The Banu Judham (Arabic: بنو جذام, Banu Jutham or Bani Jutham) is a Yemeni tribe that emigrated to Syria and Egypt and dwelled with the Azd and Hamdan Kahlani tribes. Most Arab genealogists are not sure whether they are a Kahlani or a Himyarite tribe.
Settling in Syria and Egypt
The Judham (Jurham) tribe itself claimed Yemeni origin. They maintained an alliance with the Kalbid, Banu Amela and Azdi tribes in the Ghassanid kingdom, they mainly settled Amman, Jabal Amel, Northern Egypt and Tabuk.
Prior to Islam, Banu Judham was described as a Christian tribe and served as foederati for the Byzantine Empire. Some sections were also inclined towards Judaism, however, few actually converted to the faith.
During Muhammad's lifetime, Judham rejected the message and preaching of the Muslims and remained loyal to the Byzantine Empire.
At the time of the Battle of Yarmouk in 636, they were combined to the Ghassanid columns that defected to the Muslims. Most the tribe converted to Islam and eventually broke off the alliance with the Ghassanids, along with the Kalbids they played an important role in the Islamization of Syria.
During the First Fitna between Muawiyah and Ali, Judham (like all other Arab tribes of Palestine and Jordan) completely supported the former. The tribe was later divided, when its leader allied with Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr in his rebellion against the Umayyads.
Alliance with Kalbids
They were allies to the Umayyids, supporting the Kalb tribe against that of Qais, although not in the Battle of Marj Rahit (684). Their alliance was to cost them dearly. The Qaisi tribes gained more power after the fall of the Ummayyids and the rise of their new allies in Baghdad (the Abbasids), which led to a series of revenge wars that extended until the 18th century.
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