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The gloomy picture of the Arabian Peninsula before the advent of Islam is an undeniable historical fact. The Arabs before Islam were a community wallowing in a whirlpool of different vices, atrocities, which varies from one region to the other but with one origin which is ignorance and lack of divine guidance. Tribal war fares could rise out of horse race which could destroy families and tribes as a human reality. Females were buried alive for their inability to hold arms in such bloody wars which has no any meaningful aim. Alcoholism, racism, interest and other social vices wrought through the whole of Arabian Peninsula and people in this region were on the verge of destruction when the divine light of Islam was dawn on them. Gambling was a favorite pastime in which they took pride, unrestrained drunkenness sent them into rapturous delight and immoderate dissipation satisfied their perverted sense of honor. Their gatherings were the scenes of drinking bouts and wanton debauchery without any idea of sin or crime; they never took any aversion to wickedness, iniquity and callousness.

 The moral atmosphere of Arabia in general and of Makkah in particular, was faithfully depicted by J’afar b. Abu Talib, a prominent member of the Quraish, in the court of Negus, when he said to him;

O King we were an unenlightened people plunged in ignorance: we worshipped idols, we ate dead animals, and we committed abominations; we broke natural ties, we ill-treated our neighbors and our strong devoured the weak.” (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p.336)

This community been the first to receive this universal message needs some sort of creedal reformation, ethical refinement and in all the restoration of humane ideals in conformity with Allah’s guidance exemplified through His revelation (the glorious Qur’an). The reformation process of the Arabs of jahiliyya occurred through abrogation of some their customs and traditions which has no any moral basics,  and endorsement of such of these values that are acceptable  human standards, hence, the process involves the following three procedures:

1-Complete abrogation of some of their customs such as female infanticide, usury, alcoholism .etc.

2- Refinement of some customs such as their saying: “support your brother be he the oppressor or the oppressed” Islam came and reaffirmed this slogan but in a refined formed in a manner which was not known to the Arabs. Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be please with him) narrated: Allah's Apostle said, "Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, "O Allah's Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?" The Prophet said, "By preventing him from oppressing others."  

3-Endorsement of some of some customs. Besides the many vices that were recorded of Arabs of Paganism, history also bears ample testimony of some great and beautiful practices which was a unique characteristic of them which were not even seen in other advance civilizations at the time such as that of the Persians and the Romans. Among such as practices is: “Honoring the guest”. Episodes of Arabs hospitality towards their guests are written in the pages of history in golden inks and glitters with recognition among all historians to such an extent that somebody may provide security and protection to the murderer of his own uncle if the murderer takes asylum from him and remains his guest.

Islam came to endorse such great practice and was made one of the indications of one's faith in Allah and the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said: “and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his guest." (Related by Al-Bukhari & Muslim). In another tradition reported by Abu Shuraihah (may Allah be please with him ) The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honor his guest and recompense him.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is his recompense?” The Prophet said, “It is for a day and a night, as good hospitality is for three days and after that it is charity.” One beautiful modification added to this practice by Islam is that it disapproves a guest overstaying in the custody of his host so as not to place burden on him. The Holy Prophet may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said: It is not permissible for the guest to overstay his welcome such that he burdens his host.(Bukhari and Muslim).

In conclusion, the Islam does indeed wholly reject various religious elements of Pre-Islamic Arabia such as its idolatrous practices and superstitions, as well as social customs like those of burying daughters alive. While not wholly rejecting other features, modifications were made as is the case with the Hajj to return it to its monotheistic roots and the concept of supporting one’s brother be he the oppressed or the oppressor as seen above. It also wholly endorsed other practices among which is the above discussed one.

 

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