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The major branches of Otaibah Tribe in Najd and Hejaz

Otaibah (Arabic: عتيبة‎; also spelled Otaiba, Utaybah and Otaibi for singular) is one of the largest predominantly Sunni Arab tribes in the Arabian Peninsula. Today, they are mostly found in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Palestine and Syria.

Modern history[edit]

The Otaibah tribe, according to various studies of genealogy, are the descendants of the mighty Pre-Islamic tribe of Hawazin, that are of the Qays ʿAylān tribal grouping, that are of the Adnan or the Adnanites, that are of the Ishmaelites, or the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.[1][2] In recent history, they have ruled over central Najd for a long period of time throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, around the beginning of the 20th century, the tribe cooperated with the Ikhwan movement who were endorsed by the Al Saud clan of Nejd. However, at the time they tended to side more with the Sharifs of Mecca;[3] in 1912, the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, began an ambitious plan to settle the nomadic tribes within his domain, which included Nejd and the Eastern coast of Arabia. This was brought together with the indoctrination of the tribe into the religious ideals imposed by Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahhab, as the Arab Bedouin tribes including Otaibah were not considered to be religious. The new settlements were to be known as hijras and the accompanying politico-religious movement was called Ikhwan or "brothers." As a result, a large number of settlements that consisted of Otaibah tribe members sprung up across Arabia, especially in western Nejd. The most prominent of these settlements were in 'Afif near Dwadmi, and Sajir near Shaqraa. An army of the Otaibah tribe was then led by Sultan ibn Bjad Bin Humaid otherwise known as 'Sultan Aldeen,' and Eqab bin Mohaya Alotaibi the head of the Talhah clan of Otaibah, this army supported King Abdul-Aziz build the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Both of these influential leaders belonged to the Ikhwan movement, and shortly after joining, Sultan ibn Bjad Bin Humaid became the de facto leader of the movement, they were then deployed by the Ibn Saud clan against rivals in the region. With the support of the Otaibah tribe, the Ibn Saud were able to unite a huge portion of Arabia. Furthermore, the Ikhwan were instrumental in gaining control of the Hejaz for the Ibn Saud clan, but then after doing so, they grew resentful and restless. Sultan ibn Bjad Bin Humaid joined with leaders from other tribes in revolt, but they were defeated by the forces of Ibn Saud at the Battle of Sabilla near Al Zulfi, located at the North Eastern part of Nejd, in 1930. However, The settlements remained and the one in 'Afif, located approximately halfway between Riyadh and Mecca, became a prosperous city during the end of the 20th century, around that same time, many people from the tribe of Otaibah have enlisted in the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia. Their presence is particularly heavy in the Saudi National Guard.

Famous members of the tribe include Khalaf ibn Hathal, a poet who became prominent during the First Gulf War, Juhayman Al-'Utaybi, a militant who led the Grand Mosque Seizure in 1979, Dhaifallah Al-Rogy Al-'Utaybi, mayor of Dammam and a former executive of the Saudi national oil company, Aramco, General Hmood bin Dawi Al-Qthami, who served in the Saudi Police force and wrote popular books on Arab genealogy, Mutlaq Hamid Al-Otaibi a poet.

Branches of the tribe[edit]

The Otaibah tribe is subdivided into three major branches: Barga برقا, Rwog روق and Bano Saad (Sons of Saad) بنو سعد each major branch is divided into many clans, each clan is divided into various families.

  • Barga The Barga clans are as follows:
    • Shamlah شملة, which are divided into:
      • Al Nufaei النفيعي, a clan that includes: Al Musa'aed المساعيد, Al Nakheshah النخشة, Thoi Mufarrej ذوي مفرج, Thoi Ziad ذوي زياد, Thoi Zaid ذوي زايد, Al Mahaya المحايا, Al Besaisah البسايسه, Al Feletah الفلتة, Al Salaga السلاقى and Al A'elah العيلة
      • Al Rrwais الرويس, a clan that includes: Al Shuhabah الشهبة, Al Mugahesaha المقاحصة, Al Marawhah المراوحة and Thoi Mujarri ذوي مجري
      • Al Mugati المقاطي, a clan that includes: Al Kerzan الكرزان and Al Bususa البصصة
      • Al Tefehi الطفيحي, a clan that includes: Al Ababeed العبابيد(العبادي)ـ, Al Ja'adah الجعدة, Al Husanah الحصنة, Al Wethaneen الوذانيين, Al Swoatah السوطة, Alhulifat الحليفات, Al Hoboos الحبوس, Al Hulasah الحلسة, Al Humayah الحمية, Al Wegadeen الوقادين and Al Jomaiyat الجميعات.
    • Eial Mansour (Sons of Mansour) عيال منصور, which are divided into:
      • Al-Qthami (also spelled Al-Quthami, Al-Qathami or Al Guthami) القثامي, a clan that includes: Al Khullad الخلد, Al Ghashashmah الغشاشمة, Al Dahasah الدهسة, Al Dwaniah الدوانية, Al Jabarah الجبرة and Al Zooran الزوران
      • Al-Osaimi العصيمي, a clan that includes: Al Julah الجلاه, Al A'emrriah العمرية, Al Ababeed العبابيد, Al Sheja'een الشجاعين, Al Hamareen الحمارين and Al Shefa'an الشفعان
      • Al Da'ajani الدعجاني, a clan that includes: Thoi Khyoot ذوي خيوط, Al Malabisah الملابسة, Al Huddaf الهدف and Al Ma'alyah المعالية and Al Swalmالسوالم
      • Al Dughailabi الدغيلبي, a clan that includes: Al Na'arah النعرة, Al Gmool القمول, and Al Geba'ah القبعة
      • Al Shaibani الشيباني, a clan that includes: Thoi Saleh ذوي صالح and Thoi Khalifah ذوي خليفة , Thoi garfan , Thoi Fhaid ,
  • Roug The Roug clans are as follows:
    • Talhah طلحة includes: Al Asa'adah الأساعدة, Al Hufah الحفاة, Al Sumarrah السمرة, Al Hanateesh الحناتيش, Al Gharbiah الغربية, Al Karashemah الكراشمة, Al Ddalabehah الدلابحة, Al Ghawariah الغوارية, Al Theebah الذيبة, Al Hamameed الحماميد, Al Hezman الحزمان, Al Maghaibah المغايبة, Thoi Zarrag ذوي زراق, Al Ghadhabeen الغضابين, Al Barqawi and Al Awazem العوازم
    • Mezhem مزحم includes: Thoi Thubait ذوي ثبيت, Al Onthyan العضيان, Al Ghubaiat الغبيات, Al Marashedah المراشدة, Al Jetha'an الجذعان, Al Seaheen السياحين, Thoi A'ali ذوي عالي and Thoi A'tyah ذوي عطية
  • Bano Saad The Bano Saad is composed of many families, but can be summarized as: Al Batnain البطين, Al Lessah اللصة and Al Surairat الصريرات

See also[edit]


  1. ^ H. Kindermann-[C.E. Bosworth]. "'Utayba." Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007.
  2. ^ الجعيد, مرزوق. "مقال عن قبيلة عتيبه باللغه الإنجليزيه". 
  3. ^ H. Kindermann-[C.E. Bosworth]. "'Utayba." Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007.