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This article is about the geographical and historical region. Hejaz_sentence_0

For the mountain region, see Hijaz Mountains. Hejaz_sentence_1

For other uses, see Hejaz (disambiguation). Hejaz_sentence_2



ٱلْحِجَاز Al-ḤijāzHejaz_header_cell_0_0_0

RegionsHejaz_header_cell_0_1_0 Al-Bahah, Mecca, Medina and TabukHejaz_cell_0_1_1

The Hejaz (/hiːˈdʒæz, hɪˈ-/, also US: /hɛˈ-/; Arabic: ٱلْحِجَاز‎, romanized: al-Ḥijāz, lit. Hejaz_sentence_3

'the Barrier', Hejazi pronunciation: [alħɪˈdʒaːz) is a region in the west of Saudi Arabia. Hejaz_sentence_4

The name of the region is derived from the Arabic root Ḥ-J-Z, meaning "to separate," and it is so called as it separates the land of the Najd in the east from the land of Tihāmah in the west. Hejaz_sentence_5

It is also known as the "Western Province." Hejaz_sentence_6

It is bordered in the west by the Red Sea, in the north by Jordan, in the east by the Najd, and in the south by the 'Asir Region. Hejaz_sentence_7

Its largest city is Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia, with Mecca and Medina being the fourth and fifth largest cities respectively in Saudi Arabia. Hejaz_sentence_8

The Hejaz is significant for being the location of the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the first and second holiest sites in Islam, respectively. Hejaz_sentence_9

As the site of the two holiest sites in Islam, the Hejaz has significance in the Arab and Islamic historical and political landscape. Hejaz_sentence_10

The Hejaz is the most populated region in Saudi Arabia, containing 35% of the population of Saudi Arabia. Hejaz_sentence_11

Arabic is the predominant language as in the rest of Saudi Arabia, with Hejazi Arabic being most widely spoken dialect in the region. Hejaz_sentence_12

Hejazi Saudis are of ethnically diverse origins. Hejaz_sentence_13

The region is the birthplace of the Islamic Ummah (Community) of Muhammad, who was born in Mecca, which is locally considered to have been founded by the Biblical figures Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael. Hejaz_sentence_14

The area became part of his empire through the early Muslim conquests, and it formed part of successive caliphates, first the Rashidun caliphate, followed by the Umayyad caliphate, and finally the Abbasid caliphate. Hejaz_sentence_15

The Ottoman Empire held partial control over the area; after its dissolution, an independent Kingdom of Hejaz existed briefly in 1925 before being conquered by the neighbouring Sultanate of Nejd, creating the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd. Hejaz_sentence_16

In September 1932, the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd joined the Saudi dominions of Al-Hasa and Qatif, creating the unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Hejaz_sentence_17

The Hejaz is the most cosmopolitan region in the Arabian Peninsula. Hejaz_sentence_18

People of Hejaz are of Arab tribes (Bedouin) and people of foreign ancestries (Urban). Hejaz_sentence_19

Timeline Hejaz_section_0

Prehistoric or ancient times Hejaz_section_1

One or possibly two megalithic dolmen have been found in the Hijaz. Hejaz_sentence_20

The Hejaz includes both the Mahd adh-Dhahab ("Cradle of the Gold") () and a water source, now dried out, that used to flow 600 miles (970 km) north east to the Persian Gulf via the Wādi Al-Rummah and Wādi Al-Bātin system. Hejaz_sentence_21

Archaeological research led by of Boston University and the University of Qassim indicates that the river system was active in 8000  BCE and 2500–3000 BCE. Hejaz_sentence_22

The northern part of the Hejaz was part of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea. Hejaz_sentence_23

Al-Hijr Archaeological Site Hejaz_section_2

Main article: Mada'in Saleh Hejaz_sentence_24

Saudi Arabia's first World Heritage Site that was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is that of Al-Hijr. Hejaz_sentence_25

The name "Al-Ḥijr" ("The Land of Stones" or "The Rocky Place") occurs in the Qur'an, and the site is known for having structures carved into rocks, similar to Petra. Hejaz_sentence_26

Construction of the structures is credited to the people of Thamud. Hejaz_sentence_27

The location is also called "Madā’in Ṣāliḥ" ("Cities of Saleh"), as it is speculated to be the city in which the Islamic Nabī (Prophet) Salih was sent to the people of Thamud. Hejaz_sentence_28

After the disappearance of Thamud from Mada'in Saleh, it came under the influence of other people, such as the Nabataeans, whose capital was Petra. Hejaz_sentence_29

Later, it would lie in a route used by Muslim Pilgrims going to Mecca. Hejaz_sentence_30

Era of Abraham and Ishmael Hejaz_section_3

According to Arab and Islamic sources, the civilization of Mecca started after Ibrāhīm (Abraham) brought his son Ismāʿīl (Ishmael) and wife Hājar (Hagar) here, for the latter two to stay. Hejaz_sentence_31

Some people from the Yemeni tribe of Jurhum settled with them, and Isma'il reportedly married two women, one after divorcing another, at least one of them from this tribe, and helped his father to construct or re-construct the Ka'bah ('Cube'), which would have social, religious, political and historical implications for the site and region. Hejaz_sentence_32

For example, in Arab or Islamic belief, the tribe of Quraysh would descend from Isma'il ibn Ibrahim, be based in the vicinity of the Ka'bah, and include Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf. Hejaz_sentence_33

From the Period of Jāhiliyyah ('Ignorance') to the days of Muhammad, the often-warring Arab tribes would cease their hostilities during the time of Pilgrimage, and go on pilgrimage to Mecca, as inspired by Ibrāhim. Hejaz_sentence_34

It was during such an occasion that Muhammad met some Medinans who would allow him to migrate to Medina, to escape persecution by his opponents in Mecca. Hejaz_sentence_35

Era of Muhammad Hejaz_section_4

Main article: Muhammad in Islam Hejaz_sentence_36

As the land of Mecca and Medina, the Hejaz was where Muhammad was born, and where he founded a Monotheistic Ummah of followers, bore patience with his foes or struggled against them, migrated from one place to another, preached or implemented his beliefs, lived and died. Hejaz_sentence_37

Given that he had both followers and enemies here, a number of battles or expeditions were carried out in this area, like those of Al-Aḥzāb ("The Confederates"), Badr and Ḥunayn. Hejaz_sentence_38

They involved both Meccan companions, such as Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib, Ubaydah ibn al-Harith and Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, and Medinan companions. Hejaz_sentence_39

The Hijaz fell under Muhammad's influence as he emerged victorious over his opponents, and was thus a part of his empire. Hejaz_sentence_40

Subsequent history Hejaz_section_5

Due to the presence of the two holy cities in the Hejaz, the region was ruled by numerous empires. Hejaz_sentence_41

The Hejaz was at the center of the Rashidun Caliphate, in particular whilst its capital was Medina from 632 to 656 ACE. Hejaz_sentence_42

The region was then under the control of regional powers such as Egypt and the Ottoman Empire, throughout much of its later history. Hejaz_sentence_43

Brief independence Hejaz_section_6

Main article: Kingdom of Hejaz Hejaz_sentence_44

In 1916, Sharif Hussein ibn Ali proclaimed himself King of an independent Hejaz, as a result of the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence. Hejaz_sentence_45

The ensuing Arab Revolt overthrew the Ottoman Empire. Hejaz_sentence_46

In 1924, however, Ibn Ali was forced into exile by Ibn Saud of the Najd. Hejaz_sentence_47

In modern Saudi Arabia Hejaz_section_7

Main article: Regions of Saudi Arabia Hejaz_sentence_48

At first, Ibn Saud ruled the two as separate units, though they became known as the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd. Hejaz_sentence_49

Later they were formally combined as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Hejaz_sentence_50


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Cities Hejaz_section_8

Al Bahah Region: Hejaz_sentence_51


Al Madinah Region: Hejaz_sentence_52


  • Al-Madīnah Al-Munawwarah (Medina)Hejaz_item_2_10
  • BadrHejaz_item_2_11
  • Yanbuʿ al-Baḥr (Yanbu)Hejaz_item_2_12

Makkah Province: Hejaz_sentence_53


Tabuk Region: Hejaz_sentence_54


Geography Hejaz_section_9

The region is located along the Red Sea Rift. Hejaz_sentence_55

It is also known for its darker, more volcanic sand. Hejaz_sentence_56

Depending on the previous definition, the Hejaz includes the high mountains of Sarawat, which topographically separate the Najd from Tehamah. Hejaz_sentence_57

Bdellium plants are also abundant in the Hijaz. Hejaz_sentence_58

International tourism development Hejaz_section_10

As a component of Saudi Vision 2030, a 28,000 square kilometer tourism destination is under development on the Red Sea coast between the towns of Umluj () and Al-Wajh (), in the northern section of the Hejazi coast. Hejaz_sentence_59

The project will involve "the development of 22 of the 90+ islands" that lie along the coast to create a "fully integrated luxury mixed-use destination." Hejaz_sentence_60

and will be "governed by laws on par with international standards". Hejaz_sentence_61

People of the Hejaz Hejaz_section_11

People of Hejaz, who feel particularly connected to the holy places of Mecca and Medina, have probably the most strongly articulated identity of any regional grouping in Saudi Arabia. Hejaz_sentence_62

Most people of Hejaz are Sunni of Maliki rite with a Shia minority in the cities of Medina, Mecca and Jeddah. Hejaz_sentence_63

Many consider themselves more cosmopolitan because Hejaz was for centuries a part of the great empires of Islam from the Umayyads to the Ottomans. Hejaz_sentence_64

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hejaz.