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The tribe of Shammar (Arabic: ) is a tribal ArabQahtanite confederation, descended from the ancient Yemeni tribe of Tayy. It is one of the largest and most influential Arab tribes. The historical and traditional seat of the tribe's leadership is in the city of Ha'il in what was the Emirate of Jabal Shammar in Saudi Arabia. In its "golden age", around 1850, the tribe ruled much of central and northern Arabia from Riyadh to the frontiers of Syria and the vast area known as Al Jazira in Northern Iraq.
One of the early famous figures from the tribe was the legendary Hatim Al-Ta'i (Hatim of Tayy; died 578), a Christian Arab renowned for generosity and hospitality who figured in the Arabian Nights. The early Islamic historical sources report that his son, Adiyy ibn Hatim, whom they sometimes refer to as the "king" of Tayy, converted to Islam before Muhammad's death. Another figure from Tayy during this period was Zayd al-Khayr, a prominent member of Tayy who is said to have led Tayy's delegation to Muhammad accepting Islam.
The Shammar are a tribal confederation made up of three main branches: the Abdah, the Aslam, and the Zoba. The tribe of Shammar are descendants of the Tayy tribe of Yemen. The earliest non-Arab sources refer to Arabs as Taits, thought of as referring to the Tayy, as Ayas ibn Quasiba, a ruler of ancient Iraq, had contact with both the Byzantine and Persian Empires. Since some sections of Tayy, and most of the Ghassanids and Muntherids, were present in Mesopotamia and the Levant prior to Muhammad's preaching of Islam in the early 7th century. In the Nam?rah Inscription (the second oldest pre-Islamic Arabic inscription, dating from 328 CE), the name "Shammar" is believed to refer to a city in Yemen, though it may refer to the city where the Himyarite King Shammar Yahri'sh lived, the present-day Rada (located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) from Dhamar, an ancient historic site). Since King Shammar Yahri'sh ruled during the last decade of the 3rd century AD, it could be referring to the city he lived in or one named after him. It could also be referring to the city of Hayel, although there is no evidence that Imru Al-Qays fought the Tayy.
Led by Usma bin Luai the Tayy invaded the mountains of Ajaa and Salma from Banu Assad and Banu Tamim in northern Arabia in their exodus from Yemen in 115 CE. These mountains are now known as the Shammar. The Tayy became nomadic camel-herders and horse-breeders in northern Nejd for centuries. Because of their strength and blood relations with the Yemenite dynasties that came to rule Syria (The Ghassanids) and Iraq (The Lakhmids), the Tayy expanded north into Iraq all the way to the capital at the time, Al-Hirah. The area of the two mountains subsequently came to be known as "Jabal Shammar" ("Shammar's Mountain") from the 14th century, the first time that the Shammar as a tribe were noted in literature.
Led by Usma bin Luai, the Tayy invaded the mountains of Ajaa and Salma from Banu Assad and Banu Tamim in northern Arabia in their exodus from Yemen in 115 CE. These mountains were renamed to Jabal Tayy (Tayy's Mountain), and then again in the 14th century, after the tribe changed their name, to Jabal Shammar. There, Tayy, later Shammar, became urbanised city-dwellers in the city of Ha'il, nomadic pastoralists, camel-herders and horse-breeders in northern Najd, or agriculturists in the countryside outside Ha'il or in the surrounding desert oases. These divisions were based on profession, personal interest and skill, and not family or blood-line stratifications within the tribe. It is common for the same nuclear family to have members living each of the three different lifestyles. Because of their strength and blood relations with the Yemenite dynasties that came to rule Syria (Ghassanids) and Iraq (Muntherids), the Tayy expanded north into Iraq all the way to al-Hira, the capital at the time. Oral tradition mentions that the first chiefs of the Shammar tribe, Arar and Omair, were of the 'Abda family of Dhaigham, who ruled Shammar from Jabal Shammar. In the 17th century, a large section of the Shammar left Jabal Shammar under the leadership of the Al Jarba and settled in Iraq, reaching as far as the northern city of Mosul, their current stronghold. The Shammar are currently one of Iraq's largest tribes and are divided into two geographical, as opposed to genealogical, subsections. The northern branch, known as Shammar al-Jarba, is mainly Sunni, while the southern branch, Shammar Toga, converted to Shia Islam around the 19th century after settling in southern Iraq.
The Shammar that remained in Arabia had tribal territories extending from the city of Ha'il northwards to the frontiers of the Syrian Desert. The Shammar had a long traditional rivalry with the confederation of 'Anizzah, who inhabited the same area.
The city of Ha'il became the heart of the Jabal Shammar region and was inhabited largely by settled members of Shammar and their clients. Two clans succeeded each other in ruling the city in the 19th century. The first clan, the Al Ali, were replaced by the Al Rashid.
During the civil war that tore apart the Second Saudi State in the late 19th century, the emirs of Ha'il, from the house of Al Rashid, intervened and gradually took control of much of the Saudi realm, finally taking the Saudi capital Riyadh in 1895 and expelling the Saudi leaders to Kuwait. The Bedouin Shammari tribesmen provided the majority of the Al Rashid's military support. Later, in the first two decades of the 20th century, Al Rashid were defeated by Ibn Saud and his Wahhabi forces when his campaign to restore his family's rule in the Arabian Peninsula culminated in the Conquest of Ha'il in 1921. Following Al Rashid's defeat many Shammar fled to Syria and Iraq. Eventually the clan of their uncles, Al Sabhan pledged allegiance to Ibn Saud in Riyadh. Ibn Saud also married a daughter of one of the Shammari chiefs, who bore him one Saudi King, Abdullah. After the establishment of modern borders, most Bedouins gradually left their nomadic lifestyle. Today, most members of the Shammar live modern, urbanised lifestyles in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and some sections settled in Syria and Jordan. Despite this, the vast majority of Shammar continue to retain a strong tribal identity and loyalty to their tribe. Many also participate in Cultural Festivals to learn about their ancient lifestyles, and to take part in traditional activities such as folk dancing.
House of Rashid
The House of Rasheed were a historic Shammar dynasty on the Arabian Peninsula. They were the most formidable enemies of the House of Saud in Nejd. They were centered in Ha'il, a city in northern Nejd that derived its wealth from being on the route of the Hajj. The Al Rasheed derived their name from the grandfather of Abdullah, the first Rasheedi amir of Ha'il, who was named Rasheed. The Rasheedi emirs cooperated closely with the Ottoman Empire. However, this cooperation became problematic as the Ottomans lost popularity. As with many Arab dynasties, the lack of a generally accepted rule of succession was a recurrent problem with Rasheedi rule. The internal dispute normally centered on whether succession should be horizontal (i.e. to a brother) or vertical (to a son). These divisions within the family led to bloody infighting. In the last years of the nineteenth century six Rasheedi leaders died violently. Nevertheless, The Al Rasheed family continued to rule and fight together against Ibn Saud.
Saudi Arabia- The first twenty years of the 20th century on the Arabian Peninsula featured a long-running series of wars as the Saudis and their allies sought to unite the peninsula. Some members of the Rasheed family left the country and went into voluntary exile, mostly to Iraq.
The Shammar is Iraq's largest Arab tribe, along with the Jubur, with more than 1.5 million members. Under the leadership of Banu Mohamad, known as Al Jarba, there was a massive exodus into Iraq. Most of the Shammar in Iraq gave up the nomadic life to settle in major cities, especially the Jazirah plain, the area between the Tigris and Euphrates from Baghdad to Mosul. Droughts triggered several migrations of Shammar into Iraq, which, according to the Ottoman census upon its annexation, had only 1.5 million inhabitants. The Shammar took over the Jazirah after displacing Al-Ubaid tribe. According to Sheikh Abdullah Humaid Alyawar, the son of the sheikh of Shammar, in Iraq the total population of Shammar is estimated to be more than 1.5 million. The Shammar Al-Sayeh, a tribal confederation of tribes from Shammar, is the branch of Shammar who were independent of Aljraba's authority. Shammar is composed of groups such as Al-Zuhairy and Al-Towej in Najaf.
The Shammar became one of the most powerful Iraqi tribes, owning vast tracts of land and provided strong support of the Hashemite monarchy. Shammar power was threatened after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1958 by Abdul-Karim Qassem, and the Shammar welcomed Ba'athist rule. After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Ghazi al-Yawar, from the Al Jarbah clan, was unanimously chosen as interim president. Al-Yawar uncle is the current Sheikh of Sheikhs of Shammar.
The Shammar tribe have been present in Syria since at least the 1920s when rivalry between Syrian and Iraqi Shammar culminated in violence reported by the League of Nations in 1926. Syrian Shammar Sheikh Diham al Hadi, the paramount Shammar sheikh in Syria, conducted an attack at the end of March 1926 upon 'Ajil al Yawar, a Sheikh of the Iraqi Shammar. In April 1959 however, the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service reported that the Iraqi and Syrian branches of the Shammar were able to bury their differences, both joining an alliance with the Syrian Baath Party against a common enemy.
1801: Wahabi pressure on southern Iraq subsides; Shammar migrates to reach Jabal Sinjar in northern Iraq. The Shiite holy city of Karbala is raided by 10,000 men on 6,000 camels; the plunder Hussien's tomb.
1802: Late that year, a campaign against the Yezedi is launched by the Ottomans, Shammar, and Alubaid.:50
1803: Ottoman seeks Shammar's help in a campaign against the Al Ubaid mutiny, but the campaign fails.:50
1805: Faris Aljarba decisively defeats Alubaid.:50
1808-1812: Baghdad comes under Saudi threats.
1809: Anti-Thufair rebellion; Ottoman campaign under Faris Aljarba and Sulaimna Basha Alsaghir, Althufair and Rola Triomph.
1814: Shammar Aljarba raids several Iraqi cities.
1815: Khazaal, Zuabair, and Shammar rebel against Said Basha Uniza, alubaid, and thufair put down the rebellion;[clarification needed] Shiekh Banaia is killed in battle.
1818: Shiekh Sfoug bin Faris Aljarba takes over.:61 Mohamad Bin Abdul mohsin Bin Ali is beheaded by Ibrahim Pasha and sent to his father Mohamad Ali Pasha in Egypt. The Saudi capital of Dirayiya is besieged by 2,000 cavalry and 56,000 infantry with 12 guns and falls to the Ottomans.
1820s: Mohamad bin Ali is killed and his brother Saleh becomes ruler of town.[which?]
1822 Shammar's Sfoug aljarba defeats a 40,000-strong Persian army meant for Baghdad.:70
1822: Alawajya wars begin.
1823: Anna is bequeathed to Sfoug.
1824: Uniza raids Shammar and steals their Arabian horses.
1831: Shammar aids the Ottoman siege of Baghdad to remove its rebellious Dawood Pasha.:73
1832: Shammar retaliates against Ali Pasha and declares rebellion.:77
1852: Shammar defeat Unizah and Alqusaim in the Battle of Baqa.
1853-1856: Ottoman control outside of big cities plummets.
1855: Ibn Sulaim raids Hail and kills wild Alaslamya in Ramdhan.
1856: Ibn Rashid kills Ibn Sulaim in Ramdhan as vengeance.
1859: The feast for a wolf by Mukazi Ibn Sayed.
1871: Ubaid bin Rasheed dies of old age (according to oral tradition).
1876: Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Rasheed capitalizes on internal disputes between Abdullah and Saud bin Faisal and enters Alqaseem.
1887: Mohammed Bin Rasheed is asked in a poem by Mohammed bin Jasem of Qatar to help against a coalition of other emirates. The coalition is defeated and Barzan Tower is built in Qatar to commemorate the occasion.
1882: Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Rasheed and Hassan bin Muhana defend the town of Almujama against Abdulla bin Faisal.
1883: Arwa Battle between Utaiba and Shammar, Utaiba is defeated. Utaiba's leaders were Hendi bin Humaid, Terky bin Rubaian and Ghazi bin Mohaya.
^Stirling, Walter Francis (1953). Safety last. Hollis and Carter. p. 225.
^ abIraq, Report on Iraq Administration. H.M. Stationery Office. 1926. p. 58. ... the quarrel between Shaikh 'Ajil al Yawar of the 'Iraq Shammar and Diham al Hadi of the Syrian Shammar. These two shaikhs are rivals with many old scores between them, but the issue of the time was the aftermath of Diham's attack on 'Ajil at the end of March, 1926...
^Service, United States Foreign Broadcast Information (1959). Daily Report: Foreign Radio Broadcasts. p. 20. Apr. 8, 1959 The alliance between the leaders of the Syrian Bath Party with Ahmad Ujayl, the Shaykh of Shammar in Iraq, and Daharn al-Hadi, the Shaykh of Shammar in Syria, shows how principles could be sacrificed to plot against Iraq....