This makes them the world's second largest ethnic group after the Han Chinese.Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious affiliations and practices.
The study of Pre-Islamic Arabia is important to Islamic studies as it provides the context for the development of Islam.
Some of the settled communities in the Arabian Peninsula developed into distinctive civilizations.
Yet another view is held by al-Masudi that the word "Arabs" was initially applied to the Ishmaelites of the "Arabah" valley.
In Biblical etymology, "Arab" (in Hebrew Arvi ) comes both from the desert origin of the Bedouins it originally described (Arava means wilderness).
In the pre-Islamic era, most Arabs followed polytheistic religions.