I have always like to read and learn about the world we live in. I now understand that to know the present and what could happen in the future one has to study the past. I came into possession of a book titled ” A History Of The Jews” which was published in 1939. The author’s name is Abram Leon Sachar, Ph.D. the book was on its way to a landfill when I rescued it. The title of chapter thirteen is The New Moslem World. I find this chapter worth writing about. I will copy it from the book.
For a large part of the sixth and seventh centuries, the Persian and the Eastern Roman empires were locked in deadly combat. At several stages of the long struggle, it appeared as if the Christian empire would be shattered. The illustrious Justinian was driven insane when the Persian forces penetrated to the very shores of the Mediterranean, taking over the chief cities and capturing over two hundred thousand men. Early in the seventh century, the Persians won more stupendous victories, even carrying off the holy cross from Jerusalem. But the victories were not without wounds either. The battles of nearly two centuries, which rocked the Eastern empire, also exhausted the Persian kingdom. and when the peace of 628 was signed, both rivals were in a state of prostration. The ground was well laid for the triumph, of a new force, the inspired army of Islam, which was soon to emerge from the Arabian desert to destroy both the Persian and Byzantine empires. The rise and development of the new Arabian faith, which transformed the political and religious history of Europe and the East, affected Jewish life more profoundly than any development since the triumph of Christianity.
Long before the rise of Islam, there were flourishing Jewish communities in the Arabian peninsula. They were usually centered in the more habitable parts, especially in the oases of the south and north-west. Yathrib, or Medina, where Mohammed rose to power and where his tomb lies, may have been founded by the Jews: when it first emerges into history, it was held by the Jews. The town of Khaibar, farther north, and one of the most prosperous settlements in all Arabia was another Jewish center. In Yemen, in the fifth century one of the pagan princes, Dhu Nuwas, became enamored of Judaism and carried his whole province with him into the Jewish fold.There is evidence that it became a proselytizing state and even persecuted non-believers. But it was not destined to endure. It came to an end later in the century, when it was successively overrun by Christian Abyssinians and the heathen Persians. The Jews were evidently thoroughly at home in Arabia. Like the pure Arabs, they were organized into tribes and often engaged in the internecine feuds which were the bane of desert life. Their names were Arabic, their speech was Arabic, and some of the finest work in early Arabic literature was the product of Jewish poets and singers. In most respects, they lived on a higher level than the Arabs. They were better equipped for agriculture and were proficient in industries which were virtually unknown to the natives.
End of part 1