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Imwḥḥdn
الموَحدون
al-Muwahhidun
Almohad Empire

 

 

1121–1269

Flag

The Almohad dynasty (green) at its greatest extent, c. 1200.
Capital Marrakesh (main), Seville
Language(s) Berber languages (predominant), Classical Arabic (written only), Mozarabic language, Medieval Hebrew, African Romance
Religion Sunni Islam (predominant), Roman Catholic, Judaism, Ibadi, Sufism
Government Monarchy
Caliph
 - 1121-1130 Abd al-Mumin
 - 1266–1269 Idris II
History
 - Established 1121
 - Disestablished 1269
Area 1,621,393.5 km2 (626,024 sq mi)
Currency Dinar, Dobla Zaena, Dobla almohad)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Almoravid dynasty
Zirid
Hammadid
Taifa
Hafsid dynasty
Zayyanid
Emirate of Granada
Marinid dynasty
Oldest known flag of Morocco (11th-13th century)

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The Almohad Dynasty (from Arabic الموحدون al-Muwahhidun, i.e., "the monotheists" or "the Unitarians"), was a Berber, Muslim dynasty that was founded in the 12th century, which conquered all of northern Africa as far as Libya, together with Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia, now southern Spain and Portugal).

Between 1130 and his death in 1163, Abd al-Mu'min al-Kumi, the only one Berber from Nedroma among the Masmudas and other berber tribes of modern Morocco army,[1], defeated the ruling Almoravids and extended his power over all northern Africa as far as Libya becoming Emir of Marrakesh in 1149.

Al-Andalus, Moorish Iberia, followed the fate of Africa, and in 1170 the Almohads transferred their capital to Seville. However, by 1212 Muhammad III, "al-Nasir" (1199–1214) was defeated by an alliance of the four Christian princes of Castile, Aragón, Navarre and Portugal, at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in the Sierra Morena. The battle destroyed Almohad dominance. Nearly all of the Moorish dominions in Iberia were lost soon after, with the great Moorish cities of Córdoba and Seville falling to the Christians in 1236 and 1248 respectively.

The Almohads continued to rule in Africa until the piecemeal loss of territory through the revolt of tribes and districts enabled their most effective enemies, the Marinids in 1215. The last representative of the line, Idris II, "El Wathiq"' was reduced to the possession of Marrakesh, where he was murdered by a slave in 1269.

Today the holy place and the tomb of the Almohads are present in Morocco, as the tomb of their rivals and enemies the Almoravids.

Contents

Origins

Near East in AD 1200, showing the Almohad Empire and its neighbors.

The dynasty originated with Ibn Tumart, a member of the Masmuda, a Berber tribe of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Ibn Tumart was the son of a lamplighter in a mosque and had been noted for his piety from his youth; he was small, and misshapen and lived the life of a devotee-beggar. As a youth he performed the hajj to Mecca (or "Makkah"), whence he was expelled on account of his severe strictures on the laxity of others, and thence wandered to Baghdad, where he attached himself to the school of the orthodox doctor al-Ash'ari. But he made a system of his own by combining the teaching of his master with parts of the doctrines of others, and with mysticism imbibed from the great teacher Ghazali. His main principle was a strict Unitarianism which denied the independent existence of the attributes of God, as being incompatible with his unity, and therefore a polytheistic idea. Ibn Tumart in fact represented a revolt against what he perceived as anthropomorphism in the Muslim orthodoxy.

The Dynasty

Almohad dynasty and surrounding states, c. 1200.

After his return to Magreb at the age of twenty-eight, Ibn Tumart began preaching and agitating, heading riotous attacks on wine-shops and on other manifestations of laxity. He even went so far as to assault the sister[citation needed] of the Almoravid (Murabit) amir `Ali III, in the streets of Fez, because she was going about unveiled, after the manner of Berber women. `Ali III allowed him to escape unpunished.

Ibn Tumart, who had been driven from several other towns for exhibitions of reforming zeal, now took refuge among his own people, the Masmuda, in the Atlas. It is highly probable that his influence would not have outlived him, if he had not found a lieutenant in Abd al-Mu'min al-Kumi, another Berber, from Algeria, who was undoubtedly a soldier and statesman of a high order. When Ibn Tumart died in 1128 at the monastery or ribat which he had founded in the Atlas at Tinmel, after suffering a severe defeat by the Almoravids, Abd al-Mu'min kept his death secret for two years, till his own influence was established. He then came forward as the lieutenant of the Mahdi Ibn Tumart. Between 1130 and his death in 1163, `Abd-el-Mumin not only rooted out the Murabits, but extended his power over all northern Africa as far as Egypt, becoming amir of Marrakesh in 1149. Al-Andalus followed the fate of Africa, and in 1170 the Almohads transferred their capital to Seville, a step followed by the founding of the great mosque (now superseded by the cathedral), the tower of which, the Giralda, they erected in 1184 to mark the accession of Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur. From the time of Yusuf II, however, they governed their co-religionists in Iberia and Central North Africa through lieutenants, their dominions outside Morocco being treated as provinces. When their amirs crossed the Straits it was to lead a jihad against the Christians and to return to their capital, Marrakesh.

The Almohad minaret in Safi

The Almohad princes had a longer and a more distinguished career than the Murabits (or Almoravids). Yusuf II or Abu Yaqub Yusuf (1163–1184), and Ya'qub I or Yaqub al-Mansur (1184-1199), the successors of Abd al-Mumin, were both able men. Initially their government drove many Jewish and Christian subjects to take refuge in the growing Christian states of Portugal, Castile and Aragon. But in the end they became less fanatical than the Almoravids, and Ya'qub al-Mansur was a highly accomplished man, who wrote a good Arabic style and who protected the philosopher Averroes. His title of al-Mansur, "The Victorious," was earned by the defeat he inflicted on Alfonso VIII of Castile in the Battle of Alarcos (1195).

Decline and loss of Iberia

History of al-Andalus
Granada Alhambra gazelle Poterie 9019.JPG
711–1492

711–732 Invasions


756–1039 Omayyads of Córdoba


1039–1085 Taifas


1085–1145 Almoravids


1147–1238 Almohads


1238–1492 Emirate of Granada


connected articles

However, the Christian states in Iberia were becoming too well organized to be overrun by the Muslims, and the Almohads made no permanent advance against them.

In 1212 Muhammad III, "al-Nasir" (1199–1214), the successor of al-Mansur, after an initially successful advance north, was defeated by an alliance of the four Christian princes of Castile, Aragón, Kingdom of Navarre and Portugal, at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in the Sierra Morena. The battle destroyed Almohad dominance. Nearly all of the Moorish dominions in Iberia were lost soon after, with the great Moorish cities of Córdoba and Seville falling to the Christians in 1236 and 1248 respectively.

All that remained, thereafter, was the Moorish state of Granada, which after an internal Muslim revolt, survived as a tributary state of the Christian kingdoms on Iberia's southern periphery. The Nasrid dynasty or Banu Nazari (Arabic: بنو نصر‎) rose to power there after the defeat of the Almohads dynasty in 1212. Twenty different Muslim kings ruled Granada from the founding of the dynasty in 1232 by Muhammed I ibn Nasr until January 2, 1492, when Sultan Boabdil surrendered to the Christian Spanish kingdom. Today, the most visible evidence of the Nasrids is the Alhambra palace complex built under their rule.

Map showing the area of Almohad control in Spain and the paths of counter-attacks from Castile (C) and Aragón (A). ((L) Leon, (P) Portugal, (N) Navarre)

In their African holdings, the Almohads encouraged the establishment of Christians even in Fez, and after the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa they occasionally entered into alliances with the kings of Castile. They were successful in expelling the garrisons placed in some of the coast towns by the Norman kings of Sicily. The history of their decline differs from that of the Almoravids, whom they had displaced. They were not assailed by a great religious movement, but lost territories, piecemeal, by the revolt of tribes and districts. Their most effective enemies were the Beni Marin (Marinids) who founded the next dynasty. The last representative of the line, Idris II, "El Wathiq"' was reduced to the possession of Marrakesh, where he was murdered by a slave in 1269.

Religion

The Almohads, who had taken control of the Almoravids' Maghribi and Andalusian territories by 1147,[2] far surpassed the Almoravids in fundamentalist outlook, and they treated the dhimmis (non-Muslims) harshly. Faced with the choice of either death or conversion, most Jews and Christians emigrated.[3] A few, like the family of Maimonides, eventually fled east to more tolerant Muslim lands,[4] while most of them went northward to settle in the growing Christian kingdoms.[5][6]

Muwahhadi (Almohad) Caliphs,1121–1269

Culture

Sufi writers.

Bibliography

  • History of the Almonades, Reinhart Dozy, (second edition, 1881)
  • Conquest of Spain by the Arab-Moors, Coppée, (Boston, 1881)
  • Le livre d'Ibn Tumart, I. Goldziher, (1903)
  • Les Benou Ghanya, Bel, (1903)
  • Mica Enciclopedie de Istorie Universala, Marcel D. Popa, Horia C. Matei, (Bucharest, Editura Politica 1988)

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/686/Abd-al-Mumin
  2. ^ Islamic world. (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved September 2, 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  3. ^ The Forgotten Refugees
  4. ^ Frank and Leaman, 2003, p. 137-138.
  5. ^ Sephardim
  6. ^ Kraemer, 2005, pp. 16-17.

External links


Simple English


Warning: Value specified for "continent" does not comply

الموَحدون
al-Muwahhidun

Almohad Empire

Empire


File:Fatimid
1121 – 1269

Capital Marrakech , Seville
Language(s) Classical Arabic (main language), Berber languages , Mozarabic language, Hebrew, African Romance
Religion Sunni Islam (main religion), Roman Catholic, Judaism, Ibadi, Sufism
Government Value specified for "government_type" does not comply
Caliph
 - 1121-1130 Ibn Tumart
 - 1266–1269 Idris II
History
 - Established 1121
 - Disestablished 1269
Area 1,621,393.5 km2
626,024 sq mi
Currency Dinar, Dobla Zaena, Dobla almohad)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Almoravid dynasty
File:Fatimid Fatimid Caliphate
Majorca
Nasrid dynasty File:Armoiries
Marinid dynasty
Hafsid dynasty File:Tunis hafsid
Abdalwadid File:Sin
Kingdom of Murcia
Minorca
Crown of Castile File:Blason Castille Lé
Kingdom of Portugal
Crown of Aragon File:Aragon

The Almohad Dynasty (From Arabic الموحدون al-Muwahhidun, i.e., "the monotheists" or "the Unitarians"), was a Berber, Muslim dynasty that was founded in the 12th century, and conquered all northern Africa as far as Libya, together with Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia).

Contents

History

Between 1130 and his death in 1163, Abd al-Mu'min al-Kumi, a Berber from the Masmuda tribe, defeated the ruling Almoravids and became ruler over all northern Africa as far as Libya. He became Emir of Marrakech in 1149 and conquered Al-Andalus, Moorish Iberia. In 1170 the Almohads transferred their capital to Seville. But by 1212 Muhammad III, "al-Nasir" (1199–1214) was defeated by an alliance of the four Christian princes of Castile, Aragón, Kingdom of Navarre and Portugal, at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in the Sierra Morena. The Almohads lost nearly all of the Moorish dominions in Iberia soon after. The great Moorish cities of Córdoba and Seville fell into Christian possession in the first half of the 13th century. The Almohads continued to rule in Africa for some time, but they lost a lot of their territory. The last representative of the line, Idris II, had only Marrakech left. There he was murdered by a slave in 1269.

Muwahhadi (Almohad) Caliphs,1121–1269

File:Safi
The Alhomad ‎minaret in Safi
File:Mapa reconquista
Map showing the area of Almohad control in Spain and the paths of counter-attacks from Castile (C) and Aragón (A). ((L) Leon, (P) Portugal, (N) Navarre)
  • Ibn Tumart 1121-1130
  • Abd al-Mu'min 1130–1163
  • Abu Ya'qub Yusuf I 1163–1184
  • Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur 1184–1199
  • Muhammad an-Nasir 1199–1213
  • Abu Ya'qub Yusuf II 1213–1224
  • Abd al-Wahid I 1224
  • Abdallah al-Adil 1224–1227
  • Yahya 1227–1235
  • Idris I 1227–1232
  • Abdul-Wahid II 1232–1242
  • Ali 1242–1248
  • Umar 1248–1266
  • Idris II 1266–1269

Culture

Sufi writers.

  • Sidi Abu Madyan Choaïb ben al-Houssein al-Ansari (1126-1198)
  • Ali ibn Harzihim (m.1164)
  • Abi Mohammed Salih (1153-1234)
  • Abu Abdallah ibn Harzihim (m.1235)
  • Abu-l-Hassan ash-Shadhili (1197-1258)
  • Abdelwahid al-Marrakushi (b. 1185) historian and writer
  • Salih ben Sharif al-Rundi (1204-1285)

Reference

  • History of the Almonades, Reinhart Dozy, (second edition, 1881)
  • Mica Enciclopedie de Istorie Universala, Marcel D. Popa, Horia C. Matei, (Bucharest, Editura Politica 1988)

Other pages

Other websites









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