Jund al-Urdunn

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

Jund al-Urdunn (Arabic: جُـنْـد الْأُرْدُنّ‎, translation: "The military district of Jordan") was one of the five districts of Bilad al-Sham (Islamic Syria) during the early Islamic period. It was established under the Rashidun and its capital was Tiberias throughout its rule by the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates. It encompassed southern Mount Lebanon, the Galilee, the southern Hauran, the Golan Heights, and most of the eastern Jordan Valley (especially in the north).[1]

Subdistricts and major towns

The 10th-century geographer Ibn al-Faqih held that besides its capital at Tiberias, the Urdunn's chief districts (qura) were Samaria (al-Samira in Arabic), i.e. Nablus, Beisan, Qadas, Pella (Fahl in Arabic), Jerash, Acre (Akka in Arabic), and Tyre (Sur in Arabic).[2] The geographer al-Muqaddasi (d. 985) notes that the principal towns of the district were its capital Tiberias, Qadas, Tyre, Acre, Faradiyya, Kabul, Beisan, Lajjun and Adhri'at.[3] The 13th-century geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi counted the quras of Urdunn as Tiberias, Beisan, Acre, Beit Ras, Jadar (Jaydur, area adjacent to the east of the Golan Heights), Tyre and Saffuriya.[4]

The geographers Ibn Hawqal (d. c. 978) and Estakhri (d. 957) noted the Ghawr (Jordan Valley) district, the low-lying area along the Jordan River between Lake Tiberias to the Dead Sea, with its capital at Jericho (Ariha in Arabic), was administratively subordinate to Urdunn.[5] The geographer al-Ya'qubi (d. 892) held that the Ghawr was subordinate to Jund Dimashq.[2]


Rashidun period

Umayyad period

  • Abu Uthman ibn Marwan ibn al-Hakam (685–705, governed for unspecified period during his brother Caliph Abd al-Malik's rule;[7] identified by Moshe Gil as Aban ibn Marwan,[8] while Asad Q. Ahmed identified him with another brother of Abd al-Malik, Uthman ibn Marwan)[9]
  • Ubayda ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami (685–705, governed for unspecified period during Abd al-Malik's reign; nephew of Abu al-A'war)[7]
  • Umar ibn al-Walid (705–715, governed during the rule of his father Caliph al-Walid I)[10]
  • Ubada ibn Nusayy al-Kindi (717–720, governed during the rule of Caliph Umar II)[11]
  • Ishaq ibn Qabisa ibn Dhu'ayb al-Khuza'i (724–743, governed during the rule of Caliph Hisham; son of one of Abd al-Malik's brother-in-laws and secretaries)[12]
  • Al-Walid ibn Mu'awiya ibn Marwan (744–750, governed during the rule of his cousin Caliph Marwan II; a nephew of Abd al-Malik)[8]

Abbasid period

  • Abdallah ibn Ali (752–753, governed during the rule of his nephew Caliph al-Saffah)[13]
    • Ziyad ibn Abi al-Ward (amil, i.e. a fiscal supervisor, under Abdallah ibn Ali)[13])
  • Muhammad ibn Ibrahim (754–775, governed during his the rule of his uncle Caliph al-Mansur; also governed Dimashq during al-Mansur's rule)[14]

See also


  1. ^ Le Strange, G. (1890). Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. pp. 30–39. OCLC 1004386. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b le Strange 1890, p. 30.
  3. ^ le Strange 1890, p. 39.
  4. ^ le Strange 1890, p. 32.
  5. ^ le Strange 1890, pp. 30–31.
  6. ^ a b Hinds 1993, p. 264.
  7. ^ a b c Crone 1980, p. 125.
  8. ^ a b Gil 1997, p. 115.
  9. ^ Ahmed 2010, p. 114.
  10. ^ Crone 1980, p. 126.
  11. ^ Crone 1980, p. 127.
  12. ^ Crone 1980, p. 128.
  13. ^ a b Sharon 1999, p. 218.
  14. ^ Amitai-Preiss 2015, p. 72.


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