Banu Abdul Qays

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Banu Abdul Qays
(Arabic: بنوعبدالقيس‎)
Banu Rabi'ah, Adnanite
Banu Rabi'ah.png
A family tree depicting the ancestry of the Banu Abdul Qays.
LocationEastern Arabia
Descended fromAbdul Qays ibn Qurayy ibn Afsa
ReligionChristianity, later Islam

The Banu Abdul Qays (Arabic: بنوعبدالقيس‎) is an ancient Arabian tribe from the Rabi`ah branch of the North Arabian tribes. In pre-Islamic times, the Abd al-Qays frequently raided Iran.[1] When he became of age, Shapur II made it his first order of business to punish the Abd al-Qays.[1] He led an army across the Persian Gulf and devastated large parts of Eastern Arabia and Syria, slaughtering most of the Abd al-Qays on the way.[1] Later in his reign, Shapur moved many Abd al-Qays people to Kerman Province in Iran.[1]

During the Arab conquest of Iran, the Abd al-Qays migrated to Iran in large numbers and carried out extensive raids in southern Iran.[1] Sizable groups of them settled down in Tavvaz near Dalaki in Bushehr Province.[1] In the early 8th century, 4,000 Abd al-Qays warriors accompanied Qotayba on his campaign into Khorasan in Iran.[1]

The Abd al-Qays were one of the inhabitants of the coast of Eastern Arabia, including Bahrain island.[1] There are many gaps and inconsistencies in the genealogies of Abd al-Qays in Bahrain, thus Baharna are probably descendants of an ethnically mixed population.[2] Bahraini society has traditionally divided itself into three genealogical categories in order: "ansab" (clear genealogies), "la ansab" (unclear genealogies) and "bani khudair" (foreigner).[3] According to one author, Baharna were probably "la ansab" because they have unclear genealogies.[3]


Abd al-Qays were mostly Christians before the advent of Islam.

Remnants of the tribe[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h ʿABD-AL-QAYS Encyclopaedia Iranica.
  2. ^ Brian John Ulrich (2007). Constructing Al-Azd: Tribal Identity and Society in the Early Islamic Centuries. p. 107.
  3. ^ a b "Iranians in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates". Eric Andrew McCoy. pp. 70–71.