Tayy (Arabic: طَيِّئ/ALA-LC: Ṭayyi’), also known as Ṭayyi, Tayyaye, or Taiyaye, is a large and ancient Arab tribe, whose descendants today are the tribe of Shammar (and many other tribes), who continue to live throughout the Middle Eastern states of the Arab world and the rest of the world. The nisba (patronymic) of Tayy is aṭ-Ṭāʾī (ٱلطَّائِي). The Tayy's origins trace back to the Qahtanites and their original homeland was Yemen although Sebeos later named Iraq as Tachkastan after them. In the 2nd century CE, they migrated to the northern Arabian mountain ranges of Jabal Aja and Jabal Salma, which then collectively became known as "Jabal Tayy" (later "Jabal Shammar"). The latter continues to be the traditional homeland of the tribe until the present day. They later established relations with the Sassanid Persian and Byzantine empires. Though traditionally allied with the Sassanids' Lakhmid clients, the Tayy supplanted the Lakhmids as the rulers of Al-Hirah in the 610s. In the late 6th century, the Fasad War split the Tayy, with members of its Jadila branch converting to Christianity and migrating to Syria where they became allied with the Ghassanids, and the Ghawth branch remaining in Jabal Tayy. A chieftain and poet of the Al Ghawth, Hatim al-Ta'i, is widely known among Arabs until today.
|Nisba||Arabic: ٱلطَّائِي, romanized: Aṭ-Ṭāʾī|
|Location||2nd century CE–10th century: Jabal Tayy and Syrian Desert |
10th century–16th century: Jabal Tayy, Syrian Desert, Jibal al-Sharat, al-Balqa, Palmyrene Steppe, Upper Mesopotamia, Northern Hejaz, Najd
|Descended from||Julhumah ibn 'Udad|
|Religion||Polytheism (pre-630) |
Monophysite Christianity (pre-638)
Islam (post 630)
Hatim's son Adi, and another Tayy chieftain, Zayd al-Khayr, converted to Islam together with much of their tribe in 629–630, and became companions of the Islamic Nabi (Prophet) Muhammad. The Tayy participated in numerous Muslim military campaigns after Muhammad's death, including in the Ridda Wars and the Muslim conquest of Persia. Al-Jadila in northern Syria remained Christian until the Muslim conquest of their region in 638. The Tayy were split during the First Fitna, with those based in Arabia and Iraq supporting Ali as caliph, and those in Syria supporting Mu'awiyah. The latter and his Umayyad kinsmen ultimately triumphed and members of the Tayy participated in the Umayyad conquest of Sindh in the early 8th century. Nonetheless, a branch of the Tayy under Qahtaba ibn Shabib were among the leaders of the Abbasid Revolution which toppled the Umayyads in the mid-8th century. The Tayy fared well under the Abbasids, producing military officials and renowned poets, such as Buhturi and Abu Tammam.
By the mid-9th century, Abbasid authority had eroded and the Tayy were left dominant in the southern Syrian Desert and Jabal Tayy. Under their Jarrahid chieftains, they established themselves in Palestine under Fatimid rule. As the virtually independent rulers of the area between al-Ramla and Jabal Tayy, they controlled the key routes between Egypt, Syria, Arabia and Iraq. They vacillated between the Fatimids and the Byzantines and then between the Seljuks and Crusaders until the late 12th and early 13th centuries, when the Tayy's various subbranches, chief among them the Al Fadl, were left as the last politically influential Arab tribe in the region extending from Najd northward to Upper Mesopotamia.