A blanket name given to all the inhabitants of the Arabian peninsula irrespective of tribal affiliations, religious inclinations, dialect or location in the land. The peninsula was inhabited by two main groups: Bedouins and settled folk. They constituted no 'nation' (Umma) since they were but a complex mosaic of different tribes in a kaleidoscope of sometimes warring or cooperating factions with shifting alliances and allegiances as well as broken coalitions. There was no clear line of demarcation between the sedentary and the wandering elements in the population. If the Quranic version of history is true, then the Musta'riba Arabs are descendants of the Hebrews through Abraham & Ishmael. Under such a scenario, one must ask the question, who were the other people in the Peninsula prior to them and what happened to them?
Invariably, the land and its resources -or lack there of- have a major impact on the psychology and traditions of the people living upon it. The Arabian Peninsula of almost 910,000 square miles, is bereft of a single important river and depends entirely upon a meagre rain fall in most of the territory. In the Hijaz, where Muhammad was born, this was more so than in the Yaman.
Living in such a hostile and unforgiving environment, in an arid land that debarred them from agriculture -which is the basis of human civilization- turned the Bedouin Arabs into nomads with volatile temperament, self centered, cruel, ignorant, superstitious and unimaginative. Like all wild animals, they lived in a state of perpetual watchfulness in fear of others -non affiliated members-, beasts and nature.
These Arabs had no writing to speak of, no evolved theology, no major artistic achievements, no central authority and no attributes of a civilization. Their greatest asset was their poetry, which concentrated more on extolling and boasting of the ancestry of the tribe, its acts of plunder, and the bravery of its fighters above the other tribes. Aggression was normal and endemic especially against an unprepared and unwary victim or enemy.These were the instincts of the predator. Allegiances were made and unmade only as a means to an end; honour and reliability had nothing at all to do with that.
Of all the peoples in the area of the Middle East, the Bedou were the most illiterate, the most backward theologically and culturally and the most primitive intellectually. They were mostly concerned with visible and tangible things and in most cases, bereft of the ability to conceive of metaphysical ideas or concepts. The facts speak volumes since Arabia was surrounded by the civilizations of Iraq, Egypt, Ethiopia, Persia and Byzantium to name just a few.
While almost every other peoples venerated the sun, the moon and the stars, the Bedouin Arabs were uniquely obsessed with stones and had the unusual custom of circumambulating them. They were never interested in spiritual matters and even today, after 1400 years of 'Islam', they look upon their religion as a means of worldly gain.
In the Bible, the name Arab, appears in Joshua 15:52; Isaiah 13:20; Jeremiah 3:2; Nehamia 2:19 & 6:1. The term Arabs in II Chronicles 17:11, 21:15, 22:1, 26:7; Nehamia 4:1 and the term Arabia in Nehamia 4:1; I Kings 10:15; Isaiah 21:13; Jeremiah 25:24; Ezekiel 27:21; II Chronicles 9:14.
The poetry of pagan Arabia is filled with claims about the superiority of their genealogy, clan or tribe over others. These boasts were not based on graces and virtues, but on their abilities to plunder, abduct other men's women and on their prowess in killing. Muhammad' genius was to harness these lusts and characteristics under the banner of 'Islam' to create a unified band that was completely and utterly loyal to himself.As a consequence of his efforts, the Arab tribes, instead of plundering each other, eventually directed their piratical attributes on a colossal scale towards others.
The history of the Arabs during and after Muhammad shows plenty of evidence, that their conquests were motivated almost entirely by the desire to plunder the wealth of other peoples. The Quran after all, is replete with verses promising its followers booty, plunder, slaves and rape in crystal clear terms that leave absolutely nothing to misunderstanding or conjecture.
The insatiable Arab thirst for booty and plunder is vividly depicted in the Quran in the 'divinely inspired and holy' Sura Al Anfal (The Spoils of War):
8: 1They ask thee concerning (things taken as) spoils of war. Say: "(Such) spoils are at the disposal of Allah and the apostle: so fear Allah and keep straight the relations between yourselves: obey Allah and His apostle if ye do believe.
Sura al Fath (Conquest/Subjugation):
48:" 15 Those who lagged behind (will say) when ye (are free to) march and take booty (in war): "Permit us to follow you." They wish to change Allah's decree: Say: "Not thus will ye follow us: Allah has already declared (this) beforehand": then they will say "but ye are jealous of us." Nay but little do they understand (such things)"
Muhammad was wise enough to know his Bedouins, since in several verses he condemned them for their total lack of belief and loyalty.
9: " 97The Arabs of the desert are the worst in unbelief and hypocrisyand most fitted to be in ignorance of the command which Allah hath sent down to his apostle: but Allah is All-Knowing All-Wise.98Some of the desert Arabs Look upon their payments as a fine and watch for disasters for you: on them be the disaster of evil: for Allah is He that heareth and knoweth (all things)..."
9: "101 Certain of the desert Arabs round about you are hypocrites as well as (desert Arabs) among the Medina folk: they are obstinate in hypocrisy: thou knowest them not: We know them: twice shall We punish them and in addition shall they be sent to a grievous penalty.
9: "120 It was not fitting for the people of Medina and the bedouin Arabs of the neighborhood to refuse to follow Allah's Apostle nor to prefer their own lives to his: because nothing could they suffer or do but was reckoned to their credit as a deed of righteousness whether they suffered thirst or fatigue or hunger in the cause of Allah or trod paths to raise the ire of the unbelievers or received any injury whatever from an enemy: for Allah suffereth not the reward to be lost of those who do good;
# 1371 Again, the illustration is that of Tabuk, but the lesson is general. We must not hold our own comfort or lives dearer than that of our leader, nor desert him in the hour of danger. If we have true devotion, we shall hold our own lives or comfort cheap in comparison to his. But whatever service we render to the Cause of Allah, and whatever sufferings, hardships, or injuries we endure, or whatever resources we spend for the Cause,-all goes to raise our degree in the spiritual world. Nothing is lost. Our reward is far greater in worth than any little service we can render, or any little hardship we can suffer, or any little contributions we can make to the Cause. We "painfuly attain to joy".
*** The reader should realise that almost all the Quranic 'revelations' were ' very conveniently 'descended' to justify, excuse or explain away any of Muhammad's own thoughts, actions, deeds, misdeeds, lust, anger, hate, jealousy, fear and all other fallible human feelings and attributes. The Hadiths make this conclusion crystal clear since they continually repeat the mantra that " such ans such happened and 'IT WAS REVEALED' " ; that is, the 'revelation' occured AFTER THE EVENT being described and NOT BEFORE.
In the case above, Muhammad is admonishing and exhorting the desert Arabs to sacrifice their lives in defense of his life and in defense of whatever instructions he commands them to fulfil***
49: "14 The desert Arabs say "We believe." Say "Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say `We have submitted our wills to Allah.' For not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey Allah and His Apostle He will not belittle aught of your deeds: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful."
The followers of Muhammad, under the banner of 'Islam', marched in the confidence that dead or alive, they would reap enormous rewards, whether on earth/life or in heaven/death. To the living victors are the rewards of booty, rape and slaves as well as a promise of paradise after eventual death. For those who die in the fighting,the Quran promises eternal, carnal and sensual pleasures in the afterlife.
This is the ultimate WIN! WIN! situation. In their quest for gain, they neither lacked courage nor shrank from cruelty. Under the banner of 'Islam', they sought power, property and the subjugation of millions of other peoples and the plunder of ther wealth and the acqusition of their lands.
The Muhammadan Arabs eventually succeeded beyond their wildest imaginings, in imposing, through the use of force of course, upon millions of disparate peoples-in different lands with different religions and beliefs, with different languages and cultures- their own desert language (Arabic), their own dogma (Islam), their own traditions (pilgrimage etc), their own holy places (Ka'ba & Madina) and even the veneration of the Arab leaders who conquered them (Ali, Hassan, Hussein, etc).
Arab IMPERIALISM was and is so total and insidious that the conquered peoples were deprived of the knowledge of their own earlier history, traditions, religion and accomplishments. Their history was made to start from the moment of their humiliating conquest and subjugation by the Arabs.
No other imperialism in the history of the world -not that of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Mongols, British, French, etc, etc- was so complete, so damaging to the conquered peoples and so long lasting (almost 1400 years).
There are today 22 Arab and Arabized states comprising almost 350 million people with a land area of app 4.9 million sq miles against an Israel of less than 9,000 sq miles and a population of 5 millions; yet they claim that they are the ones who are being oppressed.
The other Muhammadan states -30 off- have an area of 5.5 million sq miles and a population of 950 millions. Thus, there is a total Muhammadan population of 1.3 billions and an area of almost 11 million sq miles. Most of the ancestors of these countries, in modern terms, such as Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the whole of the North African states, Bangladesh, etc. were given THREE unforgiving 'choices' by the conquering Arabs and other 'Muslims':
1) Convertion to Muhammadan Islam by abandoning their native religion