The Lakhmids of al-Hirah on the Euphrates.


Bulaq has the freehand correction laziq. Nazif has no meaning that would be suitable here, according to the Arabic dictionaries. R. Dozy, op. cit. (n. 44, above), and also in Supplement aux dictionnaires arabes, II, 658a, called attention to the fact that at-Tabari has nazi' in reporting this story. Cf. at-Tabari, Annales, I, 2186, 1. 14, and glossary, p. DIX. It seems that Ibn Khaldun misread the word in at-Tabari or an intermediary source. The accusative nazi'an that appears in at-Tabari could easily be misread nazifan.


The story was referred to above, p. 55. Cf. also 2:39, below.


Bulaq adds here another section, which appears only in the Tunis MS used by the editor of Bulaq, and which was dropped in all later texts, although reference is made to it at the beginning of the next section. It reads:

Among all those who share in a given group feeling,
leadership always remains vested in the particular
family to which it belongs.

It should be known that although each tribe and subtribe forms but a single (uniform) group because of their common descent, there exist among them special kinds of group feeling because of special relationships that constitute a closer kind of contact than common (general) descent. These may be, for instance, (the members of) one family, or the members of one tent, or brothers who are sons of one father. (People related in this way) are different from close or remote cousins. They are more firmly established in their particular descent, (but they still) share with other groups the common (general) descent. They feel affection for the people of their particular descent as well as for those of the common (general) descent. Their affection, however, is stronger in the case of the people of their particular descent because of the close contact.

Leadership is vested in one particular family among them, and not in the whole. Since leadership is the result of superiority, it (follows) necessarily that the group of the (particular) family in which (leadership is vested) must be stronger than that of all the other groups, in order to enable that (particular family) to gain superiority and, thus, full leadership for its members. If this is necessary, it is obligatory that leadership over (all others) always remain vested in the particular family having supe­riority over them. Were it to pass to outsiders and become vested in other groups of inferior power, they would not have full leadership.

Leadership is continuously transmitted within that (particular) family from one branch to another, but always to the strongest branch only, for reasons connected with the secret of superiority which we have mentioned. Social organization and group feeling may be compared to the (process of) mixture of the things that come into being. No mixture can come about in them if the elements are all equal to each other. One element must necessarily be superior. If not, the process of coming into being cannot materialize. [Cf. pp. 336 f., below.] This is the secret reason why superior­ity is a (necessary) condition in connection with (matters of) group feeling. It makes it obligatory for leadership to remain vested in a particular family, as we have established.