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Banner of Banu Khuza?a at the Battle of Siffin
|Location||Mecca, Arab World|
|Descended from||Amr ibn Lu?ay al-Khuz|
|Religion||Paganism, later Islam|
The Ban? Khuza?ah (Arabic: singular Khuz) is the name of an Azdite, Qanite tribe, which is one of the main ancestral tribes of the Arabian Peninsula. They ruled Mecca for a long period, prior and after the Prophet Muhammad's rule, and many members of the tribe now live in and around that city, but are also present in significant numbers in other countries, mainly Iraq, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan but also numbers can be found in Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and UAE. The tribe acted as the custodians of Mecca alongside the Prophet Muhammad and its members were his personal guardians throughout. Most notably, in Iraq, the tribe was the creator of the Abbasid Empire, one of the greatest in history, as well as the founders of the city of Baghdad. They were the ruling kings of the Emirate of what is now modern-day Iraq, until the invasion of the Ottoman Empire in the late 1800s and were the rulers of the kingdom of the Middle Euphrates until the early-mid 20th century.
They participated in the Battle of the Trench. The Banu Nadir began rousing the nomads of Najd. The Nadir enlisted the Banu Ghatafan by paying them half of their harvest. This contingent, the second largest, added a strength of about 2,000 men and 300 horsemen led by Unaina bin Hasan Fazari. The Bani Assad also agreed to join, led by Tuleha Asadi. From the Banu Sulaym, the Nadir secured 700 men, though this force would likely have been much larger had not some of its leaders been sympathetic towards Islam. The Bani Amir, who had a pact with Muhammad, refused to join.
Other tribes included the Banu Murra, with 400 men led by Hars ibn Auf Murri, and the Banu Shuja, with 700 men led by Sufyan ibn Abd Shams. In total, the strength of the Confederate armies, though not agreed upon by scholars, is estimated to have included around 10,000 men and six hundred horsemen. At the end of March 627 the army, which was led by Abu Sufyan, marched on Medina.
In accordance with the plan the armies began marching towards Medina, Meccans from the south (along the coast) and the others from the east. At the same time horsemen from the Banu Khuza'a left to warn Medina of the invading army.
Most traditionalists trace the origins of the tribe to Amr ibn Lu?ay al-Khuz?'?, and agree that, with the other branches of the Azd, they at some point, left Yemen and moved north. 'Amr ibn Lu?ay and his clan settled themselves around Mecca. A date of around the 5th century can be set for that settlement, although traditionalists place it at an earlier date by giving particularly long lives to some of its leaders.
The opinions of genealogists vary concerning the ancestry and origins of the Banu Khuza'ah; some say that they were descended from Qahtan and others say they are from Adnan. We will present both opinions here:
Al-Mubarrid was of the opinion that Khuz?'ah are descendants of 'Amr bin Rab?'ah, and he was known as Lu?ay and belonged to the Azd; Ibn al-Ath?r al-Jazar? agrees with him, saying: "They were called Khuz?'ah because they broke away from the Azd when they all left Yemen at the time of the flood of ?Iram" (the breach of the Ma'rib dam). Y?q?t al-?amaw? says the same, but states that they are Qanites. Al-Qalqashand? states: "Khuz?'ah are a tribe from the Azd, from the Qanites."
Ibn 'Abd al-Birr states that ibn al-Kalb? was of the opinion that:" 'Amr bin Lu?ay, for Lu?ay was his name, is Rab?'ah ibn rithah bin 'Amr; and he is M?' al-Sam?' ibn rithah bin Imra' al-Qays bin Tha'labah bin M?zin bin al-Azd bin Ghawth bin al-N?bit bin M?lik bin Zayd bin Ka?l?n bin Saba' bin Yashjab bin Ya'rab bin Qan, so he is the ancestor of all of Khuz?'ah, and they broke away from him."
It is suggested that one of the strongest proofs for this is that the Khuz?'ah themselves used to say: "We are the sons of 'Amr ibn Rab?'ah from the Yemen."
Arabs linguists tended towards the opinion that the name of Khuz?'ah came from the phrase: khaza'a 'an abihi ( ), which means "he has lagged behind his companions (when they are walking)"; so they were called this because they were behind their people when they came from Ma'rib.
Al-Zab?d? mentions what 'Awn ibn Ay?b al-Ans?r? stated: ? ? (Fa-lamm? haba?n? ba?na murrin takhazza'at khuz?'atun 'ann? f? ?ul?li Kar?kira : "And when we dismounted at Ba?n Murr Khuz?'ah had already stayed behind in the camp at Kar?kir.")
It is said that ascribing Khuz?'ah to Qan also agrees with this etymology of the name, whereas to say that they are descendants of 'Adn?n makes such an etymology of the name meaningless.
Ibn Iaq is of the opinion that Khuz?'ah are the descendants of 'Amr ibn Lu?ay bin Qum'ah bin Ily?s bin Mu?ar bin Naz?r bin Ma'd bin 'Adn?n; they would therefore be Mu?arites rather than Qaanites. Al-Mu?'ab al-Zubayri also agrees with Ibn Iaq, saying that Qum'ah is 'Umayr, father of Khuz?'ah. This is supported by the opinion of Ibn ?azm, who related four prophetic traditions (?ad?th) substantiating that Khuz?'ah were from Mu?ar and not from Qan:
?ad?th 2: The statement of Muhammad: "I saw 'Amr bin Lu?ay bin Qum'ah bin Khandaf the father of those sons of Ka'b, and he was dragging his intestines through hellfire." And those sons of Ka'b are the ones about whom Ibn 'Abb?s said: "The Quran was sent down in the dialect of Ka'bs: Ka'b bin Ka'b bin Lu'ayy and Ka'b bin 'Amr bin Lu?ay."
?ad?th 3: The narration of Aktham ibn Ab? ?abb?n al-Khuz?'?, when Muhammad said to him, "O Aktham! I saw Rab?'ah ibn Lu?ay bin Qum'ah bin Khandaf dragging his intestines in the fire, and I have never seen any man more like him than you; nor more like you than him." Aktham asked: "Are you afraid that being like him will harm me, o Messenger of Allah?" And he replied: "No, you are a believer and he was an unbeliever ..." And al-Mu?'ab al-Zubayr? stood by this ?ad?th saying that whatever Muhammad said was the truth. This is also supported by Ibn Khald?n, who reiterates the statement of Q?di 'Ayy: "What is well known about this Khuz?'ah is that he is 'Amr bin Lu?ay bin Qum'ah bin Ily?s.
?ad?th 4: The ?ad?th of Salamah ibn al-Akw?', who said: "The Messenger of Allah (SAW) passed by a group of people from the tribe of Aslam who were practicing archery." And he said to them: "Throw Ban? Ism?'?l, for your father was an archer, and I am with the sons of such-and-such a one ..."
Ibn ?azm said: "Now as for the first, the third and the fourth ?ad?ths, they are all extremely authentic and reliable, and they cannot be rejected for the statements of the genealogists and others; and on the basis of these Khuz?'ah was one of the sons of Qum'ah bin Ily?s bin Mu?ar.
Al-Suhayl? said that the ?ad?th of Salamah was a strong proof for those who considered Khuz?'ah to be one of the sons of Qum'ah ibn Ily?s. And there is not the slightest doubt that the difference between the different genealogists stems from the fact that Salamah mentioned in the fourth ?ad?th are the brothers of Khuz?'ah. And among the some more modern scholars who prefer to regard Khuz?'ah as one of the descendants of 'Adn?n is 'All?mah 'Abd al-Ra?m?n bin Ya?y? al-Mu'allam? al-Yam?n?.
And Ban? al-Mualiq and Ban? al-?ay?' belong to the tribes who formed the ?alaf of ?ab?bish in Makkah.
The closest tribes in lineage to Khuz?'ah are the Ansar (Aws & Khazraj) and Bariq, Ghass?n and Dawasir (Al-Zayed) all of them are from Azd Mazin tribes .
Geographical and historical works mention the locations that Khuz?'ah used to inhabit before and after the coming of Islam, since they were either Makkah, or adjoining it or in the mountains, watering holes and wadis around it. A number of other Arab tribes used to share these places with them, such as the Quraysh in Makkah, and Kin?nah in Jabal al-Abw?' and Murr al-?ahr?n and Qudayd. The Arab tribes in general often used to move from one area to another in search of water, something that sometimes led to tribes sharing certain spots. And among the campsites of Khuza'ah were:
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After H?jar (Hagar of the Bible), the wife of the Ibr?h?m (Abraham) and their son Ism?'?l (Ishmael) had settled in Mecca, the tribe of Jurhum, happened to pass through there and agreed with H?jar that they should remain there to in order to get to know her better to help to provide water for her. They settled in Mecca and in the area around. Once Ism?'?l had become a youth he married a woman of the tribe of Jurhum. Ism?'?l was the custodian of the Sacred House (Ka'bah), and after he died he made his son N?bit his successor. And then after N?bit the job was given to his uncles from Jurhum, and with them were the descendants of Ism?'?l. Then Muah ibn 'Amr al-Jurham? assumed the burden of the affairs of the Sacred House.
Jurhum's custodianship of the Sanctuary lasted for a period of time, but they then started to become weaker in faith, putting the continuing sanctity of the Sacred House at peril. They considered all the funds collected at the Sanctuary to be their property, and started to perform sinful acts within its precincts. It came to the point where a man and a woman, called As?f and N?'ilah, performed coitus in the Sacred House, and according to the Muslim sources Allah turned them into two stones to punish them for this sacrilegious act.
Their aggression against the sanctity of the Sanctuary was the catalyst that made the Ban? Bakr bin 'Abd al-Man?f bin Kin?nah, descendants of Ism?'?l, join with Khuz?'ah in fighting Jurhum and they expelled them from Mecca.
After the Jurhumites had fled, Khuz?'ah became custodians of the Sacred House, passing the duty on from father to son for a long time, five hundred years it is said. The first one of Khuz?'ah to govern the Sacred House was 'Amr bin Rab?'ah (Lu?ay) who travelled to Syria-Palestine (al-Sh?m) to seek a cure for a disease he was suffering from; he found the people there worshiping idols, and he liked this religion, so he brought back an idol called Hubal back to Mecca and called on the people to worship it. Hubal had the figure of an old man with a long beard and was made of carnelian. Its right hand had been cut off but the Quraysh would later provide it with a hand made of gold. 'Amr ibn Rab?'ah then was the first to change the religion of the Arabs. Muslims historians consider that the people of Mecca were following the monotheistic religion of Ibr?h?m and Ism?'?l up to this point (see Hanif), when polytheism was introduced. 'Amr ibn Lu?ay became very famous among the other Arab tribes, because he fed all the pilgrims to the Sacred House, and distributed Yemeni cloaks to them. Many of the tribes started to visit Mecca on pilgrimage, and took their own idols with them, placing them around the Ka'bah to worship.
It is narrated that Ban? Qays 'Ayl?n bin MuDar coveted the Sacred House and they came one day in a great mass, accompanied by some other tribes, with the intention of seizing it. At that time the leader of Ban? Qays 'Ayl?n was 'Amr ibn al-Zarb al-'Udw?n?. Khuz?'ah went out to fight them, and a battled ensued, and finally the Ban? Qays 'Ayl?n fled.
Similarly a group of the Haw?zin also launched a raid on the Ban? ir bin ?abshah, one of the Ban? Khuz?'ah, just after the Haw?zin had attacked the Ban? Mal (who belonged to Kin?nah); then the Ban? ir and a group of Khuz?'ah raided the Haw?zin and killed many men. On another occasion the Hawazin raided Khuza'ah, and the fought at al-MaHSab near Mina; they succeeded in beating the Banu 'Unqa' and some of the Banu DaTir from Khuza'ah.
Quraysh, the descendants of al-Na?r bin Kin?nah, were dispersed at that time both in Mecca and the surrounding area. This changed when Qu?ay bin Kil?b got betrothed to Hubay bint ?al?l bin ?abshah bin Sal?l bin Ka'b bin 'Amr al-Khuz?'?; he married her and at that time her father was in charge of the Ka'bah, so Qu?ay was later able to take over the custody of the Sanctuary. There are three different versions of the story of how Qu?ay managed to seize this custody:
1. Ibn Is?aq states that Qu?ay became wealthy, his sons were dispersed all over Mecca, and he was held in great respect. After the death of ?al?l, Qusay thought he had more right to govern Mecca than Khuz?'ah, since the tribe of Quraysh were the cream of the sons of Ism?'?l son of Ibr?h?m and he was their pure descendant. The sons of Kin?nah and Quraysh joined together to help him to expel Khuz?'ah and Ban? Bakr from Mecca. He sent a message to is stepbrother, Raz bin Rab?'ah, asking him to assist, and he did indeed come. Raz rushed to Mecca with his tribe from Qu'ah, to help his brother in the war against Khuz?'ah.
2. Al-Azraq? mentions that ?alil liked Qu?ay, and gave him his daughter's hand during his lifetime. Qu?ay became the father of 'Abd al-D?r, 'Abd Man?f and 'Abd al-'Uzz? among others. Now when ?al?l became old he used to give the key of the Ka'bah to his daughter, and she would pass it to her husband to open up the Sacred House. When ?al?l was dying he considered the fact that Qu?ay had so many offspring and that they were well established, and he bequeathed him control of the Sanctuary, giving him the key. Now when Khuza'ah found out about this they refused to give the control of the Sacred House to Qu?ay, and they took the key from Hubay. Now Qu?ay quickly went to his people the Quraysh and Banu Kin?nah and sought their help against Khuz?'ah, and he also sent for his brother to come from the territory of Qu?a'ah to assist.
3. Abu Hil?l al-'Asker? relates that when ?al?l became old, he passed control of the Sacred House to Ab? Ghabsh?n Sal?m bin 'Amr al-Khuz?'?, and one day he and Qu?ay were drinking together; now when he became drunk Qu?ay bought the control of the Sacred House from him for a skinful of wine and a young camel. As a result there was a saying: "More damaging than the transaction of Ab? Ghabsh?n." These individual accounts when collated show that Qusay was getting ready to seize the Sacred House from Khuza'ah, and Khuza'ah set out to fight Qu?ay, Quraysh, Kin?nah and his allies from Qu?aa'ah. There was a fierce battle which was known as "The Day of Ab?a?" (Yawm Ab?a?); there were many casualties on both sides but the army of Qu?ay was victorious. Finally both sides decided that they should seek a ruling about what to do; they consulted the leader of Banu Kin?nah, Ya'mar bin 'Awf bin Ka'b bin '?mir bin Layth bin Bakr bin 'Abd Man?t bin Kin?nah, and he decide that Qu?ay should forget all the injuries sustained by him and his men, and that in recompense for the blood of Khuz?'ah spilled by Qu?ay's army blood money was due; but however Khuza'ah should pass on the rule of Mecca to Qu?ay. This event occurred in the 5th century CE.
In 630, the Khuz?'ah were attacked by the Ban? Bakr, allies of the Quraysh. Since the Khuz?'ah had recently formed an alliance with Mu?ammad ( referred to in the Qur'an, this attack constituted a breach of the Treaty of ?udayb?yah of 628, that had brought about a truce between the Muslims and the Quraish and forbade hostilities between the two groups and their respective allies. This led to the conquest of Mecca by the Muslim armies, which occurred without a battle.
The genealogy of Muhammad is connected to that of Khuz?'ah in two ways: firstly by way of his third great grandfather 'Abd Man?f bin Qusay; and also through his marriage to the 'Mother of the Believers' Juwayr?yah, daughter of al-rith al-Khuz?'?.
At the time of the Truce of ?udaybiyah one of the conditions set down was: "Whoever wishes to enter into an agreement with Muhammad and into his covenant then he should enter it; and whoever wishes to enter into an agreement with the Quraysh and into their covenant then he should enter it." And Khuz?'ah leaped up with enthusiasm, saying: "We are in agreement with Mu?amamd and in his covenant!" While the Ban? al-Di'l bin Bakr jumped up saying: "We are in agreement with the Quraysh and in their covenant!"
Now while the truce was still holding the Ban? al-Di'l bin Bakr took advantage of it, and wanted to take blood revenge from Khuz?'ah for something that had happened in the Pre-Islamic period; they surprised them at a watering hole belonging to Khuz?'ah at al-Wat?r to the south of Mecca, and they killed twenty of their men. They were helped in this attack by Quraysh who supplied men and weapons; and Khuz?'ah were driven into the Sacred Territory (?aram), where they were unable to continue fighting.
'Amr bin S?lim al-Khuz?'? set out with forty mounted men of Khuz?'ah to go to Mu?ammad in order to tell him what had happened to them. And when Muhammad was among the people in the mosque, 'Amr recited a poem to him about the agreements and affiliations between them and Khuz?'ah.
Then Mu?ammad said: "You have our help, O 'Amr ibn S?lim!" And he looked towards a cloud in the sky, saying: "This will make the victory of the Ban? Ka'b easy!"
Nawfil ibn Mu'?wiyah al-Di'l? al-Kin?n? apologized for his people saying: "The riders are lying to you." But Mu?ammad said: "Never mind about the riders. We have nobody, whether close relatives or not close, in Tih?mah who has been better with us than Khuz?'ah!" Then he continued: "I would not receive succor if I failed to assist Ban? Ka'b from the very thing in which I need help." Mu?ammad gathered the army of the Muslims and they went to Mecca and conquered it. This was towards the end of January 630 CE (8 AH).
Many descendants of the tribe still live in their original homeland, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but many members of the tribe live in other countries, such as Palestine, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan.
Hamid Bin Hamoud Alkhouzai was the ruler, King and Emir of Southern Iraq.