Subscriber Essay: Early Islam and Commerce in the Indian Ocean

This week’s request is a pretty broad one:

I would want to know more about Arab trade in the Indian Ocean. I know a bit how it spread Islam to Indonesia/SE Asia and down the east African coast but not a whole lot else (what were they trading? with whom? for what? who were the Arab traders?). If this is too vague you can focus on the religious aspect(s). 

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