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(2,439 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, name of a Sunnī dynasty of the Yemen. They took their name from a certain Muḥammad b. Hārūn who had earned for himself the nickname Rasūl (“messenger”) under one of the ʿAbbāsid caliphs in the 6th/12th century because of his trustworthiness and efficiency as a confidential envoy. The family tree can be constructed as given below (the element al-Malik prefixed to the rulers’ honorific titles is omitted here). By the time the last sultan appeared on the scene, Rasūlid history was marked by serious family squabbles over the leadership. 1. History. The Rasūlid historians and genealogis…


(869 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R. | Bosworth, C.E.
a large tribal group, now inhabiting in the main the areas of Ḏh̲amār and Radāʿ in the modern Yemen Arab Republic. The traditional genealogy, given by e.g. Ibn Durayd, Is̲h̲tiḳāḳ , ed. ¶ Wüstenfeld, 237 ff., and by Yāḳūt, Beirut 1374-6/1955-7, v, 89, is from Mālik b. Udad b. Zayd b. Yas̲h̲d̲j̲ub b. ʿArïb b. Zayd b. Kahlān b. Sabaʾ b. Yas̲h̲d̲j̲ub b. Yaʿrub b. Ḳaḥtān. The numerous component ḳabāʾil of Mad̲h̲ḥid̲j̲ are listed in full by al-Malik al-As̲h̲raf ʿUmar, Ṭurfat al-aṣḥāb fī maʿrifat al-ansāb , ed. K. V. Zetterstéen, Damascus 1949, 9; those most frequ…


(425 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a dynasty of southwestern Arabia centred on Tihāma [ q.v.] between the years 203-409(?)/818-1018, but having control also in the northern highlands of the Yemen [see al-yaman ] and along the Indian Ocean coast. Unfortunately, our sources are late and little informed, there are discrepancies in the dates given and even the names of the later members of the family are unknown. The dynasty is named after Muḥammad b. Ziyād, who traced his pedigree back to the Umayyad dynasty and who, during the caliphate of the ʿAbbāsid al-Maʾmūn [ q.v.], became the protégé of his minister, al-Faḍl b. Sahl [ q.v.…


(702 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, the name given by the Arabs to a member of the gazehound family, so-called because it pursues its quarry by sight and not by scent. The salūḳī stands about 25-6 ins. in height at the shoulder. The salūḳī has often been mistaken for the greyhound by travellers to the Middle East, but the ears are long and pendulous, while the greyhound’s are short and pricked, and the greyhound is wider in the body and more heavily built. Whereas the greyhound is a sprinter, the salūḳī is possessed of great stamina. Abundant evidence exists in Arabic literature that the salūḳī hunted oryx in the Ḏj̲āhiliyya …


(1,191 words)

Author(s): Strothmann, R. | Smith, G.R.
, a dynasty of Abyssinian slaves with their capital in Zabīd [ q.v.], reigned 412-553/1022-1158. ¶ The best historical source for an understanding of the dynasty is ʿUmāra (see Kay, in Bibl .), but it should be stressed that ʿUmāra’s account is sometimes confused, frequently anecdotal with interruptions of little or no relevance and lacking in dates. Other published sources which can be used as a control on ʿUmāra’s text are listed below, though many depend ultimately on him, being transmitted in the main through other writers. When the last Ziyādid [ q.v.] had been put to death during…


(1,126 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, also not infrequently appearing as al-Tahāʾim in mediaeval sources, the area of the Red Sea coastal plain stretching from ʿAḳaba in the north to the Bāb al-Mandab in the south of the Arabian Peninsula, some even claiming that it extends further along the southern Indian Ocean coast. Today, inhabitants of the Ḥid̲j̲āz [ q.v.] divide Tihāma into three: Tihāmat al-Ḥid̲j̲āz from the north as far south as al-Layt̲h̲, Tihāmat ʿAsīr from al-Layt̲h̲ to D̲j̲īzān/D̲j̲āzān and, from the latter south, Tihāmat al-Yaman. Historically, it is the second and thir…


(1,197 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a former settlement on the Indian Ocean coast and modern name of the Southern Region of the Sultanate of Oman. In early, mediaeval and late mediaeval times it was never actually a port, and is now a ruined site called al-Balrd, a few miles to the east of the chief town of the southern region, Ṣalāla [ q.v.]. In modern times, the name came to be used for the whole of the Southern Region of the Sultanate of Oman [see ʿumān ] and was officially Anglicised as Dhofar. There can be no longer any doubt about the correct vocalisation of the Arabic name, for both lexicographers (e.g. Ibn Manẓūr, LA, Beirut 195…


(365 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, the name of the administrative capital of the Southern Region (Ẓafār [ q.v.], Dhofar, also D̲j̲anūbiyya) of the Sultanate of Oman [see ʿumān ) and of the plain in which the town is situated. The town stands on the shore of the Indian Ocean and is 850 km/528 miles as the crow flies south-west of the capital of the Sultanate, Muscat [see masḳaṭ ] and about 120 km/75 miles from the present border with the Republic of Yemen. The town is the seat of the Minister of State and the Wālī of Dhofar. The town is a modern one which has developed from a small market town only in the post-1970 perio…


(492 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a South Arabian dynasty of Fāṭimid allegiance (473-569/1080-1173), of Yām [ q.v.], centred on the southern port of Yemen [see al-yaman ], Aden [see ʿadan ]. When the Maʿnids (Banū Maʿn), the then rulers of Aden, suspended their tribute to their masters, the Ṣulayḥids [ q.v.] in 473/1080, al-Mukarram Aḥmad marched on Aden for the Ṣulayḥids, drove out the Maʿnids and installed as joint rulers al-ʿAbbās and al-Masʿūd, sons of one al-Mukarram b. al-D̲h̲iʾb, in return for their previous services to the Ṣulayḥid Fāṭimid cause. Al-ʿAbbās died in…


(303 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, the name of a town and area in ʿUmān [ q.v.] which finds no place in the classical Arabic geographies. The town is situated about 112 km/70 miles west, as the crow flies, of the chief town of the Sultanate, Muscat [see masḳaṭ ], on the northern side of the range of al-D̲j̲abal al-Ak̲h̲ḍar. The district, according to Lorimer ( Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf , Calcutta 1908, IIB, 1603-4), is the region of western Had̲j̲ar from al-Ḥazm with all the villages therein. The word itself is universally defined as Arabised Persian (see the previous article) meaning “village”, “market-to…


(332 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, banū , also and perhaps originally Riʾām, a tribal grouping in ʿUmān [ q.v.]. The tribe would appear to have originated in the coastal area of southern ʿUmān and in the 4th/10th century al-Hamdānī ( Ṣifa , 52) refers to them as a baṭn of al-Ḳamar, which Ibn Manẓūr’s LA (v, 115) states is a baṭn of Mahra b. Ḥaydān, not the main group of Mahra which remained in southern Arabia. Kaḥḥāla ( Muʿd̲j̲am , ii, 458), relying on the 5th/11th century geographer, al-Bakrī, says Banū Riyām themselves are a baṭn of Mahra b. Ḥaydān b. ʿAmr b. al-Ḥāf, that they live in the coastal area of southern ʿ…


(167 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a name sometimes used, most notably by Ibn K̲h̲aldūn ( ʿIbar . iv, 111), of the Zaydī imāms of the Yemen [see zaydiyya ]. The term “Banu ’l-Rassī” is not commonly used by the Yemeni Zaydī historians and may only have gained some currency in Europe after Kay’s translation ( Yaman , 184 ff.) of the chapter in Ibn K̲h̲aldūn’s ʿIbar. Perhaps also as a result of Kay’s translation, the term Rassid imāms was used soon after in Lane-Poole’s Dynasties , 102 and table, for the Zaydī imāms down to ca. 700/1300. The nisba is derived from a place in the Ḥid̲j̲āz, al-Rass, held…


(2,108 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, from ancient times the chief town of the Yemen [ q.v.] and present capital of the unified Republic of Yemen. Its present population is reckoned to be just over half a million. The town is situated in the centre of the northern highlands of the Yemen at lat. 15° 22′ N. and long. 44° 11′ E., i.e. about 170 km/106 miles as the crow flies from the nearest point on the Red Sea and 300 km/186 miles approximately from the Indian Ocean port of Aden [see ʿadan ], Ṣanʿāʾ is located at a height above sea level of more than 2,200 m/7,216 feet. It is all but surrounded b…


(1,078 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a town approximately 240 km/150 miles to the north of the chief town of the Yemen, Ṣanʿāʾ [ q.v.], situated on the southern edge of the Ṣaʿda plain, and the administrative capital of the province ( muḥāfaẓa ) of the same name. The town is about 1,800 m/5,904 ft. above sea level and in the 1986 census in the Yemen had a reported population of 24,245 persons. The inhabitants of the province numbered 323,110. Although al-Hamdānī, 67, informs us that the town was called Ḏj̲umāʿ in pre-Islamic times, certain Sabaic inscriptions mention hgrn ṢʿDTm , "the town Ṣaʿda", tog…


(1,361 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, an Ismāʿīlī dynasty ruling over much of the southern highlands and Tihāma [ q.v.] region of the Yemen between the years 439-532/1047-1138 approximately. ¶ 1. History , Firstly, a word should be said about sources. Ismāʿīlī sources have in the past always been difficult of access and we still suffer from their general policy of secrecy in this matter. Still a major source is ʿUmāra’s Taʾrīk̲h̲ al-ϒaman (the author died in 569/1174) and the best edition of it remains Kay’s (see Bibl . below). The work is scarcely ideal, however; the author, writing for th…


(684 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, at the present time a town in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia about 70 km/45 miles south-east of the capital al-Riyāḍ [ q.v.] and situated in the region of al-K̲h̲ard̲j̲ within the al-Riyāḍ emirate, close to Maḥaṭṭat al-K̲h̲ard̲j̲ on the al-Riyāḍ to al-Ẓahrān (Dhahran) railway (Hussein Hamza Bindagji, Atlas of Saudi Arabia , Oxford 1980, 49; Zaki M.A. Farsi, National guide and atlas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1989, 71). The town is now relatively small and has a population of less than 50,000 (Bindagji, 3). The origin of the name may be yamāma , singular of the collective yamām


(569 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a sultanate and confederation of tribes occupying the territory about 320 km/200 miles to the east of Aden [see ʿadan ], forming a delta shape from the Indian Ocean shore in the south, stretching north about 208 km/130 miles to the region of Bayḥān [ q.v.], and flanked by the ʿAwlaḳī states in the west and the Ḳuʿayṭī sultanate in the east (see e.g. map in Johnston, Steamer Point ). Its administrative capital was latterly Mayfaʿa near the impressive pre-Islamic fortifications of Naḳab al-Ḥad̲j̲ar, whose pre-Islamic name, MYFʿT, it took, in …


(779 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
a town and region on the South Arabian Indian Ocean coast approximately 330 miles east of Aden [see ʿadan ], the main port of Ḥaḍramawt [ q.v.] until the 19th century, when al-Mukallā rose to prominence. The port is particularly well known as a fishing and trading centre, but is throughout the centuries associated with the incense trade: Ibn K̲h̲urradād̲h̲bih (147-8) calls the area the Land of Incense ( bilād al-kundur ) and quotes the following line of poetry: Go to al-S̲h̲iḥr; don’t go to Oman ( ʿUmānā ); if you don’t find dates, you will find incense ( lubāna )!. Niebu…


(512 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, also commonly S̲h̲uhāra, the name of a large mountain, town and fortress in the district ( nāḥiya ) of al-Ahnūm in the Yemen, placed by Werdecker ( Contribution , 138) at 16° 14′ lat. N. and 43° 40′ long. E., i.e. approximately 90 km due east of the Red Sea coast and 110 km north, slightly west, of Ṣanʿāʾ [ q.v.). Al-Ahnūm was originally of Ḥās̲h̲id, one of the two divisions of Hamdān. Today, however, the majority of its tribal groups are of Bakīl, the other division, and it is counted as Bakīl territory. The town itself, known in former times as Miʿattiḳ, is called S̲h̲ahārat al-Raʾs s…


(396 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a well-known town in Wādī Ḥaḍramawt [ q.v.], situated about 40 km/25 miles from S̲h̲ibām, east, slightly north, and about 25 km/15 miles from Sayʾūn [ q.v.] in the same direction (see ¶ H. von Wissmann, map, Southern Arabia , RGS, London 1958). The town marks where Wādī Ḥaḍramawt ends and where Wādī al-Masīla begins. In Arab tradition, the name comes from Tarīm b. al-Sukūn b. al-As̲h̲ras b. Kinda or from the name of the one who first setded there, Tarīm b. Ḥaḍramawt b. Sabaʾ al-Aṣg̲h̲ar. The name is attested in the pre-Islamic inscriptions: trm in Iryani 32 and trym in …
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