The First Phase : The Ideal Period

In the first phase of our history, a single individual was chosen by God and appointed to reconstruct the life of mankind on the basis of faith in the unity of Godhead, belief in the life hereafter, and obedience to the teachings of the prophets. For thirteen long years that individual preached this message in Mecca, and he was more than a preacher: he was an embodiment of the type of individual that Islam sought to produce. By his behavior and conduct, his deeds and words, his treatment of others and' his attitude towards men, he showed what kind of character and moral excellence Islam sought to promote and how a believer in Islam should conduct himself in the rough and tumble of life. The Prophet of Islam was a perfect embodiment of the principles that he preached and the precepts that he enjoined.

The Prophet's message and his personal example noon began to influence people, and within a few years he was joined by a large number of persons. All these converts to Islam accepted the Prophet's teaching earnestly after having fully comprehended its meaning and significance; not one of them responded to his call without understanding it in all its ramifications. And since they had adopted Islam through conscious understanding, all of them molded their lives on the pattern enjoined by the Prophet. The life of each one of the converts to Islam in Mecca during the first thirteen years underwent the transformation and revolution that Islam seeks to bring about in the lives of all men. Not only this. They also actively struggled against all the forces, internal as well as external, that stood against the revolution. In the process they readily made the greatest conceivable sacrifices for the cause and happily suffered all imaginable hardships, for they treasured the new values of life above everything else and were not prepared to abandon them at any cost. What is more striking, they did not content themselves with their personal adoption of the Islamic creed and all that it stood for : they were also determined to. establish the Islamic way of life and ensure its supremacy in the world. And they staked their liven to ensure that they would never again be governed by any other way of life.

Within thirteen years the Prophet was able to gather around him a small but devoted group of courageous and selfless people; and then he migrated along with these people to Medina, where he set up in the first instance a small city-state. The area of that state did not exceed that of a small township of the present day, its population was merely six to seven thousand. But soon this tiny state became a challenge to the whole of Arabia. Its founder and chief-the Prophet of Islam-began to establish a new social order which was the very antithesis of the pre-Islamic social system of the Arabs. And within a few years he succeeded in setting up a model Islamic society and state. The social order was a perfect manifestation of the Islamic ideals of human civilization and culture, of morality and private ethics, of social justice and economic equity, of brotherhood and fraternity, of solidarity and cohesion. The teachings of Islam no longer remained mere theoretical expressions, they became a living reality in individual and social life. Now one could see with the eyes under one's brows what type of man Islam wants to produce and what type of society and economy it wants to establish and what blessings all this brings to human life.

Within eight brief years, this small State, covering a few square miles and embracing a few thousand souls came to dominate the whole of the Arabian peninsula extending over more than a million square miles. And it was not merely a political change : it brought about a total and radical transformation of the life of the community in all its aspects. Their view of life, their values, their morals, their mode of living, all underwent a revolutionary change. Both the spirit and form of their civilization and culture underwent a radical transformation which eventually changed the course of human history. The community as well as its individual members adopted a new mode of thinking, a new kind of conduct and behavior and a new aim and mission of life which they had never known during the several thousand years of their previous history. For centuries before the advent of Islam the Arabs had been split into countless political groups and factions, and their political life had been ,plagued by confusion; mutual hostility of tribal chieftains and blood wars. Islam made a clean sweep of this bloody confusion and established a unified and orderly political system. This was no mean achievement in itself; but Islam accomplished something much more difficult is bringing about an intellectual, moral and cultural revolution. It is indeed a pity that a biased historiography has misrepresented this great change as the outcome of a aeries of wars and expeditions, and many Western orientalists have all along been shouting from the housetops that Islam was spread by the sword. The truth is that the total number of persona killed on both sides in the wars fought during the days of the Prophet did not exceed one thousand and two hundred. Anyone with a grain of sense should find it easy to see that such a great revolution could not possibly have been wrought by the sword.