the new Muslims as a second step. In addition, since the 12th century BC a. popular preachers and Sufis (Islamic ascetics and mystics) contributed. Islam was v. a. present in the cities and spread from there to the surrounding area. Features of Islamic settlements are the houses of prayer (mosques) and the cemeteries with tombs of particularly venerated people. There are also special facilities such as the teaching houses (madrasas).
An organized dissemination of Islam in the sense of mission (Arabic da’wa) did not emerge until the beginning of the 20th century in response to Christian mission. She is dedicated to v. a. the more thorough Islamic influence so far only superficially Islamic population groups on the periphery of the Islamic world (e.g. in Indonesia, in sub-Saharan Africa), but is also active in Europe and North America (promoting conversions of Christians and Jews). In sub-Saharan Africa over the past few decades, their success has been based on, among other things. on the fact that Islam presents itself as a pioneering religion of the third world and also as a support for the identity of the locals broken by colonialism, while Christianity is often associated with the European colonial rulers. The geographical spread of Islam has recently been promoted by the migration of large Muslim populations to non-Islamic countries. So wandered z. B. Since the late 19th century, numerous Indian Muslims emigrated to South Africa. Since the 1960s, millions of Muslims have settled in Central and Western European countries as a result of labor migration. Strong Muslim communities had existed in south-eastern Europe for centuries, for example in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia, as well as in Albania, where over half of the population profess Sunni Islam. In Central Asia and China, the proportion of the Muslim population is increasing due to their high birth rate; in Russia (Bashkortostan, Dagestan, Chechnya, Tatarstan) the Muslims with approx. 8% the second largest religious community. There are more Muslims in India than in the entire Arab Middle East; in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, over 80% profess Islam. (Africa, Asia, Europe; religion section)
According to polyhobbies.com, Islam is universal and makes no distinction with regard to the ethnic affiliation of the believers, but Arabs enjoy a special reputation among Muslims because they have the “holy language” of Islam as their mother tongue and with them the early history of Islam is connected. This, too, occasionally leads to a false equation of the terms Muslim and Arab, although there are also members of other religious communities as minorities among Arabic speakers.