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The first is the pre-Islamic period – the period of Jahiliyyah – ignorance, as it is called.This term, of course, was coined by the Muslim thinkers of later times. All the information we have about the music of this period, which is described as simple and primitive, is from those thinkers of the 9th century and later. During the Jahiliyyah period music was probably comprised of songs of wandering and journeys, in which the lyrics were more important than the melody. It is known that there was already contact with neighboring cultures such as the Babylonian empire and the Assyrian empire, which flourished in the area at the time. The nomadic tribes also carried cultural messages to and from neighboring societies.

The prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570 A.D., and moved to Yathrib (later known as Medina) in 622. Within two years, the entire area embraces Islam as its religion. This begins a pathway of conquering which continues after Muhammad’s death in 632, by his successors, the Rashidun Caliphs – the Orthodox. Each one of them would expand the edges and spread the new religion, and with it the music, in genres related to the religion such as the adhan- the call to prayer, and the cantillation of the Qur’an.