I had a powerful glimpse into to horrendous ‘Arabic’ living conditions. While in Mecca I was taken on a tour by a man, his wife and their little boy. They had been hired by eJourney, the man drove and spoke, his wife translated, the little boy was there for the ride. It was an eye opening journey – viewing Arafat, enormous housing built for Hajj pilgrims with housing, hospitals and transpiration. All empty and uninhabited waiting for the next influx of pilgrims. It was totally unbelievable.
One stop was the Jamal Thawr Cultural District. a tourism and cultural center. A photograph of the exterior and the interior courtyard will follow this blog. The complex most impressive, its interior displays and artifacts rather unbelievable. There was a constantly playing expertly made video, with English subtitles, portraying the dreadful conditions in Mecca during pre-Islamic times. The idolatry, the corruption, the confusion and the inhumanity were graphically portrayed. Therefore, I did know that conditions were deplorable. It was one thing to see them but quite another to read about them. I was magically ably to do that- the dreadful detail described in words from my my ‘serendipitously’ A Glance at the Life of the Holy Prophet of Islam.
Serendipitous (occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way) has several descriptive synonyms: accidental; fortuitous;, lucky unexpected, unanticipated, unforeseen, unlooked-for; coincidental; fluky. My favorite has to be fluky.
These words are taken from the book.
“Arabia, which has been called the ‘burnt land,’ was then a strange place. A collection of red-hot deserts, valleys, and sand hills was called ‘Arabia’. There was hardly any water or plant life in it.
It would have been a mistake to name the people’s dwellings ‘houses’. They were rather catacombs in which living beings called ‘human beings’ fidgeted and lived miserably on dates and stinking water. Trifling fights and disputes formed the basic principle of the Arabia social system. Makkah was no more than an idol-temple. Its inhabitants included traders and usurers who even exchanged human life for money.
The plight of the Arabia Peninsula suffered from their tribe and pastoral life in the deserts, coupled with blood-thirsty feudalism. The economic crisis resulting from the exploitation of the people by the ruling class and by bands of usurers had robbed human life of its meaning and darkened the horizon of social-well being.
The wealthy users who engaged in trade, in Makkah had amassed enormous amounts of wealth by illegitimate means and exploited the weak and poor classes of society. In fact, they increasingly exacerbated anti-human social class differences of the Arabs.
Due to their ignorance, the Arab tribes in those days generally engaged in worshipping natural phenomena and in idolatry. The House of God, the Ka’aba, was used as a idol temple
of the Arabs.
And one of the indecent, degrading social and moral customs in Arabia at that time was enough to destroy the honour a whole nation. Before Islam, the anti-human deviations of the Arabs had created a situation whereby the fruit was crime and corruption the nourishment was corpses, the motto was fear and dread, and logic was the sword.
The Arabs wrongly believed that only those were were superior who, descended from the Arab race and Arab blood. As a matter of fact the twentieth century form of nationalism and racism was quite prevalent among the Arabs during the first pagan period.
In addition, the Arabs vainly glorified in their wealth and the number of their children. Each tribe having wealth and a large number of offspring prided itself on them and considered them to be among its crowning achievements.
Plunder, robbery, savagery, aggression, and treachery were their obvious characteristics, and genocide was considered a sign of bravery and courage. As the Arabs, before the time of Muhammad (peace and the mercy of God be upon him and his descendant0 believed the birth of a daughter to be harmful or were either afraid of poverty and destitution, they either killed their innocent daughters or buried them alive. If a man was given the news that his wife had born a baby daughter, his face would become red with rage. He would then seclude himself plotting what to do with his newborn daughter. Should be bear the shame and disdain and take care of her or should he buy her alive and banish the disgrace from himself because in some cases even the existence of one daughter in a family was considered shameful.
“And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We give them sustenance and yourselves (too); surely to kill them is a great wrong. (17.31)
Thus the Arabs live d in a filthy, depraved environment ad as a result of misdirection and immaturity, had turned into brutal, plundering, and seditious people. Like most people of that time, they had adopted superstitious, illusive myths, and false notions as ‘religion’.
It goes without saying that for a basic reformation of such a society, a fundamental, comprehensive, and all-embracing revolution was quite necessary. However, the leader of such a vital movement and revolution had to be a divine man sent down by God so he would be and would remain devoid of tyranny, and any aggressive, selfish tendencies, and would not destroy his enemies for his own selfish interests, under the pretext of purification, but would try to reform and rectify them, working solely for God’s sake, for the people’s welfare and for the improvement of human societies.
There is no doubt that a leader who is himself immoral, unscrupulous, and without praise-worthy human characteristics is unable to rectify human societies and save the people. It is only divine leaders who, inspired by Almighty God, are able to make profounds basic transformations in all phases of the people’s individual and social life.
Now we must try to understand what kind person such a leader of worldwide revolution was and what change he made in the world.”
Next a chapter on the Prophets (PBUH) birth and childhood, then the Prophet’s first marriage, the philosophy of marriages in the Holy Quran, the character of the holy prophet before the prophetic mission, the beginning of the revelation and the method of propagating Islam.
It is fascinating reading. I press onward in the book. As readers will discern, the writing is clear, concise and knowledgable. Extremely complex ideas, concepts and conditions are made clear. There is a sense of order. Need I remind you that the book, discovered in a. Bookstore steps from my Khrome Nail Salon, was purchased at a cost of $8.00 (Canadian), $5.90 (American).
You shall hear more of the book later along with my dove-tailing experiences in Saudi Arabia.
The following photographs are of the Jamal Thawr Cultural District, inside and out. There is also a photograph of one of the wide deserted streets, waiting for the Hajj pilgrims.