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Madeena in pre and post Islamic era

Muhammed Sinan Kolayad, wordforpeace.com

“Muhammad preached his farewell sermon to the Muslim community. He reminded them to deal justly with one another, to treat women kindly, and to abandon the blood feuds and vendettas inspired by the spirit of jahiliyyah.”
Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time

There are lots of books on the prophet (PBUH) and Makkah and Madeena. But those books were written by those who show inherent love towards them. However, the book ‘The Prophet’s Madeena: Nation, Society, and Economy’ (written in Malayalam) by a South Indian Islamic historian Dr. P. Sakeer Hussain, provides an understanding of the main aspects of the pre and post Islamic Madeena and its historical records.

This book can be useful to those who conduct studies about the arrival of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at Madeena, and about the glorious innovations carried out by him. In the chapters, the author discusses the social, economical, and national progresses of Madeena that the holy place has witnessed after the arrival of the Prophet (PBUH) and his beloved companions from Makkah, the holy city.

The book is enriched with lots of mainstream historical records and deep discussions on the rude and crude circumstances of Yasrib (old name of Madeena) and its inhabitants.

Madeena in history:

When it comes to the historical facts of Madeena, apart from this name, there are about three other names as well for Madeena, such as Lathriba, Heera, and Yasrib. Assyrians called ‘Lathripa’ instead of Lathriba. There were lots of people as inhabitants in Madhina, like Greeks, Babylonians, Jews and Christians. When we look into the anthropological aspects, we could understand that the ‘Amalikha’ was the first anthropological society in Yasrib. Thwabari, a famous historian states that the father of the Arabic language is ‘Imlaq bin Lavood bin Sam bin Nooh’, the chief of Amalikha clan. The main obstacle faced by pre islamic age of Hijaz ,a province includes Madeena, Mekkah, Badr, Thwaif and so on, was conflicts between landlords and renters.The landlords were from Banu Amir clan and land renters were from Banu Thafeeq clan. The economical prosperity of Yasrib was depend on its geographical structure, the road to Syria, Persia, Byzantine and other places that was enriched by several trades was through the center of Yasrib. Even though, the inhabitants of Yasrib were living in darkness that made them a type of people who confined their minds on wine, war and women.

After the discussions of geological features of Yasrib, the author further talks of the various tribal groups lived there and of the conflicts and contests among them.

There have been lots of clashes between two tribes, Ouse and Khasraj which were the eldest societies whose origins hailed from Yemen. Generally, they were called as ‘Banu Qaila’. And mixed marriages between Arabs and Jews went on as a social custom.

Hijra of Prophet (PBUH):

In addition, the author goes on discussing the fleeing done by the Prophet (PBUH) and his beloved Companions from Makkah to Madeena due to the atrocious imputations and bruising collisions of Quraish, a big clan in Makkah. Yasrib was happened to witness an intensive propagation by the muslims from Mekkah and they spread the egalitarian ideals of Islam. But, today’s mainstream historical books from western academists poin out that Islam was preached by the jingoistic methods and by the insurrections. Those arguments are outpouring from the Islamophobia. The tremendous growth in Islam was through the scrupulous honesty of the Prophet (PBUH) and his beloved companions in proselytizing activities.

Many of his companions fled to Absenia by the order from the Prophet (PBUH). Negas, the King of Absenia gave them hospitable protection from the Quraish. There were some treaties, among them is the Aqaba which is signed by Muslims and the inhabitants of Yasrib in AD 619- 620. Those treaties were to decline the rising conflicts in Yasrib, and treaties paved the way to flee to Madeena.

What is the intention by the word flee or Hijra? There are different views on Hijra. But, it is not an escaping from anyone or anything. The Prophet’s Hijra was taken place in AD 622. And he did intensive propagation there with the great assistance of Answar, the name given to the Muslims in Madeena.

When it comes to the civilization of Madeena, it can be understood that it has far difference from all the civilizations that the world happened to witness. When Muslims from Makkah arrived at Madeena, they first built Masjids over there by the great leadership of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He played a significant role in uniting the tribes in Madeena where there have been tribal clashes. He raised models of social adjustments and he made a society possessing the industriousness and determination.

One of other main facts about Madeena is ‘Madeena Charter.’ While lots of different tribes and religions were living in a single society, there should be a code of conduct. The code of conduct in Madeena known as the ‘Madheena Charter.’ It was filled with democratical contents, and of late, it can be seen lots of academical readings on ‘Madeena Charter.’ It has five subclauses and 52 clauses. Apart from that, the Charter was a philanthrophical records.

Administration of Madeena:

When a great united-society is formed, they had to make a good administration. Thus, they selected the Prophet (PBUH) as the President of Madeena State. The administration was unprecedented one, even though, the Prophet (PBUH) showed an ideal ruling and gave the priority to democracy over timocracy, unlike the Greek civilization. The Prophet (PBUH) formed many local bodies of administration and suitable governors to those bodies. And Madeena became the Central part of administration in Arabian peninsula. He brought more reforms that are useful to his people.

The Prophet (PBUH) formed an army that had big differences from the army formed in Pre-Islamic era. He formed many departments under the central army. He gave more advices to them to behave politely on their enemies.
Likewise, the Prophet (PBUH) made reforms in economical and educational sectors as well. The Islamic economy is very similar to the Gandhian trusteeship. But Islam doesn’t support the Marxian views and capitalism. Further he implemented lots of reforms such as Zakath, Swadhaqa, Jizia and so on by the revelation he happened to get from Allah, the Exalted. His reforms on educational sectors are also acceptable to the modern educational thinkers. The knowledge diffusion had taken place across the globe in his lifetime itself. The Masjids that he built were the centres for the knowledge transmission. His beloved companions who confined their time to seeking knowledge called as ‘Ashabu suffa.’ In fact, the holy Islam gives more importance to seeking knowledge.


Then, the author goes on explaining on civilizations that have been in the world, and finds out main differences between Islamic and those civilizations. Mainly, the Green civilization has more difference from Islamic. The Greek civilization never allowed the woman and slaves to interact in society. But, in same time islam tried to rescue the woman and slaves from the abyss of humiliations.There are some views about the origin of Islamic civilization. Gibbon, an English historian states that its origin is knowledge while Will Durant, an American historian and writer points out that its origin is spirituality.

However, this book consists of lots of facts which I did not bring here to prevent the increasing of its size. This book will surely be useful to everyone, whether they are students or lectures.

Muhammad Sinan Kolayad is a graduate student at Calicut university in BA English & researcher on Islamic studies at Madheenathunnor College Of Islamic Science, Punoor.

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