Royal House of Ghassan appears on Lebanese TV


Today, the president of the Lebanese branch of the Royal House of Ghassan, Sheikh Dr. Elie Gharios was interviewed by Mariam TV. He spoke about the charitable and cultural projects of the Royal House not only in Lebanon but in three continents.

Mariam TV” is a satellite channel from Tele Lumiere. It is a live tribune that transmits the voice of women to the whole world and encourages the development of societies. It’s devoted to broadcasting programs that raise awareness and spread education. It is called “Mariam” since “Mariam”, the Holy Mother of God and the Divine Mercy on earth, gathers around her Christians and Muslims.

Royal House of Ghassan has another charity event in Lebanon

In partnership with the Mourouj Mahabbi Foundation of Mr. Mokhtar Elias Geryes, the Lebanese branch of the Royal House of Ghassan has collaborated to give gifts and candies to 800 (eight hundred) children in the huge Christmas Charity event organized by the Greek Catholic Bishopric of Beirut.

Ghassanids: some of the first Christian knights in history

Antarah (a.k.a. “Antar“) ibn Shaddad (525-608 CE) may be the oldest knight celebrated in history around 500 years before the Crusades. He was also an accomplished poet

Scholars disagree where exactly the concept of chivalry first appeared. One should not confuse the celebration of the mounted warrior like in ancient Greece or ancient Rome with chivalry. Of course, morally speaking, the character’s refinement through the disciplines of war is not a recent idea. In a  simplistic way, chivalry combines the prestige and panache of this cavalry warrior – an elite in the battlefield since he supersedes the infantry warrior – and the honor code. This chivalric code, as we know today, is associated with the medieval institution of knighthood consolidated between 1170 and 1220 CE and made notorious by literature and popular culture since then. Some experts point the inspirational origins of this European ideal of chivalry to Arab Spain. Some disagree. However, one of the oldest manifestations of the actual knight, combining the cavalry skills and the moral code, appears in pre-Islamic Arabia, more accurately during the sixth century of the common era.

Image result for yawn halima
The Day of Halima a decisive victory of the Ghassanids in the sixth century

Honor above all, bravery in war, hospitality, respect for women, the protection of the weak and the orphans. That’s the ancient Arab code of “Muru’a“, the Arab “ancestor” of the Japanese “Bushido“, the medieval unwritten code of the samurai warriors. Reading the best-seller book “Tuareg” (ISBN 184694192X) a thriller novel written by Spanish author Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa, it’s easier to understand the seriousness of the “Muru’a” code for the  Middle Eastern warriors. The book was also adapted into a 1984’s movie named “Tuareg – The Desert Warrior“.

The greatest “Faris” (“knight” in Arabic) of the solidification of chivalry as a concept in the sixth century was for sure Antarah ibn Shaddad (Arabic: عنترة بن شداد العبسي‎‎, ʿAntarah ibn Shaddād al-ʿAbsī; AD 525–608 CE), also known as ʿAntar‘, famous for both his poetry and his adventurous life.

Nevertheless, what we understand by chivalry today is strongly connected with Christianity and, erroneously, people believe this idea was born in Europe with the advent of the Crusades. Although nothing points the pre-Islamic Arabia as a direct influence to the European chivalry, one of the first (if not “the first”) documented existence of Christian knights come from the Ghassanids’ “faris“.

The vision of Roman Emperor Constantine

A few centuries earlier, Roman emperor Constantine I had pioneered “militarized Christianity” after his vision of the holy cross in the skies and the “revelation” of the motto “in hoc signo vinces” (“In this sign you will conquer”), meaning that under the sign of the holy cross he’d win any battles against his enemies.

Constantine moved the see of the Roman empire to Byzantium in 330 CE. Fast forward around two hundred years, we see the Ghassanids as military allies of the Byzantine empire embodied of the “Muru’a” code and the Christian religion. According to Prof. Irfan Shahid (1926-2016), one of the top scholars in the world in pre-Islamic Middle East, when the Ghassanids fought their pagan enemies, the Persians and Lakhmids, it was one of the very first manifestations of the “Militia Christi“.

Although neither Ghassanids nor the other pre-Islamic knights had what we understand for a “chivalric order” they were certainly some of the first – again, if not “the first” – Christian knights in history.

“Thus Ghassanid chivalry developed in the sixth century [AD] and was spiritualized by Christianity, a process that brought it close to the Christian version of chivalry in medieval Europe.

(…) The Ghassanids’ commitment to Christian chivalry as one of the ideals that they developed and tried to live up to, especially in their wars, has hitherto been an unknown chapter in the history of this concept.”

Prof. Dr. Irfan Shahid (1926-2016), PhD (Princeton University) Professor Emeritus of Georgetown University Book “Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century”, pages 304-305 Dumbarton Oaks Research Library (Harvard University)

Royal House of Ghassan in Brazil delivers food for eleven families


The Royal House of Ghassan and the Order of Saint Michael Archangel in Brazil have delivered today at the Catholic Community “Fonte de Agua Viva” (Campos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) the basic food products (rice, beans, sugar, flour, etc.) equivalent for eleven families. We thank Luiz Sergio de Souza Silva, the representative in Brazil  and all the members for the initiative.

Royal House of Ghassan in Lebanon has its first event


To be abandoned and have no home is one the saddest situations one can experience. That’s a lot for an adult to process. That is even worse for a child. The Lebanese branch of the Royal House of Ghassan visited the Lebanese United Center for Child Protection in the Fanar region to bring some joy to those forgotten children in the Holiday’s time. The mission was lead by the Executive President of the Royal House of Ghassan in Lebanon, Dr. Elie Gharios. Our very special thanks to Mrs. Joyce Mansour and Mr. Petro Al Achkar for all the help.

Royal House of Ghassan announces Christmas Charity events in Lebanon


The Lebanese branch of the Royal House of Ghassan, in partnership with other NGO’s is proud to announce the following Christmas charity events:

Thursday December 8th – Visit to homeless children in the Fanar region, distribution of clothes and candies.

Wednesday December 18th – Entertainment for children in Ashrafieh, distribution of gifts and candies.

Sunday December 21st – Lunch with elderly people in Furn El Cheback, distribution of food and clothes.

More information please contact: +961 7128-7138

Member of Lebanese Parliament joins the Royal House of Ghassan

Dr. Naji Gharios, MD, Member of the Lebanese Parliament and close ally of the President Michel Aoun just joined the International Board of the Royal House of Ghassan (in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations ECOSOC). Dr. Naji is cousin of Prince Gharios El Chemor. Dr. Naji also has received the Order of Saint Michael Archangel.


The Laws of Succession of the Ghassanids

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Once and for all, people must understand that there are differences between the Royal Houses of Europe and the rest of the world. Several “pseudo-scholars” try to standardize every single Dynasty on the planet with the European system which is absolutely inapplicable.

From the essay “Resolution of Monarchical Successions under International Law” (The Augustan, Vol. XVII, number 4, p. 977 by Professor Stephen P. Kerry Baca:

“Competence of International Law:

From time to time questions have arisen concerning the succession to various crowns, dignities, and hereditary rights.  These questions are primarily juridical and ought to be resolved through the correct application of each family’s Dynastic Laws.”

It’s widely known that almost all the Royal Houses of Europe have not only a blood relation but also very similar Dynastic Laws regulating the successions. Usually, Primogeniture  is applied. Some Houses accept the  Morganatic marriages  as a limitation for the royal rights.   Others  apply the Salic Law   invalidating the rights  from the  female line.  All of these can be  ideal for a very clear and defined method of succession.  Most of the Royal Houses of Europe had been ruling  until very recent times.  This  makes it  easier to figure out not only the legality but also the genealogical minutiae for the succession.  The European Houses  have  established a small  number of the recognized  Princes and Princesses   in each royal house, thus  limiting  the number of candidates considerably.

Unfortunately, this is not the case  for the whole world. The laws of Succession are plural.  For an unusual example, in the Kingdom of Ghana, the successor is not  from the King’s direct descendants, but the King’s sister’s  male offspring.    In some cases, the King could  have doubts as to whether the  offspring were his.  He has more confidence that his sister’s sons have the family’s blood.

The question was posed as to how to decide on  hundreds of legitimate heirs of a monarchy that have  ruled centuries ago.  To understand the Ghassanid system which was a hybrid between the Arab and Byzantine system allowing, for example,  co-rulers and legal-dynastic adoptions, we have to study the Laws of Succession of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which are  very similar to the Ghassanid system.

The Saudi Royal Family have  thousands of members and hundreds of princes.

“Though some have put the family’s numbers as high as 25,000, most estimates place their numbers in the region of 7,000, with most power and influence being wielded by the 200 [Princes] or so descendants of King Abdul Aziz.”

In 2006, by a Royal Decree, King Abdullah created a limitation to the succession.

“The current head of the Al Saud and ruler of Saudi Arabia is King Abdullah bin Abdul- Aziz who announced, on 20 October 2006, the creation of a committee of princes to vote on the viability of kings and the candidature of nominated crown princes -in effect, clarifying and further defining the Al Saud’s line of succession process.” (Ibid.)

There were no specific rules before 2006, just like  any other Arab monarchical succession.  The only mandatory law was that the heir must  be male and blood related to  King Abdul Aziz. There was no primogeniture or seniority.

“Sons of Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state) have been, thus far, the only eligible candidates allowed to serve as King or Crown Prince. As a result of the aging of this pool (there are an estimated 22 surviving sons, the oldest being in his mid-80s and the youngest in his 60s); a decree by King Fahd expanded the candidates to include the male progeny of King Abdul Aziz’s sons. This decree has expanded the pool to over 150 eligible candidates, though consensus and competency would limit this number.” (Ibid.)

After 2006, although a selective system was established, the candidates for the succession are exactly in harmony with the old tribal system.    It is mandatory  to recognize   male and blood relation  to the last King (or founding King, depending on the Kingdom).  Depending on the circumstances, the successor could be the King’s oldest or youngest son, his youngest brother, his nephew or even his cousin.

Since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932, it is less than  100 years old.  So far there are around 150 eligible candidates to the succession. Based on this law and its consequences, we’ll probably have over 1,000 (one thousand) eligible candidates in 100 years.  The first Ghassanid Kingdom lasted over 400 years.  If we assume that we’ve had only 2 (two) eligible candidates for the succession (a very impossible and modest figure) when the Kingdom was illegally terminated in 636 AD, and, applying the mathematical principle of exponentiality, yes, we will have millions of legitimate candidates.  This has no legal bearing that a right cannot be claimed  due to the  innumerable candidates. Also, in the specific case of the the Ghassanid Dynasty, all those descendatns were narrowed to one family since it’s documented that the El Chemor Sheikhs are the direct descendants of the last King Jablah Abu Chemor of the first Ghassanid State and were recognized by the neighboring powers as the rightful heirs of the Ghassanid Kings ruling two principalities in the north of Mount Lebanon for about 500 years.

It is a reputed deep-rooted allegation that the heads of Al-Chemor tribe are rooted from Bani Chemor, who are the Christian Kings of Ghassan which belong to Al Jafna.” (Father Ignatios Tannos El-Khoury, Historical Scientific Research: “Sheikh El Chemor Rulers of Al-Aqoura (1211-1633) and Rulers of Al-Zawiye (1641-1747)”Beirut, Lebanon, 1948, p.38)

“The refugees of Al Ghassani and bani Chemor who seeked refuge to Al ‘Aqoura turned into Maronites because the town now only has Maronites Christians and because Al Chemor tribe are the princes and children of kings, the Maronites reigned them over the land where the document states that: “… and Al ‘Aqoura is their own village from a long time, they can do as they wish…” and Al Chemori family could have taken over the throne due to their relentless efforts, money or battles, no one knows.” (ibid p.42)


This is the history of the Chemor family Sheikhs who are feudal rulers, a genuine progeny of the sons of Ghassan kings of the Levant… one of the most decent, oldest and noblest families in Lebanon.” (ibid p.125)

If  other legal perspectives are  applied,  that would reduce  this number dramatically:

– Women – By tradition, the Head of the Dynasty  cannot be a woman.  That  would  cut the numbers  by about half,  assuming the majority of the population are women.

– Female Lines – The male heirs from a female line may  have the rights,   but they’re superseded by the heirs from the male lines.

– Citizenship – Some scholars defend, like the eminent writer Emmanuel Kant, that if the heirs to the succession voluntarily accept (or seek) citizenship in the usurper regime of the territory (or territories) their ascendants once ruled, they are incurring  a waiver of their personal rights to the royal claims.  Kant believed that “if he [the deposed king or sovereign prince, or his successor] accepts citizen status he quits his claim to the throne….”  (Peter Nicholson, “Kant on the Duty Never to Resist the Sovereign,” Ethics, vol. 86, no. 3, April 1976, p. 225).   The Kingdom of Ghassan   used to be  where  Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia stand today:  including  the territory   of Yemen  inhabited by the Azd (Uzd) tribes.   All the voluntary citizens of these countries may have their claims encroached, although their heirs – arguably –  are not affected.

– Public and military service – The majority of scholars  agree that  by voluntarily accepting a political  office  or joining the army in a foreign state, the heir of Dynastic Rights  tacitly abdicates his personal rights  over a defunct throne. To perform such acts for the usurper regime of  the same territory that his ancestors ruled, it’s  a great gesture  of abdication  and voluntary  agreement with the “status quo”.  According to  the scholar Lassa Oppenheim in the book International law: a treatise, Volume 1 p. 411: “353. When a monarch  accepts any office in a foreign state, when serves, for instance, in a  foreign army,  as the monarchs of the small German have formerly frequently done, he submits to such state as far as the duties of the office are concerned, and his home state cannot claim any privileges for him that otherwise would be due to him.”   That does not apply  to other   public offices  but only to  voluntary  military  service. In countries where the military service  is mandatory  (Conscription)  it cannot be considered a waiver of his  rights.   A tacit abdication only occurs, as any kind of legal renunciation, by a  freely, explicit and voluntary act.

– Religion  – Although traditionally,  religion alone cannot be considered a reason for the waiver of royal rights, the Ghassanids had a prohibition law of marriage with non-Christians. Therefore, the Ghassanid descendants that converted to Islam (or married someone  of the Islamic faith or other religion),  could not claim the Head of the House.

“While Ghassanid Christians clung to their identity as a minority  and were interbed [keeping the blood pure] because of the prohibition of marriage with non-Christians..” (Professor Doctor Yasmine Zahran, “Ghassan Resurrected”, 2006, p.149)

-Maternal lineage – In  the Arabic pre-Islamic system of succession, the Father’s line is more  important.  However,  if the prince   has a strong noble line from his  mother,  he  can become more eligible to be King and head of the Dynasty.

“… the social standing of others  and their tribal connections  often determine the prominence of individual princes.  In general terms,  sons with mothers from prominent families,  …  have stronger political credentials .” (Joseph A. Kechichian, “Succession in Saudi Arabia”, 2001, p.26)

-Legal Principles of  “Prior Claim”  – Based on the fact that there was no formal claim related to the Head of the Ghassanid Dynasty (and all its claims) since 1747 A.D.  (although the descendant’s families have been  claiming descendancy publicly  since the 7th century)  the first public claimant could not be superseded by the legal principle of “Prior Claim”  (“the first in time is the first in line”). The principle is accepted in all fields of law, both secular and religious, internationally and domestically.

“3.Acquisiton of Rights 

“ and did not conflict with any prior claim, the international office would have no authority to refuse to receive it.” (Shigeru Oda, “The international law of the ocean development: Basic documents”, Volume 1 p. 261)

“on the basis of this Prior Claim, princes belonging to different dynasties were drawn into the politics of expansion” (Yves Bonnefoy, “Asian mythologies”, p. 188)

“Countess Palatine, the daughter of James I  of England, procured a Prior Claim to the younger line.” (John Ramsay McCulloch, “A dictionary, geographical, statistical, and historical: of the various countries, …, Volume 1, p. 476)

“because of  the reservation of his Catholic Majesty’s Prior Claim to the sovereignty   of the islands” (Edward Baines, “History of the reign of George III, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland”, Volume 1, p. 119)

“we then stepped in with a Prior Claim, which was admitted without dispute . (Arthur William Alsager Pollock, “The United service magazine”, Volume 48, p. 571)

” as should determine the scope of their application in conformity with legal principles having a Prior Claim   and authoritative sanction.” (Thorstein Veblen, “The Instinct Of Workmanship And The State Of The Industrial Arts”, p. 180)

“in case either should be taken by a Prior Claim, the other should revert to the former owner .” (William Henry Rawle, “A practical treatise on the law of covenants for title”, p. 655)

-Legal principle of “Laches” – Based on the principle of “Prior Claim”,  another legal principle arises: The “Laches” (‘Vigilantibus non dormientibus æquitas subvenit’, in other words, ” Equity aids the vigilant, not the sleeping ones” –  or those who sleep on  their rights). “Laches” is derived from the French ‘lecher’ and is nearly synonymous with Negligence. The principle is applicable just as a tacit abdication   from other members of the family  regarding the position of Head of the Dynasty.   They don’t lose, at all their princely attributes,  since by “jus sanguinis” (right by blood),  these  are perpetual.  Hence,  after the death of the original claimant, the other princes  can compete  for the title of Head of Name and Arms of the Dynasty following the “rotation” system of the Ghassanid  Laws of Succession.

According to Dr. Mario Silvestre de Meroe (“Studies on Nobility Law” – Estudos sobre Direito Nobiliário), by, pg. 60: “These [Sovereign]  rights are inherent to the person of the sovereign, inseparable, imprescriptible and  inalienable.  The monarch can, however, and for personal reasons dispose these rights, by  abdication and renunciation,  in favor of other members of his family. In these cases, though, he will renounce the exercise of these rights, not implying in the renounce  of the sovereignty , what is native and it’s a personal and inalienable right.  These qualities are transmitted “in totum”  [in fullness] to his descendants, heirs or successors, with no limitation of  lines and degrees. “

-Legal principle of “Estoppel”  – “Estoppel in its broadest sense is a legal term referring to a series of legal and equitable doctrines that preclude ” a person from denying or asserting anything to the contrary of  that which has, in contemplation of law, been established as the truth, either by the acts of judicial  or legislative officers, or by his own deed, acts, or representations, either express or impliedThis term appears to come from the Old French estoupail (or a variation), which meant “stopper plug”, referring to placing a halt on the imbalance of the situation. The term is related to the verb “estop” which comes from the Old French term estopper, meaning ” stop  up, impede.”

So, by this principle,  after the first claim was made publicly (and according with the law), any other claimant cannot assert anything to  the contrary.

– Legal principle of “Acquiescence”  – “Acquiescence is a legal term used to describe  an act of a person in knowingly standing by without raising any objection to infringement of his rights,  when someone else is unknowingly and  honestly putting in his resources under the impression that the said rights actually belong to him.  Consequently,  the person whose rights are infringed cannot anymore make a claim against the infringer or succeed in an injunction suit due to his conduct. The term is most generally, “permission” given by  silence or passiveness.  Acceptance or agreement by keeping qujet or by not making objections.  The common law doctrine of estoppel by acquiescence is applied when  one party gives legal notice to a second party of a fact or claim and  the second party fails to challenge  or refute that claim  within a reasonable time.  The second party is said to have acquiesced to the  claim,  and is  estopped from later challenging it, or making a counterclaim.”

The four aforementioned legal principles are complimentary and one is a consequence of the other.  By the principle of “Prior Claim”, the fact that none claimed for a long time makes the first and original claim the germane one (if it is  in harmony with the Dynastic Law). By “Laches”.  Any other claim that is presented  after the first one would  lose its claim  as “Estoppel” prevents other claimants to make a counterclaim once the original claim was made lawfully and publicly.  The lack of protests creates “Acquiescence” in favor of  the original claim,  preventing anyone to make a counterclaim.  It is  very important  to note that  all of these principles are not related with the Sovereign rights, but only to the exercise of these rights as Head of Name and Arms of a Dynasty. (See Dr. Meroe’s citation on the legal principle of “Laches”).

By the same token, it is  important to note that International Law sees the establishment of a “Government-in-Exile” as a matter of  Emergency in order to preserve all the usurped Nation’s relevant  aspects  of identity, such as: political, cultural, religious,  and so on.  Hence, the law accepts that the creation of this entity (Sovereign Government-in-Exile) is more important than constitutional technicalities, to justify even a representative from a cadet (junior) branch of the Royal family coming from a female line to be the Head of the Dynasty  for lack of any other previous claim.

“In view of such extreme   [country’s usurpation], a  temporary deviation from the working of the constitution is justifiable if this is  necessary to conserve the sovereignty and independency of the country.” (Dr. Lassa Oppenheimer, “Governments and Authorities in Exile”, p. 581-582)

The Ghassanid hereditary succession is similar to what we see in the Middle Eastern Monarchies today. The only mandatory law is that the sovereign has to be a male descendant of the last ruling monarch. There’s no “hermetic”  Salic Law (or Agnatic Succession, which is the limitation of inheritance to a throne or fief to heirs descended from the original titleholder through males only, excluding descendants through females) and definitely no Agnatic primogeniture, also “patrilineal  primogeniture” which is inheritance according to seniority of birth among the sons of a monarch or

head of a family, with sons and their male issues inheriting before brothers and their issues, and male-line males inheriting before females of the male line.

King Jafnah I ibn `Amr ruled 220-265, his successor was his   son Amr I ibn Jafnah that ruled 265-270. His successor was his son  Tha’labah ibn Amr ruling from 270 till 287.  His successor was his  sonAl-Harith I ibn Th`alabah and ruled 287-307. His successor was his  son Jabalah I ibn al-Harith I ruling 307-317. King Al-Harith II ibn Jabalah “ibn Maria” that ruled 317-327 and his successor was his son Al-Mundhir I Senior ibn al-Harith II ruling 327-330. His successor was his brother  King Al-Aiham ibn al-Harith II and his heir was his brother   King Al-Mundhir II Junior ibn al-Harith II and ruled from 327 to 340 and his Co-rulers was his  brothers  Al-Nu`man I ibn al-Harith II and Amr II ibn al-Harith II succeeded by his brother Jabalah II ibn al-Harith II succeeded by his nephew  King Jafnah II ibn al-Mundhir I ruling from 361 till 391 with his  brother  Al-Nu`man II ibn al-Mundhir I as co-ruler. His cousin Al-Nu`man III ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Mundhir I succeeded him ruling from 391-418 and his  son  King Jabalah III ibn al-Nu`man succeeded him. His  cousin  King Al-Nu`man IV ibn al-Aiham ruled with his brother  King Al-Harith III ibn al-Aiham from 434 till 456 with his  son  Al-Nu`man V ibn al-Harith. His son succeeded him, the King Al-Mundhir II ibn al-Nu`man ruled 453-472) with his brother   King Amr III ibn al- Nu`man as co-ruler. His successor was his  brother  King Hijr ibn al-Nu`man. His successor was his  son  King Al-Harith IV ibn Hijr ruling from 486 till 512. His successor was his  son King Jabalah IV ibn al-Harith ruled 512-529. His successor was his cousin  King Al- Amr IV ibn Machi (Mah’shee) (529) and his successor was his cousin  King Al- Harith V ibn Jabalah ruling from 529 till 569. His heir was his  son King Al-Mundhir III ibn al-Harith that ruled 569-581) and his successor and part co-ruler was his brother  King Abu Kirab al-Nu`man ibn al-Harith. From 581 till 583 the successor was his  cousin  King Al-Nu’man VI ibn al-Mundhir ruling from 581 till 583. Succeeded by his  cousin  King Al- Harith VI ibn al-Harith and his heir was his  son  King Al-Nu’man VII ibn al-Harith Abu Kirab. Succeeded him his cousin  King Al-Aiham ibn Jabalah ruling until 614 succeeded by his  brother  King Al-Mundhir IV ibn  Jabalah succeeded again by a brother, King Sharahil ibn Jabalah. Other brother Rsucceeded him,King Amr IV ibn Jabalah ruling until 628. Succeeded by his  cousin King Jabalah V ibn al-Harith ruled 628-632 and succeeded by his  cousin  King Jabalah VI Abu Chemor ibn al-Aiham as the last ruler from 628 till 638.

Since the time of the ancient Arab tribes, we see a system called “rotation”. Usually, the heir to the throne was selected from among the King’s male descendants for his qualities, such as: physical force, nobility (if the prince was descended from another Royal line from his mother, it would make him more fit for the throne :  even the King’s direct sons could come from different mothers) and also the most intelligent and popular prince among the people.

In succession based on “rotation”, all (male) members of the dynasty are entitled to the monarchy.

“In Europe, where dynasties flourished, succession was once determined by a show of strength among a ruler’s sons.  In time, however, it reverted to primogeniture, in which a ruler’s oldest male descendant acceded to the throne.  For a variety of reasons, chiefly because of religious and tribal traditions,  Primogeniture has not developed among Arabian dynasties in quite the same say, because under Shariah law,  all sons of a man are equal and legitimate, even if they were born from illegitimate marriages.  Moreover, in pre-Islamic tribal norms, while the throne could have passed from one generation to the next within a particular family,  it was not necessarily passed from father to son.  Rather the authority also fell to a ruler’s brother, uncle, or cousin, depending on which of these oldest male relatives was  seen to possess ‘ the qualities of nobility; skill in arbitration; hazz or ‘good fortune’;  and leadership ’ “. (Joseph A. Kechichian, “Succession in Saudi Arabia”, 2001, p.10)

” there are  several potential rulers and no means – either observed or formal – to finally arbitrate among various claimants ,” (Ibid.p.11)

The great majority of the Arab Monarchies, past and present, follows the “rotation”. Good and recent examples are: the Kingdom of Jordan, the Emirate of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and the Sultanate of Oman.

According to   the book “World Royal Families” (2008) from Edward Riley, Sandra Forty and Judith Millidge:

– Jordan (pages: 240, 241, 242, 243, 244 and 245)

For most of his reign, King Hussein I (1935-1999) designated as his successor his younger brother, “at the time” Crown Prince Hassan (1947- ), but shortly before his death,   he changed his will in favor of his son, the current King Abdullah II.  This is a perfect example of the rotation.

– Kuwait (pages: 246, 247, 248, 249, 250 and 251)

This is  a  classic example of the rotation.  Emir Mubarak I (1837-1915) had 12 children , including his successor, Emir Jaber II (1860-1917).  After his reign,  younger brother  Emir Salem I (1864-1921) ruled.  His successor wasn’t his older son but his nephew  Emir Ahmed I (1885-1950).  Ahmed’s successor was his cousin   Emir Abdullah III (1895-1965). Abdullah’s successor was his youngest brother   Emir Sabah III (1913-1977).  Sabah’s successor was his 3rd  degree cousin  Emir Jaber III (1926-2006) who by the way was the 3rd oldest son .  His successor was his cousin  Emir Saad (1930-2008) and his heir was Emir Sabah IV (1929- ).  Although he has 3 sons, his successor is his 3rd  youngest brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf (1937- ).

– Saudi Arabia (pages: 252, 253, 254, 255, 256 and 257)

King Ibn Saud (1876-1953) founded the kingdom in 1932 and ruled until 1953.  His successor was his   son King Saud Bin Abdul Aziz (1902-1969).  After him, his brother  King Faisal (1904-1975) reigned until his assassination. His brother  Khalid (1913-1982) succeeded  him and after him, his other  brother  Fahd (1921-2005) ruled. The current King is Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz (1924- ) and his heir is his  youngest brother, Crown Prince Sultan (1926- ). The 1992 Basic Law of the government states that the King must be a male descendant   of King Ibn Saud. Recently, by a Royal decree of October 2006, future Saudi Kings will be selected by a committee of Saudi Princes. This is a  revival of the Arab tribal custom of selection  as above cited.

– Qatar (pages: 264, 265, 266, 267, 268 and 269)

The Sheikh Hamad Al Thani made his successor his  youngest son, Sheikh Khalifa, deposed by his own son  in 1995.

– Dubai (pages: 270, 271, 272, 273, 274 and 275)

Sheikh Maktoum (1943-2006) ruled Dubai from 1990 until 2006. His successor was his brother  Sheikh Mohamed (1949- ) and although  having other brothers,  indicated as his successor,  his  son, the Hereditary Prince Hamidan (1982- ).

– Abu Dhabi (pages: 270, 271, 272, 273, 274 and 275)

Sheikh Sultan (1881-1926) ruled  from 1922-1926,  and his successor was his  brother  Sheikh Saqr (1887-1928).  His successor was his nephew  Sheik Shakhbut (1905-1989). Shakhbut’s successor was his brother Sheikh Zayad (1918- ) and his successor was his son  Sheikh Khalifa (1948- ). His heir was already selected, his brother  , Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed (1951- ).

– Oman (pages: 276, 277, 278, 279, 280 and 281)

Sayyid Turki (1832-1888) was the Sultan of Oman from 1871 till 1888 and his successor was not his older son  but Sultan Sayyd Faisal (1864-1913).

The Ghassanid Kings had also followed the “rotation”.   There are no mandatory rules for the present Sovereign except that the heir is  male descendant of the last ruler.  According to universally accepted  Dynastic Law,  there is also  no limitation for the elapsed time since  the last ruler reigned.

Citing a Court sentence of the Republican Italy (Pretoria de Vico Del Gargano, Repubblica Italiana sentence number 217/49) corroborates the above mentioned:

“(…) it’s  irrelevant  if that Imperial family is no longer ruling for centuries, because the deposition doesn’t harm the sovereign prerogatives even if the sovereign renounces, spontaneously, to the throne.  In substance, in this case, the Sovereign does not cease to be King, even living in exile or in private life (without claiming his sovereignty), because his prerogatives are, itself, by birth and   cannot be extinguished,  but remains and may be transmitted in time, from generation to generation.”

Court verdicts like the above are legally binding in all the countries  which signed the New York Convention on arbitration of 1958 ; in other words,  almost all of the member countries of the United Nations.

According to  the former president of the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation (the highest court in Italy) Professor Doctor Renato de Francesco in 1959:

“… It’s simply ridiculous, from a legal point of view , the distinction intended to be done about Dynasties that have reigned until recently of those  who ruled in the distant past. It’s not understandable how you can launch at the foot numerous pages of history, only to give luster to this or that family, who, aided by good luck, has managed to remain on the throne, after the year 1815. A dynasty or reigned  or not.  If reigned, even in very remote time, deserves the historical and legal treatment as a dynasty and all its effects.”

Professor Dr. W. Baroni Santos, Doctor D’état (post-doctorate/ habilitation) from the University of Reims in France in his book “Treaty of Heraldry and Nobility Law” Volume II page 52:

“Neither the elapsed time, even for centuries, or non-use of the Acts of Sovereignty  exercised by the Prince Pretender, Head of Name and Arms of his house, may be derogated , prescribed or canceled.  He/she retains these rights until  the end of times  ‘ad perpetuam rei tenendam’ which are inserted in the person of Prince Pretender. ”

Prof. V. Powell-Smith writes (“The Criteria for Assessing the Validity of Orders of Chivalry” in “Nobilitas”, Malta, 1970):

“… There is no valid reason, legal or other, to limit sovereign status in such a way by reference to 1814  or any date at all.  The Congress of Vienna merely effected the settlement of Europe after the Napoleonic Wars, and nothing more.   ..The sovereigns of those kingdoms which ceased to exist before   the Congress of Vienna acted as fons honorum during their reigns and will continue to exercise sovereign rights thereafter .”

Some authors have expressed themselves in conformity with the theories of Thomas Hobbes, like Savaron in the “Treaty of the sword”, Gaufredus in “De bello loco”, P. Onorato do Santa Maria in his “Historic and critic dissertation upon ancient and modern chivalry”; more recently, Santi Romano (Consitutional Law-Padua-Cedam-1932); Piero Chimienti (Constitutional Law-Turin-Utet-1933); Oreste Ranelletti (Institute of public law-Padua-Cedam-1934); Vincenzo Orsini (La giurisprudenza – Milan -Giuffrè 1936) Giovanbattista Cauca (It. Digest 1923) and Giorgio Cansacchi and Gorini Causa- University of Turin; Bascapè-University of the Holy Heart in Milan. Bascapè asserts exactly:

“The princely Family  once Sovereign preserves its dynastic character and its chief ‘Preserves’  the title and the attributes of the last defeated monarch , with the title of claimant.”

Such principles are confirmed by opinions of famous  jurists, such  as Dr. Ercole Tanturri, once First President of the Court of Cassation [the highest court in Italy], who was joined

by Prof. Leonardo Puglionisi, Professor of canon law at the University of Rome, and Dr. Raimondo Jannitti-Piromallo, Section President of the Court of Cassation (Journal of Araldic and Genealogy n. 7-12 Dec. 1954) who also writes:

“The  Sovereignty is a perpetual quality, indelibly connected and linked  in the centuries to the whole descent of the one who first conquered or claimed it, and fulfills itself in the physical person of the Chief of Name and Arms of the Dynasty, independently from any other consideration or inquiry of political, juridical, moral or social nature which might be made about him, and which, as history teaches, can’t influence its sovereign quality.”