Histories & Culture
al- Dhibyan

al-Dhibyan are an Adnani Arabian qabilah, descended from Dhibyan bin al-Rayth bin Ghatfan. Their original camps were in Wadi al-Qora and the twin mountains of ‘Aja and Salma in the Arabian Peninsula, though they dispersed during the Islamic conquests as tribes of the Tayy took possession of their home territories.

The early history of the Dhibyan is tied to the war of Dahiss and al-Ghabra' (داحس والغبراء), which lasted over 40 years and resulted in hundreds of dead. One of the causes of the war was a race between Dahiss and Ghabra', two horses belonging to Qais bin Zuhayr al-'Absi, and two horses belonging to Hadhifa bin Badr. The largest battle occurred in Najd, in which around 400 horsemen from the Asad, Ghatfan and Fizarah tribes perished, and the 'Abs won the battle.

Perhaps the most prominent figure to come from the Dhibyan tribe was the poet al-Nabighah al-Dhibyani, who rose to fame in the royal courts of the Manadhirah in Hira, Iraq, and the Ghassanids in the Levant.

Translated from the Arabic by Andrew Leber, Brown University, Class of 2012.