Historical Overview

The Hashemites or Bani Hashim are the direct descendants of the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, through his daughter Sayedatna Fatima and (her husband) his cousin Sayedna Ali (the fourth, and last, "Rightly-Guided" Caliph of Islam). "Hashim" was the name of the great-grandfather of both the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, and the Caliph Ali. The Hashemite family ruled, in various forms, over the Hejaz (the Western part of Arabia, which includes the Holy cities of Mecca and Medina) from the time of the Caliph Ali in the Seventh Century CE until 1925 CE.

On June 10th, 1916, Al-Sharif Hussein ibn Ali declared the Great Arab Revolt to liberate land and man, to establish an independent Arab state, and to put the Arabs in a worthy position, in a turbulent world, at a time where wars were waged for economic and political interests, as well as for nationalism and independence. The Great Arab Revolt led to distinct Hashemite Kingdoms for the sons of Al-Sharif Hussein of Mecca in Transjordan, Syria, Iraq and the Hijaz, but the only one to survive to this day is that of Transjordan, which since 1946 has been renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The four kings of Jordan have been: (1) King Abdullah I (the son of Grand Al-Sharif Hussein of Mecca; the founder of modern Jordan in 1921, and, thereafter, its ruler from (1921-1951); (2) His son King Talal (r. 1951-1952); in this short time King Talal established the National Constitution of Jordan; (3) King Talal's son, the late King Hussein (r. 1952-1999), the great builder of modern Jordan; and (4) King Hussein's eldest son, King Abdullah II, the 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him (r. 1999- present day).


Location, Area and Population

      • Location: Jordan is located at the cross roads of three continents: Asia, Europe and Africa. It is strategically positioned northwest of Arabia at the Southern part of Bilad El-Sham and not very far from the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Jordan has access to the Red Sea via the port city of Aqaba, located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba. Geographic co-ordinates: 29 - 34 00 N, 35 - 39 E 
      • Area: Total: 89,213 sq. km (34, 445 sq. miles). Land: 88,884 sq. km (34, 318 sq. miles).  Water: 329 sq. km (127 sq. miles).
      • Population: 9.523 million (January 2016 est.) *


Climate and Geography

Jordan has a combination of Mediterranean and arid desert climates, with Mediterranean prevailing in the North and West of the country, while the majority of the country is desert. Generally, the country has warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters, with annual average temperatures ranging from 12 to 25 C (54 to 77 F) and summertime highs reaching the 40 C (105-115 F) in the desert regions. Rainfall averages vary from 50 mm (1.97 inches) annually in the desert to 800 mm (31.5 inches) in the northern hills, some of which falls as snow in some years.

Jordan enjoys a range of geographical features, starting from the Jordan Rift Valley in the West ending at the desert plateau of the East, with a range of small hills running the length of the country in between.

Lowest Point: Dead Sea, -408 meters (-1338.6 feet)

Highest Point: Jebel Rum, 1734 meters (5689 feet)