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Saʿdun Family, al-


Ruling family of the Muntafiq in southern Iraq.

These are descendants of Mani, a sharif of Mecca who fled to the Euphrates around 1600 to escape a feud; won influence over the Muntafiq tribes by adjudicating their disputes; and was finally acknowledged as their ruler. The family name derives from Saʿdun, a great leader who led numerous raids against the Turks before being captured and beheaded in 1741. As rulers of the powerful Muntafiq, the Saʿdun were almost independent of Turkish rule until 1870 when the Ottomans made an attempt at regular land settlement. At the behest of their shaykh, Nasir Pasha, who founded the town of Nasiriyya and accepted high government office, the Saʿdun converted from tribute-receiving chiefs into regular landlords under Ottoman auspices. As a result of this "betrayal" to the Turks, the Saʿdun chiefs rapidly lost power over their tribes, whom they had reduced from landowners to tenants.

see also tribes and tribalism.


Longrigg, Stephen Hemsley. Four Centuries of Modern Iraq. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925.

albertine jwaideh

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