Talk:Tubba Abu Karab As'ad

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Dhu Shanatir[edit]

Where did you get the information that Dhu Shanatir succeeded Abu Kariba? According to the provided source, Abu Kariba was succeeded by his son, Dhu-Nowas, who was also a convert to Judaism. Gatoclass (talk) 08:49, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Well, it was in the source you did not like because it mentions wikipedia, but as I said quite a few times before I have never used any info from that source that was taken from Wikipedia. If you noticed I removed the reference without removing any info from the article itself. The removed source had the info you are asking about that was taken from "The Jewish Kingdom of Himyar (Yemen): Its Rise and Fall" by Jacob Adler, Midstream, May/June 2000 Volume XXXXVI No. 4. That info is probably correct. IMO Dhu-Nowas simply could not have been one of the sons of Abu Kariba because of the dates of their rulings 390-420 CE for first one and 517 – 525 for the second one except he lived more than 100 years. I know some sources do say that Dhu-Nowas was the son of Abu Kariba, but IMO it is an error. Here's the conformation of the dates of the ruling of Abu Kariba --Mbz1 (talk) 13:06, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, this is very odd, a look through some other sources indicates a split, with some saying Abu Kariba's rule was 390-420 CE and some saying it came at the end of the 5th century and that Dhu-Nowas succeeded him. Maybe you should ask for some assistance at Wikiproject Judaism, someone there might be able to help. Gatoclass (talk) 13:53, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
BTW, this source describes the conversion of Abu Kariba as "legendary", so I'm afraid the basis of this article is looking increasingly tenuous. Gatoclass (talk) 13:59, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
First of all you should remove your objection from my DYK nomination because the reason for that objection no longer applies, and second of all I believe you should stop looking for the reasons do not promote the article. Yes, it happened a very long time ago, yes, there is some discrepancy in the sources and in the dates, and in the spelling of the names, but there are way too many sources that all repeat the same thing. So there were some Arabs, who converted to Judaism about 2000 years ago. Just get over it please.--Mbz1 (talk) 14:35, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
No, I wasn't looking for reasons "not to promote" this article, on the contrary, I came here to try and fix what I thought were a couple of minor issues so it could be promoted. But having had a chance to take a closer look at it, it appears that the factual basis of the article is suspect and that you simply haven't done adequate research on it. I am now faced with either trying to rewrite it so that it conforms to sources, or else to recommend rejection at DYK. Quite frankly I am disappointed to find myself in this unpleasant position once again in relation to one of your articles. I do not have time to fix your articles, I have my own content that I want to write. If you continue to submit articles as problematic as this, I will have to consider calling for a ban of your articles at DYK, or at least for some sort of system to be set up wherein your articles are checked for accuracy by an independent reviewer prior to submission. It's just not fair that you should be wasting the time of other wikipedians by failing to adequately research your articles before submitting them. Gatoclass (talk) 15:24, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
I have done more than enough research for the article. If the sources have different dates, there's nothing I could do about that. All the sources I used are reliable sources, but they differ in the dates. The dates are important, but much more important is the fact of conversion, and here all the sources agree. In the worst case scenario the words "according to a legend" could be added to the article.
Stop threatening me with bans, Gatoclass! Stop reviewing my DYK nominations, Gatoclass. Have the trust in the community. Let my nominations to be handled by someone else, stop wasting my time --Mbz1 (talk) 15:39, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
The first thing that needs to be done is to confirm when Abu Kariba actually lived - in the early fourth or fifth century. Once that's been done, we could look at sorting out the legends from the known facts. But there's not much point doing that until the date of Kariba's kingdom and that of Dhu Nowas have been determined. Gatoclass (talk) 15:49, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm thinking that Kariba's kingdom was most likely earlier, and that the History of the Jews source has screwed up in thinking Nowas was the son. I need to check through a number of other sources to try and confirm that though. Gatoclass (talk) 15:57, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for working on it.--Mbz1 (talk) 16:16, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)What is your advise how to proceed. I hope you did not mean that I should go to Yemen and to try to find eyewitnesses of the conversion :) I mean no matter how many sources I will check, if they differ, they differ, nothing I could do about that. I personally believe that the source I removed by your request provides correct information about the dates, and once again it used independent sources (not wikipedia) to confirm the dates. Once again although the dates are important they are not as important as the fact of conversion. It is neither very important who was whose son. The conversion did happen. It is the fact, and inscriptions confirm it. Why and how exactly it happen is a legend. Some sources say that Dhu-Nowas converted to Judaism, but if his alleged father was already a Jew why did he need to convert? In general I believe that any interesting fact deserves be a DYK. Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but the article I wrote relies on few reliable sources. I am sure there quite of few articles on Wikipedia that have not exact dates of the event that happen a looooong time ago. If DYK makes some of the readers to wish to learn more about the subject, it will do it work. It is not BLP, it will not change the course of history. Please remove your objection now, it is invalid.--Mbz1 (talk) 16:13, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, actually, the conversion of Kariba is not "a fact" because I posted a source above that casts doubt on it - and on the claim, apparently made by an earlier generation of historians, that there were several Jewish kingdoms in this period. So those points should obviously be in the article. The legend of Kariba's conversion can remain in the article but it must be made clear that this story is a myth and not established fact. If there are doubts about the time when Kariba ruled, they should also be included, but this strikes me as something which ought to be confirmable one way or the other by a bit of research.
Well, even the source you provided states that it is entirely credible that Kariba moved towards Judaism, and now I included the source, and the words "legend", "legendary" "alleged" in three places of the article. BTW "legendary" not necessarily means it is not a fact. "Legendary" means "•so celebrated as to having taken on the nature of a legend"--Mbz1 (talk) 17:07, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't have the energy right now to tackle the research to try and clear some of these issues up however, so I may have to return to this tomorrow. Gatoclass (talk) 16:23, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Responding to your request. I am not going to repeat the issues Gatoclass has already raised, but I will mention a couple more issues. I will not be fixing these myself, as I have no personal interest in editing this article. First, this article needs to be copyedited. There are a number of errors in grammar, punctuation, etc. which should be corrected. Second, it appears that a lot of this article hangs on questionable sources fraught with POV; if the sources are POV-heavy it makes writing a neutral article extremely difficult. For example, source 1 (which is repeated as source 10) says things like "The Arabs in pre-Islamic days were out-and-out idol worshippers...Abu Kariba convinced them of the truth of Judaism and they, too, accepted the yoke of the Creator..." The mention of the archaeological inscription seems completely irrelevant Abu Kariba. Source 2, on which much of this article's content hangs, is a 116-year-old pro-Jewish history copyrighted and published by the "Jewish Publication Society of America". Source 3 appears to consist of unsourced personal essays by a New York rabbi. Also, source 3 appears to contradict the statements it is cited to support; it seems to suggest that Jewish rule in Yemen was replaced by Christianity, not Islam. Source 4 does not support the statements it is cited to support; the cited page makes no mention of Abu Kariba or other Jewish converts, and it says that "...Moslems conquered and destroyed a number of independent Jewish kingdoms in Yemen..." but no indication that all Jewish kingdoms in Arabia were destroyed. Source 5 does not support the statements for which it is used, it merely suggests an inquiry into "[t]he history of the small Jewish kingdoms in southern Arabia which were destroyed by Mohammed." Source 6 mentions Abu Kariba but suggests that he did not, in fact, convert. Source 7 merely mentions that Abu Kariba was "a descendant of [Shamar Juharish], fought against Constantine." I note also that it is a 50-year-old book, also published by the "Jewish Publication Society of America". Source 8, a 95-year-old book, makes no mention of Abu Kariba, despite discussing the establishment of Jewish rule in the area. It does, however, confirm the statements made regarding Dhu Nuwas and the fall of the Jewish kingdoms. Source 9 again refers to Abu Kariba's conversion as a "legend". Source 10, as I already mentioned, is a repeat of source 1. I will shortly do a major edit to the article reflecting this reading, which, however, I invite you to revert if you disapprove. cmadler (talk) 14:20, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

  • I have done a very heavy-handed edit to the article based on the above comments about sources and also removing information that is not directly relevant in this article. As I wrote before, feel free to revert, but I hope you'll consider the points I'm making. cmadler (talk) 14:39, 8 July 2010 (UTC)


Thanks for your explanations.
  1. Source 3 is not used in the article as the only source in any place, so it is irrelevant to complain about it. Any time it is used, there are at least two other sources used with it.
  2. Source 4 is not used in the article as the only source in any place, so it is irrelevant to complain about it. Any time it is used, there are at least two other sources used with it. There's nothing wrong with this source anyway.
  3. Yes, many sources I used were written by Jewish scholars. Surprisingly they are the ones, who write most of the Jewish history. IMO it is a rather a strange complain about me using Jewish writers as the sources for an article about Jews! The age of the sources does not matter because no matter how old they are, they are written much after the events they describe.
  4. If the source #1 and #10 say "The Arabs in pre-Islamic days were out-and-out idol worshippers" it is of course a well known fact (if you have other info on the subject please kindly share it with me), but in any case this statement is not used in the article, so there's nothing to talk about.
  1. here's an example of the statement from the article: "other Jewish kingdoms survived in Arabia up to 620 CE. The last of them were destroyed with the rise of Islam" supported by the sources [3],[4] and [5]. Of course source 5 supports this statement "[t]he history of the small Jewish kingdoms in southern Arabia which were destroyed by Mohammed" because Mohammed is the prophet of Islam. Not to say that the sources 3 and 4 repeat the same thing.--Mbz1 (talk) 14:59, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
  • It is never irrelevant to complain about a bad source. If a bad source supports a statement that is also supported by better sources, the bad source should be removed. If a bad source supports a statement for which you do not have better sources, consider doing more research or removing the statement. Any time a source is given as support for a statement which it does not in fact support, it should be removed (the in-line citation, not necessarily the source as a whole). As to the sources being written by Jewish scholars, that is not in and of itself a problem. But when all the key sources are by Jewish scholars, printed by a pro-Jewish publisher, it suggests that, at the very least, we need to be watchful for POV issues. Is it really the case that no one in the Arab world has written about this in the last 100 years? That no one associated with a major western university has written about this? The age of the sources does not matter in and of itself, but when taken with the other factors (authors, publisher, etc.) raises red flags. Note that these publications coincide with the beginnings of the modern Zionist movement, and they could be read as an attempt to strengthen the claim of Jews immigrating to the region. I'm not saying that the sources are unreliable, and I don't know what motives the authors might have had, but I think these are factors that you have to keep in mind in such a case. cmadler (talk) 21:15, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Ongoing discussion[edit]

I have made some changes to this article to improve the flow a little. I still have some concerns, for example the last quote is not well sourced and looks quite out of place to me. I'm also a little concerned that this account focusses entirely on Kariba's alleged conversion and the other links to Judaism, isn't there anything else to be said about this ruler and his times? I would like to hear what some other contributors think. Gatoclass (talk) 15:22, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Have you yourself checked the sources that discuss him? If so, have you seen other RS discussion of him, with regard to information not reflected here? If so, you should feel free to reflect it. If not, that is the answer to your question.

In short, I'm not aware of this article failing to reflect any material that it should reflect that is in available RSs. If you think that is the case, after performing a simple google search, I would suggest that you (as you are already making changes to the article) add that to your effort.--Epeefleche (talk) 21:07, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

  • I don't see the relevance of the final quote (and paragraph preceding it) to Abu Kariba. The relevance either needs to be explained or it should be removed. cmadler (talk) 21:17, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Good point, CM. Addressed within the article (which formerly didn't overtly state that it was from AK's time).--Epeefleche (talk) 22:10, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
The relevance is still unclear. Are we to interpret that the "King of Sheba" referenced in the inscription was Abu Kariba? If so, that connection needs to be clarified (and a source needs to be provided). Further, as I detailed above, I'm dubious of the POV and reliability of the source. If such an archaeological find did occur, is there no academic write-up detailing the find and its significance? cmadler (talk) 00:26, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I deleted the quote per cmadler's concerns and with the agreement of Mbz. If a better source can be found it can always be reincluded. If there are no other issues, I think this one can be promoted at DYK now. Gatoclass (talk) 06:46, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I think it should go back in. The relevance is that a) this was an inscription from the King's time; and b) it reflects the Jewish influence in the King's kingdom. Given the article's to-and-from as to Judaism and the King, it strikes me as relevant (as revised). Furthermore, the texts on ancient archaeology are sadly slower than those in other areas at coming on-line, as are the ancient history texts. Note, for example, the dearth of on-line academic write-up on the king at all -- that's not a reflection of reliability as to whether he existed -- it is solely a reflection of the tardiness in bringing the relevant texts on-line. But if anyone can get their hands on this text, it may well provide greater information: "The Jewish Kingdom of Himyar (Yemen): Its Rise and Fall," by Jacob Adler, Midstream, May/June 2000 Volume XXXXVI No. 4. Also, page 28 of The non-Jewish origins of the Sephardic Jews.--Epeefleche (talk) 07:44, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Cmadler and I both have concerns about its relevance and about the reliability of the source, so I think it would be best if it's left out for the time being. Mbz has also agreed at my talk page to drop it, so I think we should just move on and promote the article as it is. Gatoclass (talk) 08:48, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I will of course agree with consensus. However, I would ask that the three of you (or two -- presumably you have already done so) take a look at my above comments and (if they can) the two indicated texts off-line, or any other off-line texts that are relevant. If they are both unconvinced, then I defer to the three of you. In any event, the DYK should not be slowed down by this issue -- it should proceed.--Epeefleche (talk) 08:51, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Well the second source, the only one available to me, doesn't appear to include the actual quote, so I have no reason to change my view at this point. Gatoclass (talk) 08:59, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

BTW, I removed the words "said" and "opined" from the porter paragraph as there is no reason to question his scholarship. As a compromise, I added the word "described" in relation to the myth or legend statement. Gatoclass (talk) 09:11, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Added a second source in support of Porter. BTW, these are about the only modern sources in the entire article. Gatoclass (talk) 11:32, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

I added an updated hook to T:TDYK. If everyone is happy with the current version of the article and the new hook, I think it can be verified now. Gatoclass (talk) 09:45, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Recent scholarship etc[edit]

While some of Epeefleche's recent changes have I think been improvements, he has made one or two which I find objectionable. Firstly, he has diminished the more recent scholarship about these events by referring to it in the past tense, giving the impression it is redundant, or no more credible than the much older sources used in much of the article. He also outright removed one of the most recent sources, additionally changing the intro from "recent scholarship" to "one scholar" when doing so.[1] The effect of these changes is to make it appear as if this was just one isolated scholar with this opinion, and that the much older sources are equally valid. The source Epeefleche removed is if I'm not mistaken the most recent specialist source in the article, dated to 1989, and it states the following: According to a Muslim legend, King Abu Kariba As'ad converted to Judaism after his encounter with the rabbis of Yathrib... This source confirms the statement of Porter that the conversion is "legendary", so there is no reason to remove it, nor any reason to state that this is the conclusion of just one isolated scholar. I have therefore restored the previous text in regards to these two changes.

In relation to tense, Epeefleche's comment that the author is "dead" and that his findings must therefore be put in the past tense is incorrect, as a scholar's findings are commonly referred to in the present tense whether he is dead or not, unless his scholarship is outdated, and we have no evidence of that. I haven't reverted these changes yet however because I don't consider it to be vitally important. I have reverted "appeared" back to "appear" because that is in relationship to the "historical record", and the historical record is obviously an extant entity rather than an expired one. I trust therefore that Epeefleche will not be reverting these edits again, at least not without discussion. Gatoclass (talk) 21:12, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

BTW I will be logging off shortly, so will have to continue this discussion tomorrow. Gatoclass (talk) 21:18, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I think you aren't getting it. On various levels.
  1. Tense. Per wp style convention, the past tense is appropriate in articles when referring to past events. We even instruct our editors in that in a template for unfolding "current" events -- let alone situations such as this one. Your effort to delete the use of the past tense is especially wrong-headed when you are describing a past event by a dead person. A dead author's past statement, as to the historical record as it appeared decades ago, is all properly termed in past tense in wikipedia.
  2. Use of the words "say" and "said". The use of the word "say" and the word "said" is unobjectionable, and per MOS to be preferred where there is any controversy. The best way to ensure that Wikipedia characterizes people's statements in a neutral and accurate manner is to use words such as say and said. They can be used neutrally in almost all contexts. Other phrases can often be more loaded, and used as subterfuge for introducing POV, and for that reason in controversial situations especially should be avoided in lieu of words such as say and said.
  3. OR and SYNTH. You engage in OR and SYNTH. If you have an RS source that says the most recent scholarship says x, then say x. Otherwise, in the absence of such RS support, it is classic OR on your part. And classic synth.
  4. "Recently" and "Recent". Of course -- I would expect you would know this, as a sysop -- you should never, ever, say in an article on the project "recent x" says ... As I've already explained to you, the reason this practice is deprecated on Wikipedia is that you do not know when the material will be read. What is recent today, may well not be "recent" when it is ultimately read. This is a no-brainer. Instead, you should use precise language. Your should in articles such as this one avoid any phrases statements that will age. You should especially avoid phrases such as recently (the same would hold for phrases such as soon and now, just as you should generally avoid relative terms such as currently, in modern times, and is now considered. Instead, you should use either a more precise and absolute expression (e.g., in 1998). These are wiki basics, and I'm taking the time to press the point because if you are making this mistake here, no doubt you have made it in many other articles, and will continue to make the mistake unless it is pointed out to you.
  5. You have an assertion, with a reference to a statement made by only one person. (On reflection, while we have RS support for him being an author, that would be the better way to describe him--I had done so, and believe you are someone else changed that). For you to conflate that into more that what it is is blatant POV pushing. Stick with the facts. Person x said in year z that ... That way you stay out of trouble, and avoid OR-creep, SYNTH-creep, and POV-creep. It's an easy, precise, accurate formula for sidestepping some of the problems your edits have evidenced.
  6. There are a host of RS-supported references in the article to what you refer to as legend being in fact the case. You have your one author saying that is not true. Reflect the facts. Don't get into describing it in a way you prefer that is not supported by the facts. If many scholars said x, say "many scholars said x". If one author said y, say "author z said y".
  7. Again, if you have more than one author saying the King did not convert, point to it. It's not in the article. You can't make it up. Or present one person's view as equal to the view expressed by a number of sources, by not sharing the facts.
  8. You have one, and only one, RS source saying that in his opinion the King did not convert. One. You cite a sentence above as to a legend -- but what part of that sentence is legend, and what part is untrue legend? The sentence refers to a king -- was there such a king? Or is his existence untrue legend? The sentence refers to the king's conversion to Judaism -- was that untrue legend? Or did the king actually exist, and did he actually convert, while there is another part of the sentence that is legend? It says further that the king converted "after his encounter with the rabbis of Yathrib." Is that the part that is legend? It is certainly the part that does not match the other RS sources, which do not refer to the two individuals as rabbis at all. Let alone The rabbis of the city. And to the extent there is legend, what part is true and what part untrue? That sentence gives no guidance. The only RS sentence that you have saying that the conversion was not true is that of the one author.
  9. If there was an RS ref that was relevant, and I deleted it, I apologize. That would certainly be against my approach. If I did do that, perhaps it was inadvertent. You haven't provided the diff to support that statement. Please do so, so I can see what you are referring to.
Most of your problems here seem to relate, at least in part, to a misunderstanding or lack of familiarity with MOS. I assume that as an experienced editor you don't want me to spoon-feed you, but let me know if you need me to be more specific in where in MOS you can find this guidance.--Epeefleche (talk) 22:01, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
People who are incapable of complying with even so basic a policy as WP:CIV have no business lecturing others about WP:MOS. This level of condescension would be highly inappropriate addressed to a rank novice, let alone a veteran user of more than four years' standing, as you well know. If you want a constructive discussion here, kindly leave the attitude aside.
I am not going to address your nitpicking comments about my choice of wording over a couple of edits I made on the fly a couple of days ago. The one substantive issue you raise in point 8, regarding the additional reference, is I think a valid one. In my hasty scan of said reference a day or two ago, it appears I missed some vital contextual information. It seems clear that source is referring, not to the King's conversion as a legend, but to the circumstances of it. That is a point well made and I apologize for the oversight.
Having finally found the time last night to conduct a more thorough search of the available online refs, it appears you may also be correct to characterize Porter's position as unique, or at least it seems so given the fairly small selection of refs I was able to access. So I will concede that point for the time being. I will try to address these details in the article a little later today. Regards, Gatoclass (talk) 12:02, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I've done that. Gatoclass (talk) 14:54, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Who might those people be? Or is that a personal attack? If so, some might consider it civil of you to retract it. MOS is of importance -- your dismissing it as nitpicky notwithstanding. I wonder whether there may not be a better way to respond to criticism than to, as you seem to have done here, lash back with non-substantive unsubstantiated personal accusations as to my capability, my civility, what is "my business", etc.--Epeefleche (talk) 08:22, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Alphascript Publishing reference[edit]

I've removed the following VDM Publishing reference: Himyarite Kingdom: Tub'a Abu Kariba As'ad, List of rulers of Saba and Himyar, Ancient history of Yemen, Yemenite Jews, Yemen, Sheba, Qataban, Hadhramaut, Frederic P. Miller, Agnes F. Vandome, John McBrewster, Alphascript Publishing, 2009, ISBN 613021538X. Playmobilonhishorse (talk) 03:43, 21 July 2010 (UTC)