Islam officially began with the Hegira (Hijrah), 622CE. Christianity dates its birth from the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ in 33CE.
What can we learn from the early spread of Christianity and Islam in their first 100 years? What impact might it have on us today?
Growth of Islam 622-722CE (The First 100 Years)
Muslims look back on this glorious century with much pride. Islam’s growth in its first 100 years was truly astonishing.
The Muslim prophet was an able general. During his life Muslim armies fought 27 battles, e.g., the Battle of Khaibar, Badar, Uhud, Tabuk, etc.
The prophet’s death did not impede the wars and victories of Muslim armies. They conquered Syria (634-641), Egypt (639-642), Iraq and Iran (633-651), Sind in Pakistan (711-714), North Africa (647-742), Spain (711-721), and Transoxiana in Central Asia (673-751).
At the end of the first 100 years, the Islamic Caliphate stretched from Spain to Pakistan and from North Africa to Central Asia. In world history, no kingdom expanded so far and fast as the Islamic Caliphate in its first 100 years.
What we don’t know is how many hundreds of thousands of Muslim soldiers and enemy soldiers and civilians were killed during the first 100 years.
Christian Growth Between 33-133CE (The First 100 Years)
In the Garden of Gethsemane, the Apostle Peter drew his sword to defend Isa Al-Masih from arrest. Isa rebuked Peter and told him to put his sword away (Injil, Matthew 26:50-56)!
After the Christ’s resurrection, persecution of Christians began:
33-35CE – The evangelist Stephen was stoned to death, the Apostle James beheaded (Injil, Acts 7, 12:1-2).
41-54CE – Claudius (Caesar) expelled Christians from Rome.
64-68CE – Nero (Caesar) orchestrated a brutal persecution of Christians.
81-96CE – Domitian (Caesar) killed all Christians who did not acknowledge Caesar as Lord.
98-117CE – Trajan (Caesar) killed Christians who refused to worship Roman gods.
Although persecution increased, Christianity continued to grow.
The Difference between “Christian” and “Follower of Isa”
A “Follower of Isa” never uses force to advance religion. Unfortunately, not everyone who is called “Christian” is a true “Follower of Isa Al-Masih.” If you see a “Christian” using force to advance religion, he is not following Isa’s commands.
Isa forbade his followers to use force in religion! Email us your opinion of Isa’s prohibition against the use of force.
The Growth of Islam Today
The majority of Muslims see Islam as a “Religion of Love and Peace.” They certainly reject using force to advance Islam. There can be no force in religion (Qs 2:256). The UN Charter also rejects the use of force in religion and permits people to change their religion. Do you agree that people should be allowed to change their religion? Let us know!
So Christians and Muslims should reject using force to advance religion.
Isa Al-Masih – the Prince of Peace
Hundreds of years before the birth of Isa Al-Masih, the prophet Isaiah made a startling prophecy. He said that a young woman would birth a son, and the son would receive the title, “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Isa, the “Prince of Peace,” disallowed the use of force in religion. Also, as “Prince of Peace,” He promises peace with God to all who ask Him to be their personal Savior from sin (Injil, John 14:27)!
SOME QUESTIONS FOR COMMENTS IN SECTION BELOW
We encourage our readers to comment on the article above. Comments that don’t directly relate to the topic will be removed. Please start a dialogue with us by focusing on one of the following questions:
- In your opinion, why did Christianity continue to grow in its first 100 years without using military force?
- How can we differentiate people who are called “Christians” from “Followers of Isa Al-Masih? (If you are uncertain, contact Staff Isa and Islam.)
- Islam and Christianity had very different ways of propagating their religion during the first 100 years. Has that had any impact on our world today? Please explain.
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