Imran Khan, in his maiden speech as Prime Minister, presented a complete case study of the emergence of Islam and how the greatest leader, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) brought together warring tribes and sworn enemies and transformed them into a great nation on the earth, within no time. A slight introspection into the pages of history revealed some interesting accounts. In this blog post, I want to deliberate upon, how a downcast people emerged as one of the greatest nations in the world, and that is too, in a very little amount of time. This discourse mainly focuses on the essential perquisites for attaining self-sufficiency, political clout and economic prepotency by any nation.
Life before the advent of Islam
Before the advent of Islam, historically speaking, Arabs, intellectually, were the most ignorant, physically week, economically poor and industrially unskilled to be taken seriously among the comity of nations. They did not possess plentiful of natural, physical and financial resources, man and material to make any impression on the global political landscape.
For gaining self-reliance, prosperity, political influence, power and authority, countries require impregnable manpower, in the first place; nevertheless, the Arabs were not very big in number at the time. The entire Arab world, those days, only comprised of the present day Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Countries such as Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and North Africa were not part of the Arab countries those days. Only in the aftermath of Islamic conquests, the Arab world, essentially, emerged on the horizon, for the first time.
Excellence in the field of education
The second important thing for attaining predominance is excellence in the field of education. The entire Arab region was known as a land of illiterate and ignorant which is quite established and often quoted in the chronicles of history.
The third important factor for accomplishing predominance, economic gains and administrative control is unity and internal cohesiveness. As it is rightly said that unity is strength, however, the sense of unity and internal harmony was ghastly deficient in the Arabs, as a nation, as each tribe used to be an adversary of another tribe and it is widely known that even the two imminent Arab tribes “Aos” and “Khazridge” were the sworn enemies of each other.
The fourth important source of domination is the abundance of skilled people and in fact, there was neither any industry nor skilled human resources in the area at that time. Even for a sword or any ordinary piece of cloth, the Arabs were exclusively dependent upon the Indians and the Syrians.
Development in agriculture
The fifth factor to command respect and control is well-developed agriculture and self-sufficiency in food and eatables. With the sole exception of dates, the Arabs were relying heavily upon others for all sorts of food items and edibles as the land was not cultivatable as the Holy Quran referred to the land of Arabs as “the valley uncultivable”.
Rich natural resources
The sixth important factor is the abundance of natural resources in the form of fertile land, natural gas, petroleum, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone beside mines, minerals, gold, coal, and such other resources. However, in Saudi Arabia, such resources were not properly explored at that time and in fact, the same were taped quite recently.
The seventh is the physical strength of the inhabitants of the area as that was also found deficient for the reason that the climate was hot and humid and proper food supplements were not available to them in abundance. Apart from this, there was an acute shortage of clean drinking water in the area. Besides, they had no proper housing facilities and the majority of the people were living in makeshift homes.
Spiritual strength and moral value
The last but not the least, the key factor, the spiritual and moral strength which breed from a firm belief in the oneness of Allah Almighty, piousness and lofty ideals but contrary to this, the Arabs were the staunch worshippers of stones and idols and were living a wayward life.
Advent of Islam
In this backdrop, the divine message, the Holy Quran was revealed upon the Holy Prophet (ﷺ). The followers of the true message held fast and hard to it. While on the other hand, the antagonists tried their level best to offer resistance and to maintain the status quo. However, despite betting odds and countless challenges, the Messenger of God lifted the nation from a very humble position to an exalted status of wisdom, piety and enlightenment. The Arabs emerged as a nation having no parallels in the history, in respect of its unflinching unity, moral values, fortitude, compassion, truthfulness, generosity, piousness, courage and bravery. They stood up against the two superpowers of the time, the Persians and the Romans, and they not only defeated them but wiped them out from the face of the earth.
Worldly things Vs Divine force
Now, the important question is that how the Arabs, despite all troubles accomplished this feat by gaining political supremacy and administrative clout over the most powerful of the nations. The answer to this question lies in the very fact that for attaining power and supremacy, two important factors can be counted as the essential pre-requisites. One, the worldly things and the second, the spiritual and divine force. As elaborated a bit earlier, the Arabs did not possess any kind of worldly resources but those, contrarily, were in the possession of their adversaries, the Persians and the Romans.
Moreover, if the Arabs were supposed to be banking, solely upon, man, material and the worldly belongings, then they would have been wiped out of the face of the earth, many a years ago. Nevertheless, everything was made possible by the spiritual and divine strength which was bestowed upon the Arabs through the teachings of the holy Quran disseminated by the Holy Prophet (ﷺ).
Lessons to be learnt
This brings home the message that the Holy Quran is the divine message of Allah (SWT) and upon whom it was revealed, was the most perfect and the noblest of all the human kind, the last Prophet (ﷺ). In the light of its true teachings, the early Muslims adopted the model of a welfare state based upon the golden principles of rule of law, justice, across the board accountability, self-discipline and simplicity and this is how they came out as a powerful nation. Even, if the Muslims start following the same teachings, they can reclaim their lost glory as envisioned by the newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan.