How the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) Transferred the Unenlightened Society to the Islamic Society?
Development is the main concern of the contemporary man. Therefore, the quality, method, means, and mechanism of achieving development and superiority count as a serious question to be answered by various trends, views, beliefs, science and scientists.
Some theoreticians, through rendering linear theories, insist on following the West, and some others, by persisting on non-linear models try to localize the theories of development. The present article, following the second group, has investigated the first period of the history of Islam in order to open up a new path in the direction of the theories of development.
The article answers the question that how the Holy Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) could, in a short time and with limited facilities, effect such crucial improvements in the individuals and the society that, after a while, a new society, completely different from that which was previously present, developed.
The article, through stating the theory of human innate content, tries to take the initial steps, based on historical data, to offer a new theory of development.
One of the less studied aspects concerning the Holy Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) is his approach of improving an unenlightened society to an Islamic society.
How the Holy Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) could, in a short time and with limited facilities, cause such great improvements in the individuals and society that, after a while, a new society, completely different from what it was previously, developed? The answer to the mentioned question is the answer to the problems of our period and society. It should be explained that if the major concern of the contemporary man is the issue of “development” in the various cultural, political, and economic aspects, and the purpose of development is to proceed from an unfavorable situation to a favorable one, then the most prominent person who has succeeded in reaching this goal faster and more exactly than the others is the Holy Prophet of Islam(p.b.u.h.). In order to prove this claim, it is necessary to cast a brief look at the situation before the rise of Islam, and the steps taken by the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) in this regard. The issues to be studied are the categories of culture, politics, and economy. These issues have been chosen to form the framework of our discussion, based on this presupposition that intellect, wealth, and power form the triangle which reflects the face of civilization of various societies. The next presupposition is that, “development” is a systematic issue. Then in light of the study of developed societies the rules of this system can be discovered. The hypothesis to be tested is that the Holy Prophet of Islam(p.b.u.h.), in the course of the change and transfer from the unenlightened society to the Islamic society, has applied a cultural approach. In other words, at the top of the actions performed by our Prophet(p.b.u.h.), there have been cultural and qualitative actions, and to put it in modern words, the Holy Prophet of Islam(p.b.u.h.) has applied a cultural theory. Based on this theory, after the change of man’s thought, intellect and belief, his behavior and conduct will also change. Therefore, a change in men’s innate content is considered as a crucial element. Even after establishing the rule, the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) gave priority to intellect and culture.
In a general view, theories in regard to the reasons and elements of development and under development can be classified in four groups:
A. The theories which consider just internal and interior elements in their study of the reasons of underdevelopment, like Singer’s theory of the economical/social duality, Rostow’s growth stages, Max Weber’s theory, and Sayyid Mohammad Baqir Sadr’s theory of man’s innate content.
B. The theories which look for the causes of underdevelopment of the third world countries outside these societies and, in fact, just consider the external reasons, like Lenin’s theory of imperialism as the last stage of capitalism, Kautsky’s theory of imperialism, Bukharin’s theory of imperialism and the world economy, and Rosa Luxemburg’s theory of the accumulation of capital.
C. The theories which, in their study of the reasons of underdevelopment of the third world countries, study both the internal and external causes and, yet, put more emphasis on external causes. These theories, known as neo-imperialist theories, have been mostly presented by those who have themselves been Marxists or have had Marxist tendencies, like Immanuel Wellersteins’s theory of unequal exchange, and Galtung’s theory of the structure of imperialism.
D. The theories which, in their justification of the causes of the underdevelopment of undeveloped countries, lay much more stress on the internal reasons, like Samir Amin’s theory of unequal development, and Mahmud Sariolghalam’s theory of internal coherence.
Through a more careful consideration, the foregoing theories can be re-categorized in two groups: the theories in which the will of man has been considered as a key element, and those theories in which there is a kind of fatalism and in the process of history, man’s will does not have a major row in their view.
Those who hold a fatalistic view, through the excuse of geographical circumstances, colonization, race, fate or predestination, in their wrong concepts, have avoided giving the issue a serious concern and ,due to their own indolence and by avoidance of the study and survey about the reason of their own retardation, have put all the blame on something which, in utmost conditions, itself is the result of retardation, but not its major reason. It is noteworthy that the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) in his theory of development, has put aside all the fatalistic views, because geographical circumstances, genetic conditions, climatic conditions, and even the situation of the global order and international system, all were conquered by the efforts of Muslims, and a fundamental change took place in relation to the social, cultural, political and economical situations of the Arabian Peninsula.
There are various definitions for development. This is of course natural, and it is attributable to the differences in viewpoints, presuppositions, theoretical frameworks, and standpoints toward an issue.
In all of these definitions, appropriate circumstances for the individuals and societies relating to all human aspects have been of great concern. Therefore, besides accepting differences in theories and viewpoints, in this regard they are complementary to one another and are not contradictory. As if in every group, nation, and people world view is considered the major element to direct development. In this research, by development, we emphasize its broad and general concept, which includes cultural, political, economical, social and individual aspects. In other words, we mean a qualitative and quantitative development in all aspects, which results in an omni-directional improvement.
As the following issues in this paper focuses on the characteristics of an unenlightened society, as a sample of an undeveloped society, and the characteristics of the Islamic society of Medina, as a sample of a developed society, it is necessary in this part of the discussion to consider the most important characteristics of development and underdevelopment in some of the theories.
Sariolghalam, who has offered the “theory of internal coherence” to explain his reasons for giving priority and importance for “the internal elements and system” over “the external elements system” in development, has categorized the outcomes of development under four issues:
A. Legality: settling the crisis of legality leads to the following matters: 1. tolerance of criticism; 2. a society wider than government; 3. tolerance of variety in thoughts; 4. capability of getting reformed; 5. self-esteem; 6. sensitivity to time; 7. formation of a ruling board instead of rulers; 8. concordance of the public benefits with the benefits of the ruling board; 9. the presence of efficient people in the government.
B. Reasonable viewpoints: having reasonable viewpoints results in the followings: 1. preciseness and calculation; 2. foresightedness; 3. institutionalization of favorability and efficiency; 4. positive individualism; 5. management instead of control; 6. control of emotions; 7. learning from the past; 8. patriotism; 9. growth of elites.
C. Training system: the educational system of a developed community or one that seeks development considers the following aspects: 1. group work learning; 2. inductive thinking; 3. paying attention to order and system; 4. keeping a historical memory; 5. toleration; 6. dynamic legal system; 7. relativism; 8. phenomenology; 9. morality and social responsibility; 10. social virtues; 11. strong identity.
D. Approaches and applications: In this regard the following aspects are considered: 1. keeping decision making process immune from any political point of view; 2. the ability to synthesize and change; 3. international viewpoint; 4. sensitivity to competition; 5. giving variation to the sources of production and earning; 6. hard work; 7.practicality; 8. management and organization; 9. a supervising and uncorrupted government.
Max Weber, in his Protestant Morality and Capitalistic Moralehas rendered an analysis of the capitalist development in the countries of the world. The main framework of his analysis, regardless of its criticizability, can be applied for this research. Weber believes the objections posed by people like Luther and Colon against the Christian traditions resulted in new interpretations of Christianity, and this cultural “religious” change resulted in a new approach towards the world and economic activities. Based on this framework, it can be stated that the Holy Prophet’s attempts(p.b.u.h.) resulted in the transformation of the Arabs’ intrinsic quality and beliefs and then prepared the situation for the appearance of a new Islamic society.
Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Sadr in the discussion of divine precedents in the Holy Qur’an, based on the verse:
«Çä Çááå áÇíÛíÑ ãÇ ÈÞæã ÍÊí íÛíÑæÇ ãÇ ÈÇäÝÓåã
“Indeed Allah does not change a People’s lot, unless they change what is in their souls.”
stated this theory that: the main cause of all the changes and transformations is the wish and will of man himself, and when accompanied with a new thought man’s will, will find a new direction.
Sadr believes people (and therefore communities), based on their ideals, can be classified in three groups
: In the first group there are those people who set their ideals based on external and objective realities. These people, beyond the existing situation, have no wish to reach any other goal and all their attempt is to get food, shelter and clothes. This group of people believes that the future is nothing more than the repetition of the past, and therefore, improvement and development in this view lack in a clear meaning and in fact they are meaningless. Such societies are stuck in the trap of imitation and rigid unchanging precedents, and throughout centuries no change finds its way in their community.
From the viewpoint of the Holy Qur’an, two reasons have been mentioned for selecting such an ideal by the people
: one, acquaintance and habit, and the other the dominance of dictatorial and tyrannical governments, because tyrant rulers invite people to worship them, and empty people from divine and human values.
Such societies are either destroyed as a result of a foreign attack, or would give up to a new ideal which may turn out as an evangelizing or erroneous ideal, as is the case with the people’s transformation by accepting the new ideal that the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) had brought.
The second group are those people who, in addition to limited worldly needs, have some very limited spiritual ideals, however, they perceive the finite as infinite and absolute; in societies where such people live the movement of the society is up to a point where it reaches the new ideal, and once reached, it stops. For this case, martyr Sadr considers the western societies as a typical sample. They had good goals like liberty; however, because they had set it as their goal, and not as a device for attending higher perfections, each society utilized the freedom in a different way. For martyr Sadr “liberty is a container, along with which we need content …. if it is not known for what content the liberty is a container, then this very liberty brings about hazardous and awful miseries.”
This ideal has four stages
A. The stage of innovation and modernity, in which the ideal is like a dream;
B. The stage at which people reach what they had wished for (e.g. liberty);
C. The stage of cessation and diachrony; in this stage the affluent, comfort- seeking and prosperous social class appears;
D. The stage of the domination of those oppressors who do not abide by any obligation or covenant.
The third group are those people whose ideal and goal is “Allah”. Such people pay attention to the first and second kinds of ideals; however they want them in the direction of the absolute and infinite ideal, namely God; because for them the world is a farm for the Hereafter
«íÇ ÃíåÇ ÇáÇäÓÇä Çäß ßÇÏÍ Çáí ÑÈß ßÏÍÇð ÝãáÇÞíå
“O man, You are labouring toward your Lord laboriously, and you will encounter Him.”
It is here that martyr Sadr refers to two kinds of improvement and development
A. an improvement lacking in responsibility
B. an improvement creating responsibility
Since some of the governments and societies following the first and second kinds of ideals have misused the religion in order to achieve their goals, martyr Sadr warns of the occurrence of an error in this regard. we have categorized every society and government appealing for religion in the third group of ideals.
All conscious scholars and infallible Imams (p.b.u.t.) as well as the Holy Qur’an have warned that there are Bal‘am Ba‘uras who may deceitfully utilize the religion; Imam Khomeini refers to such people as “petrified ones” and “misunderstanding ones pretending to piety” and “royal court dependent clergy”.
The unitarian religion, which is the essence of the third ideal, is continuously in fight with any inferior and repetitious deities, and this issue, namely having a divine and infinite and responsibility-creating ideal,is the secret and answer to the questions that why throughout the history the prophets (p.b.u.t.) have formed the most firmly resolved revolutions and why they have been the purest revolutionists of the world, and why in the historical scenes they have acted beyond any compromise and have rejected any kinds of collusion.
The transformation caused by the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) in the unenlightened society was one of the third kind of ideal towards the first kind. giving a more careful attention to the characteristics of the unenlightened society (A) and the Islamic society of Medina(the City of the Prophet) will elucidate the claim better. However, before proceeding to the next discussion, it is necessary to answer this question that what the necessities of transformation towards the third ideal were. Martyr Sadr believes that movement towards the absolute ideal relies on the following issues
A. Having a clear intellectual and ideological view in regard to the absolute ideal, that is having a sound understanding of the unity of God and belief in it as well as practically growing the divine traits in oneself.
B. The move of the willpower with the assistance of the spiritual strength is a result of the belief in the unity of God, as a constant fuel.
C. A continual connection with the Absolute Ideal through the Prophet (p.b.u.h.).
D. Combating and confronting inferior ideals and man-made deities with the leadership of the Imam of the society.
E. Believing in a shining future which eventually will lead to the absolute perfection and getting closer to God.
2. The symptoms of the “jahiliyah”
In the Holy Qur’an, for the first time, the term of “jahiliyah” has been applied to refer to the period before the rise of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.), without any reference to the geographical boundaries.
The nature of “jahiliyah” is a controversial issue. Some believe that it is etymologically driven from “ignorance” in contrast to “awareness” and therefore, have equated it with unawareness; however, there are many scholars who have not approved this meaning. Dr. Abbas Zaryab, in regard to the reason for the denomination of “jahiliyah”, writes: as Goldziher with regard to the Islamic studies has expressed in detail that by “jahiliyah” ignorance is not intended. Goldziher, based on some arguments, thinks that “jahiliyah”equals “patience”. Certainly “jahiliyah” has been applied as opposed to Islam; therefore the purpose of the Holy Qur’an by “jahiliyah” is to refer to an era which has been exactly in contrast to Islam with all its laws and religious and cultural values.
Furthermore, he has quoted Jawad ‘Ali as saying that in the Holy Qur’an sometimes ‘unenlightened’ has been applied in order not to refer to an ignorant person, but to refer to one who is snobby and self-directed.
Among the reasons for which some scholars have refused to equate “jahiliyah” with lack of knowledge, we can refer to the followings
A. Challenge of the Holy Qur’an
: God has assigned the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) in numerous verses of the Holy Qur’an to call its opponents for a challenge,
B. The works of the poets of the unenlightened era
: The works left from the poets of that period are a best evidence for their experience in regard to an advanced literature.
C. The purpose of the mission of the Holy Prophet
: The Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) has stated that the purpose of his mission is “supplement moral characteristics”.
D. The kind of miracle
: With regard to the fact that the Holy Qur’an is the greatest miracle and evidence of truthfulness the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and considering the point that each prophet’s miracle relates to his own time and period, then it should be accepted that at the time of the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) too, the Arabs were at a high level of literary knowledge.
E. The statements of etymologists
: No dictionary has defined the term “jahiliyah” as “ignorance”.
F. The narrations of the infallible Imams (p.b.u.t.)
: No narration has applied the term “jahiliyah” merely in the sense of ignorance.
G. The statements by men of literature and historians reveal that the term “jahiliyah” has been derived from a root that is opposed to patience, not from one that is opposed to knowledge.
H. In the Holy Qur’an the term “jahiliyah” has been applied in the following four occurrences
1. about a group of the companions of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) who took part in the Battle of Uhud unwillingly and hypocritically
«... æ ØÇÆÝÉ ÞÏ ÃåãÊåã ÃäÝÓåã íÙäæä ÈÇááå ÛíÑ ÇáÍÞ Ùä ÇáÌÇåáíÉ...
“…..party, who were anxious about their own account, thought wrongly of Allah, the thought of ignorance.”
2. Another verse is one in which God prohibits people from following the laws and performances of “jahiliyah”
«ÃÝÍßã ÇáÌÇåáíÉ íÈÛæä æ ãä ÃÍÓä ãä Çááå ÍßãÇð áÞæã íæÞäæä
“Do they seek the judgement of [Pagan] ignorance? But who is better than Allah in judgement for a People who have certainly?”
3. In regard to warning the Holy Prophet’s wives and prohibiting them from bedizenment characteristic of the beginning of the period of “jahiliyah”, thus it states
«æ ÞÑä Ýí ÈíæÊßä æ áÇ ÊÈÑÌä ÊÈÑÌ ÇáÌÇåáíÉ ÇáÇæáí...
“stay in your houses and do not display your finery with the display of the former [days of] ignorance.”
4. In describing the disbelievers of Mecca, the Holy Qur’an states that
«ÇÐ ÌÚá ÇáÐíä ßÝÑæÇ Ýí ÞáæÈåã ÇáÍãíÉ ÍãíÉ ÇáÌÇåáíÉ...
“When those who disbelieve had set up in their hearts zealotry, the zealotry of the Age of Ignorance,”
In some other verses, without applying the term “jahiliyah”, a reference has been made to some of the beliefs, laws, and bad morals of “jahiliyah” such as
: the Arabs’ idolatry, attributing resurrection and death to the nature, worshipping the Jinn by some Arabs, believing that God has female children, and worshiping angels as God’s daughters so that they may intercede for them.
Furthermore, in the Holy Qur’an, there are references to the idols worshipped by the Arabs of the period of “jahiliyah”, namely
: Lat, ‘Uzza, Manat, Wud, Suwa‘, Yaghuth, Ya‘uq, and Nasr. Among the other characteristics of the Arabs of the period of “jahiliyah”are those practiced prohibited by the Holy Qur’an such as: sacrificing for the idols, mentioning the names of the ancestors in the ceremony of Hajj as a sign of excessive pride, dispute and evil doing and disobedience in Hajj, oppressing the girls and depriving them from inheritance (in contrast, the Holy Qur’an officially grants them their right of inheritance), burying the girls alive, men’s freedom in entering into unlimited marriages and divorces (which has been limited by the Holy Qur’an through revocable divorce and non-revocable divorce, and prohibition of forswearing wives (ila’) or repudiating one’s wife through an illegal divorce called zihar).In addition, the Holy Qur’an has regularized sexual relations through determining discretionary corrections and religious sanctions.)
Therefore, the term “jahiliyah” in the Holy Qur’an has not been applied in the sense of “ignorance” as opposed to “knowledge” only. Of course, it seems there is no reason to claim that the term “jahiliyah” has not ever been used in the meaning of lack of knowledge; lack of knowledge can be considered as one of the senses and states of “jahiliyah”; moreover, the Arabs’ strength in language and literature does not cancel their lack of knowledge, because in regard to many sciences they were ignorant, and even with their strength in Arabic literature, there were a few literates among them.
In Nahj al- Balaghah, as well, “jahiliyah” has been criticized and described. In Imam Ali’s viewpoint, “jahiliyah” has been described along with the Arab’s unsound thoughts, natural cruelty and material and spiritual corruption.
One of the intellectuals of the present period in his commentary on Imam Ali’s 26thsermon in Nahj al- Balaghah, expresses
: “The period of “jahiliyah” was a period when people suffered from two kinds of disorder and shortage: material disorder and spiritual disorder.”
A. Material disorder
: In this kind of disorder people suffered from a low level of welfare. The Holy Qur’an, too, refers to the lack of welfare and security in the period of “jahiliyah”thus:
«ÝáíÚÈÏæÇ ÑÈ åÐÇ ÇáÈíÊ * ÇáÐí ÃØÚãåã ãä ÌæÚ æ Âãäåã ãä ÎæÝ
“So let them worship the Lord of this House, who has fed them [and saved them] from hunger, and secured them from fear.”
B. Spiritual disorder
: Spiritual disorder and shortage refers to people getting astray. What is meant by “getting astray”? It means wondering about the absence of a clear path in front of people. They do not look for a valuable and grand thing, and because they are astray, social class distinction grows. In such a period, thinking, choice, and creativity, three major human characteristics, die.
Therefore, “jahiliyah” can be considered a synonym for severe underdevelopment. If a society is highly underdeveloped or severely disorganized, based on the Holy Qur’an, it is a “jahili society”. It is based on this point that the Islamic thinkers call the Islamic society as utopia. For example, al-Farabi (259-339 A.H.) has talked about four kinds of political systems: a utopian political system, a jahili political system, a corrupted political system, and an astray political system.
The period of “jahiliyah” also is a period full of material and spiritual disorder, and in general the society would not have a divine law and direction; economically, people are not in favorable conditions and, spiritually, they are away from a reasonable and logical defendable religion that is free from superstitions.
Murder and plunder (right is with one who overcomes), drinking alcohol and gambling (all kinds) are common among them, and based on the Holy Qur’an, the key to happiness is through refraining from these bad practices.
Amoral actions and burying girls alive (mainly because of economical problems) are other jahili actions.
Feeling proud of one’s ancestors, tribe and clan is another aspect of the Arab’s life during the period of “jahiliyah”, and the surah of al-Takathur has been revealed in this very regard.
Ideologically, polytheism and idolatry were common among many of the Arabs, although, in addition to the Christians and the Jews, there were also upright people who were Unitarian. Politically the major structural unit was the tribe. The tribe refers to a group of people who, based on breed or blood, cooperate in order to improve their lives. The consolidating element among the members of the tribe is “bias”. The chief of the tribe is their sheikh, who should be elder, experienced, wise, brave and wealthy. The sheikh of the tribe is in charge of war and peace and contracts as well as feasts of the tribe. Among the major tribes of the Arabian peninsula the tribe of Quraysh can be mentioned.
Concern for poetry and literature, poetry and speech, genealogy and historiography are characteristic of jahiliArabs. Hospitality and bravery had also been a cultural behavior and custom among them. These last points can be considered positive points in the jahiliperiod, although they could not be positive in all cases, because they do not have a general divine direction.
The Signs of Medinat al-Nabi(The Prophet’s City)
The question was how the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) could transform “a jahili society” to “an Islamic society”.
In order to be able to understand the Holy Prophet’s approach(p.b.u.h.) for this transformation, we should briefly refer to his actions.
The first incident was the change in the Holy Prophet himself (p.b.u.h.), and his change from a common human to a responsible and committed one. This change took place through revelation, and it is usually referred to as the mission of the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.).
After this event, the Holy Prophet is assigned to promulgate the revelation and warn as well as invite people towards God, and in this regard, he would concentrate on transforming the people’s innate contents and thoughts and conceptions. With the command of:
“Rise up and warn!”
he goes among the people and expresses that
«ÞæáæÇ áÇ Çáå ÇáÇ Çááå ÊÝáÍæÇ
“Say, there is no god save Allah, so that you may prosper.”
The three years of hidden call, and the public call following it, all were carried out based on the “principle of call”. The “principle of call” was never put aside from the Holy Prophet’s assignment(p.b.u.h.). Even when he was in Madinah in which he succeeded to achieve many accomplishments in the internal arena, he initiated inviting the heads of other tribes, countries and empires toward God and Islam. The call was a Qur’anic command
«ÃÏÚ Çáí ÓÈíá ÑÈß ÈÇáÍßãÉ æ ÇáãæÚÙÉ ÇáÍÓäÉ æ ÌÇÏáåã ÈÇáÊží åí ÇÍÓä...
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good advice and dispute with them in a manner that is best.”
Generally the Holy Prophet’s actions (p.b.u.h.) in this regard can be classified in to two groups: The actions related to transformation of thoughts, and the actions intended for the transformation of behavior. Of course, for the transformation of behavior, first the change of thoughts should take place. However, there are two kinds of thoughts, or as the philosophers put it, there are two kinds of wisdoms: theoretical wisdom and practical wisdom. Theoretical wisdom amounts to awareness of what exists, like awareness about the existence of God, while practical wisdom amounts to awareness of what should be and should not be. The commitment to what should be and avoidance of what should not be and, as a result, the construction of political economical, social, cultural, and religious structure is in our hands, the human being.
The Holy Prophet’s (p.b.u.h.) most important actions in regard to the theoretical aspects, which can be considered as an “ideological revolution”, were the following
1. Introducing the Mighty God to the people with all His peculiarities, rejection of polytheism and expansion of the idea of worshiping God as well as Unitarianism or presenting unity in its full dimension; in other words, transformation of people’s worldview.
2. Description of spiritual entities of the world such as the angles.
3. Description of the existence of the human and the position of rationality and spirit in him.
4. Description of the prophecy and leadership and the quality of revelation.
5. Description of the death and the hereafter as well as resurrection.
6. Description of the good and bad people of the past and calling to men think about their history.
All these issues have been presented in the Holy Qur’an, specially in the surahs revealed at Mecca. In regard to the practical and intellectual aspect, which was rendered in order for the behavioral transformation to take effect, the following issues can be referred to
1. Rendering actions and words in order to praise and appreciate God and worship Him such as praying
: this can be referred to as regulating the relationship between the human and God.
2. Presenting functional and verbal models for appreciation of other people and creation of constant human relationships. A part of these issues falls in the realm of moral issues and some others in that of the jurisprudence. The following are some instances: competing to do good, being moderate, keeping promises, controlling wrath, being patient and honestin addition to other characteristics such as
: humbleness, avoidance from inquisitiveness in individuals’ private life, avoidance from backbiting and accusation, forgiveness and leniency, benevolence, standing against the oppressors, defending the oppressed ones, respecting the parents, children, women, girls and …., and being just, assisting poor people and orphans and ….., appreciating work, considering welfare, respecting the individuals’ ownership etc. These rules caused changes in the economic, cultural, religious, moral and political arenas.
3. Rendering a practical model in regard to the regulation of the relationship between the people and the government which came into reality in Medinat al-Nabi(the Prophet’s city). Based on this model, the structures and organizations of the government were formed on the basis of public participation and oath of allegiance as well as divine approval, and all were at the ummah’sservice. There was no sign of dictatorship and self-will; instead, there was consultation. Verses like
«...æ ÔÇæÑåã Ýžì ÇáÇãÑ...
“and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs” and
«...æ ÃãÑåã ÔæÑí Èíäåã...
“and whose affairs are a matter of counsel”
prepared the situation for public participation. Providing the society with public prosperity, welfare, security, and independence were among the goals of the Islamic government. There was no sign of economic and political differentiations, and all the companions of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) would cooperate sincerely and were benevolent toward one another. Of course the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) had some enemies in the newly grown Islamic society, both in Mecca and in Medina, among whom the major ones were the polytheists, the Jews, and then the hypocrites.
The polytheists initiated their battle with the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and the Muslim by confronting the Holy Qur’an and calling it poetry, magic, fables of the men of the old and…. until the Holy Qur’an threatened and challenged them and expressed: If it is so, you, too, bring a surah similar to the surahs of the Holy Qur’an.
After remaining unsuccessful in fighting against the Holy Qur’an, they started to encounter the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.). First they offered political and economic and worship compromises, none of which was accepted,
«áÇ ÃÚÈÏãÇ ÊÚÈÏæä * æ áÇ ÃäÊã ÚÇÈÏæä ãÇ ÃÚÈÏ
“I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship.”
until they decided to irritate and bother the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) They even tried to assassinate him, so the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) saved himself from this conspiracy by leaving Mecca towards Medina. The Jews, as well, did not cease breaking their promises and planning for a conspiracy to murder the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.), and in such cases as the battle of al-Ahzab they entered into an alliance with the polytheists.
The hypocrites, as well, in every possible opportunity, encountered the Islamic society of Medinat al-Nabi and, to achieve their purposes, they performed any possible action.
However, despite all these enmities and conspiracies, the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) and Muslims triumphed. Of course, various issues had a leading role in the victory and expansion of Islam. Moreover the role of miracles and specifically the Holy Qur’an, and the specificities of the Holy Prophet’s character (p.b.u.h.) may not be overlooked, such as: being an insider, belonging to a family with high dignity, fine forgiveness, fine conduct, extraordinary endeavour, being meritorious and genius, certainty in belief, right understanding of time, place, political and social circumstances. As well, the Muslims’ roles can not be ignored, especially the efforts of such people as Khadijah, Abu Talib, Ali (p.b.u.h.), Hamzah, Ja‘far…etc. Also, the role of the legal, ethical, political, and ideological vacuum, the situation of Mecca, innateness of the religion of Islam and its content as well as the role of positive traits common among the Arabs like: being accustomed to harsh life, hospitality, feeling obliged in regard to the contracts, bias, and competition may not remain unnoticed. However, the main role in these changes and transformation can be attributed to the change that took place in the notional and intrinsic content of the Muslim society. The notional and content revolution results in a change in all values, views, knowledge, beliefs, standpoints, tendencies and even emotions. As a whole, the culture of a society, and following it, the situation are prepared for other actions like the participation of individuals in the military and economic actions in order to improve the religious goals and desires.
Therefore, it may be concluded that during the thirteen-year period of Mecca, the center of all actions is the cultural and spiritual issues. In other words, in that period the center of actions is “to construct the individual”, whereas during the period of Medina emphasis is on “constructing the society”. Of course, in that period, some military challenges occurred like the battles of Badr, Uhud, and al-Ahzab and other military confrontations. however, none of these challenges were meant to present the religion to others, or rather they were for the purpose of defense, as the Holy Qur’an, too, emphasizes. for establishing justice inside the Islamic society God has provided the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) with the Book and the Scale, as the means, but, since the Islamic regime, based on the kind of relations, must defend the realm of Islam, the (iron) military force, also, has been considered beside the above mentioned meansand on this basis that God thus commands: “You should be so strong and prepared that the enemy gets dismayed of attacking you.”
In this way the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.), through the use of cultural approaches and means, succeeded to replace prophecy and divine leadership for the sheikh of the tribe, the religion of Islam and Islamic values for the jahili values, unitarianism for polytheism, accepting responsibility for refraining from responsibility, believing in the Hereafter for believing in a hollow and useless future, working, production and ownership and self-sufficiency as well as considering wealth as a means of honorable business for rubbery, pillage, laziness, plunder and poverty as well as considering wealth as a goal, moral virtues for vile deeds, assisting the people in need and setting the slaves free for encumbering the oppressed people and holding them as slaves, the global rule for tribal rule, the Islamic and human profits for tribal profits, trust for distrust, competing to perform good deeds for competing to perform evil ones, selfless dedication and justice, fairness for plunder and oppression, trying to achieve a better future for an attempt to preserve the present situation: 
åæ ÇáÐì ÈÚË Ýží ÇáÇãííä ÑÓæáÇð ãäåã íÊáæÇ Úáíåã ÂíÇÊå æ íÒßíåã æ íÚáãåã ÇáßÊÇÈ æ ÇáÍßãÉ æ Çä ßÇäæÇ ãä ÞÈá áÝí ÖáÇá ãÈíä»[50
“It is He who sent to the unlettered [People] an apostle from among themselves, to recite to them His signs, to purify them, and to teach them the Book and wisdom, and earlier they had indeed been in manifest error.”
In a thorough sense it can be said that the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) set the human’s hands, feet and mind free from the shackles and chains and invited him as a creative, innovative and free human towards God.
In order to achieve this goal and ideal, the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) made use of just legitimate means, for deceit and betrayal, aggression and applying force have no place in the Holy Prophet’s approach(p.b.u.h.); therefore, in some of the verses of the Holy Qur’an it has been emphasized to practice justice and avoid aggression and transgression.
Even God, in order to emphasize moral and divine issues, commands the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) to refrain from cursing the idols and wrong deities worshipped by the polytheists
«æ áÇ ÊÓÈæÇ ÇáÐíä íÏÚæä ãä Ïæä Çááå ÝíÓÈæÇ Çááå ÚÏæÇ ÈÛíÑ Úáã...
“Revile not those unto whom they pray beside Allah lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance.”
The Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) also called the women to enter the scene and at the time of the oath of allegiance, he swore allegiance with women, too. In the Holy Qur’an some exemplary women like Asiah, Mary, Hajar, have been mentioned, and there is also a reference to Balqis, wisdom and her belief in Solomon.
In a period when people would consider having daughters disreputable and dishonorable and would frown upon hearing the news of the birth of their daughters, the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) talks about his daughter in the best possible way and grants her the title of “her father’s mother”. in the Holy Qur’an, too, the surah of al-Kauthar revealed her praise, introducing her as abundant goodness.
Although, after the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) passed away, this movement deviated, however the deviation was not so much to cause any major deficiency in what the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) had established. The Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) established a culture and civilization which have remained dynamic up to the present day. Although this culture has, during some periods, encountered sluggishness and deterioration as well as deviation, its potency of living and growth is preserved an account of the presence of the Holy Qur’an, an ever living divine revelation source.
The hugeness of what the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) has accomplished and the extent of the changes and transformation he has achieved, will be better understood, from the political viewpoint, if the Holy Prophet’s period(p.b.u.h.) is compared with the following years when society reverted, in some ways, to the jahili values.
Abu al-A‘la al-Mawdudi, in comparison of the Holy Prophet’s period(p.b.u.h.)with the period of the end of the Umayyad rule, refers to the changes taken place just in regard to the way of the Islamic government, these changes include
1. A change in the regulation of determining the Imam and Caliph so that the Umayyad rule replaced caliphate (and even from the viewpoint of Shiite interpretation, it can be said that caliphate replaced Imam).
2. Alteration of the Caliphs and rulers’ life.
3. A change in the way of spending the public fund.
4. The end of freedom of speech; no body could, through the principle of enforcing common laws, advise the rulers because he would lose his life, as Imam al-Husayn (p.b.u.h.) did.
5. The end of freedom of the judges and judiciary institutions; the judiciary institutions would rule on the basis of the wills of the Umayyads and then the Abbasids, and did not have the power to put the ruler to trial; therefore, the way was open for the commitment of any kind of offence and oppression
6. The end of consultative rule, and domination of autocracy; in regard the affairs of the government, the wise people and elites of the Islamic society were no longer consulted.
7. The appearance and domination of racial and tribal bias instead of Islamic values.
8. Disappearance of the principle of primacy of the law.
Based on Weber’s view, the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) through changing the Arabs’ beliefs, established a new civilization and according to Seyed Muhammad Baqir Sadr, the goals and ideals in the Jahili society belong to the first kind, that is, contentment with the present situation, and the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) changed those ideals through bringing a new religion, named Islam, with the assistance of “revelation”. The introduction of this religion to the people was through the principle of invitation and with the use of wisdom, and advice and favorable argument, and not through economic, military and political strategies. The Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) did not bribe anybody to become a Muslim. He did not apply force or sword to make people accept the new religion. He promise no one of a rank in order to get his or her assistance, but he frankly rejected and denied such requests and announced
«áÇ ÇßÑÇå Ýží ÇáÏíä
“There is no compulsion in religion.”
In light of this, in Islam, if an action is carried out unwillingly, no effect will be considered it. religion is an optional issue; and it will be valuable if it is accepted following on the ground of free will.
The change in the Arab’s intrinsic content caused them to pay attention to “Allah”, that is the “absolute ideal”, and it was then that they expressed dissatisfaction with their present circumstances and along with the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) tried to achieve a favorable situation. the public attempts resulted in the strengthening of the Muslims and following that, through the call of the citizens of Yathrib, they went there and formed the Islamic system (in Medina) and defended this system through legitimate means against the enemies, and in this way the great Islamic civilization was founded.
Today, also, the revival of the Islamic culture and construction of the new Islamic civilization, proportionate with the new era and period, are dependent on intellectual and cultural actions and efforts, and it is the generation of thoughts, ideas, and knowledge that will prepare the conditions for material production.
The real development is the one in which humans grow and advance. If humans grow and are integrated, then they themselves will perform their duties and there will be no need for many of the social institutions. In a perfect Islamic society, the finiteness of the police force (not the army) is a sign of improvement and culmination, because people due to their internal control (piety) will avoid acting against the law. However, in a materially and physically developed society, the abundance of the police force is a sign of development, because when the humans are not equipped with the internal control, they should naturally be controlled externally.
Therefore, in the first Qur’anic revelation both knowledge and religion have been presented together
«ÇÞÑÃ ÈÇÓã ÑÈß ÇáÐì ÎáÞ
“Read in the Name of your Lord who created.”
It both asks to read (the approach to science and knowledge) and also asks to accompany reading with the name of God and toward a divine direction (the approach to religion). Also in:
ÞæáæÇ áÇ Çáå ÇáÇ Çááå ÊÝáÍæÇ
‘Say, there is no god save Allah, so that you may prosper’
The approaches to knowledge and religion have been joined with each other; for it both asks: to say there is no god save the Unique God, and also expresses its reason; that is, being provided with salvation and happiness. In this way, through the first messages, the foundation of constructing the civilization, that is the approach to knowledge and religion has been considered. These two are like two wings, without one of which flying towards the construction of civilization would be impossible. religion without knowledge and awareness will be superstitious and knowledge without religion will be the great cover! The Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) invited people to think and reasoning and then to worship God based on reasoning. In a jahili society, there is superstition instead of religion; idol, instead of God; and jahalah (error) instead of reasoning. the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) sets the human free from the shackles of superstitions, wrong deities and jahalah and poverty.
Any way, from the Islamic viewpoint, development and culmination are relative affairs and more improvement depends on more endeavors. The philosopher of the world of Islam Ibn Bajah al-Andulusi states that
: “among the characteristics of the integrated community (developed society) are the absence of medicine profession and judiciary system. Since the citizens of the community are aware of right nutrition (ie equipped with knowledge and science) and also practically consider it, they do not need physicians and medicine, since righteousness results in the unity of all the residents of the community and there is no dispute among them, there would be no need for the judges and judiciary system. In an integrated community, everybody has the opportunity to reach the highest degrees of his ability. All the ideas in this community are right, and no faulty idea may find its way in it; all the actions performed there are absolutely good (because they are connected with the ever living divine source).”
It is clear that the so called “developed countries” today are well far from what Ibn Bajah has said, and it seems that the teaching of knowledge and religion is the key to development and culmination. Ayatollah Mutahhari puts the relation between knowledge and religion in this way
: “Knowledge gives us light and ability and faith gives us love and hope and warmth; knowledge makes the instruments and faith determines the destination; knowledge gives speed and faith determines the guidance; knowledge is ability and faith is good will; knowledge reveals what exists and faith inspires one what to do; knowledge is revolution outside and faith is revolution inside; knowledge constructs the human’s world and faith constructs the human’s psyche; knowledge expands the existence of the human horizontally and faith does so vertically; knowledge is nature-constructing and faith is the connected power; knowledge is the beauty of thought and faith is the beauty of emotion. Both knowledge and faith give human security, knowledge gives him external security and faith gives him internal security; knowledge secures him against the invasion of diseases, floods, earthquakes, storms and faith secures him against anxieties, loneliness, feelings of shelter-less-ness, nihilism; knowledge adapts the world with the human and faith adapts him with himself.
1. Development, what ever it is, is a kind of transformation at the levels of individuals and society.
2. No development will be human, effective and efficient unless in its process the humans take part consciously and with free will.
3. The prerequisite of the human’s conscious and willing participation in the process of development and transformation is the existence of reasoning, thoughtful, stable and serious faith at the level of individuals and society.
4. The prerequisite for reasoning, thoughtful and stable faith in a society is the serious approach by all the members or at least the majority of them to knowledge and religion; thus knowledgeable religion and religious knowledge.
It is in this case that, the regulations of the development and culmination will be in our hands; the regulations which, if practised, will lead us to the benefits of the world and the Hereafter; the thing which is the command of the generous God and the action of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him)
«...ÑÈäÇ ÂÊäÇ Ýží ÇáÏäíÇ ÍÓäÉ æ Ýží ÇáÇÎÑÉ ÍÓäÉ æÞäÇ ÚÐÇÈ ÇáäÇÑ
“Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and guard us from the doom of Fire.”
. In regard to the views and theories of development and underdevelopment refer to: Yusuf Naraqi, development and underdeveloped countries (An Analytic Study from the Theoretical/Historical Aspects of Underdevelopment), (second edition: Tehran, Shirkat Sahami Intishar, 1994) and Ahmad Sa‘i, An Introduction to Economic/Political Issues of the Third World (Politics, Power and Unequality), (Tehran, Qumis publication, 1995)
. Ibid. “The Theory of Internal Coherence” Farhang Journal, no.13, pp101 and 108
. Max Weber, Protestant Behavior and Capitalistic Trait, Abd al-Ma‘bud Ansary trans. (2nd edition: Tehran,Samt, 1992)
. Sayyid Muhamad Baqir Sadr, The Trends of History in the Qur’an(Interpretation by subjects), Dr. Sayyid Jamal Musawi Isfahani Trans. (Qom, Jami‘ah Mudarris in Publication, no date).
. 13: 11
. 28: 38; 40: 29
. Sayyid Muhamad Baqir Sadr, The Trends of History in the Qur’an, p. 219
. Ibid, pp. 223-226
. 84: 6
. Sayyid Muhamad Baqir Sadr, The Trends of History in the Qur’an, pp. 200-236
. Ibid, pp. 240-246
. Rasul Ja‘fariyan, The political History of Islam, p. 74.
. Baha al-Din Khurramshahi, The Encyclopedia of Shi‘a Islam. p.281
. Ibid, p.281. For example,. he has refered to the verse 25: 63
. The original tradition states: “Verily I was sent in order to supplement the high moral standards”; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 68, p. 382
. Amir Salmani Rahimi, “A Word in Regard to the Meaning of the Term Jahiliyah” Kayhan Farhangi Magazine, 1997, no.138, p.17, quoting ‘Umar Farukh, The History of Arabic Literature, vol. 1, p. 73
. 3: 154
. 5: 50
. 33: 33
. 48: 26
. 39: 3
. 45: 24
. 6: 100; 37: 158
. 6:100 and 101; 16: 57; 53: 2
. 53: 18 and 19
. 71: 23
. 2: 173; 5: 3
. 2: 200
. 4: 11
. 6:137 and 151; 17: 31; 81: 8
. 2: 229
. 106: 3 and 4
. Bihar al-Anwar,vol. 18, p.202
. 74: 2
. al-qadir, vol.9, p66
. 16: 125
. 2: 48
. 31: 18
. 17: 34
. 3: 134
. 3: 16
. 3: 159
. 42: 38
. «åÐÇ ÓÍÑ ãÈíä
» “This is mere magic.” (46: 6);«æ íÞæáæä ÃÆäÇ áÊÇÑßæÇ ÂáåÊäÇ áÔÇÚÑ ãÌäæä
» “And said: Shall we forsake our gods for a mad poet?” (37: 36); «ÞÇá ÇóÓÇØíÑ ÇáÇæáíä
» “he saith: Mere fables of the men of old.” (68: 15); «áÇÊÓãÚæÇ áåÐÇ ÇáÞÑÂä æ ÃáÛæÝíå
» “Heed not this Qur’an, and drown the hearing of it; haply ye may conquer.” (41: 26)
. 109: 2 and 3
. The Holy Qur’an expresses:«áÞÏ ÇÑÓáäÇ ÑÓáäÇ ÈÇáÈíäÇÊ æ ÇäÒáäÇ ãÚåã ÇáßÊÇÈ æ ÇáãíÒÇä áíÞæã ÇáäÇÓ ÈÇáÞÓØ æ ÇäÒáäÇ ÇáÍÏíÏ Ýíå ÈÃÓ ÔÏíÏ æ ãäÇÝÚ ááäÇÓ æ áíÚáã Çááå ãä íäÕÑå æ ÑÓáå ÈÇáÛíÈ Çä Çááå Þæí ÚÒíÒ
» “We verily sent Our messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance, that mankind may observe right measure; and He revealed iron, wherein is mighty power and (many) uses for mankind, and that Allah may know him who helpeth Him and His messengers, though unseen. Lo! Allah is Strong, Almighty.” (57: 25)
. In this regard God commands: “Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy” ( 8: 60)
. In order to further study the historical events refer to: Ibn Hisham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyah (Beirut, Dar al-Ma‘rifah); al-Balathary, Futuh al-Buldan (Beirut, 1978); ansab al-Ashraf (Beirut, 1400 AH), and al-Masudi, Muruj al-Dhahab wa Ma‘adin al-Jawhar (Beirut, Dar al-Andulus)
. 62: 2
. 7: 157 “….. and he will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear”.
. 2: 190
. 6: 108
. 16: 24 and 44; 28: 7 to 13, and 23, and 27 (about the daughters of Shu‘ayb and Moses); 3: 37 to 39 (about Mary, Zachariah, and heavenly food); 60; 12 (about the oath of allegiance between the Holy prophet(p.b.u.h.) and the women)
. Sayyid Ahmad Muwaththaqi, Contemporary Islamic Movements (Tehran, Samt, 1374) p. 20-23 quoted from: Abu al-A‘la al-Mawdudi, Caliphate and Kingdom, translated by Khalil Ahmad Hamedi (Paveh, Bayat publications, 1405 AH) p. 187, and 209
 . 2: 256
 al-qadir, vol.9, p66
. Ibn Bajah al-Andulusi, Tadbir al-Mutawahhid, ed. Ma‘an Ziyadah (Beirut, Dar al-Fikr al-Islamiyah, 1398 AH) pp. 43 and 44
. Murtada Mutahhari, An Introduction to the Islamic World View (Sadra Publications), p. 21.
. 2: 201