Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Emirates of Ghassan

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Previously, we had discussed about the Kingdom of Ghassan. In this post we expand it further to the Emirates of Ghassan. Ghassan tribe were migrants in southern Syria since the ancient times. Previously, the region was controlled by the Dhaja'im and Qudha'a tribes.

The Ghassanides fought those two tribes and they won. So, they made the region as their state and pleading the Byzantine Roman empire protection. Later on, they had developed themselves until they established confederation of states among themselves and building citadels around their city. Their capital was Busra, in the state of Hawraan. Today people perhaps call the place as Busra Shaam or Busra Esky Shaam. The word Shaam or Saam actually refer to Syria and the ancient region of the Greater Syria was not like today's Syria. It extends from the Levant or Eastern Mediterranean which also includes the area of what we call as Palestine and covers some ancient areas of Eastern Europe, Iran, Gulf States and Iraq. 

The word Shaam or Saam is also the name of our ancestor which includes the Arabic speaking Ismai'lites or Qedarites, the Assyrians, the Arameans, the Hebrews, the Sabaean Yemenites who worship the sun with their sun temples and others. Saam basically means prosperity or a name. Our patriarch Abraham a.s is a descendent of Saam through Arphakhsad. Assyrians are our cousins from an ancestral uncle, Ashoor which is the second son of Saam. The subject of this ancient Ashoor no matter who he is will be known as Assyrians. He was portrayed as the solar deity the patron of a city-state. So the word Syria or Surya also means the Sun. It seems like cognitive to a Sanskrit word which sounds like Surya. There are stories about Suryavamsa in Brahma Puran about a group or ancient clan who worship the sun or solar deity and later about figures related to the navagraham or nine planets. I am not talking about this to compare whoever is good or whoever is bad. I am not reading or listening to Zakir Naik too. I can't remember whether I read his written literary works as I am not his fan. I read everything from the root sources which means if I wanted to know say about the Hindu religions, I will go and ask the Hindu priests myself and basically Hindu traditions do not really sound new to me. The ancient Sakyamuni that I followed during my confuse childhood time was from a royal Hindu family himself.
The legend figures in this part were the son of Noah a.s and Noah a.s is a sage and a prophet of the God the Highest. The worship of legends or famous figures began after the Great Flood which Noah a.s and some people had escaped from. So, whatever claim from academic writings of Orientalist scholars from colonial period to discredit Muslims as worshiping whatever moon or nature forces which happen to be the creatures of the God the Highest which no one could imagine Him is not effective. Because, Noah a.s was a sage, a prophet and a messenger of the God the Highest. Periods after his sons and descendants passed away that people turning to idolatry while the God the Highest reveals revelation after revelation through the chosen human-beings down to Muhammad s.a.w.

Back to the topic, by the first century of Christ era, Syria was included as a region of Byzantine Roman empire. During the time before Jesus Christ a.s walking among the people calling people to rectify their morality, the area known as Roman Palestine was administrated by a Roman governor known as Pilatus while the Roman emperor was Herodotus. The upper Syrian area was controlled by the Nabateans. I am not sure what kind of people were the Nabateans but they perhaps are the Bedouins who speak Aramaic language. The Nabateans always contested the Romans until the Romans had to plead for peace from them. The majority of these Nabatean Bedouins were from the Dhaja'im tribe who controlled some areas in Syria since ancient time.                       

After the conquest of Alexander of Macedonia where he managed to bring down Persian empire as many of Persian tributary states were controlled by the Greeks. Much of the areas controlled by the Greeks were from Persian empire areas to the western bank of Ganga river in modern India. This explains why in South East Asian ancient texts about ancient Hindu kings also mentioned the Greeks in their chronicles. It is plausible that they had contacts with the ancient Greeks and Persians when we check the historians researches. Those little regions of Persian empire were ruled by regional kings and governors and they were not centralized.

Because Persian empire were torn apart, it makes the Romans who later succeeded the Greeks taking the advantage and defeating them one by one. However, in the beginning of third century the Sasan dynasty gained control in Persia. They become so powerful and influenced that they managed to get back their protectorate and tributary states. At this time, the Ghassan Arabs tried to break over the northern most frontier. They managed to get Bulaqaa' from the Dhaja'im tribe. Bulaqaa' if I am not mistaken is an area in Jordan. 

The Byzantine Romans could see that the Ghassanides were influential amongst the Arab nations. Their states were fertile and filled with green trees. So, they began to spread Christianity among the Ghassan Arabs. Later on, Christianity of Byzantine rites became the official religion of the Ghassanides and the subjects there.

During the reign of al-Harit bin Jabalah and his offspring, the whole of today's Syria until Hawraan hill was under his rule. He colonized Tadmur, Palestine, Levant or Lebanon which includes the Bedouins. Dosseur among the archeologists had researched until the Hawraan hill and founded a huge citadel build by the Ghassan Arabs in order to prevent themselves from being attacked by other Bedouins. In the thesis of Henry Masse, as according to the chronicles... The Ghassanide king, al-Harith bin Jabalah was authorized and recognized by the Eastern Roman emperor, Justinian in the 529 CE. This Ghassanide king was a religious and pious Christian. He was awarded with the title Phyllarqui Patrikio by emperor Justinian which means the priestly king. This title was the highest title in the Eastern Roman empire.

The last Ghassanide king was the king Jabalah bin Aihaam. He accepted Islam as the Divine Path but later he returned to Christianity because he was unsatisfied that his ego as a king was lowered by the caliph Umar al-Khattab r.a as he had slapped the face of a commoner during the pilgrimage ritual at the cubical building in the grand mosque. The guy who was slapped had complained to the caliph and the caliph ordered the king to apologize but he won't. This is a typical Arabian attitude. I am not talking by generalization because I know human are not the same but this attitude is an attitude among rich people. I also experienced some of those half blood westernized Sayyids and Shareefas who demanded us to kiss their hands because they are rich (like we care) which makes me and my father avoiding their house maybe forever though we are related. Our feet are dirty and we are filthy poor people. Why should we pollute their beautiful mansions with our presence. Until now I feel really bad if I have to walk pass rich people or talking with them.

Does not matter if one is a Christian or a Muslim as egoism is a trait which exist in human-being. The king passed away as a Christian in Constantinople. However, his kingdom was absorbed under the Rashidun caliphate as many of his subjects began to accept Islam. This emirates ends around the seventh century... Later on, about Sergiopolis in Rassafa which was a city of the Ghassan Arabs. Inshaa Allah...

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

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