World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0018307371
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ma'ans  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Druze
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The Banu Ma'an tribe (also Ma'n, ALA-LC: Ma‘nī, adjective:Ma'anid, Ma'nid), were a tribe & dynasty of Qahtani Arab some of which later became Druze and rulers of the Lebanon Mountains during a period of the Ottoman Empire, and one of the most successful ruling dynasties in Druze history. They originated from coastal Hadramaut in southern Yemen.They moved into the Levante via Al-Hasa and formed a tribal alliance with the larger Al Azd tribe during the journey.[1][1]

Their authority began to rise with Fakhr ad Din I, who was permitted by Ottoman authorities to organize his own army, and reached its peak with Fakhr ad Din II (1572–1635). Fakhr ad Din II's rule extended "from Antioch in the north to Tsfat (Safed) in the south."[1] Although Fakhr ad Din II's aspirations toward complete independence for Lebanon ended in his execution by Ottoman authorities, he greatly enhanced Lebanon's military and economic development. Noted for religious tolerance and suspected of being a Christian, Fakhr ad Din attempted to merge the country's different religious groups into one Lebanese community.The dynasty's rule as Druze leaders in the Lebanon Mountains lasted from 1517 to 1697.


The Ma'an family under orders from the governor of Damascus, came to Lebanon in 1120 from Hadramaut in southern Yemen to defend the Levant against the invading Crusaders. It is not entirely clear if the Ma'an tribe, which was part of the large Kahlani tribal federation were already practicing some sort of Ismailism prior to their exodus from coastal Yemen.Originally they did extensive trade with the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia and were in charge of an important Hadrami port city. They finally settled on the southwestern slopes of the Lebanon Mountains and later adopted the Druze religion.[2]

Rule of Fakhr ad Din II

As part of his policy to strengthen trade and political relations with Tuscany, Fakhr ad Din II concluded a secret agreement with Ferdinand I, duke of Tuscany in Italy, the two parties pledging to support each other against the Ottomans. Informed of this agreement, the Ottoman ruler in Constantinople reacted violently and ordered Ahmad al Hafiz, governor of Damascus, to attack Fakhr ad Din. Realizing his inability to cope with the regular army of Al Hafiz, the Lebanese ruler went to Tuscany in exile in 1613. He returned to Lebanon in 1618, after his good friend Muhammad Pasha became governor of Damascus.

Following his return from Tuscany, Fakhr ad Din, realizing the need for a strong and disciplined armed force, channeled his financial resources into building a regular army. This army proved itself in 1623, when Mustafa Pasha, the new governor of Damascus, underestimating the capabilities of the Lebanese army, engaged it in battle and was decisively defeated at Anjar in the Biqa Valley.

In addition to building up the army, Fakhr ad Din, who became acquainted with Italian culture during his stay in Tuscany, initiated measures to modernize the country. After forming close ties with the dukes of Tuscany and Florence and establishing diplomatic relations with them, he brought in architects, irrigation engineers, and agricultural experts from Italy in an effort to promote prosperity in the country.[3] He also strengthened Lebanon's strategic position by expanding its territory, building forts as far away as Palmyra in Syria, and gaining control of Palestine. Finally, the Ottoman sultan Murad IV of Constantinople, wanting to thwart Lebanon's progress toward complete independence, ordered Küçük Ahmet Pasha, then governor of Damascus, to attack the Lebanese ruler. This time Fakhr ad Din was defeated, and he was executed in Constantinople in 1635.[2]


Fakhr ad Din was succeeded in 1635 by his nephew Mulhim Ma'an, who ruled through his death in 1658. (Fakhr ad Din's only surviving son, Husayn, lived the rest of his life as a court official in Constantinople.) Emir Mulhim exercised Iltizam taxation rights in the Shuf, Gharb, Jurd, Matn, and Kisrawan districts of Lebanon. Mulhim's forces battled and defeated those of Mustafa Pasha, Beylerbey of Damascus, in 1642, but he is reported by historians to have been otherwise loyal to Ottoman rule.[4]

Ahmad and Korkmaz

Main article: Druze power struggle (1658–1667)

Following Mulhim's death, his sons Ahmad and Korkmaz entered into a power struggle with other Ottoman-backed Druze leaders. In 1660, the Ottoman empire moved to reorganize the region, placing the sanjaks (districts) of Sidon-Beirut and Safed in a newly formed province of Sidon, a move seen by local Druze as an attempt to assert control.[5] Contemporary historian Istifan al-Duwayhi reports that Korkmaz was killed in act of treachery by the Beylerbey of Damascus in 1662.[5] Ahmad however escaped and eventually emerged victorious in the power struggle among the Druze in 1667, but the Maʿnīs lost control of Safad[6] and retreated to controlling the iltizam of the Shuf mountains and Kisrawan.[7] Ahmad continued as local ruler through his death from natural causes, without heir, in 1697.[6] During the Ottoman-Hapsburg war of 1683 to 1699, Ahmad Ma'n collaborated in a rebellion against the Ottomans which extended beyond his death.[6] Iltizam rights in Shuf and Kisrawan passed to the rising Shihab family through female-line inheritance.[7]


Further reading

  • T. J. Gorton, Renaissance Emir: a Druze Warlord at the Court of the Medici (London: Quartet Books, 2013)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.