During the time of the great Prophet’s appointment only one sixth of the population in Arabian Peninsula lived in the cities; the majority of people were Bedouins who lived in tents out in the deserts. Their teamwork was to murder and usurp; their friends was their sword and camel. One of the poets of that time1 recited: Our work is to loot and attack on the neighbor and seldom if we don’t find one other than our own brother, then we shall loot him.
Each tribe was an independent unit who considered other tribes as strangers. Murder was a common practice in both cities and out in the desert. When Shanfari -a well-known poet of that era- was disrespected, he killed ninety-nine citizens.
The tribes worshiped idols as their religion. They made idols as that looked like humans, animals, trees and worshiped them. Often, they would worship a water well or a cave. Not only they had none-conditional women but also treated women as a commodity and trading item. Girls were considered as dishonored creatures and they were buried alive2.
Poetry and poems were very common among the Arabs. But their poems did not pertain deep meanings; except a handful of poets who were exceptional intellectuals. The majority of Arab poetry pertained to motivations for wars or honoring previous mass murders and looting3.
The source of income for the tribes (in addition to desert based activities & income) was limited trading with some of neighboring countries; not so often with Yemen and Far East. Amongst this situation the house of Ka’ba was a primary source of income for the tribe of Quraish. All tribes respected this house both due to its history and also the fact that between 300 to 360 exclusive idols resided in this house was each represented a specific tribe4.
Other countries in the world had a similar level of civilization and did not consider humane values in the societies far different than what the Arabs had. The other countries in the world were also occupied with wars for power and territorial expansions and further filled with inequalities and tyrannies, which are well addressed in World history references.
In such times, a man who worshiped the glorious Lord in the mountains of Mekka, thought of the destiny of history and mankind. Mohammad (Peace be upon him and his progeny) was near forty years of age. He had learned life in every aspect. He had been an orphan, a shepherd, a young tradesman, a worshiper, an intellectual in the desert, a judge and trustworthy of people.
He had spent forty years of his life in an era full of ignorance, among brutal and culture-less tribes; he had been titled the trustworthy and now had found himself in the beginning of an extraordinary responsibility. In the years that followed his appointment as a messenger, he spent most of his time far away from the crowd of the city. Each year he would spent a month of worship on the mountain of Hera. During that month, he would feed any poor who came close to him for help. After the month, he would return to Makka and circled around the Ka’ba before returning home. The year of Appointment, Mohammad(PBUH&HP) went to mount Hera. At the time of Appointment Gabriel (Jibra’il) -the angel of Revelation- came to him and said: O Mohammad (PBUH&HP) You are the Messenger of Allah (SWT) and I am Jibra’il.
After returning from the mount Hera and invitation of his close relatives to Islam, his wife Khadija (PBUH) and his cousin Ali Ibn Abitalib (PBUH) were the first two to accept his invitation to Islam. The Prophet’s invitation was held in private for the first three years. After that it became a public invitation and announcement. The Messenger of Allah’s (PBUH&HP) motto was “Say there is no God but Allah and become prosperous”. He invited people to monotheism and worshiping the only God. He announced all other religions as expelled and expired. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) announced the principle of Equality [for the first time] by “the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty)” caused a blow to Slavery of that time. He valued Women and gave them social and legal rights; he avoided them from shamelessness and presentation of their body.
Further, he removed the social hierarchy and scores. He placed the poorest of people beside the wealthy and elite of that time in one place, ordered everyone to learn knowledge.
When he had impacted and shaken the foundation of the largest imperial powers of that time, he would sit on the floor and close a stone on his belt so that he does not feel hunger and he can continue to fight like a soldier for Islam. Eventually the Messenger of Allah with his persistence and hard work, successfully nurtured men and women who were pure, pious and champion of their time from tribes that had cruelty as their law and were simply scattered all over the peninsula. These men and women learned to have sacrifice for one another, put their hates away and construct a better society and shed light upon the path of human evolution for the next generations.
(Selection from the book “Bi’that, Ghadir Ashura, Mahdi” by Reza Hakimi)