The Hashemites (Arabic: الهاشميون, romanized: al-Hāshimīyūn), also House of Hashim, are the royal family of Jordan, which they have ruled since the implementation of the Sharifian Solution in 1920-21, and were the royal family of the kingdoms of Syria (1920), Hejaz (1916–1925) and Iraq (1921–1958).

House of Hashim


Coat of arms of Jordan
Parent houseDhawu Awn, a branch of Banu Qatadah, of Banu Hasan, of Banu Hashim, of Quraysh
CountryHejaz (in present-day Saudi Arabia), Syria, Iraq, Jordan
  • 1916 in Hejaz
  • 1920 in Syria
  • 1921 in Iraq and Jordan
FounderHussein ibn Ali
Current head
Final ruler
Estate(s)C.f. Hashemite custodianship of Jerusalem holy sites
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The family belongs to the Dhawu Awn, one of the branches of the Hasanid Sharifs of Mecca – also referred to as Hashemites – who ruled Mecca continuously from the 10th century until its conquest by the House of Saud in 1924.[1] Their eponymous ancestor is traditionally considered to be Hashim ibn Abd Manaf, great-grandfather of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. The Hasanid Sharifs of Mecca (from whom the Hashemite royal family is directly descended), including the Hashemites' ancestor Qatadah ibn Idris,[2] were Zaydi Shias until the late Mamluk or early Ottoman period when they converted to Shafi'i Sunni Islam.[3]

The current dynasty was founded by Sharif Hussein ibn Ali, who was appointed as Sharif and Emir of Mecca by Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1908, then in 1916 was proclaimed King of Arab countries (but only recognized as King of the Hejaz) after initiating the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire. His sons Abdullah and Faisal assumed the thrones of Jordan and Iraq in 1921.


Main branch

Descendants of King Hussein

  • Queen Noor (King Hussein's fourth wife and widow)
    • Prince Hamzah and Princess Basmah (The King's half-brother and half-sister-in-law)
      • Princess Haya (The King's niece)
      • Princess Zein (The King's niece)
      • Princess Noor (The King's niece)
      • Princess Badiya (The King's niece)
    • Prince Hashim and Princess Fahdah (The King's half-brother and half-sister-in-law)
      • Princess Haalah (The King's niece)
      • Princess Rayet (The King's niece)
      • Princess Fatima (The King's niece)
      • Prince Hussein (The King's nephew)
    • Princess Iman (The King's half-sister)
    • Princess Raiyah (The King's half-sister)
  • Queen Alia (King Hussein's late thrid wife)
    • Princess Haya (The King's half-sister)
    • Prince Ali and Princess Rym (The King's half-brother and half-sister-in-law)
      • Princess Jalila (The King's niece)
      • Prince Abdullah (The King's nephew)
  • Princess Muna (King Hussein's second wife; The King's mother)
  • Princess Dina (King Hussein's late first wife)

Descendants of King Talal

  • Prince Muhammad and Princess Taghrid (The King's uncle and aunt)
    • Prince Talal and Princess Ghida (The King's cousin and cousin-in-law)
      • Prince Hussein (The King's first cousin once removed)
      • Prince Muhammad (The King's first cousin once removed)
      • Princess Rajaa (The King's first cousin once removed)
    • Prince Ghazi and Princess Areej (The King's cousin and cousin-in-law)
      • Princess Tasneem (The King's first cousin once removed)
      • Prince Abdullah (The King's first cousin once removed)
      • Princess Jennah (The King's first cousin once removed)
      • Princess Salsabil (The King's first cousin once removed)
  • Princess Firyal (The King's ex-aunt)
  • Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath (The King's uncle and aunt)
  • Princess Basma (The King's aunt)

Descendants of King Abdullah I

  • Prince Nayef and Princess Mihrimah (The King's late granduncle and late grandaunt)
    • Prince Ali and Princess Reema (The King's cousin and cousin-in-law)
      • Prince Muhammad and Princess Sima (The King's second cousin and his wife)
      • Prince Hamzah (The King's second cousin)
      • Princess Rania (The King's second cousin)
      • Princess Karma (The King's second cousin)
      • Prince Haidar (The King's second cousin)
      • Princess Na'afa (The King's second cousin)
      • Princess Rajwa (The King's second cousin)
      • Princess Basma Fatima (The King's second cousin)
    • Prince Asem and Princess Sana (The King's cousin and cousin-in-law)
  • Princess Naifeh (The King's granddaunt)

Iraqi Hashemites (Descendants of Prince Ra'ad ibn Zaid)

The descendants of Iraqi Hashemite prince Ra'ad ibn Zaid have been awarded Jordanian citizenship and are addressed in the style of His Royal Highness and Prince in Jordan. Descendants include Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad – Jordanian diplomat, who served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2014 to 2018 and Prince Mired bin Ra'ad.


A number of Dhawu Awn clansmen migrated with Emir Abdullah I to Transjordan in the early 1920s. Several of their descendants have gained prominent positions in the Jordanian state, including the positions of Chief of the Royal Court, Prime Minister, and Ambassador. Descendants of the Dhawu Awn clansmen are referred to as Sharifs and, other than Zaid ibn Shaker, have not been awarded princely title. Examples include former Prime Ministers and Royal Court Chiefs Sharif Hussein ibn Nasser,[4] Sharif Abdelhamid Sharaf,[5] Queen Zein Al-Sharaf (wife of King Talal and mother of King Hussein) and her brother Sharif Nasser ibn Jamil.[6]

Princely title in Jordan is typically restricted only to patrilineal descendants of any of the four sons of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca.

Descendants of Prince Zaid ibn Shaker

Prince Zaid ibn Shaker, former PM and Commander-in-chief of the Jordanian military, was a member of the Dhawu Awn clan whose father Shaker ibn Zaid migrated to Transjordan with his cousin Abdullah I of Jordan. He was awarded the non-hereditary title of "prince" in 1996. His children, one son and one daughter, are addressed as "Sharifs" – not princes.[7]


The Hashemites claim to trace their ancestry from Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf (died c. 497 AD), the great-grandfather of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, although the definition today mainly refers to the descendants of Muhammad's daughter Fatimah.[8] The early history of the Hashemites saw them in a continuous struggle against the Umayyads for control over who would be the caliph or successor to Muhammad. The Umayyads were of the same tribe as the Hashemites, but a different clan. After the overthrow of the Umayyads, the Abbasids would present themselves as representatives of the Hashemites, as they claimed descent from Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, an uncle of Muhammad. Muhammad's father had died before he was born, and his mother died while he was a child, so Muhammad was raised by his uncle Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, chief of the Hashemites.[9]

From the 10th century onwards, the sharif (religious leader) of Mecca and its emir was, by traditional agreement, a Hashemite. Before World War I, Hussein bin Ali of the Hashemite Dhawu-'Awn clan ruled the Hejaz on behalf of the Ottoman sultan. For some time it had been the practice of the Sublime Porte to appoint the Emir of Mecca from among a select group of candidates. In 1908, Hussein bin Ali was appointed to the Emirate of Mecca. He found himself increasingly at odds with the Young Turks in control at Istanbul, while he strove to secure his family's position as hereditary emirs.

The Hashemites and the Arab Revolt

Hussein bin Ali's lineage and destined position as the Sharif of Mecca helped foster the ambition for an independent Arab kingdom and caliphate. These pretensions came to the Ottoman rulers' attention and caused them to "invite" Hussein to Constantinople as the guest of the sultan in order to keep him under direct supervision. Hussein brought his four sons, Ali, Abdullah, Faisal, and Zeid, with him. It was not until after the Young Turk Revolution that he was able to return to the Hijaz and was officially appointed the Sharif.

Of Hussein's four sons, Abdullah was the most politically ambitious and became the planner and driving force behind the Arab revolt. Abdullah received military training in both the Hijaz and Constantinople. He was the deputy for Mecca in the Ottoman Parliament between 1912 and 1914. During this period, Abdullah developed deep interest in Arab nationalism and linked his father's interest for autonomous rule in the Hijaz to complete Arab emancipation.[10] In 1914 he met the British high commissioner, Lord Kitchener, in Cairo to discuss the possibility of the British supporting an Arab uprising against the Turks. The possibility of co-operation was raised but no commitment was made by either side. Shortly after Abdullah returned to Mecca, he became his father's foreign minister, political advisor, and one of the commanders of the Arab Revolt.

Faisal, Hussein's third son, played an active role in the revolt as commander of the Arab army while the overall leadership was placed in the hands of his father. The idea of an Arab uprising against the Ottoman Empire was first conceived by Abdullah.[11] Only after gradual and persistent nudging did Abdullah convince his father, the conservative Sharif of Mecca, to move from the idea of home rule of a portion of Arabia within the Ottoman Empire to complete and total independence of the entire Empire's Arab provinces. Hussein recognized the necessity of breaking away from the Empire in the beginning of 1914 when he realized that he would not be able to complete his political objectives within the framework of the Ottomans. To have any success with the Arab revolt, the backing of another great power was crucial.

Hussein regarded Arab unity as synonymous with his own kingship, he aspired to have the entire Arab peninsula, Greater Syria, and Iraq under his and his descendants' rule. After a year of fruitless negotiation, Sir Henry McMahon conveyed the British government's agreement to recognize Arab independence over an area that was much more limited than what Hussein had aspired for. The Arab revolt, an Anglo-Hashemite plot in its essence, broke out in June 1916. Britain financed the revolt and supplied arms, provisions, direct artillery support, and experts in desert warfare including the legendary and controversial T. E. Lawrence. The Hashemites promised more than they were able to deliver, and their ambitious plan collapsed. There were only a small number of Syrian and Iraqi nationalists who joined under the Sharifan banner while others remained loyal to the Ottoman sultan.

During and after World War I

Sharif Hussein bin Ali rebelled against the rule of the Ottomans during the Arab Revolt of 1916.[12] For Hashemite contribution to the Allied forces effort to bring down the Ottoman empire, Britain promised, or perhaps half-promised, its support for Arab independence. However, the McMahon-Hussein correspondence left territorial limits governing this promise obscurely defined leading to a long and bitter disagreement between the two sides.

Between 1917 and 1924, after the collapse of Ottoman power, Hussein bin Ali ruled an independent Hejaz, of which he proclaimed himself king, with the tacit support of the British Foreign Office. His supporters are sometimes referred to as "Sharifians" or the "Sharifian party". Hussein bin Ali's chief rival in the Arabian Peninsula, the king of the Najd (highlands), Ibn Saud, annexed the Hejaz in 1925 and established his own son, Faysal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, as governor. The region was later incorporated into Saudi Arabia.

Hussein bin Ali had five sons:

The foundation of Transjordan

In May 1923, the British government granted Transjordan its independence with Abdullah as ruler. The degree of independence that was afforded to the Arab states by colonial powers was an ongoing issue at the time, however in the case of Transjordan, the independence enjoyed was limited; with substantial influence and control was reserved by British government in London. In domestic affairs the local ruler was given a considerable amount of power nonetheless; but these powers were exercised in an autocratic manner by the Hashemite family while remaining under the superintendence of the British Resident in Amman, as well as the British high commissioner in Jerusalem.[13]

Family tree


(eponymous ancestor)
Abu TalibAbdullah
(Islamic prophet)
(1st Imam)
(2nd Imam)
Hasan Al-Mu'thanna
Musa Al-Djawn
Abd Al-Karim
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
Abu Numayy I
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
Barakat I
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
Barakat II
(Sharif of Mecca)
Abu Numayy II
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
Auon, Ra'i Al-Hadala
Abdul Mu'een
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca King of the Arabs)
(King of Hejaz)
Abdullah I
(King of Jordan)
Faisal I
(King of Syria King of Iraq)
(pretender to Iraq)
'Abd Al-Ilah
(Regent of Iraq)
(King of Jordan)
(King of Iraq)
(pretender to Iraq)
(King of Jordan)
Faisal II
(King of Iraq)
Abdullah II
(King of Jordan)
(Crown Prince of Jordan)

See also


  1. "The Hashemites". King Abdullah II Official Website. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  2. Curatola, Giovanni (2007). The Art and Architecture of Mesopotamia. Abbeville Press. ISBN 978-0-7892-0921-4.
  3. "Shiʿites in Arabia". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 2019-08-29. The Zaydi denomination of the (Ḥasanid) Sharifian rulers of Mecca and the Imāmi-Shiʿi leanings of the (Ḥosaynid) emirs of Medina were well known to medieval Sunni and Shiʿi observers. This situation gradually changed under Mamluk rule (for the development over several centuries, up to the end of the Mamluk period, see articles by Mortel mentioned in the bibliography below). A number of Shiʿite and Sunnite sources hint at (alleged or real) sympathy for the Shiʿa among the Hāshemite (officially Sunni) families of the Ḥejāz, or at least some of their members
  4. رئاسة الوزراء - سيادة الشريف حسين بن ناصر [Prime Minister – Sharif Hussein bin Nasser]. www.pm.gov.jo (in Arabic).
  5. "Monday marks 37th death anniversary of former PM Sharaf". Jordan Times. July 2, 2017.
  6. "Prince Sharif Jamil bin Nasser". Arab Revolt Centennial. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  7. سمو الامير زيد بن شاكر [His Highness Prince Zaid Bin Shake]. www.pm.gov.jo (in Arabic). 2014-04-23. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  8. Lawrence 2000, p. 48.
  9. What life was like in the lands of the Prophet. Time-Life Books. 1999. p. 17.
  10. Shlaim 1988, p. 20.
  11. Shlaim 1988, p. 22.
  12. Lawrence 2000, p. 53.
  13. Shlaim 1988, p. 37.
  14. Salibi, Kamal (1998). A Modern History of Jordan. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-86064-331-6.
  15. شجرة النسب الشريف [Hashemite Ancestry]. alhussein.gov (in Arabic). 1 January 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2018.

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