Jund Hims

Syria (Bilad al-Sham) and its provinces under the Abbasid Caliphate in the 9th century

Jund Ḥimṣ (Arabic: جند حمص, "military district of Homs") was one of the military districts of the caliphal province of Syria.


The capital of Jund Hims was Homs, from which the district received its name. Its principal urban centres in the 10th century were Latakia, Palmyra, Jableh, Kafartab, Tarsus, Salamiyah, Bulunyas and the Fortress of Khawabi. The southern boundary line of Jund Hims laid immediately to the south of Qara, while its northern limit lay beyond the village of al-Qurayshiyya, a village on the Mediterranean coast. Eastward were the towns of Palmyra and al-Qaryatayn.


After the Muslim conquest of Syria in the 7th century CE, Caliph Umar (r. 634–644) divided Syria into four districts, in which Jund Hims became the northernmost district. It initially encompassed the territory of Jund Hims proper, the territory of the future district of Jund Qinnasrin in far northern Syria, and the Jazira (i.e. Upper Mesopotamia). During and immediately following the Muslim conquest of the city of Homs (Emesa to the Byzantines), the city became home to a substantial concentration of South Arabian tribesmen from the Himyar, Hamdan, Kinda, Khawlan, Alhan and Hadhramawt groups. These South Arabian tribes, excluding the Kinda, formed the core of the Qahtan faction in Syria, and were the first tribes to adopt Qahtan as a collective name, according to the historian Werner Caskel. A number of the urban Ansar of Medina also settled in Homs. After the conquest, tribesmen from the formerly Byzantine-allied Quda'a group of Kalb, Salih, Tanukh, and Bahra', all long-established in Syria before the conquests, settled in Jund Hims. The original leading Muslim households of Homs were those of al-Simt ibn Aswad of Kinda, the Dhu'l-Kala of Himyar, and the family of Hawshab Dhu Zulaym of Alhan, all of whom participated in the conquest of Syria. The head of the Dhu'l-Kala, Samayfa, led the troops of Jund Hims on the side of Syria's governor Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan at the Battle of Siffin against Caliph Ali (r. 656–661). Samayfa and Hawshab died in that battle, and Samayfa was succeeded by his son Shurahbil as leader of the troops of Jund Hims, until Shurahbil's death at the Battle of Khazir in 686. Al-Simt's son Shurahbil may have been the sub-governor of Jund Hims during Mu'awiya's overall governorship (646–661) and/or caliphate (661–680).

The Quda'a, allied with the Kinda and Ghassan, were closely allied with the Umayyads and had significant presence in the junds of Hims, Dimashq (Damascus) and Urdunn (Jordan). They were involved in a rivalry with the Qahtan for tribal preeminence in Syria in these districts and in Jund Filastin (Palestine), where the dominant tribe was the Judham. The Judham was politically divided, with one section opting for alignment with the Qahtan and a junior faction opting for the Quda'a. Meanwhile, in the northern regions of Jund Hims, i.e. Qinnasrin and the Jazira, the north Arabian Qays were dominant, forming the third faction in Syrian tribo-politics. During the rule of the Umayyad caliphs Mu'awiya I (r. 661–680) or Yazid I (r. 680–683) the Qinnasrin–Jazira was administratively separated from Jund Hims, due to the dominance of the Qays in those regions.

After the death of Yazid and his son and successor, Mu'awiya II, in 683 and 684, the Quda'a, Kinda, Ghassan, as well as the South Arabian Akk and Ash'ar, rallied behind another Umayyad candidate for the caliphate, Marwan I, while the Qahtan of Hims and Qays supported the anti-Umayyad Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr of Mecca. At the Battle of Marj Rahit in 684, the Qahtan and Ansar of Hims joined the Qays tribal faction in opposition to the Umayyads and their tribal allies. The battle ended in a rout for the anti-Umayyad forces, but soon afterward the Qahtan, Quda'a, Kinda, Judham and others allied to form the Yaman (Yemeni) faction, in opposition to the Qays, who maintained their rebellion from the Jazira.

In the later Umayyad period, during and after the Third Fitna, the troops of Hims were ill-disposed to the dynasty. Upon hearing of the death of al-Walid II (r. 743–744), they refused to recognize his successor Yazid III (r. 744–744) and elected Mu'awiya ibn Yazid, a grandson of Husayn ibn Numayr of the Sakun clan of Kinda as their leader. Although Yazid put down the revolt, he offered the tribal nobility of Hims significant sums and appointed Mu'awiya ibn Yazid governor. After Yazid's death, the troops of Hims refused to accept the legitimacy of Caliph Ibrahim (r. 744–744) and rebelled against Caliph Marwan II (r. 744–750), though the household of Husayn ibn Numayr backed him.


Rashidun period (638–661)

Umayyad period (661–750)

Abbasid period

Abbasid rule in Syria started from 750 and it started declining after the 861. Abbasid rule in Syria completed ended in the Mid 10th-century.

See also

This page was last updated at 2023-12-31 22:32 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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