The pre-Islamic period: Jahiliyah (The period of ignorance)
Islam is the basic monotheistic faith proclaimed by prophets throughout history. The Qur’an does not present a new revelation but rather provide a complete, accurate, and therefore final record of the message.
As the basis for a historical community and tradition of faith, however, Islam begins in Mecca with the life and work of Muhammad in the early seventh century.
The pre-Islamic period was the darkest age in human history. It was a time of ignorance and anarchy in the religious and social life in the world.
The political, social and cultural life developed by the peoples of the ancient world was shattered by the barbarians. The social and religious order organized by Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism had disintegrated.
The people had forgotten the ideal of their religion. Morality had fallen at low ebb. Corruption, intolerance, persecution and wrangling of creeds and sects prevailed everywhere.
Greatest anarchy prevailed in the social life of the Arabs. There was no ideal morality or discipline in the society.
Corruption, vices superstition, unrestrained freedom and unrestricted enjoyment ruled supreme in the Arab society. Plurality of wives and husbands was the order of the day.
Adultery was common among the pre-Islamic Arabs. Step sons could marry their step-mothers and even the brothers sometimes married their own sisters. Men and women could have full liberty with their opposites.
Human beings were sacrificed to propitiate gods. Fathers sometimes killed their children also for fear of poverty.
The position of the women was very degrading in the Arab society. They were treated as chattels and with contempt. The birth of a female child was considered as a great curse and she was often buried alive by the heartless father.
Women could not have any share of the property of the husbands or the fathers in a word, no status in the society. Slavery, in its worst form, prevailed in the Arab society; the master can even put his slave to death.
Economically, pre-Islamic Arabian society was very much in the primitive stage the soil being barren; there was little of agriculture in the country.
Prior to the rise of Islam, worst anarchy and confusions prevailed in the religious life of the Arabs. There were some Jews and Christians in Arabia, but they had become corrupt and not hold any higher religious ideal to the Arabs.
Exception the Jew and Christians, the rest of the Arabs followed the most primitive form of religious belief. They were idol worshipers, adoring many gods and goddesses.
The above mentioned evils not only existed among Arabs but in most of the world civilizations at that time.