Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Islam is a missionary religion in the sense that it actively seeks converts and has the history and propensity for diffusion across a diversity of geographies and cultures. Starting in 610 CE with only Prophet Muhammad, Islam reached a population of more than 1.6 billion people spread across 57 countries as majority and the rest of the world as significant minorities. Islam exhorts its followers to pass on the good news and warning of heedlessness to the final revelation of God. While the energy to propagate the faith is certainly present, Islam restrains proselytising fervour by the proclamation of no compulsion in religion. Interestingly, Islam did not produce a missionary class to spread the faith or unleash a continuous initiative; rather, it relied on the unorganised discretionary enthusiasm of Muslims as representatives of the faith. The spread of Islam consequently occurred as a slow process over centuries primarily through direct access to Islam and Muslims. This could sometimes be a conquering army removing empires, sometimes tradesmen and other times a wandering dervish or just ordinary Muslims interacting freely with their non-Muslim neighbours. In modern times, the Islamic mission or da’wah acquired contemporary nuances and intermingled with Islamic revivalist movements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld religions and their missions
EditorsAaron J Ghiloni
Place of PublicationNew York, United States
PublisherPeter Lang Publishing
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9781453914199
ISBN (Print)9781433122842
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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