22 Facts About Banu Kalb


Banu Kalb was an Arab tribe which mainly dwelt in the desert between northwestern Arabia and central Syria.

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The Kalb was involved in the tribal politics of the eastern frontiers of the Byzantine Empire, possibly as early as the 4th century.

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The Banu Kalb was driven out of the Samawa, the desert expanse between southern Syria and Iraq, which it had dominated for decades.

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Those sections of the Banu Kalb which remained nomadic around Palmyra joined the rebel Qarmatian movement in the 10th century.

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Banu Kalb was a Bedouin tribe well known for raising camels.

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The Banu Kalb was part of the Quda'a tribal confederation, whose presence spanned the northern Hejaz through the northern Syrian steppe.

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The Banu Kalb was the largest component in the confederation's northern stomping grounds.

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The Banu Kalb was put under the Ghassanids' authority and were charged with guarding the Byzantines' eastern frontier against Sassanian Persia and the latter's Arab vassals in al-Hirah, the Lakhmids.

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The Banu Kalb, which was allied with the Ghassanids, had begun pushing into their territory within the Byzantine Empire's boundaries during the years of the Ghassanids' waning influence.

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The majority of the Banu Kalb remained outside the emerging Muslim state's authority at the time of Muhammad's death.

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The Banu Kalb did not participate in that battle, either to avoid entanglement with either side or because of the distance of its territory from the battle site, in the northern Jordan Valley region.

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Conquest was largely concluded by 638; by then, the Banu Kalb dominated the steppes around Homs and Palmyra and was the leader and most powerful component of the Quda'a tribal confederation.

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Banu Kalb continued his reliance on the Kalb to maintain his foothold in Syria.

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Mu'awiya was careful to keep the Banu Kalb onside, ensuring that tribal newcomers to Syria from the Qays and Mudar groups did not settle in the Banu Kalb's territories, at least not in large numbers.

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Banu Kalb agreed to support Marwan, in return for the continuation of the privileges bestowed on the Quda'a by the Sufyanids and priority in Marwan's court.

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Banu Kalb taunted the Qays and their preeminent chief Zufar ibn al-Harith al-Kilabi:.

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Banu Kalb calls for arms but then recoils when he sees the swords of [Banu] Janab and the sleek and powerful horses.

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The Banu Kalb was frequently attacked by the Qays at its dwelling places in the Samawa desert.

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Abu al-Ward was killed by an Abbasid army while Abu Muhammad and the Banu Kalb barricaded themselves in Palmyra, though Abu Muhammad later fled for Arabia.

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However, unlike the Tayy and Kilab, who were relative newcomers to Syria, most of the long-established Banu Kalb tribesmen were settled peasants who lost their traditional nomadic mobility by this time.

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Banu al-Asbagh and Banu Ulays remained loyal to the Qarmatians and were joined by another branch of the Kalb, the Banu Ziyad.

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Al-Muqtafi responded by sending an army led by Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Kundaj, which compelled the Banu Kalb to betray the Qarmatians and kill Nasr, thereby avoiding punitive action by the authorities.

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