Rabi`ah ibn Nizar (Arabic: ربيعة) is the patriarch of one of two main branches of the "North Arabian" (Adnanite) tribes, the other branch being founded by Mudhar.[1][2]


According to the classical Arab genealogists, the following are the important branches of Rabi`ah:


Like the rest of the Adnanite Arabs, legend has it that Rabi`ah's original homelands were in the Tihamah region of western Arabia,[5] from which Rabi`ah migrated northwards and eastwards. Abd al-Qays were one of the inhabitants of the region of Eastern Arabia, including the modern-day islands of Bahrain, and were mostly sedentary.

Bakr's lands stretched from al-Yamama (the region around modern-day Riyadh) to northwestern Mesopotamia. The main body of the tribe was bedouin, but a powerful and autonomous sedentary sub-tribe of Bakr also resided in al-Yamama, the Bani Hanifa.

Taghlib resided on the eastern banks of the Euphrates, and al-Nammir are said to have been their clients. Anz inhabited southern Arabia, and are said to have been decimated by the plague in the 13th century, though a tribe named "Rabi`ah" in modern-day 'Asir is said to be its descendant.

Anizzah was divided into a sedentary section in southern Yamama and a bedouin section further north.

Abd al-Qays, Taghlib, al-Nammir, and some sections of Bakr were mostly Christian before Islam, with Taghlib remaining a Christian tribe for some time afterwards as well. Annizah and Bakr are said to have worshiped an idol by the name of al-Sa'eer.

Rabi`ah in Egypt and Sudan

During the Abbasid era, many members of Bani Hanifa and related tribesmen from Bakr ibn Wa'il migrated from al-Yamama to southern Egypt, where they dominated the gold-mines of Wadi Allaqi near Aswan. While in Egypt, the tribesmen went by the collective name of "Rabi'ah" and inter-married with indigenous tribes in the area such as the Beja peoples. Among their descendants are the tribe of Banu Kanz (also known as the Kunooz), who take their name from Kanz al-Dawlah of Bani Hanifa, the leader of Rabi'ah in Egypt during the Fatimid era.

Royal families which stem from the Rabi'ah tribe


  1. Reuven Firestone (1990). Journeys in Holy Lands: The Evolution of the Abraham-Ishmael Legends in Islamic Exegesis.
  2. Göran Larsson (2003). Ibn García's Shuʻūbiyya Letter: Ethnic and Theological Tensions in Medieval al-Andalus.
  3. Imam Muhammad al-Bukhari (11 Nov 2013). Sahih al-Bukhari: The Early Years of Islam. The Other Press. p. 353.
  4. Subani, Hamad (2013). The Secret History of Iran. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-304--08289-3.
  5. al-Bakri, Abdullah. Mu'jam mā ista'jam. 1. p. 87.
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