A fascinating series of free lectures from Yale University about the history and spread of Islam.
Professor Freedman offers an unbiased, impartial account of this history.
He talks about the Arab skill with desert warfare, how in the same way the Vikings pillaged much of Europe via their superior knowledge of sailing and rivers, the Arabs did something similar with their superior mobility in deserts.
Professor Freedman also mentions that just because the Arabs were interested in conquest, doesn’t mean they were necessarily interested in converting everyone to Islam right away. And in the early years of Arab conquest, muslims were a minority in their conquered lands.
Since the Arab conquerors received a tax (the Jizya) from non-muslims for not being muslim, they weren’t too hasty to lose that source of revenue.