Page 18 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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taken. Superstition was rampant. Should a deer or bird, when released, turn right then what they
embarked on would be regarded auspicious, otherwise they would get pessimistic and withhold from
pursuing it.
People of pre-Islamic period, whilst believing in superstition, they still retained some of the
Abrahamic traditions such as devotion to the Holy Sanctuary, circumambulation, observance of
pilgrimage, the vigil on ‘Arafah and offering sacrifices, all of these were observed fully despite some
innovations that adulterated these holy rituals. Quraish, for example, out of arrogance, feeling of
superiority to other tribes and pride in their custodianship of the Sacred House, would refrain from
going to ‘Arafah with the crowd, instead they would stop short at Muzdalifah. The Noble Qur’ân
rebuked and told them:
“Then depart from the place whence all the people depart.” [2:199]
Another heresy, deeply established in their social tradition, dictated that they would not eat dried
yoghurt or cooked fat, nor would they enter a tent made of camel hair or seek shade unless in a
house of adobe bricks, so long as they were committed to the intention of pilgrimage. They also, out
of a deeply-rooted misconception, denied pilgrims, other than Makkans, access to the food they had
brought when they wanted to make pilgrimage or lesser pilgrimage.
They ordered pilgrims coming from outside Makkah to circumambulate Al-Ka‘bah in Quraish uniform
clothes, but if they could not afford them, men were to do so in a state of nudity, and women with
only some piece of cloth to hide their groins. Allâh says in this concern:
“O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying
[and going round (the Tawaf of) the Ka‘bah". [7:31]
If men or women were generous enough to go round Al-Ka‘bah in their clothes, they had to discard
them after circumambulation for good.
When the Makkans were in a pilgrimage consecration state, they would not enter their houses
through the doors but through holes they used to dig in the back walls. They used to regard such
behaviour as deeds of piety and god-fearing. This practice was prohibited by the Qur’ân:
“It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back but
Al-Birr (is the quality of the one) who fears Allâh. So enter houses through their proper
doors, and fear Allâh that you may be successful.” [2:189]
Such was the religious life in Arabia, polytheism, idolatry, and superstition.
Judaism, Christianity, Magianism and Sabianism, however, could find their ways easily into Arabia.
The migration of the Jews from Palestine to Arabia passed through two phases: first, as a result of
the pressure to which they were exposed, the destruction of the their temple, and taking most of
them as captives to Babylon, at the hand of the King Bukhtanassar. In the year B.C. 587 some Jews
left Palestine for Hijaz and settled in the northern areas whereof. The second phase started with the
Roman occupation of Palestine under the leadership of Roman Buts in 70 A.D. This resulted in a tidal
wave of Jewish migration into Hijaz, and Yathrib, Khaibar and Taima’, in particular. Here, they made
proselytes of several tribes, built forts and castles, and lived in villages. Judaism managed to play
an important role in the pre-Islam political life. When Islam dawned on that land, there had already
been several famous Jewish tribes — Khabeer, Al-Mustaliq, An-Nadeer, Quraizah and Qainuqa‘. In
some versions, the Jewish tribes counted as many as twenty.
Judaism was introduced into Yemen by someone called As‘ad Abi Karb. He had gone to fight in
Yathrib and there he embraced Judaism and then went back taking with him two rabbis from Bani
Quraizah to instruct thpeople of Yemen in this new religion. Judaism found a fertile soil there to
propagate and gain adherents. After his death, his son Yusuf Dhu Nawas rose to power, attacked
the Christian community in Najran and ordered them to embrace Judaism. When they refused, he
ordered that a pit of fire be dug and all the Christians indiscriminately be dropped to burn therein.
Estimates say that between 20-40 thousand Christians were killed in that human massacre. The
Qur’ân related part of that story in Al-Buruj (zodiacal signs) Chapter.
Christianity had first made its appearance in Arabia following the entry of the Abyssinian (Ethiopian)
and Roman colonists into that country. The Abyssinian (Ethiopian) colonization forces in league with
Christian missions entered Yemen as a retaliatory reaction for the iniquities of Dhu Nawas, and
started vehemently to propagate their faith ardently. They even built a church and called it Yemeni
Al-Ka‘bah with the aim of directing the Arab pilgrimage caravans towards Yemen, and then made an
attempt to demolish the Sacred House in Makkah. Allâh, the Almighty, however did punish them and
made an example of them – here and hereafter.
A Christian missionary called Fimion, and known for his ascetic behaviour and working miracles, had
likewise infiltrated into Najran. There he called people to Christianity, and by virtue of his honesty
and truthful devotion, he managed to persuade them to respond positively to his invitation and
embrace Christianity.
The principal tribes that embraced Christianity were Ghassan, Taghlib, Tai’ and some Himyarite
kings as well as other tribes living on the borders of the Roman Empire.
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