Some of the settled communities in the Arabian Peninsula developed into distinctive civilizations.
Sources for these civilizations are not extensive, and are limited to archaeological evidence, accounts written outside of Arabia, and Arab oral traditions later recorded by Islamic scholars.
Some tribes had adopted Christianity or Judaism, and a few individuals, the hanifs, apparently observed monotheism.
Arab Muslims primarily belong to the Sunni, Shiite, Ibadi, Alawite, Druze and Ismaili denominations.
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.
Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious affiliations and practices.
In the pre-Islamic era, most Arabs followed polytheistic religions.Arabs have greatly influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and architecture, language, philosophy, mythology, ethics, literature, politics, business, music, dance, cinema, medicine, science and technology Arabic epitaph of Imru' al-Qais, son of 'Amr, king of all the Arabs", inscribed in Nabataean script. Herodotus refers to the Arabs in the Sinai, southern Palestine, and the frankincense region (Southern Arabia).Other ancient Greek historians like Agatharchides, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo mention Arabs living in Mesopotamia (along the Euphrates), in Egypt (the Sinai and the Red Sea), southern Jordan (the Nabataeans), the Syrian steppe and in eastern Arabia (the people of Gerrha).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 Arab world stretches around 13 million km, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast.v Bulletin 3.6 was released as a stable version on 3 August 2006.