Until recently the Arab traditions were practically the only source for the pre-Islamic history of Arabia.
Conversions of Copts to Islam were at first rare, and the old system of taxation was maintained for the greater part of the first Islamic century.
But the Omayyads (with one exception) were not religious men and, while preserving the outward forms of Islam, allowed full liberty to the pre-Islamic customs of the Arabs and the beliefs and practices of Christians.
This national party lent what weight it had to the pan-Islamic agitation which arose in the summer and autumn of 1905, regardless of the fact that a pan-Islamic triumph meant the re-assertion of direct Turkish rule in Egypt and the end of the liberty the Egyptians enjoyed.
He, no doubt, like al-Asma`i and Abu `Ubaida, also himself visited the areas occupied by the tribes for their camping grounds in the neighbouring desert; and adjacent to Kufa was al-IIIra, the ancient capital of the Lakhmid kings, whose court was the most celebrated centre in pre-Islamic Arabia, where, in the century before the preaching of the Prophet, poets from the whole of the northern half of the peninsula were wont to assemble.