The Political Situation
the three arab regions adjacent to foreigners suffered great weakness and inferiority. the people there were either masters or slaves, rulers or subordinates. masters, especially the foreigners, had claim to every advantage; slaves had nothing but responsibilities to shoulder. in other words, arbitrary autocratic rulership brought about encroachment on the rights of subordinates, ignorance, oppression, iniquity, injustice and hardship, and turning them into people groping in darkness and ignorance, viz., fertile land which rendered its fruits to the rulers and men of power to extravagantly dissipate on their pleasures and enjoyments, whims and desires, tyranny and aggression. the tribes living near these regions were fluctuating between syria and iraq, whereas those living inside arabia were disunited and governed by tribal conflicts and racial and religious disputes.
they had neither a king to sustain their independence nor a supporter to seek advice from, or depend upon, in hardships.
the rulers of hijaz, however, were greatly esteemed and respected by the arabs, and were considered as rulers and servants of the religious centre. rulership of hijaz was, in fact, a mixture of secular and official precedence as well as religious leadership. they ruled among the arabs in the name of religious leadership and always monopolized the custodianship of the holy sanctuary and its neighbourhood. they looked after the interests of al-ka‘bah visitors and were in charge of putting abraham’s code into effect. they even had such offices and departments like those of the parliaments of today. however, they were too weak to carry the heavy burden, as this evidently came to light during the abyssinian (ethiopian) invasion.