The Uyunid dynasty (Arabic: العيونيون, romanized: al-ʿUyūnīyūn) were an Arab dynasty that ruled Eastern Arabia for 163 years, from the 11th to the 13th centuries. Their sect is disputed; some sources mention they were Shia, others Sunni. They were the remnants of Banu Abdul Qays tribe and seized the country from the Qarmatians with the military assistance of Great Seljuq Empire in the year 1077-1078 AD. It then fell to the Usfurids of Banu Uqayl in 651 AH (1253 AD). The famous poet Ali bin al Mugrab Al Uyuni is a descendant of the Uyunids.
|Parent house||Abdul Qays|
|Founder||Abdullah bin Ali Al Uyuni|
|Final ruler||Fadl III ibn Muhammad|
|Cadet branches||Al Ghardaqa|
Then Al-Fadhl, son of Abdullah, transferred his capital to Qatif, then to Awal (today’s state of Bahrain). In his reign, the state extended to Kuwait. Then in 513 H. the Capital went back to Qatif. In 531 AH Mohammed son of Al Fadhl I was assassinated, and his state was divided into two, one in al-Hasa and the other in Qatif.
Under Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abu'l-Hussin b. Abu Sinan, the Uyunids' territory stretched from Najd to the Syrian desert. Due to the influence of the Uyunid kingdom, Caliph al-Nasir li-Din Allah gave Muhammad b. Ahmad authority to protect the pilgrimage route to Mecca. Muhammad was later murdered by a family member, instigated by his cousin, Gharir b. Shukr b. Ali.[failed verification] In the years 587 – 605 AH, Mohammed bin Abi al-Hussain united Qatif and Al-Hasa. He restores the glory of the Uyunids, and extends the state to Najd central Arabia. The state was divided again after his assassination in 605 H.
The Uyunids were Muslim, however their sect is disputed; some sources mention they were Shia, others Sunni. According to Nakash, the populations of Bahrain, Hasa, and Qatif, may have accepted Twelver Shi'ism during this period. A study by Nayef al-Shera'an stated they were Shia based on their coins, which he said were exhibited at the British Museum. The study also mentions that no reliable sources support they were Sunni. On the other hand, Iraqi Sunni historian Safa Khulusi said they were Sunni, shortly before stating he had a "strong feeling" that poet Ali bin al Mugrab Al Uyuni was a Zaydi Shia.
- Khulusi, Safa (1975). Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies. London: Archaeopress. p. 92. JSTOR 41223173. (registration required)
- C.E. Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties, (Columbia University Press, 1996), 94-95.
- Commins, David (2012). The Gulf States: A Modern History. I.B. Tauris. p. 28. ISBN 978-1848852785.
- Hussain Mohammed Hussain (5 February 2009). مسجد الخميس "الثالث": وصفه والهدف من بنائه. Al-Wasat (Bahraini newspaper) (in Arabic). Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- Yitzhak Nakash, Reaching for Power:The Shi'a in the Modern Arab World, (Princeton University Press, 2006), 22.
- Nayef al-Shera'an (15 March 2011). نقود الدولة العيونية في بلاد البحرين (in Arabic). Retrieved 21 January 2013.