Da‘Wa In The West: Islamic Mission in American Form
The impulse to “spread the faith” by whatever means available has been present in the community of Islam since the Prophet Muhammad received his first revelations in the early years of the seventh century of the Common Era. Though propagation by means of the sword was not incidental to the rapid spread of Islam across Asia, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula, far more peaceful means of bringing individuals and communities into the fold of Islam usually prevailed.1 In many cases, the spread of Islam really meant the adoption of a way of life and faith practiced by merchants, traders, and itinerant teachers, or the willing replacement on the part of resident populations of an oppressive over-lordship. While the political and financial rewards of the spread of the religion were not insignificant to the young community, the religious or theological goal was to make known the original message received by Muhammad of the uniqueness of God and the reality of the day of judgment.
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