Amr ibn Luhay – Religious Status of the World Before Islam | Lessons from The Seerah | Episode 11
Ep 11 – Religious Status of the World Before Islam – Amr ibn Luhay al-Khuza’i – Yasir Qadhi Now, question arises: How could one man single handedly change the religion of Ibrahim and Ismail? This is a question that we should ask ourselves and benefit from, in order not to fall into this trap. One man can change the religion of their forefather Ibrahim and Ismail. How so? Allahu ‘alam, but I think that we can summarize it in two factors: First and foremost, the inferiority complex that Amr ibn Luhay had, towards the advanced Amalekites (Amalek). because the Amalekites were powerful civilization. They were civilization that had history writing, architecture, large buildings, they were known to be undefeated. And that’s what the old testament also mentions that the Amalekites were the feared. This is the nation that is indestructible. Everybody is scared of them. And they’re described to be giants, many probably, they’re maybe 6.5-7 foot tall, the average person amongst them. They’re generation, they’re a group of people whom the world looks up to. So Amr ibn Luhay felt a complex, that these are the mighty nation. We should take from them in everything. So, because the Syrian society, the Amalekites were so powerful, Amr ibn Luhay assumed they must be correct in everything. And it is very important that we take from this lesson, things that we benefit from in our times. Simply because a nation is powerful, doesn’t mean it has the correct morality, the correct ethics, the correct theology. Simply because a nation has technology, or civilization, or architecture, doesn’t mean it is better in everything. Yes it’s better in some things, but not in everything. So here we have Amr ibn Luhay was so astounded that these Amalekites can never be defeated, they have this and that. Surely they must be upon guidance, so he took from them their theology. Now supposed he did, who is he to be accepted among his people? Here we get to the second factor. So the first factor was, that the Amalekites were considered to be so powerful and mighty. There’s an inferiority complex. The second factor, Amr ibn Luhay was not just a lay person. He was the chieftain of Khuza’ah. Who is Khuza’ah? You remember a few weeks ago, I mentioned very briefly the history of Makkah for 500 years. Very briefly, just a few paragraphs, and we mentioned that the descendants of Ismail were for a period of time kicked out of Makkah. Until Kusay came and reconquered Makkah. So, for this period of time, who was in charge? Khuza’ah. So, in a way there’s a matter of izzah here; the Quraish did not introduce idolatry, Khuza’ah did. However we say Quraish followed them, so there’s a negative there. But Quraish did not introduce idolatry. Khuza’ah did. Khuza’ah is another tribe, not Quraish. So, Khuza’ah was in charge of Makkah, not the Quraish. And Amr ibn Luhay was their chieftain. And this chieftain was considered to be one of the most respected chieftains of Arabia. And it is said that he had a lot of power, that he won a number of victories, that he defended Makkah against foreign invasions, that he was a generous man, so his people loved him. So when his people loved him, and he imported a theology, then the people followed. And we can add a third reason here, and that is that there must’ve been at least 2000 years since the time of Ibrahim to Amr ibn Luhay. We talked about this in the second or third lessons, how many years between Ibrahim and our time, at least 2000 years must’ve gone by. between Ibrahim and Ismail and Amr ibn Luhay. So we have now therefore, a long time where there is no guidance. There’s no Prophets, where the message of the Prophets has becomes diluted, where ignorance prevailed. And this is the three factors then: number one inferiority complex, you think that that a civilization is better, everything must be right about them. Number two, the person who says it has credentials, he’s prestigious. And number three: ignorance. And wallahi these three factors we need to understand them right now as we speak in 2011. Because wallahi our religion is being bombarded by a lot of people. and we have the exact same three factors. People are saying very strange things. People are wanting us to accept complete variations of our religion, why? Wallahi, the exact same three things. Number 1 is inferiority complex toward another civilization which might indeed be the most powerful technologically, militarily. Might have the most civilization in some aspects. But that doesn’t mean that morally, theologically, ethically, they are the leaders of the world. We have izzah through our Quran and Sunnah, and we have the truth. And simply because a nation is more powerful than us militarily, it doesn’t mean that they are more closer to the truth than us. Number two: we have people with lots of credentials. People who are being promoted by others as being the reformist and what not. That these are the people we need to listen to. These are the Martin Luthers of Islam, that we’ve being told. Right? And they have maasha Allah PhDs and what not from the fanciest universities. And they have the gift of the tongue, and they have publications, and they are famous, and they are very intelligent. Just like Amr ibn Luhay was accepted. And number three: ignorance. The average Muslims does not know his religion inside out. And then when somebody comes and speaks in generic slogans then it’s very easy to be mesmerized, it’s very easy to fall a prey. And wallahi it might not be maybe as bad as shirk, but still, we’re facing an onslaught of changing of the faith. And alhamdulillah there are people that are talking about this and against this, and correcting these misconceptions. But I think it’s very pertinent to discuss these three factors of Amr ibn Luhay al-Khuza’i.