It is quite common to hear Muslims discuss the Pre-Islamic period, particularly that of Arabia, as “Jahiliyyah,” which translated literally into English means “Ignorance”.
The choice of such a term to describe the period before Islam is rather fitting in several different ways, and when one studies the cultural habits as well as the belief system dominant in that period of time, it becomes apparent as to how the name is so fitting and accurate.
At this time, the people of Arabia were ignorant of Monotheism and the Laws previously sent by God to mankind (with the exception of a tiny group of individuals known as the Hanifs) and had fallen into the ignorance of Idol worship. Not only religiously, but morally the entire ethos surrounding the period was backwards and ignorant. The Arabs of the time would attribute daughters to their concept of a deity and yet for themselves they would be perfectly content with burying their newborn daughters alive.
The period was one in which tribal warfare flourished and spread rapidly and justice was very rarely found. There were however a few good practices from this period, and as such were preserved by Islam, and yet were so few compared to the injustices and practices of ignorance which surround the period.