What is an Arab? ….
The Arab, in a modern sense, did not exist until the birth of Islam. Until then, the dictionary definition was right: an Arab was no more than a native of Arabia. Arabia relapsed into obscurity at the end of the third century, when easier trade routes to India were developed. For the next three centuries, there was a general stagnation, known to historians as al-Jahiliyah-The Ignorance. But out of this decadence in the seventh century, flowered the faith called Islam and out of Islam came the Arab.It was said that their “brows touched Heaven. Islam brought them to their feet, and in the first of the Arab awakenings, very soon made them masters of an immense and marvelous empire.
Islam created Arabism, and from the start, the power of one was the power of the other. To sense its continuing force, just visiting or seeing a classic mosque of the faith such as Al Asqua or Grand Mosque of Kairouan, one can gather that the allure of the scene is identical among all these landmark houses of worship. The original mosque was a tent, terrific structures that possess a quality of caravansaries ; it is said that the mosque is in a perpetual condition of surprise, but still, there is to all its activities, a soothing sense of the inevitable. The strength of Islam is the strength of absolute certainty. All is ordained, demonstrable, in the books.
Born in the mind of a middle-aged merchant of Mecca, Mohammed “the Reliable,” Islam was not merely a new monotheistic faith, in the line of Judaism and Christianity. It was a compendium of duties and manners- a new lifestyle for the people of the peninsula. It declared the truest revelation of divine will to be the Koran, miraculously dictated to Mohammed over a period of twenty years and later supplemented by a whole cycle of holy traditions. Its rules were well suited to the exactments of desert existence, promising lush rewards in the afterlife and meanwhile adjuring the faithful to abstinence, self-discipline, and surrender to the will of god.
Islam’s grandeur was austere. It went well with harsh places, volatile temperaments, warlike habits. It was a manly and vigorous creed, and tempered by its restraints, armed with its unquestioning beliefs, newly bound together by its comeradeship, the Arabs burst out of their arid homeland to set their stamp upon the world.