From Whence These Desert Kings?

“…the rule of the Arabs came to an end; the Turks, upon whom the Messenger of God vowed to make war, assumed power.  …they (viz. the Turks) secured an ascendency in all the lands. God gave the Turks dominion…  They treated the religion of God as a plaything and established a reign of terror throughout all the provinces of the caliphate.”  (al-Maqrīzī)

“increasing intermarriage (between Arabs and non-Arabs) served to submerge the original distinctions, and increasing numbers of the conquered, having adopted the religion and language of the conquerors, took to assuming the identity as if Arabs themselves” (Segal 2001:22)

Arabized Kings of Arabia
Arabized Kings of Arabia

Al-Mubarrad (d. 898), the leading figure in the Basran grammatical tradition, claimed: “The Arabs used to take pride in their brown and black complexion (al-sumra wa al-sawād) and they had a distaste for a white and fair complexion (al-umra wa al-shaqra), and they used to say that such was the complexion of the non-Arabs.”

“…the complexion of most Arabs is brown and jet-black and the complexion of most non-Arabs is white and red.”  (Lisan El-Arab (an old Arabic dictionary))

See Black Sheep, White Sheep: How Slavery Changed the Arab Appearance

 

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