What is the Arabian Peninsula?
The Arabian Peninsula is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At 3,237,500 km², the Arabian Peninsula is the largest peninsula in the world. Geographically, it includes Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and portions of Jordan. The Arabian peninsula has an exceedingly interesting culture.
Interesting things about the Arabian Peninsula
1: They called their peninsula Jazeerat al-Arab, meaning “the island of the Arabs” due to how isolated its inhabitants were. This isolation proved to be greatly beneficial. The harsh environment meant that none of the surrounding states could invade and occupy Arab lands. The Arabs’ traditional cycle of wandering and their way of life was mostly unaffected by regional politics and wars.
2: Everything about the life of the Arab was based around the harsh environment in which he lived. Due to the desert’s inability to support settled civilization, the Arabs were constantly on the move in search of fertile land for their flocks. One theory of the etymology of the label “Arab” even posits that the word itself comes from a Semitic root meaning “wandering” or “nomadic”. The Arabs would spend the summer months around whatever oases or wells they could rely on year after year, trying to make supplies and water last by living on the bare minimum. After months of enduring the summer heat, they would migrate to the south, near Yemen, where rain fell in the autumn and fertile land appeared for their herds. The rain-fed pastures gave their flocks of sheep, goats, and camels enough food to live off through the winter months as they pitched their tents and temporarily settled. By the time the rains stopped and the dry season began again in the spring, the Arabs returned to their oases and wells to wait out another summer. This harsh cycle had been the norm for the nomadic Arabs since time immemorial, and it remains in place for the Bedouin Arabs who still live in Arabia’s deserts
3: In pre-Islamic Arabia, hospitality was of such importance that a guest at the home of an Arab was guaranteed at least three days of total security and protection before he would even be questioned about why he was there. This tradition was further reinforced by the Prophet (PBUH), who stated that a guest has the right to be hosted for three days.
If you ever visit Arabia, don’t forget to visit the Arabian Peninsula. And If you already have visited, tell us about your experience. We would be happy to listen to your story. Did you enjoy your time there? What place in the Arabian peninsula do you think is a must-visit? Share your thoughts in the comment section.