20. While a nation is savage, its royal authority

extends farther.



This is because, as we have said,123 such a nation is better able to achieve superiority and full control, and to subdue other groups. The members of such a nation have the strength to fight other nations, and they are among human beings what beasts of prey are among dumb animals. The Arabs and the Zanatah and similar groups, for instance, are such nations, as are the Kurds, the Turkomans, and the Veiled Sinhajah.

These savage peoples, furthermore, have no homelands that they might use as a fertile (pasture), and no fixed place to which they might repair. All regions and places are the same to them. Therefore, they do not restrict themselves to possession of their own and neighboring regions. They do not stop at the borders of their horizon. They swarm across distant zones and achieve superiority over faraway nations.

One might compare in this connection what `Umar is reported to have said when he received the oath of allegiance and arose to incite the people to the conquest of the 'Iraq. He said: "The Hijaz is your home only in as far as it is a pasturage. Those who dwell there have no power over it except in this respect. Where do (you) newcomers who emigrated (to Medina) stand with regard to God's promise, 'Travel about in the world'?124 God promised it to you in His book for your inheritance, when He said, 'In order to give (the true religion) victory over all religions, even if the polytheists dislike it.' "125

Another example is the condition of the ancient (pre­Islamic) Arabs, such as the Tubba's and the Himyar. They are reported 126 to have marched from the Yemen to the Maghrib at one time, and to the 'Iraq and India at another time. No other nation except the Arabs ever did anything like that.

The condition of the Veiled (Sinhajah) in the Maghrib is another example. When they aspired to royal authority, they swarmed out of their desert plains in the neighborhood of the Sudan, in the first zone, and overran the Spanish realm in the fourth and fifth zones, without any intermediate (stage).

Such is the case with savage nations. Their (dynasties), therefore, extend over a wider area and over regions farther from their (original) center (than do other nations).

God determines night and day.127