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Arabs in the Early Islamic EmpireExploring al-Azd Tribal Identity$
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Brian Ulrich

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474436793

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474436793.001.0001

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The Azd in Pre- and Early Islamic Arabia

The Azd in Pre- and Early Islamic Arabia

(p.24) 1 The Azd in Pre- and Early Islamic Arabia
Arabs in the Early Islamic Empire

Brian Ulrich

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter first reviews the evidence for al-Azd in Epigraphic South Arabian inscriptions, and argues that there was one al-Azd kingdom centered on Jurash in the Wadi Bisha and perhaps another elsewhere. It then discusses the “Scattering of al-Azd” accounts in the Arabic sources, arguing that the Malik b. Fahm accounts served as an origin story for al-Azd in Oman, and were grafted onto separate accounts of Amr Muzayqiya which served as the basis for the “southern” Arabs (Yemen) in Umayyad times. The evidence for al-Azd in both the pre-Islamic (Jahiliyya) Sarat Mountains and Oman is then reviewed, along with the impact of the rise of Islam in these areas. Finally, it notes the significance of Bedouin to later senses of Arabness as important in the primary sources on pre-Islamic Arabia.

Keywords:   al-Azd, Wadi Bisha, southern Arabs, Yemen, Jahiliyya, Pre-Islamic Arabia, Oman, Sarat Mountains

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