There is a lie among Lebanese Christians of various sects that they emigrated from Horan in Syria or other places. These immigrants were supposed to have come from predominantly Horanite, Ghassanite and/or other roots. The article herewith will put an end, once and for all, to this false claim based on reason, history and reference. Since the Arab literary renaissance and anti-Ottoman Turkish movement that started in Lebanon and other Levantine countries, the Christians of the area whether they were Catholic or Orthodox have suffered from a schizophrenia of ethnicity. Some thought that they came from Arab blood while others from Syriac or European blood. Others preferred to maintain their real identity of coming from Canaanite Phoenician blood.
With the advancement of science and the study of genetics, new facts have surfaced and defeated the fairytale inherited through ignorance, false claims and lies across the centuries.
- Many maintained a firm belief based on history and archaeology that they came from Canaanite Phoenician ancestry. This has been proven by genetic tests. This is both from Y-chromosomal DNA (Y-DNA) -- inherited only from fathers to sons -- and from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) -- inherited only from mothers.
- Some firmly believed their ancestry as one from Syriac roots both Syriac Orthodox or Catholic and Syriac Maronite Catholics. They based their ancestry on cultural and firm historical, archaeological and cultural reference.
- Some others, namely the Greek Orthodox or Catholic believed their ancestry as one from Byzantine Greek roots. The article herewith will answer why this third group has firm basis to trace their ancestry to Orthodoxy which was the Imperial Court Church of the Byzantine Emperor (their DNA tests prove a Greek bloodline).
- The original inhabitants of Lebanon do not need to be covered since they are aboriginal inhabitant of this land.
- Non-Christian Lebanese are regretfully not covered in this article since its purpose is very specific and focuses on correcting the errors in the minds of Lebanese and their misunderstanding and confusion over their genetic roots.
The subject material which will follow will cover:
- The Ghassanites (الغساسنة) and Qahtan (قحطان)
- The Horanites (people of Horan or Hauran (حوران)
The Ghassanites were not "Greek Orthodox" but were Jacobites who converted to Islam and their descendants, as a people, are lost
An article by lawyer Rodrec Khoury that proves the falsehood of the claim that the Ghassanites were "Orthodox."
The first given which needs to be established and confirmed is the name "Greek Orthodox." The proper name is "Antiochian Greek Orthodox" and this Church has no other name. The second given is the fact that that there is no historical document that shows "a connection between those who think they are the successors of Ghassan" with the ancient Ghassanites. Any such suggestion is based on myths. This article will explain why. There is more than one proof that the Greek Orthodox Church believers under the jurisprudence of the Patriarchate of Antioch spoke Greek first then adopted Arabic as their language -- They became Arabized*. Further, there is solid proof that the Ghassanites did not belong to this Orthodox Church and later converted to Islam:
* Arabized: It means a person who is not of Arab origin or Arab background but who knows (speaks, writes and reads) Classical Arabic, as a formal language; however, the same person speaks colloquial tongue which is very different from Classical Arabic and is a mixture of many languages ancient and modern. An example is the Lebanese Language.
Briefly, the Ghassanites were one of the most famous Yemeni tribes in history. They establish a strong kingdom in Jordan and Syria. Originally, they migration from the city of Marib after the collapse of its great dam. Their unreliable genealogy traces them from Azad Yemen to the sons of Jaffna bin Amr from Al Azad of Aram Bin Amer Bin Haritha bin Amru Al Qais Bin Thalabah Bin Mazen Bin Al Azdi Bin Al Ghaouth Bin Malik Ibn Zayd Ibn Kahlan bin Saba Ibn Bishjab bin Yarub bin Qahtan.
On Qahtan rests the root of the catastrophic misunderstanding of the Ghassanites. The confused and the deceivers trace Christians of the Levant to Qahtan whose Ghassanite descendants were diluted into the bigger Islamic population, especially when the Ghassanites reverted to Islam after being heretical Jacobite "Christians"" for some time. However, there solid proof that the Ghassanites virus the Christians of the Levant: Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, and Jordan are unrelated.
1. Names of grandparents:
Arab tribes used to call their children after their ancestors; hence, inherited names from generation to generation. Starting from this point, we do not find among the ancestral Orthodox names any ancient Ghassanites names, such as: "Jaffna", "Jibla", "Amr", "Shamer", "Mundhir" etc... If some of the ancestral names appeared in the family trees of our ancestors, it would be because of the related person's beatification for martyrdom. That is those who converted to Orthodox Christianity and "were martyred by their people for their conversion" such as "Harith." The said martyrdom is a further evidence that the Ghassanites as a "people" were not Orthodox. They persecuted Harith and murdered him because he embraced this doctrine. The names of the Antiochian Greek Orthodox ancestors of the Orthodox were Greek names of saints: (Nicola, Georgios, , Esber, Hanna, etc...) or names that were Arabized from Greek such as Agabius = Habib, Theophorus = Atallah, Theotholos = Abdul Massih, Nasr = Nickolaus etc...) These names were not common at all among the Ghassanites during the high-noon of their being ruled by the Byzantines. Consequently, there is no way that such names spread among them after the advent of Islam and the occupation of the region.
2 - We came from Orthodox Horan not from the Arabs:
The arrival of Orthodox families from Horan does not necessarily mean that they were Arabs or Ghassanites, but of Greek-speaking Antiochian Greek Orthodox. Horan was full of Greek-speaking Orthodox, including the church of St. Georgios with its famous Greek writings. Among these writings, there was hardly a page that did not contain the Greek word, Christos (Greek Χρήστος). (The Impact of Christianity in Syria, The Orthodox Rock newspaper, p. 4).
3 - the traditions of Ghassanites: the veil of women and polygamy.
The great historian Papathopoulos says that the heresies of the Jacobites that allowed polygamy. The Arab leader, Munther al-Ghassani and his group were considered the king of the Monophysite heresy. On the other hand, the king of the Chalcedonians was the Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople. The name Munther was mentioned in the heretical churches. Although the Jacobite King Munther was a Christian, he fell into heresy because he believed in the doctrine the Jesus Christ had one nature. The Orthodox Church believed that Christ had two natures, human and divine. He, like his father, allowed polygamy and ordered women to wear a veil. (History of the Antioch Church of the Great Historian Chrysostomus Papadopoulos, pp. 390-391).
Consequently of the Ghassanites were the forefathers of the Monophysites (One nature in Christ).
The Ghassanites were persistent fighters for the heresy of one nature, Monophysitism. No thanks to them this heresy flourished in Syria. The leaders of Ghassanites and Lakhmainites together, though heretical Christians, were adhering to polygamy and other customs that remained in Islam today. (Papadopoulos, History of the Church of Antioch, p. 526).
4 - Ghassanites converted late to heretical Christianity called the heresy of the Jacobites:
The historian, Asaad Rustum wrote: "Conversion to Christianity in one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church was slow in the fourth century. along with a majority of the people maintaining their pagan religions until the end of that century, (Assad Rustum, The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, p. 315). In the fifth century was one which centered its faith on the Monophysite heresy (the one nature of Christ). This means that the majority moved from idolatry to the Jacobite heresy rather than to Orthodoxy. However, the Orthodox Christians maintained their faith unchanged. The clash over the fundamental nature of Christ remained until the Muslims conquered the Levant in 634 supported by the "Christian" Ghassanites.
5. The Orthodox non-Arab were different from the "Victorious Arab Christians":
The name Ghassanites is mentioned in the early Arabic references as "Victorious Arab Christians" (Al-Muntasireen Arabs). They were Arabic-speaking "Christians" who "Rejected Orthodoxy." At that time, Orthodox Christians in Syria were called "Room" (Antiochian Greek Orthodox) and their Greek language (see Fattouh Al-Shami Al-Waqidi 1, p. 5) "...we used to convey the name of our Orthodox people from generation to generation.
6 - "Victorious Arab Christians" i.e. Ghassanites converted to Islam and "apostasy"*:
* Apostasy: In the Muslim perspective (Arabic: ردة riddah or ارتداد irtidād) is commonly defined as the conscious abandonment of Islam by a Muslim in word or through deed. It includes the act of converting to another religion or non-acceptance of Islam -- to be irreligious. The punishment of such action is death.
All sources agree that the Ghassanites became Muslims with the advent of Islam, and moved from the Jacobite heresy to Islam. This is confirmed by Papathopoulos when he says: "The Ghassanites had already become Muslims on the day their leader Blab after Battle of Yarmouk and went to visit Mecca." (P.535). Thus, if the Ghassanites had returned to Jacobite Christianity or Orthodoxy then the "rule of apostasy" in Islam was clear in those days, death. Is it reasonable to perceive that their return to Orthodoxy would have been feasible, since the Orthodox Church in the Levant existed under the rule of Islam, despite the animosity between the Islamic State and Orthodoxy? Of course, it is illogical in the historical light that reports that Jiblah, when he wanted to return to Orthodoxy, he had to flee to Constantinople. However, there he repented and returned. At that time, war broke between the Greek Orthodox and Arab Muslims. When the Orthodox were winning "the daughter of the Greek Orthodox king "adorned with decorations her palace in the capital. Meanwhile, the daughter of Jiblah al-Ghassani (Ghassanite) would decorate her palace if the Arabs were winning. Yazid bin Abi Sufyan wanted in the opening of the city to get the daughter of Jiblah." (Assad Rustum, The Antiochian Greek Orthodox, Part I, p. 261).
7 - Why did took some Orthodox take a lot of Arab customs and titles and erroneously thought that they were Arab tribes??
Because of the captivity, and the displacement from one place to another, many of the Orthodox were forced to reside in the midst of Arab tribes. For example, Hameed bin Mayouf al-Hamdani traveled in 805 to Cyprus with a huge fleet. There he destroyed and burned villages and cities, as well as banishing 16,000 of their people to an area close to Al-Raqqa on the bank of the Euphrates. (Tadmouri, D, Lebanon from the establishment of the Abbasid state until the fall of the Ahkshidi State, p. 48). This very thing happened to the Greek-speaking Orthodox of Lattakia, Syria. They were "attacked by Maayouf bin Yahya al-Hajuri, and banished six thousand men of them." (Ibid., p. 5/630).
In the nineteenth-century. Lebanese Christian thinkers sponsored the idea of Arab Nationalism Propaganda, in order to separate Arabs from Turks and end the "nightmare of the Turkish Islamic caliphate." The idea was based on "political interest. This Arab propaganda rather than being based on "historical truth" was based on bogus science and history. They spread among Arab Muslims the lie that "we are Ghassanite Arabs like you." Saying "What do you and the Turks have in common, and we are closer to you then them? Let us expel the Turks and rule the region in the name of Arabism." [That was an historically unforgivable mistake which will never be forgotten.]
Finally, a stress must be made with Papathopoulos that the Orthodox have become "Arabized" but non-Arab Antiochian Orthodox Greek.
"This is the Church of Antioch, which was made up of the Greeks and others and was mother of pagan nations." (History of Antioch Church of the Mark of Chrysostomus , p. 51).
8. We are originally Greek-speaking Orthodox who became "Arabized," -- speak Arabic but do not descend from Arabs
"Persecution has intensified since 773. The Caliph la-Mansur "forbade the teaching of the Greek language to children. Since then, Orthodox Christians and other Eastern Christians have been forced to translate their ecclesiastical texts into Arabic, and this has accelerated the Arabization of the Greek people." (History of the Church of Antioch, pp. 5.70-571)
The Horanites: Who are the forefathers and descendants of the people of Horan (Hauran), Syria, and why their ethnic origin is non-specific -- non-Arab?
Horan or Hauran (Arabic: حوران / ALA-LC: Ḥawrān), known to the Ancient Greeks and Romans as Auranitis, is a volcanic plateau, a small geographic area and a people located in southwestern Syria and extending into the northwestern corner of Jordan. It is fertile and supported farming and agriculture. Across the millennia, tribes have moved into it to make a living or to escape persecution and natural disasters.
This article will not entertain including the ancient history of Horan when it was populated by Canaanite Phoenician or the various invaders of Egyptians, Hittites, Persians, Mesopotamians, Macedonians, Romans and Byzantines but cover immigrants of common people who took the region as their residence.
Looking at the list of eleven different tribes and adding to them the genetic materials of the original inhabitants and the many invaders, it is impossible to conclude or intelligently say that a certain family or person who came from Horan belonged to any specific race without specific DNA test(s). Also, such genetic tests give their best results in pie charts that illustrate a conglomerated ancestry of race confusion.
Residents of Horan
1. The "gigantic" Rafayites: Their name was based on their grandfather's, Rafa al-Jabbar (the Colossal), and they were ethnic Aramaeans. However, they were referred to as giants and lived in Horan, Syria, since 2,500 BC. Among their famous kings was King Audi the Mighty, the king of Horan. His bed was said to have been about five meters long (16.40 feet) and 1.82 meters (6 feet) wide, as told in the Tannoukhites novels.
2. The Amorites* were said to have to have descended from Amauri, the fourth of the son Ham (son of Noah), Canaan; however, Biblical stories are not to be trusted as historical sources. Their name meant the mountain people, and were among the most powerful tribes. They were said to have been widely known for their strength, courage and valour in battle. They were of great height too. Among their kings was Sihon, who inhabited Horan before the advent of the tribes of the Ammonites. Unverified tales stories suggest that they were related to the Moabites. Their name supposedly was a reference to Anba, Lot's eldest daughter. Of their famous kings were Ajlun and Balak bin Khafoor (according to Tannoukhites novels).
* The Amorites may have come of European origin, though no one is sure what was their ethnic origin. They were represented on the Egyptian monuments with fair skins, light hair, blue eyes, curved or hooked noses, and pointed beards. They were supposed to have been of great stature.
3. The Iturians: They were related to Aiytor, son of Ishmail, son of the patriarch Abraham, if the Bible/Quran stories were to be believed. They dwelt in Al-Laja which is immediately beside Jabal El-Druze (Druze Mountain) in Syria. The name of their Kingdom i.e. Ituria/Ayturia or "Gidor." They were related to the Nabataeans. It was believed that this tribe went extinct or mixed with other tribes and disappeared.
4. The Horites or Hurrians: They belonged to tribes from the Caucus Mountains that descended into the Fertile Crescent area and intermarried with the local population. Itur ibin Isma'il bin Ibrahim Khalil Allah, who settled in Al-Jahah and attributed to them the kingdom of Ayturia, the "Gidor", the brothers of the Nabataeans. It was believed that this tribe was destroyed or intermixed with other tribes.
5. The Assyrians: They were a major civilization that occupied Horan in 645 BC. Their famous king Ashurbanipal marched on Damascus and Horan and settled there until the masses of the Scythian "Tartars" arrived.
6. The Seleucids: Horan became a Seleucid property after Alexander's conquest, and they were called as such "relative to Seleucid, one of Alexander's army leaders.""
7. The Nabataeans: The Nabataeans were introduced to Horan in the first century BC (88 BC). They wrote and spoke the Aramaic language, and their last king was believed to have been Zamel, whose rule ended in 105 AD.
8. The Dajjayyam: They were related to the Saleeh tribe. They came from Saba in Yemen. They got divided into Mannatherah who settled in Mesopotamia and formed the kingdom of Al-Hira. Their second branch was the Tannoukhites who dispersed over Horan and Damascus. Their last known ruler was Ziad Ibn Al-Habula. During this king's reign, Amir bin Marwaan bin Al-Halif converted to Christianity.
9. The Ghassanites: The sons of Ghassan grandson of Muziqiyaa, Omar bin Amer. He came to Horan in the early third century AD. Aamir bin Haaritha Ghattarif bin Umru' Al-Qays El-Bahlawy. The latter was supposed to have been a descendant of Noah, "the Second Grandfather of the World." After the invasion of Islam, the Ghassanides got dispersed throughout Horan. The majority of them converted to Islam while some maintained their heretical Monophysite "Christian" faith for while but eventually all of them converted to Islam. They joined the Muslim conquest in conquering and converting North Africa and part of Spain.
10. The Arabs: The Arabs better called Islam, since Arabia was no where to be found on the famous Cartographer Idrisi's map of the 12th century, came in the 7th century and continued their occupation of the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa to this day.
11. The Jamasites: They came with the Islamic conquest from Mecca and they are descendants of bin Nafil bin Abdul Aziz bin Reyah bin Abdullah bin Qorat bin Rizah bin Uday bin Ka'b bin Louaai (cousins of Omar bin al-Khattab). These people took part in the battle of Yarmouk. They went with the Muslim armies to capture Constantinople, in vain. They were also known for their strength.
After having analyzed, listed and counted the very large number of tribes, races and conquerers, of Horan, and exposed the lie of the Ghassanite patrimony that is falsely called the "Arab World," a firm conclusion is reached. it is elementary to conclude that Lebanese Christians, as well as all Christians of the Levant, in their overwhelming majority, do not come from Arab origin, neither from Arab-Horan nor from the Ghassanites or Qahtan.
This proves that the BIGGEST LIE OF MODERN HISTORY IS: "WHAT TODAY IS CALLED 'THE ARAB WORLD' was manufactured at the end of the First World War to liquidate the Ottoman Empire and divide its vast assets." Those who followed inherited a world of confusion, radicalism, religious intolerance, bloodshed and division more than ever before.