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The Arabic term Najrān has at least two meanings: both the wooden frame on which a door opens and also 'thirsty'.
Local tradition also has it that the land derived its name from the first man to settle in the area, Najran ibn Zaydan ibn Saba ibn Yahjub ibn Yarub ibn Qahtan.
The persecution is apparently described and condemned in the Qur'an (al-Buruj:4).
Under the reign of the Caliph ‘Umar, the Christian community of Najrān was deported to Mesopotamia, on the grounds that no non-Muslims were to live in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Ḥimyar King Ilsharah Yahdib crushed this rebellion.
The north Arabian Lakhmid king Imru’ al-Qays ibn 'Amqu attacked Najrān in AD 328.
It was once occupied by the Romans; in fact it was the first Yemeni city to fall to the Romans on their way to the Yemeni kingdom of Saba'.According to Yemenite Jewish tradition, the Jews of Najran traced their origin to the Ten Tribes.Najran was also an important stopping place on the Incense Route.Najrān seems to have been under Minaean or Sabean rule at different times during the next centuries and after that it was part of Yemen till 1937.The Roman prefect of Egypt Aelius Gallus led an costly, arduous and ultimately usuccessful expedition to conquer Arabia Felix and won a battle near Najrān in 25 BC.