Strategic Research Circle

"Islamic History of Trade"

From its inception, Islam positioned itself to be a leading force for economic growth and development. Trade played an important role in development of Islamic society. Mohammad(s) himself was a merchant married to a woman, Khadija (ra) who came from a noble family of merchants. Some of his companion Abu Bakr, Usman, Abd al-Rahman and Amr al As were also merchants. Nine times in seven chapters of Quran, trade (tijara) is mentioned.


The centrality and importance of trade became crucial to strengthening the foundation of the new state in Medina. The wealth generated from the trade was viewed as instrument to realizing religious, political, social and economical goals.


When Mohammad (s) proclaimed the message of one God, the polytheist elites of Mecca saw him as a threat to their established authority and trade routes


During pilgrimage season, he met with travelers and merchants from other cities to spread the message of Islam. When visitors from Medina met him, they accepted his message and offered him to move and settle in Medina. It was that city-state in which Mohammad (s) assumed religious, political responsibility, along with role of a social mediator and regulator of market


After several battles, Muslims defeated Meccans in 632 AD and entered Mecca. That event made Mohammad (s) an undisputed leader and gave Muslims control of Arab trade and trade routes     


Prophet Mohammad (s) and his successors viewed trade as noble and essential profession for survival , maintenance, prosperity and growth of the state


During the era of two dynasties, Ommeyade and Abbasid, great cities were built and became trade and manufacturing centers. These centers not only served the market of a vast empire but also the foreign markets of Europe, Asia and Africa


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