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Location Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Descended from Otaibah b. Guzayah b. D̲j̲usham b. Muʿāwiya b. Bakr b. Hawāzin b. Manṣūr b. ʿIkrima b. K̲h̲aṣafa b. Qays ʿAylān b. Mudir b. Nizar b. Ma'ad b. Adnan
Parent tribe Hawazin, Qays
  • Barga Bargawi
  • Roug Regi Rogi
  • Bano Saad sadia
Religion Sunni Islam

The Otaiba tribe (Arabic: عتيبة‎; also spelled Otaiba, Utaybah) is a tribe originating from Saudi Arabia. This tribe is one of the most respected, dominant, and powerful and one of the biggest tribes in the Arabian Peninsula, with a strong influence in the gulf countries. This family has a lot of alliances with other tribes and good relations with royals. This tribe consists of some extremely wealthy nobles, Oil Sheikhs and Sharifs most predominant in Saudi Arabia.

Many Saudi Royals maternally descend from this tribe as well. The Otaiba branch in the UAE are extremely influential and well known, most of the Emirati Otaibis have the surname "Al-Otaiba" rather than "Al-Otaibi" like most of them, but are still the part of the same tribe and share the same lineage. The tribe is spread around the entire Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East. The Otaiba descend from Bedouins as they are pure Arabs but many of them modernized in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Oman and Kuwait. The Otaiba are fully Arab not descending from Persians or Asians. They are traced back to the Mudar family lineage, and belong to the Qays ʿAylān confederacy, via its previous name, Hawazin, an ancient tribe that has evolved into the modern tribe of Otaibah.[1][2]

In order to mention all the noteworthy ancestors of the tribe of Otaibah, and to determine the exact bloodline, an approach needs to be utilized to history that begins at the highest conceptual level, or starting from the first father, followed then with working towards the details or an endpoint, in this case the lineage of the tribe of Otaibah.

Islamic scholars could have went even further in the science of genealogy, as to search and find people prior to the great ancestor Adnan, but unfortunately the scientific attempt was prohibited by the Prophet of Islam; who blamed scientists for lying when they tried to name ancestors beyond Adnan. Through this prohibition, ambiguity was created in finding a direct link between Adnan, and Ishmeal son of Abraham and Hagar. Furthermore, attempts to find the origins of the name Adnan have been unsuccessful.[3][4]

However, the correlation between Ishmeal and the northern Arab tribes in general seems to be founded on historical fact, but to believe such a fact, one must accept and recognize as truth that Ishmeal did live with an early Arab tribe from northern Arabia called Shumuil.[5]

Therefore, all research in the lineage of northern tribes may start with the legendary ancestor Adnan instead of Ishmeal. This is an undisputed fact, according to genealogists, and true also in information passed on to generation after generation of oral tradition. He is without a doubt in the common great ascendant of the modern tribes of Otaibah, Annazah, Tamim, Abd al-Qays, and Quraysh together among many others.[3][6]

Exceptions in the precise ancestry do include a few families and clans (or subdivisions of tribes) who have received admission to a tribe or another as mere allies. These do acquire the name of the tribe as part of joining the alliance. A similar example is that it was considered to be highly acceptable for African slaves to have names based on the tribes of whom their owners plague allegiance. Logically, in these instances the not genuine members of the tribe do not belong to the same origin; however, the greater part of the entire tribe are biologically related, indeed, sharing the same blood. A conclusion based on the factor of sharing a common progenitor. The only concrete element holding the tribe or confederacy together, uniting them under the same banner.[3]

Although Adnan is at the head of the genealogy for the tribe, genealogists and poets typically refer not to him, but to one or two of his descendants. Namely, his son, Ma'ad, a name which was later transformed, over the years, into a collective term for all the northern Arabian tribes, and his grandson Nizar, who brought into this world Rabi'ah and Mudar among other children.[4]

Nizar, grandson of Adnan, who is a common ancestor of the greatest part of the Arabian tribes of the north according to the accepted genealogical system, and tradition has more to say about his sons Rabi'ah and Mudar.[7]

Rabi'ah brought Aklub, Ḍubayʿa and Asad. From Asad were Amira, Anazzah, and Jadila. From Jadila were Abd al-Qays, al-Namir, and Wa'il. From Wa'il are two of the most powerful Arab tribes in history Bakr and Taghlib. From Bakr are descended the tribes of Banu Shayban, Bani Hanifa, Banu Qays ibn Tha'labah and others.[7]

Mudar son of Nizar, fathered Elias. From Elias, were Mudrikah, Ṭābik̲h̲a and Ḳamaʿa. From Mudrikah were Hud̲h̲ayl and Khuzaimah. From Khuzaymah, the tribes of Banu Asad ibn Khuzaymah and Kinanah. From Kinanah are the Quraysh, and the prophet of Islam. From Ṭābik̲h̲a, the sons Udd, Ḍabba, ʿAbd Manāt, and ʿAmr. The decedents of ʿAmr are Murr and Ḥumays. From Murr, Tamim which is the ancestor of one of the largest Arab tribes.[7]

Mudar son of Nizar, also fathered ʿAylān al-Nās, or the ancestor of Hawazin and Otaibah, the Qays ʿAylān.[7]

Hawzan is said to be the name of a bird of some kind. The plural version, Hawazin, is the name of a noble tribe which is responsible for the modern tribe of Otaibah. The Hawazin and the Otaibah correspond with each other in the science of genealogy; furthermore, the Hawazin were valued as an invaluable part of the Qaysites. So, to make an assumption for the sake of a debate, whereas, they were a nation made up of diverse ancestries is not unusual; however, all these ancestries must have been presented with one shared ancestor among the entire tribe, and his name is Hawāzin b. Manṣūr b. ʿIkrima b. K̲h̲aṣafa b. Qays ʿAylān b. Nizar b. Mudar b. Adnan. The ancestor is believed and accepted to be one of the posterity of Qays ʿAylān as indicated in the name. These exalted shared bloodlines is the only way for anyone to take part of any large confederacy.[8]

Therefore, the common ancestor for the entire tribe, with some exceptions consisting of a few allies that do not claim the same bloodline, is none other than Otaibah b. Guzayah b. D̲j̲usham b. Muʿāwiya b. Bakr b. Hawāzin b. Manṣūr b. ʿIkrima b. K̲h̲aṣafa b. Qays ʿAylān b. Mudir, b. Nijzar b. Ma'ad b. Adnan of the Ishmaelites. Moreover, the large confederacy of Otaibah is a closely knit amalgamation consisting of several original components which probably first came together not more than five or six centuries ago.[9]

In the 21st century, they are mostly found in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates .


According to various studies of genealogy and oral tradition, the Otaibah tribe are the descendants of an ancient tribe in Arabia; the Pre-Islamic tribe of Hawazin. These are descendants of the Qays ʿAylān, that are descendants of Ma'ad son of Adnan or the Adnanites, that are direct descendants of the Ishmaelites or the sons of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

In a historic artifact dating back to the 8h century called The Great Ancestry by the renowned historian and ancient genealogist al-Kalbi, as the only known copy in existence was examined then verified in 1988 by the scholar Mahmud Firdous al Adm, who found parts of the magnificent piece, in the research of the German Werner Caskel, a historian and professor at the University of Berlin since 1946, and the University of Cologne since 1948, the artifact stated[20][21]:

'Otaibah' is attributed to a standard; one of the banners that belong to the tribe of Hawazin. (The name derives from a man) and he is, Otaibah Ibn Guzayah Ibn Jusham Ibn Ibn Mu'awiyah ibn Bakr Ibn Hawazin. The clans (subdivisions) of Hawazin all united under one of his descendants in an early time during the first centuries; other nations from Hawazin intertwined around him (as well). After most of the clans of Hawazin departed (resettled away) from the land of Hejaz and Najd to the (great and) wide lands of God. To the Sham (the Levant), Iraq, Egypt, the farthermost western lands (North Africa), the lands of Persia, and its surrounding Persian territories. None was left of them except those who could not leave their land and country. Those who remained, formed the largest Hawazin alliance in our present time, and it was named Otaibah. Additionally, the tribes of Bakr and Taghlib also congregated under its well-known banners.

Famous works by al-Kalbi include The Book of Idols and The Abundance of Kinship. The latter book stated:

The descendants of Jusham Ibn Ibn Mu'awiyah ibn Bakr Ibn Hawazin are Guzayah, Oday, Ouseema. The sons of Guzayah are Juda'aa, Hami, Otaibah, and Outwara.

Furthermore, in The Beginning and the End by Ibn Kathir, written in 14th century, the author stated:

There is no doubt that Adnan is from the lineage of Ishmeal, the only fact that is disagreed upon (or being disputed) is the number of ancestors between the two. Most of what was said (and known) is that the exact number is forty fathers between Adnan and Ishmeal, and this is (largely) based on what is written among the Christian and Jewish people, who know it from Baruch (the Israelite scribe, disciple, and secretary of Jeremah) writer of The Book of Jeremiah.

Ibn Kathir continued:

And Abu Jafar Al Tabari, and others, have concluded that the almighty God had sent to Jeremiah son of Hilkiah a revelation to go to (the King of Babylon) Nebuchadnezzar (II) and inform him that the almighty God has given him authority over the (ancient) people of Arabia (the Qedarites). God then commanded Jeremiah to take Ma'ad son of Adnan (far away from the imminent conflict) on (a horse). So that he, (Ma'ad), will not be afflicted by any resentfulness (since the victims cursed by the evils of Nebuchadnezzar were his people). (As the command stated) For I, the almighty God, will bring forth from him (Ma'ad son of Adnan) a generous prophet, and the last among prophets. Jeremiah accepted the request, and carried Ma'ad to the land (known as) the levant, where he grew among the sons of Israel; the few whom survived after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

The author Ibn Kathir continued:

The scribe who wrote the Book of Jeremiah, Baruch, transcribed the genealogy of his master (and devoted friend) to have it preserved (with the books) in the library of Jeremiah, and to save the lineage of Ma'ad (perhaps for posterity and future generations), but God only knows (the exact truth). This is the reason why Mailk (a primary scholar of prophetic traditions in the 8th century) disliked tracing the lineage to before Adnan (or attempt to name any of forefathers of Adnan, other than Ishmael himself, because no truthful or precise record exists of these ancestors, save the Book of Jeremiah).

In history, the tribes of the north of Arabia descend from Ishmael; however, the descendants of Ishmael are seldom referred to as the Ishmaelites, and more often described as the Qays ʿAylān. On the opposite side, are the southern tribes who descend from Qahtan, also known as Qahtanites. A clear distinction that dates back prior to the birth of Islam, which was also before there was any hostility between the two. It was only during the Umayyad era where the feud began. W. Montgomery Watt, a Scottish historian, stated "so as to constitute something like a political party" the tribes started to differentiate the people of Arabia along the lines of either Qays ʿAylān, or the other group, Qahtan. The rivalry led to open conflict during the Second Muslim Civil War (680–692).[22][23][24][25][26]

The people of Arabia could be one of the most important nations specifically in the preservation of bloodlines and lineage. Each person, past and present, bears information about his or her heritage, and would record the facts for future generations. Even if that would be in poetry. Genealogy for the tribe of Otaibah, like many other tribes of Arabia, is significantly important as it has been for centuries. Most of these examinations and oral traditions, which date back to the Middle Ages and beyond, are the center point of pride for the people that are accredited the name of Otaibah by birth.[17]

As well as the fact that the foster-mother of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, Halimah al-Sa‘diyah, was from the tribe of the Banu Sa'd, a subdivision of Hawazin, the parent tribe of Otaibah.[27][28]

The lineage of the Otaibah tribe among many scholars may vary in exact details, such as attributing Otaibah exclusively to the sons of the Banu Sa'd ibn Hawazin, while others claim that they are composed solely of the Banu Jusham ibn Muawiya ibn Bakr ibn Hawazin, or are strictly of the Banu 'Amir ibn Sa'sa'ah ibn Mu'awiyah ibn Bakr ibn Hawazin. However, all accounts do agree that the lineage is traced back to Hawazin son of Mansur son of Ikrimah son of Khasafah son of Qays ʿAylān son of Mudar son of Nizar son of Ma'ad son of Adnan.[18]

A Bedouin sheikh, circa 1934–1939


Ottoman Empire era – late 16th to early 20th century[edit]

In the 16th century, the Ottomans added the Red Sea and Persian Gulf coast to the Empire. It then claimed rule over its interior with the fluctuating strength or weakness of the central authority.[29][30][31]

During the 18th century, the Mutayr with the aid of the Qahtan initiated a long series of wars against the Anazzah for the pasturages of central Najd, and they were successful in forcing them out northwards. However, they were both superseded by the Otaibah, who remain to this day numerically the largest tribe of central Najd.[32]

For a long time during the late 18th and early 19th, Otaibah and Ḥarb were counterparts in the actual struggle lasting for centuries among the Sharifs of Mecca and the ruling families of Ibn Rashid and Ibn Saud for domination of Najd. The entire history of the Otaibah in the 19th and early 20th centuries is a reflection of the various wars between the powers in Najd and Hejaz, who all endeavoured to win this important tribe over to their interests.[10][33]

In 1816, the Wahhabi kingdom was vanquished by the Egyptians, and their leader Ibrahim Mohammed Ali persuaded the Otaibah and various Anazzah tribes, by threats and bribes, to assist him against Abdullah bin Saud. Between 1842 and 1872 no less than nine distinct powers were at war with one another in Najd, among them the Otaibah. In 1872, the principal chief of the Otaibah, Muslit bin Rubayan, ravaged western settlements of Riyadh, immediately after which Saud bin Faisal made a raid as an act of retaliation into their territory; he had to retire defeated and was himself critically wounded. In 1881 and 1882, the Otaibah had plundered camps of the Harb tribes who were subjects of Ibn Rashid, and they also attacked the latter in the summer of 1883 but were completely defeated. In the year 1897, members of the house of Ibn Saud joined the Grand Sharif of Mecca, Awn Al-Rafiq, and with the aid of Otaibah undertook campaigns against the possessions of Ibn Rashid.[34]

The tribal war between Otaibah and the Ibn Rashid was initiated after a comment made by the poet Mukhlad Al-Qthami of Otaibah; who stated to the leader of the Rashidi dynasty Muhammed Ibn Abdullah at his court, translated from a nomadic dialect of Arabic. .[17]

  • We are the Otaibah. Oh, how many warriors we've slain.
  • Because our legions are a steady team.[17]

The early 20th century[edit]

In the early 20th century, the Ottoman Empire continued to control over most of the peninsula. However, Arabia had its own rulers; a group of tribal chiefs in Najd and its surrounding areas, and the Sharif of Mecca having domain over the Hejaz. The people of Otaibah cooperated with Al Saud of Najd, but tended to side with the Sharifs of Mecca, who used to take refuge with the tribe in time adversity.[35][36][37][38]

During World War I in 1915, Ibn Saud began an ambitious plan to settle the nomadic tribes within his control, which included at the time Najd and the Eastern coast of Arabia. This was brought together with the indoctrination of these tribes into religious ideals imposed by Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahhab, as the nomadic Arab Bedouin, including all of the Otaibah tribe, were not considered to be religious. In 1916, with the encouragement and support of Britain, the Sharif of Mecca Hussein bin Ali, led a revolt against the Ottoman Empire to create a united state. The Arab Revolt of 1916 to 1918 failed, but the Allied victory in World War I resulted in the end of Ottoman control of Arabia.[39][40]

The founder ʿAbd ai-ʿAzīz began to establish settlements called al-Hid̲j̲ar (sing, hid̲j̲ra ), who was then followed by Sultan of Nad̲j̲d, to promote the sedentarization of the people of Saudi Arabia during the first quarter of this century. These came along with an accompanying political, military, and religious movement called the Ikhwan, or translated from Arabic, the 'Brothers.' The founder ʿAbd ai-ʿAzīz attempted to revive the old religious enthusiasm among the rarely pious, virile, but often unpredictable people of the tribes as a starting point for the reclamation and the control of his domain.[41]

The spread of religious enlightenment through the muṭawwiʿūn (preachers) prepared for the idea of an agricultural, settled life, and the first and most successful hid̲j̲ra, or settlement, was established in 1912 by the tribe of Muṭayr. This settlement was soon followed by another by the tribe of Otaibah. The inhabitants constituted the fraternity of Ik̲h̲wān.The growth of an important cause alongside new religious regulations, standards, and principles, helped nomadic people to leave the desert-dwelling culture behind, and for the first time start to live in groups giving birth to multiple societies. A fact that contributed significantly in the modernization of these nomadic communities in the 21st century. This was a tremendously critical service King Abdul-Aziz has completed successfully for the people. The conflict with both Āl Ras̲h̲īd of Ḥāʾil and the Sharifs in Mecca drove the process of settlement further, and eventually there were about 130 such colonies.[41]

Numerous colonies were established across Arabia. A serious endeavor was made to bring different tribes together in a single hid̲j̲ra, or settlement, to put an end to feuding; however, most of the settlements became affiliated with specific tribes alone. In lists recorded by Oppenheim and Caskel which might give some insight on the exact amount of these settlements according to each tribe: Ḥarb 27, Otaibah 19, Muṭayr 16, Ajman 14, S̲h̲ammar 9, and Qahtan 8. The hid̲j̲ras were gathered throughout Najd and the Eastern coast of Arabia. In the south they reached the edges of al-Rubʿ al-K̲h̲ālī desert, and in the north the Syrian Desert. Towards the west they did not extend further than the high mountains of Hejaz and Asir.[42]

Sultan ibn Bjad the chieftain of the Otaibah tribe, and Eqab bin Mohaya, were influential leaders that belonged to the Otaibah tribe. They enlisted in the Ikhwan movement, and shortly after joining, both became invaluable leaders in the cause. They were then deployed by Ibn Saud against rivals in the region; where they led tribal forces in the occupation of Al-Hasa, Ha'il, Al-Baha, Jizan, Asir, Ta'if, Mecca, and Jeddah.

This was considered to be a significant contribution in gaining control of the Hejaz region in particular. However, after several victories some factions of the movement grew resentful over policies that appeared to favor modernization and an increase of non-Muslim foreigners in the region. The movement was successful in arousing the religious passion of its members that some of the Ik̲h̲wān became more zealous than the founder himself and turned against him in rebellion.[41][43][44]

Sultan ibn Bjad joined leaders from other tribes in revolt on December 1928. Eqab bin Mohaya, on the other hand, led his legions of the Otaibah tribe in the aid of King Abdul Aziz to vanquish the threat. Eqab of Otaibah and his followers were not the only ones from the tribe to enter into a strong alliance with the young king, since the revolution was doomed at the moment when an important main section of Otaibah, called Roug, under the command of ʿUmar Ibn Rubayʿān chose to be loyal to Ibn Saud.[42]

In 1926, the inhabitants of Najd and Hejaz have given formal allegiance ( bayʿa ) to ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, accepted the title of King ( malik ) in 1927; he ruled the central and provincial governments, authorized by Islamic legal scholars or ʿulamāʾ unrestricted by any elected or appointed bodies and limited only by Islamic law or S̲h̲arīʿa. Moreover, the centralization policies encapsulated chiefdom practices among the tribes up until the 1960, and did not result in formal recognition of such practices as a norm in the presence of governmental entities. These were not being brought under the bureaucratic control. Subjugation of opposition was the clearest detail of centralization. Factions of the Ikhwan tribal groups, markedly the Muṭayr, parts of the Otaiba and the Ajman, supported the preservation of their own chiefdom systems, including the tribes’ own choice of markets, raiding, and political affiliations, but were defeated in a series of battles during 1929–30. Any kind of political opposition, including the formation of political parties, were subsequently forbidden. Furthermore, centralization was apparent in economic change beginning in 1924 where king ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz began to use civilian taxation and pilgrimage income to build a central treasury. Also, laid down during this period was the forbidding of raids into neighbouring states.[45]

In 29 March 1929, the revolution was finally suppressed at the Battle of Sabilla. Following the crushing defeat, another battle took place between a major branch of the Otaibah tribe, Barka, against the only other major branch in the tribe of Otaibah, Roug. The rebellious Barka branch fled under Sultan ibn Bjad, one of three leaders of the rebels. He and his men were eventually caught and defeated at D̲j̲abala by ʿUmar Ibn Rubayʿān, in command of loyal, to the king, elements of al-Roug of Otaibah. Sultan ibn Bjad was later taken prisoner. In the final crushing of the Ik̲h̲wān rebellion in 1930, some settlements were completely destroyed. The King then set out to create the nucleus of a modern, standing army which proved its worth in establishing peace.[41][46][47]

In 23 September 1932, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was established in a successful unification of a large portion of Arabia. Its founder began to arrange the affairs of the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula that lived in his domain; he implemented powerful policies in favor of its people. Among the tribes, whom in the past centuries were engaged in a constant, unending, and needless wars, the founder has accomplished an impossible, inconceviable task. He has finally strengthened the bonds of unity among the tribes, and sustained peace between all.[48][43]

The middle of 20th to the early 21st century[edit]

An event that gained much popularity among the tribe of Otaibah occurred in the first few years after the establishment of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The country allocated a facility called the House of Supplies which provided food supplies for the people. A person of bad character, an African slave, by the name of Khramis managed the location. His questionable behavior was evident in the fact that he treated men poorly, insulting the pride of the visitors by regularly using a large stick to beat those who considered themselves guests. The poet Hamad Al Rukhees of the Shammar tribe wrote the following poem immortalizing the event.[49]

  • Oh (my) creator bestow ease (upon me) and (let me) leave Khramis behind at his door (standing idle with no purpose)
  • Certainly (our future) days will (soon) be relieved as the free (falcon) gets full out of its own claw (hard effort and work).

This story illustrates the importance of self-reliance and patience; it was one of the last coherent stories uttered by General Hmood Dawi Al-Qthami; a prominent member of the tribe of Otaibah who wrote famous books on genealogy. Furthermore, one could not mention the history of any tribe in the Arabian Peninsula during the late 20th century without mentioning King Faisal Al Saud. Evidenced in a multitude of nomadic poems, he was greatly supported by the Otaibah tribe during his reign and after.[17]

A popular event between the tribe and the King happened when he was the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia (between 1953–1964). As the story goes, it occurred when people from the tribe of Otaibah were fighting with the Mutayr tribe over a large land near the city of Ta'if. One year, during the season of spring, a committee was set by the government to legally prohibit both tribes from occupying the land until the issue was resolved. Faisal Al Saud went to the location himself since he felt a need for a conflict resolution between the two tribes. While he was there, he found a roaming shepherd, from the Otaibah tribe, herding sheep and camel. He then called upon the shepherd, and asked him: "Who are you?". The shepherd replied: "I am (so-and-so) of the Otaibah tribe". The then crown prince replied: "Very good. Take these verses of mine to your people, and they will know of its meaning".[50]

  • Oh son of Otaibah, what say him (when) his mother's cheek (the land) was being defiled (by conflict)
  • In the core of all knowledge are solutions, (Therefore) take this message, take it (to them).[50]

In this poem, the young crown prince emphasized that the land (i.e their mother) was being defiled, spoiled, and violated with such a conflict, and how can the tribe of Otaibah stand by something that has so many solutions, or could be resolved easily. The shepherd responded: "Ok. I will take it to them, but I do not know who it is from (or who is its sender)". The crown prince replied: "The person speaking to you is Faisal Ibn Abdul Aziz". The shepherd replied: "A name significantly acknowledged and greatly praised; however, please take its response (in poem) at this moment."[50]

  • Oh, greetings to the greatest of all solutions (manifested) If (we knew) Faisal was against it (the conflict)
  • We (the Otaibah) would evacuate the land in (an event of) evacuation, take (accept) this message, take (accept) it
  • And my mother (the land) is like an elderly woman, roses (gentle in essence), white (unspoiled) and clean is her cheek
  • And (along side) your mother (the land of Arabia), succeeded only by the strongest of King, take (accept) this message, take (accept) it.[50]

The conflict ended soon after. Perhaps by an effort from the tribe of Mutayr, whom have probably heard of the story and abandoned it first. Decades later in the early 21st century, that same land is inhibited mostly by people of the Otaibah tribe. This story, which was recited by many old folks who remember the incident, demonstrates how the King was also unconditionally loved and highly respected among every other tribe, and not only the Otaibah.

In the early 21 century many people from the tribe of Otaibah in Saudi Arabia enlisted in the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia. The presence of the tribe is particularly prominent in the Saudi National Guard.[45][51]

Siege of the Grand Mosque of Mecca[edit]

On 20 November 1979, Juhayman al-Otaybi and his brother- in-law Mohammed Abdullah al-Qahtani, who was alleged to be the Mahdi along with hundreds of their followers took over the Great Mosque of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The band of rebels included Egyptians, Pakistanis and American converts, but most of them were Saudis from the Otaibah tribe just like the two aforementioned leaders.[52]. The Grand Mosque seizure lasted from 20 November to 4 December 1979 and resulted in the deaths of countless civilians who were taken hostage along with the deaths of many Saudi security personnel as well as a majority of the rebels, including Muhammad al-Qahtani - the alleged Mahdi. Juhayman and 67 of his fellow rebels who survived the assault were captured and later publicly beheaded. Many rebels were able to evade capture and fled. In response to the seizure of the Grand Mosque, the Saudi Monarch of the time, Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, gave more power to religious puritans, ulemas and conservatives. He is thought to have believed that "the solution to the religious upheaval was simple: more religion."[53]First, photographs of women in newspapers were banned, then women on television. Cinemas and music shops were shut down. School curriculum was changed to provide many more hours of religious studies, eliminating classes on subjects like non-Islamic history. Gender segregation was extended "to the humblest coffee shop,” and religious police became more assertive.

Branches of the Tribe[edit]

The major branches of the Otaibah tribe

The Otaibah tribe is subdivided into three major branches: Barga (Arabic: برقا‎), Roug (Arabic: روق‎) and Bano Saad (Sons of Saad) (Arabic: بنو سعد‎). Each major branch is divided into many clans, each clan is divided into various families.[17]


Barga is a main branch of the tribe, and its clans and families are the following:

  • Shamlah (Arabic: شملة‎), is a sub-branch and its clans are divided into:
    • Al Nufaei (Arabic: النفيعي‎), a clan that includes the families of:
      • Al Musa'aed (Arabic: المساعيد‎)
      • Al Nakheshah (Arabic: النخشة‎)
      • Thoi Mufarrej (Arabic: ذوي مفرج‎)
      • Thoi Ziad (Arabic: ذوي زياد‎)
      • Thoi Zaid (Arabic: ذوي زايد‎)
      • Al Mahaya (Arabic: المحايا‎)
      • Al Besaisah (Arabic: البسايسه‎)
      • Al Feletah (Arabic: الفلتة‎)
      • Al Salaga (Arabic: السلاقى‎)
      • Al A'elah (Arabic: العيلة‎)
    • Al Rrwais (Arabic: الرويس‎), a clan that includes the families of:
      • Al Shuhabah (Arabic: الشهبة‎)
      • Al Mugahesaha (Arabic: المقاحصة‎)
      • Al Marawhah (Arabic: المراوحة‎)
      • Thoi Mujarri (Arabic: ذوي مجري‎)
    • Al Mugati (Arabic: المقاطي‎), a clan that includes the families of:
      • Al Kerzan (Arabic: الكرزان‎)
      • Al Bususa (Arabic: البصصة‎)
    • Al Tefehi (Arabic: الطفيحي‎), a clan that includes the families of:
      • Al Ababeed (Arabic: العبابيد‎)
      • Al Ja'adah (Arabic: الجعدة‎)
      • Al Husanah (Arabic: الحصنة‎)
      • Al Wethaneen (Arabic: الوذانيين‎)
      • Al Swoatah (Arabic: السوطة‎)
      • Alhulifat (Arabic: الحليفات‎)
      • Al Hoboos (Arabic: الحبوس‎)
      • Al Hulasah (Arabic: الحلسة‎)
      • Al Humayah (Arabic: الحمية‎)
      • Al Wegadeen (Arabic: الوقادين‎)
      • Al Jomaiyat (Arabic: الجميعات‎)
  • Eial Mansour (Sons of Mansour) (Arabic: عيال منصور‎) is a sub-branch, and its clans include:
    • Al-Qthami (also spelled Al-Quthami, Al-Qathami or Al Guthami) (Arabic: القثامي‎), a clan that includes the families of:
      • Al Khullad (Arabic: الخلد‎)
      • Al Ghashashmah (Arabic: الغشاشمة‎)
      • Al Dahasah (Arabic: الدهسة‎)
        • Thoi Dariweesh (Arabic: ذوي درويش‎)
          • Al Tawali (Arabic: الطوالع‎)
            • Thoi Soloman (Arabic: ذوي سليمان‎)
            • Thoi Salim (Arabic: ذوي سالم‎)
            • Thoi Niwar (Arabic: ذوي نوار‎)
            • Thoi Thilab (Arabic: ذوي ثلاب‎)
            • Thoi Mubarak (Arabic: ذوي مبارك‎)
            • Thoi Wahf (Arabic: ذوي وهف‎)
          • Thoi Banya (Arabic: ذوي بنية‎)
          • Al Jinadibh (Arabic: الجنادبة‎)
          • Al Marahia (Arabic: المراهية‎)
      • Al Dwaniah (Arabic: الدوانية‎)
      • Al Jabarah (Arabic: الجبرة‎)
      • Al Zooran (Arabic: الزوران‎)
    • Al-Osaimi (Arabic: العصيمي‎), a clan that includes the families of:
      • Al Julah (Arabic: الجلاه‎)
      • Al A'emrriah (Arabic: العمرية‎)
      • Al Ababeed (Arabic: العبابيد‎)
      • Al Sheja'een (Arabic: الشجاعين‎)
      • Al Hamareen (Arabic: الحمارين‎)
      • Al Shefa'an (Arabic: الشفعان‎)
    • Al Da'ajani (Arabic: الدعجاني‎), a clan that includes the families of:
      • Thoi Khyoot (Arabic: ذوي خيوط‎)
      • Al Malabisah (Arabic: الملابسة‎)
      • Al Huddaf (Arabic: الهدف‎)
      • Al Ma'alyah (Arabic: المعالية‎)
      • Al Swalm (Arabic: السوالم‎)
    • Al Dughailabi (Arabic: الدغيلبي‎), a clan that includes the families of:
      • Al Na'arah (Arabic: النعرة‎)
      • Al Gmool (Arabic: القمول‎)
      • Al Geba'ah (Arabic: القبعة‎)
    • Al Shaibani (Arabic: الشيباني‎), a clan that includes the families of:
      • Thoi Saleh (Arabic: ذوي صالح‎)
      • Thoi Khalifah (Arabic: ذوي خليفة‎)
      • Garafi (Arabic: قرافي‎)
      • Al Fihidat (Arabic: الفهيدات‎)
      • Thoi Murshid (Arabic: ذوي مرشد‎)
      • Al Dimokh (Arabic: الدموخ‎)
      • Thoi Najim (Arabic: ذوي نجم‎)
      • Ibn Musaifir (Arabic: ابن مسيفر‎)
      • Thoi Owad (Arabic: ذوي عواد‎)
      • Al Zibajiah (Arabic: الزبالجة‎)
      • Thoi Amr (Arabic: ذوي عمرو‎)
      • Al Fowareen (Arabic: الفوارين‎)


Roug is a main branch of the tribe, and its clans and families are the following:

  • Talhah (Arabic: طلحة‎) is a sub-branch, and its clans include:
    • Al Asa'adah (Arabic: الأساعدة‎)
    • Al Hufah (Arabic: الحفاة‎)
    • Al Sumarrah (Arabic: السمرة‎)
    • Al Hanateesh (Arabic: الحناتيش‎)
    • Al Gharbiah (Arabic: الغربية‎)
    • Al Karashemah (Arabic: الكراشمة‎)
    • Al Ddalabehah (Arabic: الدلابحة‎)
    • Al Ghawariah (Arabic: الغوارية‎)
    • Al Theebah (Arabic: الذيبة‎)
    • Al Hamameed (Arabic: الحماميد‎)
    • Al Hezman (Arabic: الحزمان‎)
    • Al Maghaibah (Arabic: المغايبة‎)
    • Thoi Zarrag (Arabic: ذوي زراق‎)
    • Al Ghadhabeen (Arabic: الغضابين‎)
    • Al Barqawi
    • Al Awazem (Arabic: العوازم‎)
  • Mezhem مزحم is a sub-branch, and its clans include:
    • Thoi Thubait (Arabic: ذوي ثبيت‎)
    • Al Onthyan (Arabic: العضيان‎)
    • Al Ghubaiat (Arabic: الغبيات‎)
    • Al Marashedah (Arabic: المراشدة‎)
    • Al Jetha'an (Arabic: الجذعان‎)
    • Al Seaheen (Arabic: السياحين‎)
    • Thoi A'ali (Arabic: ذوي عالي‎)
    • Thoi A'tyah (Arabic: ذوي عطية‎)

Bano Saad[edit]

The Bano Saad is a main branch of the tribe, and its clans and families are the following:

  • Al Batnain (Arabic: البطين‎)
  • Al Lessah (Arabic: اللصة‎)
  • Al Surairat (Arabic: الصريرات‎)

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ 'al-Ḥid̲j̲āz', in: Encyclopaedia of Islam. Gibb, H. A. R. (Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen), 1895–1971., Bearman, P. J. (Peri J.) (New edition ed.). Leiden: Brill. 1960–2009. ISBN 9789004161214. OCLC 399624. 
  3. ^ a b c ʿAdnān”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam. Gaborieau, Marc., Allen, Roger, 1942-, Krämer, Gudrun. (3rd ed ed.). Leiden [Netherlands]: Brill. 2007. ISBN 9789004305762. OCLC 145927975. 
  4. ^ a b “Maʿadd”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam. Gibb, H. A. R. (Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen), 1895–1971., Bearman, P. J. (Peri J.) (New edition ed.). Leiden: Brill. 1960–2009. ISBN 9789004161214. OCLC 399624. 
  5. ^ “ʿAdnān”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam. Gaborieau, Marc., Allen, Roger, 1942-, Krämer, Gudrun. (3rd ed ed.). Leiden [Netherlands]: Brill. 2007. ISBN 9789004305762. OCLC 145927975. 
  6. ^ 'Rabīʿa and Muḍar', in: Encyclopaedia of Islam. Gibb, H. A. R. (Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen), 1895–1971., Bearman, P. J. (Peri J.) (New edition ed.). Leiden: Brill. 1960–2009. ISBN 9789004161214. OCLC 399624. 
  7. ^ a b c d “Nizār b. Maʿadd”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam. Gibb, H. A. R. (Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen), 1895–1971., Bearman, P. J. (Peri J.) (New edition ed.). Leiden: Brill. 1960–2009. ISBN 9789004161214. OCLC 399624. 
  8. ^ 1846–1894., Smith, W. Robertson (William Robertson), (1979). Kinship & marriage in early Arabia. Goldziher, Ignác, 1850–1921, Cook, Stanley Arthur, 1873–1949. (1st AMS ed ed.). New York: AMS Press. ISBN 0404159710. OCLC 4516171. 
  9. ^ Rentz, G., Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs (2012). “Ḏj̲azīrat al-ʿArab”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. ISBN 9789004161214. 
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