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{{about|the geographical and historical region|the mountain region|Hijaz Mountains|other uses|Hejaz (disambiguation)}}{{Use mdy dates|date=May 2012}}

The Hejaz ({{IPAc-en|h|iː|ˈ|dʒ|æ|z|,_|h|ɪ|ˈ|-}}, also {{IPAc-en|US|h|ɛ|ˈ|-}}; , {{IPA-acw|alħɪˈdʒaːz}}) is a region in the west of Saudi Arabia. The name of the region is derived from the Arabic root Ḥ-J-Z, meaning "to separate",JOURNAL, Rutter, Eldon, February 1931, The Hejaz, The Geographical Journal, 77, 2, 97–108, 1784385, 10.2307/1784385, and it is so called as it separates the land of the Najd in the east from the land of Tihamah in the west. It is also known as the "Western Province".Mackey, p. 101. “The Western Province, or the Hejaz[...] It is bordered on the west by the Red Sea, on the north by Jordan, on the east by the Najd, and on the south by the 'Asir Region.BOOK, Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary, 2001, 0-87779-546-0, 479,weblink 17 March 2013, Hopkins, Daniel J., Its largest city is Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia.Hejaz is significant for being the location of the Islamic holy cities of MeccaQURAN, 48, 22, 29, ns, and Medina,QURAN, 9, 25, 129, ns, QURAN, 33, 09, 73, ns, QURAN, 63, 1, 11, ns, the first and second holiest sites in Islam respectively. As the site of the two holiest sites in Islam, the Hejaz has significance in the Arab and Islamic historical and political landscape. The Hejaz is the most populated region in Saudi Arabia,WEB,weblink Mecca: Islam's cosmopolitan heart, The Hijaz is the largest, most populated, and most culturally and religiously diverse region of Saudi Arabia, in large part because it was the traditional host area of all the pilgrims to Mecca, many of whom settled and intermarried there., containing 35% of the population of Saudi Arabia.WEB,weblink Saudi Arabia Population Statistics 2011 (Arabic), 11, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 15, 2013, mdy-all, Arabic is the predominant language as in the rest of Saudi Arabia, with Hejazi Arabic being most widely spoken dialect in the region. Saudi Hejazis are of ethnically diverse origins.The region is the birthplace of the Islamic Ummah (Community) of Muhammad, who was born in Mecca, which is locally considered to have been founded by the Biblical figures Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael.BOOK, Lings, Martin, Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, Islamic Texts Society, 1983, 978-0-946621-33-0, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Glassé, Cyril, Kaaba, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, HarperSanFrancisco, 1991,weblink 0-0606-3126-0, The area became part of his empire through the early Muslim conquests, and it formed part of successive caliphates, first the Rashidun caliphate, and then the Umayyad caliphate and the Abbasid caliphate. The Ottoman Empire held partial control over the area of Hejaz. After its dissolution, an independent Kingdom of Hejaz existed briefly in 1925 before being conquered by the neighbouring Sultanate of Nejd, creating the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd.{{citation |last=Yamani |first=M. |author-link=Mai Yamani |year=2009 |title=Cradle of Islam: the Hijaz and the quest for an Arabian identity |publisher=I.B. Tauris |isbn=978-1-84511-824-2}} (Pbk. ed.) In September 1932, the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd joined the Saudi dominions of Al-Hasa and Qatif, creating the unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Al-Rasheed, M. A History of Saudi Arabia. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002. {{verify source |date=August 2019 |reason=This ref was deleted ((Special:Diff/901919097)) by a bug in VisualEditor and later restored by a bot from the original cite at (Special:Permalink/901471271) cite #2 - please verify the cite's accuracy and remove this {verify source} template. User:GreenC bot/Job 18}}A Brief overview of Hejaz - Hejaz history {{verify source |date=August 2019 |reason=This ref was deleted ((Special:Diff/901919097)) by a bug in VisualEditor and later restored by a bot from the original cite at (Special:Permalink/901471271) cite #3 - please verify the cite's accuracy and remove this {verify source} template. User:GreenC bot/Job 18}}The Hejaz is the most cosmopolitan region in the Arabian Peninsula.BOOK, Britain and Saudi Arabia, 1925–1939: The Imperial Oasis,weblink 12, 9780714632209, Leatherdale, Clive, 1983, People of Hejaz have the most strongly articulated identity of any regional grouping in Saudi Arabia. Their place of origin alienates them from the Saudi state, which invokes different narratives of the history of the Arabian Peninsula.


Prehistoric or ancient times

File:Al Ula (6708283401).jpg|thumb|The city of Al-`Ula in 2012. The city's archaeological district is in the foreground, with the Hijaz MountainsHijaz MountainsOne or possibly two megalithic dolmen have been found in the Hijaz.BOOK, Gajus Scheltema, Megalithic Jordan: an introduction and field guide,weblink 5 October 2012, 2008, ACOR, 978-9957-8543-3-1, The Hejaz includes both the Mahd adh-Dhahab ("Cradle of the Gold") ({{coord|23|30|13|N|40|51|35|E|}}) and a water source, now dried out, that used to flow {{convert|600|mi}} north east to the Persian Gulf via the Wadi Al-Rummah and Wadi Al-Batin system. Archaeological research led by of Boston University and the University of Qassim indicates that the river system was active in 8000  BCE{{citation needed|date=July 2015}} and 2500–3000 BCE.NEWS, Sullivan, Walter, Science Watch; Signs of Ancient River,weblink 2014-06-25, The New York Times, 1993-03-30, The northern part of the Hejaz was part of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea.WEB, Kesting, Piney, Saudi Aramco World (May/June 2001): Well of Good Fortune,weblink 2014-04-07,

Al-Hijr Archaeological Site

File:Madain Saleh (6725073553).jpg|thumb|Al-Ḥijr or Madā’in Ṣāliḥ ("Cities of SalehSalehSaudi Arabia's first World Heritage Site that was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is that of Al-Hijr. The name "Al-Ḥijr" ("The Land of Stones" or "The Rocky Place") occurs in the Quran,QURAN, 15, 80, 84, ns, and the site is known for having structures carved into rocks, similar to Petra.BOOK,weblink Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsula, Butler, J. W. S., Schulte-Peevers, A., Shearer, I., 2010-10-01, Lonely Planet, 316–333, 9781741791457, WEB, Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madâin Sâlih), UNESCO,weblink 2014-04-07, Construction of the structures is credited to the people of Thamud. The location is also called "Madā’in Ṣāliḥ" ("Cities of Saleh"),QURAN, 7, 73, 79, ns, QURAN, 11, 61, 69, ns, QURAN, 26, 141, 158, ns, QURAN, 54, 23, 31, ns, QURAN, 89, 6, 13, ns, QURAN, 91, 11, 15, ns, as it is speculated to be the city in which the Islamic Nabī (Prophet) Salih was sent to the people of Thamud. After the disappearance of Thamud from Mada'in Saleh, it came under the influence of other people, such as the Nabataeans, whose capital was Petra. Later, it would lie in a route used by Muslim Pilgrims going to Mecca.WEB, Hizon, Danny, Madain Saleh: Arabia's Hidden Treasure – Saudi Arabia,weblink 2009-09-17, WEB, ICOMOS Evaluation of Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madâin Sâlih) World Heritage Nomination, World Heritage Center,weblink 2009-09-16, WEB, Information at,weblink 2009-09-17,

Era of Abraham and Ishmael

According to Arab and Islamic sources, the civilization of Mecca started after Ibrāhīm (Abraham) brought his son Ismāʿīl (Ishmael) and wife Hājar (Hagar) here, for the latter two to stay. Some people from the Yemeni tribe of Jurhum settled with them, and Isma'il reportedly married two women, one after divorcing another, at least one of them from this tribe, and helped his father to construct or re-construct the Ka'bah ('Cube'),QURAN, 2, 127, y, ns, QURAN, 3, 96, y, ns, QURAN, 22, 25, 37, ns, which would have social, religious, political and historical implications for the site and region.For example, in Arab or Islamic belief, the tribe of Quraysh would descend from Isma'il ibn Ibrahim, be based in the vicinity of the Ka'bah,QURAN, 106, 1, 4, ns, and include Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf. From the Period of Jāhiliyyah ('Ignorance') to the days of Muhammad, the often-warring Arab tribes would cease their hostilities during the time of Pilgrimage, and go on pilgrimage to Mecca, as inspired by Ibrahim. It was during such an occasion that Muhammad met some Medinans who would allow him to migrate to Medina, to escape persecution by his opponents in Mecca.BOOK, Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad, Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 88–589, 1955,weblink 978-0-1963-6033-1, Translated by A. GuillaumeBOOK, 11, Islam: A Short History, Karen Armstrong, 0-8129-6618-X, 2002, BOOK, Firestone, Reuven, Journeys in Holy Lands: The Evolution of the Abraham-Ishmael Legends in Islamic Exegesis, 1990, State University of NY Press, Albany, NY,weblink 978-0-7914-0331-0, BOOK, al-Tabari, William M., Brinner, The History of al-Tabari Vol. 2: Prophets and Patriarchs,weblink 1987, State University of NY Press, Albany, NY, 978-0-87395-921-6, BOOK, Mubarakpuri, S. R., Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri, Ar-Raḥīq Al-Makhtūm ("The Sealed Nectar"), The Compensatory ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage),weblinkweblink 2011-08-20, 2002, 2014-10-06, Darussalam, 9960-899-55-1, 127–47, {{citation |title=The Life of Muhammad |url= |first=Husayn |last=Haykal |year=1976 |publisher=Islamic Book Trust |isbn=978-983-9154-17-7 |pages=217–18}}

Era of Muhammad

File:MasjidNabawi.jpg|thumb|Muhammad's Mosque in Medina, his place-of-residence after the Hijrah (Migration) from Mecca, 2010]]As the land of Mecca and Medina, the Hijaz was where Muhammad was born, and where he founded a Monotheistic Ummah of followers, bore patience with his foes or struggled against them, migrated from one place to another, preached or implemented his beliefs, lived and died. Given that he had both followers and enemies here, a number of battles or expeditions were carried out in this area, like those of Al-Aḥzāb ("The Confederates"), BadrQURAN, 3, 110, 128, ns, and Ḥunayn. They involved both Meccan companions, such as Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib, Ubaydah ibn al-Harith and Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, and Medinan companions.{{Hadith-usc|Bukhari|usc=yes|5|57|74}}Witness Pioneer "Pre-Badr Missions and Invasions" The Hijaz fell under Muhammad's influence as he emerged victorious over his opponents, and was thus a part of his empire.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Muhammad, Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim world, Holt (1977), p. 57Lapidus (2002), pp. 31–32

Subsequent history

Due to the presence of the two holy cities in the Hijaz, the region was ruled by numerous empires. The Hijaz was at the center of the Rashidun Caliphate, in particular whilst its capital was Medina from 632 to 656 ACE. The region was then under the control of regional powers such as Egypt and the Ottoman Empire, throughout much of its later history.

Brief independence

In 1916, Sharif Hussein ibn Ali proclaimed himself King of an independent Hejaz, as a result of the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence. The ensuing Arab Revolt overthrew the Ottoman Empire. In 1924, however, Ibn Ali was forced into exile by Ibn Saud of the Najd.{{citation needed|date=January 2019}}

In modern Saudi Arabia

At first, Ibn Saud ruled the two as separate units, though they became known as the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd. Later they were formally combined as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.{{citation needed|date=January 2019}}

Flags of entities that have dominated the Hejaz

File:Black flag.svg|Black Standard deployed as dynastic color by the Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258), (1261–1517).File:Flag of Ayyubid Dynasty.svg|Flag of the Ayyubid dynasty (1171–1254).File:Mameluke Flag.svg|Flag of the Mamluk Sultanate (1254–1517).File:Ottoman_Flag.svg|Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1517–1916).File:Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg|Flag of the Kingdom of Hejaz (1916–1925).File:Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg|Flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (1925–present).


File:Hejaz Rail track laying near Tabuk 1906.jpg|thumb|Workers laying tracks for the Hejaz Railway near Tabuk, 1906]]Al Bahah Region: Al Madinah Region:
  • Al-MadÄ«nah Al-Munawwarah (Medina)
  • Badrبـتـصـرف عـن مـجـلـة الأمـانـة الـعـدد عـشـرون شـوال 1419 تـصـدر عـن أمـانـة الـمـديـنـة الـمـنـورة
weblink" title="">إمـارة مـنـطـقـة الـمـديـنـة الـمـنـورة
  • Yanbu‘ al-Baḥr (Yanbu)
Makkah Province: Tabuk Region:
  • TabÅ«kWEB, Tabouk City Profile, Saudi Arabia,weblink The Saudi Network, 2017-05-04, English,


File:Taif Mountains (8355942584).jpg|thumb|Mountains near Ta'ifTa'ifThe region is located along the Red Sea Rift. It is also known for its darker, more volcanic sand. Depending on the previous definition, the Hejaz includes the high mountains of Sarawat, which topographically separate the Najd from Tehamah. Bdellium plants are also abundant in the Hijaz.

International tourism development

As a component of Saudi Vision 2030, a 28,000 square kilometer tourism destination is under developmentNEWS,weblink Construction underway on Saudi Red Sea project site, 27 February 2019, 2019-03-31, on the Red Sea coast between the towns of Umluj ({{coord|25.0500|N|37.2651|E}}) and Al-Wajh ({{coord|26.2366|N|36.4689|E}}), in the northern section of the Hejazi coast. The project will involve "the development of 22 of the 90+ islands"NEWS,weblink Red Sea project master plan wins approval, 17 September 2017, 2019-03-31, that lie along the coast to create a "fully integrated luxury mixed-use destination."NEWS,weblink Hospitality is 'anchor' of Red Sea project, 27 January 2019, 2019-03-31, and will be "governed by laws on par with international standards".NEWS,weblink Saudi Arabia to allow women in bikinis at new beach resort, 4 August 2017, 2017-08-14,

People of the Hejaz

People of Hejaz, who feel particularly connected to the holy places of Mecca and Medina, have probably the most strongly articulated identity of any regional grouping in Saudi Arabia.JOURNAL, Beranek, Ondrej, Divided We Survive: A Landscape of Fragmentation in Saudi Arabia, Middle East Brief, January 2009, 33, 1–7,weblink 29 June 2019, The people of Hejaz have never fully accommodated to Saudi rule and their Wahhabi religion. They continue to be Sunni of Maliki rite with a Shia minority in the cities of Medina, Mecca and Jeddah. Many consider themselves more cosmopolitan because Hejaz was for centuries a part of the great empires of Islam from the Umayyads to the Ottomans.JOURNAL, Riedel, Bruce, Brezhnev in the Hejaz, The National Interest, 2011, 115,weblink April 23, 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 15, 2013, mdy-all,


File:Mina 2.JPG|The camp of Mina on the outskirts of Mecca, where Muslim pilgrims gather for the Ḥajj (Greater Pilgrimage). Masjid Al-Khayf is visible to the right.File:Pilgrims must spend the time within a defined area on the plain of Arafat. - Flickr - Al Jazeera English.jpg|Pilgrims gathering at the plain of Mount ArafatFile:Masy'aril Haram Mosque in Muzdalifah, January 2015.jpg|Al-Mash‘ar Al-Ḥarām (The Sacred Grove) at Muzdalifah, where Hajis go to from ArafatAlbaha.JPG|Al-Bahah City, located {{convert|2,155|m|ft|abbr=on}} above sea levelNaseef House 2.jpg|The old city of Jeddah

Notable Hijazis

{{Expand list|date=July 2016}}
  • Salih of Thamud{{efn|Quran: 7:73–79; 11:61–69; 26:141–158; 54:23–31; 89:6–13; 91:11–15.}}


  • Musa al-Kadhim ibn Ja‘far al-Sadiq, descendant of MuhammadWEB,weblink The Infallibles Taken from Kitab al Irshad By Sheikh al Mufid, 2008-11-20,,


Pre-6th century ACE



Pre-6th century CE



6th–7th centuries CE


See also

{{Div col|colwidth=22em}} {{div col end}}





Further reading

  • {{citation |last=Mackey |first=Sandra |title=The Saudis: Inside the Desert Kingdom |publisher=W.W. Norton and Company |location=New York |year=2002 |isbn=0-393-32417-6 |ref=none}} PBK, first edition: 1987. Updated Edition. Norton Paperback.

External links

{{commons category|Hejaz}}
  • EB1911, Hejaz, x,
{{Saudi Arabia topics}}{{Middle Eastern megaliths}}{{Regions of the world}}{{Authority control}}

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