It was a time when the whole world had been dashed to the lowest of the low (Asfala al-safileen) position in every respect. The moral, ethical, social and political fabrics of the world, by and large were in shambles. No doubt that the overall bankruptcy of the dwellers of the Arabia Desert was understandable but the civilized people and strong dominions of the times were deeply sunk in utter uncivilized traits which had rendered the subjects of these empires totally hopeless and helpless.
These strong empires, especially the Byzantines and the Sassanids were so much engrossed in warfare and bloodshed that they had lost sight of the groaning sighs of their populace which was ground under heavy taxation on one hand and on the other hand were whipped like beasts of burden who had neither any ideological motive nor any reasonable initiative to pursue.
Even the followers of monotheistic religions had mingled polytheistic rites and rituals with the main trunk of their religions and had thus shattered the very base of monotheism. Judaism had no doubt preserved the Abrahamic idea of monotheism but it had made religion as a cover for its ethnic superiority to demean and belittle the very foundation of universal dignity and brotherhood of humanity.
Christianity had adapted itself to the pantheon of Greek deities to win over the Greco-Roman world. However, the dwellers of Arabia Desert had preserved their political independence to a large extent notwithstanding the fact that they had turned the simple monotheism of their progenitor, Ibrahim (AS) into utter polytheism.
Nevertheless, there was a large chunk of people who had not eschewed monotheism altogether. Although, this group didn’t know the ways of the monotheistic religion but it was always in search of the righteous course of life. These people were, therefore, called the seekers of monotheism.
The poetry of the Jahiliyyah period (period of Ignorance) of Arabia throws enough light on the sensibilities and inquisitiveness of these people. A famous poet of this period, Zaid ibn Amr has thus highlighted the thirst of this group of people for monotheism:
One Single Lord or thousands of them; what one should do when the matters of life differ? I have eschewed Lat and Uzza altogether; for this is what a wise man should do!
That is why not only the Israelite literature but the Indian mythological literature has also highlighted the traits of those people who were to follow and assist the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) of Almighty Allah.
The Israelite literary references for these people could be easily gathered from the exegetical literature (Tafasir of the Quran) of Islam. These people have been termed as Qudsia (Sublime People) in this literature.
However, the hints of the Indian mythological literature vis-a-vis these people are scattered here and there. A Tamil neo-Muslim, Abdullah Adiyar has hinted towards these people on the basis of the Indian literature in his famous book Islam: My Fascination.
So, to cleanse the Kabah from the polytheistic dirt and to realign the progeny of Ibrahim (AS) with the faith of Ibrahim (AS), Allah sent the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the Last saviour of humanity as per the prayer of Ibrahim (AS) in which he had invoked his Lord some 2500 years ago as:
Our Lord! And make us submissive unto Thee and our seed [progeny] a nation submissive unto Thee, and show us our ways of worship, …Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite them Thy revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall make them grow [cleanse them, (Al-Baqarah: 128-129)
However, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had to begin his apostolic (PBUH) office amidst those who had been declared as the Sublime Souls (Qudsi) centuries earlier. Their impurities, which they were caught in with the passage of centuries, had to be purged off by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
This cleansing and purging process which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had been sent for is mentioned in the Quran not less than four times with a slight difference of expressions.
This cleansing process (taziyyah) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) continued for twenty-three years unabated. The same desert Arabs who were so quarrelsome that they would continue a war for decades together if the camel of one tribe strayed into another pasture, were made so much disciplined that they, according to Prof. Rama Krishna Rao, civilised the battlefield as well. The same Arabs, according to a western historian, became a nation of hero.
Indeed these sublime souls, after they were cleansed by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as their leader, got pleased with God and with them got pleased God, as has been declared by God in the Quran more than once.
Altaf Hussain Yatoo is Assistant Professor at Higher Education Department, Jammu and Kashmir. Views are personal. He can be reached at email@example.com