Early Muslim History

Table of Contents

1 Introduction. 2

2 Historical Background. 5

The Rise of Christian. 5:  The Shift of Roman Power from the West to the East. 6,  Roman-Persian War Conflicts. 7,  Arab Position in the Roman-Persian Conflict. 8,  Arabs Before Islam…. 9,  Politics. 10, Economy. 11, Social Conditions. 11, Religious Life. 12, 

3 The Rise of Islam… 15, 

The Prophet Muhammad-PBUH…. 16, The First Revelation.. 16, Qur’anic Verses in Mecca Era.. 17, Rejection of Infidel Mecca.. 19, Forced Migration to Medina.. 20

4 The Emerging Muslim Civilization. 23, 

Early Challenge: Livelihood for the Muhajirin.. 23, Social Integration.. 24, Battles for Survival 26, The Conquest of Mecca.. 27, The Legacy of the Prophet. 31, The Koran (Al-Quran). 32, The Tradition (as-Sunnah). 33, Ijtihad.. 33

5 Summary and Some Reflections. 35

Glossary. 38

References. 39

External Links. 40

1 Introduction

Islam, Muslims, and Ummah. These terms are interrelated. Islam as generally understood is a religion brought by the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him or simply, PBUH. [Hereafter, the Prophet-PBUH.] The term Muslim refers to adherents of this religion and the term Ummah to the Muslim community. The focus of this book is not on Islam, but on the Ummah as viewed from a Muslim perspective.

The major theme of this book is the history of this Ummah during the era of the Prophet PBUH. This era covers a 23-year period: 13 years in Mecca era and 10 years in Yatsrib era. During that period, Mecca was one of the most important trading centers in the entire Arab Peninsula while Yatsrib (now Medina) was an agricultural-based city. Medina in that era was economically dominated by the minority of Jewish Arab.

The era of the Prophet PBUH is of interest and unique. It is of interest as it witnesses a humanly experience how this below-world “interacts” in one or another way with there upper-world in years. It is unique as such experience is very likely the first and the last in the entire human history, at least viewed from the Muslim perspective.

This book can be viewed as a brief introduction to the history of early Muslim. It dedicated to those who are interested in the theme of this book but lacking appetites of reading conventional-book or too- academic-in-orientation, or too busy. This book is primarily dedicated to Muslim readers who have a desire to refresh their memories on the ancestors of their religious traditions, with reliable references. More than that, to them this book is equipped with references of the holy text of the Koran that they generally believe as the primary sources of Islamic teachings that preserve universal and perennial truth.

This book is also offered humbly to non-Muslim readers, especially for Westerners or those of westernized. For them this book is expected to help to reflect the possibility of their misunderstanding of Islam as indicated in the following quotation:

For ordinary Western mind, the world of Islam seems incomprehensible. Its attitude appears bigoted and uncompromising, and their actions were arbitrary. Nor this is not the only modern judgment.  As far back as the Middle Ages, the propaganda of the Christian church presented Muslims as savages, and throughout Europe people flocked to banners of the Crusade banners to restore the Holy Land to the Christendom (Roberts, 1982: 1).

According to Roberts in the same book (page 1), this misunderstanding only “changes little,” not because works on Islam are not published in the West. What is “strikingly lost … is a popular work that clearly sets out the beliefs, attitudes, and customs of Islam in ways that are easily understood by Western readers but not seen through the veil of Christian values”.

Unlike Roberts who focuses on various aspects of Islamic teachings including law, politics, economics and family life, this book focuses on the history of the civilization of early Ummah. The subject matter of this book is relatively complete but concise: complete because it covers almost all important events experienced by the Ummah in the initial phase of its history, concise because it focuses only on issues that are considered fundamental. Emphasis is given more on understanding the “forest” of history than looking at the “tree” of events that took place in it.

This book often citing the holy text of the Koran aimed primarily as a means to understand spiritual dimension historical events being discussed. In addition, the Koran, with its distinctive narrative style, does provide many testimonies about the characteristics of historical actors and events that are rarely mentioned by the historian in this area of the study. As an illustration, this Scripture gave testimony about the character of the Muhajirin and Anshar, two group of people who became the backbone of the early Muslim community. Such a divine testimony (if we are allowed to use this term) has been generally ignored by the academician. As another illustration, the sacred text also explains the nature of the victory of the Battle of Badr and the defeat of the Battle of Uhud experienced by the Ummah. So, it is actually rather surprising if historians are generally not using the holy texts of the Islamic Scriptures as their references. This book uses “English Ismatullah” of QuranMajeed (www.pakdata.com) for the English translation of the Koran.

The emergence of a civilization certainly framed in a particular historical context that needs appropriately understood to obtain an adequate understanding of the civilization concerned. Therefore, before discussing the main topic that is the early civilization of the Ummah, the chapter that follows (Section 2) discusses the historical context of the emergence of the religion which shaping that civilization, Islam. In human parlance, this context has apparently opened the way for Islam to emerge as if God who subtly planned and made it happened at His own chosen time.

The discussion that follows (in Section 3) is on the emergence of Islam as a religion as marked by the first Revelation descended to the Prophet-PBUH and on how this religion was strongly rejected by the Mecca infidel mainly from their ruling circle. This rejection was so strong as it endangering the survival of the very early and small Muslim community. Nonetheless, the faith of this small Ummah was not weakened and even strengthened as it was guided gradually by the Revelation during the Mecca era known as Mecca Surah. The Revelation made no difference to the infidels and even encouraged them to intensify their oppression to the Ummah.

The oppression reached its climax as the Ummah was forced to take refuge in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and then migrated or Hijrah to Medina. It was the Hijrah to Medina that marked the emergence of the Ummah civilization that was uniquely guided by the Revelation, at least from the Muslim perspective. Section 4 discusses this. Section 5 summarizes the discussions in the previous sections and provides some reflections on it….@

2 Historical Background

The first six centuries of the Christian era witnessed a series of major developments in the course of events and in the movement of civilization. This was roughly the era between the advent of Christianity and of Islam. According to Lewis (1995), the three major developments were the rise of Christianity, the shift the center of the gravity of the Roman empire from west to east, and processes of Hellenization of the Middle East and vicinity. This section briefly discusses all these topics. In addition to this, this chapter also provides brief highlights on the social, economic and cultural situation of the Arabs before the emergence of Islam.

The Rise of Christian

For Muslim readers, it would be worth inserting here a brief note on Christianity. Christianity is basically a monotheistic religion within the Abrahamic tradition which is based on the life and teachings of the Prophet Isa Ibn Maryam AS (according to Islam) or Jesus of Nazareth. Christians know Jesus as Christ or “Messiah” which is the center of Christianity, the Son of God and the savior of humanity who came as the Messiah (Christ) as prophesied in the Old Testament. Christianity plays an important role in the formation and dynamic of Western civilization as we understand by now.

During the first six centuries, Christian teaching spread slowly but steadily before it was finally accepted by the society in the Roman empire. As a result, pre-Christian religions disappeared or were at least submerged, while Judaism and Persian religion were exceptions that were not much influenced by Christianity.

During the first three centuries and the beginning of the fourth century, Christianity grew and spread as a protest against the Roman order. It gradually developed its own institution (the Church) with its own structure and hierarchy. This growth and spread eventually embraced the whole Roman world.

Christianity captured the Roman Empire with the conversion of the emperor of Constantine (311-337) despite, “in a sense, captured by it” (Lewis 1995:33). After capturing the empire, the process of Christianization of the Roman state took place gradually and reached a decisive momentum in the era of Emperor Justinian (527-569). This emperor utilized fully and deeply its power to develop Roman-Christian civilization.  Regarding this development Lewis (1995: 33) writes:

… by the time of the great Christian emperor Justinian (527-569), the full panoply of Roman power was used, not only to establish the supremacy of Christianity over other religions but also to enforce the supremacy one state-approved doctrine among the many schools of thought which is now divided.

The Shift of Roman Power from the West to the East

A few centuries before Islam, the gravity of Roman power shifted from the West to the East. According to Lewis (1995), this development shaped the history of the second half of the first sixth century of the Christian era. This shift began around the end of the 4th century after the death of Emperor Theodosius (395). This event marked the beginning of the split the Roman empire into two: (1) the Western Empire ruled from Rome, and (2) the Eastern Empire which is known as Byzantium ruled from Constantinople. In a relatively short time, the Western empire ceased to exist due to a series of barbarian invasions. The Eastern Empire was free from this problem so that it could last for the next millennium.

Regarding the term Byzantine, the following two notes are worth inserting here: (1) The Byzantines never called themselves Byzantines but Romans (Roman) and ruled by the Roman Empire, and (2) even though they felt Christian and Roman, the Byzantines expressed it in Greek (rhomaioi), not in Latin (romani).

The shift of the power was accompanied by the intensity of the use of Greek as a government and cultural language. This use actually had taken place for in a long history before: Greek language, philosophical traditions, and traditions have long influenced other languages and cultures including Coptic, Aramaic, and later Arabic.

Roman-Persian War Conflicts

The Romans were a great empire that was almost always in war conflict with another equivalent empire that was Persia. This conflict began with a war between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic around 66 BC. The conflict continued almost without interruption and in the latter era, it occurred between the Sassanid Empire and the Roman Empire which involved nomadic countries and subordinate countries of each of the empires. The war ended due to the Arab-Muslim conquest resulting in the fall of the Sasanid Empire and significant territorial losses by  Byzantium.

Map 1: The late 5th century Roman and Persian Empires and their neighbors.

Source: [1]

 

The overall war conflicts between Rome and the Persian Empire lasted around 680 years, the longest war conflict in human history. In this old conflict, neither party had sufficient logistical or energy power to maintain a long war campaign far from their borders. This long conflict resulted in vulnerability for both empires and “opened the way for  Islam”:

Neither empire was given any chance to recover, as within a few years they were struck by the onslaught of the Arabs (newly united by Islam), which, according to Howard-Johnston, “can only be likened to a human tsunami”. According to George Liska, the “unnecessarily prolonged Byzantine–Persian conflict opened the way for Islam”.

Source: [2, aftermath]

According to historians, this long war was triggered by territorial problems. While the Romans claimed Armenia and Mesopotamia as their legitimate territories, Persia claimed Syria, Palestine, and Egypt as their domains. Roman claims to Armenia and Mesopotamia were based on the argument that King Trajan had conquered the two territories so that he had permanent power in accordance with the doctrine adopted by the Romans, Persians and later Muslims. On the other hand, the Persian claim to Syria, Palestine, and Egypt was due to Cambyses (Cyrus’s son) conquering these territories in 525 BC.

Modern historians later revealed that the conflict was not merely a territorial issue but also a matter of monitoring trade routes between the East and the West. There were two main commodities imported from the East: silk from China and spices from India and Southeast Asia. Because of this trade, the Roman and Byzantine worlds were in contact with the Chinese and Indian cultures.

Arab Position in the Roman-Persian Conflict

The area of the Arabian Peninsula was relatively independent of the dominance of more advanced outside parties, although that does not mean that it was not entirely unaffected. In the context of the Roman-Persian conflict, the position of the Arabian Peninsula was rather unique. This region was outside the boundaries of the territories of these two empires and both were not interested in conquering it. One reason was the character of the population described by Ammianus Marcellinus (4th-century Roman historian), as quoted by Lewis (1995: 39), as follows:

Residents in all parts of the region are savage and warlike. They did enjoy war and conflict to a point that those who lose their lives in battle are considered the happiest. On the contrary, those who leave this life through natural death are considered despicable, low and cowardly.

Because of these characteristics, both empires considered their “neighbor” conquests as expensive, difficult, and dangerous; in other words, neither safe nor useful. What’s interesting to note, the Arab tribes in the desert, in the North and South, were smart enough to take advantage of the situation for their benefit. Sometimes they took side with the one, sometimes to others, sometimes siding with both, sometimes did not take any side at all.

Apart from their unique position, due to contact with outsiders, the Arabs learned a lot. They learn, for example, about the use of weapons of war, military tactics and the tastes of more advanced people. They began to learn something about religion, and culture from their more developed neighbors. Moreover, they even began to be dissatisfied with their religion as revealed in the following quotation (Lewis, 1995: 46):

They learned how to write, to write scripts, and to start using their own language. They even learned new ideas from the outside and perhaps most important of all, they started feeling unsatisfied with their religion, with primitive paganism that most of them had followed and tried to find something better.

Arabs Before Islam

The era before the arrival of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula was known as the Jahiliyyah era or the era of Ignorance. This ignorance was widespread and affected all aspects of life: political, economic, social and religious.

Politics

In early the 7th century, with the exception of the southwestern region of Yemen, there were no political organizations in any form in the entire Arabian Peninsula. In other words, there is no state or government that was recognized by Arab society. What they did admit was the moral authority (not political authority) of their tribal leaders.

Historians consider this condition extraordinary: How can a nation survive without a state, without any government (lawless), for a long time, from generation to generation, century after century? For this nation, the only law is lawlessness.

In the absence of the law it was common that, in case of a crime, the victim could determine their own way to demand justice for the perpetrator. This way encouraged the emergence of cruel norms in society. If there were parties doing a little restraint, it was done simply to prevent provocation from the other side.

Because there was no government, the tribe was the only protection from enemy threats. The tribe, in turn, protected its members even if the relevant perpetrator committed the crime: tribalism or (clan spirit (ashabiyah) took precedence over ethics. It worth inserting here that the dominant tribe in Mecca was the Quraysh while in Yathrib the dominant Arab tribes were Aus and Khazraj and the Jewish tribes Nadheer, Qaynuqaa, and Qurayza.

Also because there was no state, the Arabs were always trapped in war: for them, the war was a permanent institution and the idea of a lasting peace was not interesting.

For them, the war was a kind of hobby or rather a dangerous sport. In this “sport” they gained excitement from the clash of weapons and the opportunity to display their skills in playing arrow, sword and horse weapons. Their chief motivation for war was to achieve heroism for themselves which was at the same time to honor the tribe. In short, before Islam, the war was a permanent institution of Arab society.

Economy

Before Islam, the economic system of Arab society was based on the practice of slavery, usury, and monopolies:

  • Slavery. Male and female slaves were traded like animals.
  • Usury. Capital owners and moneylenders formed the strongest class in society. They implement high-interest rates designed to make them richer and poorer poor people.
  • Monopoly. The Jews were Arab leaders in economic life. They were the best farmers, the best-cultivated landowners, industrial entrepreneurs, and enjoyed the weapons industry monopoly.

Social Conditions

Before Islam, women did not have any status other than as sex objects. When a man died, his son inherited all his wives except his own mother. They had a terrible habit of burying their baby girls alive.

Relations between sexes were very loose. Some women offered sex to make a living because there was little they could do. They put the flag in front of their house as a marker of their profession. They were known as “ladies of the flags”.

Drunkenness was a common habit for the Arabs of this era. They used to gamble while drunk. They were known as compulsive drinkers and gamblers.

Religious Life

Before Islam, the majority of Arabs were idolaters (polytheists). Each tribe had their own idols to worship. They changed the Ka’bah in Mecca into a pantheon of polytheistic practices.

Around the Kaaba, there were about 360 idols. In addition to this, there were small and large idols in almost every house to serve as a guard. The Arabs before Islam would face idols and prostrate before them, especially if they were going to travel far,  to ask for blessing and safety. Likewise, they did the first time when they returned (Lings, 1991: 35).

The minority of Arabs before Islam were atheists, zindik, shabiin, Jews, Christians, and Hanifs.

1) Atheists. This group consists of materialists who believe that the world is eternal.

2) Zindik. The religion of this group was influenced by the Persian doctrine of dualism in nature. They believe that there are two gods representing the twin powers of good and evil or light and darkness.

3) Shabiin. Worshipers of the stars.

4) Jews. When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD they drove the Jews out of Palestine and Syria. Many of them found new homes in the Hijaz in Arabia. Under their influence, many Arabs also converted to the Jewish religion. Their strong centers were the cities of Yathrib, Khayber, Fadak, and Umm-ul-Qura.

5) Christianity. The Romans had converted the Ghassan tribe of North Arabia to Christianity. Several Ghassan clans had migrated to and settled in the Hijaz (including Mecca and Medina). In the south, there were many Christians in Yemen whose convictions were originally brought by Ethiopian invaders. Their strong center was the city of Najran.

6) Monotheist. There was a small group of monotheists present in Arabia on the eve of the rise of Islam. They were followers of the Prophet Ibrahim AS who did not worship idols. The family members of the Prophet SAW, Ali RA and most of the members of the Bani Hasyim (the great-grandmother of the Prophet SAW) were included in this group.

The last religion (Monotheist) was known as the Hanif religion. Regarding Religion Hanif the sacred text of the Quran relates it to the tradition of the Prophet Ibrahim. In addition, the term Hanif is used by Al-Quran as an argument for Islamic monotheism when dealing with Jews and Christians. The following holy text illustrates the issue:

And they say, “Be ye (adherents) of Jews or Christians, surely you will get instructions”, Say “(No!) But (we follow) the religion of Abraham which is Hanif (straight) and does not include those who fight God” (QS 2: 135).

How did the above religions affect the Arabs before Islam? To answer this question adequately requires a careful and long discussion which is not the purpose of this book. However, the following conclusion by Hitti (1961: 107-108) would be worth inserting  here:

In summing up it may be safely stated that al-Hijaz in the century proceeding the mission of Muhammad was ringed about with influences, intellectual, religious and material, radiating from Byzantine, Syrian (Armenian), Persian and Abyssinian centers and conducted mainly through Ghassanid, Lakhmid and Yamanite channels; but it cannot be asserted that al-Hijaz was in such vital contact with the higher civilization of the north to transform its native cultural aspect.

With regards to Christianity, Judaism, and Hanif, Hitti (ibid) writes:

… although Christianity did find a footing in Najran, and Judaism in al-Yaman and al-Hijaz, neither seems to have left much of an impression on the North Arabian mind. Nevertheless, the antiquated paganism of the peninsula seems to have reached the point where it failed any longer to meet the spiritual demands of the people and was outgrown by a dissatisfied group who developed vague monotheistic ideas and went by the name of Hanifs.

That is all a brief description of the historical context of the rise of Islam. In overall, the context had created a conducive situation for Islam to emerge as a new religion.

3 The Rise of Islam

The term Islam as used in this book is defined as the religion brought about by the Messenger Muhammad-PBUH. Such definition is in fact too narrow compared to the “definition” stated by the Holy Qur’an which is very inclusive. The following holy text expresses this inclusive nature of Islam:

Say: We have believed in ALLAH and what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Ibrahim and Isaac and Yaqub, and their descendants. And what Musa and Isa (Jesus) received from their RABB. We make no division no distinction between any of them and unto Him, we submit as Muslim (Quran 2:136).

Here we have two levels of the meaning of Islam. While the first is dealing with the formal aspect of Islam, the second one with the essential aspect of that religion.

Map 2: Arab Peninsula in the World Map

Note: The Arabian Peninsula (“Arabian Island”) is located in the Arabian Gulf (the largest bay in the world), located in the extreme southwest corner of Asia, bordered by the Red Sea in the West and Southwest, the Gulf of Aden in the South, the Arabian Sea in the South and Southeast, and the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf (also called the Arabian Gulf) in the East. Its area is about ​3.1 million square kilometers. This peninsula includes seven countries: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain.

Source: [3]

The Prophet Muhammad-PBUH

The history of Islam— in the narrow sense as just mentioned— can begin with the birth of the Prophet Muhammad-PBUH. This event took place about 1.5 millennia ago (570 or 571 AD) in the city of Mecca, Arab Peninsula (see Map 2).

The childhood of Muhammad was apprehensive: born without the presence of his father, left for goods by his mother at around aged eight, cared for by his grandfather for a short time, then by an economically-poor uncle for some years. When in the care of this uncle he had a career as a successful merchant, visited Syria a few times, and met a Christian priest who predicted his prophethood. When he was at aged 25 he married Khadijah RA (595 AD), a wealthy widow who was about 40 years old. From this marriage, he was awarded a decent living and enjoyed a life of a happy family.

The “happy” family episode ended when the first Revelation descended to him while he was in his exile in the Cave of Hira located not far from the city of Mecca. This revelation marked the end of his career as a trader. It also marked the inception of his role an apostle and his status as the Messenger (Rasul), and the advent of Islam. The descendant of the revelation continued gradually over about 22 years during his apostolic mission and ended by his passing away.

The First Revelation

The first revelation is enshrined in Al-Quran Chapter 96 Verse 1-5 (hereinafter abbreviated as Quran 96: 1-5). At the physical appearance, there was nothing special in the event of the descending of this first revelation. The Prophet-PBUH went down from the cave without bringing the full Quran (so it was different from the case of the Torah), did not appear landed down from the “sky”, his body was not filled with light (as in the case of Buddha); by contrast, his emotion was reported full with an extraordinary fear, even confused  about his experience as to whether or not was that something real. Moreover, he thought his experience under the influence of the Jinn (Arabic: majunun). Arriving at home his emotion was still occupied with fear and confusion and asked Khadijah RA (his wife) to cover him with a blanket.

In contrast to its outward appearance, the event of the first Revelation decline was actually extraordinary even beyond the limit of ordinary humane experience. This can be seen from thee things:

  • There was a time gap of about three years before the Prophet receiving the second revelation. The time for the pause apparently needed by the Prophet to restore self-confidence and this was logical as he just an ordinary human with the exception that he was the last receiver of the Revelation (see Quran, 18:110);
  • The pause was needed for him to transform a great-doubt into full-faith without faltering. (Doubt, or perhaps more precisely a critical mind, seems needed to achieve faith; without it, a belief is easily shaky or even blind.); and
  • The first Revelation embarked others Revelations that took place about 23 years; these Revelations, in turn, shaping Al-Quran that providing the Ummah with tremendous energy to develop a unique and high civilization as witnessed by history.

Quranic Verses in Mecca Era

Early Muslim in the Mecca era was guided—perhaps unique in the course of human history—by Revelations as enshrined in what so-called Surah Makiyyah (Mecca Chapters) of Al-Quran. The decadence of these Revelations took place about 13 years.

[Just to note, Surah or Chapter is a unit of division of Al-Quran. They are 114 units in the Quran. Each Surah contains some ayah or verses that vary in a number ranging from 3 to 282 verses.]

The revelations contained in the Mecca Chapters of AL-Quran are mainly dealing with the basic teachings of Islamic Faith. These verses are distinguishably identified with a concise style of narrative but also broad and profound subtle meaning. That is so at least for Muslim view.

In order to have a better appreciation of the Mecca Chapters, the last three Surahs of the Koran (the Chapters 112-114) are advisable used as illustrative examples. The names of these Surahs respectively are An-Nas, Al-Falaq, and Al-Ikhlas.

  • An-Nas. Here the term of Allah is not explicitly stated. In this Surah, He introduces Himself in three divine attributes: the creator and keeper (text: rabb) of man, ruler (text: malik) of man, and god (text: ilah) of man. This Surah also reminding mankind regarding “whispers of the heart” (text: yuwaswisu fii shudur annals) which can trigger dark sides of human beings being active.
  • Al-Falaq (Cosmos). Here Allah is also not mentioned explicitly. Instead, He introduces Himself as the creator and preserver of the Cosmos. This Surah also alluding a subtle description of the spiritual meaning of evil ((Arabic: syarr).
  • Al-Ikhlas. In this Here Allah is explicitly mentioned. With only four verses this Surah describes the divinity of God in His several Divine attributes in a concise, broad and profound way. Here He reveals Himself as:

The Oneness (text: ahad). This principle emphasizes the uncompromising monotheistic view; at the same time, rejecting polytheistic ideas of God

One that all dependent to (text: as-shamad). This principle opposes the ideas of the abstract nature of God as described in general Greek philosophy;

No offspring, not begotten (text: lam yalid wa lam yuulad). This principle is in contrast to the idea of the Trinity, for example; and

Unique (text: lam yakun lahu kufuan ahad). This principle asserts the impossibility for humankind to comprehend His essence. This also implies that He is simply far beyond the ideas of both Tanzih (absolutely Abstract) and Tasybih (corresponding to human nature) attributes of God, and of both transcendent and immanent nature of God as popularly understood.

Additional notes need inserting here. All of these letters begin with the word “Qul” which means “Say!”. This initial word strongly suggests that all words in these Surahs should be read strictly as it is (verbatim). Any attempt to improvise or change it (even if it is well intentioned) has the potential to damage its original meaning.

Rejection of Infidel Mecca

Islam came to bring the doctrine of the Oneness of God (Tawheed) which is actually familiar to Christians and Jews because it is the first commandment of the 10 Commandments (Ten Commandments). What is unique in Islam is a kind of radicalization on this doctrine by rejecting any element of polytheism. This radical view had made Islam strongly rejected by the Quraysh tribe elites who realized that it could remove the Ka’ba position as the main site of polytheistic activity. For the elites, this meant the loss of one of the major sources of their economic incomes.

The strong rejection of Islam had made the Prophet SAW and his followers under serious pressure and threats from the Quraysh infidel elites. The threat was so serious that they were forced to carry out religious activities secretly. Because of this threat, some of the Ummah were forced to move to Ethiopia (613 or 615). In addition, the Hasyim family (the Prophet clan) received special treatment: economically boycotted and socially ostracized from the community life.

There was the psychological reason for the “special treatment” for Hasyim family. The Quraysh tribe chief at that time was Abu Sufyan who was from the Umayyads family who had long competed for the leadership of Qurasiyh with Hashim family. (Hasyim was the great-grandfather of the Prophet-PBUH.) Hasyim and Umayah were actually brothers, both sons of Abdul Manaf bin Qusyai. The latter was the founder of the City of Mecca and the pioneer of the development of trade routes from Mecca to Syria in the North and to Yemen in the South.

Forced Migration to Medina

In the Mecca era, the pressure and persecution of the Quraysh of Mecca on the Muslim community continued to increase and even threatened the life of the Prophet-PBUH. This critical situation caused the Prophet-PBUH and around 70 Muslim families to immigrate to the city of Yathrib (now Medina), a city that committed to welcome, help and defend them. This commitment was in accordance with the Aqabah Agreement between the Prophet-PBUH and a number of officials of the City of Medina (621 and 622). In this agreement (2nd Aqabah, 622) four agreements were reached:

  • The tribes of Aus and Khraraj, two Arab tribes in Medina who had been at loggerheads and considered the need for the Prophet-PBUH to be a peace agent, were ready to embrace Islam,
  • Strengthening loyalty to the Prophet-PBUH,
  • The Medina was ready to welcome the SW Apostle and the Muhajirin emigrate to Medina, and
  • Medina was to prepare for accommodation and a living necessity for the Muahjirin, to guarantee their safety, and to defend Islam.

Those who migrate are known as the Muhajirins while those who help them are known as the Ansar. These two groups of people were the backbone of the early Muslim community in Medina and were ready to build a unique civilization.

The event of migration to Medina (622) for Umar RA was a historical event for Muslim. For that reason, he used it as the starting point for the Muslim calendar system that what so-called Hijriyah Calendar. In addition, there are many reasons for viewing that historical event as the starting point of Muslim civilization. Among the reasons are as follows:

  • In the Mecca era before moving to Medina the Muslim community was very small in number and almost always under pressure of hostility from the Kafir Quraish elite who were strongly opposed to Islam;
  • For security reasons, some members of the Ummah were forced to obscure their religious practices and beliefs and even have to migrate to Ethiopia;
  • Unlike in the Mecca era, in Medina the Ummah had the opportunity to control their own territorial base; and
  • In the Medina era, a sense of the unity of Ummah was strengthening and much more developed largely due to the integration of two constitutive elements of the community; namely, the Muhajirin or migrants (from Mecca), and the Ansar or helpers of the local population (Medina).

There was another decisive factor for taking the Hijrah as the starting point of Muslim civilization. For about 13 years in the Mecca era, the Revelation focused more on the teachings of the first pillar of Islam; namely, the Faith (Arabic: Iman). Beginning in the Medina era, the Revelation emphasized the other two pillars of Islam; namely, the Law (Arabic: Islam) and the Virtue (Arabic: Ihsan). The descending of the Revelation during the Medina era lasted about 10 years.

The third pillar (Ihsan) had been providing inspiration for the Ummah to develop various branches of the unique Muslim culture including the art of the recitation of the Koran, of calligraphy, and of the architecture. This pillar also providing the Ummah inspiration to develop the unique esoteric perspectives in Islamic mysticism what so-called tassawuf. Last but not least, this pillar –or the lack of appreciation on it by Muslim— had helped the ordinary non-Muslim to stereotype Muslim in the past, and very likely also in the present day as well as in the future

While the first Pillar regulates the vertical relationships with God, the other two Pillars provides basic rule on horizontal relationship between people. The blended integration with a harmonious combination would guide Muslim to develop their unique civilization for the sake of human well-being universally (About the Pillars, see Gabriel Hadith as a reference.) (See for example,  [4].)

4 The Emerging Muslim Civilization

While the previous of chapter discusses the rise of Islam, this chapter describes briefly the emergence of the civilization of the Muslim community or the Ummah. As will be clearer later, this civilization is unique in that it had been inspired, guided and shaped by divine Revelation since its formative stage. As will be also clear, the formation of this civilization was very much challenging.

The seed of this civilization is a small Muslim community from Mecca. In 620 AD they were forced to migrate Medina. While this forced migration is called Hijrah (meaning migrate), its actor is known as Muhajirin (meaning, migrants). In the other side, those who helped Muhajirin at the destination town (Medina) were known as Anshar (meaning, helpers). Both Muhajirin and Anshar served as the main backbone of the Muslim community in Medina. Both, together with other components of Medina society (including infidel and Jews), initiated what so-called Muslim civilization, under the leadership of the Prophet-PBUH.

Early Challenge: Livelihood for the Muhajirin

The Muhjairin that took part in the Hijrah is reportedly about 70 families. However, this number would be better viewed as a crude estimate. The reason was that the Hijrah, due to security reasons, took place quietly, individually or family, or in small groups. In addition, according to its definition, Hijrah had continued until the era of the conquest of Mecca (630 AD). Regardless of the issue of this accuracy of the estimate, 70 families were still a big number at the standard of that era.

Like all other forced migrants in the course of human history, the Muhajirin soon encountered challenges that required the immediate and appropriate response. Among the immediate challenges they faced was associated with the livelihood. The key question here would be: How did the Muhajirin family could access to income sources so that they can live properly and with dignity? To add to the complexity: (1) Muhajirin generally came from an economic environment dominated by the trade sector (Mecca) had to live in an economic environment that was dominated by the agricultural sector (Madinah), and (2) Most Muhajirin left behind their wealth and property in Mecca.

The good side was that the Muhajirin had “brother” (i.e., the Anshar) who did their best to help the Muhajirin in facing livelihood problem. The history records this story. The social dimension of Islamic teachings that highly emphasized in the Quran would be perhaps better understood by referring to problems faced by the Muhajirin including that associated with their livelihood. [See for examples, Quran (107:1-7) and Quran (59:8).]

It would be worth noting that the Prophet-PBUH did not offer an instant solution to any problems faced by the Muhajirin. He, instead, encouraged the people to solve their own problems with dignity. His wisdom in this context could be used to appreciate some of his teachings: (a) regarding the big reward for those working hard for their family, (b) on appreciating “the upper hand” (giving to others) more than “the lower hands” (receiving from others), (c) on his scolding to a young man who is lazing around in a mosque, and (d) his criticism on someone who was considered too much pray by neglecting his obligation of making living for his family, and so on.

Social Integration

In Medina, the Muhajirin were warmly welcomed by the families of the Anshar. However, the challenged remained: “How to avoid possible conflicts between Muhajirin and local community groups including the Ansar?”

To answer this question, the Prophet-PBUH built brotherhood between the Muhajirin and the Ansar groups with extraordinary results. This success is partly related to the extraordinary character of these two groups of the people as recorded in the holy text:

For the Poor Emigrants Muhajirin, who were expelled-out of their Homes and their Properties, who seek the Favour of ALLAH and his Messenger. THose are indeed the Truthful: (Quran 59: 9).

And those who had settled in Homes in Al-Madina before them and accepted the Faith, they love those who migrated to them and do not find in their Hearts a need or want of what they were given. But prefer Muhajirin over themselves even though Poverty was with them as well. And those who are protected from the greediness of their souls. It is they who will be successful: (Quran 59:9).

The challenge remained as the Medina community was a heterogeneous society in terms of clans and religions (including Jews), even before the arrival of the Mjuhajirin. The question would be then; “How to manage harmonious, dignified and productive social relations in an increasingly heterogeneous society?”

To overcome the challenge, the Prophet-PBUH initiated what was later known as the Medina Charter which united all tribes and clans in Medina. (For reference see, for example [5].)

For some historians, this charter was the first state constitution in human history. If this is true, then that reflects the extraordinary statehood of the Prophet.

The Medina Charter can be said as a memorandum of understanding to live together that bounding all clans (including Jews) in a pluralistic society that inhabits the same area, namely the City of Medina. Equipped with this charter, the infrastructure of Medina as a state had been completed. All the very basic infrastructures of a state had been fulfilled: a unified system (Islam), land (Medina) and social networks (which are formalized through the Medina Charter).

It can be said that in the early years of the Medina era, Muslim civilization emerged and even created a state in a full sense of the term, the Medina State. However, this State soon faced serious challenges from the infidel Mecca. The Ummah during the Prophet era had to engage in a number of battles to maintain their survival for years.

Battles for Survival

After only two years of experiencing a relatively safe life, the Ummah had to face the serious threat from Quraisy of Mecca at the Battle of Badr (624 AD). In this battle, Medina only relied on 313 soldiers, 70 camels, and three horses. This power was very out of proportion to the strength of the Meccan side which was supplemented by 1,000 army troops, 600 cavalries, and logistics, and the support of 300 reserve troops who also acted as a music team and 700 camels (Lings, 1991: 257). Regarding the Battle of Badr, the sacred text testifies: “And already ALLAH had given you a victory at Badar when you were weak in force…” (Quran 3: 123). However, largely due to the “help of Heaven” and thanks to the patience of his soldiers, the Medina party can win the Battle of Badr convincingly. In this case, the Koran testifies (Quran 3: 124-125):

Also when you said to the Believers: “Is not sufficient that your RABB is helping you, by sending down reinforcement of three thousand Angles? Certainly yes, if you have the Patience and remain Pious fearing ALLAH and if the Enemy suddenly attacks upon you in rage then Your RABB will reinforce you with thousands of marked Angels, sweeping down…”

The Battle of Badr is one of the toughest tests for the Ummah but that is not the only war experienced by the Prophet PBUH. He was involved in 27 wars, big or small, including a kind of military operation to prepare for war. He commanded in persons in seven battles: Badr War, Uhud War, Khandaq War, Banu Quraidhah War, Banu Musthaliq War from Banu Khuza’ah, Khaibar War, Makkah Fath War, Hunain War, and Tabuk War. Just to note, Islam allows war for self-defense and for the right reasons (Qur’an 22:39).

In the Battle of Uhud (625 AD) the Medina side was defeated by its counterpart. The Scripture explains the cause of this defeat was that because some of the Medina soldiers ignored the Prophet’s commands and were impatient to take the battle spoils for themselves (QS 3: 152-153). The Badar and Uhud battles were major wars for the Ummah for their survival.

Another major battle was what so-called as the Trench battle (628). In this battle about 10,000 Meccan soldiers faced 3,000 Medina soldiers. This war is heavy and complicated because of two things: (1) Of the 10,000 troops of the Makah army, only 4,000 came from the Musyrikin of the Quraysh of Mecca; the rest was a joint force of all the tribes who allied with the Quraysh, (2) the betrayal the Jewish tribes helping the Meccan side was known just before the battle took place (Matta, 2010: 12). Nonetheless, in this battle, the Medina side defeated convincingly its counterpart.

After the Trench Battle, a historical agreement was agreed between the Mecca and Medina parties called the Hudaibiyah agreement (628 AD). At first glance, this agreement was very detrimental to the Medina side and hence disappointed several senior Companions of the Prophet-PBUH including Umar RA. However, the agreement actually had served as a symbol of diplomatic victory for the Medina. This agreement was actually a political recognition of equal status between Mecca and Medina parties and this was well-understood by many Arab tribes that joined immediately the Medina government.

The Conquest of Mecca

Just a year after being agreed, Mecca violated the Hudaibiyyah Agreement. Because of this reason, the Medina side mobilized a large army to conquer Mecca (629) and succeeded without bloodshed. As a result, using the scripture’s term “… you see humans flocking to the religion of God” (Quran 110: 2).

The conquest of Mecca expanded the territory of the “State of Medina” and this gave the Prophet PBUH a far better opportunity than before to convey the teachings of Islam. However, this did not mean that the expansion of power was stopped because war and other conquests occurred immediately after the conquest of Mecca, including the Hunayn War (629 AD) and the conquest of Thaif (630 AD). The Thaif conquest ensured that the entire territory of the Arabian Peninsula was under the control of the State of Medina.

In 632 AD the Prophet-PBUH witnessed his troops attack Sassanid (Persian) troops. In the same year, the Prophet PBUH with a large number of his followers (the measure at that time) carried out what was called the Farewell Pilgrimage (Arabic: al-Hajj al-Wada ‘). Some senior friends viewed this hajj as a signal of the immediate end of the Prophet’s apostolic mission.

In the Farewell Hajj sermon, the Prophet PBUH conveyed a kind of summary of Islamic teachings with strong emphasis – this was probably most unexpected – on human rights issues.

The sermon was delivered in the form of a dialogue between the Prophet SAW and the Ummah. The following dialogue portraying a snapshot of the subjects of the sermon and the psychological situation of the Prophet and his Ummah as narrated by Natsir M. Natsir (2008):

The Prophet PBUH (P): “O people! Listen to me as I explain to you. Actually, I don’t know, maybe I won’t see you again after this year, at this stop for good. ‘ ‘O people! Do you know what month it is? “

The Ummah (U): “Holy Month”

P: “Verily Allah has forbidden you, the blood of your neighbor, until you meet your Lord, like the holy of this month.” ‘Do you know what this place is?”

U: Holy place”

P: “Verily Allah has forbidden you the blood of your neighbor and your neighbor’s property; until you meet your Lord; like the holy this place. ” “Do you know what day it is?”

U: Holy day

P: “Verily Allah has forbidden you the blood of your neighbor and neighbor’s wealth until you meet your Lord, like the holy of today in this holy month in this holy place. Surely you will meet your Lord and will be asked the responsibility of all your deeds. “O! Did I say it?

U: ‘Allahumma, right, you told me’

P: “O my Lord! Witness it.

On the occasion of this sermon, the Prophet-PBUH carried out a kind of handing-over his mission (as the bearer of the Islamic teachings) to the Ummah (as the successor of the Treatise). Not long after this historical sermon, the following Wahyu descended down which asserted that the Islamic teachings had been complete:

“… on this day I have perfected your religion, and I have fulfilled My favor for you, and I have accepted Islam as your religion” (Quran 5: 3).

Not long after this verse came down the Prophet-PBUH suffered a brief illness and passed away. This event had made his companions panicked until Abu Bakr recited a verse of Al-Qur’an which asserted that like other human beings the Prophet-PBUH could die (Quran 3: 144).

The Prophet-PBUH passed away when the Ummah was only 10 years old. His life was filled with a number of dynamic, critical and historical events for the survival of the Ummah. The Timeline below presents a summary of the events during his life.

Note that the figure in the first column the timeline shows the time distance between the Hijrah and a respective event in concern. As an illustration, the number 4 in this column shows that the Trench War took place four years after the Hijrah. The Timeline as a whole illustrates that the Prophet SAW and his companions spent a lot of time and energy for the Ummah affairs.

As the timeline shows, on several occasions, the Ummah was defeated by the enemy. This confirms that the Ummah is fully human with their strengths and weaknesses, even though they are blessed by the opportunity of having the guidance of Revelation and the Prophet-PBUH.

Timeline: Some Major Events During the First 10-Year History of the Ummah
Time Line Year (AD)  

Major Event

0 622 The Prophet together with around 70 Muslim families migrated from Mecca and the Meccan government called for revenge.
2 624 Mecca received a dramatic defeat at the battle of Badar against the Muslims.
3 625 The Muslims received a severe defeat from the Meccan army at the Battle of Uhud. In Medina, the Qayanuqah and Nadir Jewish Tribes were expelled from Medina for working with Mecca.
4 626 Trench War (win).
5 627 The Muslims defeated the Mecca army in the Khandaq War. This was followed by the mass murder of the Qurayzah Jewish tribe man who had supported the Meccans against Muslims.
6 628 Treaty of Hudaibiyyah between Mecca and Medina. The Prophet PUB attracted a lot of Arab tribes so that they entered the Commonwealth of Medina.
7 629 The first war order against Christianity in Mu’ah (lost) (*).
8 630 The Meccans violated the Hudaibiyyah agreement. Medina retaliated with a large Muslim army and allies from among its tribes. Mecca acknowledged defeat and voluntarily opened the gate for the Prophet SAW who immediately took the city without “blood stains and without forcing anyone to turn to Islam”.
9 631 Consolidation of the entire Arabian Peninsula under the “State” of Medina (*).
10 632 Return to Mecca for Hajj (Farewell). The Prophet PUB passed away after a brief illness. Abu Bakr replaced him as the First Caliph.
Source: Amstrong (2002:xix-xx); also [6] for (*).

As shown by the timeline, one year before the Prophet’s death, the entire Arabian Peninsula was under the control of Medina. This is one of its greatest legacies for the Muslim Community.

Following the Prophet era, the Medina territory expanded rapidly under the Rasyidun era, and then the Umayyad dynasty. Map 3 illustrates how rapid the expansion taken placed. This period covers the eras of the Prophet, of Rasyidun, and of the Ummayad dynasty. Just to note, the term Rasyidun –the rightly guided caliphs– refers to the first four caliphs after the Prophet era.

Map 3: Muslim expansion during the period 622-750

Under the Prophet PBUH (622–632)

Under Rasyidun ((632–661)

Under Umayyad Dynasty ((661-70).

Source: [7]

The Legacy of the Prophet

As just mentioned, the unity of the Arabian Peninsula under a single authority is a great legacy of the Prophet for the Community. This is a great legacy because never happened before and because of a popular anecdote that says that one of the world’s absurdities is to unite the Arab tribes.

There two other Prophet’s legacies which are even greater and far-reaching than the first; namely, al-Koran and the Tradition (Sunnah):

Verily the Messenger of Allah da once said: “I have left you all two things that you will not go astray as long as you hold fast to the two, namely: the Book of Allah and the Tradition of His Messenger”. [HR. Malik].

These two legacies unquestionably shape the Community civilization beyond the Prophet era which is distinct from other civilizations including of their neighbors namely Roman (Christian) and Persian.

The Koran (Al-Quran)

The basic set of facts of the Koran: (1) widely read Book, (2) composed of 30 Parts, 114 Chapters, and 6666 verses (there are other versions regarding the figure), (3) Muslims believe in every single verse of the Koran is the Word of God in its original Form with its universal and timeless meaning, and (4) Muslim uses Koranic teachings as guidance for a better and faithful life.

The revelation of the Koran descended on several occasions gradually for 23 years and ended with the pass away of the Prophet: 14 years in the Mecca era and 10 years in the Medina era. So, it is different from the Torah, for example, which descended on a single occasion.

Revelations descended in the Mecca era is marked in the Koran with verses in short chapters, with poetry-like style, and most of the teachings focus on the Faith-related issues. On the contrary, those who descended in the Medina era are recorded in long Chapters, in prose-like style verses, and mostly containing the teachings of Islam (Law) and Ihsan (Way). All Revelations completed descended to the Prophet that in time codified in the Koran as it is known by now. It is this Koran that primarily shape the unique civilization of the Muslim community.

The subject of the Koran is basically human, the purpose of his life, and the way to achieve it. The teachings of the Koran contain almost all aspects of human life and speak to all regardless of gender, intellectual level, mentality, cultural orientation, historical background, geographical context, and ethnicity. In other words, from a Muslim perspective, the Koran is not only the Divine Words but also to serve as a guide for everyday life.

The Tradition (as-Sunnah)

“He who obeys the Messenger obeys Allah (QS 4:80). This is a verse of The Koran with a clear-cut message and hence unquestionably considered valid by Muslim. It is this kind of verse used by Muslim as a basis to place Tradition as the principal sources of Islamic teachings after—and inseparable from—Al-Koran. A basic teaching of the Prayer (Arabic: Shalah), as an example, can not be performed rightly without referring to the teaching of Tradition.

Tradition means path, example, and practice of the Prophet. The term al-Hadits refers to the record of words, actions, and silent approval of the Prophet. Some Hadits explains historical events in detail since they are mentioned only briefly in the Koran.

The Tradition very carefully collected in the third century after Hijrah.  There six collections of Hadits that are highly regarded by Muslims; namely, Shahih Al-Bukhari, Shahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Daud, Sunan Ibnu Majah, Jami’a Al-Tirmidhi, and Sunan An-Nasai.

Ijtihad

Most Muslims believe that The Koran and the Tradition are sufficient to solve all religious problems (including the collective matter of the Community) in every place and time. However, if this is not the case, the door of ijtihad or using reason is open. But the order must be held firmly: Al-Koran, Tradition, and Ijtihad. This order was blessed by the Prophet-PBUH when Muaz bin Jabal revealed it before his departure on the mission to Yemen (HR Abu Daud; also Ahmad and Tarmizi). Just to note, not all Muslims are eligible to exercise Ijtihad because it requires intellectual ability and great honesty as well as deep religious understanding. Beyond the Prophet-PBUH era, the use of Ijtihad with its variants (qyas, ijma) is indispensable as the Community population grows, Islamic territory expands, and new challenges emerge. Nonetheless, Koran and Tradition remain the main sources of Islamic teaching.

5 Summary and Some Reflections

The civilization of the Ummah or the Muslim community emerged in the Era of the Prophet-PBUH in Medina; just emerged, not yet developed or still in the formative stage. In the very early stage, this Ummah faced a number of serious challenges from the infidel of the Mecca which almost always threatened its survival. Nonetheless, this Ummah was able to survive and even achieving a definitive victory in a long war with the Mecca party. This didn’t mean that they won in every battle with their opponent: on some occasions, they were defeated. This shows that they were of an ordinary community of humankind with their strength and weakness even under the guidance of the Koranic Revelation and the Prophet Muhammad-PBUH.

The definitive victory over the infidel Mecca was marked by the conquest of Mecca city in about 620 AD or two years before the Prophet-PBUH passed away.

The Ummah inherited three legacies from the Prophet-PBUH: The Koran, As-Sunnah (Tradition), and Unity of Arab Peninsula. The teachings of the first two legacies provided moral and spiritual impetus to the Ummah to realizing their unique civilization. In roughly in 2.0-2.5 centuries after the era of the Prophet-PBUH, the Muslim civilization reached its golden age. This age took place during the reign of the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid (786 to 809) with the inauguration of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, where scholars from various parts of the world with different cultural backgrounds were mandated to gather and translate all of the world’s classical knowledge into the Arabic language.

The Muslim civilization is unique because it is based on the basic principles of Islam. Ordinary Muslims– even until present day– consider western civilization is radically different from their own. For them, western civilization has been developed on atheistic worldview (“religion is a personal matter”), regional (“have their own boundary and limit”), biased (“only care for themselves”), temporal (“driven by occasional goals”). In contrast, their view on their own civilization is based on Islamic belief, imbued with its values and principles, universal, and balanced as Islam stands for universal humanism which does not permit racial, linguistic and ethnic discrimination, and perennial.

The world once witnessed the contribution of Islamic civilization to humanity but obviously not in the last few centuries. Today the world is witnessing Islamic civilization is at a nadir for a number of reasons that beyond the coverage of this book to discuss it. One thing that seems clear is that the Ummah, in general, is lacking understanding of the real messages of the Prophet’s legacies mentioned above, especially the Koran. As contemporary Muslim scholars would perhaps say, the majority of the Ummah have trapped in textual aspects of the Prophet legacies without appropriate understanding about its contextual aspects.

To end the discussion, it would be worth inserted here the observation of Tariq Ramadan about the Koran that might be useful for both Muslim and Muslim readers in rather long sentences. For Muslims, it might help to reflect their own appreciation on the Koran; for non-Muslim, it might help to understand how Muslims understand their main legacies:

… The Koran belongs to everyone, free of distinction and of hierarchy. God responds to whoever comes to his Word. It is not rare to observe women and men, poor and rich, educated and illiterate, Eastern and Western, falling silent, staring into the distance, lost in thought, stepping back, weeping. The search for meaning has encountered the sacred, God is near: “Indeed, I am close at hand. I answer the call of him who calls me when s/he calls.” ….

The Koran is a book for both heart and mind. In nearness to it, a woman or a man who possesses a spark of faith know the path to follow knows her or his own inadequacies. No sheik is needed, no wise man, no confidant. Ultimately, the heart knows. This was what the Prophet-PBUH answered when he was asked about moral feelings. In the light of the Book, he said, “Inquire of your heart.” And should our intelligence stray into the complexities of the different levels of reading, from applied ethics to the rules of practice, we must never forget to clothe ourselves in the intellectual modesty that alone can reveal the secrets of the Text. For “it is not the eyes that are blind, but the hearts within the breasts.” Such a heart, humble and alert, is the faithful friend of the Koran.

Source: [8 ]

The above-underlined words are worth noting by the Ummah in order to understand their position and mission in contemporary civilization.

Allah– the RAHAM-Beneficent, the RAHIM-Most Merciful– knows better!

Glossary

Al-Hadits : The record of words, actions, and the silent approval of the Prophet.
Al-Quran : Islamic scripture. The word Koran is used to interchangeably with Quran or Al-Quran.
Community : See Ummah.
Koran : See Al-Quran.
Hijrah : Forced migration due to religious reasons
Islam : A religion conveys by the Prophet Muhammad PBUH (see PBUH).
Hijriyyah : The name of the Islamic calendar
Muslim : An adherent of Islam.
PBUH : Peace Be Upon Him. This expression is used following Muhammad to respect this Prophet.
Prophet : The Prophet Muhammad PBUH (see PBUH)
Revelation : See Wahy
Sunnah : Example and practice of the Prophet. The word Tradition (with T capital) is used to represent Sunnah.
Tradition : See Sunnah.
Ummah : The community of Muslim. The word Community (with C capital) is used to represent Ummah.
Wahy : Revelation descended from God Almighty. The word Revelation is used to represent Wahy.

References

Hitti, Philip K. (1960), History of the Arabs, MacMillan & Co Ltd.

Lewis, Bernard (1995), The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years, Scribner

Lings, Martin (1991) Muhammad: Sejarah Hidup Bedasarkan Sumber Klasik (Muhammad: Life History of the Prophet Based on Classic Sources), Serambi

Mohammad Natsir (2008), Fiqhud Da’wah, PT Abadi, the 13th Edition:

Roberts, D.S (1981) Islam: A Concise Introduction, Harper Row, Publishers.Amstrong,

Karen (2002), Islam: Sejarah Singkat (Islam: A Short History), Jendela.

External Links

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman%E2%80%93Persian_Wars

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman%E2%80%93Persian_Wars

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabian_Peninsula

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Gabriel

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Medina

[6] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8660781/The-Life-of-Mohammed-a-timeline.html

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Muslim_conquest

[8] http://www.virtualmosque.com/islam-studies/islam-101/belief-and-worship/reading-the-quran-by-tariq-ramadan/