An elucidation of matters required by the researcher of Print
Written by Translated by Riad Nachef   
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 21:20

An elucidation of matters required by the researcher of


 Translated by Riad Nachef

  Al-Qalqashandi said in “Nihayat al-Arb p/29: they are ten matters: 

First: al-Mawardi said: if the lineages are far apart then the tribes become peoples and the tribal subdivisions become tribes. What he meant is that the moieties become tribal subdivisions, the sub moieties become moieties, the phratries become sub moieties, and whatever lineages occur after that become phratries.

 Second: Al-Jawhari mentioned that the tribes are the offspring of the same father, and Ibn Hazm said: all of the Arab tribes go back to the same father except three tribes and they are Tanoukh, al^atq and Ghassan. Every tribe amongst them is composed of several moieties and we shall, God willing, address each of the three tribes in the proper context.

It could be that the same father is the father of several moieties and the father of a tribe could have several children that in turn generate a tribe or several tribes and those who belong to his lineages would be attributed to him, and some remain without an offspring, or would have an offspring but would remain anonymous and would be attributed to the other tribe.

 Third: if the lineage contained two or more levels such as Hashim and Quraysh and Mudar and ^Adnan then it would be possible for the one at the end of the lineage to be linked to all of them, hence it would be possible for the sons of Hashim to be linked to Hashim and to Quraysh and to Mudar and to ^Adnan, hence one would say about one of them the Hashemite and also the Qurayshian, the Mudarian, the ^Adnanian, Moreover, al-Jawhari said: to be linked upward in lineage suffices one from being linked downward in lineage. Hence, if you say about the one linked in lineage to Kalb Ibn Wabrah the “kalbiyy”, and then you are not in need of linking him to any other roots. Others have mentioned that it is permissible to link in lineage between the upper and lower levels. Others saw giving precedence to the upper over the lower such as saying about the lineage of ^Uthman Ibn ^Affan:” al-‘Umawiyy al-^Uthmaniyy”, and some saw giving precedence to the lower over the upper and say “ al-^Uthmaniyy al-“Umawiyy”.

 Fourth: The man may be associated with other than his tribe through alignment or freedom from slavery and thus be linked to them and thus would be said about him: “so and so is the ally of tribe so and so or their freed slave”, as it is said about al-Bukhariyy: “al-Ja^fiyy is their freed slave”, and the like.

 Fifth: If the man belonged to a tribe and entered in another tribe then it is permissible for him to be linked to his first tribe or to the tribe that he entered or to both, such as it would be said: “the Tamimi and thereafter the Wa’iliyy or the Wa’iliyy and thereafter the Tamimiyy and what is similar.

 Sixth: The tribe mostly is named after the father who gave birth to the tribe such as Rabi^ah and Mudar and al-Aws and Al-Khazraj and the like; the tribe might be named by other than that. Sometimes the title would be attributed to a tribe by virtue of a certain reason such as when Ghassan landed a well called Ghassan so they were named after it, as we shall mention, God willing, when we mention their tribe under the G index.

Perhaps the title was given to one individual among them and they were given the name. Also other than that was mentioned as we shall address, God willing, when talking about the plural form with the addition of the alif and lam along with the dotless ra’.

 Seventh: The names of the tribes in the terminology used by the Arabs are of five classes:

 First: To name the tribe by the terminology of the father such as ^Ad and Thamud and Madyan and their likes. This terminology is used in the Qur’an such as the saying of Allah, the exalted, وإلى عاد، والى ثمود، وإلى مدين ( wa ila ^Ad , wa ila Thamud , wa ila Madyan),  wanting by that the sons of ^Ad , the sons of Thamud and the like. Mostly this takes place in the peoples and prominent tribes especially in the former times and contrary to the moieties and the sub moieties and the like.

 Second: to name the tribe by the terminology of Bani (sons of) so it would be said: Banu (the sons of) so and so. Mostly this occurs in the moieties and sub moieties and the smaller tribes and especially in the latter times.

 Third: to name the tribe by a plural form containing the letters of alif and lam such as al-Talibin and al-Ja^afirah and the like. Mostly it occurs among the latter people and not others.

 Fourth: to express the name of the tribe by Al so and so, such as Al al Fadl and Al ^Ali and what is similar to that. Mostly it takes place in the latter times especially among the Arabs of the countries of Ash-sham at our times, and what is meant by the Al is the Ahl (the family of).

 Fifth: to be expressed by the sons of so and so, and this can only be found in the latter Arab sub moieties, and scarcely.

 Eighth: Most of the names of the Arabs are copied from the bank of their imagination of what they encounter among animals such as the Asad and Nimr (lion and the Tiger), or plants such as Nabt and Handhalah (plant and colocynth), or insects such as Hayyah and Hanash (snake and lacertine snake), or the parts of the Earth such as Fihr and Sakhr (Soil and Rock) and the like.

 Ninth; Mostly the Arabs call their sons by disliked names such as Kalb and Handhalah and Dirar and Harb and the like (dog, colocynth, harmful, war, etc), and they call their slaves with favorable names such as Falah, Najah, and the like (prosperity and success etc…). What is meant by that is what was mentioned that it was said to Abu al Qays al Kilabi: “why do you call your sons by the worst names such as Kalb and Dhi’b (dog and wolf) and your slaves by favorable names such as Marzuk and Rabah (sustained and triumphant)?” he said:  “we name our sons for the sake of our enemies and we name our slaves for our own sake”, wanting by his statement that the sons are prepared to confront the enemies so they chose the most evil names for them, and the slaves are prepared for themselves so they chose the best names for them—that is in their own opinion.

 Tenth: If in the tribe there were two identical names such as al-Harith and al-Harith and al-Khazraj and al-Khazraj and the like, and one of them is an offspring of the other or was born after him, they expressed the father and the one born first by al-akbar (the greater), and the son and the one born after by al-asghar (the smaller). This could also happen among two brothers if one of them was older than the other. The words of al-Qalqashandi end here. 


Last Updated on Monday, 30 November 2009 15:02