The Jahiliyyah

The word Jahiliyyah describes the pre-Islamic period in the Arabian Peninsula during which Arab poetry and odes reached its golden age. Some of the top and most famous pre-Islamic Arab poets were born here in this era. These poems which are still being studied and appreciated today are collectively known as the Seven Mu'allaqat "The Seven Suspended Odes".

Click here to read an English translation of some of the Odes.

Most of the pre-Islamic Arabia during the Jahiliyyah period was occupied by nomads and tribes. Wars and conflicts were the norm among these Bedouin and Arab tribes. Most of the Jahiliyyah people believed in pagan religions and superstitions.

The two important cities in the Arabian Peninsula during the Jahiliyyah period were Makkah, and Ukaz. Makkah was the political, economic, religious, intellectual, and cultural center of the pre-Islamic Arabia. The Ka'bah, which is believed by Muslims to have been originally built by Abraham, was the holy place for the idols of the pagan Arabs for centuries before the coming of the prophet Mohammad.