From the 8th century to the 16th
Not long after Muhammad died in AD 632, all of the Middle East and North Africa were overrun by the Muslim armies. It looked like Europe and Asia were not going to escape a similar fate. In 711 Spain was invaded at Gibraltar – its very name reminding us of the occasion, coming, as it did, from the Berber commander of the invasion force. A relentless push north followed.
At last, in 732, the Muslims were defeated at Tours in France, exactly a century after Muhammad’s death. It was a turning point, at least for Europe. Islam had to settle for what is now Spain. In the east, meanwhile, Muslim expansion continued well into the 17th century, engulfing huge swathes of India and of what is now Malaysia and Indonesia...Read More