Sunday, 23 October 2011

Arabian Chronicles : Tubba' Dynasty and Himyarite

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Said Ibnu Khaldun according to researches of ancient historians in Arabian Peninsula, the kings of Tubba' dynasty and Himyarite came from the lineage of Abd Shams. Their capital was in Sana'a in Yemen. The city of Ma'areb was located about three marhala from Sana'a. A marhala is equal to 97 km.

In the Old Testament, there is also a mention about the Sheba Queen. Quranic reference for her is Balqis. During the rule of this queen, she had ordered the construction of the place to hold water supply between two hills. The dam has strong walls to hold water supply which came from rain and holes which could be opened and closed for usage. The place is called as al-'Arim.

Beginning of Tubba' Dynasty 

The first king of Tubba' dynasty according to the majority of historians was al-Harith al-Raysh. Al-Raysh means a person who pours something. It signifies that he always pouring upon his subjects with grants. Historians had some problem to determine his origin but all of them agree that he is a descent of this person whose name is Wasil al-Ghawth.

At-Tabari said that one of a king from Tubba' dynasty came from Yemen. His name is As'ad Abu Karb. He used to go through the way used by al-Harith al-Raysh. After he arrived at the Thaiy hill, he entered al-Anbar. When he arrived in Hirah, he felt bemused. So, he named the place al-Hirah which means bemused. Then he further traveled until he met tribes of al-Azd, Lakham, Juzam, 'Amilah, and Qudha'ah. At the place he met these people, he build up a little state for few moment. After few generations, some descents of Thaiy and Kalb moved into new area. As'ad Abu Karb traveled again and passing through Mosul before he went to Azerbaijan. As'ad Abu Karb met a Turk tribe and they waged war. Those Turks were defeated and they were taken captive to Yemen. As'ad lived quite a long time, and many kings respected him for his courage. As'ad ruled around 270-275 and he embraced Judaism law during his campaign to subdue northern Arabian states with his name changed to Yasser Yukhanim. He advocated Judaism in his kingdom with the advice of two Cohens from Yatrib (Medina).

Ibnu Hazm had also mentioned the lineage of the kings of Tubba' but many of it are still confusing. There are some over narration or lack of narration. There are also many valid books about the genealogy of kings of Tubba' since they had also clashed with other narrations. It is also difficult to determine the exact date of their rule and events that happened since it is too ancient. 

Tubba' Dynasty with Yousef Zi-Nuas

Regarding Tubba' kings, there is also a surah mentioning about one of their king which is surah al-Buruj in the glorious Quran. Ibnu Khaldun had narrated that a king whose name was Zi-Nuas had managed to grab back their ancestral kingdom, the Himyarite kingdom. He had chosen Judaism as his religion and his name was changed to Yousef (Joseph). Many tribes in Yemen feel angry with his decision. At that time too, many people in Najran which is now located in southern of Saudi Arabia had chosen to practice the teaching of Christ. The leader for those Najran inhabitants was Abdullah bin Tamer

The teachings of prophet Jesus Christ was brought into Najran by one of the disciple of Jesus Christ. He was known as Sim'aan bin Yuna or Simon Peter. It was said that he was so knowledgeable and his prayers would be quickly granted. He also prayed for people to be healed from diseases. Most of the time, he always used anonymous names and he didn't want people to know him. There was also another loyal follower of the teaching of Jesus whose name was Saaleh. Both Simon and Saaleh ran from the area of Israel today but too bad he was captured and sold to Arabian Peninsula as a slave. He was sold as a slave in Najran.   

When Simon and Saaleh were in Najran, they saw that people there were worshiping date trees. Those people had hanged many decorations, clothes, threads, and many things at the date trees. Simon and Saaleh had to be separated because they had to follow their new masters. Whilst serving the master who bought him, Simon still constantly performed prayers and obedience and that makes his master feel curious after looking at such diligence. His master asked him, what kind of religion are you practicing? Simon explained that he is practicing the teaching of Jesus a.s and he anathematize the act of worshiping date trees. He said that only the God is the one who worth to be worshiped. He said that he could pray to the God to destroy those date trees. The master who listened to him then asked him to try and he would embrace the teaching and worshiping the God if it really does happen. Simon the prayed and suddenly a mighty wind arrived at the area. It uprooted all of those date trees worshiped by the people. After that, those people witnessed the teaching of Jesus a.s and they offering worships to the God. 

Then, according to Hisham bin Muhammad al-Kalby, Yousef Zi-Nuas who was the ruler of Tubba' dynasty in Himyarite kingdom of Yemen also firm in his belief to teachings and law of Judaism. Then one day a news about a family of a Jew was tyrannized in Najran had reached his court. Two sons of the Jew merchant was killed in Najran. The Jew plead for help from Yousef and Yousef had long tried to interfere within Najran affairs. He prepared his army and attacked Najran. He subdued Najran and forced the people of Najran to be converted into the law of Judaism. Those people refused to leave the teachings that they had already practiced. Yousef then ordered his army to dig up a trench with fire being ignited at the base. Those who refused to leave abandon the teachings of Jesus a.s were thrown into the trench. There were also a mother and an infant who were thrown into the trench and the infant had a miracle where he talked and comforted his mother to be confident with promise of the God before being thrown into the fire. A bishop had also been killed and martyred there. He was known as al-Harith. In Catholic churches, he is still venerated as saint Aretas. I had checked that the event happened around 523 just before the birth of prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

In the event of being thrown by the army into fire, one of a leader of Najran had managed to escape. His name is Daws Zi-Ta'alaban. He ran to Byzantine empire and pleading help from the emperor of Byzantine empire. Daws also brought with him a copy of gospel which had been burned by Yousef's army as a proof of their tyranny. Byzantine emperor sent a letter to Ethiopia and ordered the Negus of Ethiopia to send army to teach Yousef a lesson. Negus sent around 70,000 soldiers to Yemen with a chieftain who was known as Irbath. At the time, Yousef was in preparation to attack other Arabian states in a bit north of his kingdom. The Ethiopians had attacked them in a sudden while some of Himyarite noble men were quarreling among each other. Himyar kingdom was subdued and became a protectorate kingdom of Ethiopia.  

Irbath sent 1/3 of war property from the spoil of war to Ethiopia as what had been promised. Those Arab Jew noblemen of Himyarite kingdom were made slaves by Irbath. Himyarite protection walls such as Saljik, Sunn, and Gamdan were all demolished. 

In 546, the Persian empire was on its peak. Their official religion was Zoroaster religion. In our seerah books, this religion is categorized as the religion which looks like the religion of people of the books. It indeed has a scripture known as Avestand something. Regarding people who worship fire, there was also a narration about the son of Adam whose name was Cain had roaming around after he killed his younger brother, Abel. Narration said that long before the flood of Noah a.s period, the children of Cain had been involved in the worship of fire.  

Abrahah and Church of al-Qalys

According to Ibnu Khaldun, not long before the rise or the birth of prophet Muhammad s.a.w, a governor of Yemen under the mandate of Ethiopia whose name is Abrahah had build up a church in Sana'a. Abrahah was a vice chieftain for Irbath. He killed Irbath and assumed the position as the viceroy in Yemen.

The church was said as among beautiful churches in Arabian Peninsula and Abrahah had sent letter to the Negus of Ethiopia and the emperor of Byzantine to inform them about the church. Abrahah said that he wanted to attract people from around Arabian Peninsula to perform pilgrimage in the church build by him so that people would abandon the Ka'aba.

Arabs do not like this since Ka'aba has a long history. It has a history which can be traced back to sage Adam a.s the first human. During the flood of Noah a.s, the building of Ka'aba was greatly damaged. The God had commanded father Abraham a.s and his son, Ismael a.s to build it again. Although they were in the dark age of polytheism, but they still love Mecca and the edification of Ka'aba.

There was a chief of Fuqaym tribe and other one is from bani Malek had came to the Church of al-Qalys. They pretended to be servants of the church and silently defiling the church from inside with their defecates and piss. After it came to Abrahah that these guys had been so insolent, he became so angry. He swear that he will demolish the Ka'aba in Mecca himself. Then he will force everyone to perform pilgrimage in the church build by him.

He sent a messenger to the state of Kinanah tribe and ordered them to face the Church of al-Qalys while praying and not to face to the Ka'aba. The Kinanah clan had shoot dead the messenger with arrows. It makes Abrahah more angry. He set his army and began his journey to Mecca to demolish Ka'aba but at the middle of the road there was a noble man of Himyarite kingdom whose name is Zi-Nafar stopping him. But he failed to stop Abrahah as he was defeated. Abrahah did not kill him but employ him as his guide to reach Mecca as Arabs no matter what religion they are respecting the Ka'aba.       

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!                             

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