Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Muhammad
And welcome once again to stem infobus
31st in our series, Muhammad peace be upon him, the last messenger of Allah. And our topic specifically today is the world at the advent of Muhammad, peace be upon him. I'm your host the Shawnee Mission here once again, Mary's University is Dr. Gerald better as I like conducted
us to the bedroom, our viewers, could they have a quick summary of last week's program? Sure, we continue to discuss the sources for the study of Sierra or the biography of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. And we mentioned the pinch the most ancient and the most trusted and authentic source. That's the work by hack. And we talked a little bit about that very important historian. And then we introduced another historian ignition who played a very important showed to transmit to us, the work of mishap or else it should have been must be indicated or explained his meticulous methodology
in both transmission, editing, as well as commenting on the work of Ignis half and that is available, the work is available. We indicated that earlier,
historians followed the objective approach of reporting, they simply conveyed to us the various anecdotal reports they heard, they did not try to
mix it with their own personal impressions or analysis, but rather tried only to authenticate these sources of this information. And of course, that was a good foundation for further analytical studies that were conducted in a lesser time.
Then we mentioned also some of the more recent good references on the biography of the Prophet.
And we said that these sources are very useful. And they have depended, by and large on the ancient and most authentic sources, and we'll be using them in this series.
God willing, and as far as the approach is concerned, we indicated that the modern writers try to avoid just the encyclopedic
nesting of reports without analysis and without critique,
as some of the earlier writers did, and some of Benneteau writers also followed the that particular approach. So it has to be more in terms of verification and accepting, or including only the most authentic type of reports.
And then we mentioned another aspect that many modern writers seem to take. That's when they divide the coverage of the biography. They don't go strictly chronology like day by day or year by year, but rather tries to divide the periods of the life and mission of the Prophet into certain homogenous units, which makes sense rather than strict chronology. And finally, one of the writers for example, and many others to join him also in that particular approach, like Ahmed Hassan and nadvi, the famous Indian scholar suggested also that perhaps an examination of the state of the world at the time when Prophet Muhammad came, might shed some light at least about the backdrop
against which the immediate mission began.
Now, speaking generally, what was the stage more or less of the world about the sixth century when the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was born? Okay, one of the best writers of that is another week that I mentioned his name and he included that coverage both in his book about the burfield, the prophet and also in another interesting book, which is translated into English under the title Islam and the world. In Arabic, the Titans Mather hustle an island. That hypothesis means an interesting book, even though it's not exactly on biography, but
in the introduction to his book, he covered some of those aspects. Another difference that you might be making use of also a little later, is the famous volume by HG Wells, the famous
Must British historian scrub outline or the outline of history
and the nether is one. In the first chapter, he explains how humanity about the sixth century had reached the edge of destruction,
and that there was no hopeful signs to save humanity from the course it was thinking. Let me give you one quotation, perhaps that might indicate the way he wants to express he says, quote, there appears to be no agency or power in the whole world, which could come to its rescue, that's the rescue of humanity and save it from crashing into the abyss of destruction. The teachings of the prophets had been forgotten.
The lamps that they had Kingdom had either been put out by the stones of moral anarchy, or the value they shed had become so feeble, that it could you know, mine the hearts of both of human, most of whom had sought refuge in passivity, and resignation, having been vanquished in the battle between spiritual ism and materialism. And then he goes on to mention how the Byzantines and the Persians were more or less monopolizing. The leadership of the world in the eastern West, were living in a decaying civilization. In fact, he specifically specifically talk about their rulers and he says, quote, the governing classes, drunk with power, in dungeons in reckless the butchery and sensuality.
In the same time, the common people while this luxury was going on in the palaces of rulers, the common people were living in grinding poverty, all of that, while in Unfortunately, the great traditions of the world that once guided humanity, were were not available at the time, under the leadership of the President, or the institutions at that time, were not able to stem that very destructive tide. Now you're describing that they're battery advocates, and moral,
more or less General, day to day living? Why would a great religions at that time, unable to prevent or reverse this decay? mistake, for example, in the two important traditions, because both like Islam originally were revealed, religion, Judaism and Christianity,
as fun as Judaism, bedtime
while it still possessed the spiritual and inheritance, large parts of their spiritual inheritance, it was not really in such a position that it can exert, influence and change the direction of the world. In addition to this, what is even was more relevant that the Jews themselves were living in a good deal of turmoil in the world was a considerable amount of hatred, antagonism, jealousies, even mutual jealousies between
Jews and Christians. Just to clarify by some historical examples, and the beginning of the seventh century 610
the Jews in Antioch rebelled against Christians.
But that rebellion by the Jews was put down in a very brutal way in which 1000s of Jews actually were were killed. Five years later, 615
the Jews had their revenge by instigating Cousteau paraphrase
when he overran Syria, to order a sort of genuine massacres of many Christians in Syria
15 years laters 630 the cycle of violence, you know, continued
here Oculus react savage vengeance upon the Jews. So there was this kind of difficulty you would not expect Judaism as a religion, given that circumstances of course to be able to exert any influence any considerable influence to change direction. Now take, for example, another major religion at that time Christianity. Again, the situation in the Christian world was not really that peaceful. Historians speak about a great deal of doctrinal divisions, resulting in warding sex and we don't mean by wording by words actually, many times it was physical war. Some historians report
a great deal of atrocities and crimes.
It is, especially between the periods of 631 and 641.
The argument was very raging between, for example, the melkite Christians in Syria, who believed that Jesus peace be upon him had two natures divine and human. On one hand and the Christians in Egypt, the munafo sides, who believed that Jesus peace be upon him had only one nature, that is divine nature, and that the human element or human part and his nature, must itself and the divine just as the
drop of vinegars loses its identity in an ocean. So, this kind of reflection of the conflict, which at times was quite, you know, bloody conflict. So the way again, both religions reached at that time, or the way it was interpreted, understood or met by the religious leaders,
was in a state really, that was not very conducive to providing direction,
stretching and modern direction to the, to the world which needed very sorely at that time.
How about other great religions or the other major religions at this time? What was their state of events, their situation, not much better, to be truthful? Some historians, for example, speak about India, in the sixth century. And they say that, from a religious standpoint, the number of Hindu gods increased from the 33, which is given in the VEDA, to as many as some mysterious a 33 million, where everything virtually was an object of worship, as I just have Baboom indicates that all the attempts by the rathmines and other Hindu reformers to limit the number of gods
to three or to move towards monotheism was not very successful. Objection and neither we comments on that, and he says, quote,
almost everything that possessed any attractiveness or utility, had been vested with divine attributes, stones and mannerisms, trees, and plants, rivers and mountains, elements, and even organs of procreation, were also adored as gods.
If you take another religion that's close to Hinduism, Buddhism, we find that
idol worship started to be introduced again, into Buddhism. And then some popular forms of religion. We find that magic,
sorcery, superstition, seem to have crept into the practice, at least in the popular
run it as a popular religion. And that's why we'll pass in another week concludes that Buddhism in India, China, and other countries of Southeast Asia could scarcely be looked upon to play a significant role in the moral or spiritual rehabilitation of mankind or even the promotion of peace and stability in the world. The situation with other well known religions also was not much better Confucianism, for example, which seems to have adapted some principles from Buddhism did not really recognize clearly the
God as the creator of the universe, they believed in spirits and they worshiped also ancestors who believed in the worship of ancestors, as Zoroastrianism which was in first year
did not fare better either.
In fact, they have the idea of fire worship.
And there have been certain rites and ceremonies that has to be performed in temples but once the person gets out of the temple, there wasn't much really by way of teaching in terms of spiritual ideas or ethical doctrines,
do's and don'ts, there was very limited and I would not exclude Arabia also there was that confusion, Stan Burrows, Arabs who previously for the monotheistic faith of Abraham and Ishmael,
they deviated from the pure monotheistic path. They associated others with God certain gods or items as at least intermediaries between them and God. As far as the rest of the world, of course, you can expect to any better surely than even those grades on a major world religions the situation
and the religious scene really was quite
quite discouraging, it was much harder.
Now, let's move religious team to the social and the political climate of the time. What was that like? Well, let us begin, for example, with the countries just in the near proximity or just around the Arabian Peninsula where the Prophet was born.
And take, for example, the two superpowers of the time, as you know, the Persian and the presenting empires.
And that we and others notice that in India,
it seems that the Christian people were
very much inclined, and they have a tendency to accept all kind of extremism on the religious and social levels.
So rather strangely, all kinds of extremism did find some
fertile soil in Prussia,
to go to examples, but we have to go back a little bit below, before the sixth century, just to give the background and the sixth century, Manny and I appeared, and he began to preach a cult of celibacy. He had a very strange philosophy. He says celibacy is the ideal solution to solve the agony and suffering of humanity. Why? He said, Well, even actually comes from the flowing together of light and darkness.
And in order for life to have ultimate victory, the human race must voluntarily bring itself to an end. And he actually called on people to stop procreation. Well,
with this kind of doom and gloom type of message.
Some people followed him, but he ended up actually being executed Kent,
but his teachings still lingered for a couple of centuries, even after his skinny.
Then, notice again, going from one extreme to another, then came mass back, and a zingy aka NASDAQ
in the fifth century, and he came up with a strange idea, exactly the opposite of performance, the opposite. He says that
all human beings have descended from the same parents.
And as such, they should have equal rights in property and women. In other words, you used to see the basic problem of strife and conflict among humans, is that competition for wealth, and women he said, all of them should have equal rights and claim on them.
under the patronage and encouragement of one of the Emperor's co bad,
his teaching spread like fire,
and lead to social, social, and sexual anarchy. Some historians say that
it was possible, for example, for gangs, when the movement became very strong gangs to enter any home tech position of ones women or when, and you can, you can do anything about that. Some of the ancient writers who wrote a great deal about that are people like Sherry stanny, and also a tabari. In his famous history,
in the sixth century, coming out to the period of the or the century of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, we find that under the rule of the sassanid emperors,
the Kings became like Gods almost superhuman. In fact,
both the kings and the religious leaders, were enjoying unlimited powers, almost unlimited powers. Some of the rulers even began to claim that they have divine blood in them. Consequently, they have divine rights for 70.
In contrast to this
unbelievable wealth, luxury and power of the rulers and religious leaders, the common people were crushed under the misery,
poverty. And of course, you can expect very heavy taxes, to finance all the luxury of the religious and temporary leaders.
Worse, even was the fact that many of the Christian people were drafted to participate into the wars that was going on between the Persian and dissention, empires, a word that was of no interest or benefit to the to the people itself.
Becker you mentioned about the wars between the Persians and the relatives, right? Maybe you could shed some light on the latter Empire. Well, as you know, of course, the there were two basic superpowers. The Persian Empire was one that does it and of course, was the,
the other majors. The other superpower, you might say,
one, one East one was.
At that time, the Byzantine Empire had sway and power over such a large area in the world, including Greece, Malecon hcma, minor, Syria, Palestine, Egypt's in parts of North Africa also, and the capital was in Constantinople. contradictions also were found in the same Empire as it was in the depression Empire.
Why in the public, the masses indulged in all kinds of philosophical and theological arguments about the nature of Jesus side by side, there was the very strong tendency towards amusement and luxury. We hear in history about big stadiums, full capacity with as many as 80,000. viewers to watch wrestling between the slaves, or between the slaves and beasts, as we all know about it was so recurrent and so inhuman type of civilization, if we can call it civilization. Among the
the Byzantines, there was this feeling or idea that the Roman race is the sovereign race, and that on other races really are created to be subservient to that one race?
No wonder we find that many countries that were under Roman domination like Egypt and Syria,
generally speaking, suffered very heavily from this kind of tyrannical rule and exploitation,
to the point that some people even were forced to send their own children in order to pay their debts and meet the, you know, the levies that are imposed upon them. And by the way, I might make a comment here, maybe that might possibly explain the fact that,
for example, the Christians in Egypt toward welcoming the invading Muslim army and received them as liberated from the kind of treatment they were getting under
the big sanctions even though the presenters also claimed to be Christians like them.
In brief, really, we can say that the Byzantine Empire like depression, where Emperor empires which were quite corrupt, quite inhuman, as I would like to call them, they were lost, spiritually unjust, economically, racist, socially, and tyrannical politically.
Aside from these two superpowers of the time, the train is in the desert. What was the situation like of the other nations? One, let's take some of the more or more important for measures other nations take India, for example, which at one time was the seeds of a great civilization?
great deal of advancement and various sciences, astronomy, mathematics and others.
In the sixth century, many historians say that India reached a no,
that is a very serious point of decay.
to refer again to the writer we quoted earlier, who wrote about the civilization of India just have no bomb.
He explains how the tokens were deeply devoted to all kinds of imagery, images and symbols.
one of the objects of worship was the reproductive organs of Siva.
Another we also caught some other Indian
historians, like Sarah, Rusty, Sarah, Sarah swasti, it's s a r, e. s, w, a TI, that there was no there was already some sex among the Hindus
who used to worship unclosed women, and the reverse also
women worshipping unclosed men and so on.
Some some of those historians say that violence was quite championed not only in palaces, but in some cases, even in some templates, where you find this kind of licensing difficulty
Things that parallel
just like existed probably in other nations that you get sometimes contradictions, parallel to this kind of extreme centralism you find another movement inviting people to self denial and self mortification
looks like you brought to one extreme and get response or
the action also in the in the other extreme, as far as the social justice for example, and equality, this was quite absent because of the caste system in India,
where the human beings are divided into four basic groups.
The first are the Brahmins, that the religious leaders and these are believed to be created from the mouth of God, as such everything on earth belongs to them.
And one of them who remembers the Rig Veda, the scriptures, he is regarded as absolutely sinless.
He does not have to pay any tax. And if a Brahma commits a crime, a capital crime, that will be normal punishment is exclusion, that punishment in his case becomes only shaving his head, whereas other
members of other castes would have to be killed or excuse it for that. And the second group or second class are the ones who are soldiers believed to have been created from the arms of God. And then thirdly, you get the merchants and the farmers who are created in their belief from the sacrifice of God. Finally, the miserable sudra. The lower class people who are believed to have been created from the feats
of God, this were the ones who were most abused, abused and deprived widows were not permitted to remarry. And sometimes they committed the so called city, which means the to be burned alive on the funeral pyre of the husband's.
To be brief, really, if we take that as one of the main missions at the time, the situation was just as pathetic. And all signs or feelings throughout the world seem to indicate that there was a great deal of anticipation need, absolute need urgent one, for some savior to be born. I'm not talking about savior from the theological standpoint, to die for humanity but the Savior in the sense that all prophets were Savior, someone to bring an upliftment to provide spiritual and moral leadership and also to fight the injustices and tyrannies which were rampant in this various parts of the world. Well, thank you very much document and I have to pick up on this point next week inshallah.
We, as always, would most appreciate your comments or any questions you may have for us. Our phone number and address will be appearing on your screen. For all of us here in the salmon focus Assalamu alaikum. Hope to see you next week.