Monday, 13 February 2017

My tribe: Al Najjar

Disclaimer: I'm an Arab woman living in the 21st century and interested in East Asia. I'm not taking pride in my ancestry whatsoever, and I'm not racist. Me just wanna have fun. 

Those who have read my novel 'The Sultan's Rose' know that I don't see why some Arab tribes (here in Dhofar) think excessively high of themselves. I'm not saying that some others have the right to take pride in their ancestry and become racist. I'm just saying that the too proud ones don't really have a reason to flaunt around. I'm not going into details but 'ignorance' is obviously one of them. If you have the potential to help build a civilization, then feel free to be proud. Your last name doesn't make you any special -.-

Joseph Al Najjar, or Saint Joseph the Carpenter, Jesus'
stepfather. Al Najjar in Arabic means 'carpenter.'
Painting by George de La Tour, Ripped off
from Wikipedia
To foreign readers: Arabs still refer to themselves with the term 'tribe' but that doesn't mean all tribe members live together in special territories allocated for them and things like that. To name one thing that is related to tribes and still happens, is that each tribe here still has a sheikh (leader). If you need to do some official procedures, you might need the approval of your Sheikh. Your Sheikh has a legal authority over you even if you are all living in modern cities. Most if not all people here think of themselves as a whole group of people separated from the others/other tribes, albeit living far away from each other.

My surname, that is Al Najjar, is the name of my tribe. My tribe is one of the most ancient, biggest Arab tribes, which is why you can find my last name in most Arab countries. The thing that my tribe is known of and respected for the most is that the Muslim prophet (prother Mohammed) was blood-related to my tribe on his mother's side. If you go through his biography, we will find many stories with Banu Najjar (children of AL Najjar). The Muslim song (Tala'al badru alaina: The full moon rose over us) was actually made and sung by Al Najjar women.

Do you know why I decided to talk about this all of a sudden? It is because I came across the English Wiki page of my tribe (Banu Al Najjar - check it out here) and found it interesting to be referred to as a 'Jewish tribe' XD. I knew that my tribe first settled in Al Madina (one of Muslims' holy cities in Saudi Arabia), and I knew that Al Madina was a Jewish settlement before Muslims' invasion. I knew all that but for some reason I couldn't expect that Banu Najjar were actually Jews.

"The Banu Najjar[1] (Arabic: بنو نجّار) were a Jewish tribe who lived in Medina in the time of Muhammad. They are one of the tribes named in his Charter of Medina. The Banu Najjar were also the maternal tribe of Muhammad's grandfather Abdul-Muttalib. Muhammad initially settled with them when he emigrated from Mecca to Medina. The Prophet's Mosque was later built in the same location. During this period, most of the tribe converted to Islam."

If that is true then there is a possibility that my tribe originally lived in Jerusalem before fledding the wars bewteen the Jews and Romans.

Enough for now. I'm not really interested in such things -.-

Have a wonderful day.

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