Light of Faith in South and Southeast Asia

Powerful Essays
“To you be your religion, to me be mine” (Muhammad 109:6). This quote is one of the examples of Prophet Muhammad’s tolerance. Islam came into existence when Prophet Muhammad received a revelation from God and was granted to bring his faith to the rest of the world. It is a monotheistic religious tradition that developed in the Middle East. Islam spread almost immediately beyond its birthplace in the Arabian Peninsula, and now has significant influence in Africa, throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. Beginning the late thirteenth century, Islam played an important role in changing the belief system of South and Southeast Asia. The main factor that helped for spreading this religion was trade. Trade created an environment of spreading and receiving Islam and encouraging its growth throughout the region. Later on, Islam was established in the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Philippines, and Vietnam and most importantly in the Indonesian archipelago. Muslim religion and culture- carried by trade routes and Sufi movements- supported religious conversion in South and Southeast Asia.
Islam started to spread this religion peacefully. The meaning of Islam is peace. Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to his law. To become a Muslim, a man is invited to submit to the good will of God and obey his law. Conversion by forcing is not a good way to spread a religion. In Southeast Asia Islam did not spread forcibly. People received and welcomed it with a great enthusiasm. In his article Mohammad Saleem Ahmed expressed that acceptance of the Islamic faith by the people of this religion was voluntary rather than the result of use of force (135). His main point is that Islam spread its message through a peaceful process. People welc...

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