KQ2: How was the Islamic civilization able to spread so far, so quickly

In this demanding but important overview session pupils have to work out from clues the key reasons for Islam’s growth before going on to classify and prioritise them. The session finishes by pupils preparing for a brief radio interview in which they answer this tricky question. How on earth was the Islamic civilization able to spread so far, so quickly, within a century of the Prophet Muhammad’s death?

During the course of this session:

Pupils work out likely reasons from given clues such as weakness of surrounding empires exhausted by war; divisions among rivals; zeal of the Arab’s faith; better fighting tactics and weapons and then classify them under different types of reasons e.g. military. They learn to appreciate that the spread of Islam took centuries and Muslims, though rulers, made up a small proportion of the population. They should be aware that this did not happen by force. As the Qur’an specifies “Let there be no compulsion in religion”. Under Muhammad Muslims practised tolerance. Pupils learn to confidently refer to proper terms such as Caliph and Prophet.

Step 1

Show pupils the map on slide 2 which shows graphically how far, fast and in which direction Islam spread. Spend

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