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The Pre-Islamic Arabia: Cultural, Religion, and Political Systems
The Cultural and Political System of Pre-Islamic Arabia
The Pre-Islamic Arabia represents the Arabic civilization period that happened in Arabian Peninsula in the 630s before Islam rose. The Pre-Islamic Arabs had rich political, social, religious, economic, and cultural heritage that significantly changed with the birth of Islam in the region. Politically, the Pre-Islamic Arabia lacked an organized political system characterized with the absence of any form of government except the Yemen that occupied the South-West (Lewis, Lambton, & Holt, 1977). The Pre-Islamic Arabs did not acknowledge or recognized any authority except their chiefs of tribes who were the only recognized authority. However, the tribal chiefs’ authorities were never political but rested on one’s personality, character, and moral position. Due to lack of government, the Pre-Islamic Arabia had no order and no laws to govern their political system, thus lawlessness being the only decree of the land (Lewis, Lambton, & Holt, 1977). Lack of laws and regulations resulted into horrendous cruelty acts as the offended took the law in their own hands. The only administrative institution of the Pre-Islam Arabia was the Mela assembly that was composed of the tribal chiefs, leaders, and other prominent figures in the society (Lewis, Lambton, & Holt, 1977). However, Mela had limited power including lack of executive powers, thereby granting every tribe a right to be independent its actions. The tribal leaders (popularly known as rab, sayyid, sheik, or reis emir) were elected from the elderly members of the clan and had to be people of status (Lewis, Lambton, & Holt, 1977). While in tribal gatherings, tribal leaders had equal rights except that their primary responsibility was not to rule but to be a judge.
Culturally, unlike other communities in the dessert, Arabs survived the harsh dessert experience in different ways with oration and poetry composition being the uniting tools amid the hardships. Arabs relied on poetry and oration in portraying the life of Bedouin (Lewis, Lambton, & Holt, 1977). The Pre-Islamic Arabians had rich cultural background that includes marrying many wives, owning large number of flocks, numerous children, and raids. The Arab society was a male-dominated system where women’s only recognized status was serving as sex objects (Esposito, 2004). After the death of the husband, his wives were not allowed to re-marry and had to be inherited by his son. It was a ‘honorable’ tradition that female infants were buried alive. Cultural celebrations were organized and members of the clan were invited to take part in the party full of wines and other traditionally made alcoholic drinks (Lewis, Lambton, & Holt, 1977).
Religious System of the Pre-Islam Arabia
Before the birth of Islamic region, Arabs lived a ‘Times of Ignorance’ period that could be judged by weak rel.............
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