UAE after Islam

Published 06 Nov 2017

One of the main features of United Arab Emirates is its possession of a very strategic location which helps facilitate its trade and commerce. Within the country, the people are engaged in several occupations such as trading, transportation, fishing and hunting. This an important part of their civil life which, aside from certain developments, remained more and less as the same occupations the people in the country are engaged with through the years. However, unlike occupation which remained relatively stable through the years, there is an important aspect of UAE’s culture that underwent radical changes through time. This is in the area of religion. Such changes may be divided between UAE before Islam and UAE under Islamic religion.

Even before the arrival of Islam, the people in UAE have a developed religion. It may be what people at present consider as primitive, but it is nonetheless a developed and organized religion. They have a deity in the form of a snake. A temple is built for the worship. This is a good evidence of the degree of civilization of these snake worshippers as regards their religion. They were able to create a sacred location where worship of their deity will be performed. Moreover, the existence such temple implies the existence of established rites, customs and traditions of a religious nature that are observed by them. Temples are also usually used to communicate to the deity, thus implying some form of prayer method among the people. Aside from the temple and worship, they also have other established norms and traditions such as in burials.

This brings us to the second level of analysis, which is the examination of the status of UAE after the arrival Islam. Islam replaced the old religion practiced by people in UAE. It was facilitated by one of the major features that have characterized UAE for a very long time, its advantages as regards trade and commerce. At that time, the Gulf, in which UAE is a part of, became one of the important commercial centres as well as the industry of the ships. This facilitated the spreading of Islam through the help of Gulf merchants.

The inculcation of Muslim faith is characterized not by a peaceful integration of people to the religion. Instead, the birth of Islam in the country is facilitated by blood and loss. The road to Islam that UAE and other countries in the region had to track was paved with battles and conquests. Even from the beginning, Islam was first brought within the country by Amer bin el Aass by fighting all the invaders from the region of Arabian Gulf after the death of prophet Mohammed (PBUH). In the Gulf, this was followed by other battles, some of which are characterized by victories, the others, by losses. Examples of the victories include the victory of the Ottoman sultan, Mohammed Al-Fatih (the Conqueror) to conquest “Constantinople”, while examples of the losses include the end of the kingdom of Granada in Andalusia in 1492 and end of the Arabian marine control over the Arabian Gulf, Oman Sea, and a part of the Indian Ocean during the 15th Century. Many of these battles resulted in many deaths and great loss of properties. Among the enemies against whom the need to defend arose were Portugal, Holland, France, and Britain.

The political climate after the introduction of Islam was also affected by the formation of alliances and tribal organizations that are often formed by ruling families. Moreover, the policies of government and people have changed. One important consequence of the developments in the Arab region, including UAE, is their effects on the issues people hold dear. Progress and liberation have become major calls for Arab citizens and attention was given to the desire to achieve modern education, social modernisation and media openness.

The Arab development, especially after Islam, has considerable effects on its different parts. An important discussion as regards these effects will be the development of Dubai Emirates, which is an integral part of United Arab Emirates. It is considered as the main portion of the Gulf and like UAE, has achieved a considerable position in trade due to its strategic location. It has also become a main trading in the Gulf owing partly to the success of its pearl-making business. However, as discussed above, UAE has become witness to the crossing of cultures due to its strategic location beside bodies of water used for trade and transportation, and so have its parts. The result is the commingling of the arts and culture of its parts, including the Dubai Emirates thus losing their distinction among each other.


  • David C King ‘United Arab Emirates’ New York : Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008.
  • Sulṭan ibn Muḥammad al-Qasimi, Ruler of ShaI riqah’Selected speeches’ Sharjah, United Arab Emirates : Al Qasimi Publications, 2016.
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