They were and are the nomadic people of Arabia. They represent the best adaptation of human life to desert conditions. The Bedouins did not roam aimlessly but followed the repeated pattern of seasonal changes seeking verdant pasture and water, wherever possible.
To navigate this sea of shifting sands, they mastered riding and using the only ship of the desert, the camel. What a Bedouin could not acquire through barter with the sedentary population, he acquired by becoming a consummate pirate in the sea of sand.
The Bedouin Arabs were not known as cavaliers but as cameleers. The horse was introduced into the western peninsula much later, about the first century of the CE. In Strabo's "Geography", Aelius Gallus,the Roman general who invaded Arabia in 24 BCE, denied the existence of the horse there.
The camel is the animal par excellence most suited and adapted for the desert. A Bedouin without a camel is as inconceivable as a cowboy without a horse.
It was the Arabian Bedouin tribes, most perfectly suited for fighting and plunder, that later became the hordes and backbone of Islamic conquests.
Since the Bedouins were very proud, very independent and 'democratic' people, they resented and initially did not fall in line with Muhammad's strict CONTROL and INDOCTRINATION.
They fell in line only, when they were tempted with the rewards of Plunder, Booty, Rape and Slavery that exceeded the importance of their 'freedom'. They sold their 'soul' to the highest bidder.
9: 90And there were among the desert Arabs (also) Men who made excuses and came to claim exemption; and those who were false to Allah and His apostle (Merely) sat inactive. Soon will a grievous penalty seize the unbelievers among them.
9: 97The Arabs of the desert are the worst in unbelief and hypocrisy and most fitted to be in ignorance of the command which Allah hath sent down to his apostle: but Allah is All-Knowing All-Wise.
9: 98Some of the desert Arabs Look upon their payments as a fine and watch for disasters for you: on them be the disaster of evil:for Allah is He that heareth and knoweth (all things).
9: 101Certain of the desert Arabs round about you are hypocrites as well as (desert Arabs) among the Medina folk: they are obstinate in hypocrisy: thou knowest them not: We know them: twice shall We punish them and in addition shall they be sent to a grievous penalty.
9: 120 It was not fitting for the people of Medina and the bedouin Arabs of the neighborhood to refuse to follow Allah's Apostle nor to prefer their own lives to his: because nothing could they suffer or do but was reckoned to their credit as a deed of righteousness whether they suffered thirst or fatigue or hunger in the cause of Allah or trod paths to raise the ire of the unbelievers or received any injury whatever from an enemy: for Allah suffereth not the reward to be lost of those who do good;
48: 11The desert Arabs who lagged behind will say to thee: "We were engaged in (looking after) our flocks and herds and our families; do thou then ask forgiveness for us." They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. Say: "Who then has any power at all (to intervene) on your behalf with Allah if His will is to give you some loss or to give you some profit? but Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do.
48: 16 Say to the desert Arabs who lagged behind: "Ye shall be summoned (to fight) against a people given to vehement war: then shall ye fight or they shall submit. Then if ye show obedienceAllah will grant you a goodly reward but if ye turn back as ye did before He will punish you with a grievous Penalty."
49: 14 The desert Arabs say "We believe." Say "Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say `We have submitted our wills to Allah.' For not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey Allah and His Apostle He will not belittle aught of your deeds: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful."
Sunan of Abu-DawoodHadith 2814Narrated byAbdullah ibn Abbas
The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) forbade to eat (the meat of animals) slaughtered by the bedouins for vainglory and pride.
Sunan of Abu-DawoodHadith 829Narrated byJabir ibn Abdullah
The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) came to us while we were reciting the Qur'an, and there were among us bedouins and the non-Arabs. He said: Recite, all is well. In the near future there will appear people who will straighten it (the Qur'an) as an arrow is straightened. They will recite it quickly and not slowly (or it means that they will get the reward in this world and not in the Hereafter).
Malik related to me from Abu'z-Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The head of kufr is towards the east. Boasting and price is among people who have horses and camels.The loud-voiced people are the people of tents (the Bedouins). Tranquillity is with the people who have sheep."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 1.538Narrated byAbdullah Al Muzani
The Prophet said,"Do not be influenced by bedouins regarding the name of your Maghrib prayer which is called 'Isha' by them."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 4.376& 4.75 Narrated byJubair bin Mutim
That while he was with Allah's Apostle who was accompanied by the people on their way back from Hunain, the bedouins started begging things of Allah's Apostle so much so that they forced him to go under a Samura tree where his loose outer garment was snatched away. On that, Allah's Apostle stood up and said to them, "Return my garment to me. If I had as many camels as these trees, I would have distributed them amongst you; and you will not find me a miser or a liar or a coward."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 4.520Narrated byAbu Huraira
Allah's Apostle said, "The main source of disbelief is in the east. Pride and arrogance are characteristics of the owners of horses and camels, and those bedouins who are busy with their camels and pay no attention to Religion; while modesty and gentleness are the characteristics of the owners of sheep."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 4.702Narrated byAbi Masud
The Prophet said, "From this side from the east, afflictions will appear. Rudeness and lack of mercy are characteristics of the rural bedouins who are busy with their camels and cows (and pay no attention to religion). Such are the tribes of Rabi'a and Mudar."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 4.703Narrated byAbu Huraira
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Pride and arrogance are characteristics of the rural bedouins while calmness is found among the owners of sheep. Belief is Yemenite, and wisdom is also Yemenite (i.e. the Yemenites are well-known for their true belief and wisdom)." Abu 'Abdullah (Al-Bukhari) said, "Yemen was called so because it is situated to the right of the Ka'ba, and Sham was called so because it is situated to the left of the Ka'ba."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 5.505Narrated byAnas
Some people of the tribe of 'Ukl and 'Uraina arrived at Medina to meet the Prophet and embraced Islam and said, "O Allah's Prophet! We are the owners of milch livestock (i.e. bedouins) and not farmers (i.e. countrymen)." They found the climate of Medina unsuitable for them. So Allah's Apostle ordered that they should be provided with some milch camels and a shepherd and ordered them to go out of Medina andto drink the camels' milk and urine (as medicine).
So they set out and when they reached Al-Harra, they reverted to Heathenism after embracing Islam, and killed the shepherd of the Prophet and drove away the camels.
When this news reached the Prophet, he sent some people in pursuit of them. (So they were caught and brought back to the Prophet ). The Prophet gave his orders in their concern. So their eyes were branded with pieces of iron and their hands and legs were cut off and they were left away in Harra till they died in that state of theirs. (See Hadith 234 Vol 1)
*** Muhammad was most certainly a very JUST, MERCIFUL and COMPASSIONATE 'prophet' ***
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 5.671Narrated byAbu Huraira
The Prophet said, "The people of Yemen have come to you and they are more gentle and soft-hearted. Belief is Yemenite and Wisdom is Yemenite, while pride and haughtiness are the qualities of the owners of camels (i.e. bedouins). Calmness and solemnity are the characters of the owners of sheep."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 9.209Narrated bySalama bin Al Akwa
That he visited Al-Hajjaj (bin Yusuf). Al-Hajjaj said, "O son of Al-Akwa! You have turned on your heels (i.e., deserted Islam) by staying (in the desert) with the bedouins." Salama replied, "No, but Allah's Apostle allowed me to stay with the bedouin in the desert." Narrated Yazid bin Abi Ubaid: When 'Uthman bin Affan was killed (martyred), Salama bin Al-Akwa' went out to a place called Ar-Rabadha and married there and begot children, and he stayed there till a few nights before his death when he came to Medina.
Sahih Muslim HadithHadith 2168Narrated byJarir ibn Abdullah al-Bajali
There came people from among the Bedouins to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and said: Collectors of Sadaqah come to us and treat us unjustly. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Please your collectors. Jarir said: Ever since I heard it from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) no collector had departed but was pleased with me.
*** Instead of addressing their grievances, Muhammad instructed them to pay and 'shut up'.
From all the above, and more, they show that Muhammad had a very low opinion of these free loving, difficult to indoctrinate, restless and unpredictable desert nomads who actually only paid lip service to his Islamization advances ***