Before Muhammad?

Discussion in 'Islam' started by bluroze, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. bluroze

    bluroze seeker

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    (I'm sorry if this was asked somewhere else on the board, but I can't find it mentioned...)

    What did Muslims believe or follow before Muhammad?

    What I understand is that they all believed in the prophets such as Abraham, Noah, and so on. I also read that a little bit before Muhammad, the people worshiped God (Allah) as well as idols and Muhammad put a stop to the idolatries worship and basically organized Islam.

    What I was wondering was, was it called Islam before Muhammad or was Islam called something else? Was it recognized as a different religion than Judaism and Christianity at that time? Please, inform me if I’m wrong with my semi-understanding with Islam. I’m just starting to research the fascinating religion. :) Thank you!

    ~ BluRoze
     
  2. Amica

    Amica Well-Known Member

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    Peace be to you.

    I am not an islamic scholar, but I am a Muslim. I will try to answer your question the best I can.

    Islam in the Arabic language literally means 'submission' and it is referred to submission only to One God (Allah, in Arabic). A Muslim in Arabic language means the one who submits (to God).

    Very often you will hear Muslims say that all of the prophets (peace be upon them all) were Muslims, that is 'submitters' to One God only. Abraham savs was a great Muslim (submitter) because he was even willing to sacrifice his only son for God Almighty. That is how great his faith in God/Allah was. In the Qur'an Allah (God) referrs to Abraham savs as His friend.

    Jews and Christians in the Qur'an are regarded respectfully as the People of The Book (People of the Bible). God the Merciful says in the Qur'an that the Bible is the Revelation from Him and Muslims must believe that. In addition, God says that those among the People of the Bible who believe in what was believed to them will enter Heaven and earn His Mercy. The problem comes to certain individuals among the People of the Bible who tampered the Scriptures. This does not mean the Bible is not the Word of God, because it is in its original form and God recongizes that.

    One can say that people in the past before the Revelation of Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad savs were Muslims only if they trully followed what God revealed to them and if they believed in Him only, if they submitted to him.

    Mary r.a. the mother of our Messiah was a great believer and considered to be one of the most faithful people on the planet. Despite the scary event for her to have a child and being a virgin, she submitted her will to the Almighty, believed in Him to protect her and guide her. And He did.

    Neverthless, Christianity and Judaism, despite sharing many common believes and practices with Islam, are believed to be separate religions in their own right.
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Hi Amica,

    I believe the the orginal question was, "what did the people believe, before Muhammad?"

    The answer is, they believed in many gods, and "Gins or Jins", and other such mythos, or deceptions to man by spirits not of God. Muhammad, experienced a revelation (series of revelations) by Gabriel (one of the Arch Angels), and came to understand that there is only One God, and Muhammad became His prophet to the Arab peoples.

    Why the Arab peoples were able to so quickly shuck off the gods of the past (relatively speaking), was due to their uncanny ability to discern logic. The old gods were not logical, and Muhammad presented a logical and concise concept of God and His relationship to man. He also had help and inspiration, by way of Gabriel (as Allah's messenger).

    v/r

    Q
     
  4. Light

    Light Well-Known Member

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    In the name of God most gracious and most merciful.

    There is a wealth of history regarding the believes of people of Makkah before Muhammad, peace be upon him, given prophethood.

    The history backdate as far a Prophet Abraham. Abraham sent his wife Hagar with his infant baby, Ismail, peace be upon him to the valley of Makkah when during those days is barren and have no water source. Abraham leave them as commanded by Allah. With the mercy of Allah, water sprout at the feet of Ismail, peace be upon him (whom later a prophet too).

    To make the story short, the valley flourish and more people reside. Abraham later was commanded to build a building structure rectangular in the middle of the valley. He together with Ismail then build this structure and commanded people to worship Allah. This structure is what now known as Kaabah where Muslim face when performing Salaah and to go for pilgrimage when they have the means at least once in their lifetime. Abraham peace be upon him, commanded the people to circumbulate the structure as inspired by Allah. This is the house of Allah. The practice of circumbulation the Kaabah continues for hundred of years if not thousands. There is a specific period every year where people around the region will come to Makkah to perform their pilgrimage like how prophet Abraham did.

    Overtime, innovations by the people started to create false gods that was carved out of stone. These idols was places around Kaabah each having their own name and specific department they are supposedly responsible for. If someone wants an offspring, they will pray to specific gods for that purpose. Idolatory flourish in this place that is suppose to be the house of Allah.

    The Quraish is the arab tribe that was responsible for the administration of pilgrims during this period as such each family with the Quraish tribe have their speific area of responsibility. They includes the responsibility providing water to the pilgrims and other administrative duties. If you read the history, you can realise that there is a very organised government in Makkah during those time.

    At that time idolatory is everywhere and although they still circumbulate the Kaabah, it was not performed correctly so much that they circumbulate naked. They believe that the Idols is their intermediary between them and God.

    So back to your question, before Muhammad peacue be upon him, the people are polytheist.

    Islam means submission. It is also originate from the same root word of Salam which means peace. Muslims believe all prophets that was send call their people to the right path. That is to believe in one God and HE has no other associations. I am not sure what was it called before Muhammad peace be upon him, but the essence of the teaching is the same. Certainly it will be a religion of submission to one God, as I've mentioned above. Muslims were also taught to believe all the prophets as revealed in the Quran.

    I hope this explains...

    If above have errors, it is from my own ignorance and naivety, thus forgive me. For the truth, verily it is from God the Exalted.

    Allah know what in our heart and He judge all his creatures justly. May Allah lead us to the straight path.
     
  5. pharma4ever

    pharma4ever Muslim sunni salafi

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    peace be upon u ,blueroz
    it's a good question
    people before Mohammed were what?
    if u are now a christian then u read about islam and believed in it
    so,u r a muslim who was christian before islam
    also every one of muslims was on a religion but it's not a unique religion of all muslims before islam
    islam is for every one who wanna believe in it
    when the mwssage of Mohammed started,people were even jewish or christians or pagans or fire-worshippers ..and so on
    then the people who believed in his messaga became muslims and others stayed the same as they were before the begining of islam's message
    but if u r asking about Mohammed (the messenger of Allah) himself?
    he was on the Hanifi religion or u can call it the religion of Abraham
    as Mohammed is one of the grand sons of Abraham with too many fathers in between
    Mohammed's full name is :Mohammed Abdullah AbdulMuttaleb Hashem AbdManaf Qussai Kallab Morra Kab Luaai Qhaleb Fehr Malek Nadr Kanana Khozayma Modreka Elias Modder Nezar Maad Adnan
    Adnan is known to be on of the grand sons of Ismael the son of Abraham
    the main point of the religion of Abraham is that to worship only Allah (God)
    with no partner with him
    and the religion of Arabs before islam was the paganism
    they were worshipping pagans
    any other questions??
     
  6. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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  7. bluroze

    bluroze seeker

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    Thank you everyone! :cool:
     
  8. redindica

    redindica Well-Known Member

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    Hello All

    I've studied this and nobody acually knows what the specific religion before Islam was in Saudi Arabia as the athorities do not allow any scientific archelology and is left to Islamic scholers to brand the previous faith as "Pagen" and primative. It would be interesting to see what paintings were allowed to reamain in the Kabba at least.

    Peace
     
  9. mansio

    mansio Well-Known Member

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    On the contrary I think that we have a good knowledge of religions in Arabia before Islam. About Arab paganism we know their different gods, goddesses, places of worship and some of their rites [text removed].
    As of the various other religious communities (Jews, Christians, heretical Christians, Zoroastrians, some Gnostics) they are all well known.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2006
  10. redindica

    redindica Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mansio

    I take what you say...can you tell me what these peoples called themselves and their Pagan faith please?

    Thanks
    redindica

    Edit to add...i forgot that this pre-Islamic period is often referd as "The Dark Age" and therefore by inference not worth knowing....?
     
  11. mansio

    mansio Well-Known Member

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    Redindica

    Probably the Jews and the Christians called themselves Jews and Christians, as for the pagan Arabs I have no idea how they called themselves. I am sure a Muslim from the board will precisely answer your question.
     
  12. farhan

    farhan Well-Known Member

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    The word Islam means peace/submission, or peaceful submission to The one God. If somebody worships jins/gods/spirits/humans, he isnt a Muslim. According to hadith , there were 313 messengers (prophets with new laws/sharia). We know only a few by name. So people who followed their particular prophet in their time, are considered to be a Muslim. This includes (among others) people following Mosaic laws until next laws were revealed , followers of Noahide law until next laws were revealed etc . Similarly there must havebeen Adamite laws & Abrahamite laws & people following them. Likewise there must have been messengers in non-middle eastern parts of the world, China, India, America, and Europe (we don’t know them by name). Anybody who followed them was a Muslim. But later on these teachings were modified & then started different forms of Paganism (Worshiping an invisible God is always difficult IMO).

    So Muslim will include people from Bani Israel (sons of Israel/Jacob) who followed the prophets from Abraham to Jesus & last revealed laws. Among Ishmaelite whoever followed Abraham/Ishmael was a Muslim . Until the time of Muhammad , the prophetic teachings of Abraham were long forgotten ( since unlike Israelites there was no prophet among Arabs after Ishmael ), but still there were people who never worshiped any idol, never killed, raped, insulted, back bitted anybody, believed in one God ( the God Abraham told them about ) , & the day of resurrection & judgment . The were called Hanifs , & can be considered as the remnants of Islam before Muhammad (PBUH) . All the first converts like Khadija, Abu Bakar, Ali including Muhammad were among them.

    After the revelation of Mohammedan laws only people following the last revealed laws are considered Muslim ( the same law that was followed before) . But as God says:

    2:62. Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in The God and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve .

    I don’t know if it was called Islam or something else. May be it was called Submission (in that particular language). Quran calls Abraham a follower of Deen-e-Hanif (right path/straight path), & all people following their particular prophet at that time as Muslim. But then thing changed & different separate religions were produced. Like in the days of Jesus, there were no Christians; they were all Jews, some following & some not following Jesus. Or in the days of Moses, they were all ethnic jews following Mosaic Law. The words for religions were created later on .

    In Arabia there were Jews, some Christians, spirit/jin worshipers, star ( particularly Pledius & Sirius )/sun/moon worshipers , magicians, idol worshipers ( as I have read, first idols were of sons/grandsons of Noah ) & hanifs. I don’t think they called themselves anything. Every tribe had their own god, & they were all Arabs (of xxx tribe & xxx clan ).


     
  13. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    salaam farhan,
    Do you have a reference for this hadith?
    jazaakallah khair,
    thipps.
     
  14. PluckyAli

    PluckyAli Well-Known Member

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    Muslims? have always believed in one GOd,messengers,the last day,angels,fate etc.If you mean people before arabs,then it's unclear what they really worship.I believe people had diverse beliefs before the muhammad,there was no specific religion or God,they used to worship whatever they find was beneficial or harmful for them.SO they invented moon and sun gods.Arabs were referred to as moon god people.This was all form of a paganism.So prophet mohammad was sent to remind them of the true path to God without any idols.

    This was not the first time some messenger was being sent to people bring them back to straight path.All the messengers like abraham,Noah and so on had brought people to the right path(that's why they had been sent),but as the time passed they started worhshipping idols and forget about the true path.


    Exactly.


    According to theory it should be called islam because islam means peace,submission,obedience and purity.Islam believes peace could only be achieved by submitting one's will to God.You could submit yourself to GOd at any time before muhammad.THe messengers like jesus,abraham,moses,solomon and muhammad were all submitters and thus muslims.Islam followers are called muslims,so their religion before muhammad was islam.

    Sure it was recognised as a different religion.

    Islam is really a fascinating religion.I found islam to be a very rational religion.

    p.ali
     

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