Muhammad’s Conquests

Islam     Session Thirteen

Item #4, bullet #1 of outline:  Muhammad’s Conquests

When Muhammad died in 632 AD (year 11 of the Muslim calendar) Islam had been firmly established in the Arabian peninsula, 114 revelations had been received (which became the 114 Suras of the Koran as compiled under order of Abu Bakr, the first caliph) and many precedents had been set which are followed to this day.

As described in Session Seven, some of the precedents set by Muhammad were:  

  • Booty and ransom were made lawful and good.  (Sura 69: 30-37)
  • Kill and maim captives “. . . smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips of them.” (Sura 8: 12)
  • After surrendering in 627, but refusing to convert to Islam, up to 900 Jewish men were beheaded, others “will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off.” (Sura 5: 33-34)
  • “It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land.” (Sura 8: 68)
  • Unbelievers described as “the worst animals”.
  • Muhammad designated as “enemy of the infidels”. (Sura 2: 90)


Koran verses and Muhammad’s own words which caused precedents to be set against the Jews:

  • The Jews are the greatest enemies of Islam. (Sura 5:82)
  • Jews are cursed because they accused Allah of having a weak hand. (Sura 5:64)
  • Muslims are not to befriend Jews. (Sura 5:51,57)
  • “Kill any Jew that falls into your power.” (Sira, P. 369) (The reference is to the “Sira”, the biography of Muhammad.)


With canonized attitudes such as the above, it is folly to believe that Muslims will ever agree to any real peace in the Middle East as long as Israel exists.  Those who continually call on Israel to make concessions in the name of “peace” are either grossly ignorant of Islam’s goals or willfully siding with Islam.


Perhaps the most lethal of all precedents set by Muhammad is that of “constant war” against the infidels until the entire world is Islamic (see Session twelve).  Muslim fundamentalists believe this and have dedicated, and will dedicate, their lives to that end.  It is not “Radical” Islam or “Muslim Extremists” who daily commit terrorist acts in the name of Allah, it is “Fundamentalist” Muslims such as Boko Haram and ISIS putting into action Islam’s command to control the whole world.  I repeat, the daily beheadings and other atrocities being committed in the name of Allah (by Muslims shouting “Allah Akbar”) are by Muslims who are “playing by the book”.  There is nothing radical or extreme about them; they are simply acting in accordance with the dictates of the Koran.


Item #4, Bullet #2 of outline: Expansion after Muhammad and Decline 

Muhammad’s conquests and the precedents set during the course of those conquests created the foundation for his successors to build on.  The caliphs (“successors”) made it their goal to implement Allah’s command for Islam to rule the world.  Following are examples of Allah’s revelations to Muhammad ( which became Suras of the Koran) which were adopted by the caliphs as their “marching orders”:

  • Sura 8:36; “Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme.”
  • Sura 9:12; “ . . . make war on the leaders of unbelief . . .Make war on them . . . He will grant you victory over them.”
  • Sura 4:90; Muslims are to “seize them, kill them wherever you find them, seek out the enemies of Islam relentlessly.”
  • Sura 2:193; “Fight them until Islam reigns supreme.”


Muhammad left no instructions as to how his successors were to be chosen.  Some influential Muslims believed the successors should be of the blood line of the Prophet, while others believed that any Muslim was eligible to be the successor.  This difference of opinion initiated the chasm between the Shiite and Sunni sects that to this day is the cause of bloodshed within the world of Islam (more about this under item 5 of the outline).


As we describe the first Islamic Empire it will be of great benefit if you have a world atlas available for reference.


The Sunnis (now 85% of Islam) prevailed in selecting the successor to Muhammad as, Muhammad’s father-in-law, Abu Bakr became the first caliph of the Islamic caliphate (empire).  He was the first of four caliphs who were known as the “rightly guided caliphs.”  They reigned from 632 AD to 750 AD.


During this period the Islamic empire expanded to become the largest empire the world had ever known at that time.  It extended from Arabia east to India, northeast to central Asia, north to Armenia, and west across North Africa to the Iberian Peninsula.  Included were areas that comprised all, or part, of 26 present countries; as follows:  Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Eastern Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Northern Egypt, coastal and western Libya, Tunisia, coastal Algeria, Morocco, Spain and Portugal.


Next session we will get into the cultural details of the first Islamic Empire.