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al-Ṭawīla

(215 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a town and district ( ḳaḍāʾ ) lying to the north-west of the main town of Yemen, Ṣanʿāʾ [ q.v.], about 55 km/34 miles as the crow flies, and at the summit of D̲j̲abal al-Ḳarāniʿ at the height of 2,400 m/7,870 feet. It overlooks the area of al-Maḥwīt to the west and Ḥarāz to the south. Josef Werdecker ( A contribution to the geography and cartography of North-West Yemen , in Bull , de la Société Royale de Géographic d’Egypte [1939], 139) placed the town in 15° 30’ latitude and 43° 42’ longitude. Wilson ( Gazetteer , 223-4) can find no reference to the town before 607/…

Rasūlids

(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…

Mad̲h̲ḥid̲j̲

(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…

Ziyādids

(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.…

Salūḳī

(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 …

Nad̲j̲āḥids

(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…

Tihāma

(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…

Ẓafār

(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…

Ṣulayḥids

(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…

al-Yamāma

(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

Wāḥidī

(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 …

al-S̲h̲iḥr

(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…

S̲h̲ahara

(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…

Sayʾūn

(433 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a town in Wādī Ḥaḍramawt [ q.v.], situated about 16 km/10 miles east of S̲h̲ibām [ q.v.] and 24 km/15 miles west of Tarīm [ q.v.] and approximately 480 km/300 miles north of the port of Ḥaḍramawt, al-Mukallā [ q.v.] (see H. von Wissmann and R.B. Serjeant, map of Southern Arabia, Royal Geographical Society, 1958). The town was within the boundaries of the Fifth Governorate of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and now in the unified Republic of Yemen. Landberg ( Etudes sur les dialectes de lArabie méridionale , iii, Dat̲înah , Leiden 1913, 1820) discusses …

Mahdids

(1,185 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a dynasty of Zabīd in the Yemen claiming descent from the pre-Islamic Tubbaʿs of Ḥimyar. 1. History. The family took its name from the father of its first leader, ʿAlī b. Mahdī, who died in 554/1159. ʿAlī was brought up with a strong traditional Islamic education by his father in Tihāma. Though much given to quiet meditation, ʿAlī also acquired a reputation for eloquence. He travelled widely too, performing the pilgrimage each year and meeting ʿulamāʾ from all corners of the Islamic world. The famous historian-poet, ʿUmāra, is our earliest source…

T̲h̲ād̲j̲

(373 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, an ancient pre-Islamic walled site in northeastern Arabia, some 90 km/56 miles ¶ almost due west of the port of D̲j̲ubayl on the Arabian Gulf (see General map, Potts, Arabian Gulf, xx). Located in Wādī al-Miyāh, the site covers an area of about 990 m by 825 m and lay on the trans-Arabian route linking southern Arabia with ʿIrāḳ, and in Islamic times both al-Hamdānī and Ibn Khurradād̲h̲bih mention the route, called by the 7th/13th century traveller Ibn al-Mud̲j̲āwir (214) Ṭarīḳ al-Raḍrāḍ , the “Gravel Road”. It has in recent years been suggested that the…

ʿĪnāt

(220 words)

Author(s): Smith, G. R.
, a town in Ḥaḍramawt, about 10 miles/15 km. due east of Tarīm, and situated at the confluence of the Wādīs ʿĪnāt and Ḥaḍramawt. The holy family of Īnāt is the Āl Bū Bakr b. S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ and the illustrious manṣab , S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Bū Bakr b. Sālim, known as Mawlā ʿĪnāt, is buried in the town. The family has been subjected to severe criticism from other Sayyid groups because of its bearing arms. ʿĪnāt has become one of the most important ḥawṭas [ q.v.] in Ḥaḍramawt. It is famous for its own breed of hunting dogs which seem to be indistinguishable from the common “pie-dog”. With thes…

Kat̲h̲īrī

(1,679 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a South Arabian tribal group and sultanate, the latter eventually becoming part of the Eastern Aden Protectorate prior to the departure of the British from South Arabia in 1967. Their origins were in the area of Ẓafār [ q.v.] on the Indian Ocean, now within the Southern Region of the Sultanate of Oman [see ʿumān ], and they appear suddenly on the stage of history in the 9th/15th century. By the time the Eastern Aden Protectorate collapsed in 1967 after the departure of the British, the Kat̲h̲īrī sultanate was made up of the centre and eastern end o…

al-S̲h̲arīf Abū Muḥammad Idrīs

(660 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
b. ʿAlī , called ʿImād al-Dīn, a Ḥasanī s̲h̲arīf of Yemen. Belonging also to the Zaydī Ḥamzas, he is usually given the nisba al-Ḥamzī. He was a Ṣanʿānī, was born in 673/1274 and died in 714/1314. Idrīs had a strict Zaydī background and his early days were spent under the eye of his father, D̲j̲amāl al-Dīn ʿAlī, who played a prominent military part on the side of the Zaydīs in the Zaydī-Rasūlid struggles of the late 7th/13th century. By the time his father died in 699/1299, he had made his peace with the Rasūlids and Idrīs was left in charge of the Ḥamzī as̲h̲rāf in the Yemen…

Yuʿfirids

(803 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, the first local dynasty to emerge in the Yemen in the Islamic period (232-387/ 847-997). The name is often erroneously vocalised “Yaʿfurids”, but the 4th/10th century Yemeni scholar al-Hamdānī, who was a contemporary of the Yuʿfirids, makes it clear that Yuʿfirids is the correct spelling ( al-Iklīl , Südarabisches Muštabih , ed. O. Löfgren, Uppsala etc. 1953, 36, and al-Iklīl, ii, ed. Löfgren, Uppsala 1965, 71). The family was of D̲h̲ū Ḥiwāl, a tribe from S̲h̲ibām-Kawkabān some 40 km/25 miles north-west of Ṣanʿāʾ [ q.v.]. The founder of the dynasty, Yuʿfir b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al…
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