Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet - Jahiliyah Summary & Analysis

Karen Armstrong
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Jahiliyah Summary and Analysis

Jahiliyah means the period of ignorance and is used to describe Arab society before Muhammad. Arabia was considered to be unimportant to the world powers at this time. Arabia was basically pagan, particularly the Bedouin tribes. Monotheism was viewed as a form of control by the imperialists as the Byzantine Empire spread into Arab lands. Conversion to monotheism was associated with loss of political autonomy and subjugation to imperialistic control. Thus, the Arabs viewed both Christianity and Judaism with suspicion.

Arab society at this time was characterized by nomads, even though the areas around oases were settled by farmers. The farmers provided the nomads with food and the nomadic tribes provided the farmers with protection. The various groups were united by blood which was the only way they could survive. Loyalty was to the tribe and the chief. There was no...

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This section contains 398 words
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Buy the Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet Study Guide
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