Initially, Muslims referred to their faith as "the Arab religion" al-din al-'arab , and did not attempt to win converts.
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Though early Islam tried to transcend both class and racial distinctions, this goal was abandoned once the conquest of territories beyond the peninsula began in earnest. For example, the tax policy of 'Umar for the Christians of Syria clearly states this Muslim ruler's attitude towards his non-Muslim subjects:. This situation created a strong motivation for non-Muslims to convert to Islam, particularly among those conquered who previously held elite economic, social and political positions, since becoming Muslim allowed them to rejoin the ruling group.
Furthermore, the Arabs recognized a talent for administration among those they conquered. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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For a merchant, the benefits of converting to Islam were very clear, particularly considering the extent to which cooperation and contacts were shared among Muslim traders both at home and abroad, as well as the fact that Muslim officials and Islamic laws alike favored Muslim over non-Muslim traders. Muslim traders traveled as far as the Tang capital of Chang-an and other cities in Chinese empire even further to the east.
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Some returned home after finishing their business, but others settled permanently in enclaves set aside for them in segregated quarters complete with mosques. The Tang emperor also granted lands in the western-most periphery of the empire to Muslim soldiers in as a reward for their help in putting down the rebellion of An Lushan, and fifty years later Muslims were also allowed to settle in Yunnan.
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. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice. All rights reserved.
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This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:.
If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses.