According to Arab genealogical tradition, the Adnanites are "Arabized Arabs", descended from Adnan. The Adnanites became Arabized when they migrated to the Arabian Peninsula, whereas the Qahtanites of Southern Arabia are pure Arabs.
In 1987, Gianluca Paolo Parolin said "The ‘arabicised or arabicising Arabs’, on the contrary, are believed to be the descendants of Ishmael through Adnan, but in this case the genealogy does not match the Biblical line exactly. The label ‘arabicised’ is due to the belief that Ishmael spoke Hebrew until he got to Mecca, where he married a Yemeni woman and learnt Arabic. Both genealogical lines go back to Sem, son of Noah, but only Adnanites can claim Abraham as their ascendant, and the lineage of Mohammed, the Seal of Prophets (khatim al-anbiya'), can therefore be traced back to Abraham. Contemporary historiography unveiled the lack of inner coherence of this genealogical system and demonstrated that it finds insufficient matching evidence; the distinction between Qahtanites and Adnanites is even believed to be a product of the Umayyad Age, when the war of factions (al-niza al-hizbi) was raging in the young Islamic Empire."
- Parolin, Gianluca P. (2009). Citizenship in the Arab World: Kin, Religion and Nation-State. p. 30. ISBN 978-9089640451.
- Reuven Firestone (1990). Journeys in Holy Lands: The Evolution of the Abraham-Ishmael Legends in Islamic Exegesis. p. 72.
- Göran Larsson (2003). Ibn García's Shuʻūbiyya Letter: Ethnic and Theological Tensions in Medieval al-Andalus. p. 170.
- Charles Sanford Terry (1911). A Short History of Europe, from the fall of the Roman empire to the fall of the Eastern empire. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1112467356. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
- Luwīs ʻAwaḍ (1987). The Literature of ideas in Egypt, Part 1. Indiana University. p. 146. ISBN 978-1555400651. Retrieved 4 February 2013.