The first time Islam was introduced was in the Arabian Peninsula, precisely in Mecca, one of the cities located in the country of Saudi Arabia. The question is, why is Islam not derived in other regions? What is the specialty of Mecca to become the first city to be traced to Islam?
Before answering the above question, it is important to know, that geographically the position of the Arabian Peninsula is in Southwest Asia at the crossroads of Africa and Asia.
Politically, the Arabian Peninsula consists of nine countries: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, and Syria. Specifically, Islam was first traced in Saudi Arabia, precisely in the city of Makkah.
To be able to answer why the city of Makkah became the initial foothold of Islam, is to look at the social condition of the Arab people and its geographical location, then compared to the nations around the Arabian Peninsula.
Before Islam was present, there were several nations around the Arabian Peninsula that were fairly well established, among others: Persian, Roman, Greek, and Indian. According to Dr. Said Ramadhan al-Buthi, at that time there were two great nations that became the center of world civilization, namely Persia and Rome. In addition, there are also Greeks and Indians.
as it, in Persia became hegemony of various religious and philosophical views. The rulers there embraced the Zoroastrian tradition. In that tradition, one of the teachings is that every man is encouraged to marry his mother, daughter, or sister. In fact, a king in power in the fifth century AD, King Yazdajird, married his own daughter.
In addition to the Zoroastrian tradition, there is also the Mazdakiyah belief. This belief is not much different from Zoroastrian. One of his teachings is to make all women and wealth lawful. They assume that all human beings belong together. As water, fire, and property
At the same time, Roman imperialism was actively waging military aggression against other nations. The kingdom was involved in prolonged conflicts with the Christians of Syria and Egypt. With their gigantic military power, their imperialism spread around the world.
One of its missions is to spread modified Christian teachings according to their interests. In addition, Rome was also beset by a massive economic crisis.
While in Greece, the nation was caught up in superstitious hegemony and theological mythology that kept its inhabitants engaged in debates on unhelpful issues.
Next, India. Since the first half of the sixth century AD, India has suffered tremendous religious, moral, and social declines.
According to al-Buthi, the factor that led to the decline of various fields and the moral decadence of these nations was that their civilization was only built on materialistic principles, without being balanced with an ideal-ancestral model capable of leading to a straight path.
While the progress of civilization, continued al-Buthi, can only advance if it is built with the right common sense, which of course can not be separated from divine revelation
What the nations above do is clearly contrary to straight common sense and divine revelation. Evidently, various instability in various fields became a serious national problem.
In the midst of the surrounding nations, the Arabian Peninsula is still in a state of peace and spared from all forms of chaos that occur in the surrounding nations.
The Arabs were not in the luxury and glorious civilization that could result in a fall in destruction like the Persians. Nor is it occupied by the hegemony of understanding that causes moral decadence.
The Arabs also did not have a dictatorial military like the Romans, thus becoming a disaster for other nations.
The Arabs were also not influenced by Greek-like phillectics, so were caught up in superstitions and myths. In al-Buthi language it is revealed
كانت طبائعهم أشبه ما تكون بالمادة (الخام) التي لم تنصهر بعد في أي بوتقة محولة
That is, “At that time, the Arabs were inseparable ‘raw materials’ that had not been processed and changed in shape.” (See al-Buthi, Fiqh al-Sirah, p. 31)
With this pure social condition, Arab society is still maintained in its fitrah. Thus, noble values are still the basis of their lives, such as honesty, dignity, helping others, and maintaining self-esteem. The problem of them being caught up in kajahiliyahan, it is only because there is no ‘divine lamp’ that leads them to a straight path.
So in the dark times of the jahiliyah, they wer caught in a heretical understanding. It’s like being willing to kill girls under the pretext of honor. Willing to over-spend wealth just because of crazy positions. In fact, they could kill each other in order to maintain their self-esteem.
Therefore, the Prophet Muhammad was sent in their midst, bringing the teachings of Islam as a light that will guide the morale of the Arab community at that time.
In addition to moral considerations, geographically the Arabs are also more strategic for the first foothold of Islam.
Because, the Arabs were between two great civilizations: the materialist Western nation and the spiritually-dominated Eastern nation as in India and China.