Islam On Arabia Essay, Research Paper
THE INFLUENCE OF MOHAMMED THE PROPHET
AND ISLAM ON ARABIA
The success of the Arabian civilization is due to the
contributions and efforts of one single man by the name of Pbuh
Mohammed. Mohammed was a prophet who was responsible for the
creation and development of the Islam religion which would later
become the foundation of the Arabian society. Other than the fact that
he developed a religion that is accepted world wide, he granted the
people of Arabia with a new culture and way of life. There is no way to
measure the importance of this one man?s life, or the impact that he
had on both Arabia and the rest of the world. Arab civilization truly
began in AD 570 with the birth of a man that would grow up to
develop the foundation for every aspect of the Arabian life.
The Islam religion is the first and oldest of its kind. The
development of this Muslim belief caused a great turning point in the
development of the Arabian civilization. It would eventually grow and
develop, forming the foundation of the entire Arabian Empire. The
word Islam itself means submission to the will of the Gods. While the
word Muslims, the name given to followers of the Islam religion,
simple translates into those who submit. The religion began with one
follower named Mohammed, and expanded to the present day
estimate of about 750,000,000 ( , ). The Muslims believe in one
God and one God only, Allah. They believe that he stands alone and
has absolute control over the actions of all people on earth.
Muslims also believe that all men are equal to Allah. For this
reason, the importance of acts of charity, and easing the
suffering of those in need were greatly stressed by Mohammed.
At the time this was directed towards the poor, the women and
the children of Arabia. Islam religion is said to be a cross
between Christianity and Judaism. There are many similarities
between the Christian and Jewish God, and Allah. Muslims
believe that there was a man by the name of Jesus, but that he
was one of the six prophets that Allah chose to help Him
communicate His word to the people here on earth. They accept
the virgin birth of Jesus, but deny His divinity and resurrection.
They considered Mohammed, who was born in AD 571, ( , )
to be the final and the greatest of all the prophets. Not only was
he an outstanding preacher of God?s word, but he took on both
political and military roles while living in Yathrib (modern day
Medina). It is said that while meditating in a cave on Mount Hira,
the angel Gabriel spoke to Mohammed and told him to “read the
name of the Lord, who created man from a lot of blood” ( , ).
The voice of this heavenly angel was sent down by Allah to
communicate his words of wisdom to Mohammed. In about AD
613, after three years of living the life intended by Allah in
private, the angel Gabriel was said to appear to him once again
and tell him to “Arise and warn” ( , ). That is when
Mohammed began to preach the word of Allah in public. Over
the next twenty three years Mohammed attempted to improve the
society?s morality. His speeches were often written down by
more than one of his many followers. They greatly inspired the
Arabian people to live a life following the words of Allah, and
made them want to learn more about the wishes of their God.
Directly following the death of Mohammed, his followers began
to compile the notes from his speeches into a Holy book, which
eventually was called the Koran. People believed that the words
of Allah were delivered to Mohammed piece by piece from
Gabriel and therefore believed this Holy book to be the exact
words of God delivered to them through Mohammed. This Holy
Book holds one hundred and fourteen chapters that are
memorized by many people throughout the world. It describes
what one must do to be loved and accepted in the eyes of Allah.
This religion was a gradual development that took twenty three
years to complete, but when it was finished, it outlined the
beliefs and lifestyle of the Muslim Arabs.
As Mohammed the prophet spread the word of God, new
tradition and development of the Arabian culture began to take place.
The roles among the society became clearly defined. Especially
between the two genders and those of various social status. The
society developed into a very male dominated one that focused of
male honor. Women were believed to be weak, and more subjected
to temptation. While men?s lives were focused on success and pride,
women?s were focused on trying to keep others, especially their
husbands, happy. In a way, they were treated almost like slaves, in
the sense that their life was dedicated obeying the wishes of other
people in an attempt to make others happy, or satisfied with them. To
do any less would be a great disgrace to both your husband, and
family, one which could never be erased. The most distinctive
tradition that developed is the clothing and role of Arabian women.
By the age of twelve, a young lady?s body must be completely
covered from head to toe. The only skin allowed to be shown is a
small part of the skin around your eyes, that was revealed by the veil.
The veil is very well recognized by foreigners. Veils have been worn
by women of the middle east since at least 1500 BC. There are both
traditional and practical reason why this garment is worn. First of all it
protects women?s faces from the hot desert sun and dry windblown
sand. The religious purpose is that goes along with the whole
conservative women?s role that was laid out by Mohammed. Another
traditional outfit worn by Muslim woman is the abaaya. The abaaya is
a long black outer cloak which drapes over a woman, covering her
body from head to toe. The Practical use of the abaaya is that in the
winter, it keeps one warm, and in the summer, it prevents the
evaporation of the moisture on women?s body. Although both these
garments have practical purposes, the main reason that they were
worn by woman was for extra precautions. They were used to
safeguard ones modesty and insure that one would not receive a bad
name. A conservative women “reveals nothing with her looks, words
or actions which she displays” ( , ) . It was the men?s job to keep
the woman in line; always obeying the laws created for conservative
woman. If a woman was caught out of the traditional attire, or if she
earned herself a bad reputation in any other way, shape, or form,
than she would be punished in the town square in front of everyone.
This was the officials way of preventing any other woman from
rebelling. Punishments included horrendous tortures such as the
cutting off of one?s hand. You could earn a poor reputation very easily,
for example, if you are caught talking to a male who is not directly
related to you. You were really frowned upon if you made any sort of
contact with a man outside of your family, even if it was just a simple
hello. For this reason, marriages were arranged by the parents of the
couple. However, it was more of a suggestion by the family, it was
never forced on them. The Prophet Mohammed believed in
polygamy, therefore, men were allowed to have as many a four wives.
The one condition was that they all had to be treated equally. If the
man could not do so, than he must choose one of the women to keep
as his wife and let the rest go. Women however, were only allowed to
have one husband. Women really did not have many options. They
were not religiously, or riotously protected from harm unless they
were proved to be a conservative woman with a good name. The
cleaner your background, the more protection you would receive.
Woman were very much babied in this society. They were not free to
make their own decisions. They were not allowed to enroll in school,
to have important jobs, or to be seen in the company of a man that
was not related to them. While men were off working hard, women
had the option of being homemakers, which was much more socially
preferred, or of working in the medical, social, or educational field.
The only exception being that all of your CO-workers and customers
had to all be female. Women really had no choice but to obey the
very unfair rules because they were not free to leave the country and
to protest would mean severe punishments. However, growing up in
that environment, made the woman accept their roles without a lot of
fuss. The Islam religion defined and changed the roles of various
people throughout the Arabian society.
Finally, the impact that Mohammed made on Saudi Arabia and
the rest of the world was very dramatic. The Arab?s worship of jinn
spirits was quickly replaced by the Islam religion. This new found
religion along with the inspiring words of Mohammed, encouraged the
Muslims to preach the word of Allah and convert as many people as
possible. The Muslims began to set out and conquer many cities
and countries. The Muslims would continue to conquer large lands
which belonged to the “civilized” world, hundreds of years later. The
Beginning of the Muslim calendar is marked at the beginning of
Mohammed and his followers? migration to the city of Yathrib, which
is known today as Medina. The Koran was not only the book of the
Islam faith and rituals, but of the government and law. It laid out
common sins and laid out punishments for them. They holy book
defined the social status of women and men. It provided Arabia with
a good sense of how to govern family life and it offered clear
guidelines on personal behavior and legal matters. There was no real
distinction between the church and religious activities, and the
government and the state. The holy book was a guideline of which
the Muslims looked to, for answers to their everyday lives.
Mohammed created a religion that would eventually spread world
wide personally effect and change the lives of over seven hundred
million people. Mohammed placed the grounds for the development
of the Arabian lifestyle, which would spread like wildfire, shaping the
lives and cultures of civilizations around the world.
To Muslims, Pbuh Mohammed?s life was of greater importance
the life of Christ, and all others who were sent to earth by God. His
life changed the faces of many cultures and civilizations world wide.
His words and actions were greatly influential and are still studied and
recited by scholars and many others today. He was a man who made
history, from the day he was born until the day he died. Those who
were followers of this great man realized that after his life had
finished, the world, and Arabia would never be the same.