term for the period of "ignorance" prior to the rise of Islam

Jahiliyyah (Arabic: ‏جَاهِلِيَّة‎‎ ǧāhiliyyah/jāhilīyah "ignorance"), or the Age of Ignorance, is an Islamic concept referring to the period of time and state of affairs in Arabia before the advent of Islam in 610 CE.

Quotes edit

  • Similar ways have passed away before you. Just travel in the land and see the nature of the consequences for those who denied.
    • Quran 3.137
  • Then, following misery, He sent down upon you a feeling of security, a slumber overcoming a party among you, while another party cared only for themselves, thinking false thoughts about God, thoughts fit for the Age of Idolatry.
    • Quran 3.154
  • Remain in your homes, and do not display your adornments, as was the case with the earlier Age of Barbarism.
    • Quran 33.33
  • 'Utayy ibn Damura said, "I saw with Ubay a man who was attributing himself (in lineage) with an attribution of Jahiliyyah, so Ubay told him to bite his father's male organ and did not speak figuratively (i.e. was explicit). So his companions looked at him. He said, 'It appears that you disapprove of it.' Then he said, 'I will never show apprehension to anyone with regards to this. Verily, I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "Whomever attributes himself (in lineage) with an attribution of Jahiliyyah, then tell him to bite his father's male organ and do not speak figuratively (i.e. be explicit)." ' "
    • Hadith  : Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 963 In-book reference  : Book 41, Hadith 12 English translation  : Book 41, Hadith 963
  • When a person embraced Islam during the time of the Prophet, he would immediately cut himself off from Jahiliyyah. When he stepped into the circle of Islam, he would start a new life, separating himself completely from his past life under ignorance of the Divine Law. He would look upon the deeds during his life of ignorance with mistrust and fear, with a feeling that these were impure and could not be tolerated in Islam! With this feeling, he would turn toward Islam for new guidance; and if at any time temptations overpowered him, or the old habits attracted him, or if he became lax in carrying out the injunctions of Islam, he would become restless with a sense of guilt and would feel the need to purify himself of what had happened, and would turn to the Quran to mold himself according to its guidance.
    • Sayyid Qutb in his influential work Ma'alim fi al-Tariq "Milestones"
  • It [Islam] has had a calamitous effect on converted peoples. To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say 'my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn't matter'... This abolition of the self demanded by Muslims was worse than the similar colonial abolition of identity. It is much, much worse in fact... You cannot just say you came out of nothing...
    • V.S. Naipaul [1] , VS Naipaul launches attack on Islam [2]
  • The time before Islam is a time of blackness: that is part of Muslim theology. History has to serve theology. The excavated city of Mohenjodaro in the Indus Valley—overrun by the Aryans in 1500 B.C.—is one of the archaelogical glories of Pakistan and the world. The excavations are now being damaged by waterlogging and salinity, and appeals for money have been made to world organizations. A featured letter in Dawn [a daily Pakistani newspaper] offered its own ideas for the site. Verses from the Koran, the writer said, should be engraved and set up in Mohenjodaro in "appropriate places": "Say (unto them, 0 Mohammed): Travel in the land and see the nature of the sequel for the guilty. . . . Say (O Mohammad, to the disbelievers): Travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for those who were before you. Most of them were idolaters."
    • V.S. Naipaul, Among the Believers. quoted in Ibn Warraq, Why I am not a Muslim. 1995. p 199-200
  • To the convert his land is of no religious or historical importance; its relics are of no account; only the sands of Arabia are sacred.
    • Naipaul, V.S. - Beyond Belief (Vintage, 1999)

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: