By Tyson Thorne

February 18, 2015

Islam 1 large

There are two approaches necessary for fully understanding Islam. One is to take a 30,000 foot view of it historically and the other is to look at principles and holy writings. We’ll begin this series with the broad overview and narrow our study to specifics and end on notes that may be used when attempting to convert a Muslim to faith in Jesus Christ.

Muhammad is born in 570 AD and begins his development of Islam in the early 7th century. For a brief examination of his life see last year’s post made on his birthday. He begins a war against other Arab communities and Jewish settlements in about 622 AD, sparking nearly 450 years of wars leading up to the first Crusade as the timeline below indicates.

570 AD -- Muhammad is born
622 AD -- Muhammad begins war with Mecca
632 AD -- Mecca conquered
635 AD -- The Levant and first Christian cities are overrun by Muslim armies
638 AD -- Jerusalem is conquered by Muslim armies
642 AD -- Egypt is taken by Muslim armies
652 AD -- Italy is plundered by Muslims
668 AD -- Constantinople is laid siege by Muslims
715 AD -- Spain is conquered by Muslim armies
735 AD -- France is first attacked by Muslim armies
846 AD -- Rome is sacked by a Muslim army
1095 AD -- The first Crusade begins

While the primary wars had faded by the time the first Crusade began it is important to note that for nearly 250 years Muslims carried out large scale executions of Christians. They invaded churches and put to the sword all who would not deny Jesus, then burned the building to the ground. This happened with regularity across southern Europe and northern Africa.

It is important to note that Muhammad’s defense for starting his first campaign was to defend Muslims who had come under persecution from other Arab tribes in and around Medina, a region that Muhammad confiscated as his initial religious capital for Islam.

"Permission to fight is given to those who are fought against because they have been wronged -truly Allah has the power to come to their support- those who were expelled from their homes without any right, merely for saying, 'Our Lord is Allah'..." -- Quran, 22:39-40

By this same reasoning – that persecution is permission for war -- certainly the Jews and Christians had every right to fight back, which they eventually did but only after 450 years of having their own blood shed. When the Crusades finally began Islam had conquered several nations and held territories in many others as the map below indicates.


What the map doesn’t detail is the hundreds of battles that took place to gain such a strong foothold in each region and to conquer entire nations. To say that Islam is a religion of peace is at best a gross misstatement if not an outright lie. It has been founded on bloodshed and violence against all who oppose their beliefs from the beginning, something that cannot be said of Christianity. In fact, regardless of what occurred during the Crusade’s, there is no Christian equivalent in all of history.

Click here to go to the next article in this series.

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