Rise of the Bani Utbah

In 1783, Nasr Al-Madhkur, ruler of Bahrain and Bushire, lost the islands of Bahrain following his defeat by the Bani Utbah tribe at the 1782 Battle of Zubarah. Bahrain was not new territory to the Bani Utbah; they had been a presence there since the 17th century.[32] During that time, they started purchasing date palm gardens in Bahrain. A document belonging to Shaikh Salama Bin Saif Al Utbi, one of the shaikhs of the Al Bin Ali tribe (an offshoot of the Bani Utbah), states that Mariam Bint Ahmed Al Sindi, a Shia woman, sold a palm garden on the island of Sitra to Shaikh Salama Bin Saif Al Utbi in the year 1699–1111 Hijri calendar, preceding the arrival of the Al-Khalifa to Bahrain by more than 90 years.[33]

The Al Bin Ali were the dominant group controlling the town of Zubarah on the Qatar peninsula,[34][35] originally the center of power of the Bani Utbah. After the Bani Utbah gained control of Bahrain, the Al Bin Ali had a practically independent status there as a self-governing tribe. They used a flag with four red and three white stripes, called the Al-Sulami flag[36] in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and the Eastern province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was raised on their ships during wartime, in the pearl season and on special occasions such as weddings and during Eid ul-Fitr as well as in the "Ardha of war".[37] The Al Bin Ali were known for their courage, persistence, and abundant wealth.[38]

Later, different Arab family clans and tribes, mostly from Qatar, moved to Bahrain to settle after the fall of the Zand Dynasty of Persia. These families and tribes included the Al Khalifa, Al-Ma'awdah, Al-Fadhil, Al-Mannai, Al-Noaimi, Al-Sulaiti, Al-Sadah, Al-Thawadi, and other families and tribes.

Most of these tribes settled in Muharraq, the capital of Bahrain and center of power at that time since the Al Bin Ali lived there. The oldest and largest neighbourhood in Muharraq city is called Al Bin Ali. Members of this tribe lived in this area for more than three centuries.[citation needed]