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Shīism among the Different Tribes

Author:
Ghulam-Husayn Muharrami

Basically, Alī (a) had more Shīah and sympathizers from the Adnānīs from among the Qaḥṭānī tribes, and Shīism among the Qaḥṭānīs had enormously expanded. The main Shīah who constituted the historians and soldiers of the Commander of the Faithful (a) were Arab tribes from the south (Yemen) and Qaḥṭānīs. For instance, the Imām (a) thus said in Rajzī, one of the battle arenas in Ṣiffīn:


I am a Qurayshī youthtrustworthy, great, pure, and like a lionwith whom the distinguished men of the people of Yemen from among the residents of Najd and Aden are pleased.
Similarly, after the demise of the Prophet of Islam

#7779;), most of Alīs (a) supporters among the companions of the Holy Prophet (S)were Anṣār who were Qaḥṭānī in origin, and constituted most of those who accompanied Alī (a) from Medina up to the Battle of Jamal. In the same vein, when Imām al-Ḥusayn (a) set off toward Kūfah, Abd Allāh ibn al-Abbās said to him: If the people of Iraq like you and want to assist you, you write to them, The enemy shall expel you from your city. Then, you come here. Instead, you move toward Yemen where there are mountains, strongholds and forts that Iraq does not have. Yemen is a vast land and your father have Shīah there. You go there and then send your preachers to the neighboring places to invite the people to come to you.
The companions of Imām al-Ḥusayn (a), with the exception of Banū Hāshim and some Ghaffārīs, also belonged to Yemenī tribes. As Masūdī has said, From among the companions of the Prophet

#7779;), only four persons attained martyrdom at the lap of the Holy Prophet (S)and these four were from the Anṣār.
The descent of the Anṣār to Yemenī tribes is also obvious.
In contrast, the chiefs and nobles of Quraysh were hostile to Alī (a) and his descendants (just as they were hostile to the Prophet

#7779;)), while the sympathizers of the Imām (a) among them were few. Even the tribes that had close relations with the Quraysh, such as the tribe of Thaqīf and the people of Ṭāif who were supporters of Muāwiyah during and after the Battle of Ṣiffīn, had always been in the ranks of those who opposed Alī (a). For example, when Muāwiyah dispatched Busr ibn Arṭāt to pillage the cities of Ḥijāz and Yemen, as Busr was approaching Ṭāif, Mughayrah ibn Shubah went to welcome him, saying: May God give you pleasant reward! I heard the news of your harshness toward the enemies and benevolence toward the friends. Busr said, O Mughayrah! I want to put pressure on the people of Ṭāif so as for them to pledge allegiance to the Commander of the Faihtful Muāwiyah. Mughayrah said, O Busr! Why do you want to do to your friends what you did to your enemies? Do not do it lest everybody turned into your enemy.
There were also very few besides the Banū Hāshim from among the Quraysh, such as Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr and Hāshim Mirqāl, who were on the Commander of the Faithfuls (a) side although from among the clans of Quraysh and opponents of Alī (a), there were also some who accompanied him. For instance, Khālid ibn Walīd was one of the Commander of the Faithfuls (a) adversaries, but his son, Muhājir ibn Khālid was among the soldiers of the Imām in the Battle of Ṣiffīn. Another case is that of Abd Allāh ibn Abī Ḥudhayfah, Muāwiyahs maternal cousin, who was one of the sincere Shīah of Alī (a), and in the end attained martyrdom at the hands of Muāwiyahs agents.
Alī (a) had followers and supporters from among all the Yemenī tribes such as the tribes of Kindih, Naka, Azd, Juhaynah, Ḥimīr, Bujaylah, Khatham, Khuzāah, Ḥaḍramūt, Mudhḥaj, Ashar, Ṭay, Sadūs, Ḥamdān, and Rabīah. But among them, the two tribes of Ḥamdān and Rabīah were leading. The Ḥamdānīs who embraced Islam during the time of the Prophet

#7779;), through Alīs (a) efforts, had always been sympathetic to him, and were considered as among the Imāms sincere Shīah. Masūdī says, During the Battle of Ṣiffīn, not a single person from among them was in the army of Muāwiyah.
Regarding Ḥamdān, Alī has said:

If I were the gatekeeper of paradise, I shall say to the tribe of Ḥamdān, Enter in peace!
Muāwiyah held a great grudge against the Ḥamdānīs. One day during the Battle of Ṣiffīn, he went to the battle arena and recited this poem:



I shall not live unless I rip the heads of those of (the clans of) Arḥab, Yashkar and Shabām (from the tribe of Ḥamdān).
They are people who are enemies of the people of Shām. So many of them are great, heroic and brave men.
So many they have killed, injured and handicapped. Yes, such is the battle of the gallant noblemen.
Then, by reciting this epic verse,

O Lord of ḥall and ḥarām! Do not bestow the rule to the people of Shām, Saīd ibn Qays Ḥamdānī attacked Muāwiyah while holding forward his spear, and Muāwiyah fled from him toward the center of the army of Shām. And he sent Dhūl-Kalā (one of the commanders of Shām) to confront Sad ibn Qays and the ensuing combat lasted till night. In the end, the people of Shām accepted defeat and fled. At this juncture, the Commander of the Faithful (a) recited this poem to encourage the Ḥamdānīs:



Horsemen of Ḥamdān from (the tribes of) Shākir and Shabām do not slacken in the morning battle.
The advocate of truth and great man, Said ibn Qays, leads them. The kind people themselves shall also be protected.
May Allah grant the reward of paradise for (the tribe of) Ḥamdān as they are all arrows to the hearts of the enemies during battles.
As such, we can see poems composed by the army of Shām against Ḥamdān especially during the Battle of Ṣiffīn. For instance, Amr ibn al-Āṣ addressed the tribe of Ḥamdān on one of the days of the Battle of Ṣiffīn, saying:



It shall receive death from this tribe; one day, Ḥamdān is victorious while another day it is just a shell.
The tribe of Sadūs is also like them; as if it is not becoming old, but we shall strike them with the sword so as to restore the condition.
We shall treat (the tribe of) Tamīm in the same manner, unless they confess submission.
A number of women of the tribe of Ḥamdān had also incited the supporters and soldiers of the Commander of the Faithful (a) during the Battle of Ṣiffīn against Muāwiyah. Among these women were Sawdah Ḥamdāniyyah and Zurqā Ḥamdāniyyah, daughters of Addī ibn Qays. Sawdah addressed his father saying:




Given this, Muāwiyah nursed a grudge against them. And after the martyrdom of Alī (a) they were summoned to Shām. They were asked to explain about their poems and they were reproached.
The second Yemenī tribe which had many Shīah of Alī (a) among its members was the tribe of Rabīah. For example, in enumerating the Shīah of Alī (a) Burqā has allocated a certain part to the companions of Alī (a) from the tribe of Rabīah while allocating the rest of the Yemenī Shīah in another part.
When Alī (a) heard that a number of the tribe of Rabīah in Baṣrah attained martyrdom at the hands of the army of Āishah, he said:

I pity the Rabīah, the obedient and submissive Rabīah!
Masūdī also says, Alī (a) had many talks about Rabīah and eulogies to them because they were his helpers and supporters as well as his pillar among pillars. Among Alīs (a) statements about Rabīah is the poem below which he recited during the Battle of Ṣiffīn:





The one who has the black banner and it is hoistedonce it is said to him to bring forward the banner, He will then join the ranks so as to bring forth the spears for death and blood drop from them.
May Allah bestow reward to the community that fought in the battle, welcomed death, and never opposed goodness.
They are the most well-dressed and beautiful-faced of people, when the voices of men at the battlefield are winded together.
I am referring to (the tribe of) Rabīah. When confronting a huge army, they are brave and powerful.
It was one of the chiefs of Rabīah, Jamīl ibn Kab Thalabī who was considered one of the Shīah and supporters of Alī (a). When he was captured by Muāwiyah, the latter told him: Which blessing is greater than this that God made us prevailed over a man who within an hour killed a large number of our supporters!
Shaqīq ibn Thawr Sudūsī also said during the Battle of Ṣiffīn while addressing the tribe of Rabīah: O group of Rabīah! Once Alī is killed, there will be no excuse for even a single person from you to remain alive. Also, after the death of Yazīd, the people of Kūfah expelled the Umayyad governor from their city and wanted to install somebody in his stead. Some people suggested Amr ibn Sad to be the amīr. Masūdī narrates that at that moment, the women of Ḥamdān, Kahlān, Anṣār, Rabīah, and Nakha entered the central mosque. While weeping for Imām al-Ḥusayn (a), they were saying: Is it not enough that Amr ibn Sad killed Ḥusayn and now he wants also to be our amīr?
With this statement, they made the people weep and persuaded them to abandon Amr ibn Sad.

Summary
Most of the supporters and Shīah of the Commander of the Faithful were from the Qaḥṭānī and Yemeni tribes.
Among the companions of the Prophet

#7779;), most of Alīs (a) sympathizers were from among the Anṣār who had Yemenī origin.
Imām al-Ḥusayns (a) main supporters were from among the Yemenī tribes, with the exception of the Banū Hāshim and some Ghaffārī men.
In contrast, the chiefs and nobles of Quraysh were inimical to Alī (a), and his descendants and supporters among them were very few.
Among the Yemenī tribes, the two tribes of Ḥamdān and Rabīah were leading in Shīism.

Questions
1. Name the tribes in which Shīism was more dominant.
2. Among the Yemeni tribes, which tribes are leading compared to the rest in Shīism?

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