The religious aspect of Islam played a minuscule role in the propagation of Islam, as evidenced by the fact that Muhammad’s preaching in Mecca for thirteen years converted only 150 followers. Keep in mind that this is the period when Mohammad was meek, powerless and a “crazed poet.” Nearly all his Mecca Quran dealt with mystical and religious type issues, with Allah’s hell and paradise.
It was during following nine years in Medina, where a religious-mystical preacher was replaced by a violent and combative activist, when tens of thousands flocked to his faith. The Arabs of the time lived with chronic violence, one tribe against another. Warring among themselves was a major way of gaining wealth and making a living. Hence Muhammad’s success against the Jews of Medina began to attract others in droves to the booty of wealth, women and children.
The success of Islam from the early days depended on war and violence. During thirteen years in Mecca, Islam expanded by about twelve followers a year. But the Islam of Medina, based on war and violence and the enticement of booty, expanded the rank of the creed exponentially. It is estimated that Islam’s numbers swelled to nearly 100,000 by the time of Muhammad’s death.
Clearly, Islam surged at the point of the sword, with the dictum of polarization. Muslims were considered righteous irrespective of their deeds, while the kefirs (infidels) were stigmatized as enemies of Allah and subject to maltreatment and death.