03 Nov Sūratu’l-An‘ām [Cattle]: (6:124).Part4
اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ
God knows best upon whom (and where, when and in what language) to place His Message.(Al-An‘ām 6:124)
While being cradles for some ancient civilizations, Makkah and Madīnah were also open to the two great civilizations of the Sassanid and Roman Empires. The Roman culture met with the ancient Egyptian culture through the channel of Antioch (Antakya) and the historical city of Alexandria came out. Rome was the superpower of that time. Sūratu’r-Rūm, the thirtieth Qur’anic chapter, was revealed during the fighting years of the Byzantine Romans and the Sassanids and told about the phases of this war in its initial verses. During the years when our Prophet was born, the Sassanid Empire ruled in Yemen. Provoked by the Sassanid government, its Abyssinian governor Abrahah ibn Sabāh attacked Makkah in an attempt to destroy the Ka‘bah. His army had a number of war elephants. Abrahah had erected a great temple in San‘a, hoping to attract the Arab pilgrims from Makkah to his own territory. But his army was utterly defeated through the extraordinary help of God Almighty, Who has made this sacred city of Makkah al-baladi’l-‘amīn—“the city of security,” and thus protected its dwellers from fear.
It can be said from this perspective that the Arabian Peninsula was the most suitable place for conveying the universal message of Islam. Truly, a Message which would address the whole world would be delivered from such a place so that it could spread to the entire world as soon as its existence was realized. Makkah and Madīnah had all these advantages. As soon as the truth of Messengership stood on its feet, it immediately came across the two greatest cultures and civilizations of the time (the Romans and the Sassanids), and through them it encountered a variety of nations. Then, it reached the doors of Europe through one of them and as far as inland of the Asian continent through the other in a very short time. Thus, it fulfilled its mission universally and swiftly.
Makkah was also a big trade center during that time. Traders from different parts of the world used to visit Makkah frequently for trading or importing or exporting. As it is stated in the Qur’ān as well, Makkah was pretty convenient for organizing trading caravans to the regions of Damascus and Yemen in each season.
Furthermore, Makkah was like the heart of that region in terms of trading. Even the Jews, who controlled the trade in Madīnah until then, could no longer do business there when the Muslims of Makkah immigrated to Madīnah. This fact indicates that the people of Makkah knew the social and cultural structure of the superpowers of the time very well owing to their trading relationship with the world. We understand more clearly today that knowing the general and social characteristics of a people and becoming aware of their interests and concerns are very important in order to identify their economic and financial structures and to enter into relations with them. Therefore, it was by means of their commercial relations that the Makkan people had recognized the culture of the surrounding peoples and the states very well. This fact provided a suitable basis for the Messengership of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, which would appear later on.
The emergence of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, with a universal message around the Ka‘bah, the projection of Sidrah upon the earth, and its surrounding Makkah was so important that if it had emerged in another place, the entire order would have been corrupted and all the advantages provided by Makkah and Madīnah would have been lost.