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The root ʿ-r-b has several additional meanings in Semitic languages—including "west/sunset," "desert," "mingle," "mixed," "merchant," and "raven"—and are "comprehensible" with all of these having varying degrees of relevance to the emergence of the name.
It is also possible that some forms were metathetical from ʿ-B-R "moving around" (Arabic ʿ-B-R "traverse"), and hence, it is alleged, "nomadic." Pre-Islamic Arabia refers to the Arabian Peninsula prior to the rise of Islam in the 630s.
Sources for these civilizations are not extensive, and are limited to archaeological evidence, accounts written outside of Arabia, and Arab oral traditions later recorded by Islamic scholars.
Among the most prominent civilizations was Dilmun, which arose around the 4th millennium BCE and lasted to 538 BCE, and Thamud, which arose around the 1st millennium BCE and lasted to about 300 CE.
The Arabs forged the Rashidun (632–661), Umayyad (661–750), Abbasid (750–1517) and the Fatimid (901–1071) caliphates, whose borders reached southern France in the west, China in the east, Anatolia in the north, and the Sudan in the south.
Some of the settled communities in the Arabian Peninsula developed into distinctive civilizations.The most popular Arab account holds that the word "Arab" came from an eponymous father called Ya'rub who was supposedly the first to speak Arabic.Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Hamdani had another view; he states that Arabs were called Gharab ("West") by Mesopotamians because Bedouins originally resided to the west of Mesopotamia; the term was then corrupted into "Arab".Predominantly: Islam (93%)(Sunni · Shia · Sufi · Ibadi · Alawite)Sizable minority: Christianity (6%) (Greek Orthodox · Greek Catholic)Smaller minority: Other monotheistic religions (Druze · Bahá'í Faith)Historically: Pre-Islamic Arabian polytheism Arab tribes, most notably the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, begin to appear in the southern Syrian Desert from the mid 3rd century CE onward, during the mid to later stages of the Roman and Sasanian empires.Before the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate (632–661 C.
Old Arabic diverges from Central Semitic by the beginning of the 1st millennium BCE.