Members of this clan are referred to as Hashemites or Al-hashimi.
Amongst pre-Islamic Arabs, people classified themselves according to their tribe, their clan, and then their house/family.
There were two major tribal kinds: the Adnanites (descended from Adnan, traditional ancestor of the Arabs of northern, central and western Arabia) and the Qahtanites (originating from Qahtan, the traditional ancestor of the Arabs of southern and south eastern Arabia).
It derives its name from Hashim ibn Abd Manaf, the great-grandfather of Muhammad, and along with the Banu Abd Shams, Banu Al-Muttalib, and Banu Nawfal clans comprises the Banu Abd al-Manaf section of the Quraysh.
This was based on their hereditary duty to act as stewards and caretakers of the pilgrims coming to Mecca to worship at the Kaaba, the sacred shrine that in Islamic tradition was built by Ibrahim (Abraham) and his first-born son and heir Ismail (Ishmael) was a Monotheist site of worship.
With time, the Kaaba had come to be occupied by some hundreds of idols.
Visiting of these idols by the different tribes caused traffic which added considerably to the wealth of the merchants of Mecca, which also benefited from its position astride the caravan routes from Yemen (Arabia Felix) up to the Mediterranean markets.
It was into the House 'Abd al-Muttalib of Banu Hashim of Quraysh that Muhammad was born.
At the age of 40, his establishment of Islam set him at odds with the established powers in Mecca.
His membership of the 'top house, of the top clan' (in terms of prestige and power) was a factor (according to Islamic tradition) through which God kept him safe from assassination during the early years of his mission, as a number of his uncles would not countenance any such insult to their so-called clan honour.
After 13 years, the Muslim community of Mecca migrated (made Hijrah) to the city of Yathrib (which subsequently became known as Medina) to avoid their often murderous persecution by the non-believers of Mecca.
With the conquest of Mecca, the city was captured by the army of Islam.
The Kaabah was cleansed of idols and became the centre of pilgrimage for Muslims, once again the centre of pure Abrahamic monotheism.
(It is illegal for non-Muslims to enter an area designated surrounding the city of Mecca).
Muhammad besought the love of the Muslims on his grandsons, thus their descendants have become spiritual aristocracy among the Muslims.
The descendants of the Banu Hashim are known by the titles of Sayed, Sayyid, Syed and Sharif.
In the 19th Century CE, to try to resolve the confusion surrounding the descendants of Muhammad, the Ottoman Caliphs attempted to replicate the Almanach de Gotha (the tome listing the noble houses of Europe) to show known and verifiable lines of descent.
Although not 100% complete in its scope the resulting Kitab al-Ashraf (Book of the Sharifs), kept at the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul is one of the best sources of evidence of descent from Muhammad.
The Alids (the term given to the descendants of Muhammad via his daughter Fatima and Ali) lines of descent produced many once, current (and future) reigning dynasties across the Islamic imperium, amongst these stand:
- Hashemite Dynasty(through Qatadah ibn Idris)
- Abbasid Dynasty of the Abbasid Empire (through Abbas ibn Muttalib)
- Fatimid Dynasty of the Fatimid Dynasty including the later Agha Khans. (through Ismail ibn Jafar)
- Rassid Dynasty of Yemen (through Ibrahim al Jamr bin Hassan al Muthanna)
- Mutawakkilite Dynasty of Yemen (through Ibrahim al Jamr bin Hassan al Muthanna as cadets of the Rassid Dynasty)
- Aluoite Dynasty of Morocco (through Muhammad Nafs az zakiyah bin Abdullah al Kamal )
- Idrisid Dynasty of West Africa (through Idris ibn Abdullah)
- Senussi Dynasty of Libya (through Idris ibn Abdullah as cadets of the Idrisid Dynasty)
- Safavid Dynasty of Persia (through Abul Qasim Humza bin Musa al Kadhim)
- Alid of Tabaristan (through Zayd bin Hassan al Muthana)
- Zaydi Dynasty of Tabarstan (through Zayd ibn Ali)
- Barha Dynasty Including the later Nawabs of Samballhera (through Zayd ibn Ali)
- Rohilla Dynasty including the later Nawabs of Rampur (through Zayd ibn Ali as Cadets of the Barha Dynasty)
- The Agha Khans (Through Ismail ibn Jafar as cadets of the Fatimid Dynasty)
- Daudpota Dynasty including the later Nawabs of Bhawalpur and Sindh (Kalhora) (through Abbas ibn Muttalib)
- The Sultans of Mysore (through Qatadah ibn Idris as cadets of the Hashemite Dynasty)
- Sabzwari Dynasty (through Ali al Reza)
- Najafi Dynasty of Bengal. Including the later Nawabs of Murshidabad and the Tabatabai family of Iran (through Ibrahim Tabataba ibn Ismail al Dibaj)
- Sultans of Siak (through Ahmad al Muhajir as cadets of the Ba alawai)
- Bendahara Dynasty of Pahang and Terengannu (through Ahmad al Muhajir as cadets of the Ba alawai)
- Bolkiah Dynasty of Brunei (through Ahmad al Muhajir as cadets of the Ba alawai)
- Jamal al layl dynasty of Perak and Perlis (through Ahmad al Muhajir as cadets of the Ba alawai)
- Sultans of Pontianak (through Ahmad al Muhajir as cadets of the Ba alawai)
- Note that direct lineage is marked in bold.
- Non-Muslims who interacted with Muslims during Muhammad's era
- Banu Abbas
- Awan (tribe)
- Abbasid Caliphate
- Family tree of Muhammad
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banu Hashim.