Beni Ḥassan (Arabic: بني حسان "Children of Ḥassān") is a nomadic group of Arabian origin, one of the four sub-tribes of the Maqil Arab tribes who emigrated in the 10th century to the Maghreb with the Bani Hilal and Banu Sulaym tribes.
In Morocco, they first settled, alongside their Maqil relatives, in the area between Tadla and the Moulouya River. The Sous Almohad governor called upon them for help against a rebellion in the Sous, and they resettled in and around that region.
They later moved to Mauritania, and from the 16th century onwards, they managed to push back all black Mauritanians southwards to the Senegal Valley river. The Beni Hassan and other warrior Arab tribes dominated the Sanhaja Berber tribes of the area after the Char Bouba war of the 17th century. As a result, Arabian culture and language came to dominate, and the Berber tribes underwent some Arabisation. The Bani Hassan dialect of Arabic became used in the region and is still spoken, in the form of Hassaniya Arabic.
The hierarchy established by the Beni Hassan tribe gave Mauritania much of its sociological character. That ideology has led to oppression, discrimination and even enslavement of other groups in Mauritania.
Beni Hassan sub-tribes
- The descendants of Hasan ben Mokhtar ben Mohamed, son of the forefather of the Maqils
- The Shebanat: descendants of Shebana, brother of Hassan, and son of Mokhtar ben Mohamed
- The Reguitat: descendants of Jallal, Salem and Uthman, brothers of Mokhtar and sons of Mohamed
Several other Arab tribes joined the Maqils and became part of the Beni Hassan tribe.
- Ahmed Annaçéri's Handwritten "Talaàt Al Mouchtari" (died in 1717)
- de Moraes Farias, Paulo Fernando; Rossi, Benedetta (2018-07-18), "Interview. Landscapes, Sources, and Intellectual Projects", Landscapes, Sources and Intellectual Projects of the West African Past, BRILL, pp. 498–516, doi:10.1163/9789004380189_026, ISBN 978-90-04-38018-9, S2CID 201566131
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- *AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, 7 November 2002, MAURITANIA, "A future free from slavery?" The formal abolition of slavery in 1981 has not led to real and effective abolition for various reasons, including a lack of legislation to ensure its implementation.
http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engAFR380032002!Open Archived 2005-01-07 at the Wayback Machine
- http://www.afrol.com/articles/17518 : "The practice of slavery in Mauritania is most dominant within the traditional upper class of the Moors. For centuries, the so-called Haratin lower class, mostly poor black Africans living in rural areas, have been considered natural slaves by these Moors. Social attitudes have changed among most urban Moors, but in rural areas, the ancient divide is still very alive.
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- Power and Interest News Report