Short Answer: Basically, by word of mouth. Prophet Muhammad spread Islam, first and foremost, by being an excellent example. He also made sure to teach his companions how to be good teachers, and he taught them how to spread Islam effectively.
Asalamu Alaikum Fawaz,
Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.
God sent Muhammad, the Final Prophet (peace be upon him-PBUH) as a “mercy for all the worlds.” (Quran 21:107)
Thus, the methods that he followed in order to spread this divine message to humanity could be summarized into the following:
- Being a living example.
- Educating his companions to be role models for humanity.
- Teaching the concept of dawah, or call for Islam.
Being a Living Example
Regarding the first method, the Prophet (PBUH) spread the message of Islam through showing humanity an example of an excellent human being.
In all the roles that he played in his life, he gave humanity examples of how to reach human perfection.
And this is the main means through which the message of Islam was spread among his people.
It has been mentioned in Mubarakpuri’s biography of the Prophet Muhammad, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum (the Sealed Nectar), that when Ja`far ibn Abi Talib was asked by Al-Najashi, the King of Ethiopia at the time, about the message of Muhammad, Ja`far said:
He (Muhammad) is a man who is asking us to be honest, chaste, and good to our relatives.
When Aishah, the Prophet’s wife, was asked about his manners, she said:
His manners were the Quran. (Ahmad)
He was a Quran walking on earth. (Ahmad)
And, Allah Almighty said of His messenger:
Indeed, you have a sublime character. (Quran 68:4)
He Taught His Companions How To Teach Others
The second factor in the spread of Islam was the way the companions were educated by their teacher, Muhammad.
This was so they could be role models themselves. Islam was spread in various parts of the world through the companions’ excellent conduct, demonstrated during their travels after the Prophet passed away.
The Islamic state can never force people to become Muslim by any means, as some might think.
The way Islam spread in the vast areas in Asia and Africa was through the excellent example that the companions and their students and followers (at-tabe`een) gave to people.
The areas of the largest Islamic populations today in East Asia have never seen any military conflict with any Islamic state.
Indonesia is a clear example. The way Islam spread and, later, became the religion of the overwhelming majority of that country was through akhlaq (good manners and ethical morality).
He Taught People How To Give Effective Dawah
The third method through which the Prophet (PBUH) spread the message of Islam was by teaching the concept of dawah (call for Islam).
The Prophet Muhammad taught his companions, and all Muslims, that a caller to a good deed is rewarded a reward equal to the reward of those who follow him in his or her call (Al-Bukhari).
The Prophet also advised his people to:
Convey the message after me, even one verse. (Al-Bukhari)
Allah describes the Prophet’s way by saying:
Say [O Prophet]: “This is my way: Resting upon conscious insight accessible to reason, I am calling [you all] unto God – I and they who follow me.” And [say:] “Limitless is God in His glory; and I am not one of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him!” (Quran 12:108)
Muhammad Did Not Write The Quran; God Did
However, regarding the part of your question where you mentioned that Muhammad had “translated the message and wrote it in the Quran,” I would like to note that there is a bit of inaccuracy in this expression.
Prophet Muhammad received the message of the Quran as a recitation (which is what the word Quran means) as we know it today, in the same (Arabic) language.
Some people suggested that he “wrote the Quran” himself, based on some “coded message” that he received from the angel Gabriel.
Behold, We have bestowed it from on high as a discourse in the Arabic tongue, so that you might encompass it with your reason. (Quran 12:2)
And thus have We bestowed from on high this [divine writ] as a discourse in the Arabic tongue […] (Quran 20:113)
A divine writ, the messages whereof have been clearly spelled out as a discourse in the Arabic tongue […] (Quran 41:3)
These, among others, are verses that confirm that the Quran was revealed in Arabic language to the last of messengers and prophets, Muhammad.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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