How did Islam get to Indonesia?

Aug 2016
873
USA
#1
Mohamed started spreading Islam thousands of miles away from the Pacific ocean. India has always been a stronghold of many faiths. How did Indonesia get to be the most populous majority-Muslim country in the world?
 
Jun 2012
7,136
Malaysia
#2
Jesus started preaching his teachings in West Asia. How did US become the most populous majority-Christian country in the world today. Same thing.

People travel, sometimes they fight, invade & conquer. Other times, they make new friends & they trade with them. Things do not stay the same forever. Cambodia,& Myanmar were both also Hindu, before they became Buddhist. Same thing with Indonesia & Malaysia. But the latter two went one strep further. They shifted from Buddhism to Islam. As a result of cultural-political interactions resulting mostly from trade with Persians, Arabs & converted Muslim Indians.
 
May 2017
1,201
Syria
#3
Through Arab Muslim traders who may have reached Indonesia as early as the 9th century. Assimilation began around the 14th century and likely derived from Muslim missionaries that arrived to Indonesia along with the trade expeditions, most probably from the southern regions of the Arabian peninsula or from other already-Muslim regions across south Asia.
 
Likes: Edratman
Jun 2012
7,136
Malaysia
#4
There is some talk that one maharaja of Palembang-based Srivijaya empire had in fact been engaging in friendly political correspondence with Caliph Muawiyah. The caliph had been continuously urging Lokita Varman, in his letters, to embrace Islam. But Lokita Varman remained non-committal to the end. His son Sri Indra Varman, though, might hv converted later. That first flirtation with Islam was very brief, however. Sri Indra Varman was assassinated, likely by some sly political intrigue involving rivals to the throne, possibly with the collusion of non-Muslim foreign merchants wary of the suddenly rapidly growing influence of Islam in that region that time.
 
Last edited:

Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,663
#5
The Arabic traders were the most wide reaching culture in history by that point. Their navigational technology (see arabic astrolabes) was unrivalled by any culture in the world. In addition, they were extremely wealthy and had influence over the people in the region for a sustained period; they were also the first culture to introduce writing and formal education in any kind of sustained way to many Indonesian peoples. Not to mention they formed colonies all over the place. Remember, the Arabs had sustained trade routes from Andalusian Spain all the way to China.
 
Aug 2016
873
USA
#6
The Arabic traders were the most wide reaching culture in history by that point. Their navigational technology (see arabic astrolabes) was unrivalled by any culture in the world. In addition, they were extremely wealthy and had influence over the people in the region for a sustained period; they were also the first culture to introduce writing and formal education in any kind of sustained way to many Indonesian peoples. Not to mention they formed colonies all over the place. Remember, the Arabs had sustained trade routes from Andalusian Spain all the way to China.
I hadn't heard the arabs had that much trade going on. Were the Ottoman turks just less interested in that trade for some reason?
 
Likes: Theodoric

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,148
Portugal
#7
I hadn't heard the arabs had that much trade going on. Were the Ottoman turks just less interested in that trade for some reason?
When the Portuguese arrived to the India Ocean by the end of the 15th century they found an ample network of developed and intense trade mostly controlled by Muslim traders. The influence of the Ottomans was scarce at the time. The biggest Muslim power that they faced were the Mamluks that with Venetian help were able to get together an alliance of different Muslim states.
 

Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,663
#8
I hadn't heard the arabs had that much trade going on. Were the Ottoman turks just less interested in that trade for some reason?
On your question, the culture of the Islamic world was diverse. The Ottomans were a Western Turkik culture, not even Arabic. In addition, aside from Arabic, the other major culture of Islam was Persian - and they developed very differently. The Persians were very much a trade Empire, historically - especially in the Achaemenid period, and from the Sassanian period (from the 3rd century AD) all the way to the Mongol conquest 1000 years later.


Here is a good video on the spread of Islam.


This is a good overview. Basically, trade and intellectual centers along the trade routes

The guy mentions "Islam spread very fast" which is actually not correct, as the woman pointed points out: Islam spread very slowly. Islam began very much as the religion of the ruling class - and also the prescribed religion of the intellectual class - despite this, many Jews and Christian intellectuals maintained their faiths. Despite being a so-called Muslim Empire, the Caliphate was also the center of Jewish and Christian intellectual center for quite some time - many Bishops and such were educated in the Caliphate. So a very slow process... The nature of what an Islamic country was also changed dramatically in the 13th century through 16th century, and again during the 20th century.

Also, on the history of Persian Empires:

 
Jun 2012
7,136
Malaysia
#10
Perlak sultanate. Read up on it. The first Muslim kingdom in Indonesia, prevailed 840 - 1292 AD, around the location of today's Acheh province in northern Sumatra. Founded by Sultan Alaiddin Sayyid Maulana Abdul Aziz Shah, son from a union between Princess Makhdum Tanshuri, daughter of the ruler of Jempa kingdom Prince Salman Al-Farisi (Persian descent), and Muhammad bin Imam Jaafar Al-Sadiq (said to be a descendant of Prophet Muhammad), member of an Arabic missionary expedition.
 

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