According to Arab genealogical tradition, the Adnanites (Arabic: عدنانيون‎) are "Arabized Arabs", descended from Ishmael through Adnan, distinguished from the "pure" Qahtanite Arabs of southern Arabia.[2]

Banu Adnan
(Arabic: بنو عدنان‎)
Ishmaelite, Qedarite
A family tree depicting branches of the Adnanites.
NisbaAdnani, Adnaniyyah
LocationWestern Arabia, Tihamah region[1]
Descended fromAdnan
ReligionIndigenous polytheistic beliefs, Christianity (Nestorian Christianity), Judaism, Zoroastrianism, later on Islam

Arab genealogical traditionEdit

A family tree depicting the descendants of the Banu Adnan.

Arab genealogical tradition holds that the Adnanites are "Arabized Arabs", descended from Adnan.[3] The Adnanites became Arabized when they migrated to the Arabian Peninsula,[4][5] whereas the Qahtanites of Southern Arabia (Yemen) are the pure Arabs.[6][7]

Modern historiographyEdit

According to some modern historians, the traditional distinction between Adnanites and Qahtanites lacks evidence and may have developed out of the later faction-fighting during the Umayyad period.[2]

Further readingEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ al-Bakri, Abdullah. Mu'jam mā ista'jam. 1. p. 87.
  2. ^ a b Parolin, Gianluca P. (2009). Citizenship in the Arab World: Kin, Religion and Nation-State. p. 30. ISBN 978-9089640451.
  3. ^ Parolin, Gianluca P. (2009). Citizenship in the Arab World: Kin, Religion and Nation-State. p. 30. ISBN 978-9089640451. The ‘arabicised or arabicising Arabs’, on the contrary, are believed to be the descendants of Ishmael through Adnan, but in this case the genealogy does not match the Biblical line exactly. The label ‘arabicised’ is due to the belief that Ishmael spoke Hebrew until he got to Mecca, where he married a Yemeni woman and learnt Arabic. Both genealogical lines go back to Sem, son of Noah, but only Adnanites can claim Abraham as their ascendant, and the lineage of Mohammed, the Seal of Prophets (khatim al-anbiya'), can therefore be traced back to Abraham. Contemporary historiography unveiled the lack of inner coherence of this genealogical system and demonstrated that it finds insufficient matching evidence; the distinction between Qahtanites and Adnanites is even believed to be a product of the Umayyad Age, when the war of factions (al-niza al-hizbi) was raging in the young Islamic Empire.
  4. ^ Reuven Firestone (1990). Journeys in Holy Lands: The Evolution of the Abraham-Ishmael Legends in Islamic Exegesis. p. 72.
  5. ^ Göran Larsson (2003). Ibn García's Shuʻūbiyya Letter: Ethnic and Theological Tensions in Medieval al-Andalus. p. 170.
  6. ^ Charles Sanford Terry (1911). A Short History of Europe, from the fall of the Roman empire to the fall of the Eastern empire. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1112467356. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  7. ^ Luwīs ʻAwaḍ (1987). The Literature of ideas in Egypt, Part 1. Indiana University. p. 146. ISBN 978-1555400651. Retrieved 4 February 2013.