Arab Idols and the Religions of Jahiliyah

This is such a simple and well put-together podcast. I love every episode.

On the eve of Islam, Arabia was a mixture of hundreds of competing tribal gods, monotheism, Christianity and Judaism.  Sorting the history from the legends of this pre-Islamic past remains a challenging task.

65 – (0.2) The Religions of Pre-Islamic Arabia

Photo: 2nd century AD relief from Hatra depicting the goddess al-Lat flanked by two female figures, possibly al-Uzza and Manat.


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A return to jahiliyyah

painting of arab warriors charging

One of my favorite podcasts, The Golden Age of Islam, just returned after almost a year-long hiatus.

No judgment here. It happens.

This episode dives deep on Bedouin culture.

Like any religion, Islam was shaped by the culture in which it emerged.  The rules and values of the Bedouin – from the treatment of women to concepts of honor and leadership – would impact the Islamic society that grew out of Arabia.  In this episode, we take a look at that culture to understand what Islam preserved and what it changed.

64 – (0.1) The Bedouin Culture of Arabia

If you’re interested in the roots of early Islam, this is a great and accessible podcast. It is a must-listen for me.

Two fascinating things from this episode: 1) a discussion on anti-tribal poetry, which features lots of bragging and grandstanding – what Dr. DiMeo likens to ancient “epic rap battles,” and 2) the Bedouin concept of leadership succession, which was rooted in meritocracy, not bloodlines.

And of course, some ancient tribal code.

I against my brother. My brother and I against my cousin. And my cousin and I against a stranger.


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