Bani Khalid

Bani Khalid

Bani Khalid ( _ar. بني خالد) is an Arab tribal confederation of eastern and central Arabia. The tribe dominated the eastern region of modern-day Saudi Arabia (al-Hasa and al-Qatif) from 1670 to 1793, and again under the auspices of the Ottoman Empire for a brief period in the early 19th century. At its greatest extent, the domain of Bani Khalid extended from Kuwait in the north to the borders of Oman in the south, and wielded political influence in the region of Nejd in central Arabia. Most of the tribe's members presently reside in eastern and central Saudi Arabia, while others live in Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Qatar, Bahrain, and Iraq. The vast majority of the Bani Khalid are Sunni Muslims, ["Arabia, history of." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 30 Nov. 2007 [] ] [Nakkash] historically following the Maliki [Lorimer, Volume II A, p. 1010] [Anscombe, p. 12] [Oppenheim, Vol. III, p. 134] [Al-Wuhaby, p. 379-81] and Hanbali rites.


Genealogically, the Banu Khalid are believed to be an aggregation of several tribal groups. [Al-Juhany, p. 67] [Al-Jassir] The legend that links them to the Muslim general Khalid ibn al-Walid is popular among some members of the Bani Khalid, but is dismissed by most scholars. [Szombathy, p. 2. See also Al-Jassir and Al-Wuhaiby] The Banu Khalid probably formed in the 13-16th centuries when a group of nomadic pastoral (bedouin) tribes affiliated to the Banu Lam confederation migrated from western Nejd to eastern Arabia and joined with sections of the Banu 'Uqayl tribe (of the Banu 'Amir) who were already settled in that area. [The question of the Bani Khalid's ultimate origins is subject to great disagreements and variant theories. They have been linked by various authors to Banu Uqayl of the Banu Amir, as well as Banu Lam, Tayy, Abd al-Qays, Banu Wa'il, and Banu Judham. A detailed treatment of this subject, including a survey of all relevant theories, can be found in Al-Wuhaiby, and Ibn Agil al-Zahiri.] One branch of the tribe, the Mahashir, are said to originate from the tribe of Bani Hajir. [Rentz, p. 83] Some sections of the tribe did not continue on eastwards, and instead settled in the towns of Nejd. One clan of Bani Khalid, the Al Janah, is credited with founding the city of 'Unaizah, the oldest town of the Al-Qasim region, in the 13th century. [Al-Juhany, p. 121] The earliest known mention of the tribe comes from Ibn Fadhlallah al-'Umari, an Egyptian scholar from the 14th century, in his encyclopedic work "Masalik al-Absar fee Mamalik al-Amsar", quoting a 13th century source. [Al-Juhany, p. 67] [Ibn Agil, p. 5-7, quoting al-'Umari]


First Khalidi Emirate

The main branches of the tribe are the Al Humayd, the Juboor, the Du'um, the Al Janah, the Grusha, the Al Musallam, the 'Amayer, the Al Subaih and the Mahashir. [Al-Jassir] The chieftainship of the Bani Khalid has traditionally been held by the clan of Al Humayd. The Bani Khalid dominated the deserts surrounding the Al-Hasa and Al-Qatif oases during the 16th and 17th centuries. [Mandaville, p. 503] Under Barrak ibn Ghurayr of the Al Humayd, the Bani Khalid were able to expel Ottoman forces from the cities and towns in 1670 and proclaim their rule over the region. [Fattah, p. 83] [Ibn Agil, p. 78] Ibn Ghurayr made his capital in Al-Mubarraz, where remnants of his castle stand today. [Ibn Agil, p. 78] [Mandaville, p. 499] The Bani Khalid are the founders of the city of Kuwait during this period. The Bani Khalid will always be the royal roots and founders as well as the seeds of kuwait. According to Arabian folklore, one chief of the Bani Khalid attempted to protect the prized desert bustard (Habari) from extinction by prohibiting the bedouin in his realm from poaching the bird's eggs, earning the tribe the appellation of "protectors of the eggs of the Habari", an allusion to the chief's absolute supremacy over his realm. [ [ شبكة قبيلة بني خالد ] ]

Fall to the Saudis

The Bani Khalid of eastern Arabia maintained ties with members of their tribe who had settled in Nejd during their earlier migration eastwards, and also cultivated clients among the rulers of the Nejdi towns, such as the Al Mu'ammar of al-Uyayna. When the emir of Uyayna adopted the ideas of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the Khalidi chief ordered him to cease support for Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and expel him from his town. The emir agreed, and Ibn Abd al-Wahhab moved to neighboring Dir'iyyah, where he joined forces with the Al Saud. The Bani Khalid remained staunch enemies of the Saudis and their allies and attempted to invade Nejd and Diriyyah in an effort to stop Saudi expansion. Their efforts failed, however, and after conquering Nejd, the Saudis invaded the Bani Khalid's domain in al-Hasa and deposed the Al 'Ura'yir in 1793.

Return and Fall from Power

When the Ottomans invaded Arabia and deposed the Al Saud in 1818, they reoccupied al-Hasa and al-Qatif and reinstated members of the Al 'Uray'ir as governors of the region on their behalf. The Bani Khalid were no longer the potent military force they once were at this time, and tribes such as the Ajman, the Dawasir, Subay', and Mutayr began encroaching on the Bani Khalid's desert territories. They were also beset by internal quarrels over leadership. Though the Bani Khalid were able to forge an alliance with the 'Anizzah tribe in this period, they were eventually defeated by an alliance of several tribes along with the Al Saud, who had reestablished their rule in Riyadh in 1823. A battle with an alliance led by the Mutayr and 'Ajman tribes in 1823, [Meglio] and another battle with the Subay' and the Al Saud in 1830, brought the rule of the Bani Khalid to a close. The Ottomans appointed a governor from Bani Khalid over al-Hasa once more in 1874, but his rule also was short-lived. [Al-Rasheed, p. 36]


Many clans and sections of the Bani Khalid had already settled in al-Hasa and Nejd by this time, but many of those who remained bedouin began leaving east Arabia after their military defeats against the Al Saud, eventually settling in Iraq, Jordan, and Syria. Many families from Bani Khalid can be found today in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar as well.

As part of the Saudi king Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud's policy of marrying into the major families and tribes of the country, Ibn Saud married a woman of the Al U'ray'ir clan, who gave birth to his two eldest sons Turki and Saud, who later became king himself.



*Anscombe, Frederick F., "The Ottoman Gulf: the creation of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qater, 1870-1914", Columbia University Press, New York 1997
*Fattah,Hala Mundhir, "The Politics of Regional Trade in Iraq, Arabia, and the Gulf, 1745-1900", SUNY Press, 1997 [,M1]
*Ibn Agil al-Zahiri, "Ansab al-Usar al-Hakima fi al-Ahsa" ("The Genealogies of the Ruling Families of al-Ahsa, Part II: Banu Humayd (Al 'Uray'ir)"), Dar al-Yamama, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Arabic):أبو عبدالرحمن بن عقيل الظاهري، "أنساب الأسر الحاكمة في الأحساء، القسم الثاني: بنو حميد (آل عريعر)"، من منشورات دار اليمامة، الرياض، المملكة العربية السعودية
*Ingham, B. "Muṭayr." Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 01 December 2007 []
*Al-Jassir, Hamad, "Jamharat Ansab al-Usar al-Mutahaddirah fi Nejd" ("Compendium of the Geanologies of the Settled Families of Nejd"), entry on "Banu Khalid" (Arabic)
*al-Juhany, Uwaidah, "Najd Before the Salafi Reform Movement", Ithaca Press, 2002
*Lorimer, John Gordon, "Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia", repubished by Gregg International Publishers Limited Westemead. Farnborough, Hants., England and Irish University Press, Shannon, Irelend. Printed in Holland, 1970
*Mandaville, Jon E., "The Ottoman Province of al-Hasā in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries", "Journal of the American Oriental Society", Vol. 90, No. 3. (Jul. - Sep., 1970), pp. 486-513 (through JSTOR [ ] )
*Meglio, R. Di. "banū Ḵh̲ālid ." Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 01 December 2007 []
*Nakash, Yitzhak, "Reaching for Power: The Shi'a in the Modern Arab World", Princeton University Press, 2006, online excerpt at [] , retrieved Dec 5, 2007
*Oppenheim, Max Freiherr von, with Braunlich, Erich and Caskill, Werner, "Die Beduinen", 4 volumes, Otto Harrassowitz Wiesbaden 1952 (German)
*Szombathy, Zoltan, Genealogy in Medieval Muslim Societies, "Studia Islamica", No. 95. (2002), pp. 5-35 (retrieved from JSTOR [] )
*Al-Rasheed, Madawi, "A History of Saudi Arabia", Cambridge University Press, 2002 (through GoogleBooks [] )
*Rentz, George, "Notes on Oppenheim's 'Die Beduinen'", "Oriens", Vol. 10, No. 1. (Jul. 31, 1957), pp. 77-89 (retrieved from JSTOR [] )
*Al-Wuhaby, Abd al-Karim al-Munif, "Banu Khalid wa 'Alaqatuhum bi Najd" ("Banu Khalid and their Relations with Nejd"), Dar Thaqif lil-Nashr wa-al-Ta'lif, 1989 (Arabic) :عبدالكريم الوهيبي، "بنو خالد وعلاقتهم بنجد"، دار ثقيف للنشر والتأليف، 1989

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