Hilf al-Mutayyabin

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From wikishia

Ḥilf al-Muṭayyabīn (Arabic:حِلْفُ المُطَیَّبین, pledge of perfume wearers) was an allegiance reached between Banu 'Abd Manaf and some clans of Quraysh. This allegiance was made during the struggle over positions related to the Ka'ba against Banu 'Abd al-Dar and was called so because they soaked their hands in a bowl of perfume and spread it over the Ka'ba.

Beginning of the Struggle

Qusayy b. Kilab (the fifth generation forefather of the Holy Prophet (s))[1] had the most important positions in Mecca and for the Ka'ba. Upon his death, he shared those positions among his children. According to al-Mas'udi, he gave 'Abd al-Dar Hijaba (key-holding of Ka'ba) and Dar al-Nudwa (place of gatherings and consultations of Quraysh) and liwā' (standard-bearing of the army) and gave 'Abd Manaf, siqāya (giving water to hajj pilgrims) and rifāda (receiving and giving service to hajj pilgrims).[2] After the death of 'Abd Manaf and 'Abd al-Dar, a serious struggle was made between their children over the positions related to Ka'ba.

According to some reports, Qusayy had given all the positions to his elder son, 'Abd al-Dar[3] and the cause of this struggle was that Banu 'Abd Manaf objected to the exclusiveness of the positions in the hands of Banu 'Abd al-Dar (their cousins).


Banu Asad, Banu Zuhra, Banu Taym, and Banu l-Harith allied themselves with Banu 'Abd Manaf and made a pledge among themselves not to submit the Ka'ba at any case to help 'Abd Manaf who wanted to take the position of the hijaba of the Ka'ba, Dar al-Nudwa and Liwa' (which belonged to Banu 'Abd al-Dar) as well as the positions of siqaya and rifada of hajj. To emphasize on their pledge, they filled up a bowl of perfume and soaked their hands in it and spread on the Ka'ba. Therefore, their pledge was called Hilf al-Mutayyabin (perfume-wearers).[4]

On the opposite camp, Banu Makhzum, Banu Jumah, Banu Sahm and Banu 'Adī allied themselves with Banu 'Abd al-Dar and were called al-Ahlaf (allied ones).[5]

The two groups were ready to fight, but some elders mediated between them, so they shared the positions and stopped fighting. This situation was so until Islam emerged.[6]

See Also


  1. Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah b. 'Abd al-Muttalib b. Hashim b. 'Abd Manaf b. Qusayy b. Kilab
  2. Masʿūdī, al-Tanbīh wa al-ishrāf, p. 191.
  3. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī, vol. 3, p. 811-812.
  4. Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 1, p. 321; Rasūlī Maḥallātī, Zindigānī Muḥammad (s) payāmbar-i Islām, vol. 1, p. 87-88.
  5. Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 1, p. 322; Masʿūdī, al-Tanbīh wa al-ishrāf, p. 191.
  6. Rasūlī Maḥallātī, Zindigānī Muḥammad (s) payāmbar-i Islām, vol. 1, p. 87-88.


  • Masʿūdī, ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn al-. Al-Tanbīh wa al-ishrāf. Translated by Abū l-Qāsim Pāyanda. 2nd edition. Tehran: Intishārāt-i ʿIlmī wa Farhangī, 1365 Sh.
  • Rasūlī Maḥallātī, Sayyid Hāshim. Zindigānī Muḥammad (s) payāmbar-i Islām. Farsi translation of the book Al-Sīra al-nabawīyya by Ibn Hishām. 5th edition. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Kitābchī, 1375 Sh.
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī. Translated to Farsi by Abū l-Qāsim Pāyanda. 5th edition. Tehran: Asāṭīr, 1375 Sh.
  • Yaʿqūbī, Aḥmad b. Abī Yaʿqūb al-. Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī. Translated to Farsi by Ibrāhīm Āyātī. 6th edition. Tehran: Intishārāt-i ʿIlmī wa Farhangī, 1371 Sh.