The Quran was revealed in a fashion that was contemporary in its nature. Always addressing the status quo and allowing the listener to relate to its words and essence 100%.
Pre-hijra, some of the muslims were tortured in ways we can’t truly comprehend. Yet, the Muslims were not given permission to respond to any of the violence they faced. Therein lies many precious lessons and a divine wisdom as well. Just like diamonds deep in the earth; that constant pressure and force was a necessity to produce and refine the purest of characters and develop the best moral behavior of the companions. These are the same companions who were instrumental in carrying the message of Islam after the death of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) to the extremities of this earth.
Unable to retaliate, the Quran came to provide them with the spiritual ammo to fight their strongest enemy, their own selves, to practice patience and adhere to the divine orders.
After several relatively unsuccessful years of spreading the message of Islam (dawah), and increased aggression against the Muslims in Mecca, it was apparent that something had to change. Hijra was inescapable…
Note that the overwhelming majority of the Meccans at the time were pagans. The message of Islam only seldom fell on the ears of people from other faiths. Even though Islam is a universal religion, in its early years the direct audience were pagans; as such the Quran was revealed to that audience; in their language and in the best way they can comprehend.
However, due to the aggression, Muslims began migrating to the East (Ethiopia) or North (Madina), and the Quran started evolving its message to include people of other faiths. In other words, the Quran was preparing the Muslims to be able to effectively communicate with people from other faiths, namely Christians and Jews. Significantly more focus was put on Jews, as they were heavily involved in the first years in Madinah after the Hijra. The companions were being taught, and were being made aware of the history of the Jews and Christians and their Prophets, whom Muslims must also believe in.
Look at this marvelous observation:
1- The 44th Chapter revealed was Maryam (Mary mother of Jesus, peace be upon them).
2- The 75th Chapter revealed was Al-Sajda.
3- Starting from the 44th chapter until the 75th, every chapter mentioned either one or more of following prophets; Musa (Moses), who alone raked up over 25 appearances in these chapters, Issa (Jesus), Ibrahim, Yusuf, Nuh, Huud, Adam ( عليهم السلام) and/or the words “Sons of Israel” (بني اسرائيل), “Pharoah”, “those who became Jews” ( الذين هادوا).
Imagine had Jafaar ibn Abi Talib, been brought forth in front of the King of Ethiopia without having Surah Maryam as his shield when the Christian king asked him about Jesus and his mother. What would’ve been their end? They would’ve been sent back to Mecca where they would have met their likely execution or torture. But the eloquent verses entered the heart of the king and won the Muslims asylum from the Meccans.
The lesson here is simple: before you engage yourself with a new crowd, you have to know about them. You have to equip yourself with knowledge about them; their history, their culture, their beliefs. That knowledge is essential to be able to communicate with them. It allows you to draw parallels between the two cultures, observe common ground, just like Jafaar ibn Abi Talib did with the King of Ethiopia. Both Christians and Muslims believed Jesus (peace be upon him) was sent by God and that he is a miracle, pure and an example to look up to.
To bring this back to us, we have to put an effort into learning and excelling at Canadian history, Native history, Black history, North American history and Western history. We also ought to familiarize ourselves with those cultures and understand the ideas that influence how our fellow Canadians think and behave if we are to be able to communicate with them with excellence.