Geography Forum 6
The Arabs who were mainly Islamic got introduced to Indochina regions four centuries ago through Muslim merchants who practiced Da’wah activities. The traders had a great impact in the Indochina regions since they enhanced the commercial activities as well spread Islam to the residents (Mutalib, 71). This paper will discuss the geographical impact of the Arabs in Indochina focusing on the extent of Arab influence in the region.
The Arab Muslim traders landed in the territories of Indochina along the coast of Anam kingdom belonging to the Chinese, thus making the traders to regularly visit the region. As a result, the welcoming of the Arabs led to the wide spread of Islamic religion in Indochina including the Champas people (Mutalib, 71). The religion deeply spread in Champa community when their relationship with the sultans Muslim in Indonesian island strengthened. This bond influenced commercial trading activities between the Islam and Indochina countries. Therefore, they became more dependent on trade initiated by the Arabs since it was their main source of wealth (Mutalib, 72).
The Islam immigration to Indochina in the long run caused a huge economic influence in the countries. They practically conquered the trade business to a point of fully integrating with the Han community such that they took position of the Directors office of general shipping. The relation further brought about intermarriages between the Arabs and the Chinese (Mutalib, 72). In addition, the Muslims established schools and mosques that influenced change in learning and language. They were attended by both the Arabs and the Indochina students. As a result, schools reported to accommodate large number of Islamic student most of them the Indochina Muslims who had adopted the religion. The students and other people in those communities mode of dress changed as well to date following the Islam influence (Mutalib, 72).
It is evident from the paper that the Arab community has a great geographical influence in Indochina in that they enhanced commercial trade, music, education as well as art (Mutalib, 73). Therefore “Arabchina” is a more appropriate name for the realm since the Arabs influence brought growth in Indochina regions.
Mutalib, Hussin. Islam in Southeast Asia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS, 2008. Print.)