Posted on

Bahrain embraces Islam

Bahrain was among the first regions of Arabia to accept Islam and it was a source of pride to the early Bahraini Muslims that they had willingly chosen Islam; it had not been forcibly imposed on them.

The Arab tribe Abd-al-Qays were the dominant group in the wider Bahrain region at the dawn of Islam. When they heard of the Prophet Mohammed and his message, Abd-al-Qays sent two delegations to visit the Prophet and learn more about the new religion.

The first delegation visited the Prophet in Medina in 8 AH. The Prophet hosted them for several days while they asked questions about Islam and were read passages from the Quran. Reportedly they learned several passages from the Quran before returning to Bahrain.

This delegation told the Prophet that they could not make a formal alliance with him in the name of the respective tribes of Bahrain, but that they themselves would commit to Mohammed. They promised to return home and spread the word.

Reportedly, the first delegation embraced Islam, but kept this secret, for fear of damaging trade relations with other tribes. However, they converted a house into a Mosque and began practicing their new faith.

The second delegation was led by a Christian called Al-Jarud al-Abdi, who after visiting the Prophet Mohammed became a very committed Muslim and played a major role in converting the Abd-al-Qays tribe to Islam.

As a result, Bahrain became one of the first places to accept the Prophet Mohammed’s message

After the death of the Prophet Mohammed, many tribes in Arabia turned away from Islam, including many from Ab-al-Qays. However Al-Jarud stayed loyal to the new faith and was one of the main figures who convinced Abd-al-Qays and the other tribes of Bahrain to re-commit to their new religion.

Bahrain’s Al-Khamis Mosque dates back to the early years of Islam, although it has been renovated many times and we can assume that this was just one of many Mosques which were built to receive Bahraini worshippers.

The Bahrainis of Abd-al-Qays also formed a significant contingent of the Muslim armies that conquered Persia in the early days of Islam and substantial numbers of them are recorded as bringing their families and establishing themselves on the other side of the Arabian Gulf at that time.

Bahrain at the dawn of Islam was probably the wealthiest region of Arabia. It is recorded that the Prophet’s messenger to Bahrain sent to Medina 80,000 Persian Drachms for the Kharaj tax; far more than the Prophet had received from anywhere else. However, the establishment of the Islamic Empire, and particularly the emergence of Baghdad as the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate brought still greater prosperity to Bahrain as the long-distance trade routes became established with India and China.

So the emergence of Islam ushered in an important new phase to Bahrain’s history and allowed the islands of Bahrain to flourish.


Rate this blog entry: