Condition of the People before the Start of the Prophetic Mission of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)
By: Dr. Hatem Abu Shahba
Now, let us take a quick look at the condition and picture which prevailed, minutes before that decisive moment which was about to take place to change the history of mankind, and all of creation and universe.
The earth was filled with injustice, unfairness, violence, corruption, bloodshed, wars, and struggles between the humans. Life has become like hell that is unbearable, after materialism dominated it and pulled man down as his lower desires and ambitions dominated him.
There is no room or place for morals, principles, values, manners, and compassion among the people and life has become a chaotic jungle!
Man have submitted to his lower desires without limit or control and have become arrogant and oppressor. The strong eats the weak, and the king steps on the heads of those ruled and oppressed. Justice became lost while injustice became widespread.
The wealthy and affluent compose a very small corrupted minority, while the poor and deprived are the majority but they are weak and paralyzed. Chaos has become widespread and the religions all lean towards polytheism, idol and self worshipping. Human desires, fantasies, deviation, fabrication, and misguidance took over and distorted the religions.
The Jews have distorted their religion and their priests have concealed the truth for their own personal interests. The Jews are divided on Earth and most of them are corrupt, envious, and materialistic. Yet at the same time, they claim that they are the "chosen people by Allah” and that they are the "loved ones of Allah"!
They believe that there is no true religion except theirs and they have disfigured their religion and killed their prophets and distorted their purified history. They await the appearance of a prophet whom they know will appear and they find his signs written in their books.
They believe that he will achieve for them final victory from God and they will gain control over the world under his leadership. But of course they anticipate him to be from among them [Bani Israel (sons of Ya'qoob)]. At the same time, they despise the Christians and are happy that they have allegedly killed their prophet Jesus.
On the other hand, the Christians went astray and have become misguided. They worshipped their prophet Jesus instead of God and they said the grave utterance and falsely claimed that Allah (SWT) has a son! They deviated from the laws of their religion and distorted their Book and followed their misguided priests and displeased their God.
They thought that they were on the right path while the others are misguided and they bear animosity towards the Jews. Their scholars also knew that a prophet was about to appear, whose signs were indicated in their books.
As for the Zoroastrians, they also distorted the religion of Abraham (Peace be upon him) and they worshipped the Fire. The Arabs have distorted the religion of Ishmael and worshipped the idols. Disbelief and polytheism have become widespread with all its different types and forms. Everyone practices his ignorance, deviation, and disbelief with all sincerity, fanaticism, and involvement.
The true believers are a very small minority and Muhammad is one them. You can almost count them on the fingers of one hand as they are scattered here and there. They were a minority who were wandering and didn't know where to go as they searched for the truth in the midst of darkness and sought the help of their Lord.
They requested Him to send a messenger to guide them and show them the truth from falsehood, and lead them out of darkness to the light of guidance. They too were waiting and anticipating the appearance of this prophet sent from God so that they can believe in Him and march under his banner and leadership.
Allah (SWT) sees, hears, watches, and observes everything. He (SWT) sees the nonbelievers, polytheists, and those who are displeased with from the Jews and the misguided from the Christians, and the idol worshippers who associate another God with Allah (SWT). He (SWT) hears the prayers of the oppressed people, the weak, the deprived, and the believers.
With His compassion, He (SWT) watches and observes all those people who have been deceived by the life of this world and tempted by the ample time which Allah (SWT) gave them, till they thought that He (SWT) is oblivious of them, or that He (SWT) is absent from them or does not see them. He (SWT) also sees those who believe in Him and are never desperate from His mercy and compassion. Those who never give up hope that one day He (SWT) will answer their prayers as they have very deep faith and trust in Him. And Muhammad was surely one of them!
This condition reminds us of the same situation which was present before when Allah (SWT) spoke with Prophet Moses (May Allah be pleased with him). The sons of Israel were enslaved in Egypt for many long centuries. Pharaoh used to torture them, kill their children, rape their women, and enslave them in the worst conditions.
The believers among them kept praying to their God day and night to relieve from this torture and bondage, and liberate them from slavery, and send to them a messenger, leader, and deliverer to lead them out of this torture. They were expecting the imminent appearance of that prophet as they know from their books. One of those believers who prayed to God to save his people from torture, persecution, and inferiority was Moses (AS) who was the most humble, submissive and loving to God from all of Bani Israel!
Suddenly, the mercy of Allah (SWT) poured at a fateful moment…and also in the middle of a bare desert…and also in the middle of the darkness of night…and also on top of a mountain. Moses sees the fire and goes towards it to get a light.
But instead, Allah (SWT) speaks directly to him and informs him that He (SWT) is the God of Abraham and Jacob and that He (SWT) listens and sees the condition of the sons of Israel and the oppression of pharaoh. He (SWT) informs him that he has been chosen to become the awaited prophet and the expected deliverer to stand against Pharaoh by the power of Allah (SWT) and lead his people out of bondage to the dignity of God's obedience, and out of poverty and inferiority to independence and sovereignty!
The tradition of Allah (SWT) is the same and you will not find change or replacement in the way of Allah (SWT). Once again and under similar circumstances, and after hundreds of years, the same situation repeats itself exactly and the similarity is clear to any person.
Once again, the mercy of Allah (SWT) poured on the believers, the weak and deprived, and the oppressed. And His wrath descended on those nonbelievers, polytheists, counterfeiters, distorters, misguides, hypocrites, arrogant, those whom Allah (SWT) is displeased with, the luxurious, and the unjust, those who want to achieved highness on earth and be worshipped besides Allah (SWT).