The Islam of Mohamed The Islam of Mohamed

The Islam of Mohamed

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Beschreibung des Verlags

I do not desire to explain the importance and significance of Islam among the religious systems of the world; nor am I to fix and ascertain the exact position of Mohamed as a religious teacher among the world’s great teachers of religions. My effort in this paper is simpler and yet not altogether free from bewildering perplexities. I desire to explain what Islam is and what its teachings are: Islam as preached and delivered by the prophet of Arabia; Islam stripped of the accretions of ages of theological disputes and controversies; in other words to sketch out, to the best of my light and leading, Islam of the prophet Mohamed. Difficult though this task is, it is not indeed a hopeless venture for one who has kept himself clear and free from narrow sectarianism.

To fully appreciate the message of Mohamed, it is essential that I should say something about the condition of Arabia before Islam. I must readily admit that so far as the Pagan Arabia is concerned, we are in great dearth of authorities. Our information is shadowy, fitful, and fragmentary and the industry of European scholars (such as Caussin De Perceval, Krehl, Wellhausen, Robertson Smith and Sir Charles Lyall) has succeeded but in lifting the veil merely at its fringe. But however partial and unsatisfactory as the account is, of the Pagan days; we can yet form an idea of the life that the Pagan Arabs led and the thoughts that swayed and animated their conduct and their deeds. I will, therefore, describe “The Pre-Islamic Arabia” as briefly as I can.

The Pre-Islamic Arabs were not a nation. Of the sense of nationality, indeed, they had not the vaguest conception, though they were linked by community of speech. Arabia was a sum-total of loose and disconnected congeries of tribes and the tribe was the source and the limit of social and political obligation. Beyond the tribe there lay no duty and no obligation either. Political relations were moral; for morality was confined within the limits of the tribe. Political organisation was represented by the corporate feeling which found expression in the exercise of the duties of brotherhood. Within the pale of the tribe obtained the prohibition to kill, to commit adultery, to steal, &c., &c. Beyond it there was no such prohibition. Fidelity to one’s kinsman was an imperative duty, apart from any question of the justness of the cause. Outside the tribe there was nothing but constant plunder and unceasing warfare. “Certain large groups were, indeed, almost continually at war with one another. Ma`add, the people of the Hijaz and Al-yamamah generally looked upon Al-yaman as their natural prey and were constantly raiding on the herds of their southern neighbours.

Religion und Spiritualität
17. November
Library of Alexandria