Demographics of Ancient Arabs

Demographics of Ancient Arabs ~ Hi all readers! In the previous article, I explained the geography of the ancient Arab region. In this article, I will explain the demographics of the ancient Arabs. As Muslims who want to know the teachings of their religion, of course, we really need to know about it.

There are differences of opinion among Arab historians about the origin of the tribes and the Arabs. Here I will quote Syibli an-Nu’mani in Daa’iratu al-Ma’aarif fii Siirati an-Nabiy Shallallaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam. According to him, the Arab historians divided them into three types;

  1. The ancient Arabs. They were Arabs who had long been around before Islam arrived.
  2. Original Arab nation. They are descendants of Qahthan. They were native Arabs after the ancient Arabs. They are in Yemen.
  3. Newcomer Arabs. They are descendants of the Prophet Ismail who occupied the Hijaz.

The original Arab nation who is a descendant of Qahthan has three branches;

  1. Qudla’ah.
  2. Kahlan.
  3. Azd and Himyar.

According to Syibli an-Nu’mani, actually, if the origins of the descendants of Qahthan are traced deeper, it turns out they are descendants of Ismail. Thus, for me, in fact, the Arab region is inhabited by the descendants of the Prophet Ismail bin Prophet Ibrahim. But regardless, they have many branches as follows;

  1. Kilab, Tanukh, Jarm, Juhainah, Nahd, ‘Udhrah, Aslam, Bala, Salh, Dlaj’am, Taghallub, Namir, Asad, Taim al-Lat, Kilab.
  2. Kahlan Bajilah, Khats’am, Hamdan, Kindah, Madzhij, Thayyi ‘, Nahm, Judzam, and ‘Amilah.
  3. Azd – the companions of the Prophet Muhammad from the Ansar group came from here, Aus, Khazraj, Khuza’ah, Ghassan, and Dus.

In addition, there were also many descendants of the famous Adnan, whose branches ended in Mudlar.

The Mudlar tribe itself was divided into two large families; the children of Khandaf and the children of Qais. Each of the two children has two branches as follows;

First; Khandaf; Hudzail, Kinanah, Asad, Dlabbah, Muzinah, Rabab, Taim, and Haun. I found out that there were statements from several of their branches;

Kinanah’s branches are Quraysh and Dul.

Haun’s branch is Qarah.

The Rabab branch is ‘Addi, Taim,‘ Ukal, and Tsaur.

The Tsaur branches are Muqa’is, Qurai ‘, bahdalah, Yarbu’, Rayah, Tsa’labah, and Kulaib.

Second; Qais; ‘Adwan, Ghathafan, A’shar, Sulaim, and Hawazan. I found out that there were statements from several of their branches;

Ghathafan branch is ‘Abs, Dzabyan, Fazarah, and Murrah.

Branch of Ansar is Ghaniy, and Bahilah.

Hawazan branch is Sa’ad, Nash, Hutsaim, Tsaqif, Salul, and Namir (Namir branches are the children of ‘Amir, bani Hilal, bani Namir, and bani Ka’ab).

The question is, specifically, where do they live?

To be honest, I did not find complete information to answer the question above. But I find a little information that we can use to know just a part of it – we can also use this information to clarify the global information above;

The Khalan tribe has several famous branches as follows;

  1. Come to Thayyi ‘who lives on two famous mountains; Aja and Salma.
  2. the Hamdan tribe and the Madzhij tribe, the majority of whom lived in Yemen.
  3. Come out ‘Amilah and Judzam who live in the interior of Syria.
  4. Kabul Azad controls the territory of Oman. From them emerged Ghassanah who founded the kingdom in the east of Sham, Khuza’ah who ruled Mecca before Quraysh, as did the population of Yathrib.

Himyar Kabilah has several famous branches as follows;

  1. Qudlaah who lives in the north of Hijaz.
  2. Tanukh who had long lived in the north of Sham.
  3. Kilab who lives in the interior of Syria.
  4. Juhainah and ‘Udzrah who lived in the valley of Idlam in the Hijaz.

Descendants ‘Adnan is divided into two large branches; Rabi’ah and Mudlar.

Rabi’ah tribe has several famous branches as follows;

  1. Asad who lives north of the valley ar-Rummah.
  2. The wail is divided into Bakr and Taghlub.
  3. Qais (or Qais ‘Ailan). The Hawazans and the Sulaimites were attributed to him. They live in the western region of Najed. Ghathafan was also attributed to him. From Ghathafan there appeared two famous tribes; ‘Abs and Dzubyan.
  4. Tamin who lives in the interior of Basrah.
  5. Hudzail who lives in the mountains near Mecca.
  6. Kinanah who lives in the south of Hijaz. Quraysh is one of Kinanah’s branches. Quraysh controlled this region.

They are all different in mentality and social conditions.

All readers! That is a brief explanation of demographics of ancient Arabs. If you want to comment, please! We’re dialogue!

I think that is enough for this article. May be useful! Amen!

See you again in the next article!


Syibli an-Nu’mani, Daa’iratu al-Ma’aarif fii Siirati an-Nabiy Shallallaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam, perfected by Sulaiman an-Nadawi, translated from Jordanian by Yusuf’ Amir, a private publisher with help from Hasan Abbas Zaki, Vol. I, p. 101-102.

Ahmad Amin, Fajru al-Islaam, ad-Daar al-Mishriyyah al-Lubnaaniyyah, Cairo, I, 2014, p. 45-47.


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