Rabi`ah ( _ar. ربيعة) purported patriarch of one of the two main branches of the so-called "North Arabian" (Adnanite) tribes, the other branch being known as Mudhar.

According to the classical Arab genealogists, the following were the most important branches of Rabi`ah:
* Abdul Qays
* `Anizzah
* Bakr ibn Wa'il, which also included the following sub-tribes
** Banu Hanifa
** Banu Shayban
** Banu Qays ibn Tha'labah
** Banu Yashkur
* Taghlib ibn Wa'il
* Anz ibn Wa'il
* al-Nammir ibn Qasit

Like the rest of the Adnanite Arabs, legend has it that Rabi`ah's original homelands were in the Hejaz region of western Arabia, from which Rabi`ah migrated northwards and eastwards. Abdul Qays were inhabitants of the region of al-Bahrayn in eastern Arabia, including the modern-day islands of Bahrain, and were mostly sedentary.

Bakr's lands stretched from al-Yamama (the region around modern-day Riyadh) to northwestern Mesopotamia. The main body of the tribe was bedouin, but a powerful and autonomous sedentary sub-tribe of Bakr also resided in al-Yamama, the Bani Hanifa.

Taghlib resided on the eastern banks of the Euphrates, and al-Nammir are said to have been their clients. Anz inhabited southern Arabia, and are said to have been decimated by the plague in the 13th century, though a tribe named "Rabi`ah" in modern-day 'Asir is said to be its descendant.

Anizzah was divided into a sedentary section in southern Yamama and a bedouin section further north, which later absorbed Bakr and Taghlib after Islam. Of all the tribes of Rabi`ah, only `Anizzah has continued into the modern era as a large autonomous tribe.

Abdul Qays, Taghlib, al-Nammir, and some sections of Bakr were mostly Christian before Islam, with Taghlib remaining a Christian tribe for some time afterwards as well. Annizah and Bakr are said to have worshiped an idol by the name of al-Sa'eer.

Rabi`ah in Egypt

During the Abbasid era, many members of Bani Hanifa and related tribesmen from Bakr ibn Wa'il migrated from al-Yamama to southern Egypt, where they dominated the gold-mines of Wadi Allaqi near Aswan. While in Egypt, the tribesmen went by the collective name of "Rabi'ah" and inter-married with indegenous tribes in the area such as the Beja peoples. Among their descendants are the tribe of Banu Kanz (also known as the Kunooz), who take their name from Kanz al-Dawlah of Bani Hanifa, the leader of Rabi'ah in Egypt during the Fatimid era.

ee also

* Bakr
* Taghlib
* `Anizzah
* Banu Hanifa
* Mudhar

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