Banu Abs

The Banu Abs (Arabic: بنو عبس, lit. "sons of ʿAbs") are an ancient Bedouin tribe that originated in central Arabia. They form a branch of the powerful and numerous Ghatafan tribes. They still inhabit the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa but have spread to many other regions of the world, as well. Their descendants today include the large Bani Rasheed tribe located in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Eritrea, and Jordan, and the Banu Rawaha located mostly in Oman and the UAE. Parts of the Mahas tribe of the Butana region in Sudan are also linked by blood to the Banu Abs due to intermarriage between the Sudanese Rashaida tribe and the Mahas peoples. One of the earliest stories concerning this tribe was the famous classical love and war story of Antar and Abla.

Banu Abs
(Arabic: بنو عبس)
Ghatafan, Qays, Adnanite
LocationSaudi Arabia, Oman, Sudan, Eritrea, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Egypt, Arab world, Malaysia, Europe, United States, Canada, Brazil
Descended fromAbs ibn Baghid ibn Rayth ibn Ghatafan
Populationest. 2,000,000
BranchesBanu Rasheed, Banu Rawaha, certain branches of the Mahas peoples
ReligionSunni Islam (Primarily), Christianity (Minority)


The Banu Abs are of the Northern Arabized Arabs, meaning they descend from Adnan. The Banu Abs line of patrilineal descent, from Abs all the way back to Adnan, is as follows: Abs ibn Baghid ibn Rayth ibn Ghatafan ibn Sa'd ibn Qays ibn Mudar ibn Nizar ibn Ma'ad ibn Adnan.[1] They are related to numerous other Arabian tribes, being distant cousins of the powerful Quraysh, the Banu Tamim, and the Banu Kinanah. The Banu Dhubyan and the Mutayr are also descendants of the Ghatafan tribe, and are thus cousins of the Banu Abs. The Banu Abs are distant cousins to Muhammad, the final prophet of Islam, due to his direct descent from Adnan. The large and prestigious Rashaida people tribe is directly descended from the Banu Abs.


The Banu Abs originated almost 2,000 years ago, branching from the Ghatafan clan, and inhabiting the outskirts of Medinah in modern Hejaz, an area called today Hurrat Bani Rasheed.

The tribe is known for its independence and bravery, as it had been called one of the Jamarat of the Arabs, or the most powerful tribes that took no allegiance to anyone but themselves. The earliest stories regard tales of war and chivalry before Islam, in the famous war of al-Dahhas wal Ghabra, between them and their brother tribe, the Banu Dhubyan, which had lasted almost 40 years. The war had ended when Zuhayr ibn Jadhima of the Banu Abs had called for an end to the bloodshed, asking the wealthy merchants of both tribes to pay the losses caused by the war. Their traditions further recall 3000 of them repelling a Sasanian attack of 20000.

Absi traditions tell of their prophet Khalid ibn Sinan ibn Ghayth ibn Murayta ibn Makhzum ibn Malik ibn Ghalib ibn Qutayya ibn Abs who taught them Biblical monotheism, and the worship of God as "al-ahad al-samad", prior to Muhammad.[2] It was told that Khalid saved his tribe (accounts differ on how) and that most men of the Abs rejected this prophet at the time.[3]

During the Arab conquests some Absis remembered their prophet Khalid again; others, like Ubayy ibn Amara ibn Malik, accepted Muhammad as Prophet and are now ranked as Companions.[4] Some Absis settled at Manbij in Syria,[5] others at the Nile. In North Africa one Ka'b, a close relative of Khalid (some say the son of his daughter), adopted some Berbers as clients, and spread the word of Khalid amongst them alongside that of Muhammad.[6]

As Muslims the Abs (and some Berbers) insisted on their veneration for Khalid; some have claimed that Khalid prophesied the 'last' prophet after him, who in Islam is Muhammad.[7] Another tradition has it that King Zuhayr had predicted Muhammad, but Zuhayr is not called prophet for that.

On Khalid's status, the Muslims have historically been divided. Other Arab tribes had either suffered false prophets, as the Asad suffered Tulayha; or, like the 'Ad and the Thamud, they received the preachings of their Prophets, disbelieved, and were destroyed[8](although some living tribes have claimed a rebirth from those dead tribes' surviving prophets, as Yemenis claim of Hud). Also if the bedouin Khalid were accepted as a prophet between Jesus and Muhammad this is constrained by Q. 12:109, which insists that Apostles must come from the towns.[9]

Antarah ibn Shaddad

Antarah ibn Shaddad al-Absi (c.525–615), or 'Antar al-Absi, was one of the seven great pre-Islamic Arab poets and the protagonist of the great story Antar and Abla. Throughout this non-fiction story, he displayed chivalry, bravery, and eloquence in the Arabic language. This earned him the name among all of the Arabs of the Peninsula as the "Complete Knight". Furthermore, he was the author of the Divan and he was a warrior. His father was a leader of the Banu ʿAbs tribe named Shaddad and his mother was Zabiba, an African Abyssinian princess-turned-slave who was originally captured during a battle between the invading Banu Abs tribe and the ancient Abyssinian army (specifically the Kingdom of Aksum).

This most famous member of the Banu Abs tribe has had a cultural impact beyond Arabia and even into the modern era. A number of modern cultural artistic works are inspired by the warrior-poet 'Antar. These include Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Symphony No. 2, which is based on the legend of ʿAntar, as well as the first Palestinian opera composed in 1988 by Mustapha al-Kurd, of which Antarah ibn Shaddad was the primary subject.

Role in Umayyad and Abbasid Syria

The Banu Abs gained significant wealth and property in Syria and influence in the Umayyad caliphal court mainly through the marriage of the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik (r. 685–705) to the Absi noblewoman Wallada, the daughter of al-Abbas ibn al-Jaz ibn al-Harith, a great-grandson of Zuhayr ibn Jadhima. [10] Wallada mothered Abd al-Malik's sons and successors al-Walid I (r. 705–715) and Sulayman (r. 715–717).[11] Abd al-Malik granted estates to Wallada's father al-Abbas and her first cousin al-Qa'qa ibn Khulayd ibn al-Jaz, including the massive estate which developed into the town of Hiyar Bani Qa'qa or Hiyar Bani Abs in northwestern Syria near Manbij where the family established itself.[11][12] Al-Walid I granted further estates to al-Qa'qa near Damascus and Manbij and made him his katib (scribe or secretary).[11] The caliph appointed another member of the tribe, Khalid ibn Barz ibn Kamil ibn Barz, governor of Jund Dimashq (military district of Damascus).[13] Al-Qa'qa backed the abortive efforts by al-Walid I to replace Sulayman with his son Abd al-Aziz ibn al-Walid as caliphal successor.[12] Al-Qa'qa's uncle Abd Allah ibn al-Jaz was a prominent dignitary in Syria and al-Qa'qa's brother Husayn was a companion of Caliph Sulayman.[11]

Al-Qa'qa's sons al-Walid and Abd al-Malik, both named after their Umayyad kinsmen,[14] served as the governors of the junds (military districts) of Qinnasrin and Homs under Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik (r. 724–743).[11] Al-Walid and Abd al-Malik (al-Qa'qa's sons) played a role in the unsuccessful attempt to install Hisham's son Maslama as his successor over his nephew, the appointed successor al-Walid II (r. 743–744).[15] As a result, they were both tortured to death by al-Walid II's governor of Qinnasrin, Yusuf, the son of Umar ibn Hubayra al-Fazari.[16] Al-Walid ibn Qa'qa's son Thumama later served as a commander under the Abbasids, who toppled the Umayyads in 750, and led summer expeditions against the Byzantine Empire.[14] His son Uthman became a semi-autonomous local leader in Jund Qinnasrin in the aftermath of the Fourth Muslim Civil War (813–819).[14]

As late as the 10th and 11th centuries, the Banu Abs continued to occupy Hiyar Bani Qa'qa and the neighboring Wadi Butnan valley, as well as Hadhir Qinnasrin south of Aleppo. The tribe, like other old-established tribes in Jund Qinnasrin, had become largely sedentarized while maintaining their tribal structure and customs.[17]

The 1890 work of Guy Le Strange is a source of information on the regions once controlled or governed by the Banu 'Abs. Titled "Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A. D. 650 To 1500", it was originally published in 1890 and includes translations from the works of medieval Arab geographers. As a collection of historical and geographical Islamic writings on Syria and Palestine, it makes mention of the lands of the Bani 'Abs (also referred to as Bani Qa'qa, or Bani Ka'ka, due to the descendance of the local Banu 'Abs from al-Qa'qa al-Absi). Hiyar is mentioned as being "a district in the lands of the Bani Ka'ka, lying a days' march from Halab (Aleppo), in the country near the desert of Kinassrin (Qinnasrin), and 2 days' journey also from the town of Kinnasrin" (sourced from Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A. D. 650 To 1500 by Guy Le Strange, p. 455). In later centuries, at least some of the old Bani 'Abs strongholds were abandoned and left to waste. For example, a district called Kurah al Hiyar, as described by Abu-l Fida and translated by Guy Le Strange, is mentioned: ""Kurah al Hiyar," says Abu'l Fida, "is the name of one of the districts of Aleppo. At the present time (1321) its lands are desert, and only wild animals live here. But it is mentioned in books. It took its name from Hiyar ibn al Ka'ka. There camp the 'Abs, the Fazarah and other tribes of the Arabs"" (sourced from Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A. D. 650 To 1500 by Guy Le Strange, p. 455).

Modern era

The modern Banu Abs tribe is quite large and scattered across the region. Significant populations of this tribe can be found in Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Yemen, Sudan, Kuwait, Egypt, and Jordan. In addition, branches of the tribe can be found in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere in the Arab World, as well as in Malaysia, Europe, the United States, and Brazil. Members and descendants of the tribe may carry the tribal name or some variation thereof, such as: Alabsi, Al-Absy, al-Absy, Al'Absy, Al Absy, Al-Absi, al-Absi, Al'Absi, Al Absi, Absy, Absi, Absey, Abzi, etc.


The modern Bedouins in Arabia value ancient Arab traditions including chivalry, honor, bravery, honesty, nobility, hospitality, and generosity. While the Banu 'Abs share such values with their tribal neighbors, they are famous for their unique tribal cultural values. In addition to the aforementioned Bedouin mores, the Banu 'Abs greatly value very ancient traditions that are held in high regard. This helps distinguish them from the many other tribes in Arabia. The main branch of the Banu 'Abs tribe has succeeded in preserving their traditional dress, language, and ethics despite the Westernization of some of their neighbors. The traditional dialect of the tribe is a form of Hejazi and Nejdi Arabic. Specifically, it is a mix between the dialect of the northern peoples of Ha'il, the standard Bedouin dialect and Hijazi Arabic. The Banu 'Abs tribe has its own tribal emblem or symbol, which is a practice that is common amongst Arab tribes. This symbol has been lost to some branches of the tribe which settled in other regions.

Branches of the Banu Abs located in other countries uphold their clan-based traditions such as maintaining a clan head to whom all respect is directed and from whom tribal edicts are delivered, upholding traditional codes of honor and utmost family loyalty, and establishing and holding tribal Diwans. Maintaining and respecting family traditions is an important aspect of what differentiates members of the Banu Abs diaspora. At the same time, they have also adapted to their local cultures, incorporating traditions, stories, legends, foods, and music from the lands where they have settled.

While the original Banu Abs have their own tribal emblem, many of the scattered branches outside of Saudi Arabia have developed their own independent tribal crests and flags to identify, and take pride in, their section of the extended family. Some branches of the tribe have also developed their own mottos, fables, and proverbs.

It is a common practice for branches of the Banu Abs tribe to maintain private family genealogies and histories that trace their patrilineal lines from their modern members all the way back to Abs, Adnan, Ishmael, Abraham, and ultimately to Adam. These private family histories of their ancestors also record notable details about historical members of the tribe. These histories can include dates of birth and/or death, mention of wars or battles participated in, various deeds done and honors earned, details of personalities and reputations, information on the crafts, trades, and businesses that the people engaged in, any peculiar or interesting causes of death, and other notable events or actions.

Social work

The sheer numbers, and widespread nature, of the Banu Abs clan have contributed to the formation of various tribal organizations, divans, cultural groups, and charitable trusts.

One example is the 'Abs Universal Organization for Social Development. This is a non-profit organization dedicated to:

"Social, cultural, economic and humanitarian organization. It aims to improve the living conditions of Rashaida people and in particular the Rashaida people in the Sudan, Eritrea and poor areas. Also, it aims to raise the level of education and cultural knowledge for Rashaida people in the whole Arabic world."

- The organization includes some charities. The charities are going to build some schools and hospitals in some poor countries that are home to Rashidi people.

The President is Mr. Fayez Albghaili Al- Rashidi

Secretary-General is Mr. Mubarak Al-Duwailah

Deputy of Secretary-General Dr. Abdullah Saad Alawaimrai"5

Descendant branches

Banu Rasheed

The Bani Rasheed or Rashaida peoples are the sons of Rasheed Al-Zaul Al-Absi. Rasheed Al-Zaul was one of the Banu Abs tribe's most famous warriors, living in the 7th century. Afterwards, his progeny named themselves after him. The Rashaida peoples are currently located in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sudan, Eritrea, Jordan, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Oman.

Al Hubus

The Al Hubus, or Habsi tribe, are one of the largest tribes of Oman. The inhabitants of this tribe reside in the Eastern region of Oman, and Ras al-Khaimah alongside the Shuhooh. They descend directly from Banu Abs, and branch into several other large tribes. Some of the most notable are: the Jawaber (Al Jabry, which is distinct from Bani Jabir of Yemen or Hamdan, present in other parts of Oman), Yal Thaneen, Aial Mahara, Aial Abdu, Awlad Habn, Al Ghassassina, Bani Bu Said, Maqadima, Ghananima, Sawalem, Najyah, and the Asiyrah.

Like their central Arabian cousins, the Habsi tribe and its many branches are known for their courage, strength, and bravery.

Mahas people

The Mahas people are a tribe that are descended on the matrilineal side from a combination of the Banu Khazraj of Arabia (of whom the Nasrid dynasty of Granada was also descended) and the Nubians. There is some intermarriage between the Rashaida peoples and the Mahas peoples of the Butana region in Sudan. Due to their intermarriage with the Rashaida peoples, some branches of the Mahas are partially linked to the Banu Abs tribe, as well. It is unclear when exactly they intermarried, and which full name they would carry, whether back to Adnan (of the Rashaida and Banu Abs) or Qahtan (of the Khazraj). Members of the Mahas that are descended from the Banu Abs are, by blood, technically a combination of Adnanite, Qahtanite, and Azdite.

Notable members


  • Khaled ibn Sinan ibn Ghaith ibn Murayta ibn Makhzum ibn Malik ibn Ghalib ibn Qutaya ibn 'Abs: Khalid ibn Sinan al-Absi was a revered figure of pre-Islamic Arabia who is thought to have lived sometime between the 1st and 7th century CE. Historical accounts narrate that he was one of a line of prophets sent to the Arab peoples, beginning with Ismā'īl and ending with Muhammad. According to some accounts, he was born 50 years prior to the Year of the Elephant (approximately 520 CE). He learned to read and write at an early age and attained a respected position in the judiciary among his people. He was a prominent writer on literature and jurisprudence. He also composed works about the Prophet Ibrahim, and he called on his people to abandon idolatry, alcohol, and the practice of usury, or riba. He should not be confused with the companion of Muhammad of the same name, "Khalid ibn Sinan al-Awsi", who fought in the Battle of Badr.
  • King Zuhayr al-Absi: A highly respected chief and the king of the Banu Abs tribe during the time of Shaddād al-ʿAbsī and his son, Antarah ibn Shaddad.
  • Shaddād al-ʿAbsī: The father of Antarah and Shiboub, Shaddad was a respected warrior of the Banu Abs tribe and a member of the tribal nobility.
  • Antarah ibn Shaddad: Perhaps the most famous member of the Banu Abs tribe, Antar ibn Shaddad was an ancient, pre-Islamic warrior poet. He was the son of an Abyssinian princess and a prominent member of the Banu Abs nobility and a respected warrior.
  • Shiboub ibn Shaddad: The brother of Antar al-Absi, Shiboub was said to have been Antar's squire. He was skilled with a bow and was known as a very quick runner. The manner of his death is disputed.
  • Urwah ibn Al Ward ibn Zaid Al-Absi: A contemporary of the Prophet Muhammad who lived in the city of Medina during the reign of the Prophet of Islam. He was a famous poet of the Banu Abs clan. He has been portrayed in a number of Arabic films and television shows. Critical analysis and praise of his Arabic works has been common. Lived from 555 - 607 CE. His wife was Salma al-Ghafaria and his children were Hassan and Zeid al-Absi.
  • Abu Malikah Jarul ibn Aws ibn Malik al-Absi: A poet of the Banu Abs who lived during the time of the Prophet Muhammad, Abu Bakr, and Umar. His poetry has been praised by modern Arabic literary critics.
  • Harith ibn Rab'i al-Absi: Also known as Abu Qatada al-Ansari, he was one of the companions, or Sahabah, of Muhammad. He participated in the battle of Uhud in 625 CE and he took part in the events of Hudaybiyyah. He also took part in the Battle of the Camel in 656 CE, serving in the Rashidun Caliph Ali's forces. During this battle he was armed with a bow and sword and wore a white turban while he served as a commander of a contingent of 1000 cavalrymen. His wife was Kabsha bint Kab ibn Malike and his son was named Qatada ibn al-Harith.
  • Yasser ibn al-Harith al-Absi: One of the companions, or Sahabah, of Prophet Muhammad.
  • Ubayy ibn 'Amara ibn Malik al-Absi: One of the companions, or Sahabah, of Prophet Muhammad.
  • Misra ibn Masroq al-Absi: One of the companions, or Sahabah, of the Prophet Muhammad. He witnessed the Prophet's farewell address and he and the majority of the Banu Abs tribe supported Abu Bakr after the death of Muhammad. He fought under the generalship of Khalid ibn al-Walid. He participated in the Battle of Yamama in 632 CE during the apostasy wars, in which a badly outnumbered Rashidun Caliphate army soundly defeated a much larger army of apostate rebels under the command of Musaylimah. This battle ensured the survival of the Islamic religion just after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. He also fought in the decisive Battle of Yarmouk against the Byzantine army in 636 CE. This historically critical battle, which is recognized as one of those that has greatly impacted the path of history, ended Byzantine rule in Syria and saw the Levant fall under undisputed Muslim rule, while also paving the way for future Islamic expansion in the Near East. He died in 644 CE.
  • Abdullah ibn al-Mu'tamm al-Absi: A companion of the Prophet Muhammad. Participated as a commander in the battle of al-Qadisiyyah in 636 CE, and in the conquest of al-Mada'in during the Islamic conquest of Iraq. Also fought in battles in Mosul and Tikrit (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. XII, The Battle of al-Qadisiyyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine).
  • Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman: Hudhayfah (died in 656 CE) was one of the Sahabah (companions) of Prophet Muhammad.
  • Rasheed Al-Zaul Al-Absi: One of the Banu Abs tribe's most famous warriors, living in the 7th century CE. The progenitor of the Bani Rasheed tribe and the Rashaida peoples.
  • Simak ibn 'Ubayd al-'Absi: Served as the governor of the ancient metropolis of Al-Mada'in in 663 CE, shortly after it fell into the hands of the Umayyad Caliphate.
  • Yazid ibn Al-Hurr al-Absi: Commanded the elite forces of hand-picked soldiers, or shurta, of the Umayyad Caliph Yazid I between 680 and 683 CE ("The Fourth International Conference on the History of Bilād al-Shām during the Umayyad Period: Proceedings of the third symposium, Volume 2, University of Jordan Press, Bilad al-Sham History Committee, 1989").
  • Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi: A prominent member of the nobility of Kufa, Iraq who backed Al-Mukhtar during his 686 CE rebellion against Umayyad rule. Khuzayma ibn Nasr was a strong warrior and he helped to contribute to Al-Mukhtar's stunning success during the first battle of the rebellion, the Battle of Khazir in Mosul. Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi was captain of a cavalry unit under the command of the skilled commander Ibrahim ibn al-Ashtar. During a particularly decisive engagement in the streets of Mosul, al-Ashtar was confronted by 2,000 troops commanded by Hassan ibn Fa'id ibn Bukayr al-Absi. These soldiers were sent by Abd Allah ibn Muti in order to intercept al-Ashtar and prevent him from joining the attack against Ibn Muti elsewhere in the city. Al-Ashtar sent his cavalrymen, under Khuzayma's command, charging at the Umayyad soldiers while al-Ashtar came up behind the cavalry with his foot soldiers. The Umayyad troops suffered greatly from the cavalry charge and were put to flight. Hassan ibn Fa'id ibn Bukayr al-Absi remained behind in an attempt to protect his retreating soldiers from pursuit. When Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi came upon Hassan ibn Fa'id ibn Bukayr al-Absi, Khuzayma exclaimed: "Oh Hassan ibn Fa'id, indeed, by God, were it not for kinship, I know that I would seek with all my effort to kill you, but (now) flee!" Hassan's horse then stumbled and Hassan fell to the ground. Khuzayma said: "Bad luck, oh Abu Abdallah!" and he and his men surrounded Hassan and attacked him. Hassan fended them off with his sword for a time but was eventually felled. Khuzayma once again stopped the attack and said: "You have a safe conduct, Oh Abu Abdallah. Do not kill yourself!" Khuzayma prevented his men from pressing the attack and he himself stood over the injured Hassan to prevent anyone from attacking him further. When his commander, Ibrahim ibn al-Ashtar, approached on foot with the rest of his soldiers, Khuzyma explained: "This is my cousin, and I have given him safe conduct." Ibrahim ibn al-Ashtar replied: "You have done well." Hassan's horse was brought, he was mounted on it, and then he was allowed to depart. He later died from his injuries surrounded by his family. Because of Khuzayma's decisive cavalry charge, Ibn al-Ashtar and his soldiers were able to join the attack with the rest of Al-Mukhtar's soldiers against Abdallah ibn Muti. Al-Mukhtar won a decisive victory in this battle because of this. Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi had a son named Nasr ibn Khuzayma al-Absi who would also take part in a similar Kufa-based rebellion against the Umayyad's only 54 years later, in 740 CE. Father and son both ended up killing a cousin of theirs on the opposing side during their respective conflicts. (Sourced from: The History of al-Tabari, Vol. XX, The Collapse of Sufyanid Authority and the Coming of the Marwanids)
  • Hassan ibn Fa'id ibn Bukayr al-Absi: Fought fiercely against Al-Mukhtar during Al-Mukhtar's rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate, at that time headed by the Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. Hassan ibn Fa'id ibn Bukayr al-Absi was a commander of 2,000 soldiers under Abdallah ibn Muti during the first decisive battle of the rebellion. Hassan was sent with his men to take on the skilled commander Ibrahim ibn al-Ashtar and to divert his soldiers from the beleaguered troops of Ibn Muti in the city of Mosul. al-Ashtar sent Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi to lead a cavalry charge against Hassan ibn Fa'id's men. This charge was very effective and sent them into flight. Hassan ibn Fa'id remained behind to guard the retreat of his soldiers. Though he fought fiercely and bravely, Hassan al-Absi's soldiers were all killed and Hassan al-Absi's death soon followed. This was due to his insistence on fighting til the death and his stubborn refusal of an opportunity offered by his cousin Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi, and the commander al-Ashtar, to retreat in safety. After being struck down, Hassan ibn Fa'id al-Absi was carried away by his horse to Ibn Muti's soldiers. Hassan was taken to his family and he died shortly after reaching their presence. On his deathbed, he regained consciousness briefly and said to his family: "By God, I do not want to recover from this wound of mine. I do not want my death to be from anything but the thrust of a javelin or the blow of a sword." He said nothing more until he died. Hassan ibn Fa'id ibn Bukayr al-Absi died in 686 CE as a result of this battle with his cousin, the warrior nobleman Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi. (Sourced from: The History of al-Tabari, Vol. XX, The Collapse of Sufyanid Authority and the Coming of the Marwanids and The History of al-Tabari, Vol. XXI, The Victory of the Marwanids A.D. 685-693)
  • Qurra ibn Sharik al-Absi: Qurra ibn Sharik (or Sharif) al-Absi was the governor of Egypt in 709–715 CE, under the Umayyad Caliphate. A sharif from Qinnasrin, he was previously the governor of his home province in Syria before being relocated to Egypt by Caliph Al-Walid I.
  • Abd al-Malik ibn Rifa'a al-Fahmi: Abd al-Malik ibn Rifa'a al-Fahmi was the governor of Egypt for the Umayyad Caliphate in 715–717 CE.
  • Ka'b ibn Hamid al-Absi: Served as commander of the Caliph's household guard under the Umayyad Caliph Sulayman, and his successor Caliph Umar II, between 715 and 720 CE (History of al-Tabari, Vol. XXIV, The Empire in Transition). According to the cited source, after Sulayman's death, Ka'b assisted in the initial transition of power between him and his son, Umar II.
  • Hudhaifa ibn al-Ahwas al-Absi: Ruled as the Umayyad-appointed governor of newly conquered Islamic Spain (al-Andalus) for a period of one year in 728 CE (1984, Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Maqqarī, The History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain: Extracted from the Nafhu-t-tíb Min Ghosni-l-Andalusi-r-rattíb Wa Táríkh Lisánu-d-Dín Ibni-l-Khattíb, Volume 2, 665pp).
  • al-Qa'qa' ibn Khulayd (or Khalid) al-Absi: He was a member of the old Arabian tribal nobility. His family became involved with the Caliphate and imperial affairs after the Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan married Wallada (or Walida) bint al-'Abbas al-Absi, one of his cousins. He served as personal secretary to the Umayyad Caliph Walid ibn 'Abd al-Malik between 705 and 715 CE. The Caliph rewarded him by granting him the locality of Hiyar Bani Qa'Qa' near Qinnasrin (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. XXVIII, 'Abbasid Authority Affirmed). The territory was named after al-Qa'qa' and his descendants continued to control this territory for at least the next century, if not longer. He supported Caliph Al-Walid I against his brother, Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik. Al-Qa'qa' was the father of Walid ibn al Qa'a' al-Absi and the grandfather of Thumama ibn al-Walid ibn Qa'qa' al-Absi.
  • Wallada (or Walida) bint al-'Abbas al-Absi: The wife of the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, she was a member of the Banu Abs tribe. She was the cousin of al-Qa'qa' ibn Khulayd and she was the mother of the Umayyad Caliphs Al-Walid I and his successor, Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik.
  • Walid ibn al Qa'qa al-Absi: A sharif and Arabian general named after his cousin, Caliph Al-Walid I, who lived in the eighth century and contributed to the initial wave of Islamic conquests in eastern Anatolia. Prior to his 737 CE raid against the Byzantines, he served as a soldier and general in campaigns in Armenia and Khurasan. In 737 CE, al Walid ibn al Qa'qa al-Absi led a successful summer raid against the Byzantines which earned him a governorship. He served as governor of Qinnasrin (737 - 743 CE) under the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, who they helped gain the throne. After Al-Walid II finally gained power, he installed Yazid ibn 'Umar ibn Hubayra as governor of Qinnasrin and had him seize Walid ibn al Qa'qa al-Absi, his brother, Abd al-Malik ibn al Qa'qa ibn Khulayd (or Khalid) al-Absi, and many of their immediate family members. They were all tortured to death (743 CE) by Yazid on Caliph Al-Walid II's orders in retribution for assisting his political rival and helping to deprive him of the throne for almost two decades. He was the father of Thumama ibn al-Walid.
  • Abd al-Malik ibn al Qa'qa ibn Khulayd (or Khalid) al-Absi: Brother of Walid ibn al Qa'qa al-Absi. He was also named after a Caliphal kinsman. He served the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik as governor of Homs province in Syria. Together with his brother, he opposed Al-Walid II's rise to power and actually helped ensure that Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik became Caliph. They were tortured to death in 743 CE after Al-Walid II replaced Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik. Their opposition may have been due to the fact that Al-Walid II was not descended from Wallada al-Absi and so was not a blood relative of theirs. Al-Walid II remained in power only for a little over a year before he was killed in combat and the Umayyad empire was completely overthrown by the Abbasid revolution a little more than half a decade later in 750 CE.
  • Thumama ibn al-Walid: Thumāma ibn al-Walīd ibn Qa‘qā al-‘Absi‘ was an Arab general of noble lineage from Syria. He survived the purge of Al-Walid II and served the Abbasid Caliphate after the Umayyads were overthrown. He was the son of Walid ibn al Qa'qa al-Absi and the father of Uthman ibn Thumāma ibn al-Walīd ibn Qa‘qā al-‘Absi‘. He led the annual summer raids into Byzantine Asia Minor in 777 - 779 CE. In 778 CE, his raid was defeated by the Byzantine general Michael Lachanodrakon. The 779 CE expedition was also defeated, according to al-Tabari. After that, he was replaced by al-Hasan ibn Qahtaba.
  • Uthman ibn Thumāma ibn al-Walīd ibn Qa‘qā ibn Khulayd (or Khalid) al-‘Absi‘: Son of Thumama ibn al-Walid, grandson of Walid ibn al Qa'qa al-Absi, and great-grandson of al-Qa'qa' ibn Khulayd al-Absi. One of the local rulers of Qinnasrin, in Syria, who used the turmoil of the Fourth Fitna in the 810s CE to become the virtually autonomous rulers of their localities.
  • Nasr ibn Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi: A member of the nobility of Kufa, in Iraq, who backed the claims of Zayd ibn Ali (the great-grandson of Ali ibn Abi Talib and one of the Imams of the Zaidiyyah sect of Shia Islam) between 738 - 740 CE, during the Zaydi Revolt. Zayd was the grandson of Husayn ibn Ali, who had also mounted a much larger earlier rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate in 680 CE (60 years previously) that was known as the Second Fitna (or Second Islamic Civil War). Nasr ibn Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi pledged his allegiance to Zayd and served as a captain of his forces. During a fierce battle in the narrow streets of Kufa between Umayyad forces and the badly outnumbered Zaydi rebels, Nasr engaged in one-on-one combat with his relative from Syria, Na'il ibn Farwah al-Absi, who had sworn to strike him down. Nasr al-Absi dealt a deathblow to Na'il al-Absi, but not before he himself was mortally wounded in his thigh. Nasr ibn Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi died soon afterwards due to his injuries. Nasr ibn Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi was killed in 740 CE. (Sourced from: The History of al-Tabari, Vol. XXVI, The Waning of the Umayyad Caliphate). Nasr ibn Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi was the son of Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi, a member of the Kufa nobility who also backed a rebellion against the Umayyad government in the form of Al-Mukhtar's rebellion. Just as his son had, Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi had also faced his cousin in combat and killed him.
  • Na'il ibn Farwah al-Absi: A member of a branch of the Banu Abs tribe based in Syria, and a loyalist to the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik. Na'il served as a cavalryman and captain in the Umayyad force of Kufa under the command of Al-'Abbas ibn Sa'id al-Murri, the head of the shurta, or elite forces, of Yusuf ibn Umar al-Thaqafi (the Umayyad governor of Iraq). The large Umayyad force was arrayed against the much smaller force of Zayd ibn Ali (leader of the Zaydi Rebellion). Upon learning that his relative Nasr ibn Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi, a member of the Kufa-based branch of the Banu Abs tribe and a high-ranking member of the Kufa nobility, was supporting Zayd ibn Ali in his rebellion, Na'il al-Absi swore to strike him dead. According to al-Tabari, Na'il swore: "By God, if I set eyes on Nasr ibn Khuzayma I will surely kill him or he will surely kill me." Na'il al-Absi was then gifted a sword by Yusuf ibn Umar of such high quality that it was said to be "a sword that would cut through anything it touched" (possibly a Damascus Steel sword). Na'il ibn Farwah al-Absy engaged Nasr ibn Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi in single combat in Kufa in a narrow street, during an Umayyad assault on Zayd's forces. Na'il al-Absi struck Nasr ibn Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi a mortal blow in his thigh. Na'il ibn Farwah al-Absi was then struck dead in combat by Nasr ibn Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi in retaliation. Nasr ibn Khuzayma ibn Nasr al-Absi himself died of his injury soon afterwards. Na'il ibn Farwah al-Absi was killed in 740 CE. (Sourced from: The History of al-Tabari, Vol. XXVI, The Waning of the Umayyad Caliphate)
  • Ali ibn Ziyad: Ali ibn Ziyad at-Tarabulsi al-Tunisi al-'Absi (d. 799 CE) (Arabic: علي بن زياد الطرابلسي التونسي العبسي), more commonly referred to in Islamic scholarship as Ali ibn Ziyad or Imam al-Tarabulsi, was an 8th-century CE Tunisian Muslim jurist from Tripoli.
  • Muhammad al-Shaybani: al-Shaybānī (749/50 – 805 CE), the father of Muslim international law, was an Islamic jurist and a disciple of the Muslim scholars Malik ibn Anas, Abu Yusuf, and Abu Hanifa (later being the eponym of the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence).
  • 'Utmàn al-Absi al-Kûfî: He was a traditionalist, a hàfiz, a lawyer, an historian, and commentator born in Kufa, Iraq (159 - 235 AH / 775 -849 CE). (Sourced from: Review of The Muslim West and the Mediterranean , Issues 31–34, Association for the Study of the Humanities in North Africa , 1981)
  • Muhammad ibn Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah Al-Absi Al-Kufi: A famous Muslim Hafiz of the Banu Abs tribe who lived between 825 and 909 CE (210-297 AH). Born in the town of Kufa, Iraq and died in Baghdad.
  • Abd Allah al-Qaysi: Abu Muhammad Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Qasim ibn Hilal ibn Yazid ibn 'Imran al-'Absi al-Qaysi was an early Muslim jurist and theologian. He died in 885 or 886 CE.
  • Al-Tutili: Abu ’l-ʿAbbās (or Abū Dj̲aʿfar) Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Hurayra al-ʿUtbī (or al-Kaysī) al-Absi (died 1126 CE), nicknamed al-Aʿmā al-Tuṭīlī or the Blind Poet of Tudela, was an Andalusian mūwallad poet who composed in Arabic.
  • Sidi Khaled ibn Sinan al Absi (or Sidi Khaled ibn Sounan Elabsi): A prominent Muslim holy man. The Algerian town in which he is buried is named after him.
  • Abu 'l-Kasim Ali ibn Aflah al-Absi: Known by the name of Ibn Aflah the Poet, and also as Jamal al-Mulk (translated as "the beauty of the kingdom"), he was a poet of considerable reputation who lived in the twelfth century CE (died 535 AH / 1141 CE). He wrote eulogiums, satires, observances, and other poetry. His works focused on celebrating the khalifs, as well as princes, governors, and other men of authority and position who had patronized his work. He also composed poetry criticizing those of station who snubbed him, celebrating his beloved, and commenting on the concept of beauty and ugliness. He had a home in the imperial capital of Baghdad but is known to have traveled extensively throughout the Islamic empire's many provinces (referring here to the Abbasid Caliphate) during his time and he received patronage, praise, monetary gifts, and recognition for his works. He composed a divan, or compilation, of his own poetry and other writings, including an introduction and a postscript, which is described as a "middle-sized volume". He is reported to have died in his home in Baghdad on a Thursday, on the second day of the Islamic month of Shaaban, at the age of 64 years (though his death is placed by some at one to two years later then this). He was interred on the west side of the Tigris River in the Koraish cemetery. (Sourced from: "Oriental Translation Fund, Volume 57, Issues 1–2")
  • Abdel Aziz ibn Yusuf ibn Hassan al-Absy: A member of the Palestinian-based branch of the Banu Abs tribe, originating in Qibya, Palestine. Abdel Aziz ibn Yusuf was a member of the landowning Palestinian aristocracy. He left his family and sons behind in Palestine to serve as a captain in the Ottoman army during their invasion of the highlands of Yemen in 1872 CE. He is said to have died there, however one account states that he voluntarily remained behind and started a branch of the Banu Abs tribe in the Yemeni highlands. It is worth noting that there are a considerable number of members of the Banu Abs tribe in modern-day Yemen. There is also a district and a town in Yemen, both carrying the name of Abs.


  • Arwa Al Absi Al Jundi: One of the 2011 winners of Sheikha Manal's Young Artist Award, an annual fine arts competition launched in the UAE in 2006 and designed to promote emerging young artists.
  • Mohammed Al-Rasheedi: Mohammed Al-Rasheedi, PhD is a member of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, representing the fourth district.
  • Abbas ibn Habib Al-Minawir Al-Musaylim: A former member of the Kuwaiti parliament and a very influential political figure until now. There is an area in Kuwait called Al Abbasiyah that has been named after him.
  • Barrak ibn Nassir Al-Noun Al-Aouni: A former Kuwaiti parliament member and one of the most influential figures in modern Kuwait.
  • Ali ibn Salim Al-Ajiylan Al-Diqbasii: The Speaker of the Arab Parliament and member of the Kuwait National Assembly where he represents Kuwait's Fourth District. He is a member of the Al-Rashaydah tribe. He maintains a good relationship with Kuwait's royal family, the House of Sabah.
  • Mabrouk Mubarak Salim: Sudan's State Minister of Transport and Roads. This prominent and highly respected individual is the founder of the Sudanese Rashaida Free Lions and the leader of the Rashaida tribe in Sudan.
  • Faraj Zabn Al Arbeed: Kuwaiti parliamentarian.
  • Thekraa Al-Rashidi: A famous Kuwaiti lawyer and politically active woman.
  • Abdalla El Bashir: Member of the Rashaida tribe.
  • Dr. Basheer Alrashidi: A prominent psychiatrist.
  • Mohammed Al-Rashidi: A prominent journalist.
  • Dr. Mustafa al'Absi: A prominent professor.
  • Dr. Ahmed I. Al-Absi: A prominent medical doctor and nephrologist in the United States. Trained and educated in Jordan and the United States, he holds multiple honors and certifications.
  • Talal Al-Absi: A Saudi Arabian football player who currently plays as a defender for Al-Taawoun FC.
  • Mustafa al'Absi: a Professor of Behavioral Medicine and the holder of the Max & Mary La Due Pickworth Chair at University of Minnesota Medical School.
  • Ali al-Absi: Refereed the first ever Qatar Emir Cup football match in 1972.
  • Hassan Al-Absi: Hassan Al-Absi (born 1966) is a Saudi Arabian former cyclist. He competed in the individual road race and team time trial events at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
  • Wadih al-Absi: Prominent Kuwaiti businessman.
  • Ayoob Tarish Absey: Famous Yemeni singer.
  • Mr. Fayez Albghaili Al- Rashidi: The president of the 'Abs Universal Organization for Social Development, a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating poverty and improving the living conditions of the Rashidi peoples, primarily in Sudan and Eritrea.
  • Dr. Maria Lúcia Absy: A Brazilian scientist and professor who holds a PhD in mathematics and natural history and, over a long career, has authored and coauthored a large number of publications on the geology and ecology of the Amazon Basin. She is part of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (National Institute of Amazonian Research) in Manaus, Brazil.
  • Kamal Absy: An accomplished, professional traveling photographer based in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Ghislaine Absy: A prominent New York-based real-estate agent. Ghislaine originated in Beirut, Lebanon. She is an active member of the Real Estate Board of New York and is a certified NYRS® (New York Residential Specialist) and a CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert).
  • Joann Al-Absy: A skilled and talented poet and painter based in the United States. Publishes poetry under a pen name.
  • Ziad El-Absy: An accomplished Egyptian cartoonist, illustrator, poster designer, and graphic designer.
  • Dr. Minou Absy-Jaghab: An MD and an infectious disease specialist in Bronx, New York. She is affiliated with Nassau University Medical Center.
  • Dr. João Marcelo Absy: A Brazilian offshore surveyor and physical oceanographer based in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, who has authored and coauthored multiple oceanographic and geologic studies.
  • Mohamed Absi: A Moroccan politician born in 1949. He was a Moroccan deputy and member of the Chamber of Representatives.
  • Salim R. Absy: A Bahraini diplomat born in 1925, he was Director of the Prime Minister's Office in Bahrain (1976), Ambassador of Bahrain to Jordan (1977-1981), Ambassador to Iraq (1981), and, as of 2008, was a part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He holds the al-Hussain Bin-Ali Medal.
  • Ahmed Rashid Absy: A Bahraini administrator and diplomat born in 1931. The son of Rashid Absy.
  • Ziad Abou Absi: A prominent Lebanese actor and director born in 1956. He teaches at the Lebanese American University in Beirut.[18][19]
  • Ahmed Saad Al Rashidi: Kuwaiti footballer currently playing with Al Arabi of Kuwait.
  • Fahad Al-Rashidi: Kuwaiti football player. He currently plays for Kuwaiti Premier League side Al Arabi.
  • Fahad Al-Rashidi: Saudi football player who plays for Al-Raed FC.
  • Fayez Al-Rashidi: Oman national football team goalkeeper, he plays for Al-Suwaiq Club in Oman Professional League.
  • Nasser Al-Duwailah: Politician and member of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, representing the fourth district. Former army commander and member of the Al-Rashaydah tribe.
  • Youssef Absi: is the current patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church since June 21, 2017.[20][21]

See also


  1. Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad. The Life of Muhammad. Oxford University Press. p. 4.
  2. Landau-Tasseron 1997, pp. 42–61.
  3. Landau-Tasseron 1997, pp. 48–49, 53.
  4. Landau-Tasseron 1997, p. 51.
  5. Landau-Tasseron 1997, p. 52.
  6. Landau-Tasseron 1997, p. 53.
  7. Landau-Tasseron 1997, p. 45, note 16.
  8. Landau-Tasseron 1997, p. 46.
  9. Landau-Tasseron 1997, p. 43.
  10. Elad 1999, pp. 59–63.
  11. Elad 1999, p. 61.
  12. Crone 1980, p. 105.
  13. Elad 1999, pp. 61–62.
  14. Crone 1980, p. 106.
  15. Hillenbrand 1989, p. 89.
  16. Elad 1999, pp. 61–62, note 126.
  17. Zakkar 1971, p. 85.
  20. "Joseph Absi elected patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church". The Daily Star (Lebanon). Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  21. Melkite Catholic Church elects new patriarch


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