The New International Encyclopædia/Mohammedanism
MOHAMMEDANISM. The name commonly given in the West to the religion founded by Mohammed. The proper name is Islam (q.v.), suggested by Mohammed himself, and explained by him to include the performance of five duties (the ‘five cardinal points of Islam’), viz.: acceptance of the formula, ‘there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet’; prayer; alms-giving; the fast of Ramadan; and the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Doctrine and Practice. Like every organized religion, Islam, as developed by the Mohammedan theologians, presents two sides—the theoretical part, known as ’amān, ‘faith,’ and the practical part called din, ‘religion.’ The doctrine concerning God, His nature and attributes, coincides with the Jewish and Christian in so far as He is by both taught to be the Creator of all things in heaven and earth, who rules and preserves all things, without beginning, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and full of mercy. But, according to the Mohammedan belief, He has no offspring. Jesus is regarded, like Adam, Abraham, and Moses, as a prophet and apostle, although His birth is said to have been due to a divine intervention; as the Koran superseded the Gospel, so Mohammed superseded Christ and all preceding prophets. Next to the belief in God, that in angels forms a prominent dogma, and, like the former, may be traced back directly to Jewish and Christian and in a smaller degree to Persian influences. Created of fire and endowed with a kind of incorporeal body, angels stand between God and man. There are four chief angels: Gabriel, the angel of revelation; Michael, the special protector and guardian of the Jews; Azrael, the angel of death; Israfil (Uriel), whose office it will be to sound the trumpet at the resurrection. Besides angels there are good and evil genii (jinns, q.v.), of a grosser fabric than the former and subject to death. They have different names and offices (pīrīs, fairies; deves, giants; takwīns, fates, etc.), and are much like the shēdīm in the Talmud and Midrash and the demons of other peoples. The chief of the evil genii is Iblis (q.v.), once called Azazil, who, refusing to pay homage to Adam, was rejected by God. A third belief is that in certain divinely given scriptures, revealed successively to the different prophets. Originally there were 104 sacred books, but only four have survived, viz.: the Pentateuch, the Psalms, the Gospel, and the Koran, and the first three are in a mutilated and falsified condition. The number of prophets sent at different times, is stated variously at between 200,000 and 300,000. Among them 313 were apostles, and six were specially commissioned to proclaim new laws and dispensations, which abrogated the preceding ones. These were Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed—the last the greatest of them all, and the propagator of the final dispensation. The belief in the resurrection and the final judgment is an important article of faith, which in the theological writings, later than Mohammed, is elaborately developed. The condition of the dead in the future world and the punishment of the wicked are pictured with a great multiplicity of details. The dead are received in their graves by an angel announcing the coming of the two examiners, Munkar (‘Unknown’) and Nakir (‘Repudiating’), who, described as two black angels with blue eyes, put questions to the dead respecting his belief in God and Mohammed, and in accordance with the answers, either torture or comfort him. The soul, awaiting a general resurrection, is treated according to its rank; prophets enter immediately into Paradise; martyrs, in the shape of a green bird, partake of the delights of the abode of bliss; common believers either stay near the grave, or are with Adam in the lowest heaven, or remain in the well Zemzem or in the trumpet of the resurrection, or rest in the shape of a white bird under the throne of God. The souls of infidels dwell in a certain well in the province of Hadramaut (interpreted as Chamber of Death), or, being first offered to heaven, then to earth, and rejected by both, are subject to unspeakable tortures until the day of resurrection. Concerning the latter, considerable discrepancy reigns among the Mohammedan theologians. Mohammed himself seems to have held that both soul and body will be raised, and it is said that the rump-bone will remain uncorrupted till the last day, and from it the whole body will spring anew, after a forty days' rain. Among the signs by which the approach of the last day may be known are the decay of faith among men, the advancing of the meanest persons to the highest dignities, wars, seditions, and tumults, and consequent dire distress. Certain provinces shall revolt, and the buildings of Medina shall reach to Mecca. These are the eight ‘lesser’ signs; of ‘greater’ signs there are no less than 17; the sun will rise in the west, the Beast will appear, Constantinople will be taken by the descendants of Isaac, the Antichrist will come and be killed by Jesus at Lud (Lydda). Further there will come a war with the Jews, Gog and Magog's (Yājūj and Mājūj) eruption, a great smoke, an eclipse, the Mohammedans will return to idolatry, a great treasure will be found in the Euphrates, the Kaaba will be destroyed by the Ethiopians, beasts and inanimate things will speak, and finally, a wind will sweep away the souls of those who have faith, even if equal only to a grain of mustard seed, so that the world shall be left in ignorance. The time of the resurrection even Mohammed could not learn from Gabriel; it is a mystery. Three blasts will announce it; that of consternation, of such terrible power that mothers will neglect the babes on their breasts, and heaven and earth will melt; that of examination, which will annihilate all things and beings, even the angel of death, save paradise and hell and their inhabitants; and, forty years later, that of resurrection, when all men, Mohammed first, shall have their souls breathed into their restored bodies, and will sleep in their sepulchres until the final doom has been passed upon them. The day of judgment, lasting from one thousand to fifty thousand years, will call up angels, genii, men, and animals. The trial over, the righteous will enter paradise, to the right hand, and the wicked will pass to the left, into hell; both, however have first to go over the bridge Al-Sirāṭ, laid over the midst of hell, finer than a hair, sharper than the edge of a sword, and beset with thorns on either side. The righteous will proceed on their path with ease and swiftness, but the wicked will fall headlong. Hell is divided into seven stories or apartments, respectively assigned to Mohammedans, Jews, Christians, Sabians, Magians, idolaters, and—the lowest of all—to the hypocrites, who, outwardly professing a religion, in reality had none. The degrees of pain—chiefly consisting in intense heat and cold—vary; but the Mohammedans, and all those who professed the unity of God, will finally be released, while unbelievers and idolaters will be condemned to eternal punishment. Paradise is divided from hell by a partition (‘urf) in which a certain number of half-saints will find place. The blessed, destined for the abode of eternal delight (Al-Jannah, Heb. Gan-Eden), will first drink of the pond of the Prophet, which is supplied from the rivers of Paradise, whiter than milk, and more odoriferous than musk. Arrived at one of the eight gates, they will be met by beautiful youths and angels; and their degree of righteousness (prophets, religious teachers, martyrs, believers) will procure for them the corresponding degree of happiness. Mankind on the last day will be assembled in three classes: (1) Those who go on foot, believers whose good works have been few; (2) those who ride, believers acceptable in the eyes of God; and (3) those who creep, the unbelievers. The various felicities which await the pious represent a conglomeration of Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, and other fancies to which the Prophet's own sensual imagination has added very considerably. Feasting in the most gorgeous and delicious variety, the most costly and brilliant garments, odors, and music of the most ravishing nature, and, above all, the enjoyment of the Ḥur al-‘uyūn, the black-eyed daughters of Paradise (see Houri), created of pure musk, are held out as a reward to the commonest inhabitant of Paradise, who will always remain in the full vigor of youth and manhood. For those deserving a higher degree of recompense, rewards will be prepared of a purely spiritual kind—i.e. the ‘beholding of God's face’ (Shechinah) by night and by day. The last of the precepts of pure faith taught by Mohammedanism is the full and unconditional submission to God's decree, and the predestination of good and evil, which is found from the beginning inscribed on a ‘preserved table.’ Not only a man's fortunes, but his deeds, and consequently his future reward or punishment, are irrevocably, and thus unavoidably, pre-ordained; a doctrine which is not, however, taken literally by all Moslems.
The first of the four chief duties of dīn or the practical part of Islam is prayer, “the key of Paradise.” Certain religious purifications are included as necessary preparations. They are of two kinds: the ghusi, or total immersion of the body, required on certain special occasions; and the wudū’, a partial ablution, to be performed immediately before the prayer. This is of primary importance, and consists in washing the hands, face, ears, and feet up to the ankles—a proceeding generally accompanied at each stage by corresponding pious sentences, and concluded by the recital of the ninety-seventh sura of the Koran. If water is not to be had, sand may supply its place. Even the ground or the carpet upon which one prays must be as clean as possible, and the use of a special prayer-carpet (sajjādah) is therefore recommended. Every Mohammedan is required to pray five times in the space of twenty-four hours. The prayer (ṣalāt) itself consists partly of extracts from the Koran (farḍ), partly of sentences ordained upon the precept or practice of the Prophet (sunna). The times of prayer are: Daybreak (fajr); noon (ẓuhr); afternoon, midway between the second and fourth (‘asr); evening (maghrib); after night has closed in (‘ishā). These several times of prayer are announced by the muezzins (q.v.) from the minarets of the mosques. The believer passes through a series of thirteen postures during his prayers; and a certain number of such inclinations of head and knees, prostrations, etc., is called rak‘ah. It is necessary that the face of the worshiper should be turned toward the kiblah, i.e. in the direction of Mecca (see Kiblah). Women, although not forbidden to enter the mosque, yet are not supposed to pray there, lest their presence should he hurtful to true devotion. Besides these prayers, there are others ordained for special occasions, as on a pilgrimage, before a battle, at funerals, during an eclipse, etc. The Moslems do not pray to Mohammed, but simply implore his intercession, as they do that of the numerous saints, the relatives of the Prophet, and the first propagators of Islam. Petitions, moreover, play a subsidiary part in the prayers, which are chiefly made up of thanksgivings and praise formulas. Mohammedanism has no clergy in the Western sense of the word, but there is always a leader (’imām), who takes his stand at the head of the congregation and ‘leads’ the latter in prayer. (See Imam; Mollah; Mufti.) Next to prayer stands the duty of giving alms. These are twofold, legal (zakāt) and voluntary (ṣadaḳah), but the former, originally collected by the sovereign and applied to pious uses, has now been practically abrogated. The sadakah, according to the law, is to be given once every year, of cattle, money, corn, fruits, and wares sold, at about the rate of from two and a half up to twenty per cent. Besides these, it is usual to bestow a measure of provisions upon the poor at the end of the sacred month of Kamadan. The duty of fasting follows. During the whole month of Ramadan, the Moslem is commanded to refrain from eating, drinking, and every indulgence in worldly pleasure, from daybreak until sunset. During the night he is allowed to eat, drink, and enjoy himself. Certain classes are exempt, as it was Mohammed's special and express desire that no one should fast who is not equal to it, lest he injure his health and disqualify himself for necessary labor. Of other commendable fast-days, the most important is the ‘Ḁshūrā, on the tenth of Muharram, corresponding in a measure to the Jewish Day of Atonement. The fast of Ramadan is universally kept, in letter if not in spirit, fasting being considered “one-fourth part of the faith.” (See Ramadan; Fasts.) The last duty is the pilgrimage to Mecca, which every Moslem must make once in his life, if he be free, sound in body, and able to meet the expense. Women also perform the pilgrimage. To pay the way of one who cannot himself afford it is considered a pious act, and the Shiites allow the pilgrimage to be made by proxy. See Hajj; Hajji.
To the 'positive' ordinances of Islam may be added the ṣaghīr or lesser and kabīr or greater festivals. The first (al-fiṭr, or breaking the fast) follows immediately upon Ramadan, beginning on the first day of the month of Shawwal, and lasts three days. The second (‘īd al-ḳurbān, or sacrifice festival) begins on the tenth of Dhu l-Hijjah. The latter was intended to be the more important of the two, but the people have in most places changed the order, and make the lesser festival, which follows Ramadan, the more joyful and the longer. The day set aside for the weekly assembly is Friday, which, however, is not a day of rest. After prayers the people return to their ordinary affairs.
Islam also enjoins a number of prohibitory laws based upon utterances of the Prophet. The drinking of wine, which includes all strong and inebriating liquors, is vigorously forbidden. Chiefly through European influence some Moslems have lost their scruples on this score, but the great majority of the faithful refuse even to make use of the proceeds of the sale of wine or grapes. Some scrupulous believers even include opium, coffee, and tobacco in the prohibition; but general practice has decided differently. The prohibitory laws respecting food resemble closely those of Rabbinical Judaism; blood, the flesh of swine, animals which have died from disease or age, or on which the name of some idol has been invoked, or which have been sacrificed unto an idol, or which have been strangled, or killed by a blow, a fall, or by some other beast, are strictly forbidden. ‘Pure’ animals must be slaughtered according to certain fixed rules, and fish, bird, game are generally allowed for food. All games subject to chance—such as dice, cards, tables, bets, etc.—are considered so wicked that a gambler's testimony is invalid in a court of law. Chess and other games depending on skill—provided they do not interfere with the regular performance of religious duties, and that they are played without any stakes—are allowed by the majority of Moslem theologians. Usury is strictly prohibited. Taking interest upon any loans, however large or small, or profiting in trade through questionable means, save by buying and selling, is severely condemned. To prevent the faithful from ever falling back into idolatry, the laws relating to images and pictures have been made very stringent. Whosoever makes an imitation of any living being in stone, wood, or any other material, shall, on the day of judgment, be asked to endow his creation with life and soul, and, on his protesting his inability of doing so, shall undergo the punishment of hell for a certain period.
The civil and criminal laws of Mohammedanism, founded on both the Koran and the Traditions (Sunna, q.v.), in instances where the letter of the written or oral precept allows of various explanations, or where the case in question is unprecedented, are interpreted according to the opinion of one of the four great masters of Islam: Abu Hanifah (born 702), Malik ibn Anas (born 714), Mohammed al-Shafii (born 767), and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (born 780), within the pale of their respective sects. (See Mohammedan Sects.) Upon the principal points all Mohammedans agree. In regard to marriage, polygamy is allowed, but not without restriction. Four wives and a certain number of concubine slaves is the legal limit for a Moslem. The Prophet's example proves nothing to the contrary, since he was endowed with special privileges, and not subject to the common law in many respects. It is, moreover, added as advice, that to marry one or two is quite sufficient for a man. As a matter of fact, the rule among Mohammedans of the present day is to have but one wife. A Moslem may marry a Christian woman or a Jewess, but a Mohammedan woman is not, under any circumstances, to marry an unbeliever. In all cases, however, the child born of a Moslem, whatever the mother's faith, is a Moslem; nor does the wife who is an unbeliever inherit at her husband's death. Forbidden degrees are: The mother, daughter, sister, half-sister, aunt, niece, foster-mother, or a woman related to the faithful “by milk in any of the degrees which would preclude his marriage with her if she were similarly related to him by consanguinity;” the mother of his wife, even if he be not yet actually married to the latter; the daughter of his wife, if the latter still be his legal wife; his father's wife and his son's wife; two sisters at the same time; wives who stand to each other in the relation of aunt and niece; or the unemancipated slave, or another man's slave, if he have already a free wife. A simple declaration of a man and woman at the age of puberty, before two witnesses, of their intention to marry each other, and the payment of part of the dowry (which is indispensable, and must amount to at least ten dirhems, or about one dollar) is sufficient for a legal marriage. A girl under age is given away by her natural or appointed guardian, with or without her consent. To see the face of any woman who is neither his wife nor his concubine, nor belongs to any of the forbidden degrees, is strictly forbidden to the believer. Divorce is a comparatively light matter with the Mohammedans. Twice a man may send away his wife and take her back again without any ceremony; the third time, however, he may not receive her again in wedlock unless she have been married properly to another man in the meantime. Mere dislike is sufficient reason for a man to dissolve the conjugal ties, and his saying “Thou art divorced,” or “I divorce thee,” together with the repayment of the dowry, is all that is required from him by the law. A wife, on the other hand, is bound to her husband forever, unless she can prove some flagrant ill usage or neglect of conjugal duty on his part; and even then she forfeits part, or the whole, of her dowry. A divorced woman is obliged to wait, like the widow, for a certain period before marrying again. If she have a young child, she is to suckle it until it be two years old, and the father is to bear all the expenses of the maintenance of mother and child. If a slave becomes a mother by her master, and he acknowledges the child to be his own, the latter is free, and the mother is to be emancipated at the master's death, and may not be given away or otherwise disposed of by him during his lifetime. A free person, wishing to marry his or her slave, must first emancipate this slave; and if the slave of another person has been married by a free man or woman, and afterwards becomes the latter's property, the marriage becomes illegal, and can only be renewed by a legal contract and emancipation. As regards inheritance, males generally receive a double share. A person may not bequeath more than one-third of his property, unless there be no legal heirs. Children, whether begotten with the legal wife or slave, or concubine, or only adopted, and their descendants, are the first heirs; next come the claims of wives, parents, brothers, sisters, in their order. Where there is no legal heir, the property falls to the State. The law is very lenient toward debtors. Insolvency and inability to work for the discharge of the claim solve all further obligations. The most conscientious performance of all private contracts is constantly recommended in the Koran. Murder is either punished with death or by the payment of a fine to the family of the deceased, according to their own pleasure. There must, however, be palliating circumstances in the latter case. The Bedouins still maintain the primitive Semitic law of blood-revenge, and up to this day the ‘vendetta’ often rages not only between family and family, but between whole tribes, villages, and provinces. Unintentional homicide is expiated by freeing a believer from slavery, and paying to the family a certain sum in proportion to the rank and sex of the deceased. He who has not the means of freeing a believer is to fast for two months by way of penance. According to the strict letter of the law a man is not liable to capital punishment for killing his own child or an infidel; but practically no difference is made by the Mohammedan governments (chiefly the Turkish) at the present time. Murder is punished with death and no fine frees the culprit. Injuries to the person are punished according to the primitive law of retaliation; that is, a certain proportionate fine in money is to be paid to the injured. The payment for any of the single limbs of the human body (e.g. the nose) is the full price of blood, as for a homicide; for a limb which is found twice, like hand or foot, half; for a finger or a toe, the tenth part, etc. Women and slaves have smaller claims. Injuries of a dangerous or otherwise grievous nature pay the full price; those of an inferior kind, however, bring the perpetrator within the province of the lash or cudgel. The Koran orders small theft to be punished by cutting off the chief offending limb, the right hand; the second theft is punishable by the loss of the left foot; the third, of the left hand; the fourth, of the right foot, etc.; but the ordinary punishments of imprisonment, hard labor, and the bastinado have been substituted in later times. The property stolen must not, however, have been of easy access to the thief, nor must it have consisted of food, since he may have taken this to satisfy the craving of his hunger. Unchastity on the part of a woman was in the commencement of Islam punished by imprisonment for life, for which afterwards, however, stoning was substituted in the case of a married woman, and a hundred stripes and a year's exile in the case of an unmarried free woman, a slave to undergo only half of that punishment. He who accuses a ‘woman of reputation’ of adultery or fornication must produce four (male) witnesses, and if he be not able to do so, he is to receive fourscore stripes, nor is his testimony ever after to be received unless he swear four times that he speaks the truth, and the fifth time imprecate God's vengeance if he speak false. Even this testimony may be overthrown by the wife's swearing four times that her accuser is a liar, and imprecating the fifth time the wrath of God upon herself if he speak the truth. In the latter case she is free from punishment; the marriage, however, is to be dissolved. Fornication in either sex is, by the law of the Koran, to be visited with a hundred stripes. Infidelity, or apostacy from Islam, is a crime to be visited by the death of the offender, if he have been warned thrice without recanting. Severer still, that is, not to be averted by repentance or revocation of any kind, is the punishment inflicted for blasphemy—against God, Mohammed, Jesus, Moses, or any other prophet. Immediate death is the doom of the offender.
A further injunction of the Koran is that of making war against the infidels (jihād). He who is slain while fighting in defense of Islam or for its propagation is reckoned a martyr; while a deserter from the holy war is held up as an object of execration, and has forfeited his life in this world as well as in the world to come. At first all the enemies taken in battle were ruthlessly slain; later, however, it became the law to give the people of a different faith against whom war was declared the choice of three things—either to embrace Islam, in which case they became Moslems at once, free in their persons and fortunes, and entitled to all the privileges of Moslems; or to submit to pay tribute, in which case they were allowed to continue in their religion, if it did not imply gross idolatry or otherwise offend against the moral law; or to decide the quarrel by the fortune of war—in which case the captive women and children were made slaves, and the men either slain if they did not become converts at the last moment, or otherwise disposed of by the prince. The fifth part of the spoil belongs ‘to God,’ that is, must be devoted to a sanctuary, to the Prophet and his kindred, to the orphans, the poor, and the traveler.
It must not be overlooked that the Islam of history and of the present time is not the pure and unmodified teaching of its founder. The Koran was not intended to be a systematically arranged code of laws. Such laws and regulations as it contains were called forth by some occurrence during the Prophet's life, and were, properly, supplementary to existing laws and customs, which they abrogated, confirmed, or modified according to the occasion. In course of time cases arose for which no written rules could be found laid down by Mohammed. Recourse was then had to traditional oral dicta or to the Sunna (q.v.); in time precedents were established and laws came into force by the concurrence of the learned (ijmā‘), or by a process of reasoning (ḳiyās). In this way the peculiar system which is called Mohammedan jurisprudence came into being, theoretically founded on the Koran, but often strangely at variance with the principles and spirit of its author. In like manner the reprehensible features of the doctrine and daily life of Islam must not be charged indiscriminately against Mohammed. That part of the system which most distinctly reveals the mind of its founder, and which also has undergone least change in the course of time and constitutes its most complete and brightest part, is its ethics. Injustice, falsehood, pride, vindictiveness, calumny, mockery, avarice, prodigality, debauchery, mistrust, and suspicion are inveighed against as ungodly and wicked; while benevolence, liberality, modesty, forbearance, patience and endurance, frugality, sincerity, straightforwardness, decency, love of peace and truth, and above all trust in God and submission to His will, are considered as the pillars of true piety and the principal signs of a true believer. Mohammed never expressly laid down that doctrine of absolute predestination and “fatality” which destroys all human will and freedom, and which by the influence of Mohammedan theologians became a fixed element in the orthodox creed. A glance at his system of faith (so far as he had a system), built on hope and fear, rewards and punishments, paradise and hell, both to be man's portion according to his acts in this life, and the incessant exhortations to virtue, and denunciations of vice, are sufficient to prove that aboriginal predestination is not in the Koran, where only submission to Allah's will, hope during misfortune, modesty in prosperity, and entire confidence in the divine plans, are supported by the argument that everything is in the hands of the highest being, and that there is no appeal against his absolute decrees. This is but one instance of the way in which Mohammed's dicta have been developed and explained—in such a manner that he has often been made to teach doctrines which he really did not teach; and thus many elements now found in the Moslem creed, if carefully traced back to their original source, will be seen to be the growth of later generations.
In a general estimate of Mohammedanism it should not be forgotten what Islam has done for the cause of humanity and more particularly the share it had in the development of science and art in Europe. Broadly speaking, the Mohammedans may be said to have been the teachers of barbarous Europe from the ninth to the thirteenth century. It is from the days of the Abbasside rulers that the real renaissance of the Greek spirit and Greek culture is to be dated. Classical literature would have been irredeemably lost had it not been for the home it found in the schools of the “unbelievers” of the “dark ages.” Arabic philosophy, medicine, natural history, geography, history, grammar, rhetoric, schooled by the old Hellenic masters, and the “golden art of poetry,” brought forth an abundant harvest of works, many of which will live and teach as long as there will be generations to be taught. See Arabic Language and Literature.
History. In the first three years of his mission Mohammed won forty converts, including his wife, Khadija, Abu Bekr, and Othman. Then followed Ali, Omar ibn Khattab, and Hamza. In 615 the persecutions of the Koreish drove fifteen of the converts into Abyssinia, and they were later joined by a hundred more. After Mohammed's return from Taif to Mecca he won over some of the Bani Khazraj of Yathrib (Medina), who then made converts among the Bani Ans, formerly their enemies. The new faith spread rapidly from tribe to tribe, the Bani Abd al-Ashhal going over in a body. In 622 the number of Mohammedan pilgrims from Yathrib was 73. After the flight from Mecca Medina was organized into a commonwealth, and Islam became a political as well as a religious movement.
Mohammed's plans included now nothing less than the conversion of the world to Islam. If he had at first hoped to accomplish this by peaceful measures alone, the aggressiveness of his enemies in advancing against Medina soon forced the preacher to become warrior also, and military success won more and more converts. In the sixth year of the Hejira Mohammed sent letters to the Byzantine Emperor, Heraclius, to the King of Persia, to the Governor of Yemen, to the Governor of Egypt, and to the King of Abyssinia inviting them to join the new religion. In the same year he converted part of the Bani Daws of Yemen, and two years later the rest of the tribe followed; in the meanwhile fifteen other tribes responded. With the fall of Mecca in A.H. 8, the triumph of Islam in Arabia was assured. Some of the Prophet's bitterest enemies became his most ardent followers; and the next year saw so many embassies suing for alliance that it became known as the ‘year of the deputations.’
After Abu Bekr had brought about the resubjugation of the northern tribes, who had revolted on Mohammed's death, an army was sent into Syria, as the Prophet himself had planned. A second army was sent into Irak. The latter came into contact with the Persian forces, and in Omar's caliphate, by the victory at Kadisiyyah, Chaldira and Mesopotamia were assured to the Arabs. Christian Bedouins of both sides of the Euphrates became converted at this time, even though tolerance was extended to those who kept their own faith. In Syria almost the only opposition came from Heraclius's armies. The great mass of the people, oppressed by the Byzantines, welcomed the Arabs. By 639 the Greeks had been driven out of the province, most of the large towns having made treaties which guaranteed them toleration of religious belief, and protection of life and properly on the mere payment of the jizyah (poll-tax) and kharaj (land-tax). Friendly relations being thus established, in the following years there was a gradual assimilation of Arabic manners and customs throughout Syria, which made the conversion of the natives easy. Many Christians were converted in the fifty years between Omar and Abd al-Malik in Irak, Khorasan, etc. Omar II. (717-720) was particularly successful by lightening the burdens of Mohammedan landowners. In addition, the children of women captives were brought up as Moslems; and slaves were allowed to purchase their freedom at the price of conversion. In the tenth century the Nestorian Bishop of Bet Garmai was a noted convert; in 1016 Ignatius, the Jacobite Metropolitan of Takrit (at Bagdad), became Abu Muslim. Converts were won in the following centuries, even from among the Crusaders. Bainaud and his followers embraced Mohammedanism in a body; 3000 Crusaders accepted Islam in Phrygia in 1148, as a result of Mohammedan kindness contrasted with ill-treatment on the part of Greek Christians. Today over fifty per cent, of the population of Syria and Palestine is Moslem.
The rapidity with which Mohammedanism spread in Syria and Mesopotamia was not duplicated in the country to the north. In Armenia, even after the Christian power had been overthrown by the Seljuks of the eleventh century, the mass of the population continued Christian. Georgia resisted until the invasion of the Mongols. After the fall of Constantinople (1453) the western and central portions of the country became converted, and after the ruling dynasty of Samtskhé in 1625 had become Mohammedan, progress was rapid among the aristocracy. The eastern portion of the country had submitted to Persia, and as such was naturally subject to Mohammedan influence. In the seventeenth century there were two petty kingdoms in the East the rulers of which, though native princes, were Moslems. Since the beginning of the nineteenth century Georgia has belonged to Russia, but certain parts are still Mohammedan.
After the Mohammedans had succeeded in subduing Syria they turned their attention to Egypt. Amr ibn al-Asi drove the Byzantines out in A.D. 641, and the whole of the country as far south as Abyssinia and as far west as Libya came under Moslem influence. The conquerors, who treated the natives, and especially the Copts, with great favor, were welcomed by them. Many Copts accepted Islam even before the fall of Alexandria; while the number of converts, partly forced, partly willing, that were made up to the Caliphate of Omar II. (717-720) was large. In the twelfth century Islam was carried, principally by Moslem merchants, into Lower Egypt, and in the fourteenth century into Nubia, the King of Dongola becoming a Moslem in 1340. In Abyssinia conversions were first made in the coast towns in the tenth century, and toward the end of the twelfth a Mohammedan dynasty was founded. In the sixteenth century the Mohammedan Kingdom of Adal, between Abyssinia and the southern end of the Red Sea, came into existence; in the seventeenth, one-third of its entire population was Moslem, while in the middle of the nineteenth one-half of the central province of Abyssinia had likewise been converted.
Amr ibn al-Asi conquered Northern Africa as far as Barca. Before the end of the century rapid progress had been made among the Berbers, who made their last resistance at the Spring of Kahina in 703. Musa ibn Nusair and Omar II., the Conqueror, made innumerable converts. In 780 Western Africa (Mauretania) became separated from Egypt as a kingdom under Idris, founder of the Idriside dynasty; in addition to converting many Berbers, he is said to have forced Christians and Jews to apostatize. The Berbers, however, under the Idrisides as under the Aghlabites (a dynasty founded in 801 by Ibrahim ibn Aghlab, hereditary governor of Ifrikiyyah) were in constant revolt. In the beginning of the tenth century Abu Abd Allah appeared among them as the apostle of the Ismailian sect, and succeeded in winning over the whole of the powerful Kitamah tribe to the support of the Imamate of Ubaid Allah; and the dynasty of the Fatimites was thus successfully established in Kairwan. Early in the eleventh century the faith spread rapidly among the Berbers of the Sahara also, among whom it had been introduced in the ninth century. The revival was due principally to a chieftain of the Lamtuna tribe, Abd Allah ibn Yassin, who founded a monastery and won many disciples from various tribes, to which he sent them back as missionaries. In 1042 he led his followers, known as the Murabbitin (Almoravides), against the neighboring tribes, and by force and persuasion succeeded in establishing a vast empire. Before the end of the century it extended from Senegambia to Algiers; Mohammedan Spain was brought under the sway of the Almoravides. In the beginning of the seventh century another dynasty was founded among the Berbers, when Abu Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Tumart appeared in the Mauretanian mountains and preached especially against the laxity of morals and the excessive veneration paid to saints. His followers became known as the Muwaḥḥidin (Almohades, or Unitarians). The conquests and conversions of the Almohades were likewise enormous; by 1160 they had an empire extending from Barea to the Atlantic, and embracing Mohammedan Spain. After these events but few of the Berbers remained heathens.
From Northern Africa Islam soon penetrated into the interior of the continent. The Almoravides made many converts in the eleventh century among the negroes of the Sudan, who had already become familiar with the new faith through the visits of merchants and missionaries. The negro tribes of the west were first won over; as early as 1010 the King of Surhay (southeast of Timbuktu) became a Moslem; the States on the upper Niger, Timbuktu (founded in 1077) and Melle (West Sudan, founded by the Mandingos), followed and furnished active missionaries as well. The kingdoms of Bornu and Kanem, along Lake Chad, became converted in the eleventh century, the latter kingdom extending as far as Egypt and Nubia. In Darfur a Moslem dynasty was founded in the fourteenth century and is reigning to-day; at the end of the sixteenth century Wadai and Bagirmi, and in the seventeenth, portions of the Hausa country, became Moslem. In the nineteenth century there was a remarkable revival of Mohammedanism due to the influence of the Wahhabis. The Fulahs were united into one political organization by Sheikh Othman Danfodio, and compelled all the remaining tribes to accept Islam. To-day there are four powerful Mohammedan kingdoms in Senegambia and the Sudan. The nineteenth century movement was aided by such religious orders as the Amirghaniyyah, the Tijaniyyah, the Kadriyyah. and the Sanusiyyah. The vast theocracy of the Sanusiyyah has settlements and schools extending from Egypt to Morocco, in the Sudan, Senegambia, Somaliland, the Sahara, and the Galla country; they have gained many converts by education and the purchase of slaves.
Along the west coast of Africa Islam has made steady progress; e.g. on the Guinea Coast, in Sierra Leone, in the Ashanti country, Dahomey, the Gold Coast, Lagos (where there are 10,000 Moslems), and Liberia (where there are more Moslems than heathen). Often the common people are converts where the chieftains are not. There is hardly a town along the coast for 2000 miles from the Senegal which has not a mosque.
On the east coast the Emozaydij made settlements before the tenth century; they were Shiites, and were followed by Sunnis, who founded the town of Magadoxo, and other towns on the coast from Aden to the Tropic of Capricorn. Arab traders made Zanzibar Mohammedan. Inland, however, only the Galla and Somali tribes are even partly Moslem. In Cape Colony there have been Moslems since the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Islam having been carried there by the Malays. Even among the Hottentots there are converts who make the pilgrimage to Mecca, while in the diamond fields the coolies are said to be missionaries.
Islam was introduced into Spain in 711 by Tarik with 12,000 Berbers. The first converts were from among the ill-treated slaves. The remnant of the heathen population followed, then the nobles and the middle and lower classes of the Christians, so that the majority of the population soon consisted of Mohammedans of non-Arab blood. In 1311 there were 200,000 Mohammedans in Granada alone, only 500 of them being of Arab descent. On the whole, conversion was carried on peacefully except when the Almoravides at the close of the eleventh century came to Spain. The Moslem power began to crumble away as early as the eleventh century; the last Moriscos were driven out in 1609.
The other Mohammedan empire in Europe, that of the Turks, made its first conquests at the time of the decline of Islam in Spain. The inception of the Ottoman Empire dates from the beginning of the thirteenth century, when 50,000 Turks settled in the northwest of Asia Minor. In 1353 they entered Europe for the first time and in 1361 made Adrianople their capital. Before the end of the century Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thessaly, and most of Thrace had been subdued by Bajazet; Amurath II. (1421-51) added to this territory, and Mohammed II. (1451-81), after taking Constantinople in 1453, extended his rule over Greece, Servia, Bosnia, and Albania. A large part of Hungary was added by Solyman II. (1520-66); in the seventeenth century Crete was taken, and Podolia was ceded by the Poles. The most noted example of forced conversion was the enrollment of Christian children in the ranks of the Janizaries (q.v.). Large numbers were converted peaceably from all ranks; in the fifteenth century Adrianople was the home of countless renegades; in the seventeenth converts were made even among the Christian clergy. Progress was very rapid at this time. The power of Servia was broken by the Turks in 1389, but the country was not reduced to the position of a Turkish province until 1459, when the inhabitants chose Mohammedan rule in preference to the Roman Catholicism of Hungary. However, though the nobles became Moslems, only in Old Servia (northeast of Albania), since the seventeenth century, has the spread of Islam been rapid. The same period was the date of the rapid conversion of Montenegro; in Bosnia, the Bogomiles joined Islam in huge numbers after Mohammed II. had released over seventy cities from Catholic persecution. The other inhabitants followed gradually, and the Christians left the way clear by emigrating into the neighboring countries. The conversion of the inhabitants of Crete first took place in the ninth and tenth centuries, when the whole population joined Islam; at the beginning of the thirteenth century the Venetians acquired the island, and in 1669, when it was taken from Venice by the Turks, the inhabitants had to be reconverted; within 50 years half of them were again Moslem.
In Persia, Islam made progress very early, for under Zoroastrianism the people were oppressed by priest and ruler alike. After the fall of the Sassanid dynasty in the middle of the seventh century, converts were easily made, at first mainly from among the despised industrial classes and artisans. Later the Shiites met with great success, for Hosein, son of Ali, had married Shahban, daughter of Yezdegird, the last Sassanid; and in the middle of the eighth century the Ismailians showed a wonderful power of adapting themselves and their teachings to all classes and creeds. At the close of the eighth century Saman, a noble of Balkh, became a Moslem and founded the dynasty of the Samanids (874-999). Conversions were made in the ninth century by Karim ibn Shahriyar, the converted King of the Kabusiyyah dynasty, and by Nasir al-Hakk of Dailam; in 912 Hasan ibn Ali, of an Abd dynasty on the Caspian, made many converts in Dailam and Tabaristan.
North of Persia there had been much opposition to Islam, and allegiance to the Caliph was often renounced as soon as the armies were withdrawn. In Samarkand, however, conversions were brought about by Ibn Kutaibah, who burned the heathens' idols. Among the Afghans the King of Kabul was converted about 800; in Transoxiana many converts were made in the eighth century, and by the middle of the ninth Mohammedanism was general. The greatest impetus to the spread of the new faith came about the middle of the tenth century, when some of the Turkish chieftains were converted; in Turkestan the founder of the Hak Khans converted 2000 families of his tribe, who became known as Turcomans. In 956 the Seljuk Turks had their origin, when Selijek migrated with his clan to Bokhara from the Kirghiz steppes.
Much of the progress which Islam had made was lost by the Mongol invasion. Bokhara, Samarkand, Balkh, and Bagdad were left in ruins, and almost without inhabitants. Many Mongol rulers, such as Kublai Khan, were energetic in their opposition to Islam. But in the time of Ogotai Khan (1229-1241) certain Buddhists were converted; Yisun-Timur Khan (1323-28) was an earnest Moslem, and made converts of his troops; Baraka Khan (1256-65) turned Moslem with his subjects—the first ruling Mongol prince to take this step in the eastern portion of the Mongol territory. But it was not till 1295 that Islam became the ruling religion of Persia; at that date Ghazan, seventh of the Hak khans, joined the new faith. In the Middle Kingdom, in the reigns of Tirneashirin Khan (1322-30) and Tukluk Timur Khan (1347-63), Islam became generally adopted, though Burak Khan (1266-70) had also been a Moslem. In the Golden Horde the leaders and aristocracy followed Baraka Khan when he became converted; Uzbeg Khan (1313-40) placed Islam on a solid basis. The Mongols were likewise successful, to some extent, in introducing Mohammedanism into Russia; e.g. in the Crimea and among the Finns, the Tcheremisses, the Tchuvashes (whole villages of which are Moslem), and the northeast Russian tribes, among whom there are many secret Mohammedans. In Siberia the first conversions were made in the latter half of the sixteenth century. Since 1745 the Baraba Tatars, between the Irtish and Ob, have been converted.
In India the first great Mohammedan conqueror was Mohammed Kasim (711), who took Darbul (capital of Sindh), Multan, and other cities early in the eighth century. Under Omar II. the native princes were called upon to become Mohammedans, and received Arabic names; but many of them later became heathens again. In 1019 Hardat and 10,000 men accepted Islam; but it was some time before the new religion gained a firm footing in India. Down to near the close of the twelfth century Mohammedan India was only a province of Ghazni; at that time Mohammed Ghori conquered the northern part to the mouth of the Ganges, and his slave Kutb al-Din was made Viceroy of Delhi. The latter then proclaimed himself sovereign of Hindustan and founded the dynasty of the “Slave Kings,” the first Mohammedan dynasty in India. Mohammed Ghori likewise converted the Ghakkars, in the mountains north of Punjab. Under the succeeding dynasty, the Khiljis (1295-1320), Mohammedan rule was extended to the Deccan. The Tughlak dynasty which followed was troubled by revolt and desertion, and its power was much reduced; the Sayyids, as well as the Lodis (1451-1526), were rulers over but one province, Bengal, Jaunpur, Malwa, and Gujarat having independent Moslem dynasties. The Mogul Empire was established in 2526 by Baber, and then Islamic influences were more successful. Many rajputs were converted when idolatry was made a bar to advancement at court. In the eastern districts of the Punjab and in Cawnpore, many converts were made in the reign of Aurungzebe.
In Southern India and in Bengal the spread of Islam was more rapid. The southern coast was subject to the Mohammedan influences of traders; even in the eighth century refugees had come there from Irak, and missionaries in the eleventh. In Malabar the Mappilas, descendants of the early refugees, are estimated at one-fifth of the population. The Laccadive and Maldive islands, as well as Malabar, have an almost exclusively Moslem population. In the Deccan, Arabs settled in the tenth century; it had the Mohammedan dynasties of the Bahmanids (1347-1490) and Bijapur (1439-1686). Bengal was the scene of most active propaganda, and Islam was welcomed especially among the lower caste Brahmins. Lower Bengal has been the scene of a great Mohammedan revival even in the last few years. Kashmir had a Mohammedan king in the fourteenth century; Islam became supreme in the time of Akbar, and to-day claims over seventy per cent. of the population. In Baltistan there has been a Mohammedan population for over three centuries, and the faith is being carried by merchants from Kashmir, as well as from Persia, even into Tibet. In the various parts of India there are about 60,000,000 Moslems, the number of annual converts being estimated variously from 10,000 to 600,000. It is worth noticing, however, that in Agra and Delhi, the centres of Moslem power, but from one-tenth to one-fourth of the population is Moslem.
Mohammedanism penetrated into China from the south and from the west. Friendly relations were established between the Caliphs and the Emperors in the time of the Caliph Walid (705-717), when the general Kutaibah ibn Muslim sent ambassadors to the Chinese Court. Later Moslem traders entered from Arabia, Bokhara, and Transoxiana. The first mosque was built in 742, in the capital city, Shen-si, Northern China. In 758, 4000 Arab soldiers were sent by the Caliph Al-Mansur to aid the Emperor Sah-Tsung in crushing a rebellion; they remained in China and intermarried with the natives. The annals of the Thang dynasty (618-907) record the arrival of Moslems at Canton; there in the ninth century they lived as a separate community. They were joined later by other arrivals, and intermarried with the natives. Mohammedans entered the Province of Kan-su (part of the Empire of Hoey-hu), and the Khan was converted, in the tenth century. The Uigurs, a Turkish tribe transferred to the Great Wall in the Thang dynasty, became Moslems in the ninth century. All of these Moslem communities formed centres for the spread of Islam throughout the Empire. Further accessions of Syrians, Arabs, and Persians followed the great Mongol conquest. Under the Mongol Khakans Mohammedans were well treated and rose to positions of trust (in 1244 Abd al-Rahman was head of the Imperial finances). At the beginning of the fourteenth century all the inhabitants of Yun-nan were Moslems, and in every town throughout the Empire there was a special Moslem quarter. After the expulsion of the Mongols the Mohammedans avoided all external signs of their religion, and assimilated themselves as far as possible to the rest of the population, while keeping the essentials of their religion intact. Missionary efforts were continued quietly and slowly but surely; the only conversion in large numbers took place in 1770, when a revolt was put down in Sungaria, and the 10,000 military colonists who were sent there all embraced Islam, and after a famine in 1790 in the Province of Kwang-tung, when 10,000 children are said to have been bought, and brought up as Moslems. There was a general revival of interest in the eighteenth century, when commercial relations were reëstablished with the outside Mohammedan world. To-day there are 20,000,000 Mohammedans in the Chinese Empire, of which three-fourths are in the provinces of Kan-su and Shen-si, in the northwest. As an example of the cities in the east, Peking has 20,000 Moslems, with 13 mosques.
The spread of Islam into the Malay Islands dates from the twelfth century, when more or less successful attempts were made to introduce it into Sumatra; in the fourteenth century the sherif of Mecca sent missionaries to the island and succeeded in making many converts. In the fifteenth century the great Kingdom of Menang-Kaban had many converts, and the larger part of central Sumatra is now Moslem. On the Malay Peninsula the Kingdom of Malacca was converted in the thirteenth or fourteenth century; the Moslems of the peninsula to-day are said to be most strict in their religious practices, though extremely tolerant, converts have been made among the Siamese Buddhists of the north and among the wild tribes of the peninsula. In Java the first notable success of Islam took place in the fourteenth century; and in the following century the new faith was firmly established on the east coast. In the fifteenth century Radan Rahmat, nephew of the Hindu King of Majapahit, made many converts in Ampel, and in other places on the east coast; at the same time conversions were made in the west. Radan Patah headed a confederacy which, in 1478, defeated the King of Majapahit, replacing the Hindu with a Moslem dynasty. To-day nearly the whole of Java is Mohammedan. In Celebes, general conversion along the coast began in the seventeenth century. The Macassars were the first converts; they then, after much resistance, converted the Bugis, who likewise became propagandists. In the north the Kingdom of Balaang-Mongondou, which was Christian for centuries, was finally converted in 1844. The population of this kingdom is now half heathen and half Moslem. The island of Sumbawa has had a Moslem population since 1540; Lombok was one of the scenes of conversion by the Bugis.
In the Philippine Islands there has been a long struggle between Christianity and Islam. In Mindanao and the Sulu Islands civilized Mohammedan tribes existed as early as 1521, when the Spaniards came to the islands. Owing to their obnoxious and ill-advised methods, the Spaniards could make no progress in the face of Islam. The Mohammedans, as elsewhere, learned the language of the people, adopted their customs and intermarried with them, thereby winning great success. The independent Kingdom of Mindanao had 360,000 Moslem subjects in the nineteenth century. The Sulu Islands have also been a Mohammedan stronghold, though nominally Catholic. Among the ruder inhabitants, those of the lower classes, in the northern islands, Islam has not made much headway, as indeed has been the case throughout the archipelago. In New Guinea and the islands to the northwest of it, progress has been made only on the coasts. In the archipelago as a whole, however, Islam is spreading; in Java, for instance, there were 33,802 pilgrims to Mecca in 1874, and 48,237 in 1886. Books are printed in Mecca in the various Malay languages; in 1882 the Mohammedan schools of Java had 255,000 students. The religious orders, especially the Sanusiyyah, are very active.
It is almost impossible to give reliable figures of the total Mohammedan population of the world. The official estimate of the Turkish Government, which may be considered very conservative, places the number at 176,000,000. This is divided as follows: In the Turkish dominions, 18,000,000; in other parts of Asia, 99,000,000; in Africa, 36,000,000; in other countries and in the islands of the Eastern seas, 23,000,000. The whole of British India, with its dependencies, according to the census of 1901, contained 62,458,000 Mohammedans. Mann (North American Review, November, 1900) gives the following figures: India, 57,061,796; Burma, 210,049; Malay Archipelago, 31,042,000; China, 32,000,000; Africa, 80,000,000; a total of 200,313,845. There are about 250,000 Mohammedans in the Sulu group of the Philippine Islands.
Bibliography. The works mentioned in the articles Koran and Mohammed are all important for the general subject of Islam. Of other works the following is a select, but by no means complete, list: Geiger, Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthum aufgenommen? (Bonn, 1833; Eng. trans., London, 1899); Lane, The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (London, 1836; many subsequent editions), the best popular account of Mohammedan life and customs; Dozy, Het Islamisme (Leyden, 1863; French trans., Essai sur l'histoire de l'Islamisme, Paris, 1879); Kremer, Geschichte der herrschenden Ideen des Islam (Leipzig, 1868); id., Kulturgeschichte des Orients unter den Chalifen (Vienna, 1875-77); Ahmed Khan Bahador, A Series of Essays on the Life of Mahomet and Subjects Subsidiary Thereto (London, 1870); Hunter, Our Indian Mussulmans (ib., 1871); Deutsch, Essay on Islam (ib., 1874); Vambéry, Der Islam im 19ten Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1875); Hauri, Der Islam in seinem Einfluss auf das Leben seiner Bekenner (Leyden, 1881); Pischon, Der Einfluss des Islam auf das hausliche, sociale und politische Leben seiner Bekenner (Leipzig, 1881); Blunt, The Future of Islam (London, 1880); Poole, Studies in a Mosque (ib., 1883); Hughes, A Dictionary of Islam (ib., 1885; incomplete and not always trustworthy); August Müller, Der Islam im Morgen- und Abendlande (Berlin, 1885-87); Snouck-Hurgronje, “De Islam,” in De Gids (1886, No. 5); Le Chatelier, L'Islamisme au 19e siècle (Paris, 1889); Goldziher, Mohammedanische Studien (i., Halle, 1889; ii., 1890); Ameer Ali, The Life and Teachings of Mohammed (London, 1891), a defense of Islam by an intelligent and educated Moslem; T. W. Arnold, The Preaching of Islam (Westminster, 1896); De Castries, L'Islam (Paris, 1897); Jansen, Verbreitung des Islam (Friedrichshagen, 1897); Sachan, Muhammedanisches Recht nach schafiitischer Lehre (Stuttgart, 1897); Carra de Vaux, Le Mahometisme (Paris, 1898); Atterbury, Islam in Africa (New York, 1899); Le Chatelier, L'Islamisme dans l'Afrique occidentale (Paris, 1899); Forget, L'Islam et le Christianisme dans l'Afrique centrale (ib., 1900); Sell, Essays on Mohammedanism (London, 1901); Macdonald, Development of Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence, and Constitutional Theory (New York, 1903). See Koran; Mohammed; Shiites; Sunna; Mohammedan Sects; Mecca; Medina.