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The ancestry and civilization of the Arabs

Monday 15/06/2009

First: The ancestry of the Arabs

Historians divide the ancestry of the Arabs into three sections according to the lineages from which they descend:
 
1- The Baa’idah Arabs (the extinct Arabs): This section includes the tribes of ‘Aad, Thamood (Thamud), the Giants, Tasm, Jadees, ‘Amyam, Jurhum, Hadharamawt and others who were related to them. These tribes were obliterated before the advent of Islam. Among them there were kings whose borders reached Ash-Shaam and Egypt.
 
2- The ‘Aaribah Arabs (The pure Arabs): These are the Arabs who descended from Ya‘rub bin Yashjub bin Qahtaan. They are known as “the Qahtaani Arabs” and also “the Arabs of the south”. This section includes the kings of Yemen, the kingdoms of Ma‘een, Saba‘ (Sheba) and Himyar.
 
3-The ‘Adnaani Arabs: They descend from ‘Adnaan, whose lineage can be traced back to Ismaa‘eel (Ismail), the son of Ibraaheem (Abraham), may Allah exalt their mention. They are also known as the Musta‘ribah Arabs (the Arabized Arabs). This means that these Arabs mixed with non-Arabs and united together, with the Arabic language becoming the language of this new mixture. This section includes the Arabs of the north whose original place or residence was Makkah and includes Ismaa‘eel, may Allah exalt his mention, his children, and the Jaraahmah, from whom Ismaa‘eel, may Allah exalt his mention, learnt Arabic and into whom he married. The children of Isma’eel, may Allah Exalt his mention, were raised as Arabs.
 
The most important of the children of Ismaa‘eel is ‘Adnaan, the forefather of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and from whom the Arab tribes and clans descended from. ‘Adnaan had a son whose name was Ma‘add, and Ma‘add had a son whose name was Nizaar. Nizaar had two sons: Mudhar and Rabee‘ah.
 
The descendants of Rabee‘ah bin Nizaar moved to the eastern part of Arabia and formed the tribes of ‘Abdul-Qays in Bahrain, Haneefah in Al-Yamaamah and Banu Bakr bin Waa’il in between Bahrain and Al-Yamaamah. The tribe of Taghlib crossed the Euphrates and resided between the Tigris and the Euphrates. The tribe of Tameem inhabited the desert of Basrah.
 
Of the branches of Mudhar, the tribe of Sulaym inhabited a place near Madeenah, Thaqeef inhabited At-Taa’if, Hawaazin was found to the east of Makkah, Asad was east of Taymaa’ and to the west of Kufah, and the tribes of Thubyaan and ‘Abs resided between Taymaa’ and Hawraan.
 
The majority of genealogists along with other scholars are of the opinion that there were two sections of the Arabs: ‘Adnaani and Qahtaani Arabs. Other scholars, however, are of the view that the Arabs, both the ‘Adnaani and Qahtaani, in fact all descended from Ismaa‘eel, may Allah exalt his mention.
 
In his Saheeh, Al-Bukhari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him referred to this and named one of the subchapters: Tracing Back Yemen to Ismaa‘eel, May Allah Exalt His Mention. In this respect, he mentioned a Hadeeth narrated by Salamah, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) once passed by some people who were practicing archery. He said: ‘O children of Ismaa‘eel, shoot and I am on the side of the tribe of so-and-so, [one of the two teams].’ They stopped shooting. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: ‘What is wrong with you?’ They replied, ‘How can we shoot while you are with Banu so-and-so?’ He replied: ‘Shoot. I am with all of you.’” The wording of another narration of this incident reads: “O children of Ismaa‘eel, shoot, for your father was an archer”.
 
Al-Bukhari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Aslam bin Afsa bin Haaritha bin ‘Amr bin ‘Aamir was from Khuzaa‘ah.” He meant by saying this that Khuzaa‘ah was one of the Arab tribes that had been scattered in Saba’ (Sheba) after Allah The Almighty had sent upon them the flood of the Dam.
 
The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) descended from Mudhar. It was narrated by Kulayb bin Waa’il  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him that he said, “I asked Zaynab bint Abi Salamah, daughter of the wife of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) ‘Tell me about the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). Did he belong to the tribe of Mudhar?’ She replied, ‘Yes, he belonged to the tribe of Mudhar and was from the offspring of An-Nadhr bin Kinaanah.’” [Al-Bukhari]
 
Quraysh descended from the tribe of Kinaanah. They were the children of Fihr bin Maalik bin An-Nadhr bin Kinaanah. Quraysh divided into many tribes, the most famous of which were the tribes of Jumah, Sahm, ‘Addiyy, Makhzoom, Taym, Zuhrah, as well as the clans of Qusayy bin Kilaab, ‘Abd-ud-Daar bin Qusayy, Asad bin ‘Abdul-‘Uzza bin Qusayy and ‘Abd-Manaaf bin Qusayy. Four sub-clans descended from ‘Abd Manaaf: ‘Abd Shams, Nawfal, Al-Muttalib and Haashim. Allah The Exalted selected Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) from Banu Haashim. The name of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was, thus, Muhammad bin ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib bin Haashim.
 
It was narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Indeed, Allah selected Kinaanah from amongst the descendants of Ismaa‘eel, and He selected Quraysh from amongst Kinaanah, and He selected Banu Haashim from amongst Quraysh, and He selected me from the tribe of Banu Haashim.” [Muslim]
 
Second: Civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula
 
Long ago, noble civilizations and old civilities were established in the Arabian locality, the most famous of which are:
 
1- The civilization of Saba’ in Yemen:
 
The noble Quran refers to this civilization. In Yemen, they utilized the water of rain and floods which was wasted in sand or which flowed into the sea. They established reservoirs and dams in developed geometric ways. The most famous was the Ma’rib Dam. They utilized water in cultivating various plants, gardens with great trees and fruits; Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {There was for [the tribe of] Saba' in their dwelling place a sign: two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told]: “Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord.” But they turned away [refusing], so We sent upon them the flood of the dam, and We replaced their two [fields of] gardens with gardens of bitter fruit, tamarisks and something of sparse lote trees. [By] that We repaid them because they disbelieved. And do We [thus] repay except the ungrateful?} [Quran 34: 15-17]
 
The noble Quran also indicates that there were villages that existed permanently in the past between Yemen, the area of Al-Hijaaz (Western Arabia) and the area of Ash-Shaam (greater Syria). It also indicated that trade caravans and travelers would travel from Yemen to Ash-Shaam while enjoying shade, water and food; Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And We placed between them and the cities which We had blessed [many] visible cities. And We determined between them the [distances of] journey, [saying]: “Travel between them by night or day in safety.” But [insolently] they said, “Our Lord, lengthen the distance between our journeys,” and wronged themselves, so We made them narrations and dispersed them in total dispersion. Indeed in that are signs for everyone patient and grateful.} [Quran 34: 18-19]
 
2- The Civilization of ‘Aad in Al-Ahqaaf (the curved sand-hills in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula):
 
They were in the northern part of Hadharamawt. Allah The Exalted sent Prophet Hoode (Hud), may Allah exalt his mention, to them. They built lofty palaces and multiple fortresses and had gardens, vegetation and springs. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {'Aad denied the messengers, When their brother Hoode said to them: “Will you not fear Allah? Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy messenger. So fear Allah and obey me. And I do not ask you for it any payment. My payment is only from the Lord of the worlds. Do you construct on every elevation a sign, amusing yourselves, And take for yourselves palaces and fortresses that you might abide eternally? And when you strike, you strike as tyrants. So fear Allah and obey me. And fear He who provided you with that which you know, Provided you with grazing livestock and children, and gardens and springs.”} [Quran 26: 123-134]
 
2-  The civilization of Thamood (Thamud) in Al-Hijaaz:
 
The noble Quran mentions that there was a civilization in the Al-Hijaaz region. The Quran refers to the ability of such people to curve out houses in the mountains and speaks of the springs, gardens and plants they had. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {Thamud denied the messengers, When their brother Saalih [Saleh] said to them: “Will you not fear Allah? Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy messenger. So fear Allah and obey me. And I do not ask you for it any payment. My payment is only from the Lord of the worlds. Will you be left in what is here, secure [from death], within gardens and springs, And fields of crops and palm trees with softened fruit? And you carve out of the mountains, homes, with skill. So fear Allah and obey me.”} [Quran 26: 141-150]
 
Concerning them, Allah The Exalted also Says (what means): {And remember when He made you successors after the 'Aad and settled you in the land, [and] you take for yourselves palaces from its plains and carve from the mountains, homes. Then remember the favors of Allah and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.”} [Quran 7: 74]
 
All this perished a very long time ago and only antiquities, drawings and remains can now be seen. The villages and cities have been destroyed; houses and palaces deserted; springs drained, trees dried and gardens as well as plants have turned into barren land.

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