The film History of the Emirates: Belief is about various religions and beliefs that have been professed throughout the history of Emirates. It starts with discussing the ancient pagan beliefs in the Stone Age. Afterwards, the narrative refers to the establishment of newer approaches to faith, rituals, and burials. The film depicts the first widespread religion with common attributes, which united the lands. The narrative proceeds to the arrival of first Gods and Christianity. Finally, the emergence and development of modern Islam are mentioned.
The movie starts with a summary of the series related to the history of Arab Emirates, moving to the topic of religion. Afterlife belief is the first mentioned representation of faith that was supposedly established in the Stone Age five thousand years before Christ. It is characterized by specific burial rituals featuring placing the skulls towards the east to worship the sun. In addition, ancient people had a special sacred place for burials and put various belongings in the grave, which means they believed in afterlife.
Further, the narrative moves twelve hundred years forward to almost the end of the Stone Age in 3800 BC. Faith has undergone significant transformations by that time with the arrival of the belief in supernatural. French archeologists found dugong bones, which are believed to represent a specific religious structure or monument. The reason behind these assumptions is that the bones were stacked up in a specific way, as the sculls were facing east, and personal items were spread among the bones. It may represent a part of a ritual that was meant to ensure good fishing.
The appearance of first tombs and much more elaborate burials are related to the Bronze Age. However, the next significant leap in development is assigned to the Iron Age in one thousand years before Christ. It is the period when first common beliefs spread around the peninsula. Noteworthy temples full of various attributes related to snakes were built. The repeated image of the Arabian horned viper has a significant meaning as it represents a God or a group of Gods for the first time. Moreover, as the snake attributes are discovered in different areas, it is fair to say that the lands became more united by the same religious aspects.
Over the course of the film, new archeological discoveries related to the pre-Islamic era are mentioned. The main discovery is a temple with a list of unusual attributes, such as being faced to the east, having eagle statues nearby, and remains of the offerings. As the inscriptions were deciphered, it became clear that the temple is devoted to Shamash, the god of sun. Around sixth century AD, Christianity reached the peninsular, which is confirmed by the remains of early Christian churches and even monasteries.
Film’s narrative proceeds to the establishment of Islam in AD 630, as Sohar received a message from Prophet Muhamed. People already accumulated various religion-related information, hence, the conditions in the society were already suitable for people to believe the message and convert. Moreover, a religious war was conducted in 632, and after the victory of the Islamic army, the faith began to expand.
The film advocates the position of multiple religions co-existing in modern Arab Emirates and throughout the history. The narrative shows how faith developed and transformed during centuries changing its course and establishing new sections. It also depicts how religions and beliefs bound people together, having significant impact on their view on the world. Conclusively, the film advocates that historical aspects of faith development play a crucial role in understanding of modern cultural specificities of the society.