Marginalization of the Views of Muslims Throughout the History of Islam
- 1 Abstract
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Marginalization of Muslims
- 4 World Outlook on Islam
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 Bibliography
This paper focuses on the marginalization of muslims, specifically through the direct interpretation of religious texts, such as The Qur’an, as well as indirect interpretation from other religious texts, such as The Torah and The Bible. Additionally, it will break down the specific examples of controlled emotion in those same Middle Eastern societies.
This essay introduces how Islam has been controlled by groups and political organizations. Furthering my investigation, this essay analyzes the history of Islamic marginalization from the beginning of the religion (7th Century) through modern day (21st Century).The comparison of past to modern day Islam will give insight into the progression of the Muslims in question, and their attempt to resist the influence of cult-like leaders.
There will be similarities and differences stated between Western Cultures such as the United States and Europe, as opposed to both strong and broken Middle Eastern countries. This essay concludes with a summarization of the history of Islam as a whole versus the marginalization of its followers. By explaining overall marginalization, I believe my point will be refuted, and the sources will speak for themselves.
The Islamic faith is considered by many to be the youngest of the “old religions” (Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism) despite its official creation being considered sometime around the 7th Century. As the Qur’an accounts it, the religion was conceived in a cave (Jabal an-Nour) near the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was chosen to receive a vision from Allah , which was delivered to him through the apparition of the archangel Jibr?l.
Unbeknownst to Prophet Muhammad, what he was hearing was actually the Qur’an word for word, which Jibr?l was sent to memorize and speak. The sacred messages which Jibr?l spoke Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) became to basis of the religion of Islam, and immediately after the first event took place the prophet began translating what he heard into written form. This written form is what became the Qur’an. Prophet Muhammad could not hide such wise and elegant words for long, and after a short time we began spreading the word of Islam throughout the Mecca.
After preaching for approximately 12 years, the Prophet, and his earliest followers, were forced to flee. It was around this time that the Prophet realized he was spreading Allah’s word, and it was in 622 AD that the Islamic Calendar is adopted. After being followed and attacked for a few years by Meccan caravans, the now “Muslims” fought in both 624 AD and 625 AD, successfully attacking the caravans in 624 AD and suffering heavy losses in 625. The religion continued to spread by the word of Allah accumulating members for nearly a decade.
In 632 AD Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), died of old age. His death, although tragic, grew the religion tenfold, and by the next year, Muslim armies conquer the entire Fertile Crescent . The religion was being lead by Caliph Uthman at this time, who notably had the Qur’an officially transcribed from Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) notes. Years go by, and in 680 AD, the death of Husayn caused a new sect of Islam to arise- Shi’at Ali which translates to “Party of Ali”. The Shi’at Ali, now known as the Shi’a or Shiite, are the one of two official sects of Islam. The main difference between the two is that Shiites honor Husayn Ali as the rightful successor, whereas Shi’a sect, whom make up 90% of all Muslims worldwide, believe Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the last Prophet. Although these two sects have had religious wars over the history of Islam, they have both been victims of marginalization and manipulative tactics by false leaders.
Marginalization of Muslims
To best understand the origin of marginalization in Islamic culture, we must understand the time period Islam began its ascent into becoming a real religion, amassing millions of members and changing the culture of the land it habituated. Islam began as a religion without sects. It was not until 680 until the idea of sects of Islam arose as a plausible idea. Much before this time period, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was still spreading the word and ideology of Allah, speaking to the people what archangel Jibr?l had spoken to him. Over a period of twenty years, Islam had began converting all types of peoples such as Pagans, Christians and even Jews.
It was around 615 AD that other religions took note of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and recognized Islam as a religion. Many religious groups and civilizations took notes from Islam, as the humble religion was very easy to stand for. Unfortunately, admiration turns to envy which turns to jealousy, and it wasn’t before long that the massive empire of Christianity was attempting to stop Islam before it was too late.
In the beginning of the 630’s AD the then “Byzantine Christian Empire” began losing devout followers for this new up-and-coming religion. By the end of the decade, Christianity was the minority religion of Damascus , Jerusalem and Alexandria , where it had been the only religion for hundreds of years prior. This sudden, unpredictable growth did not come without hardships however. Although the Church did not attempt any acts of violence when Islam was in its infantile stages, a few hundred years later in the late 10th Century, the First Crusade was lead against Islam. Pope Urban II, who had hold over the Church, used religious leverage and a “god fearing” mentality to rally the citizens of Rome.
Immediately proceeding this speech at Clermont, the First Crusade officially began. The main goal of the crusade was to “ Retake the Holy Land”, which was split between all three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Urban II was granted full control over numerous battalions of Christian civilization. After ravaging the city of Jerusalem for weeks, thousands of casualties both Muslim and Jewish were accounted for. The deaths set back the development of Islam for the first few decades, however Islam saw a resurgence of conversion in the later 12th to 13th century. This was considered the “golden age” of Islam and the religion continued to expand, even reaching countries like India and Africa, thousands of miles away from the nation of origin. The religion only exploded in population from here, and Islam did not face any roadblocks for a few hundred years after the 13th Century. In the 14th Century, Mehmet Fatih, who was the caliph at the time, conquered Constantinople. The Ottoman Empire, which was previously split in two halves, are now combined, and Sultan Fatih becomes the ruler of the Byzantine Empire. As the religion plateaued, there seemed to be little to none religious tension, other than those within the area of origin.
Positive Ways Non-Islamic Civilization Had an Influence on Islamic Society
This section will divulge into the ways, both conscious and unconscious, that Islamic civilization was changed or skewed due to Western influence. For the first half, the section will discuss the positive effects of Western Civilization, proceeded by the negative effects. To begin, the reference of “Western Civilization” is relative to the location of the birth of Islam. We will consider “Western Nations” as the ones shaded below in the map. While researching, I determined that not all Western nations had an effect on the rise of Islam, or the decline in strength of the Islamic Empire. The graph I created below shows the most well formulated chart to this paper. I have also included an actual line of everything west of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The first example of Non-Islamic society influence upon the Islamic society is the technological advancements which were introduced to the Muslim nations. Since Islam grew most rapidly between the 8th and 10th century, many of the technological advancements came from this time period. It was the 9th century when gunpowder was introduced from China, and this invention changed the way the war worked forever. Guns, not only gave power to whoever had them, but was also an excellent resource to trade with. This non-native influence bettered the Islamic Empire the sense that it gave them a partner in China, as well as a source of gunpowder which could be easily sent to European nations, as China was much farther away than Saudi Arabia.
Another example of influence would be the introduction of modern day technology to the Muslim nations. At the time of the Muslim uprising, swords and camels were the main technological advancements. By trading with other nations, specifically the Greeks and Romans, the Islamic caliphate learned attack techniques, as well as defensive stance to defend whilst in battle. It should be kept in mind that the Muslim nations were constantly under not just scrutiny, but actual physical attacks. By learning these new modern defense tactics, the Muslim armies were able to attack and defend much more effectively than how they had once done.
Negative Ways Non-Islamic Civilization Had an Influence on Islamic Society
Despite the positives other civilizations have had on the Islamic world, the oppression may have been stronger than the positive influences. Many nations banned Islamic beliefs, and hated Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), because of his monotheistic religion. In that same statement, many outside influences were negatively affective towards Islam. As aforementioned in this research paper, the Crusades were a missions whose secondary, (or maybe primary one could argue), intent was to cease the spread of Islam, either keeping the religion contained in the nation of origin, Saudi Arabia, or destroying the land which would be required the grow their empire.
Another instance of negative influence which other nations put onto the Islamic regime would be the introduction of Western culture. Unlike Islamic nations, the Westerners followed not only a different religious morality, but also an ideology of superiority. This ideology was already present in the Muslim world, with Shiite Muslims believing in religious bloodline superiority . This plays into the idea of “Taquiyya ” which is the belief that lying is alright in order to maintain a balance and not abuse the injury of another. This is related to the oppression of the Shi’a versus Sunni in the fact that the Sunni sect allows the Shi’a sect to believe what they want, instead of attempting to convert, or perhaps translate, these peoples. Although the idea of “accepting other belief systems” is widely accepted amongst the Muslim world, other civilizations did not extend this liberty unto them. Instead, many missions would be sent in order to convert, or reconvert, borderline Muslims.
“”Oh People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion, nor say of God anything but the truth. Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, was (no more than) a messenger of God, and His Word which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him. So believe in God and His messengers. Say not, ‘Trinity.’ Desist! It will be better for you, for God is One God, Glory be to Him! (Far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs”” (4:171, Quran)
World Outlook on Islam
Entering the 16th Century, Islamic roots had spread far and wide from their origin nation of Saudi Arabia. Java, an island which belonged to Indonesia, had began converting to Islam by the masses. Their societal standards followed a similar lifestyle to that of the Islamic religion. This would prove to be Islam’s fastest and most populous conversion ever. With this increase in population, some individuals saw opportunities to exploit the masses with seductive, but wholly false information. Misinterpretation of the Qur’an allowed those with he ability to read to captivate groups and use them for a separate agenda. This practice has been seen throughout the centuries in many religions. In this section, we will be analyzing how Islam was interpreted by other societies, in relation to the actions of a few perverse groups.
Misinterpretation of Qur’an by Islamic Cults as well as Their Leaders
To begin, cults have shown themselves in religions across the world. Cult- like behavior is not limited to or defined by Islam. This being said, to properly analyze misinterpretation of Islamic texts and religious pervasiveness, we will be focusing on specifically Islamic cult behavior.
To begin, Islamic misinterpretation has been around from the beginning of the 7th century, starting with the Kharijites , who were dubbed terrorists because of their strong belief in “Takfir”, which is interpreted as “death to all non-believers”. This groups rise to power occurred during a time of weakness, during the period of time after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) dies. This period is known as the “First Fitnah”, when Islamic people were deciding who should rule after the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Kharijites also operated under the belief that any Muslim could be the leader of the society, and it did not have to be a Quraysh (a tribe of Mecca) or even an Arab. Other Islamic cults throughout history include The Nazari Islamis, who were an assassin sect whose sole purpose was to assassinate local governments and spread the religion of Islam with extreme force. This sect was despised by not only the Sunni Muslims, but also the Shia Muslims.
This is a testament to the groups overall unlikability, as two sects with opposing views found a common enemy in the Nazari Muslims. Although the Nazari Muslims and the Kharijites wreaked havoc upon towns and cities in the name of Allah, the most famed Islamic terror group stands as “al Qaeda”. Led by Osama bin Laden, this organization was the definition of misinformation and misinterpretation. Al Qaeda utilized tactics such as brainwashing and desensitization to gather huge number of supporters. These were people from poor villages, with little to nothing to lose, and the promise of eternal heaven if they were killed. This was the ideology which allowed the hijackers turned pilots of the 9/11 attacks. These attacks shook the nation to its very core, giving Muslims worldwide a reputation. Essentially, Osama bin Laden utilized the Qur’an as a powerful commanding tool, giving him large amounts of power, resulting in the formation in such a big cult as al Qaeda.
It has always been human nature to modify the existence of other beings, whether that be the physical, the figurative, or the mental. The construct of power has always been enticing, and knowledgeable people hav walkways found a way to rule, whether it be readers leading non-readers, the rich leading the poor, the focused leading the ones who walked astray. In this case, we deal specifically with the perception of terrorism, as well as the pervasiveness of man to bend the Qur’an’s will, has been a common occurrence throughout the life of the Islamic religion. I have determined that the views of Muslims have been marginalized to an extreme extent, due to the level of extremism some took the religion to, as well as the culture of religious conservatism, which is present in so many Islamic nations around the world. The Qur’an is merely a books of morals, as is all religious text. By constricting the knowledge people have to this book is perhaps the most common method of exploitation. In discussing the levels of marginalization, it is important to realize what was controlled by a religious leader, and what was controlled by the civilians. Rules or lifestyles which were controlled by a religious leader, for example someone like Bin Laden, would be far more marginalized than those rules created by the people of a society. Muslim lifestyle has been redefined in Middle Eastern nations, however their progression and development has everything to do with the lifestyle and mentality of Muslims worldwide, in an ever growing pursuit of freethinking hand in hand with the Nation of Islam.
- Tristam, Pierre. “Who Are the Quraysh Tribe?” Thoughtco., Dotdash, 19 Feb. 2019,
- Bibliographies, Oxford. “Obo.” Igbo – African Studies – Oxford Bibliographies, 20 Feb. 2019,
- Hathaway, Jane, with Karl K. Barbir. “The Arab Lands under Ottoman Rule, 1516–1800.” Harlow, UK: Pearson, 2008.
- The Qur’an Translation Trans.Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Elmhurst: Takhrite, 2001. Print.