The Committee Of Turab

In February 2001, TURAB became part of the Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. TURAB was an official, registered, tax-free charity Society. It literally means ‘earth or’ soil’ in Arabic and is an acronym for Turath Al–Urdunn Al-Baqi, meaning ‘Jordan’s Everlasting Heritage’. This is reflected in TURAB’s logo, which is an hourglass on its side symbolizing the sands of time standing still. TURAB was founded in 1994 in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and is chaired by H.R.H. Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad , Personal Advisor and Special Envoy. Its official purpose is to ‘protect, preserve and propagate traditional Jordanian, Arab and Islamic culture and heritage’.

Turab has published so far, in English, the following books:

1. The Holy Sites of Jordan:

“Everyone knows the marvels of Petra, Jerash, the Dead Sea and the Desert Castles etc.; and, indeed, there exists a spate of books about these, but no one is aware of the incredible treasures Jordan has by way of Holy Sites. Indeed, this book is perhaps the first comprehensive one ever published on the subject, and the first one that includes both Islamic and Christian Sites. It is also designed to be an attractive but practical ‘field-guide’ to all these sites. Indeed, there are over forty Muslim Tombs pertaining to the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) and the prophets before him, and over a hundred Christian Sites in Jordan mentioned in the Bible by name.’ From The Preface to the Second Edition:

‘The first edition of The Holy Sites of Jordan was, by the grace of God, a phenomenal success. In two years over 5,000 hardback copies of the book were sold over the world, making it the most successful bilingual, illustrated Jordanian hardback in history. Moreover, the Royal Hashemite Court gave it as an official gift to many visiting world leaders including President Jacques Chirac, who kindly ordered the Institut du Monde Arabe to make a French translation of it. Television documentaries and academic studies have been made based upon it, and it has significantly contributed to religious tourism in Jordan. Finally, it has brought Muslims and Christians in Jordan even closer together through a deeper understanding of their common religious heritage.”


Acknowledgements - Preface to First Edition - Preface to Second Edition - Introduction - Arabic Introduction:

Book 1: Islamic Sites: A Fatwa Regarding Visiting Holy Sites.

Part 1: The Messengers and the Prophets:

The Prophet Nuh - The Prophet Hud - The Prophet Lut - The Prophet Khidr - The Prophet Shu’ayb / Jethro - The Prophet Harun / Aaron - The Prophet Musa / Moses - The Prophet Yosha’ / Joshua - The Prophet Dawud / David - The Prophet Sulayman / Solomon - The Prophet Ayyub / Job - The Prophet Yahya / John - The Prophet ‘Isa / Jesus - The Prophet Muhammad.

Part 2: The Companions:

Ja`far bin Abi Talib - Zeid ibn Al-Harithah - Abdallah bin Rawahah - Abu `Ubaydah `Amir bin Al-Jarrah - Mu’ath bin Jabal - Shurhabil bin Husnah - Amir bin Abi Waqqas - Dirar bin Al-Azwar - Al-Harith bin `Umayr Al-Azadi - Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari - Abu Al-Darda’ - Bilal bin Rabah - Maysarah bin Masruq Al-Abassi - Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl - Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari - Farwa bin Amro Al-Jadhami - Abd Al-Rahman bin `Auf - Jabir bin Abdallah - Ka`ab bin Umayr Al-Ghifari.

Part 3: Other Religious Sites:

The Cave of the Sleepers / Kahf al-Raqim - Zeid bin Ali bin Al-Hussein - Sheeth / Seth - Gadur / Gad - Hazir / Asher = Uyun Musa / Moses’ Springs.

Part 4: Historical Sites:

The Site of the Battle of Mu’tah - The Site of the Battle of Fahl - The Site of the Battle of Yarmouk - The Hill of Judication / Jabal Al-Tahkim - Uthman’s Mosque at Ayla Humayma.

Part 5: Appendices:

• Appendix 1: Jerusalem
• Appendix 2: The Letter of Prophet Muhammad to the Emperor Heraclius
• Appendix 3: The Royal Cemetery Map of Islamic Holy Sites

Book 2: Christian Sites:

Introduction: A Pilgrim’s Journey Through the Holy Land

Part 1: The Biblical History of the Land:

The Sanctuaries Along the Roman Road (Esbus-Livias)

Part 2: The Jordan River:

Epiphany - Bethabara - The Bethany-Saphsaphas - Wadi Kharrar and the Story of St. Mary the Egyptian - Elijah

Part 3: The Saints

Saint Lot - John the Baptist - Moses - The Hot Springs - The Springs of Moses (Uyun Musa) - Mount Nebo - The Memorial of Moses - The Origin of the Memorial to Moses on Mount Nebo - Egeria’s View from Mount Nebo - Today’s View from Mount Nebo - The Mountain Where Moses Died - How the History of Pilgrims of Mount Nebo was Discovered - Jerash (Gerasa) - The Cross - The Virgin Mary - Soldier Saints - Madaba Map - Um Al-Rasas - Aaron’s Tomb - Map of Christian Holy Sites

2. Old Houses of Jordan:

“We study, preserve and enjoy old houses for reasons beyond the technical and decorative aspects of their design, or even their utilitarian functions. This fascinating book, which focuses on houses in Amman built during 1920–1950, is important because houses do not represent static moments frozen in time, but dynamic links between our present identity and our historical roots.”

H.M. Queen Noor Al-Hussein


Preface -Foreword by H.M. Queen Noor- Introduction

Part 1: Early –Twentieth– Century Examples

• Municipality Building, Salt • King Abdullah Palace, Ma’an Railroad Stations, Ma’an

Part 2:

• Houses from the Emirate and Kingdom Period (1921-1950)
• Bani Hamidah House
• Jordan River Designs House
• Al-Bilbeisi Houses I&II
• Habboo and Akrawi House
• Al-Mufti House
• Jardaneh House
• Mango House
• Darat al-Funun Complex: Darat I, II, and III
• Bisharat House
• Bibliography
• Notes on Transliteration
• Acknowledgements

3. Cultural Treasures of Jordan:

“With a population now numbering over five million, and marked by such variety in ethnic and territorial origin, Jordan today claims a national culture fusing the elements of an intricately composite heritage. Even more remarkable is the almost faultless harmony in which the different elements of this varied heritage blend into a common Jordanian culture at every level: most notably, the Arab/ non- Arab; the Jordanian / Palestinian; the urban and the nomadic, and the Muslim/Christian. The present book presents some notable illustrations of the crafts and heritage of this particular synthesis”.

Dr. Kamal Salibi


Preface - Acknowledgments - Map

Part 1: Introduction - The History and People of Jordan by Dr. Kamal Salibi

Part 2: Traditional Costumes and Jewellery - Introduction of Costumes - The Textiles - Woman’s Costumes - Northern Jordan - Salt - Madaba - Kerak - Ma’an - Bedouin and Semi-Nomadic Tribes: - Beni Hasan; Beni Sakhr; ‘Adwan; ‘Abbadi; The Bedul of Petra - Men’s Costumes - Jewellery

Part 3: Traditional Handicrafts - Introduction to Crafts - Weaving - Pottery - Metalwork - Woodwork - Straw-work

Part 4: Crafts Today

Part 5: A Note on Traditional Arab/Jordanian Hospitality - Select Bibliography

4. The Tribes of Jordan (at the Beginning the Twenty-First Century):

1. Who are the Tribes of Jordan?
2. What makes the Tribes?
3. What are ‘honour crimes’?
4. What is ‘Tribal Honour’ and how does it relate to Islam?

“In this original and unusual treatise Ghazi bin Muhammad looks at all these questions and more with a view to shedding light upon the predicament of the Tribes of Jordan at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century.

This work is more than a descriptive and analytical study. Thus, the personal sensitivity of the author towards the subject becomes quite clear and demonstrates a depth of appreciation and understanding adds further depth to its scholarly nature. This combination of scholarship, added to the caring even loving, style with which the subject is treated makes this work unique. The author hides nothing in treating the very thorny points he raises. Who, and what makes a tribe, tribal values and Islam, crimes of honour, and the cultural estrangement of the tribes in modernity are treated forthrightly and honestly. Where a spade is needed to be called one, it is done.

In this work we also see as well as feel the presence of the anthropologist, the historian, the political scientist and the litterateur all at work at once lamenting and yet explaining the passing of a noble culture. The philosophical musings add to the gentleness with which the subject is treated. It is a work that should be read slowly to understand the dilemma of the process of transition and also to relish the often very sophisticated thought and the hidden nuances between the lines.

His sources are quite extensive adding to his personal knowledge and position as the Advisor for Tribal Affairs to the late H.M. King Hussein and now H.M. King Abdullah II. His footnotes add further dimensions of understanding demonstrating not only his obvious knowledge of literature, but also more important, the nature and the style of Bedouin life.

In reading it I felt a sense of sadness for the loss of rich, chivalrous and strong culture that had to adjust to the imperatives of modernity”.

Prof. Kamel Abu Jaber



• Who are the Tribes?
• What Makes them Tribes?
• The Tribal Ethos and Islam
• Tribal ‘Honor Crimes’
• The Predicament of the Tribes in the Modern World


Appendix: The Land and Heritage of Jordan - A Map of Jordan and its Tribes - Select Bibliography in English - About the Author

The committee of TURAB is currently undertaking the process of translating English titles into Arabic, with the aim of publishing them, among which are:

1. The Holy Sites in Jordan, Revised by H.R.H Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad.

2. Young Muslim Guide in the Contemporary World, by Prof. Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr.