before islam

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The Polytheisms before Islam

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Before Islam, Arabia was polytheist. The concept of crowned was central in the worships returned to the divinities. The pertaining to worship practice was however different between the wandering people from Hijaz and the sedentary people of the south of the arabic peninsula.


1 - In Hijaz

Concept of crowned: The concept of crowned is basically ambiguous. Crowned is an impersonal and mysterious force which can be beneficial or malevolent. Haram (prohibited) is opposed to Hallal (licit). The purpose of the hallal is to make pure the impure one. That means that in the haram there is the impure one. There are tensions between haram and hallal in the center of which one can place the layman who is a neutral place where the forces of pure are cancelled and of the impure one.
Before Islam, the haram is diffuse and impersonal, formless. There are the djinns who are forces invisible and unperceivable of which it is necessary to be wary because they are the first occupants of the ground. They are numerous, especially in the places wet, night, in the cemeteries. They are associated the basement. The djinns represent one primitive crowned. Crowned relates to time and space:
In Mecca, the haram (the kaaba) is one of the points where crowned is rooted. While moving away from the crowned center, energy is degraded. There is thus the crowned comprising of zones record and harmful spaces (YaMaNa and SaAMa), the right-hand side and the left, which are opposed compared to the north-eastern angle of the kaaba. It’s probable that there was a very old solar worship instead of the kaaba. The circular ambulation of the Moslem pilgrims could come from this old solar worship.

Crowned enclosures: Except in South Arabia, the temples are simple stone enclosures. Inside, one or more bayt-Al (house of the divinity) are drawn up, symbolizing the presence of the protective powers. Sometimes bayt-Al are fountains or trees. Mecca is an important crowned place which explains the pilgrimage before Islam. The black stone of Kaaba was a bayt-Al.
Rites preceded by purifying abblutions proceeded before the approach of the crowned place (change of clothing, cuts hair…). Offerings (animals or ritual meal) were made with the divinity. The main element of worship was circulation (dawar, tawaf) or procession intersected with stations. It does not seem that prayers were marked with this occasion.

Sacrality of time: The calendar before Islam was lunar. The intercalated month of correction with the solar years was removed by the Prophet. Four months ago crowned during which were to cease the fights.

There was no clergy in Hijaz, contrary to South Arabia. The chiefs of the tribes ensured the pertaining to worship service assisted by a specialized man: the kahin.

Each tribe had its own divinities, some being common to several tribes. The Hobal god, perhaps of Syrian origin, is associated the triad of goddesses Al Ozza, Al Lat and Manat. There were other gods such Ouzal, Al Galsal, Al Ilah and al Rahman. A divine hierarchy lets suppose a situation between polytheism and monotheism.

2 – The South Arabia:

The divinities were in relation with planets. The Pantheon was organized around the Moon, the Sun and Venus.
The temples were buildings and their operation was ensured by appointed and specialized priests.
The South-Arabic society was sedentary, which explains a pertaining to worship practice more elaborate than in Hijaz.



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