Rasulid

The Rasulid was a Muslim dynasty that ruled Yemen and Hadhramaut from 1229 to 1454. The Rasulids assumed power after the Egyptian Ayyubid left the southern provinces of the Arabian Peninsula.

The Rasulid descended from Rasul (his real name is Muhammad ibn Harun) whos lineage could be traced back to Jabalah ibn al-Aiham the last Ghassanid king, and they were mistakenly identified as Turkmen because their Turkic language Rasul gained living in the land of the Turks. Rasul came to Yemen around 1180 while serving as a messenger for an Abbasid caliph. His son Ali was governor of Mecca for a time, and his grandson Umar bin Ali was the first sultan of the Rasulid dynasty.

"Rasūl" is Arabic for "messenger" (although in this context it does not carry the Islamic prophet significance); during their reign, however, the Rasulids claimed to be descendants of the legendary patriarch Qahtan.

Bibliography

*Dresch, P., Tribes, Government, and History in Yemen. Oxford, 1989.


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