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IbâḍismOrigins and Early Development in Oman$
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John C. Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588268

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588268.001.0001

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The Pre‐Islamic Heritage: Mazûn and the Arabization of Arabia

The Pre‐Islamic Heritage: Mazûn and the Arabization of Arabia

(p.35) 2 The Pre‐Islamic Heritage: Mazûn and the Arabization of Arabia

John C. Wilkinson

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues with the pre-Islamic period and explains the tribal background with which the Imamate had to come to terms on Oman, its role in the Yaman–Nizâr civil war, and the alienation of northern Oman from the core of the Ibâḍi state. Basic relationships were rooted in the territorial distribution of Arab migration waves in eastern Arabia and the domination of the Azd and Kinda clans, under whose leadership the first Imamates were set up in southern Arabia. Oman formed part of the Persian Empire and as its importance grew in Indian Ocean trade, it was directly occupied and developed under the name of Mazûn in late Sasanid times. The subject and marginalized status of the Arab tribesmen was a matter for scorn for the over-weaning Hijazis, but gave the Arabs a certain empathy with the peasants and under-privileged. Ibâḍi, like all Khariji ideology, was rooted in the notion of equality before God and this led eventually leading to a remarkable assimilation of the tribes and villagers after the Imamate was established in Oman.

Keywords:   Ibâḍi, Oman, Imamate, Arab migration, Azd, Kinda, Mazûn, pre-Islamic period, Persian Empire

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