Arabs before Islam were known with great self-esteem, do not like injustice, live for tribal fanaticism, die for it, and follow the saying which goes "Help your brother whether an oppressor or oppressed" literary without the modification which Islam brought: Preventing your brother from injustice when he shows oppression. Very often wars erupted between tribes for trivial reason, following the fall of hundred and thousand victims.
The example of which is the war of Al Basus which lasted for 4o years between the tribe of Bakr and Taghlib where men and heroes died and generation came after generation. The reality of this war and its fuel was the blind ignorance and tribal fanaticism which Arabs lived before Islam; and the war started because of a she-camel intruded the boundaries of the leader of Taghlib tribe.
Durayd Ibn As-Summah, the poet, participated in war with his people while he knew their error, and he tasted part of its scourges then composed his famous poem:
I gave them my advise
but they did not figure out guidance but in the next morning
When they disobeyed my command, I was among them
while I was seeing their straying
I am one of them and when they go astray
I go astray with them and when they are guided, I shall be guided.
This is their first condition and their identity which united them and for which they fought, but a new thing and a great event changed their conditions and identity with another that gathered Arabs under one banner. That banner changed the course of their lives and organized their customs, how could that new identity "Islam" changed their lives to the better and revived their hearts after they had been dead? And how could it shake these souls after they had been still?
It is the Glorious Qur'an which is a light shining, an illuminating lamp, and a soul from Allah that gives life after death. "Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and Faith) and set for him a light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men - like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief, polytheism and hypocrisy) from which he can never come out?" [Surat Al An`am: 122].
The Qur'an had a great effect on Arabs, after they had been in darkness, it gave them light and enlightened the way before them. Souls were in amaze then became quite and assured. People of the Pre-Islamic Period were walking in life without purpose or goal, but the Qur'an changed their life to the better and gave them an objective to seek and made for them a new perception about life and values.
The Quran is the strong rope of Allah which He commanded us to hold firmly with: "And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allâh (i.e. this Qur'ân), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allâh's Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islâmic Faith)." [Surat Al `Imran: 103]. Nobody can do this mission [i.e., combining the hearts of the believers] but the Glorious Qur'an, so brotherhood has emerged from holding firm with the rope of Allah after hearts had been gathered for the sake of race and other matters.
The Qur'an is the identity which a believer is proud of. Allah the Almighty says: "Indeed, We have sent down for you (O mankind) a Book (the Qur'ân) in which there is Dhikrukum, (your Reminder or an honor for you i.e. honor for the one who follows the teaching of the Qur'ân and acts on its teachings)." [Surat Al Anbiya': 10]; i.e., which contains your honor as Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said.
Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And verily, this (the Qur'ân) is indeed a Reminder for you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) and your people (Quraysh people, or your followers)." [Surat Az-Zukhruf: 44] i.e., an honor to you and to your people. Sayyid Qutb (may Allah have mercy on his soul) said: "Arabs do not possess anything to offer humanity but this provision and do not possess an idea to offer to humanity but this idea, so when they offer their book to humanity, the entire humanity will recognize, mention, and lift them because they shall find at them something from which the entire humanity shall use. However, if they offer themselves to humanity as Arabs, so what are they? What is the value of this lineage without this Book? The entire humanity has not recognized them but through their Book, creed, and behavior which are taken from their book and their creed. The humanity did not recognize them as Arabs only because that is worth nothing in history and has no reference in the dictionary of civilization. [In the shadow of the Qur'an (4: 2370)].
The Qur'an raises some people and puts down others. Ibn Hibban reported in his Sahih that Nafi` ibn Al Harith met `Umar ibn Al Khattab in `Asfan. `Umar appointed him as a ruler over the people of Makkah. He entered to `Umar and greeted him. `Umar said to him: Whom you appointed over the people of Makkah? Nafi` said: I appointed Ibn Abza. Thereupon, `Umar said: Who is Ibn Abza? He said: One of our slave men. `Umar said: Have you appointed a slave man over them? He said: O emir of the believers, he is a good reciter to the book of Allah and knowledgeable of obligatory matters. `Umar said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Verily, Allah raises with this book some people and puts down others."
Today, the ignorance of the past has come in a new style under the name of patriotism and nationalism. We see some people replaced Islam with the Arabic identity, the Canaanite, and the Palestinian which have distorted everything. To them, religion is for Allah and the country is for all along with other Pre-Islamic slogans which control peoples' relationships.
All these are the calls of the Pre-Islam which Arabs anciently used to adopt, whereas the Prophet (peace be upon him) considered as ignorance when he commented on the meeting of Al Aws and Al Khazraj for fight: "O Muslims, Allah Allah, do you do Pre-Islamic Practices while I am among you? Allah has guided you to Islam and cut the connection between you and the Pre-Islamic Period, rescued you from disbelief, and combined between your hearts, and you leave all these and go back to disbelief? The people knew that it was one of Satanic insinuations and a plot from their enemies, so they dropped weapons, wept, and hugged one another. [Reported by At-Tabary on the authority of Zayd ibn Aslam].
In our today's world, we are in dire need to the Glorious Qur'an: To recite, ponder over, understand, and act accordingly because this is the time of fierce attack against our identity.
See the statements of West leaders:
Gladstone says: "As long as this Qur'an exists, Europe will not be able to control the Middle East, and will not become safe as we have seen."
The French ruler in Algeria said on the occasion of the centenary of the occupation: "We must remove the Qur'an from the existence and root out the Arabic language from their tongues so as to win the war." This is exactly what is going on in Palestine, we see weak faith, spiritual dryness, intellectual confusion, and a moral degeneration among other impacts that hit Muslims as a logical result for people who forgot about their identity and replaced them with a new identity that includes negligence and inattention.
We say to the people who forgot about their identity and replaced them with new ones: Look at the book of Allah and you shall find you true identity. Each matter which is not based on the Qur'an will be failure, without blessing, deserted, and useless. So, glory will not be achieved but through the Glorious Qur'an not nationalism and Patriotism around which people gather these days as Arabs of the Pre-Islamic Period gathered.
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