Al-Hejaz, also Hijaz (Arabic: الحجاز al-Ḥiǧāz, literally "the barrier"), is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. It is bordered on the west by the Red Sea, on the north by Jordan, on the east by Najd, and on the south by Asir. Its main city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina. As the site of Islam's holy places, the Hejaz has significance in the Arab and Islamic historical and political landscape
Historically, Hejaz has always seen itself as separate from the rest of Saudi Arabia. Hejaz is the most populated region in Saudi Arabia; 35% of all Saudis live in Hejaz. Hejazi Arabic is the most widely spoken dialect in the region. Saudi Hejazis are of ethnically diverse origins.
Hejaz is the most cosmopolitan region in the Arabian Peninsula. People of Hejaz have the most strongly articulated identity of any regional grouping in Saudi Arabia. Their place of origin alienates them from the Saudi state, which invokes different narratives of the history of the Arabian Peninsula. Thus, Hejazis experienced tensions with people of Najd.
- 1 History
- 2 People of Hejaz
- 3 Notable Hejazis
- 3.1 Al-Abwa’
- 3.2 Mecca
- 3.3 Medina
- 3.4 Ta’if
- 4 Geography
- 5 Cities
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The Hejaz includes both the Cradle of Gold at Mahd adh Dhahab ( ) and a potential water source now dried out that used to flow 600 miles (970 km) north east to the Persian Gulf via the Wadi Al-Rummah and Wadi Al-Batin system. Archaeological research led by of Boston University and the University of Qassim indicates that the river system was active in 8000 BCE and 2500–3000 BCE.
The northern part of Hejaz was part of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea. The region is so called as it separates the land of Najd in the east from the land of Tihamah in the west. It is also known as the "Western Province".
Early Islamic era
Muhammad sent some of his fighters to the Hejaz. Ubaydah ibn al-Harith was the commander of the second raid to be carried out against the Quraysh. This raid took place nine months after the Hijra, a few weeks after the first one at al-Is.
About a month after Hamzah's unsuccessful bid to plunder, Muhammad entrusted a party of sixty Muhajirun led by Ubaydah to conduct another operation at a Quraysh caravan that was returning from Syria and protected by two hundred armed men. The leader of this caravan was Abu Sufyan ibn Harb.
The Muslim party went as far as Thanyatul-Murra, a watering place in Hejaz. No fighting took place, as the Quraysh were quite far from the place where Muslims were in the offing to attack the caravan. Nevertheless, Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas shot an arrow at the Quraysh. This is known as the first arrow of Islam. Despite this surprise attack, no fighting took place and the Muslims returned empty-handed. It is believed that Ubaydah was the first to carry the banner of Islam; others say Hamzah was the first to carry the first banner.
Due to the presence of two holy cities in Hejaz, the region went under numerous empires throughout its Islamic history. Hijaz was at the centre of the Rashidun Caliphate, in particular whilst its capital was in Medina from 632 to 656. The region was then under the control of regional powers such as Egypt and the Ottoman Empire through much of its later history.
In 1916, Sharif Hussein ibn Ali proclaimed himself king of an independent Hejaz, as a result of the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence. The ensuing Arab Revolt overthrew the Ottoman Empire. In 1924, however, ibn Ali's authority was usurped by Ibn Saud of the neighboring region of Najd.
In modern Saudi Arabia
Flags of entities that have dominated Hejaz
Flag of the Rashidun Caliphate (632–661).
Flag of the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750).
Flag of the Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258).
Flag of the Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171).
Flag of the Ayyubid dynasty (1171–1254).
Flag of the Mamluk Sultanate (1254–1517).
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1517–1916).
Flag of the Kingdom of Hejaz (1916–1925).
Flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (1925–present).
People of Hejaz
The people of Hejaz have never fully accommodated to Saudi rule and their Wahhabi religion. They continue to be Sunni of Maliki rite with a Shia minority in the cities of Medina, Mecca and Jeddah. Many consider themselves more cosmopolitan because Hejaz was for centuries a part of the great empires of Islam from the Umayyads to the Ottomans.
- Scholar Musa al-Kadhim ibn Ja‘far al-Sadiq, descendant of Muhammad
Pre-6th Century ACE
- Qusai ibn Kilab, Chief of the Tribe of Quraysh, and an ancestor of Muhammad
- ‘Abd-al-Dar ibn Qusai, ancestor of Barrah bint ‘Abdul ‘Uzza, maternal grandmother of Muhammad
- ‘Abd Manaf ibn Qusai, ancestor of Muhammad
- ‘Abdul-‘Uzza, son of Qusai, ancestor of Barrah bint ‘Abdul ‘Uzza
- Hashim, son of ‘Abd Manaf, great-grandfather of Muhammad, and the progenitor of Banu Hashim in the Tribe of Quraysh
- Hubba bint Hulail, wife of Qusai, and an ancestor of Muhammad
- ‘Atikah bint Murrah, wife of ‘Abd Manaf, and an ancestor of Muhammad
The 6th – 7th Centuries ACE
- Abu Bakr, son of ‘Uthman Abu Quhafa, father-in-law of Muhammad, and Caliph
- ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, father-in-law of Muhammad, and Caliph
- ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, and Caliph
- Hamza, son of ‘Abdul-Muttalib, uncle of Muhammad, and other Muhajirun or Meccan followers of Muhammad
- Abu Talib, son of ‘Abdul-Muttalib, Chief of Banu Hashim, uncle of Muhammad, and the father of ‘Ali
- ‘Abdullah, son of ‘Abdul-Muttalib, father of Muhammad
- ‘Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim, Chief of Bani Hashim, and a grandfather of Muhammad
- Khadija bint Khuwaylid, and other Meccan wives of Muhammad
- Fatimah, other daughters of Muhammad, and other Muhajir women
- Sumayyah bint Khayyat, believed to be the first martyr from the followers of Muhammad
- Daughters of Abu Talib, and other female followers of Muhammad
- Aminah bint Wahb, wife of ‘Abdullah, and the mother of Muhammad
- Wives of ‘Abd al-Muttalib
Pre-6th Century ACE
- Salmah, daughter of ‘Amr, wife of Hashim, and a great-grandmother of Muhammad
The 6th – 7th Centuries ACE
- Caliph Al-Hasan, and other sons of ‘Ali and grandsons of Muhammad born in Medina
- Ansari men
- Scholar Hasan of Basra
- Scholar Muhammad al-Baqir ibn ‘Ali Zaynul-‘Abidin, grandson of Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn the grandsons of Muhammad
- Scholar-Warrior Zayd ibn ‘Ali Zaynul-‘Abidin ibn Al-Husayn ibn Fatimah bint Muhammad, half-brother of Muhammad al-Baqir
- Medinan wives of Muhammad
- Ansari women
The 8th Century ACE
- Scholar Ja'far al-Sadiq ibn Muhammad al-Baqir
- Sons of Ja‘far al-Sadiq born in Medina
- Scholar Malik ibn Anas
The 6th – 7th Centuries ACE
- ‘Uthman, son of ‘Affan, son-in-law of Muhammad, and Caliph
- ‘Urwah ibn Mas'ud, Chief of Banu Thaqif
- Nafi‘, son of Al-Harith, Physician
Post-7th Century ACE
The region is located along the Red Sea Rift. The region is also known for its darker, more volcanic sand. Depending on the previous definition, Hejaz includes the high mountains of Sarawat which topographically separate Najd from Tehamah. Bdellium plants are also abundant in the Hijaz.
- Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary. 2001. p. 479. ISBN 0 87779 546 0. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsula. p. 316.
- "Mecca: Islam's cosmopolitan heart".
The Hijaz is the largest, most populated, and most culturally and religiously diverse region of Saudi Arabia, in large part because it was the traditional host area of all the pilgrims to Mecca, many of whom settled and intermarried there.
- "Saudi Arabia Population Statistics 2011 (Arabic)" (PDF). p. 11.
- Britain and Saudi Arabia, 1925-1939: The Imperial Oasis. p. 12.
- Beranek, Ondrej (January 2009). "Divided We Survive: A Landscape of Fragmentation in Saudi Arabia" (PDF). Middle East Brief 33: 1–7. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- Gajus Scheltema (2008). Megalithic Jordan: an introduction and field guide. ACOR. ISBN 978-9957-8543-3-1. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Sullivan, Walter (March 30, 1993). "SCIENCE WATCH; Signs of Ancient River". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- Kesting, Piney (May–June 2001). "Well of Good Fortune". Saudi Aramco. Retrieved March 20, 2007.
- Mackey, p. 101. "The Western Province, or the Hijaz[...]
- Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar p. 127
- Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar p. 147
- Haykal, Husayn (1976), The Life of Muhammad, Islamic Book Trust, pp. 217–218, ISBN 978-983-9154-17-7
- Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:57:74
- Witness Pioneer "Pre-Badr Missions and Invasions"
- Riedel, Bruce (2011). "Brezhnev in the Hejaz" (PDF). The National Interest 115. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- Mackey, Sandra. The Saudis: Inside the Desert Kingdom. Updated Edition. Norton Paperback. W.W. Norton and Company, New York. 2002 (first edition: 1987). ISBN 0-393-32417-6 pbk.
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