Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- The name of this Arab dynasty should not be confused with "Hashem" one of the names for God in Judaism
Hashemite traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe. It also refers to an Arab dynasty whose original strength stemmed from the network of tribal alliances and blood loyalties in the Hejaz region of Arabia, along the Red Sea.
The Hashemites trace their ancestry from Hashim (died c.510 CE), the great-grandfather of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. The early history of the Hashemites saw them in a continuous struggle against the Umayyads for control over who would be the caliph or successor to Muhammad. The Umayyads were of the same tribe as the Hashemites, but a different clan. This rivalry eventually would lead to the split between the Sunni and Shia. After the overthrow of the Umayyads, the Abbasids would present themselves as representatives of the Hashemites, as they claimed descent from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, an uncle of Muhammad.
From the 10th century onwards, the Sharif (religious leader) of Mecca and its Emir was by traditional agreement a Hashemite. Before World War I Husain ibn Ali of the Hashemite Dhawu-'Awn clan ruled the Hejaz on behalf of the Ottoman sultan. For some time it had been the practice of the Sublime Porte to appoint the Emir of Mecca from among a select group of candidates. In 1908, Husain ibn Ali was appointed Emir of Mecca. He found himself increasingly at odds with the Young Turks in control at Istanbul, while he strove to secure his family's position as hereditary Emirs. Between 1917 and 1925, after the collapse of Ottoman power, he ruled an independent Hejaz, of which he proclaimed himself king, with the tacit support of the British Foreign Office. His chief rival in the Arabian peninsula was a tribal warlord named Ibn Saud, who annexed the Hejaz and set his own son Faisal as governor.
Hussein's two politically active sons were Abdullah and Faisal, later to become the kings, respectively, of Transjordan and Iraq. The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq lasted from 1921 to 1958, and a line of Hashemite kings have been ruling Transjordan, now Jordan, since 1921.
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