What Was the Importance of Muhammad for the Success of the Arab Conquests?

Topics: Islam, Muhammad, Qur'an Pages: 4 (1457 words) Published: January 5, 2013
When considering the question of the Prophet’s success in the Arab Conquests there are various factors that must be taken into consideration. These factors shape the success, give reason for the rapidity of the spread and illustrate why Arabia was so responsive to his message. Factors such as the state of Arabia and its pagan tribes, recent historic events and the dissatisfaction of the peoples, shape this drastic and historic change in the area. Arabia was in a constant state of war due mainly to the power struggle between the Sasanian and Byzantine empires; the emperors spoke different languages and believed in other religions than their peoples. There was little loyalty and it did not much matter to the folks under which rule they lived. The lack of community, a sense of unity between the various tribes in Arabia and multiple wars were predominant factors that made way for the imminent success of Muhammad in the Arab Conquests. From the time of the Prophet’s first revelation in 610 to the death day of the Prophet in 632, Arabia had undergone a drastic and, for such time limitations, incredible changes.

Starting with the geographical aspects it must be elaborated in context how the state of Arabia, the birthplace of Muhammad, was functioning and what its beliefs were pre-Islam. It must also be mentioned that in comparison to the rest of the Middle East, Arabia was considered fairly primal. It lacked any form of government or state policies as every clan was totally independent and had its own rules and leaders, called Shaykh. Such leaders acted as mediators to disputes and needs of the tribe. The tribes mostly lived off pasturage as opposed to agriculture, excluding the harams that were implemented on travel routes, in oasis and in junctures to neighbouring areas. These served as a common point for economic, social and political trade, as well as worship. Arabia was home to various pagan tribes, including the Banu Hashim into which the prophet was born,...

Bibliography: 1. A History of Islamic Societies – Ira M. Lapidus 1988
2. A History of the Arab Peoples – Albert Hourani 1991
3. The Arab Conquests – Kennedy
4. What do we know about Muhammad – Patricia Crone 10 June 2008
5. Muhammad and Jenghiz Khan - Khazanov 1993
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