Islam studies jahiliyyah essay

Paper type: Religious beliefs and spirituality,

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The article shall explore the concept of the jahiliyyah and demonstrate the importance and impact it has to understand the origins and development of Islam. The Jahiliyyah is a core and important part of the foundations of Islam, that certain aspects of the jahiliyyah were obtained, adopted and developed; whilst other factors were discarded as Islam evolved. It is crucial as facets of the jahiliyyah period continues to have an affect after the associated with Islam. Portions of the jahiliyyah such as the location; the political, social and religious existence; pre-islamic materials, rituals with the Ka’ba and the role of Women have molded the understanding of Islam.

The word ‘Jahiliyyah’ means the period of ignorance or barbarism; showing the Arabian culture before the birth of Muhammad(Mvumbi, 2010). The idea reflects the time in which Persia had not any dispensation, not any knowledge of Allah or a single God with out revealed holy text (Hitti, 1987). The Jahiliyyah symbolizes a social milestone, because Muslims imagine they transitioned from a great period of lack of knowledge to the period of knowledge and enlightenment (Armstrong, 1991).

The religious situation of Jahiliyyah is very important to examine to be able to understand Islamic monotheism. The religious situation of pre-Islamic shapes a person’s understanding of the origins and developments of Islam, because Islam is known as a civilization, lifestyle and religion. The importance with the concept is basically because Islam designed and developed on a previous Arabian religious beliefs. Firstly the understanding the location and characteristics of that period would notify and shape one’s understanding of Islam and culture. The Arabian peninsula is covered with wasteland and divided in two sectors: the north as well as the south(Mvumbi, 2010). The physical characteristics impacts the social and faith based situation. The northern part were a pastoral society and the the southern area of part had permanent negotiations such as Yemen and the Bedouin lifestyle (Mvumbi, 2010). Areas such as Yemen were significant because of its advanced civilizations, agricultural land and rich cultivation. Most areas were favorable, rich in food and drinking water, and investments such as spice trades (Hoyland, 2001). The desert created a harsh environment with severe conditions, the climate various from north to southern influencing people today belonging to the time to always be nomadic (Brockelman, 1960). The nomadic lifestyle created sub-cultures which resulted in the range of different languages. The control, agriculture and linguistics happen to be central notions that have got significant importance to Islam religion and culture (Goodman, 1999)..

For example , it is believed that Muhammad was a dealer who triggered the growth of trade in Mecca (Goodman, 1999). It is strongly presumed that Islam and arabian’s spiritual consciousness was born the vastness of the desert, this kind of strongly emphasise why it is crucial to understand Jahiliyyah as the roots of Islam begin in this period (Mvumbi, 2010). The Arabians within that period believed in religious beliefs, were even more polytheism concentrate than the monotheism perspective these days. They supported deities, these kinds of deities had been the children of Thor, the supreme God (Husayn, 1982). That they built wats or temples for their idols in particular in Makka it absolutely was the most spiritual place. These notions of Jahiliyyah echo Islam; as the Islamic faith was first revealed in Makka as well as the fact that Arabians had the idea of a supreme one and only Our god prior to the go up of Islam (Mvumbi, 2010). The surrounding religion such as Judaism and Christianity whom had a monotheistic hope influenced the Arabians and Islam more recently. This reinforces that Persia prior to Islam shared oneness of God before Muhammad (Mvumbi, 2010). These key principles display that Islam was a revival and extension of Jahiliyyah and this challenges the importance of the concept. One more element of the Jahiliyyah period was the politics and social life, such as the Bedouin world. The politics structure was tribal centered, that contains individuals who participated in much larger groups (Weissleder, 1978). This tribal aspect reflects the adopted management of Muhammad; as tribe rulers looked as a great arbitrator compared to a ruler (Weissleder, 1978). This kind of political composition influenced the Shura program. The legal system of this period was based upon tribal or customary law which motivated the Islamic communities of today(Weissleder, 1978). This factor reinforces why Jahiliyyah period shaped the origins and understanding of Islam. Similarly the social incorporation of pre-Islamic shapes the understanding of Islam. The notion of social integration developed in the Byzantine and Sassanic period (Hoyland, 2001). The Sassanic dynasty inspired the Islamic administrative system, it was likewise the consequences of the competition dwelling between two dynasties (Hoyland, 2001). Although these dynasties had been competitive they will shared a common values such as being imperialists and harmony (Hoyland, 2001).

The real commercial network meant that the leaders was required to negotiate and political rapports were made up of the autorité and tranquility prevailed. The Bedouins started to be the foundational symbol of Arab nationhood identity (Hoyland, 2001). They became the nationhood id through all their significant common transmitted poetry and crafted Arabic books, which became the basis and core vocabulary and humanity of Islam (Hoyland, 2001). The pre-Islamic poetry was very good and unique, it became the linguistic regular of the understanding of the Qu’ran. It is observed that the pre-Islamic poetry was obviously a central facet of tribal humanism and in an expression contributed to Islamic humanism (Hoyland, 2001). This kind of once again support that the pre-Islamic period intertwines with crucial principles of Islam and shapes their understanding that Islam adopted foundational principles. Combined with the highly reward Arabic poetry and language, is the used style of terminology such as Saj of Kuhhan. The rhyming structure a distinguishing characteristic of Saj became Arabic prose (Hoyland, 2001). The style of Saj is usually evident inside the Qu’ran, simply by understanding the design one may understand the socio-cultural framework that this appeared from; and also how the pre-Islamic language continues to be adopted by Islam. One other adopted principle of the pre-Islamic period was the role from the Ka’ba and religious procedures. It is important to research the rituals from the Jahiliyyah principle to notice the similarities, adoptations and continuation of concepts that is reflected in Islam. For example , throughout the Jahiliyyah, there were sacred truce period to the Ka’ba which usually occurred for 3 months, the annual pilgramage which is today the ritual of the Hajj for Muslims (Armstrong, 1999). The only additional difference with the role with the Ka’ba was during that period within the Ka’ba there was 3 hundred and 60 idols of worship in the Ka’ba (Armstrong, 1999). The practice of Islam including fasting could be reflected in the pre-Islamic techniques however it was your exclusion of hunting and sexual activity (Armstrong, 1999). Thus rituals that have been practiced throughout the pre-Islamic period were followed and integrated into Islam. By examining these kinds of rituals this reinforces the importance of understanding the pre-Islamic period. By understanding the concept of Jahiliyyah one would be familiar with continuity, the improvements and changes of principles proven within Islam.

These alterations, adaptation can be looked at through the values of women and marriage in the pre-islamic period and the values of women and marriage in Islam. For example , pre-Islamic period; endogamy, polygamy and polyandry were prevalent. Whereas

Qu’ranic facts indicates the focus on polygamy rather than polyandry; however it was revealed at that time where the socio-context had increased numbers of widows. Similarly, the thought of an short-term marriage, this within pre-Islamic period was instigated by a woman; yet, in the Shiite practice it is just permissible by the slave. This notion parallels with divorce, women were in order to dismiss their very own husbands; however the Shari’s women will be disadvantaged when in attempt to divorce. The gender inequality is reveal in women’s roles as well. Women in pre-Islamic period were given a status, they were associated with divination together a religious function; they also got the status of interesting. However , Orthodox Islam offers rejected the principle of giving girls status and equality. The role of women within the pre-Islamic period demonstrates how Islam does not usually adopt the principles of pre-Islamic period, but instead rejects a few notions. As the essay demonstrated the time of Jahiliyyah has substantially contributed to the success of the Forecaster Muhammad’s quest. Significant highlights of the Jahiliyyah such geographical location; the politics, social and religious existence; pre-islamic books, rituals with the Ka’ba as well as the role of Women have shaped the knowledge of Islam. These features have shown the Islamic religion inside context of it’s origins and advancement. By comprehending the concept of the Jahiliyyah one can understand which features are adopted, built-in, improved and rejected since Islam developed.


Armstrong, K, 1991. ‘Jahiliyah’ in Muhammad: A Western Attempt to Appreciate Islam. 1st ed. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd. Brockelman, C, 1960. History of the Islamic lenders. New York: Capricorn books. Goodman, D, 99. Pre-industrial Metropolitan areas and Technology. London: Routledge Hoyland, L, 2001. Arabia and the Arabs: From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam. 1st ed. Greater london: Routledge. Husayn, M, 1982. The life of Muhammad. Lagos: Academy Press. Mvumbi. 2010. Introduction to Islamic theology: A report of a lot of major biblical issues. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 14 May well 13]. Schuon, F, 1976. Understanding Islam. 1st education. London: Unwin Paperbacks Weissleder, W, 78. The Nomadic Alternative. Chicago, il: Mouton Web publishers


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