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Even before the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, was  Mecca is the bustling shopping center of the Arabian Peninsula. From here, trade caravans departed in many directions: to Syria, southern Arabia, and Ethiopia.

Merchandise (mostly skins) was also accompanied by religious currents.

The religion practiced by the Arabs was polytheistic .

One of the most significant gods was the creator god Allah, who was also the god of heaven and rain. The daughters of Allah were actively worshiped as goddesses. Belief in jinnei spirit beings was also an integral part of the veil of faith. Jinni can cause either good or bad.

The Arabs formed a tribal society ,

who protected their own members, but different tribes could fight bloody battles against each other. The tribes had common gods, but each tribe also had its own gods.  The god of Mecca in particular had been Hubal, who was worshiped in the Kaaba temple. In addition to the gods, stones were worshiped. The black stone of the Kaaba is already inherited from this pre-Islamic period. At the same time, temple rituals, such as the tour of the Kaaba temple, were also converted to Islam.

Prophets, or kahin it, are also inherited from pre-Islamic times. In addition to predicting, Kahins act as dispute settlers. They were understood to receive their knowledge and skills from God. The Kahins are closely related to the prophetic tradition known to the Semitic peoples. Before Muhammad and partly also at the same time, there were independent prophets preaching their own prophecy. The proclamation of some was based directly

to the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Of the high religions, Christianity and Judaism  had spread to the Arabian Peninsula.  The influence of Christianity came from the Christian countries surrounding the peninsula: Byzantium, Ethiopia, and significant Christian minorities in Persia. Judaism was in a more politically significant position than Christianity. Some Arab tribes had converted to Judaism. So the idea of one God came  known through these religions.

All in all, it is significant that the narratives contained in Judaism and Christianity were rooted even before the birth of Islam in the general narrative tradition known to the Arabs.


Source literature: Hämeen-Anttila Jaakko: Introduction to the Qur'an p.23-28

Camels resting in Petra

Pastoral tents in the Petra area.


What did Islam inherit from the ancient Arab tribal religion and Judeo-Christian tradition?

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