Under the leadership of Bahrain’s Ayouni dynasty, eastern Arabia – including Bahrain, Qatif and Al-Hasa – had been united into a ‘greater Bahrain’ region, loyal to the Caliphate and allies of the Sunni Seljuk rulers in Iraq.

However, gradually the different segments of this greater Bahrain empire became divided under separate branches of the Ayouni family, which hailed from the Abd-Al-Qays tribe.

Mohammed Bin-Ahmed Al Ayouni

The great Ayouni ruler Mohammed Bin-Ahmed Al Ayouni, who ruled from 1187 to 1206 AH, succeeded in reuniting this greater Bahrain and restoring its wealth and prestige.

The Bedouin tribes of central Arabia feared the new Amir and for the first time in many decades the Ayounis brought peace and stability to much of eastern and central Arabia, stretching from the Syrian desert, to Basra and Oman.

The Abbasid Caliph Al-Nasr-li-Dinallah was greatly impressed by Amir Mohammed Bin-Ahmed’s success and designated to him the responsibility for protecting the pilgrimage routes to Mecca. As a result, these pilgrimage routes experienced greater security than they had for many years.

Attacks against pilgrims to Mecca

However, in 1192 the tribe of Dahmash Bin-Sanad attacked the Haj routes and stole from the pilgrims.

When the Caliph heard this, he contacted Mohammed Bin-Ahmed, requesting assistance in restoring the peace.

In response, Amir Mohammed led a substantial force from Bahrain. They first marched north, where they linked up with a force of Iraqis from the Banu Munafiq tribe, provided by the Caliph. Many tribes joined the battle on both sides, but eventually Dahmash was defeated.

All the tribes that had supported Dahmash acknowledged the superiority of the ruler of Bahrain. But Dahmash himself refused to admit defeat and sought refuge near the Tomb of Ali in Mashhad in Persia.

Amir Mohammed laid siege to Mashhad and then requested further instructions from the Caliph. The Caliph summoned Dahmash who went and sought forgiveness and received a pardon from the Caliph. Peace once again returned to Arabia and the pilgrimage routes.

Mohammed Bin-Ahmed ruled Bahrain and eastern Arabia for nearly 20 years, until Ghureir Bin-al-Hassan, from another branch of the Ayouni family; and Rashid Bin-Umayra from the Banu-al-Amir tribe, plotted against him and murdered Amir Mohammed Bin-Ahmed, while he was travelling by road with just a few companions. They seized Qatif and Bahrain.

The sons of the murdered Amir sought the Caliph’s assistance in avenging their father’s death and recapturing Bahrain. The fighting that followed once again divided the Ayouni empire and impoverished Bahrain; marking the beginning of the slow decline of the Ayouni dynasty.

Few historical records document the Ayouni period of Bahraini history. Much of we know comes from the epic political tales woven within the poetry of the great Bahraini poet, Ibn-al-Muqarrib.


Bahrain history

Dr. Ali Abahussein: Historical documents about diving for pearls in Bahrain; Al-Watheeka No. 23

Yusuf al-Bahrani,1696-1772: Autobiography,

Dr. Ibrahim Atallah al-Balooshi, 2002: Bahrain in the second Abbasid age:Al-Majamma’ al-thaqafi

Juan Cole, 1987; Rival Empires of Trade and Imami Shiism in Eastern Arabia, 1300-1800; International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2

Juan Cole, 1994: The World as Text: Cosmologies of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa’I; Studia Islamica

Dr Ali al-Doi: Bahrain according to Arab geographers & historians, Al-Watheeka No. 6

Nelida Fuccaro, 2009: Histories of City and State in the Persian Gulf: Manama since 1800; Cambridge University Press

Adolf Grohmann, 1975: Arabische Paläographi; Review by: Wilferd Madelung: Khamis Mosque inscriptions; Journal of Near Eastern Studies

Bashar al-Hadi, 2013: Al-judhur al-ta’rikhiyah li-sukan al-bahrain

Dr Tammam Hammam: Historical background of Bahrain before the emergence of Mohammed Ali in the Gulf; Al-Watheeka No. 12

Timothy Insoll, 2003: Three gold dinars from Bahrain; Numismatic Chronicle

Shaikh Abdullah Bin-Khalid Al Khalifa & Michael Rice; 1993; Bahrain through the ages: the history; Kegan Paul International

Shaikh Abdullah Bin-Khalid Al Khalifa: Bahrain according to local sources, Al-Watheeka No. 26

Shaikh Abdullah Bin-Khalid Al Khalifa: Bahrain in the seventh century of hijrah; Al-Watheeka No. 2

Mahmoud Shay Khitab: Al-Ala’ Bin-al-Hadrami; Al-Watheeka

Dr Paul Kunitzsch: Bahrain: A description by Ibn Majid; Al-Watheeka No. 5

Curtis E Larsen, 1983: Life and Land Use on the Bahrain Islands: The Geoarchaeology of an Ancient Society; University of Chicago Press

B. K. Narayan: Indo-Bahrain relations from the ancient times to the Portuguese occupation; Al-Watheeka No. 17

Farouk Omar, 1987: Urban Centres in the Gulf during the Early Islamic Period: A Historical Study; British Society for Middle Eastern Studies

Ali al·Oraibi, 1992: Shi’i Renaissance: A Case Study of the Theosophical School of Bahrain in the 7th-13th Century; McGill University

Patricia Rossi; A re-evaluation of Omani-Bahraini relations 1799-1803; Al-Watheeka

Michael Rice, 2002: Archaeology of the Arabian Gulf; Routledge

John R. Yarwood, 1999: Traditional Building Construction in an Historic ArabianTown (Al-Muharraq); Construction History

Al-Wasat: Evidence on Sufism in Bahrain: http://www.alwasatnews.com/2379/news/read/41571/1.html

Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah’s letter to the people of Bahrain



Bahrain history blog





The Qarmatians 

Dr Ali Abahussain: Carmathians of Bahrain; Al-Watheeka No 1

François de Blois, 1986: THE ‘ABU SAʿIDIS OR SO-CALLED “QARMATIANS” OF BAHRAYN; Seminar for Arabian Studies

Farhad Daftary, 1991: The Earliest Ismāʿīlīs; Arabica

Mai Mohammed al-Khalifa, 2010: From Kufa to Bahrain: The Qarmatians: From idea to statehood; National Bookshop

Bernard Lewis, 1945: The Origins of Isma’īlism: A Study of the Historical Background of the Fāimid Caliphate; Review by: D. M. Dunlop; Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

Abdulrahman al-Salimi, 2009: The Wajīhids of Oman & relations with the Qarmatians; Seminar for Arabian Studies

Omert J. Schrier, 2006: The Prehistory of the Fatimid Dynasty: Some Chronological and Genealogical Remarks; Die Welt des Orients

Tamara Sonn, 1985: Bandali al-Jawzi’s Min Tarikh al-Harakat al-Fikriyyat fi’l-Islam: The First Marxist Interpretation of Islam & commentary on Qarmatians; International Journal of Middle East Studies

Ayouni, Asfouri & Jabri periods

Dr Mahmoud Atiyyah: Ibn al-Muqarrib al-Ayouni; Al-Watheeka No. 63

Abdallatif Nasir al-Hamdan, 1979: The Asfouri Emirate: & its political role in Eastern Arabia; Basra University

Dr Salah Kazara, 2002: Ibn al-Muqarrib: His life & Poetry

Monik Kervran, 1988: Bahrain in the 16th century: An impregnable island; Bahrain Ministry of Information

Shaikh Abdullah Bin-Khalid Al Khalifa: State of the Ayounis, Asfouris & Jabris ; Al-Watheeka No. 1-3

Khaled Bin-Azam Bin-Hamad al-Khalidi, Iman Bint Khalid al-Khalidi, 2011: Al-Sulta al-jabriya; Al-Dar al-Arabiya lil-Mawsu’at

Dr. Ahmad Musa al-Khatib: The poet Ibn al-Muqarrib al-Ayouni; Al-Watheeka

Safa Khulusi, 1976: A THIRTEENTH CENTURY POET FROM BAHRAIN; Seminar for Arabian Studies

Dr. Mohammed Hamid Salman, 2011: The Kingdom of Juboor & the relations of the Portuguese with the Arabian tribes; Bahrain Ministry of Information

Dr. Mohammed Hamid Salman, 2006: Stories from the time of Portugal; Bahrain Ministry of Information

Struggle for control of the state during the Ayouni period


Bahrain History: Ayouni period





Jabri period: http://www.saadsowayan.com/Publications/Ar_Book3/C07.html

Struggle for control of the state during the Jabri period

Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani: Al-Darar al-Kamina fi Ayam al-Mi’a al-Thamina

Ajwad Bin-Zamil: http://www.hdrmut.net/vb/showthread.php?t=237022#.U5PtV3KSyVM

Relationship between Jabris & Banu Ya’s: http://www.bany-yas.com/vb//archive/index.php/t-9984.html

Bahrain in the sixteenth-eighteenth centuries

Dr Ali Abahussain: Pages from the history of Bahrain through Ottoman documents; Al-Watheeka No. 24 & 63

Dr Ali Abahussein: Study of the history of Utoob; Al-Watheeka, No. 1

Jalal Khalid al-Harun al-Ansari, 2011: History of the Hawala Arabs & the Utoob; Al-Dar al-Arabiya lil-mawsu’at

Yusuf al-Bahrani,1696-1772: Autobiography,

Nelida Fuccaro, 2009: Histories of City and State in the Persian Gulf: Manama since 1800; Cambridge University Press

Dr Tammam Hammam: Historical background of Bahrain before the emergence of Mohammed Ali in the Gulf; Al-Watheeka No. 12

Mohammed Gharib Hatim, 1997: History of the Hawala Arabs; Al-Maktaba al-Wataniya


Dr Salih Ozbaran: Bahrain in the sixteenth century; Al-Watheeka No. 15

Nuno Silva: Remarks on the history of Bahrain in the Portuguese period; Al-Watheeka No. 8

JC Wilkinson: Bahrain & Oman; Al-Watheeka No. 5

Khalifa/Utub: http://bahrainspring.com/index.php/bahrainspring-reports/item/304-khalifa-s-family-from-daylam-to-bahrain

Arabian Gulf in history                        

Dionisius A. Agius, 2012: Seafaring in the Arabian Gulf and Oman: People of the Dhow; Routledge

Abdul Aziz M. Awad, 1985: The Gulf in the Seventeenth Century; British Society for Middle Eastern Studies

Husain M. Albaharna, 1968: The Legal Status of the Arabian Gulf States: A Study of Their Treaty Relations & International Problems; Manchester University Press

R. J. Barendse, 2000: Trade and State in the Arabian Seas: A Survey from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century; Journal of World History

Charles Belgrave, 1966:  The Pirate Coast; G Bell & Sons

Robert Carter, 2005: The History and Prehistory of Pearling in the Persian Gulf; Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

KN Chaudri: Arab Trade in the Indian Ocean, Al-Watheeka No. 17

Dejanirah Couto & Rui Manuel Loureiro eds 2007: Revisiting Hormuz; Portuguese Interactions in the Persian Gulf Region in the Early Modern Period; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Touraj Daryaee, 2003: The Persian Gulf Trade in Late Antiquity; Journal of World History

Charles E. Davies, 1997: The Blood-red Arab Flag: An Investigation Into Qasimi Piracy, 1797-1820; University of Exeter Press;


Hala Mundhir Fattah, 1997: The Politics of Regional Trade in Iraq, Arabia, and the Gulf, 1745-1900; Suny Press

Willem Floor, 2006: The Persian Gulf: A Political and Economic History of Five Port Cities 1500–1730, Mage

Willem Floor, 1992: The Dutch on Khark Island: A Commercial Mishap; International Journal of Middle East Studies

Dr Tariq al-Hamadani: Study of bulletins & documents about the Portuguese invasion & domination of the Arab Gulf

Martin Hinds, 1984: The First Arab Conquests in Fārs; British Institute of Persian Studies

Molly Izzard, 1979: The Arabian Gulf’s western approaches; John Murray

Dr Maitra Jayanti: Relationship between the Arabian Gulf & the Ottoman state; Al-Watheeka No. 21

Mai Mohammed al-Khalifa, 2010: Sebezabad and the men of the Bahiya state; National Bookshop

Derek Kennet, 2002: The development of northern Raʾs al-Khaimah and the 14th-century Hormuzi economic boom in the lower Gulf; Seminar for Arabian Studies

Peter Lienhardt, 2001: Shaikhdoms of Eastern Arabia; Palgrave

Carsten Niebuhr, 1792 Travels through Arabia and other countries in the East, Volume 2; R. Morison & Son

Farouk Omar, 1987: Urban Centres in the Gulf during the Early Islamic Period: A Historical Study; British Society for Middle Eastern Studies

Mubarak Al-Otabi, 1989: The Qawasim and British Control of the Arabian Gulf; University of Salford

Valeria Fiorani Piacentini, 2004: The mercantile empire of the ībīs & rise of Qais; economic predominance, political power, military subordination; Seminar for Arabian Studies

Valeria Fiorani Piacentini and Christian Velde, 2009: The battle of Julfār & regional emergence of Jubour (880/1475); Seminar for Arabian Studies

Wendell Phillips, 1967: Oman: A history; Longmans

Lawrence G. Potter, 2009: The Persian Gulf in History; Palgrave Macmillan

Sultan Mohammed al-Qasimi, 1986: The myth of Arab piracy in the Gulf; Croom Helm

Ben J. Slot, 1995: History of the Arab Gulf States and Their Relations with the European Powers, Mainly Based on Sources of the Dutch East India Company; Slot/Abu Dhabi

R. Hughes Thomas ed, 1856: Arabian Gulf Intelligence: Sections from records of the Bombay govt; Oleander Press

Brian John Ulrich, 2008: Constructing Al-Azd: Tribal Identity and Society in the Early Islamic Centuries; ProQuest

Arnold Wilson, 2012: The Persian Gulf (RLE Iran A); Routledge


Andrew Williamson & David Whitehouse, 1973: Sasanian Maritime Trade; British Institute of Persian Studies

Andrew Williamson, 1973: HURMUZ AND THE TRADE OF THE GULF IN THE 14TH AND 15TH CENTURIES AD; Seminar for Arabian Studies

Hormuz pages: http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/hormozgan/peoplePlaces1.htm

History of Arabia blogspot: http://thehistoryofarabia.blogspot.com/2012_11_01_archive.html

Saudi Encyclopedia: Eastern region: http://saudiency.net/Loader.aspx?pageid=22&BookID=58&PID=33

Middle East history

E. A. Belyaev, 1970: Arabs, Islam and the Arab Caliphate in the Early Middle Ages; Review by: G. E. von Grunebaum; Speculum

David Blow, 2009: Shah Abbas; Tauris

Edward G. Browne, 1902: A Literary History of Persia; London

Imam al-Bukhari, 2013: Sahih al-Bukhari: The Early Years of Islam; The Other Press

M. Ali Buyukkara, 2002: Al-Ma’mūn’s Choice of ‘Alī al-Riā as His Heir; Islamic Studies

Patricia Crone, 2002:  Roman, Provincial and Islamic Law: The Origins of the Islamic Patronate; Cambridge University Press

Europa Publications, 2003 Political Chronology of the Middle East; Routledge

Philip K. Hitti, 1937: History of the Arabs; Palgrave

Marshall G.S. Hodgson, 1973: The Venture of Islam; Volumes 1, 2 & 3; Chicago

Robert G. Hoyland, 2001: Arabia & the Arabs; Routledge

Alaaddin Ata Malik Juvaini: History of the World Conqueror; Harvard

Joel L. Kraemer, 1992: Humanism in the Renaissance of Islam: The Cultural Revival During the Buyid Age; Brill

Christian Robert Lange, Songül Mecit, eds 2011: The Seljuqs: Politics, Society and Culture; Edinburgh University Press

Rudi Matthee, 2010: Was Safavid Iran an Empire?; Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Michael G Morony, 2005: Iraq After the Muslim Conquest; Gorgias Press

Akbar Shah Khan Najibabadi, 2001 The History of Islam; Darussalam

Ian Richard Netton, 1997: A Popular Dictionary of Islam; Psychology Press

F. E. Peters, 1993: A Reader on Classical Islam; Princeton University Press

George Sale et al. 1759; The Shahs of Persia: A universal history, Volume 6; Virginia

Tabari: Tarikh al-rusul wa al-muluk  li-Abi Jafar Muammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari; Brill 1879

David Waines, 1977: The Third Century Internal Crisis of the Abbasids; Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient


Kamran Scot Aghaie, 2005: The Origins of the Sunnite-Shiʿite Divide and the Emergence of the Taʿziyeh Tradition; MIT Press

Said Amir Arjomand, 1985: The Clerical Estate and the Emergence of a Shiʿite Hierocracy in Safavid Iran: A Study in Historical Sociology; Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Saïd Amir Arjomand, 1996: The Consolation of Theology: Absence of the Imam and Transition from Chiliasm to Law in Shiʿism; Journal of Religion

Mahmoud Ayoub, 1992 The Qur’an and Its Interpreters, Volume II: The House of ‘Imran; Suny Press

Rainer Brunner & Werner Ende, 2004 The Twelver Shia in Modern Times: Religious Culture and Political History; Review by: Moojan Momen; Iranian Studies

Ron Buckley, 2009: Scriptualist Islam: The History and Doctrines of the Akhbārī Shīʿī School. Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science: Texts and Studies; Journal of Quranic Studies

Juan Cole, 1985: Shi’i Clerics in Iraq and Iran, 1722-1780: The Akhbari-Usuli Conflict Reconsidered; Iranian Studies

Juan Cole, 2003: Sacred Space and Holy War: The Politics, Culture and History of Shi’ite Islam; Review by: Ali J. Hussain; Islamic Studies

Shireen T. Hunter, 1988: Iran and the Spread of Revolutionary Islam; Third World Quarterly

Murtaza Hussein, 2014: The myth of the 1,400 year Sunni-Shia war

Faleh Jabar, 2003: Shi’ite Movement in Iraq, Saqi

Fuad I. Khuri, 1987: The Ulama: A Comparative Study of Sunni and Shi’a Religious Officials; Middle Eastern Studies

Bernard Lewis, 1940:  The Origins of Ismaillism: A Study of the Historical Background of the Fatimid Caliphate; American Oriental Society

Denis MacEoin, 1990: Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy in Nineteenth-Century Shiʿism: The Cases of Shaykhism and Babism; Journal of the American Oriental Society

Ze’ev Maghen, 2008: Occultation in “Perpetuum”: Shi’ite Messianism and the Policies of the Islamic Republic; Middle East Journal

Chibli Mallat, 2004: From Islamic to Middle Eastern Law. A Restatement of the Field (Part II); American Journal of Comparative Law

Afshin Molavi, 2003: The Disenchantment – Shiism & the Iranian state; Wilson Quarterly

Moojan Momen, 1986: An Introduction to Shi’i Islam: The History and Doctrine of Twelver Shi’ism; Review by: Juan R. I. Cole; Middle East Journal

Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi, 1998: Shi’ite Culture; Iranian Studies

Andrew J. Newman, 1999: Sufism and Anti-Sufism in Safavid Iran: The Authorship of the “Hadiqat al-Shi’a” Revisited; British Institute of Persian Studies

Andrew J Newman, 2000: The Formative Period of Twelver Shī’ismadīth as Discourse Between Qum and Baghdad; Psychology Press

Yann Richard: Shi’ite Islam: Polity, Ideology, and Creed; Review by: Devin J. Stewart; Islamic Studies

Devin J. Stewart, 1996: Notes on the Migration of ʿĀmilī Scholars to Safavid Iran; Journal of Near Eastern Studies

Devin J. Stewart, 1996: The First Shaykh al-Islām of the Safavid Capital Qazvin; Journal of the American Oriental Society

Devin J. Stewart, 1998: The Lost Biography of Baha’ al-Din al-‘Amili and the Reign of Shah Isma’il II in Safavid Historiography; Iranian Studies

Devin J. Stewart, 2009: Polemics and Patronage in Safavid Iran: The debate on Friday Prayer during the Reign of Shah Tahmasb; Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

Al-Awazim wa al-Madhhab al-Maliki fi al-Iqlim: http://www.alawazm.com/vb/archive/index.php/t-201334.html

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