Abstract and Keywords
Islam is often identified as the religion of Arabs, and Arabs are commonly assumed to be Muslims. Today, the majority of Muslims live east of Karachi, Pakistan—far from Arab lands. For all that, the Arabs and the Arabic language have played an enormously important role in Islamic societies. At the same time, Islam has transformed Arab society, a fact that becomes apparent when one considers pre-Islamic and non-Muslim Arab religions. In modern times, non-Muslim Arab minorities, predominantly Christians, have shared a common language, culture, and political fortunes with Arab Muslims. Thus Islam evolved as a global religion following the Arab Muslim conquests of large parts of North Africa and West Asia in the seventh and eighth centuries. This enabled the Arabic language, as the medium of scripture, worship, theological, and juristic discourse to attain global importance well beyond the ethnic and geographic borders of Arab society. This article discusses the history and globalization of Arab Islamic societies.
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