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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 …

Ibn Ḥātim

(402 words)

Author(s): Smith, G. R.
, Badr al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Hamdānī , state official and historian under the second Rasūlid sultan of the Yemen, al-Muẓaffar Yūsuf (647-94/1249-95). Ibn Ḥātim’s name appears nowhere in the biographical literature of mediaeval Yemen, and neither the date of his birth nor that of his death is known. The last reference to him falls under the year 702/1302-3. However, from his history of the Ayyūbids and early Rasūlids in the Yemen, al-Simṭ al-g̲h̲ālī al-t̲h̲aman fī ak̲h̲bār al-mulūk min al-G̲h̲uzz bi ’l-Yaman (ed. G. R. Smith, The Ayyūbids and early Rasūlids, etc ., GMS, N.S. xxvi/1, The Arab…

Tabāla

(270 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a town and wadi just within the northern boundaries of the ʿAsīr emirate of present-day Saudi Arabia, situated about 200 km/125 miles as the crow flies from the Red Sea coast line and less than 100 km/62 miles due west of Bīs̲h̲a (Zaki M.A. Farsi, National guide and atlas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , map 34, G5). The town is an ancient one, and is mentioned in the literature on the Prophet. Al-Wāḳidī (ed. Marsden Jones, London, 1966, ii, 853-4 and iii, 981) twice mentions his raids against Ḵh̲at̲h̲ʿam in Tabāla in 8/629 and 9/630. It is stated in m…

Ṣubayḥī

(288 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
(as in “the Ṣubayḥī tribe”) or Ṣubayḥa, the name of a tribal group inhabiting the area to the west and north-west of Aden [see ʿadan ] in the Yemen from Raʾs ʿImrān, a few kilometres to the west of Little Aden in the east, as far as Bāb al-Mandab in the west, and inland. They are divided into five main groups as follows: K̲h̲ulayfī, ʿUṭirī, ʿĀṭifī, Muṣaffī and Buraymī. Their name is inherited from the ancient D̲h̲ū Aṣbaḥ of Ḥimyar. Writing in the 4th/10th century, al-Hamdānī, 53, says that Laḥd̲j̲ …

Tūrāns̲h̲āh b. Ayyūb

(871 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, al-Malik al-Muʿaẓẓam S̲h̲ams al-Dawla Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn , older brother of the famous Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn [ q.v.], the Saladin of European writers, conqueror of the Yemen in 569/1173 and founder of the Ayyūbid dynasty there [see ayyūbids ]. Tūrāns̲h̲āh first appears on the historical stage in the year 564/1168-9 after his arrival in Egypt from Syria with a number of members of the Ayyūbid house to strengthen the hand of Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn, still technically the vizier of the Fāṭimid caliph there. Tūrāns̲h̲āh was soon in action, assisting to suppr…

al-Nud̲j̲ayr

(307 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a fortress in Ḥaḍramawt [ q.v.] where in 12/633 during the caliphate of Abū Bakr [ q.v.] rebels under al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲ b. Ḳays [ q.v.] took refuge against Ziyād b. Labīb al-Anṣārī, the Prophet’s governor. Late in the year 11/633, Abū Bakr had decided that Islamic authority could only be effectively imposed on the Yemen by military force. In particular, he was worried by the situation in Ḥaḍramawt where al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲ b. Ḳays, the leader of Kinda, had refused to give him the oath of allegiance as caliph. Abū Bakr entrusted the tas…

ʿUṣfūrids

(122 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a minor dynasty of mediaeval Arabia in the al-Aḥsā/al-Ḥasā [ q.v.] and al-Baḥrayn [ q.v.] areas of eastern Arabia. Their rule began there in 651/1253 after their seizure of the region from the ʿUyūnids [ q.v.]. The ʿUṣfūr were kings of Banū ʿĀmir b. ʿAwf b. Mālik, a baṭn of ʿUḳayl, in the 7th/13th century, whilst their subjects included the Banū T̲h̲aʿlaba. Little appears to be known of their history. In the mid-9th/15th century, a branch of the ʿUṣfūrids called the D̲j̲abrids assumed control of al-Aḥsā. (G.R. Smith) Bibliography Ibn K̲h̲aldūn, ʿIbar, vi, 12 Caskel and Strenziok, Ǧamharat …

T̲h̲ulā

(468 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, an historic, walled town of about 4,000 people (al-Waysī, 65, published in 1962) situated at about 45 km/28 miles from the main town of the Yemen, Ṣanʿāʾ [ q.v.], and placed by Werdecker (139), after Glaser, in 15° 36′ latitude and 43° 53′. The town is overlooked by an impregnable fortress perched on the mountain above which can be seen from very great distances all around. Tradition tells us that the town takes its name from a certain T̲h̲ulā b. Lubāk̲h̲a b. Aḳyān b. Ḥimyar al-Aṣg̲h̲ar. It is also the centre of a district ( ḳaḍāʾ ) of the same name. The town is undoubtedly of ancient origin. …

ʿUyūnids

(95 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a minor dynasty of mediaeval Arabia, whose capital was al-Ḳaṭīf [ q.v.], ruling over al-Aḥsā/al-Ḥasā [ q.v.] in eastern Arabia from the 5th-7th/11th-13th centuries. They destroyed the Ḳarāmiṭa [ q.v.] there in 467/1076, though little is known of their history. They are reputed to be of Āl Ibrāhīm of Murra [ q.v.], a ḳabīla of ʿAbd al-Ḳays [ q.v.]. Their influence rapidly declined in the 7th/13th century, when about the middle of the century the ʿUṣfūrids [ q.v.] assumed control of the region. (G.R. Smith) Bibliography ʿUmar Riḍā Kaḥḥāla, Muʿd̲j̲am ḳabāʾil al-ʿArab, iii, Beirut 1982, …

Laḥd̲j̲

(910 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
colloquially called Laḥid̲j̲, a town and area of south-western Arabia, now situated in the second governorate of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. The town, also known as ¶ al-Ḥawṭa, lies between the two tributaries of the Wādī Tuban, al-Wādī al-Kabīr and al-Wādī al-Ṣaghīr, about 25 miles north-west of Aden. The town is surrounded by a fertile area which is cultivated by means of an elaborate system of irrigation using the water of the wadis and also of wells. Datepalms abound, as well as cer…

al-S̲h̲arḳiyya

(292 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a traditional name for the eastern area of the Sultanate of Oman [see ʿumān ], now the official Eastern Region of the Sultanate, which lies in the inland region of Eastern Had̲j̲ar, northwest of D̲j̲aʿlān and north of the Wahība Sands (see Wilkinson, Water , 14, Fig. 5). The main towns of the region are Ibrā, the largest, and Samad, al-Muḍaybī, Sināw and al-Ḳābil. The whole area is a sandy plain interspersed with wadis. Today, the official, extended region of al-S̲h̲arḳiyya is made up of thirteen provinces ( wilāyāt ), including Ibrā, Bid(d)iyya, al-Ḳābil and …

Taʿizz

(829 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, now the main town in the southern highlands of the Yemen, some 195 km/120 miles south, slighdy west, of Ṣanʿāʾ [ q.v.] and about 140 km/88 miles north-west of Aden [see ʿadan ]. It is situated at the foot of D̲j̲abal Ṣabir which rises to a height of about 3,000 m/9,600 feet. Although the town is mentioned during the Ayyūbid period of Yemeni history (569-626/1173-1228) [see ayyūbids ], its main development came under the Rasūlids (628-845/1230-1441 [ q.v.]), who made the town their capital. It seems that Taʿizz was originally a settiement in the region of al-D̲j̲anad, th…

Ḳuʿayṭī

(1,076 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. The full area of the sultanate was the whole of the coastal plain between the Wāḥidī [ q.v.] in the west and Mahra in the east, the mountainous region north up to Wādī Ḥaḍramawt [see ḥaḍramawt ], the western end of the Wādī and some tribal lands north of the Wādī. One should add the area of the Wādīs Dawʿan (sometime spelt Dawʿān in the Arabic sources) and ʿAmd. The major towns of th…

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…

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 …

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…

Ṣalāla

(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…
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