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Islamic Education research network launched at University of Warwick

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Historical Background

Historical Background before the Prophet Muhammad sent

  Since most of the Arabian Peninsula consists of vast desert land, its inhabitants did not work in agriculture, except in the extreme borders on the peninsula – particularly in Yemen, in the south, and Syria, to the north – and in the odd scattered oases found in central Arabia. Without much vegetation in Arabia, it was sheep and camels that made for the livelihood of both desert and city dwellers. Tribes would go from place to place with their herds, looking for pastureland.

  With eyes as bright as the shining sun, a reality on the lips more brilliant than the light of the sun, a heart more fresh than the flowers of the gardens of Yathrib, habits and morals more decent than the moon-lit nights of the Hijaz, a mind more brisk than the strong winds, , a heart with heavenly light, firm determination like a trenchant sword and heavenly words on the tongue - such was Muhammad son of ‘Abdullah, the Prophet of Arabia (peace be upon him), the Prophet who destroyed the idols which had separated brothers f

  For their manly qualities of head and heart, the Arabs deserved, or, were rather the only people entitled to the honor of the advent of the last Prophet of God peace be upon him amongst them and to be made responsible for propagation of the message of Islam. But, in no part of the Peninsula was there any indication of an awakening or a vexation of spirit showing the sign of life left in the Arabs.

  The Arabian Peninsula is enclosed in the west by the Red Sea and Sinai, in the east by the Arabian Gulf, in the south by the Arabian Sea -which is an extension of the Indian Ocean- and in the north by old Syria and part of Iraq. The area is estimated between 1 and 1.25 million square miles.

Arab Tribes:

Arabs have been divided according to lineage into three groups:

Perishing Arabs: The ancient Arabs whose history is little known, and of whom were ‘Aad, Thamood, Tasam, Jadis, Emlaq and others.


 Arabia had been the birth-place of several prophets of God in the bygone times. The Qur'an says:

And make mention (O Muhammad) of the brother of A'ad when he warned his folk among the wind-curved sandhillsand verily warners came and went before and after himsaying: Serve none but Allah. Lo! I fear for you the doom of a tremendous Day.

[Qur'aan 46:21]


    The patriarch Ibrahim (Abraham) Peace Be Upon Him, came down to the valley of MAKKAH surrounded by mountains, naked rocks and bare and rugged crags. Nothing to sustain life, neither water nor verdure, nor food grains, was to be found there. He had with him his wife Hajar (Hagar) and their son Isma'il (Ishmael) 'alaihimus salaam.