Banu Bakr

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Banu Bakr bin Wa'il or Banu Bakr, son of Wa'il (Arabic: بنو بكر بن وائلbanū bakr bin wā'il) were an Arabian tribe belonging to the large Rabi'ah branch of Adnanite tribes, which also included 'Anizzah, Taghlib, and Bani Hanifa. The tribe is reputed to have engaged in a 40-year war before Islam with its cousins from Taghlib, known as the War of Basous. The pre-Islamic poet, Tarafah was a member of Bakr.

Bakr's original lands were in Nejd, in central Arabia, but most of the tribe's bedouin sections migrated northwards immediately before Islam, and settled in the area of Al-Jazirah, on the upper Euphrates. The region of Diyar Bakr, and later the city of Diyarbakır in southern Turkey, take their names from this tribe.

Most of the bedouins of Bakr in al-Yamama joined the rest of the tribe in Mesopotamia after the appearance of Islam, where they had good relations with the tribe of 'Anizzah. However, some inhabitants of al-Yamama continued to trace their descent from Bakr through Bani Hanifa up to the modern era, particularly in Riyadh.

Approximate locations of some of the important tribes and Empire of the Arabian Peninsula at the dawn of Islam.

The tribe is distinct from the tribe of Bani Bakr ibn Abd Manat, who lived in the Hejaz and had important interactions with Muhammad.

During Muhammad's era[edit]

During the Islamic Prophet Muhammad's era the Banu Bakr tribe was involved in various military conflicts. During the The Mission of Amr bin Umayyah al-Damri Muhammad sent an assassin to kill Abu Sufyan, Amr bin Umayyah al-Damri was spotted and hid in a cave. While he was in the cave a Bedouin Shepard from the Banu Bakr tribe passed by, he had lost on eye. He asked "Who is there?", Amr bin Umayyah al-Damri "One of the Banu Bakr." The Bedouin laid down next to al-Damri and began to sing "I will not be a Muslim as long as I live" and al-Damri replied "You will soon see!". The Bedouin then went to sleep and al-Damri states:[1]

I went to him and killed him in the most dreadful way that anybody has ever killed anybody. I leant over him, stuck the end of my bow into his good eye, and thrust it down until it came out of the back of his neck. After that I rushed out like a wild beast [Tabari, Volume 7, p. 148][2]

Tribe tree / classic relations[edit]

The following are some of the related and sub-tribes of Bakr ibn Wa'il in the pre-Islamic and early-Islamic eras:

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Tabari, Al (2008), The foundation of the community, State University of New York Press, pp. 147–150, ISBN 978-0-88706-344-2 
  2. ^ Tabari, Al (2008), The foundation of the community, State University of New York Press, pp. 147–150, ISBN 978-0-88706-344-2