Hashim, Al-

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The ruling family of Jordan. The al-Hashim dynasty (also referred to as Hashimis, or Hashimites) has borne this name for a millennium, and from it sprang the sharifs of Mecca, guardians of the holy sites of Islam. The dynasty claims descent from Ali Hashim, great-grandfather of the prophet Muhammad. The Hashimites ruled in the Hijaz (western Arabian Peninsula) from the twelfth century until 1925, when the Saudis conquered the province and expelled them. In return for their help against the Ottomans in World War I—the Arab Revolt against the Turks was led by Husayn ibn Ali al-Hashim, king of Hijaz and sharif of Mecca—the British installed as king of Iraq in 1921 a Hashimite prince, Faysal ibn Hussein, Sharif Hussein's son. Faysal had ruled Syria in 1920 until he was dislodged by the French; he and his descendants reigned in Iraq until the regime was overthrown in 1958. The British allowed another of Sharif Husayn's sons, Abdullah ibn Hussein (Abdullah I), to become emir of Transjordan (after 1946 the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan) on condition that he accept the British Mandate and not attempt to restore his brother to the throne in Syria.

SEE ALSO Abdullah I ibn Hussein;British Mandate.