I have been doing some research in regards to how Islam was spread, which has left me confused on one point. In summary, some sources suggest that Islam has only been spread in scenarios of self defence, and other sources suggest that it was spread by the a second type of jihad (taking initiative in fighting). One of the sources is a Facebook post by Dr. Zakir Naik which, in summary, refers to
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error.”
It speaks about how many non-believers have existed and lived in regions that are conquered by Muslims in peace without threat, but it does not specify how these countries came under the rule of Muslims to begin with.
Other sources, such as “Was Islam spread by the sword?” on Islam Question and Answer, speak about taking the initiative in fighting and list ahadeeth and ayat such as these:
“And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery) to threaten the enemy of Allaah and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allaah does know.”
This one is not a hadeeth; rather, it is a reference:
In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have been supported with fear as far as a month’s journey.” Would the kuffaar be afraid of being told, “become Muslim, but if you do not then you are free to believe and do whatever you want”? or were they afraid of jihad and the imposition of the jizyah and being humiliated? That may make them enter Islam so that they may be spared this humiliation.
It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (12/14):
Islam spread by means of proof and evidence to those who listened to the message and responded to it, and it spread by means of force and the sword to those who were stubborn and arrogant, until they were overwhelmed and became no longer stubborn, and submitted to that reality.
My main question consists of several points (sub questions):
Are there actually two types of jihad as stated in the second link above, where one is in self defence and the other is in taking the initiative in fighting? If so, please give references.
If Islam has spread by waging war, is it expected that subjugated people truly believe in Islam, or that they submit do out of fear (as is the case with crusade wars). These people saw Muslims as attackers, and fought Muslims to defend their regions. Can they now understand the meanings of Islam?
I understand that most likely this question can only be answered by reading books of interpretation and history. Please suggest an approved source