The Arab Nation
The primitive inhabitants of Arabia, the oldest peninsula in the world, are known as the Semitic race. The Arab nation, fueled by a sense of individuality and distinctiveness, was divided into three main groups. Namely: 1. Arab Baidah (Arab Baidah), 2. Arab Ariba or Banu Quhtan, 3. Arab Mustariba (Arab Mustariba).
1. Bayida in Arabia: The oldest inhabitants of Arabia are called Bayida in Arabia. Baida or badia means forest. The people of Baida are called Bedouins. They are so ancient an inhabitant of Arabia, that no description of their character and condition is to be found in the historical books. Only the Qur’an and Hadith Sharif and some poems of the Arabs and ancient ruins give me the slightest indication of its existence. For example, ancient Arab tribes like Aad, Samud, Tasm, Jadis, Amleka etc. These tribes arose at different times, but their existence disappeared due to the violation of Allah’s instructions and various types of wickedness. All these ruined tribes of ancient Arabia are called Bayida in Arabic.
2. Arab Arabs (real Arabs or Banu Kahtan): Arab Arabs means real Arabs. After the disappearance of the Bayid nation in Arabia, those who first settled in Arab countries are called Ariba in Arabic. They considered themselves descendants of Yarur ibn Qahtan or Qahtan. They were also called Yemenis because they lived in Yemen or South Arabia. Yarub was a descendant of Prophet Noah (A.S.). A lot of progress was made in their reign till a certain era. Their civilization culture was world famous. In this Yarub clan there was a man named Abde Shams Ibn Yashzar who became famous as Saba. He was the first to introduce the practice of imprisonment. All the clan lines of Yemen meet as far as Saba. He founded the famous city of Mayreb in Yemen, which was destroyed in a great flood. A detailed description of this terrible event is available in Al-Quran.
Arabic Mustariba: Arabic Ariba gradually split into different branches. Before coming to the city of Makkah with Hazrat Ibrahim (ra), Hajar (a.) and Ismail (a.), they were residents of different provinces of Arabia. After that Bibi Hajera (RA) and Ismail (RA) started living in Makkah. During this year, new settlements were established through the creation of the Zamzam well and the rebuilding of the Holy Kaaba through the tireless efforts of Ibrahim and Ismail (a.s.). On the other hand, the descendants of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) also continued to grow. At that time, the primitive inhabitants of Arabia called these new people as Mustariba in Arabic. Similarly in Arabia the Mustaribas also refer to the natives as Arab Areba or true Arabs. There was a special difference in behavior between these two castes. It should be noted that the Ariba or Yemenis in Arabia were more powerful than the Mustaribs in purity of blood and indeed Rasulullah (SAW) had their support after migrating to Madinah. Adnan, a descendant of Hazrat Ismail (A.S.), was the founder of the Mustariba clan. The Quraish clan of Muhammad (pbuh) originated from the Nizari branch of the Mustariba tribe living in the Hejaz, Najd, Petra and Palmyra regions.
Arabs: Arabs can be divided into two groups according to the topography of Arabia. Namely: (1) desert-dwelling nomads or Bedouins and (2) city-dwelling permanent residents. These two classes of residents have their own characteristics. Their way of life, thoughts, hopes are completely different.
Arab Bedouins: 80 percent of the barren Arabs live in the desert. They are called “Ahl-ul-Badiyya” or people of the desert. These desert Arabs are known as ‘Bedouin’. Those whose tents or temporary dwellings are Bedouins or nomads. Bedouins were extremely tribalistic.
Bedouin way of life: Bedouins are divided into different tribes or tribes. A gotra is formed with several clans or Banu or Hayy. A clan consists of several families. A family consists of husband and wife, sons and daughters, slaves and servants. The head of the family was the father. The heads of all the families get together and elect the chief leader of the tribe. The head of the tribe is called Sheikh. Gotrapati was chosen by virtue of bravery, valor, wisdom and seniority. There was an advisory council called ‘Mala’ in the society at that time. On whose advice judicial, military and public welfare functions were performed. Bedouins did not like to settle down. They enjoyed moving freely from one place to another. They used to rear animals for livelihood. They used to pitch their tents from one place to another in search of food for this animal. Camels, dumbas and goats were the main means of subsistence of the Bedouins. They lived on the milk and meat of camels and made clothes from the skins and furs of these animals. Looting and herding were their main occupations. The Bedouins are the fiercest tribes of the Arabian desert. Harshness, ruthlessness and cruelty were deeply impressed upon their character by the continuous hard struggle against natural causes and the urge for subsistence. They do not believe in regionalism, nationalism etc. They believe in nepotism. Hospitality prevailed among them. Commenting on the Bedouins, Hazrat Umar (RA) later said, “The Bedouins were the ones who supplied the goods and spices of Islam. Urban dwellers: The remaining 20% of Arabs are urban dwellers or permanent residents. They make permanent settlements in fertile grasslands. These were the rulers of Arabia at that time. They did farming and trading for their livelihood. There were permanent settlements in Mecca, Medina, Yemen. The townspeople are more tasteful than the Bedouins.