what is the country with the largest Muslim population in the entire world Saudi Arabia Pakistan Egypt or Nigeria well none of them the correct answer is Indonesia Islam is the religion in Indonesia with most adherents with eighty seven point two percent of Indonesian population identifying themselves as Muslim and a 2010 survey Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world with approximately 220 million Muslims but looking at the world map and knowing that Islam started.
in Arabia in the seventh century from where it expanded to more people especially in continental North Africa and southwestern Asia a question just popped up how did Islam reach this archipelago how did these away islands become Muslim.
Muslim conquests following Mohammed’s death led to the creation of the caliphates these empires expanded quickly and occupied enormous geographical areas occupying more and more land the conversion to Islam was boosted by missionary activities particularly those of Imams they told the religious teachings to the local people due to the rapid military expansion the new religion expanded too and the new conquered territories these early dynasties focused on spreading.
the new religion but also they focused on research economics and trading during the Islamic Golden Age more and more people converted to this religion including crowned heads Nobles but also trades and merchants this resulted in rapid spreading towards the Indian and Atlantic oceans Islam influence first came to be felt in the Indian subcontinent during.
the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders Arab traders used to visit the Malabar region which was a link between them and the ports of Southeast Asia to trade even before Islam had been established in Arabia the Arab merchants and traders became the carriers of the new religion and they propagated it wherever they went it was however the subsequent expansion of the Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent over.
the next millennia that established Islam in the region Muslim missionaries played a key role in the spread of Islam in Asia some missionaries even assuming roles as merchants they were sent across Asia in all directions under various titles often as traders the missionaries were instructed to speak to their potential converts in their own language even before Islam was established amongst Indonesian communities Muslims sailors and traders had often visited the shores of modern Indonesia most of these early sailors and merchants arrived from the Abbasid caliphs.
its newly established ports of Basra and de-ball the territory was rich in spices exotic fruits and other goods there is evidence of Arab Muslim traders entering Indonesia as early as the 8th century but it was not until the 12th or 13th century then the spread of Islam started then expanded even more due to the adoption by the local rulers and elites the missionaries came from many territories and regions some came here from India and later from the southern Arabian Peninsula.
it is believed that around the 13th century the religion began to emerge on the northern coast of Sumatra after this Islam was further spread by Sufi orders and finally consolidated by the expansion of the territories of converted rulers and their communities not knowing a certain date when the conversion started and having no clear indication of when Islam first came to the region.
we may consider the start around eleventh or twelfth centuries the first Muslim gravestone markings date to 1080 – also when Marco Polo visited the area in 1292 he noted that the urban port state of perlac was Muslim the first evidence of a Muslim dynasty in the grave stone dated 1297 of Sultan Malik al Saleh the first Muslim ruler of the semaj opossite Sultanate Chinese sources record the presence of a Muslim delegation to the Emperor from the kingdom of Samudra.
in 1282 the spread of Islam generally followed the trade routes east through the primarily Buddhist region and half a century later in the malakas we see the first dynasty arise in the form of the Sultanate of Malacca at the far end of the archipelago formed by the conversion of one Shah into a Muslim and the adoption of the name Mohammed Iskandar Shah the spread of Islam among the ruling class was precipitated as Muslim traders married.
the local women with some of the wealthier traders marrying into the families of the ruling elite Indonesian people as local rulers and royalty began to adopt it and subsequently their subjects mirrored their conversion the expansion accelerated in the 15th century as the military power of Malacca Sultanate in the Malay Peninsula and other Islamic salt it’s dominated the region aided by episodes of Muslim coup Wars and superior control of maritime trading and ultimate markets by the 14th century.
Islam had been established in Northeast Malaya Brunei the southwestern Philippines and among some quarts of coastal East and Central Java the 15th century saw the decline of Hindu Javanese Majapahit Empire as Muslim traders from Arabia India Samara and the Malay Peninsula and also China began to dominate the regional trade that once controlled the Javanese Majapahit traders Chinese Ming Dynasty provided systematic support to Malacca Ming Chinese Zhang’s voyages is credited for creating Chinese Muslim settlement.
in Palembang and north coast of Java Malacca actively encouraged the conversion to Islam in the region while Ming fleet activity established Chinese Malay Muslim community in North East coastal Java thus created a permanent opposition to the Hindus of Java the expedition’s had established Muslim Chinese Arab and Malay communities in northern ports of Java dominant Muslim kingdoms were more and more present.
in the archipelago Hindus historical inhabitants were Animists Hindus and Buddhists and in time many of them accepted the new religion because Muslim merchants and traders disseminated Islamic teachings while trading with local population and their teachings encouraged proselytizing religion Hindus and Buddhists don’t generally proselytize and Islam is a monotheistic belief system and it doesn’t allow its followers to believe in another god being a Muslim created more privileges benefits and favourable terms for the local people than being a non-muslim some people needed safety and certainty.
so they chose to declare themselves as Muslims because Islam made an appearance in Southeast Asia through trade with people of South Arabia and Indian Sufis the transition was made more peacefully than in the Middle East or North Africa where existed conflicts in Indonesia the process was slower but was created differently through merchants elites and Nobles the presence of monarchy made it easier for the religion to spread among the commoners.
just as the presence of Christianity in the monarchy made it easier for the religion to spread in European kingdoms meanwhile in Java Island the great Hindu Majah pocket Empire was collapsing some of these new kingdoms were supported by Ming China through assimilation related to trade royal conversions and conquest Islam had supplanted Hinduism and Buddhism.
as the dominant religion of Java and Sumatra by the end of the sixteenth century but many cultural and religious habits from the Hindu Buddhist era were mostly tolerated and even incorporated into Islamic rituals Aslam didn’t obliterate the pre-existing culture rather it incorporated and embedded the local customs and non Islamic elements among rules.
in part the strong presence of Sufism has been considered a major enabler of the syncretism between Islam and other religions when Europeans came they brought Christianity to the Muslim majority but not so many converted probably due to the fact that in that time already the accent wasn’t put on religion as much as in the 12th or 13th centuries.
but this is another discussion Indonesia is a big country with more than 250 million people from different cultures and ethnicities across thousands of islands from a religious point of view Indonesia is not ruled by a single law because more than 80 percent of the population are Muslims Indonesia can be called as one of the Muslim countries. in the world but Indonesia is not a traditional Islamic one their constitution does not specifically base on their religion and also it contains many values Universal ones which are also available in Islam as well as in other religions formulated into what is known as pang Casilla the five philosophical pillars of the country.
Read More:: How many Japanese Served in the U.S Army in WW2?
Assalam o Aalaikum. My Name is Ayesha Khan and i am SEO Expert and Writer.