(1,185 words)

, a dynasty of Zabīd in the Yemen claiming descent from the pre-Islamic Tubbaʿs of Ḥimyar.

1. History. The family took its name from the father of its first leader, ʿAlī b. Mahdī, who died in 554/1159. ʿAlī was brought up with a strong traditional Islamic education by his father in Tihāma. Though much given to quiet meditation, ʿAlī also acquired a reputation for eloquence. He travelled widely too, performing the pilgrimage each year and meeting ʿulamāʾ from all corners of the Islamic world. The famous historian-poet, ʿUmāra, is our earliest source for the Mahdid period…

Cite this page
Smith, G.R.. "Mahdids." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Online, 2015. Reference. 25 November 2015 <>
First appeared online: 2012
First Print Edition: isbn: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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