A hot and dry desert between two great rival kingdoms. This is pre-Islamic Arabia. Before we can understand or try to understand the Prophet Muhammad or Islamic civilization, we need to understand the world in which Islam was born. At that time, there were two kingdoms that controlled Europe and the Middle East. The Sassanid dynasty in Persia and the Byzantine empire in Asia Minor. These two kingdoms have been at war for centuries and have run out of steam.
Arabia is a hot desert, and in the pre-oil world, it lacked valuable resources. Basically, there is no water or agriculture. That was why the empire had no interest in conquering it. Not because they can’t, but because they don’t have a reason. After the rise of Islam, most of the Islamic empires conquered the Holy Lands of Mecca and Medina, leaving the Arab remnants untouched.
In Arabia, there was confusion. Almost confused. More so-called civilized people would call them Arab barbarians, but they are not completely right or just. There are many tribes around Arabia. One such tribe, the Quraysh, lived in Mecca. This is Muhammad’s tribe, the tribe we have to talk about. Mecca is the site of an ancient temple called the Kaaba Shrine. This shrine is said to have been built by the great prophet Ibrahim or Ibrahim. Ibrahim also did something to change the fate of Mecca. He declared it Haram. In other words, it is forbidden to use violence there. Otherwise, God’s wrath will attack you and all of them. Most Arabs are idolaters, but they still believe in this great god called Allah. It comes from the word Al-Illah, which means “god” in the capital G. However, this declaration was a very attractive place to do business in Mecca centuries after Abraham.
It is the only place where you can buy and sell things without risking losing your mind in minor fights. But the Meccans went a step further. They invited all Arabs and all tribes in them and placed their idols in holy places. In other words, all the gods worshiped in Arabia were gathered in one place. So if you use violence here, your god and all the other gods will kick your butt. As a result of all this, Mecca had become a center of trade. The Meccans taxed this trade. They got a discount from everything that is bought and sold in the city. This was their only source of income, as the pilgrimage business started as Mecca is now a holy place for all Arab tribes.
However, some people bought goods from these traders and went to Palestine and the Levant to sell them for profit. As for the social, it was normal misogyny mixed in with a little burying the living girl. But it is not as common as Muslims say. There’s slavery, obviously, if you don’t own the land and all the good things we used to read about in history, you won’t have any rights. There were Christians and Jews living in Arabia, along with infidels. It is said that the three beliefs in Saudi Arabia cannot be distinguished without having to go to a place of worship because they have adopted their respective traditions.
However, tribal wars were very common. As you can imagine, water is a rare and important resource. So, it’s obvious that people fight with other people. Hostilities continued between the tribes over the centuries, but the fighting was bad for business, so the Meccans refrained from participating in too many battles. After all, Arabia in the late 6th century was the last place the power to rule the world was expected to emerge, and that’s exactly what happened.