Friday, 21 October 2011

Arabian Chronicles : Researches

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Tracing Pictures of Garden with Mustard, Nov 1850, Second Collection of Chrysanthemum Old Woodcut by Yoshiminaga Sannen based on the original one which was published in Qing dynasty

Everybody knows that Arabs before the emergence of Muhammad s.a.w have no proper settlements. There is also an assumption saying that Arabs never been in contact with other developed nations such as Egyptians, Greeks or Romans. All of these are not really true. 

Modern researches had shown that Arabs had already been in contact with outside world since long ago. They had been in contact with Romans, Greeks and Egyptians in term of civilization and trade. Researchers of history had spent their money, age, and time conducting researches in Arabian Peninsula. In 1825, there were three researchers who had entered Tihamah and 'Aser. They were W. F. Hemprich, M. O. Tamisier, and C. G. Ehrenberg. Other Europeans who had done researches about Arabian Peninsula are J. R. Wellsted, C. Cruttendu, A. Vin Wred, S. B. Miles, Burckhard, Sir Richard, G. F. Sadlier, G. A Wallin, C. Doughty and C. Hubber.

Materials to conduct researches about Arabs are in the form of :

1. Written materials

They are either from Arabs themselves or from outside of Arab world. The oldest book telling about Arab histories is the glorious Quran and it tells stories like the ancient Arabs of Thamud and 'Aad, some stories about Yemenite kings, the flood of Ma'areb Dam or Sairul 'Arim. The glorious Quran does not tell everyone in detail about those stories but just stating key-points. Those who read the Quran must have their own curiosity and effort to study it further. What I found after checking notes that I typed here, Muslims themselves never initiate or at least do studies but only relying on others' findings. 

There are history narration by Ibnu al-Athir, Seerah of Ibnu Hisham, Tarikh at-Tabari, Murju al-Zahab, 'Iqdu al-Farid, Ibnu Khaldun accounts and others. We could also check accounts of the Dark Ages Arabs before the rise of Muhammad s.a.w such as the poem of Abu Tammam, poems of Abu Zaid al-Helali, poems of Tabaqat bin Qutaibah and etc. 

Arabs were also mentioned in Old Testament where Christian and Jew fellows are still using them. They could also be traced in the mention of Herodotus, Strabo, Baltius, Ptolemus and other Greek philosophers' accounts. 

2. Archeological Findings and Excavations

People could also now see old archeology findings such as ancient vases in Arabian Peninsula such as in Hejaz and Yemen. Other could be seen in areas of other Semitic nations such as in Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, and Phoenician beaches. Also could be seen in paintings in Hadramawt ancient houses. Many things are still hidden down and difficult to be dug out. 

An example of archeology finding related to Arabs is a word carved in a Babylonian ancient house which sounds like "Meloch" and ancient Arabian kingdom record which is called as Mo'in and Manium. Both of them were recorded in writing form and most of all they dated back as far as 3000 BCE.

People around the world are still conducting research about this and it is the same with researches everywhere. I do not also know how far these researches being integrated and applied in history lessons or Islamic education syllabus in our country. We could also see ancient artifacts excavated in Iraq and many of them had been stolen and sold in black market during the US invasion to teach 'terrorists.' There were also imbecile Arabs in Jordan and Syria who sold ancient scriptures, notes of early Christians and texts to foreign researchers for some small gain. Or most of Muslims just know how to bomb artifacts for example, 'wahhabis' since they look down others who do not seem to hold to their comprehension?

I wonder if Islamic Universities or Islamic Institutions around the world also conduct archeology researches, anthropology, western politics and philosophies, occidental studies, world history and social studies for students other than obligatory branches of sciences such as jurisprudence, the origin of religion, history of prophethood era, or necessary ones such as physics, chemistry, biology, maths, and etc? How many Muslim individuals doing these kind of stuffs like Frank Swettenham or other European 'scholars' had done? I am sure my compatriots know about Frank Swettenham. 

I don't really like my current studies neither but those who realize about their God must also be aware about environment around. This is what had been proposed by the late Hassan al-Banna and too bad this kind of people always live short life because the God is protecting them from great destruction of the doomsday. I also realize how little is the interaction between religious groups with other groups though they share the same religion due to differences in values. Not only among universities and learning institutions, but it is also among departments of studies. They don't really cooperate among each other so people like us who are in the middle trying to bridge you people for cooperation in the root level despite of wails about their misfortune and how weak the nations are being attacked here and there and yet we are being misunderstood by either sides, hahaha... Some points had also been integrated with today's Friday sermon... 

No matter how ingrates hated us our devotion to You dear Lord, we with Your permission will endure torments, crucified, burned, pierced, and hurts only for You... There is no gods worth to be worshiped and receiving devotions, but only the God. Muhammad s.a.w is indeed Your servant, messenger, and prophet of the God. Glory be to the Lord.            

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love... amin!

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