The Dynasty of ḏū Ṯu‘lubān as the Rulers of Najran in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries AD in the Light of Musnad inscriptions and historical narrative.

Abstract

Writing the history of Najran before Islam, specifically in the sixth century AD, depends on two main sources: the first one is Musnad inscriptions found in many places in Najran region and in some of the ancient Yemeni cities. The second source is based on Arab and Christian historical narrative. There is no doubt that the correlation of both sources in investigating a historical data of that period contributes to arriving at a number of historical findings and the social and political roles of this period personalities. One should take into accounts the necessity of differentiating between the historical narrative and the Musnad inscriptions. In this article, the researcher will try to interconnect the Musnad inscriptions sources and historical narrative in identifying the march of a Himyarite dynasty that appeared in Najran during the late Sabaean period. This dynasty is considered by al-Hamdani as the Maṯaminat Himyar (one eighth of Himyarite influential families) known as (ḏū-Ṯu‘lubān). With the support of Abyssinia, the influence of its princes reached its climax during the reign of the Himyarite, Yazanite king, (Sumhuyafa‘ ’Ašwā‘). They participated in decision-making in Himyarite court, together with a number of Jadanite and Yazanite dynasties and other important ruling families influenced by Christianity. Therefore, it is important to study the history of this Himyarite dynasty in the light of the data available in Musnad inscriptions, including a new Musnad inscription recently found in Najran, as well as from the content of historical narratives.