Jafna bin Amr founded the Ghassanid Kingdom in 220 AD, which was so named after a spring of water in Syria.
The Ghassanid kings ruled over considerable part of north-western Arabia, lower Syria, and Hijaz. The capital of the Kingdom was the city of Balka till the time of the second Harith, when it was supplanted by Petra and Sideir.
The Ghassanid kings always looked upon the Romans as their best and most powerful defenders and protectors against the expansion desires of the Sassanian dynasty of Persia. Towards the third and fourth centuries of the Christian Era the Ghassanid kings formed a confederation with other tribes powerful enough to persuade the Roman Empire to form with them alliances and friendships in order to counterbalance the influence of the Mesopotamian Arabs of Hira, who were under Persian rule.
The First Christian Arabian Kingdom
In the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-6) it is said that the twelve Apostles chose seven men full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, and appointed them to serve as deacons (Eastern, 2008). The seven deacons were Nicanor, Stephen, Philip, Parmenas, Prochorus, Nicholas and Timon.
St. Timon preached Christianity to the Ghassanids (The Hauran Connection, 2000). Christianity made rapid progress in the Ghassanid Kingdom, and numerous Christian communities, with bishops, churches, and monasteries, flourished there.
The Ghassanids formed the first Christian Arab kingdom from the third century AD to the sixth. The era of the Ghassanids brought great prosperity to the region, both economically and culturally (Zahran, 2006).