The demise of human instinct was at its peak and ten fold, from fading monotheistic faith represented in the spread of idols worshiping, to social injustice, gender inequality and political disorder that gives unconditional rule and unjust authority of the strong over the poor and the week.
Located in north-eastern Africa and largely known as the world's largest peninsula covering over 3,235,000 km2, the Arabian Peninsula had and remains to be the land that once witnessed one of the world’s greatest civilizations ever that sprouted with the advent of Islam, when Europe was living the dark ages, and now struggles to recover its historic splendor and fading glory.
The demise of human instinct was at its peak and ten fold, from fading monotheistic faith represented in the spread of idols worshiping, to social injustice, gender inequality and political disorder that gives unconditional rule and unjust authority of the strong over the poor and the weak.
There was a need for law to put things into order; a concluding religious message that would purge the multi-layered impurities that tainted people’s faith, and a leader who’d walk the Arabs and humanity at large from sheer dimness to illuminating light that spread throughout the world for many following centuries and till date.
Arabia was divided into two main sections, nomadic, and cosmopolitan. The boundaries of the region encompassing Hijaz (Mecca) and South Arabia were clearly mapped, with many small and a few large towns that represented its borders. As for the rest of the region, it included scattered Bedouin tribes and small communities.
In Mecca, the domineering tribe was the Quraysh, and in Yathrib, the dominant tribes included Aus and Khazraj, together with a few number of Jewish tribes such as al- Nadheer, Qaynuqaa and Qurayza.
Authoritative tribes had full control over people and their affairs. Oppression was prevalent and simply nobody would dare speak up against injustice- he’d be killed and his family would be made to suffer. With the exception of Yemen in the south-west, no other region in the entire Arabian peninsularhad any government of any kind, and the guardian law was that of tribal leaders and chieftains.
"In the century before the rise of Islam the tribes dissipated all their energies in tribal guerrilla fighting, all against all." (Classical Islam – A History 600-1258 – 1970).
Policies were set in accordance with what would safeguard the tribal leaders’ unconditional influence and power.
"In Mohammed's Arabia there was no state – there were only scattered independent tribes and towns. The Prophet formed his own state, and he gave it a sacred law prescribed by Allah." (The Loom of History, 1958).
Adultery was rampant and there was no upper-limit for the number of wives a man should have, if we’re to call them wives. A man would have as many wives as he wishes and there was no regulation guarding the process. A man would even take his step-mother as a wife. Can you imagine the kind of social disorder this led to?
Monotheistic faith was fading away and mostly replaced with idol worshipping. The Ka’ba was surrounded with over 300 idols, it was the most popular trade at the time.
People were sunk in deep viciousness, and drunkenness was appalingly omnipresent.
Gender equality was brutally trespassed, people would burry their new-born daughters alive.
In short people needed to resurrect after moral decline took its most cruel forms and reached its most horrid magnitudes.
Islam was the cure to all that and the Prophet (pbuh) was the healer, who took it upon his shoulder to deliver the message to the farthest destinations he can reach out to, spreading the light and rooting out all sorts of barbarousness and animalism. The restatement of monotheism was the most intriguing necessity as it meant alteration of all other failures.
The act of prostrating before a piece of stone everyday crashed human dignity and downgraded people to creatures that are far less valuable, and this in itself was detrimental to any remaining traces of human dignity that could keep a human individual or group from slumping into such moral failure and disorder.
Muhammad (pbuh) was sent to revive people’s faith, cleanse their hearts and install the law of Islam which, indeed, put right all that was going wrong and encompassed all fields of human life back then, whether on the political, religious, moral or the social arena.
In his “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, Gibbon describes the Arabs before the coming of the concluding Prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying: “The human brute, almost without sense, is poorly distinguished from the rest of the animal creation."
Rising from appalling barbarism, Arabs were cured by the refining touch of Islam that healed their hearts and illuminated their minds, bringing them to their originality and reviving in them the original human Fitra (instinct).
Tackling the rise of the civilization of Arabia, timed by the beginning of the prophetic mission of Muhammad (pbuh), Thomas Carlysle once described the impact of Islam and the noble Prophet as turning Arabs “into torch-bearers of light and learning… To the Arab nation it was as a birth from darkness into light. Arabia first came alive by means of it. A poor shepherd people, roaming unnoticed in its deserts since the creation of the world. See, the unnoticed became world notable. The small has grown World-Great. Within one century afterwards Arabia was at Granada on the one hand and at Delhi on the other. Glancing in valor and splendor, and the light of genius, Arabia shines over a great section of the world…”
Islam was the only hope and cure for humanity back then, and Prophet Muhammad was indeed a necessity to conclude the religion of monotheism and install the law of God, the law that brought mankind from the darkness of barbarism to the light of humanity and civilization.
But today, and as we live the so-called modern age, the earlier civilization of early Muslims needs to be brought back to life, to put an end to the traces of moral degradation and corruption, the ferociousness that has crept into human nations through the course of passing centuries.
Posted on: September 16, 2011