3. al-Bayan

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AL-MAQRĪZĪ

[pp. 705-706]

3.) From "Al-Bayān" (A Description of the Arab tribes in Egypt)


In Upper Egypt there were the Awlād Kanz. They are descended from Rabī'a b. Mizar b. Ma'ad b. 'Adnān. They formerly dwelt in al-Yamāma and later came to Egypt during the caliphate of al-Mutawakkil, about the year 241 H. [855 A.D.].[1] They were very numerous and spread over several districts. A section of their tribe settled in the remotest part of Upper Egypt, living in tents of hair amidst the deserts and the wadis of the South.

At that time, the Beja used to raid the villages of the eastern bank bringing about destruction. The Rabī'a rose to stop the Beja from raiding the country and succeeded. Later on, they intermarried with the Beja and settled near the gold mine of al-’Allāqī. They became rich and powerful and had possessions in the Beja land. They built a village of their own called an-Namāmis and dug wells in it. For some time, Isḥāq b. Bishr was their chief. Afterward, some of his subjects rebelled against him.

’Aydhāb belonged to the Banī Yūnus b. Rabī'a, who occupied it since their arrival from al-Yamāma. Fights broke out between the Banī Bishr and the Banī Yūnus, until the latter, were defeated and retired to the Hejaz. Later on, discords developed among the Bani Bishr and Isḥāq was killed. They brought from Bilbeis shaykh Abū 'Abdalla Muḥammad... known as Abū Yazīd b. Isḥāq b. Ibrāhīm b. Masrūq, who was a cousin to the late Isḥāq b. Bishr. ...

[p. 706] The genealogy of Kanz ad-Dawla, the ruler (ḥāmī) of Aswān, goes back to this Masrūq. He [Kanz] settled at Aswān and founded his domain known as "sāqiya Sha'bān". Kanz ad-Dawla never ceased being the chieftain of the Rabi’a until he died. After him, his son Abū-l-Makārim Hibatalla became their chieftain... He was known as "al-Aḥwaj" [the Courageous]. It was he who vanquished Abū Rakwa, the rebel against al-Hakim and arrested him. The Caliph al-Ḥakim bestowed great honours on him and gave him the title of "Kanz ad-Dawla". He was the first who bore this title. His successors kept the emirate within their family and all of them are called "Kanz ad-Dawla" until the last Kanz ad-Dawla who was killed by al-'Ādil Abū Bakr b. Ayyūb, on 7th Safar 570 H. [2 August 1174 A.D.]. This Kanz, having rebelled against the Sultan Saladin Yūsuf b. Ayyūb, marched against him, murdered the brother of Abū-l-Hayjā as-samīn and recognized Dāwūd b. al-'Āḍid [as Caliph]. Eventually, he was killed in the town of Ṭūd after many battles. (Mus'ad, pp. 321 — 323).

  1. It was the Abbasid policy to send trusted Arab tribes [from Iraq] to Upper Egypt in order to control the region of the gold and emerald mines. (Abd al-majīd, 'Abdīn, Dirasāt, p. 106).