At the time that Allah (SWT) had sent Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to humanity, the world was sleeping in a dark period of impulse and ignorance. Disunited and rotting in their own lack of education, people remained steadfast in their own ways and showed no hope of progressing towards a brighter future. It was then that Allah (SWT) blessed humanity with a man who would transform the world and relinquish it from the darkness with only the power of God and the light of one single message.
The world was a divided East and West. The East was under the control of the Persian Empire, and the West was ruled by the Romans. The two empires were constantly contentious towards one another, creating a divided and broken world. People were also suffering under these two empires, enduring occupation, corruption, and injustice. These divides caused the empires to become weak and fragmented, and their regimes did little to rectify the situation.
At the time, the Persians worshipped fire like a god. With an uncertainty in beliefs, new religious movements were popping up across the land, including those of Mani, Zoroaster, and Mazdak. Social thought viewed women as the common property of all men. The priestly class itself was corrupt, and the reigning officials joined together to oppress the people and burden them with heavy taxes.
Spiritually, the Byzantines also found themselves in clashing and dogged ideologies. Their leader had absolute and unchecked power, ruling by whatever way he deemed necessary. Though it was an empire founded upon Christian beliefs, the pagan Greek and Roman tradition was applied to Jesus’s (RAA) monotheistic message, resulting in modern-day Christianity. Conceived by the Greco-Roman Church Council in 381 CE, God and Jesus (RAA) were to be considered of the same substance and thus be regarded as co-existent. The Church was divided, and there grew a hostile separation between Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics. Jewish communities were scattered across the continent, remaining steadfast in their religious practice by laws sent by Moses (RAA) which had become distorted by the people.
Beyond the lands of these two empires along their borders was Arabia… and the Arabs were no better off. Divided into individual tribes with no sense of unity or even self-restraint, they were swayed only by their inclinations. The tribes rivaled and feuded with each other, often clashing and feuling blood feuds that would last for generations. They committed raids and thievery, with no morals to restrain them. Out of shame and a belief that girls were inferior to sons, fathers would bury their baby daughters alive. The people of Mecca charged high interest rates, and those unable to pay were forced into slavery or made to give up their wives or daughters to the will of their creditors.
The Arabs were polytheistic in spite of Abraham’s (RAA) message of monotheism and regressed into mainly idol worshippers. The Kaaba, which was built to worship the one and true God, was transformed into a temple for their idols. They idolized sculptures made of stone, food, and even turned to stars as gods. The Arabs were basically stagnant, stuck in old habits and mentalities.
But soon, a chosen man would rise from these people with a mission. And, because of his message, this land would soon become the only lit torch of civilization in a world of darkness.