No Banu Hilal or Sulaym Migrations

Deleted member 157939

At the instigation of the Fatimids, two large pastoralist Arab confederacies, the Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym, migrated towards North Africa in the 11th Century. The Zirid dynasty in North Africa had renounced the Fatimid Caliphate, converting to Sunni Islam and recognizing the Abbasids, prompting the Fatimids to encourage the migrations as a punitive measure.

The Hilayan Invasions defeated the Zirids, significantly weakening the neighboring Amazigh/Berber Zenatah and Hammamid dynasties. This deeply disruptive period is said to have decimated what remained of the local town life and ordered agricultural settlements of the region, damaging the regional economy and resulting in desertification. The linguistic and cultural effects of the migrations where seismic, resulting in the Arabization of North Africa.

Without the migrations, inland North Africa would most likely remain exclusively Berber (at least for the 10th-11th centuries). The ramifications are massive in virtually every aspect of North Africa’s history. How would Berber society and culture develop? Could the agricultural system (or what remained of it) survive, would it prevent the turn to nomadism? Linguistically, could Latin remain a minority language (as late as the 11th century Latin was still used for Christian epitaphs at El-Ngila in Tripolitania and Kairoun)? Perhaps a larger indigenous Christian community?
 
Don't know enough about it to be able to comment, but would like to hear you develop this further.
 
At the instigation of the Fatimids, two large pastoralist Arab confederacies, the Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym, migrated towards North Africa in the 11th Century. The Zirid dynasty in North Africa had renounced the Fatimid Caliphate, converting to Sunni Islam and recognizing the Abbasids, prompting the Fatimids to encourage the migrations as a punitive measure.

The Hilayan Invasions defeated the Zirids, significantly weakening the neighboring Amazigh/Berber Zenatah and Hammamid dynasties. This deeply disruptive period is said to have decimated what remained of the local town life and ordered agricultural settlements of the region, damaging the regional economy and resulting in desertification. The linguistic and cultural effects of the migrations where seismic, resulting in the Arabization of North Africa.

Without the migrations, inland North Africa would most likely remain exclusively Berber (at least for the 10th-11th centuries). The ramifications are massive in virtually every aspect of North Africa’s history. How would Berber society and culture develop? Could the agricultural system (or what remained of it) survive, would it prevent the turn to nomadism? Linguistically, could Latin remain a minority language (as late as the 11th century Latin was still used for Christian epitaphs at El-Ngila in Tripolitania and Kairoun)? Perhaps a larger indigenous Christian community?
A larger indigenous Christian community could serve as a reason for the Spaniards to continue the reconquest More now in North African? In some threads on the forum about a Christian North Africa If memory serves me I saw comments in these threads saying that after the conquest of islam in North of africa for a while there were still African Catholic priests communicating with Rome If these Berber Catholics become a significant minority We would see the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula extending to North Africa or at least to Morocco?
 
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So I think the presence of a huge Christian minority in perpetuity is probably wishful thinking. Islamization was proceeding apace even without the Banu Hilal. In Al-Andalus alone, where the Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym never reached, it took about 300-odd years to reach about 75% of the population being Muslim. This seems to be a trend in a lot of places on the frontier of Islam: Conversion starts off slow and then there's a big burst that gets everything rolling towards majority territory in 250 to 400 years.

I would actually expect a lack of Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym to make it far less likely that we see any sort of Reconquista at all. An important part of propping up the various Andalusian polities was the ability of the Andalusians to draw on the manpower pools in the Maghreb. The Banu Hilal seriously put a dent in options for stabilization other than fringe radicals coming from the opposite direction as them (Almoravids, Almohads). A stable power in Ifriqiya adds another option.

Odds are what you get is a greater spread of dialects of Arabic more heavily influenced by Berber languages - see pre-Hilalian dialects of Maghrebi Arabic - and a greater percentage of the population doing agriculture rather than pastoralism.
 

Deleted member 157939

So I think the presence of a huge Christian minority in perpetuity is probably wishful thinking. Islamization was proceeding apace even without the Banu Hilal. In Al-Andalus alone, where the Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym never reached, it took about 300-odd years to reach about 75% of the population being Muslim. This seems to be a trend in a lot of places on the frontier of Islam: Conversion starts off slow and then there's a big burst that gets everything rolling towards majority territory in 250 to 400 years.

I would actually expect a lack of Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym to make it far less likely that we see any sort of Reconquista at all. An important part of propping up the various Andalusian polities was the ability of the Andalusians to draw on the manpower pools in the Maghreb. The Banu Hilal seriously put a dent in options for stabilization other than fringe radicals coming from the opposite direction as them (Almoravids, Almohads). A stable power in Ifriqiya adds another option.

Odds are what you get is a greater spread of dialects of Arabic more heavily influenced by Berber languages - see pre-Hilalian dialects of Maghrebi Arabic - and a greater percentage of the population doing agriculture rather than pastoralism.
I agree a major Christian minority is highly unlikely under the circumstances of Islamization of the region. However without the migrations, could perhaps a larger community continue to exist? Linguistically this could have the effect of a longer lasting African Romance/Latin across Ifriqiya. A prevalence of a small Latin speaking Berber community in Tripolitania, Tunisia and Algeria has many potential interesting consequences.

Furthermore would Ifriqiya continue to Arabize at a slower rate? Pre-Hilal, the coastal regions and major cities had been Arabized (yet to a lesser degree as you mentioned with dialects), while the inland, mountains and deserts remained exclusively Berber. Would these regions eventually become Arabized with a much stronger Berber influence? If such slower Arabization occurs, perhaps you could see larger non-assimilated communities and regions identifying exclusively as Amazigh/Berber (such as the OTL Kabyle in Algeria, Nafusah and Zuwara etc in Libya etc).
 
I agree a major Christian minority is highly unlikely under the circumstances of Islamization of the region. However without the migrations, could perhaps a larger community continue to exist? Linguistically this could have the effect of a longer lasting African Romance/Latin across Ifriqiya. A prevalence of a small Latin speaking Berber community in Tripolitania, Tunisia and Algeria has many potential interesting consequences.

Furthermore would Ifriqiya continue to Arabize at a slower rate? Pre-Hilal, the coastal regions and major cities had been Arabized (yet to a lesser degree as you mentioned with dialects), while the inland, mountains and deserts remained exclusively Berber. Would these regions eventually become Arabized with a much stronger Berber influence? If such slower Arabization occurs, perhaps you could see larger non-assimilated communities and regions identifying exclusively as Amazigh/Berber (such as the OTL Kabyle in Algeria, Nafusah and Zuwara etc in Libya etc).
It's almost certain that Arabization would be slower and more influenced by Berber culture, with the result probably being a distinct sphere of Islam. Arab culture and language would still be prominent because of the sheer primacy of Arabic as the language of religion and law, but dialects would be more heavily influenced by Berber languages as well as by Romance languages to an extent. I'm not a linguist, but my understanding is that a lot of the urban pre-Hilalian dialects of Arabic maintained some degree of infiltration by Romance loanwords (e.g. in some dialects a cat could be qattus).

What probably happens linguistically is that these trends continue to evolve, with standard Arabic being a language of religious learning and official documentation and pre-Hilalian dialects being the language of the commons. The ultimate result is probably a rapid gradiation of dialect, with more typical Bedouin-influenced dialects fading away west of Egypt to a North African sphere predominated by Berber-influenced dialects. The people there may not think of themselves as Arabs, particularly since all Muslims are supposed to be equal. An Arab from the Levant will undoubtedly think the Arabic spoken by someone from Fes or Mahdia will sound very strange.
 

Deleted member 157939

I would actually expect a lack of Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym to make it far less likely that we see any sort of Reconquista at all. An important part of propping up the various Andalusian polities was the ability of the Andalusians to draw on the manpower pools in the Maghreb. The Banu Hilal seriously put a dent in options for stabilization other than fringe radicals coming from the opposite direction as them (Almoravids, Almohads). A stable power in Ifriqiya adds another option.
Without the Hilayan migrations, it’s likely the Zirids would of remained in power. The rise of the Almoravids is still likely to occur. What would the dynamics of such an alternate Maghreb be like?
 
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