How Did Islam Impact Europe Politically, Economically, And Socially?

Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the world. Islam made its way to Europe during the 11th to 14th  century. Religion made a lot of contributions to Medieval Europe. The impact of Islam in Europe helped develop the art, architecture, medicine, agriculture, music, law, and technology of Europe. 

The Islamic contributions to the political, economic, and social world in Europe played an essential role in the rediscovery of Europe as a strong nation. Europe absorbed knowledge about different fields from the Islamic civilization. The influence of the Muslim world was enormous and spread vastly in different fields. Let’s take a look at the impact of Islam on Europe Politically, socially, and economically.

Impact Of Islam On The Social World In Europe

Islam teaches peace and tolerance. The response of the Christian communities to Islam has been mixed due to the negative portrayal of Islam by the western media. A few Muslims living in Western Europe faced issues in the 14the century. The Ottoman Empire came to an end after the aftermath of the Second World. The secularization of Turkey under Ataturk had an aggressive impact. Islamic practice was officially removed from public life. During that time, the Orthodox Christians lived alongside Muslims. Both the communities lived with each other in peace, even during the worst political conditions. 

1. How did Islam Impact Society in Europe?

Patriarch Michael III of Anchialos in the 12th century stated that he would like the Muslims to be his master in outward things. He preferred Muslims over the Latins who dominated him in matters. Muslims did not force anyone to share their faith. This left a good social impact on the religion in the country. Fights and arguments were prevented due to the allowance of practicing faith all through Europe. People did not fear being separated from their faith after being ruled by the Muslims during the Ottoman Empire rule. 

2. Islam Spread Religious Tolerance In Europe 

The concept of religious tolerance significantly influenced the development of religious tolerance among people in Europe. During the early period, the European reformists referred to the Ottoman Empire as the perfect model of religious tolerance. 

3. Islam Promoted Peace Between People 

Non-Muslims living in Europe were allowed to preach their religions during the Ottoman Empire’s rule. Gospel could be preached everywhere and to everybody without any fear. The natives of Europe welcomed the Muslims with open arms as they did not interrupt their everyday lives. The generosity of the Turks towards Europeans also left a good reputation for religion. People did not fear getting captured and killed because they believed that Muslims were kind toward humanity. 

4. The Principle Of Integration Was Practiced 

The Christians and Muslims believed in the principle of integration. People could practice their religion without any fear. They could wear and display religious symbols without having a fear of getting killed or harmed. Europeans did have to forsake their religious identities as they were not prohibited from practicing their religion in public. The religious festivities were also allowed so that everyone could live a peaceful life. However, with recent terrorist attacks and Islamic phobia, the image of Islam is getting tarnished. Muslims in Europe are still on a journey to improve the reputation of Islam for a better future. 

Impact Of Islam On The economic World In Europe

Like other sectors, Islam had a significant impact on the Political world in Europe. Many changes in the laws were made that were based on Islamic principles and laws. Here is brief information on the economic impact of Islam in Europe. 

1. The Merchants And Traders Started To Earn More Profit 

Islamic economics impacted the merchants and traders in Europe. The fair deals made by the Muslims impressed the Europeans because this gave them the chance to earn the maximum profits. Merchant capitalism during the 9th-12th centuries benefitted Europe in many ways. 

2. Monetary Market Grew A Lot 

The robust monetary market economy was expanded. The money circulation levels became high, and the currency became more stable. Dinar became a high-value currency, and the integration of monetary areas became independent.

3. Innovative Business Techniques Were Introduced

 Innovative new business techniques were introduced that helped the economic market growth in Europe. Many new business organizations were also introduced by economists, merchants, and traders. The companies include trading companies, bills of exchange, big businesses, and other kinds of partnerships. 

4. Capitalist Ideas Were Introduced

The concept of credit, profit, capital, and capital accumulation was introduced all through Europe. Many of these early capitalist ideas advanced later on in medieval Europe during the 13th century and onwards.

5. Urbanization

Islam dramatically influences the development of cities in Medieval Europe. Even the Arab contributions are very much evident. In the Al-Andalus region, the construction flourished to the fullest. As a result, it opened up many trade outposts. However, southern Spain remained highly populated in the entire Peninsula. 

Muslims have contributed the most to Al-Andalus, which they control. The economic and urban systems in Europe are still sticking to the manorial system. 

They can benefit from the commercial traditions as the economy of the Islamic world is flourishing. Many cities of Al-Andalus have now become the commercial centers of Europe under the Muslim Rule. This place is for both domestic and foreign merchants too. 

6. Trading Of Goods

The most prominent trade between European merchants and Muslims was the Levant trade. In this trading system, traders from major Italian ports became a prominent part. The goods coming from the East were new to the Christian Europeans. This is one of the reasons why European merchants were enthusiastic about having trade with Muslim Merchants.

The imported goods from the Muslim merchants were considered more like luxuries. At the same time, the goods that Europeans exported were only essential goods. The locally-made goods were not up to the mark either soon after, Europeans started to produce silk, which became very popular.

How Did Islam Impact Europe Politically?

The Muslims living in Europe had to follow a political commitment as they were linked to Islamic parties. It is not surprising why a term like political Islam refers to the encroachment of Islam into the domain of politics. It is a popular term that Muslims use for their political ends. 

Since 2011 the term political Islam has been gaining popularity around the southern shores of the Mediterranean. Some parties are directly linked with the Brotherhood among Muslims. No doubt that it is one of the integral expressions of political Islam. It is now ruling in Tunisia and Egypt while influencing the political debate in Morocco, Libya, and Algeria. 

Post the revolutionary Arab World; Political Islam is coming up with a new meaning. It is now introducing Islamic law and ethics simultaneously. This has also become a significant context before taking any final decision. Even the government’s action is dependent on it, especially if it is the aftermath of a corrupt past.

Islamic Parties In Europe

Political Islam remains incomplete without political life and commitment. It helps Muslims survive in a European context. They tried to reach political commitment through direct participation or social activities. Most of these activities were organized by non-governmental organizations. 

They aim to raise awareness regarding Islamic issues among European institutions. Nowadays, Muslims can make a direct effort in politics as they can have European citizenship if they want. Some Muslims have a deep-rooted connection in society. It seems they are more prepared to deal with cultural and political issues. This is why studies reveal that the experience of Islam parties in Europe has instead been a disappointment, if not a failure.

Divisions & Differences Among Muslims In Europe

Division and differences among the Muslim parties in Europe are a reason for their failure. For them, it is not only a matter of being a Sunni or Shia. Nor is it an issue of being a practicing or secular Muslim. It involves their national identity and linguistic belongings too.

The Muslim and Wester parties make similar mistakes. Everyone considers Islam and Muslims as a monolithic community is wrong. The Islamic community in Europe is presented by many nationalities, traditions, and languages.

If we talk about the Netherlands, the Muslim population features a mix of Turks, Moroccans, and Indonesians. Since the 1980s, some Somalis, Iranians, Pakistanis, and Afghans are also a part of these groups. Even though they are Muslims, the difference in language and culture is evident. 

They are influenced by their traditional backgrounds as well. The most important part to discuss here is that they are not unified from any linguist’s point of view either. Each one of them has a different dialect featuring Arabic and non-Arabic.

Wrap Up

The social, political, and economic impact of Islam on Europe is evident from the discussions above. Europe has become the most prominent area for flourishing relations between Muslims and Christians. Within Europe, Britain is leading most of the issues that various communities go through.

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3 thoughts on “How Did Islam Impact Europe Politically, Economically, And Socially?”

  1. I urge anyone to consider this paper in the light of three realities: 1) Instructions in the Qur’an that non-Muslims should be required to pay a tax that Muslims don’t pay, 2) Instructions in the Qur’an that any Muslim who abandons Islam in favor of another belief system should be killed and 3) The way Christians and Hebrews are treated in the twenty-first century in countries that are predominantly Muslim.

    Don’t take my word with regard to instructions in the Qur’an. Read it for yourself.

    My copy of the Qur’an includes the Arabic text and a side-by-side English paraphrase by Abdullah Yusuf Ali first published between 1934 and 1937.


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