Questions tagged [islam]

Islam is one of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions along with Christianity, and Judaism. Islam first gained prominence during the 7th century C.E. and is the second largest religious group in the world behind Christianity. A follower of Islam is known as a Muslim.

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73
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12answers
51k views

Why weren't Indians converted en masse to Islam or Christianity?

India was ruled by Muslims from around the 12th century until 1857, and then by the British till 1947. However, India still has a large number of Hindus. Countries like Indonesia, Afghanistan, ...
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3answers
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What was the status of Arab Christians during the crusades?

Did Arab Christians take an active role in the crusades in the Holy Land or at any point on their trip to the Holy Land. Or were they victims of the crusaders? Did the crusaders typically ...
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6answers
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What was the religion of the Arabic people before conversion to Islam?

What was the dominant religion of the Arabic people when Prophet Muhammed started the Islamic religion?
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6answers
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What disruptions were brought about by Islam that the Arabians saw so many victories?

The Rashidun Caliphate had its inception with the advent of Islam. It was situated amidst two of the most formidable empires of the known world: The Byzantine Empire and The Sassanid Empire. But ...
32
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4answers
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Were the living standards in Medieval Europe a lot worse than in the Muslim world?

This comment, tells us that during the dark age, the living conditions in Muslim world were considerably better than that of medieval Europe. Even it this was true for the people at the top, was it ...
32
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2answers
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How kind were the Muslim occupations of North Africa?

I grew up in Egypt and although I was raised in Muslim-majority country, I am atheist now. In history classes we were told a doubtful story: The Muslims would have been kind and merciful invaders ...
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5answers
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Why did the Moors invade the Iberian peninsula?

Almost all of the information that I can find with regards to the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula simply states when the Moors invaded. There seems to be very little on what the motivation ...
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2answers
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Did Muslim states hire Western European knights as mercenaries before the Crusades?

In the book Hattin by John France the following claim is made: The fighting qualities of western knights were widely recognized in the Mediterranean lands, and they were often employed even by ...
24
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9answers
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Why did Jews not immigrate to the Muslim world?

Throughout most of history, Jews lived significantly better in the Muslim countries than in Christian ones. Moreover, after the expulsion from Spain, many Spanish Jews moved to the Muslim world (from ...
24
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1answer
2k views

Are there records of US slaves who practiced Islam following their import from Africa?

Islam has historically been prevalent in many regions of Africa, such as in the Songhai Empire, which was based around Sharia law. It seems plausible to me that some Africans were practitioners of ...
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5answers
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What was Muhammad's religion before becoming a Muslim prophet?

According to this question, the predominant religion in Arabia before Islam was some kind of polytheism. While according to Muhammad's Wikipedia page, According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad ...
24
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8answers
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Why is no one claiming the title of Caliph?

The Ottoman Caliphate was abolished in 1924 by a reform from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and then the title was claimed by Hejaz. Soon, however, the kingdom was annexed by the neighbor Nejd, the two of ...
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2answers
967 views

What was the structure of religious beliefs among the Arabic peoples before conversion to Islam?

Other questions on this topic has addressed the pre-Islamic religious beliefs in broad detail, including the conversion of near-Arab cultures. What was the specific nature of the pre-Islamic ...
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2answers
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Robin Hood: Muslims in England in the 12th century

Ever since the 1984 ITV adaptation of Robin Hood, the addition of a Muslim warrior to the band of Merry Men has been a staple of the mythology. From a storytelling perspective, the benefits are clear: ...
21
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1answer
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How prevalent was pork in Arabia before Arabs conversion to Islam?

Before Islam and its prohibition of pork, was it a commonly eaten food? Or was it already prohibited by other religions/cultures? Or was it a kind of uncommon food, which was then prohibited? We also ...
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2answers
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How were Muslim Turks treated in Byzantine Empire?

While reading about the Palaiologan Renaissance on Wikipedia, I was intrigued to find that a mosque was rebuilt in Constantinople, which was destroyed during the fourth crusade(read about it here). I ...
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3answers
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What caused the 1979 Iranian revolution to become Islamic?

How did an initially anti-Shah revolution become an Islamic revolution? Was it because of Khomenei's return to Iran such that he seized the Iranian revolution?
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2answers
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How did Muslim traders raise investments given Islam's prohibition of usury?

During early caliphate era (7th-13th century), Muslim traders dominated trade in Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean (see here and here for example). I think Islam's prohibition of interest or usury ...
18
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5answers
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Is there a possibility that the Islamic civilization visited America before Colombus?

Islamic sources claim that there is historical evidence that an Islamic explorer visited America before Colombus and the Age of Discovery. An example. Columbus Was Not The First To Cross The Atlantic. ...
18
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1answer
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Did the Ottoman empire suppress the printing press?

I overheard this conversation a while back that the Ottoman Empire which flourished in all fields during the Golden Age of Islam were left behind after the introduction of the printing press in Europe ...
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2answers
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Why did the pre-Islamic Arabs identify themselves as descendents of Ishmael?

There's a tradition that the Arabs are descended from Ishmael, son of Abraham. Before Islam, the Arabs did not believe in Yahweh but had their own, polytheistic religions. So why did they have a ...
18
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3answers
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Why is Indonesia a Muslim country?

As the title implies I am wondering as to the reasons why Indonesia is a Muslim country? When visiting Indonesia a few years back, I surprisingly learnt that the country had the largest Muslim ...
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3answers
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Why did the island of Bali remain Hindu when most of the rest of Indonesia converted to Islam?

The Wiki page on the spread of Islam in Indonesia stresses that our knowledge of this macro-historical process is fragmentary, for instance often we don’t how the religion diffused out into the ...
18
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1answer
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Language used on a dagger hilt, supposedly of Persian provenance, ca. 1700-1750

Could anyone guess what language is used in the sign made on this dagger hilt, supposedly of Persian provenance, and dated approx. 1700-1750? A fellow translator asked if I knew, and naturally I ...
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2answers
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Why did families in 6th century Mecca send their babies to be raised in the desert?

Biographies of Muhammad mentions that in his early childhood he was looked after by a wet-nurse Halimah, from a few days after his birth until he was 4. It seems customary for Meccan families to do so:...
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2answers
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Did Muslims swear by “the beard of the Prophet”?

In Western historical fictions, Muslims (from the Middle East) are often depicted to swear by "the beard of the Prophet". "By the beard of the prophet, we will not offend you; but unless you ...
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2answers
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How was Abd al-Rahman I recognized when he arrived in Islamic Hispania?

Abd al-Rahman I was the founder of the Umayyad dynasty in Hispania, and he was one of the last Umayyad survivors when the Abbasid overthrew the Umayyad caliphate in Damascus. According to what I read, ...
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1answer
606 views

What are the origins of Pakistani laws on “blasphemy?”

Pakistan appears to have draconian laws against "blasphemy" of the Prophet Mohammed, Islam, or the Koran? How and when did such laws originate in Pakistan? Are they largely the result, for instance, ...
15
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1answer
994 views

How did Saudi Arabia become and remain strongly Wahhabi?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia staunchly follow Wahhabism, a very conservative and strict brand of Islamism that probably is the major factor of Saudi's strict policy and harsh implementation of Sharia. ...
15
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2answers
677 views

Was Mohammed known and respected in seventeenth-century Europe?

I’m reading Andrew Pettigree’s fascinating book, The Invention of News: How the world came to know about itself. In the early days of newsprint, many felt that only people who actually needed to know ...
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2answers
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What can be considered to be the single most important reason for the decline of muslim Golden Age?

In the middle ages, Muslims established some powerful empires. They conquered vast land and shown considerable advancement in arts, science and culture. There were lots of Muslim philosophers and ...
14
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4answers
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Is there evidence Muslim soldiers fought in the Continental Army?

It is said that Muslims fought for the American Revolution, by serving in the Continental Army. Wikipedia cites a few names: Records from the American Revolutionary War indicate that at least a few ...
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4answers
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Military training in the Hijaz during early Islamic era

The expansion of the Islamic rule during early Islamic era was quite impressive. Before 629, Muhammad's rule was limited to one city Medina. 15 years later, at the end of Umar's rule, the Caliphate ...
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5answers
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Why did the Ottomans not change their capital to an Arab city?

As of 1517 A.D., the Ottmans have acquired the whole Levant, Egypt and they've largely become Muslim. Why they did not move their capital to a historically Islamic city like Damascus, Baghdad, or ...
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3answers
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What is the origin of Khans? Is there any link between South Asian Khans and the Mongols?

I live in India where lots of Muslims are Khans. I know about Genghis Khan who was not a Muslim but a Khan. So is their any relation between Khans like Genghis Khan (or Mongols) and current Khans?
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4answers
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What caused Iranians to convert to Shiite Islam?

Many old Iranians were Sunni Muslims. Even many of top Sunni scholars like Bukhari were Iranians. Also, most Arabs are Sunni Muslims. What was the historical effects(s) that caused Iranians to ...
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4answers
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Why did Christianity disappear in North-Western Africa?

During Roman times North-Western Africa had a thriving Christian community, giving birth to Saint Augustine and a long lasting heresy. This is similar to many Christian communities of the time, from ...
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1answer
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What was the original cause of the Camel War in Islamic history?

There are different interpretations about the Camel War. Who started this war and why? Which side of the war was the aggressor? The leaders of both sides were from the companions of the prophet ...
13
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1answer
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What was the reason for the Ottoman empire to adopt the crescent moon as its flag/coat of arms?

The Ottoman empire used the crescent moon as its symbol extensively. Any reasons for the symbolism? I have read references to polythesim of Turks contributing to the crescent and star (which predates ...
13
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1answer
361 views

Was there a rule against non-Muslims wearing the colour green in the Ottoman empire?

On the wikipedia page titled Green in Islam, it is stated that: In the Ottoman Empire, the wearing of a green turban was a privilege afforded to the descendants of Muhammad Also, in the book ...
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2answers
327 views

What were the religious effects of the initial Arab conquests in the Byzantine Empire?

I've been reading some articles and books about the early Islamic conquests that started at about 634 CE, mainly in areas that belonged to the Byzantine Empire. Problem is, the majority of works I've ...
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7answers
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Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

I recently heard a big claim from a Muslim, that the Italian Renaissance was largely caused by the positive Islamic influence on Europe via Spain or Al Andalus. I have my doubts about this claim, ...
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2answers
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Was it ever deemed illegal to translate the Qu'ran?

In England it was illegal to translate the Bible from Latin into English until the 14C when when John Wycliffe campaigned to have this situation changed. I have often heard that the Qu'ran is ...
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3answers
292 views

What is the origin of the subdivisions of Heaven and Hell?

Isra and Mi'raj is the name of the journey of the prophet Muhammad, where he witnessed heaven and hell, describing their structure as well as the punishment and rewards that lay beyond. Hell and ...
12
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1answer
379 views

Why couldn't Heraclius and Yazdegerd coordinate?

When Muslims had almost reached Aleppo in 635, Heraclius and Yazdegerd (III) sought an alliance and Heraclius married off his [grand?] daughter to Yazdegerd and they both were set to mount a ...
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3answers
842 views

What significant regions and countries became Muslim without being first conquered by a Muslim power?

Most if not all of the present Muslim countries & regions close to Europe (or in Europe, e.g. parts of Spain and of the Balkans) in North Africa and the Middle East became Muslim as a result or in ...
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2answers
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Did Gandhi ever make a comment about Islam?

Gandhi famously said about Christians: I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. I realise that in his time the Indian subcontinent was being ...
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2answers
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Have famous rabbis ever converted to Islam?

By "famous rabbi" I mean someone who was actually known in at least one community as an authority on Jewish law, not just one who successfully completed rabbinical training.
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Did the Safavid rulers require all subjects to convert to Shi'a Islam?

On one hand I've read that Shi'a Islam was the only religion allowed in the Safavid empire. On the other hand, the empire contained parts of Armenia and Georgia, but Armenians and Georgians are ...
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5answers
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What happened to those ethnic Greeks who converted to Islam during the Ottoman empire?

I got a little inspiration from a previous post on the History part: "Why were Albanians the only nation in the Balkans who converted to Islam during the Ottoman occupation?" Does anyone know ...