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The estates of ‘Amr b. al-‘āṣ in Palestine: notes on a new Negev Arabic inscription

  • Michael Lecker


The inscription recently found in the Negev (see Y. D. Nevo, ‘A new Negev Arabic inscription’, p. 18 above) mentions one Hakim b. Abī Asmā', a mawlā of ‘Abdallāh b. 'Amr b. al-‘Āṣ. No reference to a person called Ḣakīm b. Abī Asmā could be found in any other source, literary or archaeological, for the early Islamic period. His master, ‘Abdallāh b. ‘Amr b. al-‘Āṣ, is presumably the famous scholar, son of the conqueror of Palestine and Egypt, who was from the Quraysh clan of Banū Sahm. There is a considerable amount of evidence linking both father and son to Palestine



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1 I should like to thank my colleague Dr. Amikam El'ad, who read a draft of this study and provided some references, in particular those concerning the Crusaders in Palestine. I am also grateful to Mrs. Michal Kidron of the Department of Geography in the Hebrew University for preparing the map on page 36.

2 Abbreviations used in this article:

3 Ibn, Hajar, Tahdhīb, v, 338, XII, 203; Dhahabī, Nubalā, in, 81.

4 Dhahabī, op. cit.; on Sālim cf. the reference to Yaḣyā b. Ādam's Kitāb al-Kharāj cited in n. 15 below.

5 Ibn Sa'd, VII, 310.

6 Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb, III, 208.

7 ibid., III, 373; VII, 120 (the claim that ‘Uthmān b. Abī Sawda was the mawlā, of ĨAmr b. al-‘Āṣ seems less accurate); Abū, Zur‘a, Ta'rikh, ed. al-Qūjānī, , Damascus 1400/1980, I, 337–9; al-Bukhārī, , al-Ta'rīkh al-kablr, ed. Hyderabad, repr. Beirut, vi, 226.And see Gil, , Palestine, i, 103. One of those who transmitted hadith from ‘Abdallāh was Abū Firās, the mawlā of his father, ‘Amr, Dhahabī, Nubalā’, III, 82, line 1 from foot. The Tahdhīb, xn, 201, which calls him Yazld b. Rabāḣ says that he was the mawlā of ‘Abdallāh (not his father).

8 Tahdhīb, xi, 450–2 (there is another, less specific definition: he was from the mawālī of Banū Umayya).

9 See in particular the commentaries to Qur'ān, 108: 3: ‘Surely he that hates thee, he is the one cut off’ (trans. Arberry), esp. Muqātil b., Sulayman, Tafsīr, MS Aḣmad, III, no. 74, ii, 254.

10 Futūḣ Miḣr, 146:11. But cf. the alleged letter of ‘Umar to ‘Amr, enquiring about ‘Amr’s new wealth: in horses, camels, cows and slaves, whereas he had no money before (wa- ‘ahdī bika qabla dhālika wa-lā māla laka), Qalqashandī, Ināfa, III, 252. The letter is presumably forged.

11 Yāqūt, s.v. al-Wahṭ. When the estate's produce of raisins was piled up in its midst, it resembled a lava-field.

12 Balādhurī, Ansāb, I, 139.

13 TMD: ‘Amr, , 19 (written al-Raht, ). The report in Dhahabī, Nubalā, III, 63–4, implies that he went to his estate in al-Waht already after the battle of Uhud. In Wāqidī, II, 742: 1, it is also written erroneously al-Rahṭ.

14 Ta'rīkh San‘ā’, 66 (the word bi-Mṣsr is an error, the estate was near Ṭa'if).

15 Ibn Sa‘d, iv, 268. And see a fuller account in Abū Yūsuf, , Kharāj, Cairo, n.d., 104 (the estate is not named here). Instead of ‘Abdallāh, b. ‘Amr, , read ‘Abdallāh, b. ‘Amr, . The Kharāj quotes the great-grandson of ‘Abdallāh b. ‘Amr, ‘Amr b. Shu'ayb, on whom see below, n. 88. Yaḣyā b. Ādam (Kharāj, ed. Aḣmad Muḣammad Shākir, Cairo, 2nd printing, 1384, p. 105, n. 340) calls the agent Sālim, and says he was a mawlā of ‘Abdallāh b. ‘Amr Cf. in Musnad, II, 179, line 9, the hadīth of ‘Amr b. Shu'ayb ] his father < his grandfather (i.e. ‘Amr b. Shu'ayb's great-grandfather, ‘Abdallāh b. ‧Amr): man manā'a faḍla md'ihi aw faḍla kala'ihi mana'ahu 'llahu faḍlahu yawma ‘l-qiyāma. And see a similar version in Musnad, n, 183, line 8 from foot. On estates owned by other Qurashīs in Ṭā'if, see M. J., Kister, ‘Some reports concerning al-Ṭā'if', JSAI, I, 1979, p. 9, n. 31; p. 13.

16 al-Ṭabarī, v, 387.

17 Musnad, , II, 205: 18.

18 Muṣ‘ab, , 125: 10.

19 ṢaṢīḣ, , I, 124–5, no. 226; Musnad, II, 206:14. This unusual saying ascribed to the Prophet can often be found without the actual circumstances in which it was used by ‘Abdallāh, , e.g. Musnad, II, 163, line 27. A more explicit version refers to the unjust practice resorted to in this case, e.g. Musnad, II, 193: 23: man urīda māluhu bi-ghayr ḣaqq fa-qutila dūnahu fa-huwa shahīd.

20 Iṣāba, II, 240.

21 Musnad, , II, 205.

22 See on ‘Amr in general Ḣasan Ibrāhīm Ḣasan, Ta'rīkhAmr, b. al-‘Āṣ, Cairo, 1340/1922.

23 It is noteworthy that this source refers to a truce which followed that battle, aslamafi ‘l-hudna (written: al-hadiyya) ba'da munṣarafi 'l-aḣzdāb, TMD: ‘Amr, 8.

24 TMD: ‘Amr, , 8–9. And see pp. 12, 13, 15–6.

25 Balādhurī, Ansāb, MS, II, 885. And see TMD: ‘Amr, 2: ‘Amr embraced Islam during the truce (hudna, i.e., after Hudaybiyya) and made the Hijra; op. cit., 23: ‘Amr, and Khālid, b. al-Walīd converted in year 6 (from Khalīfa b. Khayyāt). Another version dates the conversion of ‘Amr, Khālid and ‘Uthman b., Ṭalḣa to the time between Hudaybiyya and Khaybar. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr rejects this version and prefers the report of Wāqidī and others, dating it to 8 A.H. (see below), Islī'āb, III, 1185. Note the autobiographical report of ‘Amr, who says explicitly that he did not take part in Ḣudaybiyya and its agreement (fa-lam aḣḍuri ‘l-Ḣudaybiyya wa-lā ṣulḣahā, Waqīdī II, 742, line 2. And see Dhahabī, Nubalā‘, III, 64. See on an earlier visit of ‘Amr to Ethiopia Balādhrī, Ansāb, i, 232–4. Concerning ‘Amr’s meeting in Ethiopia with the Prophet's messenger to the Najāshī, ‘Amr b. Umayya al-Damrī, see Wāqidā, II, 742; M. J., Kister, ‘O God, tighten thy grip on Mudar...’, JESHO, 24, 1981, 264–5. P. Crone, Meccan trade (Oxford, 1987, 221–2) rejects all the reports on ‘Amr's visits to Ethiopia as’ elaborations on a common theme, ”‘Amr and the Najāshī”’.

26 TMD: ‘Amr, 4. Another report has it that the three were converted by the Najāshī and arrived at Medina on the first day of Ṣafar 8 A.H., TMD: ‘Amr, 5–6. Cf. Wāqidī II, 745.

27 One unusual report on his Islamization claims that he demanded, as a pre-condition, that the Prophet give him a share in his rule (which could mean: give him an important position): wa-‘shtarata 'alayhi an yushrikahu fi 'l-amr fa-a'ṣāhu dhālika, TMD: ‘Amr, 24. Note that we find similar wording in connexion with ‘Amr elsewhere: after the battle of the Camel ‘Amr consults his two sons, ‘Abdallāh and Muḣammad, about his future steps. ‘Abdallāh suggests that he should go to ‘Alī, but his father says that ‘Alī will give him no preference, while Mu'āwiya will take him as a close associate and give him a share in his rule: wa-in ataytu Mu'āwiyata yakhlitnlbi-nafsihi wa-yushriṭnī fi amrihi, TMD: ‘Amr, 62.

28 Islī āb, III, 1187; Dhahabī, Nubalā’, III, 69.

29 Futūh Miṣr, 302:8; Dhāhābī, Nubalā’, III, 65.

30 Dhahabī, , Nubalā, III, 69.

31 e.g. Iṣāba, i, 542 (the two sons of al-Julandā).

32 See M. J., Kister, ‘On the papyrus of Wahb b., Munabbih‘, BSOAS, xxxvn, 3, 1977, 557–8.

33 And see Gil, Palestine, i, 21. Gil says that the Banū ‘Udhra were from Juāhām, but this is not supported by the genealogical literature: it lists three clans called ‘Udhra from Qudā'a and a fourth ‘Udhra from Azd, see Ibn, Ḣabīb, Mukhtalif al-qabā'il wa-mu'talifuhā, ed. Ibrāhīm al-Abyārī, , Cairo-Beirut, 1400/1980, 79; al-Wazīr, al-Maghribī, al-Īnds bi-'ilm al-ansāb, ed. Ibrāhīm, al-AbyarlCairo-Beirut, 1400/1980, 141–2.

34 The Balawī link was relevant and significant when ‘Amr was the governor of Egypt: the Balī used to stand (i.e., during the review of the army) to the right of‘Amr’s banner because the mother of al-‘Āṣ was from Balī, Futūh Miṣr, 116:8. In addition, ‘Amr had a wife from Balī, who bore him his son Muḣammad, Muṣ'ab, 411:11; TMD: ‘Amr 5. And see below, n. 75.

35 Wa-amarahu an yasluka ‘āia Ayla ‘āmidan li-Filasṭīn. TMD: Tahdhīb, I, 130:8. The source is ‘Abdallāh, b. Abī Bakr, b. ‘Amr, b. Ḣazm.

36 TMD: Tahdhīb, I, 131:20. Cf., Gil, Palestine, I, 27–8, 31.

37 TMD: Tahdhīb, i, 130:21. Cf. the Dhāt al-Salāsil expedition.

38 TMD. I, 452:8; TMD: Tahdhīb, I, 132:17.

39 There was a group of clans called ‘Alyā’ (also: ‘Ulyā) Hawāzin too, see e.g. ‘Abd al-Qādir b. ‘Umar al-Baghdādī, Khizānat, al-adab, ed. ‘Abd al-Salām Hārān, Cairo, 1967, v, 442.

40 The appointment of a governor for a territory which had not yet been conquered was not uncommon.

41 TMD: Tahdhīb, 1, 133:2, 8, 17; TMD, 1, 453. Note that according to one report ‘Amr entered Damascus before its conquest with a letter from Abu Bakr. He also participated in its conquest, TMD: ‘Amr, 2.

42 Ta'rīkh Ṣan‘ā’, 156.

43 Istī'āb, III, 1187. See El (2nd ed.), s.v. ‘Abdallāh b. Sa'd (C. H. Becker). ‘Amr b. al-‘Āṣ was the governor of Egypt when ‘Umar died in 23, al-Ṭabarī, iv, 241. And see al-Ṭabarī, y, 181: ‘Amr was in ‘Umar’s service in Egypt for four years; al-Ṭabarī, v, 181: ‘Amr was in the service of ‘Uthmān for four years less two months.

44 al-Ṭabarī, iv, 253.

45 al-Ṭabarī, iv, 357. Before ‘Amr and after her arrival at Medina (in the truce of Hudaybiyya) she had three husbands: Zayd b. Ḣaritha, ‘Abd al-Raḣmān b. ‘Awf and al-Zubayr b. al-‘Awwām, Balādhurī, Ansāb, l, 471; Ibn, Ḣabīlb, Muḣabbar, ed. Ilse Lichtenstaedter, , Hyderabad, 1361/1942, 407–8, 446. Cf. Musnad, II, 200, line 7 from foot.

46 al-Ṭabarī, iv, 242.

47 Fuiuh Miṣr, 174:19. The source is al-Layth b. Sa'd (d. 175/791), GAS, i, 520.

48 See Iṣāba, iv, 111. And see on his dismissal Balādhuri, Ansab, v, ed. S. D., Goitein, Jerusalem, , 1936, 49:3, 89:1.

49 J., Wellhausen, Skizzen und Vorarbeiten, vi, Berlin, 1899, p. 117, n. 3. ‘Amr was dismissed from the governorship as a result of a plot of the Egyptians. ‘Abdallāh b. Sa'd was appointed to the khardj and ‘Amr was left on the salat, and finally the salat was also taken away from him. The salat is the equivalent of harb: ‘Uthm’Abdān says, wa-ammā ‘l-ḣarb fa-sa-nuqirruhu ‘alayhā ]...]fa-taraka oAmran ‘aiā ‘l-ṣalāti, TMD: ‘Uthmān, 298–9. According to Yazīd b. Abī Habīb (d. 128/745, GAS, i, 341–2), ‘Uthman dismissed ‘Amr from the responsibility for the kharāj of Egypt and put in his place ‘Abdallāh b. Sa'd. The two complained about each other's alleged incompetence (kasara ‘l-kharājl kasara htlata ‘l-ḣarb, respectively). So ‘Uthmān dismissed ‘Amr and appointed ‘Abdallāh on the kharāj and the jund, al-Ṭabarī, iv, 256.

50 There are other versions concerning the time of his death, though 43 A.H. is the most trustworthy one. But cf. the following note.

51 Ibn Sa'd, iv, 258; Gil, Palestine, I, 62.

52 Istī'āb, in, 1188; ibid., iv, 653; Qalqashandī, Ināfa, I, 114; Murūj, in, 213: wa-wallā Mu'āwiya ‘Abdallāh b. ‘Amr mā kāna ilā abāhi (i.e., for a short time). Cf. Balādhurā, Ansāb, MS, II, 886a: wa- lam yuqirrahu Mu'āwiya ‘aiā ‘amali abīhi, i.e., ‘Abdallāh had been appointed by his father as his replacement, but Mu‘āwiya dismissed him shortly afterwards.

53 Dhahabī, Nubalā’, III, 90, refers to the Egyptian gold which ‘Abdallāh b. ‘Amr inherited from his father. And see on the fabulous wealth which ‘Amr left when he died Dhahabī, Nubalī', III, 74, 77; Murūj, III, 213; Muṭahhar, b. Ṭāhir, al-Maqdisī, al-Bad' wa-l-ta'rīkh, ed. Huart, Paris 1899, vi, 3.

54 Another report has: twelve years (not eleven), Ibn Qutayba, Ma'ārif, 286.

55 Ibn Ḣajar, Tahdhīb, v, 337. He was converted before his father, Ibn Sa'd, vn, 494 (quoting Waqidī).

56 Istī'āb, III, 957.

57 Quoted in Iṣāba, iv, 193.

58 Dhahabī, Nubalā, III, 91.

59 Usd, III, 234:10.

60 Which does not concern us here. Of special significance is his role in writing the ḣadāth of the Prophet, reportedly already in the time of the Prophet and with his consent, cf. Goldziher, Muslim studies, trans. C. R., Barber and S. M., Stern, II, 23, 182. Also his knowledge of Syriac, which is mentioned in a number of sources, e.g. Ibn Sa'd, vii, 495, iv, 266; Ibn Qutayba, Mā'ārif, 287. This is one aspect of his acquaintance with the scriptures of ‘The People of the Book’ often mentioned in the sources.

61 Note that Jerusalem was the starting-point of his father when he set out to conquer Egypt, al- Tabarī, iv, 106, line 2 from foot (year 20/641). Also that the above-mentioned agreement between Mu'āwiya and ‘Amr was concluded in Jerusalem, Ibn Sa'd, iv, 254. The scribe was ‘Amr's mawlā, Wardān.

62 Wāsiṭī, Faḍā'il, nos. 17, 20, 48. And see Yāqūt, s.v. Sha'm, 312–3: ‘Abdallāh said that the Shām had nine-tenths of the good of the world but only one-tenth of the evil. Note the report on ‘Abdallāh's advice to live in (the district of) Damascus, more specifically in Bāniyās, TMD, i, 235–6: arḍā laka mā arḍā li-nafsī wa-li-wuldī. This utterance does not indicate that ‘Abdallāh himself had an estate there, as he concludes his praise of Bāniyās with a statement, that he would rather have one acre (fadddn) there than twenty in al-Waht. Yāqūt, s.v. Barqa quotes a similar saying ascribed to ‘Abdallāh, this time recommending living in Barqa in North Africa. ‘Had it not been for my estates in Hijāz, ‘Abdallāh said, ‘I would have lived there myself’.

63 Yūsuf, b.Yaḣyā, al-Maqdisī, ‘Iqd ad-durar fī akhbāri ‘1-muntaẓar, ed. al-Ḣilū, , Cairo, 1399/1979, 322–3; Ibn Ḣajar, Tahdhīb, xi, 160.

64 Musnad, II, 195:27. Cf. above, n. 7.

65 TMD, i, 482. And on Abū ‘l-‘Awwām see Uns, l, 287; Wāsitī, Fadḍā'īl, 14, 37.

66 TMD: ‘Uthmān (around p. 480; the source is not available to me now).

67 Musnad, II, 197:6.

68 Iṣāba, v, 380, 381.

69 Musnad, loc. cit.

70 Ibn, Ḣajar, Tahdhīb, v, 358. And see ibid., iv, 448; Uns, i, 287.

71 Musnad, II, 198:15. In this context also Bethlehem should be mentioned. ‘Abdallāh used to send oil to light the candles in (the church of) Bethlehem where Jesus had been born, Uns, n, 65.

72 Gil, Palestine, 114 = al-Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-tiwāl, ed. ‘Abd al-Mun'im ‘Āmir, , Cairo, 1960, 157, line 12. And see TMD: ‘Uthman, 427, 436; Balādhurī, Ansāb, v, 74:16.

73 The first lahu is evidently a dittography. On the term qasr see Lawrence I. Conrad, ‘The quṣūr of medieval Islam: some implications for the social history of the near east’, Al-Abḣāth, 29, 1981, 7–23.

74 al-Ṭabarī, iv, 357. The Leiden edition, i, 2967, has a double vocalization: al-Sab‘ and al-Saba‘.

75 S.v. al-Sabu', III, 717. Bakrī quotes from the Kitāb al-fawā'id of the Egyptian Abu Zakariyā Yahyā b. ‘Uthmān b. Sālih al-Sāhmī (d. 282/895), a mawlā of the Banū Sahm, the very Qurashī clan to which ‘Amr belonged. See on him GAS, I, 356 (Kitāb al-fawā'id is not recorded). The same Abū Zakariyā quotes from his father (d. 219/834, GAS, 355) < Ibn Lahīa (d. 174/790) a report of Rabī'a b. Laqīt al-Tujībī (see on him Futūḣ Miṣr, index): in thefitna he went to ‘Abdallāh b. ‘Amr, who was at that time in al-Sabu’, having been expelled by the people of Egypt. Rabī'a told a man from Balī, Muṭ'im b. ‘Ubayda al-Balawī, whom he met at ‘Abdallāh's gate, that he wanted to stay with ‘Abdallāh until God would unite the people, Bakri, 718. Muṭ'im was a companion of the Prophet. See in Iṣāba, vi, 130–1 an abridged version of this report. And see a fragment of the same in Ibn al- Athīr, Nihāya, I, 247.

76 TMD: ‘Uthmān, 381.

77 al-Ṭabarī, iv, 357, 558–9. On ‘Amr's instigation against ‘Uthmān in Medina, after he had arrived from nāḣiyat Filasṭīn, see Istī'āb, m, 1187.

78 S.V., Jibrīn. And see El (2nd ed.); s.v., Bayt Djibrīn (J. Sourdel-Thomine); G. Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, London, 1890, 412–3.

79 Balādhurī, Futūh, 138: thummafataha (i.e., ‘Amr b. al-Ās) madīnata Luddwa-ardahā, thumma fataha Yubnā wa-‘Amawās wa-Bayta Jibrīn wa-'ttakhadha bihā ḍay'a tud'ā 'Ajlān bi-'smi mawlan lahu. The same source is quoted by Gil, Palestine, I, p. 35, n. 55 (who calls the mawlā ‘Ajlūn, cf. below, n. 89), 113–14. Cf. Kāmil, II, 499 (without the remark on ‘Amr's estate).

80 Himyarī, Rawa, s.v. Jibrīl, 156; Ya'qūbī, Bulddn, ed. de Goeje, Leiden 1891, 329 (BGA VII). Note that a Judhāmī called Salāma b. Rawḣ was with ‘Amr and his two sons in his qaḣr in Filasṭīn, al-Ṭabarī, iv, 357; Kāmiī, in, 163. Salāma was presumably the brother of Zinbā‘ b. Rawḣ and the uncle of the famous Rawḣ b. Zinbā' b. Rawḣ b. Salāma. Rawḣ (d. 84/703) was the amīr of Filasṭin, Iṣāba, ii, 506. Yazīd b. Mii'āwiya appointed Rawḣ to thejund of Filasṭīn, TMD: Tahdhīb, v, 340: 18.

81 TMD: Tahdhīb, v, 342: 3; Muḣammad b. Mukarram Ibn Manẓūr, Mukhtaṣar ta'rikh dimashq, viii, ed. Ma'mūn al-Sāghirjī, Damascus, 1405/1985, 341. The text in TMD: Tahdhīb is severely mutilated. Rawḣ addresses ‘Abd al-Malik: ya amīra ‘l-mu'minīna, a'dinī ‘aiā ‘1-Walīd, ]...] Ṭalabtu minhu an yidskinnH(!) ḍay'atahu 'l-fulāniyya ‘llati bi-jānibi day'atā, fa-abā. Fa-qālā ‘Abd al-Malik li-'l - Waiid: a ‘ṭihi iyyādhā bi-mā fīhā mina l- 'abīd wa- 'l-ālāt{!),fa-a'ṭādhu iyyāhā. The correct text in the Mukhtasar makes it clear that Rawḣ complained to al-Walīd about the practices of his slaves, but the latter did not accept his complaint: shakawtu ilayhi ‘abīdahu Ji ḍayati ‘l-fulāniyya ‘llatī tujāwiru day'atahu ‘l-fulāniyya fa-lam yushkimū. Following a bitter exchange between Rawḣ and al- Walīd, ‘Abd al-Malik instructed his son: irkab ilayhi wa-hab lahu ‘l-day'a bi-mā fihā min ‘abīdihā wa-akaratihā. See also Usd, II, 189–90 (the estate is called here mazra'a). Cf. on the role of Rawḣ in support of the Umayyads Gil, Palestine, i, 65–7.

82 MS. Ahmad in.

83 Gil, Palestine, I, 251; Dhahabī, Tadhkirat, II, 473.

84 Jibrīl instead of Jibrīn, which was created by popular etymology, appears also in Muqaddasī, Aḥsan al-taqāsīm, ed. de Goeje, , Leiden, 1906, index, esp. 174; Gil, , Palestine, I, 189; Ḥimyarī, , Rawḍ, s.v. Jibrīl, 156; Kāmil, xi, 546.

85 Wa-kādna ‘Abdallāh b. ‘Amr b. al-‘Ās b. Wāyil al-Sahmī qad ṣādra ilā qarya bi-‘Asqalān wa-hiya ḥabs min ‘Amr b. al-‘Āṣ li-wuldihi. Wa-kādna bihā ‘Amr b. Shu'ayb. Fa-lam yazal bihā ‘Abdallāh b. ‘Amr ḥattā māta wa-dufina bi-qarya yuqālu lahā ’.m.lām.s., wa-qabruhu ma'rūf. Wa-hiya min ‘Asqalān ‘aiā farsakhayn, min ‘amal ‘Asqalān, wa-Ghaylān(!) min ‘amal Bayt Jibrīl, baynahumā (read: baynahā) wa-bayna ’.m.lām.s. qadru mīl aw aqall. One mīl = 2,500 metres, Gil, Palestine, I, n. 120.

86 See on him Goldziher, , Muslim studies, II, 23; also the long entries in Dhahabī, , Nubalā, v, 165–80; Ibn Hajar, . Tahdhāb, VII, 4855. The date of his death is quoted (on p. 51) from Khalāfa b., Khayyīt, see also Khalīfa b., Khayyāt, al-Tabaqāt, ed. Akram Diyā’, al-‘Umarī, 2nd printing, Riyād, 1402/1982, 286 (where he and his father are listed among the people of Tā'if). See the entry on his father Shu'ayb in TMD: Tahdhīb, vi, 326–7.

87 He is referred to as al-Madaī, and some said: al-Tā'ifī (as already mentioned, the family had an estate near Tī'if), and one source says that he used to live in Mecca and go to Tā'if from time to time, Ibn, Hajar, Tahdhib, VIII, 48.

88 In Futṣḥ Miṣr, 90:15, 168:17and 169:2, ‘Amrb. Shu'ayb reports, with a family isnād, on three exchanges of letters between ‘Umar b. al-Khaṭṭāb and ‘Amr b. al-‘Āṣ when he was the governor of Egypt (in the first case this is stated explicitly). ‘Amr b. Shu'ayb does not quote the documents but reports their contents. These reports may indicate that the important documents from ‘Amr's term of office remained with the family.

89 According to Ibn ‘Asākir (quoted in Ibn, Ḥajar, Tahdhīb, v, 338), ‘Abdallāh b. ‘Amr b. al-‘Āṣ was buried in ‘Ajlūn (sic, cf. above, n. 79), a village near Gh.y.ra (qarya bi-‘l-qurbi min Gh.y.ra, read: Ghazza?).

90 cf. the superfluous lahu noted above, n. 73.

91 D. 154/771, Dhahabī, , Nubalā’, VI, 407–10.

92 Note that according to Ibn ‘Asākir he died in the Ashkelon district.

93 See Ibn Qutayba, Ma'ārif, 286; Ibn, Ḥajar, Tahdhāb, v, 338; Fulūh Miṣr, 96:17. The most trustworthy report is perhaps the one dating his death to 65/684 and placing it in Egypt, as it is linked with a concrete piece of evidence: he died in 65 when Fusṭāṭ was besieged. It was impossible to carry out his funeral because of the war between Marwān b., al-Ḥakam and Ibn, az-Zubayr's governor in Egypt, so he was buried in his court, Dhahabī, Tadhkirat, i, 42. See on the siege, al-Kindī, Wulāt, ed. Guest, Leiden, 1912, 43 f.

94 Dhahabī, , Nubalā, x, 614.

95 Istī'āb, III, 959; Futūḥ Miṣr, 96:15 (variant: al-Sabu’, see on this reading below); Bakrī, , III, 718. However another source quotes from the same Yahyā (b. ‘Abdallāh) b. Bukayr as well: ‘Abdallāh died in Egypt and was buried ‘in his smaller court’ in 65 A.H. Concerning the place, his descendants say that he died in Shām (which presumably corresponds to the al-Sab’ version), Dhahabī, , Nubalā’, III, 94.

96 Ibn, Sa'd, I, 46–7; al-Tabarī, , I, 311: thumma raja'ā ild ‘l-Shām fa-nazala ‘l-Sab'a,_ardan bayna Īliyā wa-Filasṭ […] fa-taḥawwala min ‘indihimfa-nazala manzilan bayna ‘l-Ramla wa-Īiyā (the text may be garbled). Again, Gil, Palestine, I, p. 92, n. 122, suggests that al-Sab’ is Beersheba. He thinks (presumably rightly) that Filasṭīn may be a reference to Ramla. But it seems unlikely that Beersheba is meant.

97 Bakrī, , 718. See also Ṣaḥīḥ, , iv, 1857–8 (Faḍā'il al-ṣāba, no. 13).

98 Another Andalusian similarly records al-Sabu’ with the remark: kadhā ruwīnāhu, while he quotes from al-Harbī a variant: wa-yurwā bi-sukūnihā, yurīdu ‘l-sab'a (i.e., the place called al-Sab’?). ‘Iyād adduces other interpretations as well: yawm al-sab’, i.e., on the day in which the wolf would eat the ewe (from saba'a—to devour a sheep, wolf); yawm as-sab’, the day of neglection, from asba'a—to neglect (a slave); there is also a variant reading, as-say’, loss, see ‘Iyāḍ, Mashāriq, n, 205. Bakrī himself records two further interpretations of the key word. According to Abū ‘Ubayda as-sabu’ was a feast in the Jāhiliyya in which the participants engaged in eating and games (yashtaghilūna fīhi bi-aklihim wa-la'ibihim), and the wolf could uninterruptedly come and take its prey. Lisān, s.v. s.b.’., 148 has the reading sab’: yashtaghilūna bi-‘īdihim wa-lahwihim. It is obvious that Abū ‘Ubayda had no real evidence on the feast he mentions.

99 Bakrī quotes from Ibn al-A'rābī a report (already quoted above from Yāqūt): al-Sabu’ is the gathering-place on Judgement Day (al-mawdi'u ‘lladhī ‘indahu ‘l-maḥsharu yawma ‘l-qiyāma).

100 In addition, ‘Abd ar-Razzāq reports this tradition from Ma'mar < Zuhrī, and remarks on mentioning al-Sabu’ that it is a place-name. It is not clear though whether this gloss is Zuhrīs or ‘Abd ar-Razzāq's, see Bakrā, 719. The Lisīn has: al-Sab’, interpreted by Ibn al-A'rābī: al-mawḍi'u ‘lladhi yakūnu ilayhi ‘l-maḥshar yawma ‘l-qiyāma. See also Ibn, al-Athīr, Nihāya, II, 336; al-Zamakhsharī, al-Fā'iq, ed. al-Bijāwī, and Muhammad, Abū'l-Fadl Ibrāhīm, Cairo, 1971, II, 149.

101 Which accounts for the word ‘here’, hāhunā, in his reference to Ashkelon.

102 Balādhurī, Futūḥ, 144 (bi-‘Asqalīn hāhunā qaṭī'i’ uqṭi'at bi-amri ‘Umar wa-‘Uthmān, law dakhala fihā rajulun lam ajid bi-dhālika ba'san. See on Muḥammad, , Ibn, Hajar, Tahdhīb, IX, 535–7. Note that Muhammad is quoted very often (more than a hundred and fifty times) by Ibn, Zanjawayh, Kitāb al-amwāl, ed. Fayyad, Riyāḍ, 1406/1986, index.

103 The source is completely insensitive to the dispute over ‘Uthmān's allegedly illegal practices in granting lands: ‘Umar did just the same. Cf. on the descendants of'Umar who lived in Ashkelon at the end of the Umayyad period and the beginning of the Abbāsid, Gil, Palestine, I, 104.

104 cf. on the coastal cities under the early caliphs Amikam, El'adThe coastal cities of Palestine during the early middle ages’, The Jerusalem Cathedra, 2, 1982, especially p. 150.

104 5Yaqut, s.v. Bayt Jibrin (wddin yaz'umuna annahu wddi al-Namla, etc.); Yaqut, s.v. Wadi al- Naml. Cf. Jahiz, Kitdb al-hayawdn, ed. ‘Abd al-Salam Hariin (2nd ed.), Cairo, 1385/1965, iv, 15–6.

106 cf. Qatāda's words, ‘it was mentioned to us that it is a wadi in Sham’. Others place it near Ta'if, Abu‘Abdallāh, al-Qurṭubl, al-Jdmi’ li-ahkdm al-qur'bī, Cairo 1387/1967, XIII, 169.

107 Al-Harawī, , Kitāb al-ishārāt ilā ma'rifati ‘l-ziyārāt, ed. Janine, Sourdel-Thomine, Damas, 1953, 32.

108 Muriammad b., Muhammad al-‘Abdarā, al-Riḣla al-maghribiyya, ed. Muḣammad, al-Fāsī, Rabāt, 1968, 232. See also Voyages, d'lbn Batoutah, ed. Defrémery, C. and Sanguinetti, B. R., I, Paris, 1893, 127; H. A. R., Gibb, The travels of Ibn BaṬṬūṭa, Cambridge, 1958, 1, 81. Amikam Elad has recently shown that large parts of Ibn BaṬṬūta's description of his travels in Palestine were copied from al-‘AbdarFs, Rihla, see ‘The description of the travels of Ibn Battuta in Palestine: is it original?’, JRAS, 1987, 255–72 (on Ashkelon see p. 266). One expects to find this wadi east or south-east of Ashkelon, cf. Prawer, J., ‘The city and duchy of Ascalon in the Crusader period’ ]Hebrew with an English summary], Eretz-Israel, 5, 1958, 230.

109 Wa-huwayawma'idhin nāzilun bi-s-Sab'ī, al-Tabari, , VII, 266. The Leiden edition, II, 1831, has a double vocalization: al-Sab’ and al-Saba’. Some fifty years earlier Sulaymān b. ‘Abd al-Malik was the governor of Filastīn for his father ‘Abd al-Malik (Khalīfa b. Khayyat, Ta'rīkh, ed. Suhayl Zakkar, 1387/1967, l, 394) and for his brother, al-Walīd b. ‘Abd al-Malik (op. cit., 417). Sulayman's children lived in Filastin, al-Tabari, loc. cit. The funeral of one of them, ‘Abd ar-Raḣmān b. Sulaymān, took place in Ashkelon, Munajjid, Mu'jam Bant Umayya, Beirut, 1970, 91.

110 El (2nd ed.), s.v. ‘Amr b. al-‘Ās (Wensinck, A. J.); Gil, Palestine, i, 62, 70.

111 Yīqūt, , Mu'jam al-buldān, , ed. Wüstenfeld, v, 14, says about Bi'r al-Sab’ that it was the well concerning which Abraham resorted to arbitration (hiya llatī ḥākama fīhā Ibrāhīm ‘alayhi l-salām). Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, 423 renders: ‘… Abraham … dug and built up’ (?)

112 See Prawer, , op. cit., 235, 236. And cf. on the area also idem, ‘Ascalon and the Ascalon strip in Crusader politics’ (Hebrew with an English summary), Eretz-Israel, 4, 1956, 231–48.

113 See e.g. Prawer, , ‘Ascalon and the Ascalon strip’, 238, 241; Benvenisti, M., The Crusaders in the Holy Land, Jerusalem, 1970, 186.

114 It is not impossible that the Arabs identified Beersheba with Bayt Jibrīn.

115 On the Qurayya project north-west of Mecca cf. my forthcoming monograph on the Banū Sulaym. And cf. now Crone, Meccan trade.

The estates of ‘Amr b. al-‘āṣ in Palestine: notes on a new Negev Arabic inscription

  • Michael Lecker


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