Spread of Islam

c. 570 CE
622 CE
Birth of Muhammad in Mecca
hijra (migration) to Yathrib which was to become madinat al-nabi (The city of the Prophet) and later just Medina
The Arab World in 622CE (click to enlarge)
632 Death of Muhammad
By this time, by military and diplomatic means, Islam had spread to almost all western and central Arabia.
The Arab World in 632CE (click to enlarge)
by 642
by 656
Muslim Arabs have control of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, Iran
Arab Empire west to Tripoli (Libya), north to Taurus and Causaus mountians (Turkey and Georgia) and east to Pakistan
death of 4th caliph 'Ali - eventually leading to the Sunni/Shi`a split
The Arab World in 661CE (click to enlarge)
Arabs entered Spain to the west (via North Africa) and crossed the Indus river in India
Defeat at Tours (France) marks deepest inroad into Western Europe (via Spain)
The Arab World in 750CE (click to enlarge)
This was the widest spread of the Arab Empire, stretching in 750CE from present day France to India.
Abbasid Caliphate in Bagdad
Umayyad dynasty in Spain (927-1031 Umayyed caliphate of Cordoba)
Control of Iran and central Asia by Samanids
Fatimid dynasty in northern Africa and Syria based in Cairo
Moorish dynasties in Spain
capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders
Mamluk rule in Egypt
fall of Constantinople (Turkey) to Turks
Fall of Granada (Spain) marks end of Arab rule in Spain.
  The Ottoman Empire in 1566CE (click to enlarge)
The Ottoman Empire in 1566
(The Ottomans were Turkic people from Central Asia - but continued to spread Islam)
end of Muslim Mughal rule in India
Last Ottoman sultan deposed by Atatürk
Pakistan founded as Islamic state
Islamic socialist regime in Libya by al-Qadhafi
Islamic revolutionary regime in Iran by Khumini
2005 Muslims are more than 26% of the world population. They are by far the majority in the Middle East and North Africa. They also number over 100 million in the rest of Africa and over 500 million in the rest of Asia (for instance over 90% of Indonesia and Pakistan are Muslim). There's also over 30 million in Europe and almost 10 million in the Americas.
Islam is now a religion that has spread to over 184 countries.


Goldschmidt, Arthur, (1991) "A Concise History of the Middle East", Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press
James, David, (1974) "Islamic Art - An Introduction", London: Hamlyn
Welch, Alford, (1988) "Islam" in A Handbook of Living Religions pp 123-170, London: Penguin

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