Pre Islamic Arabia
Muslim scholars often refer to the period in Arabia before the call of Muhammad as Jahiliyya – this means days of ignorance. They were days when the people of Arabia were uneducated and uncivilised. According to Mawdudi it was;
“A territory where darkness lay even heavier than else where... Arabia stood isolated, cut off by vast tracts of deserts... There was no law; they worshipped everything conceivable except God... They revelled in adultery, gambling and drinking/.”
Arabia to begin, had never been a great or civilised empire, though people from Arabia frequently migrated to empires of the fertile crescent surrounding Arabia – the birth place of civilisation, allowing them to escape poverty and hunger. Unlike deserted Arabia, the surrounding oases provided water and vegetation for a better life. However these oases settlements have limited resources, when they are to full a war of con quest and annual raids commence to avoid starvation. Men usually have relatives in the clans and use this as a sense of protection and kinship.
The Arabs were divided in tribal groups. The main economy was trading between North and South. Caravans of merchants sent from Mecca which was the half way point, came annually with goods from the Byzantine Empire to the North or Sasanian Empire to the west. These goods were traded for Indian produce. According to Guillame the routes in Aria indicated commerce was a crucial like between desert and sown land. Traded with the outside world brought Arabia wealth and prosperity.
******* Byzantine tribes
******* Mecca/Medina king
There was conflict between North and South Arabia, which allowed a power vacuum to form which Mecca took advantage of. Muhammad’s great grandfather Hashim increased Mecca’s role in the annual trade. He obtained charters from the Byzantines, Sassanians and Abyssinians so that Arab traders could move freely in the area. It was an alliance of Bedouin tribes to promote free...