I've read a few different biographies of Muhammad, and they all talk about one tribe being "stronger" or "weaker" than another. For example, in Medina, the Jewish tribes were originally stronger, but by Muhammad's day, the Jewish tribes had become clients / proteges of the stronger Arab tribes. There is also some talk of Muhammad's clan, the Hashim, having fallen on hard times before Muhammad was born.

What does it mean, in particular, in practical terms, for one tribe to be stronger or weaker than another? Or to become stronger or weaker? Military might? Wealth? Or maybe a charismatic leader who is good at making alliances with other tribes? Or something else entirely?

Edit: I don't know how to apply modern politics to this question. Specifics much appreciated.

  • 1
    This question fits much better into history.stackexchange.com I don't see any relevance to Islam in it.
    – Medi1Saif
    Jun 9 '16 at 6:17
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belong to history.stackexchange.com
    – nim
    Jul 12 '16 at 14:12
  • Fair enough. I've done a quick search -- admittedly not exhaustive -- on how to move a question to a different forum. I don't see anything. Thoughts? Jul 12 '16 at 16:23
  • The question looks fine to me; understanding the context in which hadith are presented is very much a part of Islamic scholarship.
    – goldPseudo
    Jul 13 '16 at 8:08

It exactly means the same thing in politics today : wealth (economy), Man power , arms, and influence among other tribes. Same as in today's "countries" world :)

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