Balanced opposition is a ‘tribal' form of organization, a tribe being a regional organization of defense based on decentralization and self-help. Tribes operate differently from states, which arecentralized, have political hierarchies, and have specialized institutions--such as courts, police,tax collectors, and an army--to maintain social control and defense. Prior to the Islamic faith, various tribes were ungoverned and did not necessarily have a definingvision for the future. Muhammad knew the intricacies of this tribal mentality and his endeavor to bring together the various feuding Bedouin tribes in a cohesive element was a revolutionary political triumph. Muhammad's introduction of Islam provided a structured set of laws, which provided a method for all of the tribes to live together. The exact interpretation of Islam issubmission, which by means of the Qur'an assembled the complete assortment of tribesmantogether “who collectively became the umma, the community of believers.” Muhammad successfully formulated a focus for the tribes in a collective purpose, which was toserve Allah as Muslims. With the newly assembled holy army (ةسدقملا شيخ/jaysh al-muqaddas),the tribes were now willing to fulfill their religious obligation to spread Islam and eliminate anyinfidel nonbelievers in the way. This was the start to what has become known as the Islamicconquests and a substantial contributor to the thousand-year continuation of violence in theMiddle East.
Birth of Muslim Conquests and early Caliphates
Although most of the rapid expansion of the Islamic empire happened after the death of Muhammad, his resolute leadership did help to engage the Arabian Peninsula and set the precedence for the subsequent growth of Islam. Muhammad made a pilgrimage to Medina inorder mark the tenth year of the migration, which provides the Islamic rite of hajj that eachfollower is to make in their life. While there, he delivered an enforcement of the ideals of Islamin what is known as The Farewell Sermon. In this sermon, he further made it clear that there wasonly one almighty god who is Allah and in essence was a clarion call to dispel unbelievers.Muhammad said,O people, your Lord is One, and your father is one: all of you are from Adam, and Adam wasfrom the ground. The noblest of you in Allah's sight is the most godfearing: Arab has no meritover non-Arab other than godfearingness. Have I given the message? -- O Allah, be my witness.Shortly after his farewell hajj, Muhammad died on June 8, 632, which his passing left a major struggle over who would be his successor. Umar ibn al-Khattab nominated the successor to beAbu Bakr, which was accepted and he was immediately made the first caliph under the RashidunCaliphate.The Rashidun Caliphate conquered present-day Syria, Armenia, Egypt, and parts of North Africa.The Muslim Conquests did not actually reach the borders of modern Europe until the successionof the Umayyad Caliphate.