Jowf, Or Djowf (Arab., belly), a province of the sultanate of Jebel Shomer, Arabia, between lat, 29° and 30° N., and lon. 39° and 41° E.; area, about 700 sq. m.; pop. about 40,000. It is a kind of oasis, a deep oval depression in the desert, by which it is surrounded as if by hills, about 70 m. long by 10 or 12 broad. The principal town, of the same name, is a collection of eight villages, once distinct but now united. Sekakah, another large village, lies 12 m. N. E. of Jowf. The united population of the two towns is about 34,000. The climate of the valley is temperate and dry. The gardens of the Jowf are celebrated in that part of the East. The date palm is the main object of cultivation, but the peach, apricot, fig, and grape grow luxuriantly, and surpass in flavor the fruits of Syria and Palestine. Various cereals, leguminous plants, gourds, melons, etc, are also raised. The gardens are irrigated by running streams, instead of from wells and cisterns, as in the interior. The inhabitants are fine specimens of the northern Arab type. They are tall, well proportioned, and of dignified carriage, strong, active, long-lived, brave, hospitable, and intelligent.
They are said to have been Christians before their forcible conversion to Islamism. - The Jowf became subject to the Wahabee monarchy near the close of the last century, but recovered its independence at the downfall of that power. Civil contentions followed, and the surrounding Bedouins forced it into a tributary position. This continued until the rise of the new sultanate of Jebel Shomer, when it was subdued and made a province of that government. Since then it has advanced rapidly in wealth and civilization.