Al-Yamama, the ancient name of a region of the Arabian peninsula which is thought to have roughly coincided with today's administrative district of al-Riyadh, was from the sixth century until the end of the Umayyad caliphate the centre of a diverse economy and thriving local culture. This title documents the little known historical geography and political development of al-Yamama in the pre-Islamic era, drawing together a wealth of information on its geography, ecology, population, settlement patterns, economy and history. Professor al-Askar argues that a marked regional identity emerged among the people of al-Yamama during this period and persisted until its economic productivity seriously declined in the ninth century and the region lost much of its population. This identity owed a great deal to the ecology of al-Yamama and its economic structure, as well as to its control of trans-peninsular trade routes, which brought its population into frequent contact with Persians to the East and Hijazis to the West, and allowed them to perceive the cultural differences between themselves and their neighbours.
Its existence also helps our understanding of political movements in al-Yamama such as the attempt by the Banu Hanifa to establish a state, the reign of King Hawdha b. 'Ali, the false prophet Musaylima's attempt to establish a theocratic state and, much later, the Kharijite revolt of Najda b. 'Amir.
Abdullah al-Askar is Associate Professor of History at King Saud University, Riyadh. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Prologue - Definition; Introduction The Physical Setting - The Arabian Peninsula; The Division of Arabia; The Name of al-Yamama; The Boundaries of al-Yamama; The Wadis of al-Y amama; The Settlements of al-Yamama; Geographical and Ecological Patterns; Social Organization - The Tribes of al-Yamama; Relations Between the Tribes of al-Yamama; The Demographic Map; Economy - Preface; Production; Trade; Supra-Regional Politics - Preface; Stage One; Stage Two; Stage Three; Stage Four; Religion and Politics - Religions in al-Yamama before Islam; The Rahman of al-Yamama; The Relationship between al-Yamama and Mecca; The Relationship between al-Yamama and Medina; Musaylima's Movement; The Early Contact between Muhammad and the Banu Hanifa; Correspondence between Medina and al-Yamama; Musaylima as a Leader and Prophet of al-Yamama; The Delegation of al-Yamama; The Muslim Conquest: The Ridda; The War of al-Yamama; The Battle of 'Aqraba; The Peace Treaty; The Administration of al-Yamama - Preface; The Pre-Islamic Era; The Islamic Era; The Administrative Units of al-Yamama; Taxation in al-Yamama under the Muslims; Epilogue; Conclusion.
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- ID: 9780863724008
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