This is not really a lesson in Islamic history, nor a post where I declare that only Islam provides the correct way (although it does). All I aim to do is a small comparison.
In pre-Islam Arabia, the people were steeped in the worst kind of jahaalat. (To be politically correct, when I say ‘Arabia’, I basically mean the city of Makkah).
Literally, jahaalat can be translated as ignorance or being uneducated. When used for the Arabs living some fourteen/fifteen hundred years ago, it means they were ‘unaware’ of the true path to an unimaginable extreme.
They worshipped idols that they had placed, ironically enough, in the Ka’abah. Separated only by tribal boundaries, they were in a constant state of warfare. Might is always right was the rule of law. Money and other material things meant everything and they would resort to lying, cheating and fraud to gain them.
While they were a hospitable people, they treated women worse than the cattle they herded around. So much so that the birth of a daughter was considered the worst thing that could happen to a man. The only way out of this ‘humiliation’ was to bury her alive.
It was only when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) came to them with the teachings Islam that these conditions of this society improved. Although it didn’t happen overnight, it was Islam that guided these people to the true path and eradicated the evils from the land.
All of these are facts, recorded down in history.
But this is not really a lesson in Islamic history, nor a post where I declare that only Islam provides the correct way (although it does). All I aim to do is a small comparison.
Today, we live in an educated, modern and civilized world, where women have rights (comparatively, if only in theory). We built a country in the name of the religion of Islam and for the freedom of the Muslims. It is still considered an Islamic State, even if the current ideology seems to have shifted away.
Fine. I can live with that.
What is interesting to note is that we seem to be going back to that state of jahaalat. Maybe even worse.
OMG! How could I say that? How could I go against my own country?
And my own religion? I’m probably committing blasphemy.
The Arab tribes fought each other constantly and sometimes, on the merest of excuses – hell! – on the merest excuse of an excuse! But, in certain ‘holy’ months, they refrained from any and all kinds of conflict. And everyone, everyone, respected this rule.
To us, on the other hand, nothing matters. No rule of law. No religious directive. Nothing. We kill and we kill, with no thought of the consequences.
It’s funny how we forget that Islam is a religion of peace. The word íslam’ literally means peace – how can it advocate anything else for its followers? Moreover, fifteen hundred years ago, it was only through peaceful and non-violent methods that Islam spread its message to the people.
Yes, there were wars but in the ultimate ‘fight’, the victory over Makkah of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and his followers, not one drop of blood was shed. Today, however, we kill in the name of a religion that condemns all of mankind even if one person is murdered. Mindless killing, increasing death toll, no thought as to where all this is leading us.
It would seem that we’re going back to the practices of our ancestors.
History is repeating itself…backwards.