One of the most ridiculous comment i have ever came across is when someone wrote that travelling in the western country is as if not as good as the muslims country and therefore we should not travel to the western countries and only go for muslim countries.
They forgot one ayat:
Both East and West belong to Allah, so wherever you turn, the Face of Allah is there.
Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing.
Al Baqarah 2:115
And what they also forget is the fact that there are 1.62 Billion muslims around the world, whereby it makes up to 23% population of the world, including those who reverts to Islam. Which by 2030, it is expected that muslims will grow to 25% (again including new muslims regardless their race and ethnicity)
While it is good to visit historical places relating to muslims history, but it is also not as bad as visiting other parts of the world which wherever you go is also the creation of Allah swt.
Because through a little small talk I had with several european muslims in the past, Scandivanian countries also had a very small trace of Islam.
China for example, also have a growing number of chinese muslims which did not just grew in the modern day but goes way back since 616-18 AD through the sahabah, Saad Bin Abi Waqas. Around 1 – 10% of the populations in China are muslims.
In Europe, countries like Hungary, Balkans, Russia, Ukraine also had trace of Islam. During early 10th century, in what is now part of European Russia, the King of Volga Bulgaria, Almış,accepted Islam and established it as the state religion,. He adopted the name Ja’far ibn ‘Abdullah ( Cäğfär bine Ğabdulla, ) after embracing Islam. Ibn Fadlan was dispatched by the Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtadir in 922/3 to establish relations and bring qadis and teachers of sharia to Volga Bulgaria, as well as to help build a fort and a mosque. On his way to Volga Bulgaria, Ibn Fadlan brought detailed reports of the Rus ( Vikings who made their way towards the Black Sea through Central Russia) claiming that some had converted to Islam. More than half of the European portion of Russia and Ukraine, were under suzerainty of Muslim Tatars and Turks from the 13th to the 15th century.
Between 1354 (when the Ottomans crossed into Europe at Gallipolli) and 1526, the Empire had conquered the territory of present day Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hungary.
And from then afterwards the Ottomans battled the Habsburg Emperors until 1699, when the Treaty of Karlowitz forced them to surrender Hungary, Croatia, and portions of present day Slovenia and Serbia. From 1699 to 1913, wars and insurrections pushed the Ottoman Empire further back until it reached the current European border of present-day Turkey.
Germany, was also a very good friend of the muslims, for example Kaiser Wilhelm II visit to Tangier, Morocco’s sparked the Moroccon crisis in 1905 and made a speech in favor of Moroccon independence in opposition to France.
Bosnia was conquered by the Ottomans in 1463, and a large portion of the population converted to Islam in the first 200 years of Ottoman domination.
. However, Islam was not spread by force in the areas under the control of the Ottoman Sultan according to Sir Thomas Walker Arnold, a historian of Islamic art. Rather Arnold explains Islam’s spread by quoting a 17th century author who stated:
“Meanwhile he (the Turk) wins (converts) by craft more than by force, and snatches away Christ by fraud out of the hearts of men. For the Turk, it is true, at the present time compels no country by violence to apostatise; but he uses other means whereby imperceptibly he roots out Christianity”
Sicily, Italy was gradually conquered by the Arabs and Berbers from 827 onward, and the Emirate of Sicily was established in 965. The local population conquered by the Muslims were Romanized Catholic Sicilians in Western Sicily and partially Greek speaking Christians, mainly in the eastern half of the island, but there were also a significant number of Jews.
These conquered people were afforded a limited freedom of religion under the Muslims as dhimmi, but were subject to some restrictions. The dhimmi were also required to pay the jizya, or poll tax, and the kharaj or land tax, but were exempt from the tax that Muslims had to pay (Zakaat).
Under Muslim rule there were different categories of Jizya payers, but their common denominator was the payment of the Jizya as a mark of subjection to Muslim rule in exchange for protection against foreign and internal aggression. The conquered population could avoid this subservient status simply by converting to Islam. Whether by honest religious conviction or societal compulsion large numbers of native Sicilians converted to Islam.
However, even after 100 years of Islamic rule, numerous Greek speaking Christian communities prospered, especially in north-eastern Sicily, as dhimmi. This was largely a result of the Jizya system which allowed co-existence
All this were only the tip of the iceberg, there are many more countries around the globe that have not been explored and made known to the world. As a muslims, we should not disregard the non-muslim and discriminate them as if they will go to hell or whatsoever. Even our own state , we don’t know if we can make it to heaven. Who knows one of your non-muslims friends could become a muslim one day. Either way, that is not the purpose of being friends with those who is not a muslim, instead, being the best muslim as possible by treating other people either they are muslims or not should be applied in our daily lives.
Just because such and such country is not a muslim country doesn’t mean there aren’t any muslims living there. Plus, if we dig out the history, we might be surprised that there were muslims arriving many many decades ago before us.
Sometimes, there are even some cultural and art influence over the building of a certain place, and some even have integrated some of the Arab words in their local language with different spelling and pronunciation. It is only us that did not notice it as an Arabic word.
This is one of the reasons why history is not just a very big and thick book, but a book full of the historical chronology and records containing evidence of the existences and traces of each and every ethnic, race, and religion. It is actually a story, narrated by historians before us, who was kind enough to record their knowledge on a particular event, so that the next generation could benefit and remember their history and roots.
(some of the info’s are excerpts from information found on the internet, pictures are not mine.)