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), 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.
This was one of the largest land empires in history.
Today, Arabs primarily inhabit the 22 Arab states within the Arab League: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The study of Pre-Islamic Arabia is important to Islamic studies as it provides the context for the development of Islam.
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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".
Yet another view is held by al-Masudi that the word "Arabs" was initially applied to the Ishmaelites of the "Arabah" valley.