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The study of Pre-Islamic Arabia is important to Islamic studies as it provides the context for the development of Islam.
Some of the settled communities in the Arabian Peninsula developed into distinctive civilizations.
And Ishmael and his sons, and the sons of Keturah and their sons, went together and dwelt from Paran to the entering in of Babylon in all the land towards the East facing the desert.
And these mingled with each other, and their name was called Arabs, and Ishmaelites.
Arab tribes came into conflict with the Assyrians during the reign of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, and he records military victories against the powerful Qedar tribe among others.
Old Arabic diverges from Central Semitic by the beginning of the 1st millennium BC.
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.
Among the most prominent civilizations was Dilmun, which arose around the 4th millennium BC and lasted to 538 BC, and Thamud, which arose around the 1st millennium BC and lasted to about 300 CE.Today, "Arab" refers to a large number of people whose native regions form the Arab world due to the spread of Arabs and the Arabic language throughout the region during the early Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries and the subsequent Arabisation of indigenous populations.The Arabs forged the Rashidun (632–661), Umayyad (661–750) and the Abbasid (750–1258) caliphates, whose borders reached southern France in the west, China in the east, Anatolia in the north, and the Sudan in the south.This makes them the world's second largest ethnic group after the Han Chinese.Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious affiliations and practices.