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IbâḍismOrigins and Early Development in Oman$
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John C. Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588268

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588268.001.0001

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The Pre‐Islamic Heritage: Yaman and Nizâr

The Pre‐Islamic Heritage: Yaman and Nizâr

(p.1) 1 The Pre‐Islamic Heritage: Yaman and Nizâr

John C. Wilkinson

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the importance of the tribal dimension in the origins of Ibâḍism, demonstrating that its ideology found fertile ground amongst the Yamani tribes of Iraq following the defeat of their two great revolts against Umayyad authority and Hijazi hegemony, that of Ibn al–Ash'ath al–Kindi and Yazid b. al–Muhallab al–Azdi. Using little known Omani sources and new epigraphic, archaeological, and linguistic evidence concerning pre-Islamic Arabia and the Sabaeo-Himyaritic state, it questions standard explanations concerning the origins of the Yaman-Nizar divide based on Ibn al–Kalbi's manipulations of genealogical hisrory, notably with respect to the Azd diaspora and Qudâ'a. It demonstrates that there was a very real divide between the Northern and Southern tribes in pre-Islamic times which proved a highly significant factor in the political history of the Umayyad period in the ex-Sasanid lands.

Keywords:   Yaman, Nizâr, Arabian epigraphy, Sabaeo–Himyaritic state, Ibn al–Kalbi, Marib, Tanûkh, Qudâ'a, Azd diaspora, Kinda

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