The Quran-Why Was It Revealed in The Arab Nation?

 

The previous brief study of the Arab society and nation in which the Holy Quran and the Islamic message descended on motivates the researcher to pose the following important question:

 

If that was the situation and reality of this nation which was backward intellectually, politically, socially, economically, and religiously…and one that is stone-minded with a petrified spirit mentally and morally… why then did Allah (SWT) choose this nation over all the other nations and societies on earth to reveal to the final and most important of messages, Islam?  Why didn't Allah (SWT) choose another nation that is much more civilized and prosperous, as this will make the mission easier to carry out and the nation more capable?  For example, there are the Chinese nations in eastern Asia, or the Indian nations in the southern and mid-Asia, or the Persians in the mid and east Asia, or the Russian nation in North Asia, or the European and White nations, or the African nations, or the nations of the Mediterranean (Roman empire, Greek).  All these nations were more capable and fit by human standards to carry this sacred mission and more suitable for receiving this great honor.  Why then did Allah (SWT) leave all these nations and instead choose a nation that is much less developed in all areas in order to receive such honor and privilege?

 

After research, contemplation, and analysis, we pose an answer to these questions which continue to challenge the minds until now, just like it disturbed the minds of the orientals, researchers and students in the past.  We ask Allah (SWT) for His help and support in finding the truth.  After all, whomever Allah (SWT) does not provide light will not have any light.

 

First:                    No matter how much we try, we will not be able to encompass the wisdom of Allah (SWT) in choosing the Arab nation to be the place of His Last Message and location of His Revelation of the Holy Quran.  We do not even own the right to pose such question.  After all, we are to be questioned about our actions but Allah (SWT) is not to be questioned about what He (SWT) does.  He (SWT) knows very well where He (SWT) places His Message and He (SWT) does as He (SWT) please.  This in itself is a test and trial from Allah (SWT) to us.  So, knowing our limits and when to stop and be respectful to our Lord is a test and examination from Allah (SWT) which we will not pass except if we surrender to the fact that we do not have any right at all to pose the question, out of respect and submission to our Great God.  However, there is no problem for us to ponder over it and work our minds. Perhaps we can understand some of its aspects of greatness and wisdom.

 

Second:       If a nation became known for its negative aspects and backwardness, but with the religion and message and Holy Quran, it improved and changed its ways to become one of the best nations in its time, what does that indicate?  Surely, that would be a miracle that testifies to the greatness of this religion and the wisdom of this Book.  A Message which was able to develop this being from nothing and raise such nation from its lowliness and misguidance.

 

Third:                   There is no doubt that a raw, dry, and empty nation is more acceptable to the widespread of reform, much faster than other nations.  Its effect would be much stronger and powerful.  After all, an illiterate nation receives the invitation to knowledge in a bigger way and can be widespread in it in a way that is much quicker than an educated or semi-educated nation.  That is because an illiterate nation is usually more thirsty and eager to attain education.  Similarly, the invitation to softness and leniency can be widespread much more in a nation that is tough and harsh.  Just like light spreads quicker and more efficiently in a darkroom than in a room that already has light.  Likewise, the drier the wood, the more easily it will be lighted.

 

Fourth:       A nation that did not have any prior civilization and did not yet get influenced by the different human cultures and intellectuals, which are in many cases corruptive since they are man-made…such nation is without a doubt a suitable land to receive the Islamic civilization.  After all, a white page is more suitable to write on, without confusion from any prior writings or traces of lines that were erased or deleted.  Similarly, a land that was not cultivated before is usually the most fertile of lands even if it looks like a prairie.  That is because it is devoid of any parasitic and unwanted seeds and plants which usually disturb the new plant which we want to grow, and it deprives or hinders it from its natural growth.  And because usually it is rich in topsoil and does not get exhausted from multi-agriculture. 

 

Fifth:           Islam as a Message and the Holy Quran as a Book came to challenge the arrogance, pride, racism, and materialism of man and evil inside him.  These negative and bad human characteristics were clearly manifested in the Arab nation before Islam.  So it was very natural that Islam direct its efforts to these evil manifestations in this nation.  Likewise, if you want to challenge the human physical strength and display its weakness in front of you, there is no doubt that you will choose the most strong man physically and the most aggressive to seek his wrestling.  So if you defeat him, your victory will signify victory over all those who are weaker than him physically and less than him in aggressiveness.

 

Sixth:          This ignorant Arab nation became known for its courage, boldness, love of fighting, and lack of fear from it, due to the nature and circumstances of its life.  And Islam is a universal and final message that is directed to all people at every time and place.  So, it is intuitive that the message will face many hostilities and animosities everywhere.  Thus, it will need courage, valor, and bravery of those who will carry it to face and confront these enemies.  It is not surprising for us to find that the message is directed to those Arabs since this characteristic in them will enable them to fight the enemies of the message and propagate it everywhere.

 

Seventh:      Despite their many negative characteristics, the Arabs had a group of good and desired attributes like loyalty, fulfillment of promise and word, generosity, strength in personality, self confidence, dignity, sense of belonging, and close contact with kin.  They had knighthood, nobility, and concern over preserving and maintaining their honor.  All these good traits which were deeply rooted in an Arab were also part of the Islamic message.  At the same time, they were necessary to the process of accepting the message and adopting it.  They were also necessary for the tactics needed for propagation of the message and its widespread.  So, it was natural that the message benefit from the presence of these noble traits in the Arabs.

 

Eighth:        The toughness of the raw material represented in our case by the Arabs, their resistance to change, their arrogance and stubbornness, fanaticism, materialism, and extreme hostility that is expected to be in people like them towards the final divine and eternal message.  All that creates an atmosphere that is very inflamed with heat like that of big ovens in which we melt metals.  Such ovens test, purify, melt, cleanse, and separate until it produces the best nation to come out at the end.  By that, the magnificence and greatness of this final religion and noble Book and great Creator is manifested.

 

Ninth:         Allah (SWT) always chooses His prophets, messengers, executors of will, and guardians from among the simple, poor, and the oppressed people.  Those whom no one would think that they are suitable to be chosen for such great roles.  But, it is the wisdom of Allah (SWT) that test and examines, so it always places its message, duties, and honor on the shoulders of those whom no one expects.  It is a test for the people to see if they will believe in the message simply because it is a great divine message. Or will their faith be affected by the character of the messenger himself?  In such case, they accept the message only if its messenger is respected and expected from their point of view.  And they abandon it if their messenger was simple and weak from their perspective.  If they do that, they then really don't care about the message itself, but they care about other things which have no relation to the faith or message.  This is not liked by Allah (SWT) as He desires to test the people in this aspect.  Likewise, when Allah (SWT) reveals His Final Message to test the people, He (SWT) reveals it to the least of nations in everything and to a nation which is underestimated in the eyes of the most people.  He (SWT) does that to test whether the people at every time and place will follow the seal of messages for its content and truthfulness.  Or will they reject it just because it was revealed in a retarded, weak, and backward nation compared to the other nations since it has no civilization, history, or name?  In fact, this has already happened and the Islamic Message has been rejected by many other nations throughout history just because it descended in the Arab nation, which every one sees as backward, vulgar, and has no value between nations, regardless of the content of the message or its sender, who is its Creator.

 

Tenth:                  Allah (SWT) created this Arab nation by a divine will which started on the day that Allah (SWT) inspired His prophet Abraham to take his wife Hajar and his infant son Ishmael to the Arabian peninsula which is a barren desert.  No human being inhabited this land at that time, and there was no Arab or any other nation in that place.  The events of the well-known story took place which Allah (SWT) planned and directed in order to establish the Arab nation from the events of this story.  This Arab nation formed around Hajar and her son and the Holy House of Allah (SWT), which Prophet Abraham and Ishmael built by the command of Allah (SWT).  If it were not for this fateful story which started by the divine inspiration in a very extraordinary way during that time which the minds cannot comprehend, this Ummah would never have come to existence!  So Allah (SWT) created this nation for a great wisdom, as He (SWT) created with Prophet Moses before.  So, if after that, the final, cumulative, and divine message descended and became revealed in this nation which was assigned to carry it, is there any wonder or surprise left after that?  Furthermore, is the divine wisdom of creating this nation from nothing still unclear and ambiguous?

 

Eleventh:    Some of the political, economical, and social factors in the Arab nation before Islam which we spoke about previously helped and facilitate the propagation of the message.   The political tribal system guaranteed a central power which was necessary especially in the early stages of the widespread of the message. The diminishing radius of the political circle guaranteed and facilitated that the message reach everyone without exception.  The fact that everyone knew each other guaranteed the careful coordination of the struggle between the Message and its enemies and the limitation of this struggle to the smallest possible size.  The complete loyalty of the members of the tribe to what its chiefs and elders decide was greatly useful, as it made it sufficient to include the whole tribe and guarantee its loyalty by focusing on its elders, nobles and chiefs.  If they believed and accepted the message, then surely the whole tribal members will also believe and accept Islam.  So, there was no need to run after every member of the tribe to convince them of Islam.  This surely made the mission much easier.  Any researcher who studies Islamic history and its growth will immediately recognize how the Holy Prophet (SA) greatly benefited from that using his wisdom and talent.  The tribes would come to him in its entirety as believers and Muslims, just as soon as its chiefs and elders accept Islam.  This is what made him the day before migration concentrate his call to Islam on the chiefs and nobles of Quraish because he knew that if they embraced Islam, their own people and followers will also embrace Islam.  The enjoyment of tribal members with a great amount of freedom helped the few believers in a tribe to stand up against their chiefs and Sheikhs without fear of being subjected to torture or terrorism.  The system of alliances and pacts helped Islam in the political tactics that was necessary to win the struggle against the enemies especially in the ten years after migration (Hijrah).  The absence of one political body that would unite all Arabs, and the lack of any political organization for them created political vacuum which was immediately filled by Islam when it united all the Arabs and established a state for them and political foundations for the first time in their lives.  If there was a political system and organization for the Arabs before Islam, as was the case with the Persians, Romans, Chinese, Ethiopians, and Egyptians, the mission of Islam would've been much more difficult because it would first have to remove the already existing political system and its foundation, and then establish its own system. But the vacuum made the mission of Islam much easier. 

          Poverty and economic distress made it easier for the poor and needy to accept the new religion as it gave them a feeling of hope after long years of poverty and deprivation?  It gave people hope in the future and economic prosperity after establishing an Islamic state and propagating it to others.  Being geographically in the middle amongst all other civilizations and empires made it easier for the Arabs to invade these empires from its interior.  If they were in the periphery, the matter would've been more difficult and complicated.  Business trips made it easier for the Arabs to carry the Islamic message to Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, even before the establishment of the Islamic state.  It attracted many supporters who helped in the conquest of these countries to enter Islam later on.  The presence of many social classes within a tribe and the deprivation of the majority of the tribe from any political influence helped them accept Islam.  That is because they saw in Islam an opportunity to practice what they were deprived of, which is the political influence.  The attachment of an Arab with the desert and its mountains, his camel, cattle, and the nature surrounding him made it easier for him to understand and accept the Quranic verses which Allah (SWT) revealed to guide him and influence him by it and hence, believing and  accepting it.  The long and spare times available helped them focus their attention and thoughts in the invitation to the new religion, as they were not preoccupied by everyday matters as we are today.  The religious vacuum and absence of a clear and understandable religion made it easier for Islam to widespread among them as a religion.  After all, if Islam was revealed on the Christian, Jewish, or Zoroastrian nation, it would've been very hard on these people to accept a new religion and abandon the old religion which was clear and established to them.  Sure enough, this is what happened when Prophet Jesus (AS) was sent to the Jews.  They rejected him, belied him, and tried to kill him.  His religion did not spread among them even until today.  However, the situation with the Arabs was different.  The religion vacuum was necessary for the whole nation to enter the new religion and then build the Islamic state.

          The attachment of an individual with his family and clan facilitated the propagation of Islam inside the family through those who accepted it, and hence, the widespread of Islam through the whole family.  After all, if the Arabs were detached and unconnected within the same family, this would not have been possible.  The pride of Arabs with their families and tribes made them compete for attaining the honor of spreading the word Islam to others, protecting and fighting for it, while they saw in that a big honor for them and their tribes, and the names of their fathers and grandfathers.  Islam benefited from that without a doubt!

The materialism of these Arabs and their deprivation urged them to conquest the countries in order to enjoy its benefits after many long years of deprivation.  Through their conquests, journeys, and migrations in which they sought for more luxury and prosperity, they carried with Islam everywhere on Earth. 

The fact that these Arabs kept their word and promise and were concerned about their reputation made it easier for Islam to direct and control the struggle between them and their enemies and to take the initiative. The fact that they possessed some noble traits encouraged them to enter Islam as they saw that Islam invited and urged them to adopt these noble traits which they love and feel are a part of them.

          The fact that Islam sanctifies and glorifies the Holy Kaaba and calls for pilgrimage made Islam likable to them and made them feel that this religion was near to them because it respects their sacred things that is represented in the Holy Kaaba (the House of Allah) and it does not deprive them of that.  Furthermore, the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) were living among the Arabs who knew that these Christians and Jews were more knowledgeable in the affairs of the divine religions.  Especially when they saw those Jews and Christians retreat in front of Islam and admit its authenticity and truthfulness and some of them even adopting Islam!  All of made it easier for the Arabs to adopt Islam when they saw some of the scholars of the Jews and Christians testify to its truthfulness.  At the same time, the presence of the People of the Book among the Arabs was a challenge to the arrogance and pride of those Arabs and made them feel deficient and weak in front of them.  So, when the Arabs received Islam from Allah (SWT), they found in it an opportunity to make up for their deficiency and get rid of their weakness, and show that they too belong to a divine religion like the Jews and Christians.  This surely satisfied their pride and arrogance, especially when they came to know that their religion is the final religion that is incumbent on everyone to follow, including Jews, Christians, and others.

 

Twelfth:      The language of the Arabs which is the Arabic language is the best of languages without a doubt.  It is the most suitable for miraculous eloquence in speech and beauty in the Holy Quran.  Based on everything we discussed, we can now understand and recognize some of the wisdom behind the selection of Allah (SWT) to this ignorant, backward, poor, and unfortunate Arab nation in order for it to be the origin and site of His Final Revelation and Message and the seal of prophets and last of messengers.  We will not be able to ever encompass the complete wisdom of Allah (SWT) in this matter.  However, Allah (SWT) bestows His kingship to whomever He (SWT) desires and the Earth is to Him.  He (SWT) inherits it to whomever He pleases from His servants.  He (SWT) elevates whomever He pleases and puts down whomever He pleases.  He (SWT) dignifies whomever He pleases and demeans whomever He wishes, and He (SWT) is capable of anything.  Allah (SWT) is not to be questioned of His actions, but rather, everyone else are to be questioned by Him.