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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 …

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…

Zurayʿids

(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…

Ṣanʿāʾ

(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…

Ṣaʿda

(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…

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…

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 …

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…

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.…
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