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spread of islam on the silk road

(6) Lapidus, Ira M. A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 98. Muslims were known to have a commercial talent notably encouraged by Islam, as well as excellent sailing skills. In both cases the Muslim settlers were given permission to take Chinese wives, though these women were not allowed to accompany their husbands back to their homelands.8  By Islamic law, children of a Muslim father are required to be raised as Muslim, which led to the formation of a Muslim Chinese minority in these regions during the Tang period. This development led to the adoption of non-Arab converts as mawla ("clients") by Arab Muslims, which made the mawla an honorary clan member of sorts. They adopted the Sassanian model for their Islamic governments and recruited local peoples to serve as government ministers, the majority of which were Sassanian Persians. It was not long until the mawalis outnumbered the Arab Muslims, and when the two groups mingled, they formed a new body of religious and political elite, as well as a new middle class of merchants, artisans, teachers and scholars.6  By the mid-eighth century, Muslims controlled the western half of the Silk Route, and trade became the second major factor in the spread of Islam. Textiles, spices and even religions were all exchanged along the Silk Road starting around 1,000 B.C. What factors led to Islam becoming the dominant religion of the western half of the Silk Road? Music was also a chief Islamic export, especially among Sufi Muslims whose holy men or religious storytellers used chanting, singing and instrumental music to win converts from the audiences at the Silk Road's tea houses and bazaars. While they most likely borrowed techniques from the Chinese, it was the Muslims who found commercial success as art traders, Elverskog writes. (4) Lewis, Bernad (ed.). It affirms a belief in one God, unique and merciful; in past messengers and scriptures sen… Eurasian Connection via the Silk Road: The Spread of Islam: Reinventing the Past and Shaping the Future. Islam's Influence on the Silk Roads Known as the Silk Road, this vast expanse of intercultural trade routes traversed Eurasia from the Mediterranean all the way to Japan, crossing into India on the way. In addition to this, trading through the Silk Road enabled the Eastern partners to provide religious materials for purchase as well as for borrowing purposes to their religions counterparts from the West. The Spread of Islam Along the Silk Route The widespread adoption of Islam beyond the Arab peninsula is recorded in some older histories as starting as early as the mid-seventh century, but in fact, this probably did not occur until at least a century later. The cultural interchange of the Silk Road worked both ways, and influences from Buddhist China and other regions affected radical changes in Islam. and continuing for several millenniums. As government officials, it was seemly for them to convert to Islam, though afterwards they began to press for the same rights as Arab Muslims.5  Yet, since these non-Arab Muslims had no Arab clan affiliation and thus no clear social identity in Arab society, the question of social equality among Arabs and non-Arabs was difficult to address. Taylor Echolls is an award-winning writer whose expertise includes health, environmental and LGBT journalism. Richard C. Foltz suggests that the reason for this confusion is due to misinterpretation of the word islam ("submission"), used in Muslim histories to indicate the submission of one clan to the authority of another, and not the spread of the Islamic faith proper.1 In fact, it was the great success of the early Muslim clans in acquiring the submission of other Arab groups that eventually led to the spread of the religion beyond the Arabian peninsula. By the 8th century, Muslims stopped thinking of theirs as the "Arab religion" with geographic borders and began seeking converts along the Silk Road. from Mount Holyoke College. Initially, Muslims referred to their faith as "the Arab religion" (al-din al-'arab), and did not attempt to win converts. Muslim merchant influence increases along the Silk Road. Thus, they could monopolize the East-West trade of the maritime Silk Roads, connecting various major ports …

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