It's often claimed that "Islam spread by the sword". I don't buy this, especially when it comes to the early battles as I fully understand that they were in response to aggression from the Quraysh.
However, can we apply the same reasoning to later battles against the Persian and Roman Empires, Egypt, North Africa, etc.? In my understanding, they appear to have been offensive battles to spread Islam and gain ground. I would love to be shown wrong though, and gain a better understanding, إن شاء الله.
I appreciate any help. May Allah reveal the truth to us all, blessing us with correct understanding.