How Far Did Climates Of 7th Century Arabia Contribute To The Emergence Of Islam?

1785 words - 7 pages

The religious, social, political and economical climates of seventh century Arabia, also known as pre-Islamic Arabia, contributed immensely to the emergence of Islam.

Religious climates were one of the causes of the emergence of Islam.

At the time in the seventh century of Arabia, people lived in the days of ignorance, known as Jahiliyah. During this period of time, people of Arabia worshipped idols and Arabia was considered a God-less region.

Before the time of Jahiliyah, a group of people, al-Hanafiyyeen, followed the monotheistic teachings of Abraham (Ibrahim). He alleged faith in one universal God, but after his death, Arabs returned to the polytheistic society.

People of Arabia

"worshipped stones, trees, idols, stars and spirits; in short everything conceivable except God... they revelled in adultery, gambling and drinking." (Abul Ala Mawdudi).

The Hanifs believed that there was another religion or belief, and stood firm against their belief in monotheism. They would meditate and not get involved in the worship of idols. They were waiting for a specific significance to what they should believe and follow - one could say the message of Islam.

The area of Hijaz, in the North-West of Arabia, covering Mecca and Medina, followed many religions. There was Bedouin Polytheism, Judaism and Christianity, which broke down into the Orthodox, the Monophysites and the Nestorians.

Bedouin Polytheism was the religion of the majority of the population. They were mainly Arabian nomads who were animistic and believed in jinn, and many gods. These gods included al'Manat (goddess of fate), al'Uzza (all-powerful goddess of love) - daughters of Allah (the chief God) and his wife Allat.

Judaism was a minor religion. The Jews has being pushed out of Palestine by the Israelis and had settled in Hijaz. However there were very few tribes in Mecca.

The orthodox Christians originated in the Byzantine Empire - ruled by the Romans, and Western parts of Europe. They believed that Jesus was God and man at the same time.

The Nestorians originated in Hira, East of Arabia, and in the Sassanian Empire. They believed that Jesus was the son of of God and he became divine after resurrection.

The Monophysites originated in Egypt, Syria and were part of the tribes of North and South of Arabia. They believed that Jesus was god and only appeared as man.

There was also a monotheistic religion called Zoroastrianism, of whom the people originated in Iran and Iraq.

In Abyssinia, there were two groups of people. One, the falashes, who were Jews, and two, the people of Negus - the Christian king.

It would have been impossible for people of Arabia to be unaware of all these different type of religions for they were all so close and met through trade.

People of Arabia believed that the Ka'bah was a shrine where pilgrims gathered to perform the ceremony of tawaaf, seven circumbulations of the shrine following the directions of the sun, and then...

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