10 Facts About Quda'a


Quda'a were a confederation of Arab tribes, including the powerful Kalb and Tanukh, mainly concentrated throughout Syria and northwestern Arabia, from at least the 4th century CE, during Byzantine rule, through the 12th century, during the early Islamic era.

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The ancestral origins of the Quda'a are obscure, with the claims of the early genealogists being contradictory.

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The Quda'a were counted among the northern Arabian Ma'add tribes in the pre-Islamic and early Islamic periods.

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The nobles of the Quda'a were granted yearly, inheritable stipends, as well as veto and consultation rights with the caliph.

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The 8th-century genealogist al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar held that in response to Mu'awiya's order to ascertain the lineages of the Arab troops in Egypt, Amr ibn Murra proclaimed that Quda'a was a descendant of Himyar.

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Quda'a speculates the efforts were politically advantageous for the Quda'a as the Himyarites formed a significant proportion of the troops in Egypt and that Mu'awiya hoped to "extend his marriage alliance with Kalb indirectly to Himyar" through forging their genealogical links.

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The soldiers who belonged to the Quda'a tribes were assigned to the same seventh as the South Arabian tribes of Azd Sarat, Hadhramawt, Kinda, Bajila and Khath'am, suggesting that the Quda'a was remembered to have had South Arabian origins.

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However, as they were not part of the same seventh as the Himyar, the South Arabian tribe to which the Quda'a was traditionally held to have descended from, Crone considers the relevance of the Kufan genealogists who decided the Quda'a's tribal association as "uncertain".

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Disputes over the Quda'a's origins elicited considerable debate among early Islamic scholars, who invoked the purported opinions of Muhammad to favor either side, while others proposed "ingenious harmonizations" of Ma'addite and Himyarite ancestries for the tribe, according to Crone.

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Over time, some tribes of Quda'a joined other confederations, took on a different pedigree and changed their tribal identity.

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