Histories & Culture

The Zubayd are a part of the Qahtani clans. Though a large segment of the Zubayd has remained in the Arabian peninsula, much of the tribe migrated from Yemen to Iraq during the Islamic conquest of the region, and from there to the Levant, Egypt, northern Africa and Andalusia.


Historians say that the Zubayd came to Iraq and the Levant with the Muzjij and Bajilah clans, under the direction of their commander Abdullah ibn Jarir al-Bajali. One of the group’s leaders, Amr ibn M’ada Karb, was martyred in the Battle of Nahavand, and his grave is still visited by many Muslims today.


In Lisan al-Arab, the encylopedic work by al-Mandhur, Zubayd are listed as a Yemeni tribe. The ancestor of the tribe, Saad al-Ashira (e.g. Saad of “the Clan”) took his name from fathering some 100 male children and grandchildren; if asked about them while travelling, he would reply, “This is my clan (ashira)”. Later on, the Zubayd split into the Greater Zubayd, children of Saad, and the Lesser Zubayd, offspring of Minya al-Asghar ibn Rabi’ah. Amr ibn M’ada Karb, mentioned above, came from the Lesser Zubayd.


The clan formed an emirate in the Suweirah regions of Iraq (currently, the governorate of Wasit, city of Kut) towards the end of the 7th century AD. Among the Emirs of the clan was Sheikh Wadi, known for his kindness and generosity, numbered among the finest commanders of all the Arabs. The leaders among his descendants expanded outwards in the 9th Century AD, and other clans began to join the Zubayd and become a part of the tribe. As a result, their influence soon extended from Baghdad up to the borders of Khaza’il.


Today, the Zubayd are largely divided into three independent clans, generally unrelated to one another aside from specific considerations. These three main clans are the al-bu Sultan, the Said and the Juhaysh. A few other small clans are also counted among the Zubayd:


- al-Baykat – originally members of the Tayy tribe.
- al-Shamamitah – descended from the clans of the Jabur al-Wawi.
- al-bu Naim
- al-bu Khadr
- al-bu 'Amer – from the Tayy al-bu 'Amir clans and from the Muwahibah.
- al-Katimaat – originally from the Tayy clan.
- al- Dulaym
- al-bu Salih – originally from the Tamim clan.
- al-Bani Rihab – from the Adnani clans of the Bani Rihab.

Source: زبيد
Translated by Andrew Leber, Brown University, Class of 2012.