The State of the World and Humanity

It would be useful to know and to recognize the moral state of humanity and the world before the Master of the Universe (PBUH) was appointed as a prophet. Only then will we be able to understand how he saved the humanity from a social, political, religious, spiritual, intellectual darkness and perversion.

During the end of the sixth century of the Gregorian calendar…

This was an era in which disbelief, heresy, and immorality had descended over humanity with all of its might and were trying to suffocate humanity. The prominent and significant countries of that time were:

Byzantine, Persia, Egypt, India, Alexandria, Mesopotamia, China, etc.

In all of these countries;

A correct belief system did not exist

The people during that time suffered qualms of conscience, had gone mad (so to speak), were rampant, and did not know what they were doing.

They worshipped phenomena that took place in the universe and things that had been created by Allah. Humanity would prostrate before the stars, fire, as well as bone dry, lifeless rocks and idols while claiming they were “Gods!”.

Since souls and the conscience of humanity were buried in the deprivation and darkness of not having faith in Allah; nothing was considered to be the creation of the Divine power and the universe was considered to be meaningless, unnecessary, and pointless. Those poor individuals, who were devoid of faith, wisdom, and understanding, knew that a letter, a word, and a book could not come into being without a writer; however, they were writhing in the misery of accepting that the universe, which contains hundreds of thousands of mysteries and wisdoms, was without an owner and without reason.

In this deplorable state, the entire world was expecting and in need of a prophet who would reintroduce the belief in Tawhid, Allah’s existence and His oneness, and cleanse the heart of disbelief and depravity.

People had been divided into classes

Humanity had broken into several classes, such as the wealthy, the poor, the strong, and the weak; there was a great disconnection and gap between the community and the government officials. There was a considerable amount of tension among the classes.

Due to the tyranny and injustice that was committed by the higher social classes, the lower class resembled a barrel of gunpowder that was ready to explode at any minute. Let us take a glance at the state of Iran during that time as an example: “Like many primitive societies, the Iranians were completely separate from one another. The top three classes were entirely detached from the fourth caste, which was all the way at the bottom. The highest three classes consisted of the priests, judges, warriors and officials who were either called Magipads or Mobads since they were from the Magi Tribe; the farmers and artists constituted the fourth class”. The common people, who were the community, consisted of free city dwellers, slaves, and serfs. Their duty was to work in the fields or in the military without receiving any payments or rewards for their services. They were completely left to themselves and were stuck with insurmountable obstacles. They could not advance in their stations in any way; there was even no hope for them to become townspeople, although the latter openly benefited from their goods and property…” (1)

The Eastern Roman Empire’s condition was even more deplorable. “Its society had been divided into many secondary classes. They were: 1) A class called Curule. They were landowners who were not enlisted in the military and could not get involved in any kind of trade. 2) Tributaries, just like their counterparts in Persia, included those who had no land of their own, those who paid poll taxes, and those were bound to guilds that passed by inheritance from fathers to sons. 3) The military class. As one writer said regarding this matter: “The farmers who cultivated the soil were nothing but tools that clothed and fed the king’s court.” (2)

Finlay, who was an eminent historian on the Middle East, summarized the Eastern Roman Empire’s (Byzantine) miserable condition as follows: “History has probably not seen a community whose morals were as withered as that of the Greeks and Romans who lived in the period between Justinian’s death (528-565) and Muhammad’s birth, and who lacked as much self-control and virtue”. (3)

The European community was in the ruthless hands of the aristocracy, the knights, and the clergy, and its condition was no different than that of a dumb animal. Those in power could purchase and sell the community’s constituents whenever they wanted and the latter did not have the right to object. Those who were sold practically became slaves. Even if they were not slaves in the fullest sense, those who did not have the power and strength to separate from their masters would eventually become servants. Nobody had the right not to like his master, nor did anybody possess the authority to choose him. However, there was this one condition: in some uncivilized countries, servants were able to go to another home by first paying their masters a sum for their freedom; this was considered to be a huge favor.

In summary, all countries other than the Arabian Peninsula had caste systems in which people had been divided into separate classes and looked at each other with enmity, hate, and brutality. This world, which was in a miserable state, was in need of a great prophet who would declare that humans were Allah’s most esteemed creatures, they had all descended from one father, and that they all had specific rights in the same proportion, like the right to freedom, and who would change feelings of hate and animosity into feelings of love, respect, and friendship. This situation called for and was in dire need of this Great Prophet.

Slavery was an official institution

Human beings are both reverend and honorable. However, appreciation of this fact is only possible with true belief.

The people of that age, whose hearts were deprived of faith’s glory, did not respect humans, were  unaware that humans were the most reverend beings on the Earth, and were savage enough to sell and purchase their fellow beings.

Those unfortunate people who were labeled as slaves were being sold and purchased at auctions like ordinary merchandise. The masters were fully authorized to insult, torment, and make their slaves work however they wanted.

Humanity was in desperate need of someone who would end this savagery and ingratitude and was in need of a guide who would not withhold his light of compassion from anyone.

Sectarian fights persisted

The belief in the fallacious trinity had replaced the doctrine of Tawhid, the oneness of Allah, which Hazrat Isa (Jesus) had conveyed and preached.

The priests produced a completely different religion in place of what Hazrat Isa had taught.

Likewise, other countries, particularly the Eastern Roman Empire, were committing inconceivable acts of torture and tyranny in the name of religion. For example, historians mention how Phocas, the Patrician, poisoned himself in order to escape from being forcefully converted into Christianity. (4)

Those who left the Mazdaism faith, which prevailed in Persia, or those who betrayed this religion were mercilessly executed. Scratching out the eyes, crucifixion, stoning, as well as starving and leaving someone to die thirsty were all standard death penalties.

While Confucianism and China had advanced in civilization, they were living their most chaotic days and were on the brink of collapsing just before the Sun of Bliss (PBUH) emerged.  Civil wars did not cease and the society was at one another’s throats due to sectarian differences.

During the period of Islam’s emergence, Abyssinia was full of clashes that occurred between siblings.

Immorality Prevailed

Humanity, which was deprived of the modesty, fear, and virtue that come from faith, was committing all sorts of lewd behavior and had trampled over its dignity and honor by freely performing vulgar acts.

Gambling, alcohol, and immoral types of pleasure found their place among daily activities. Continuous killing, continuous acts of adultery, mugging, and raids almost swept away the blessed and divine significance from humanity.

Here is one example:

Morality had been completely wiped from the Byzantine Empire and had become so dead that the patriarch of Constantinople himself solemnized the marriage between the Emperor and the latter’s own niece. (5)

To them, a woman was no different than a simple commodity that could be purchased and sold.

Yes, the end of sixth century A.D. was the century of such barbarism, unbelief, idolatry, ignorance and cruelty. All kinds of anarchy, blasphemy, various perverted belief systems and all kinds of debauchery were ruling the world in this century.

Humanity had probably never witnessed such perverseness, immorality, atrocity, and terror since its creation.

Humanity was devoid of a spiritual guide and was like the flowing water in an untamed river as it crashed into stones. With each crash, it lost a bit of its heart, soul, conscience, and honor. Every door that it knocked was shut on its face.

Humans had turned into beasts since they did not know who Allah, the Supreme Creator, was and had not found the essential path that He had drawn for them by means of His prophets. These wild beasts were ready to swallow someone at every minute and were smeared in blood; they caused the wind of anarchism and unrest to blow everywhere.

Humanity had become an orphan, the universe was mourning, and the Earth resembled a ring of sorrow. Everyone was considered an enemy by others, and everything was considered meaningless, soulless, and aimless.

Humanity’s sorrowful screams, which resulted from not having a true guide, were ringing in the skies; the universe, its smallest particles and the sun were crying together over humanity’s miserable condition.

The Sun of Bliss, with all of his glory, was meant to rise in the horizon of humanity so that humans could be happy. The universe’s smallest particle, its sun, its mountains, its stones, its animals, and its people would be saved from being considered insignificant, meaningless, and pointless. Everything would be known as a letter of Allah that was written and presented to be people so that they would draw lessons from them.  Pure faith could take the place of disbelief, justice could replace tyranny, peace could replace uneasiness, knowledge could take the place of ignorance, and bliss could replace misery. All believers would be friends and siblings. The universe’s rage could turn into happiness.  The stars could laugh and the atoms could whirl like dervishes. The sun, moon, ground, and sky could continue their mission lovingly and ardently.

Man should know that the real wisdom and purpose of his creation, his transfer from the darkness of non-existence to the realm of existence is to know God Almighty, to believe in Him and to worship Him. Thus, he will attain real peace and bliss.

[1] Prof. Harun Khan Sherwani, İslam’da Siyasî Düşünce ve İdare, Trns by Kemal Kuşçu, p. 8.

[2] Prof. Harun Khan Sherwani, ibid, p. 10.

[3] Prof. Harun Khan Sherwani, ibid, p. 11.

[4] Prof. Harun Khan Sherwani, ibid, p. 11.

[5] Prof. Harun Khan Sherwani, ibid, p. 11.