Berber Revolt: Wikis


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The Great Berber Revolt of 739/740-743 A.D. (122-125 A.H. in the Muslim calendar) took place during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and marked the first successful secession from the Arab caliphate (ruled from Damascus). The revolt began in Tangiers in 740, and was led initially by Maysara al-Matghari.

By 740 Hisham's armies had been defeated by the Byzantines at the Battle of Akroinon; expeditions into Gaul during the period 732-737 had been repulsed by the Franks under Charles Martel, and the strategic city of Narbonne was threatened; the Caucasian front was at a standstill and Gujarat had been lost. Against this series of reversals, the revolt of the Berbers in Ifriqiya marked the crowning blow and largest military catastrophe of Hisham's reign.



The underlying causes of the revolt were the policies of the Umayyad governors in Kairouan, Ifriqiya, who had authority over the Maghreb (all of North Africa west of Egypt) and al-Andalus (Spain).

From the early days of Muslim conquest of North Africa, Arab commanders had treated non-Arab (notably Berber) auxiliaries inconsistently, and often rather shabbily. Although Berbers had undertaken much of the fighting in the conquest in Spain, they were given a lesser share of the spoils and frequently assigned to the harsher duties (e.g. Berbers were thrown into the vanguard while Arab forces were kept in the back; they were assigned garrison duty on the more troubled frontiers). Although the Ifriqiyan governor Musa ibn Nusair had cultivated his Berber lieutenants (most famously, Tariq ibn Ziyad), his successors, notably Yazid ibn Abi Muslim, had treated their Berber forces particularly poorly.[1]

Most grievously, Arab governors continued to levy extraordinary dhimmi taxation (the jizyah and kharaj) and slave-tributes on non-Arab populations that had converted to Islam, in direct contravention of Islamic law. This had become particularly routine during the caliphates of Walid I and Sulayman.

In 718, the Umayyad caliph Umar II finally forbade the levying of extraordinary taxation and slave tributes from non-Arab Muslims, defusing much of the tension. But expensive military reverses in the 720s and 730s had forced caliphal authorities to look for innovative ways to replenish their treasuries. During the caliphate of Hisham from 724, the prohibitions were side-stepped with reinterpretations (e.g. tying the kharaj land tax to the land rather than the owner, so that lands that were at any point subject to the kharaj remained under kharaj even if currently owned by a Muslim.)

As a result, resentful Berbers grew receptive to radical Kharijite activists from the east (notably Sufrites and Ibadites sects) which had begun arriving in the Maghreb in the 720s. The Kharijites articulated a puritan form of Islam, promising a new political order, where all Muslims were equal, irrespective of ethnicity or tribal status, and Islamic law would be strictly adhered to. The appeal of the Kharijite message to Berber ears allowed their activists to gradually penetrate Berber regiments and population centers. Sporadic mutinies by Berber garrisons (e.g. under Munnus in Cerdanya, Spain, in 729-31) were put down with difficulty. One Ifriqiyan governor, Yazid ibn Abi Muslim, who openly resumed the jizya and humiliated his Berber guard by branding their hands, was assassinated by that guard in 721.[2]

In 734, Obeid Allah ibn al-Habhab was appointed Umayyad governor in Kairouan, with supervisory authority over all the Maghreb (North Africa) and al-Andalus (Spain). Coming in after a period of mismanagement, Obeid Allah soon set about dynamizing the fiscal resources of the government by leaning heavily on the non-Arab populations, resuming the extraordinary taxation and slave-tribute without apologies. His deputies Oqba ibn al-Hajjaj al-Saluli in Córdoba (Spain) and Omar ibn el-Moradi in Tangier (Morocco) were given similar instructions. The failure of expensive expeditions into Gaul during the period 732-737, repulsed by the Franks under Charles Martel, only increased the burden. The parallel failure of the caliphal armies in the east brought no fiscal relief from Damascus.

The Revolt


Revolt in the Maghreb

The zeal of the Umayyad tax-collectors finally broke Berber patience around 739. It is reported that following Obeid Allah ibn al-Habhab's instructions to extract more revenues from the Berbers, Omar ibn al-Moradi, governor in Tangiers, decided to declare the Berbers in his jurisdiction a 'conquered people' and consequently set about seizing Berber property and enslaving persons, as per the rules of conquest, the 'caliphal fifth' was still owed to the Umayyad state (alternative accounts report he simply doubled their tribute).

This was the last straw. Inspired by the Sufrite preachers, the North African Berber tribes of western Morocco - initially, the Ghomara, Berghwata and Miknasa - decided to break openly into revolt against their Arab overlords. They chose Maysara al-Matghari, allegedly a lowly water-carrier (more probably a high Matghara Berber chieftan) as their leader.

The only question was timing. The opportunity arose sometime in late 739 or early 740, when the powerful Ifriqiyan general Habib ibn Abi Obeida al-Fihri, who had recently been been imposing his authority on the Sous valley of southern Morocco, received instructions from the governor Obeid Allah to lead a new expedition to Sicily. Gathering his forces, Habib ibn Abi Obeida marched the bulk of the Ifriqiyan army out of Morocco.

As soon as the mighty Habib was safely gone, Maysara brought his coalition of Berber armies bearing down on Tangiers. The city soon fell into their hands and the hated governor Omar al-Moradi was killed. It was at this point that Maysara is said to have taken up the title and pretension or amir al-mu'minin ('Commander of the Faithful', or 'Caliph'). Leaving a Berber garrison in Tangier under the command of Christian convert, Abd al-Allah al-Hodeij al-Ifriqi, Maysara's army proceeded to sweep down western Morocco, overwhelming Umayyad garrisons clear from the Straits down to the Sous. One of the local governors killed by the Berbers was Ismail ibn Obeid Allah, the very son of the Kairouan emir.[3]

The Umayyad governor Obeid Allah ibn al-Habhab reacted to the Berber uprising quickly. He immediately dispatched instructions to his general Habib ibn Abi Obeida al-Fihri in Sicily to break off the expedition and ship the Ifriqiyan army back to Africa. In the meantime, Obeid Allah assembled a cavalry-heavy column composed of the aristocratic Arab elite of Kairouan under the command of Khalid ibn Abi Habib al-Fihri and dispatched it as a vanguard to Tangiers. A smaller reserve army was placed under Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Mughira al-Abdari and instructed to hold Tlemcen, in case the Berber army should break through towards Ifriqiya.

Maysara's Berber forces encountered the vanguard Ifrqiyian column of Khalid ibn Abi Habib somewhere in the outskirts of Tangiers [4] After a brief skirmish with the Arab column, Maysara abruptly ordered the Berber armies to fall back. The Arab cavalry commander Khalid ibn Abi Habiba did not give pursuit, but just held the line just south of Tangiers, blockading the Berber-held city, while awaiting the reinforcements from Habib's Sicilian expedition.

In this breathing space, the Berber rebels got reorganized and undertook an internal coup. The Berber tribal leaders swiftly deposed (and executed) Maysara and elected the Zenata Berber chieftan, Khalid ibn Hamid al-Zanati as the new Berber 'caliph'. The reasons for Maysara's fall remain obscure. Possibly the sudden cowardice shown before the Arab cavalry column proved him military unfit, possibly because the puritan Sufrite preachers found a flaw in the piety of his character, or simply because the Zenata tribal chieftans, being closer to the Ifriqiyan frontline, felt they should be the ones leading the rebellion.

Khalid ibn Hamid al-Zanati opted to immediately attack the Ifriqiyan column before they could be reinforced. The Berber rebels under Khalid ibn Hamid overwhelmed and annihilated the army of Khalid ibn Abi Habiba, called the Battle of the Nobles because of veritable massacre of the cream of the Ifriqiyan Arab nobility. This was c. October-November, 740.

The immediate Arab reaction to the disaster shows just how unexpected this reversal was. Upon the first news of the defeat of the nobles, the reserve army of Ibn al-Mughira in Tlemcen fell into a panic. Seeing Sufrite preachers everywhere in the city, the troops launched into a series of indiscriminate massacres. This provoked a massive uprising in the hitherto-quiet city, the population driving the Umayyad troops and authorities out. The frontline of the Berber war now leaped to the middle Maghreb (Algeria).[5]

The Sicilian expeditionary army of Habib ibn Abi Obeida arrived too late to prevent the massacre of the nobles. Realizing they were in no position to take on the Berbers by themselves, they retreated to Tlemcen, to gather the reserves, only to find that that city too was now in disarray. There, Habib encountered Musa ibn Abi Khalid, an Umayyad captain who had bravely stayed behind in the vicinity of Tlemcen gathering what loyal forces he could find. The state of panic and confusion was such that Habib ibn Abi Obeida decided to blame the guiltless captain for the mess and cut off his hands and legs.[5]

Habib ibn Abi Obeida entrenched what remained of the Ifriqiyan army in the vicinity of Tlemcen (perhaps as far back as Tahert), and called upon Kairouan for reinforcements. The request was forwarded to Damascus.

Caliph Hisham, hearing the shocking news, is said to have exclaimed: "By God, I will most certainly rage against them with an Arab rage, and I will send against them an army whose beginning is where they are and whose end is where I am!" [6]

Coup in al-Andalus

It is sometimes reported that the Andalusian governor Oqba ibn al-Hajjaj al-Saluli dispatched an Andalusian army across the straits to support the Ifriqiyan column around Tangiers, only to be similarly defeated by the Berber rebels in late 740. But this story has been discounted by modern historians, as it is sourced principally from later Christian Spanish chronicles; there is nothing in contemporary Muslim accounts referencing any such expedition.

Nonetheless,the news of the Berber victory in Morocco echoed through Spain. The Andalusian Arabs were heavily outnumbered by the Berbers in Spain. Fearing the Berber garrisons in their own lands might take inspiration from their Moroccan brethren, the Andalusian Arabs quickly deposed Obeid Allah's deputy, Oqba ibn al-Hajjaj al-Saluli, in January 741 and reinstated his predecessor, Abd al-Malik ibn Qatan al-Fihri, a more popular figure among local Arabs and Berbers alike.[7]

The Syrian Expedition

In February, 741, the Umayyad Caliph Hisham appointed Kulthum ibn Iyad al-Qasi to replace the disgraced Obeid Allah as governor in Ifriqiya. Kulthum was to be accompanied by fresh Arab army of 30,000 - 10,000 Umayyad clients and 20,000 tribal forces—raised from the regiments (junds) of the east. Specifically, 6000 troops were to raised by each of the junds of Damascus, Jordan, Emesa (Hims) and Palestine, 3,000 from Qinnasrin and 3,000 more were to be picked up in Egypt. Caliph Hisham appointed Kulthum's nephew Balj ibn Bishr al-Qushayri as his lieutenant and designated successor, and the Jordanian commander Thalaba ibn Salama al-Amili as his second successor (should tragedy befall the prior two).

The elite Syrian cavalry under Balj ibn Bishr, which had moved ahead of the bulk of the forces, was the first to arrive in Kairouan in the Summer of 741. Their brief stay was not a happy one. The Syrians arrived in haughty spirits and quarreled with the Kairouan city authorities, who suspicious, had given them a rather cool reception. Interpreting it as ingratitude, the Syrian barons imposed themselves on the city, billeting troops and requisitioning supplies without regard to local authorities or priorities.

(It is pertinent to note that the members of the Syrian expedition were of different tribal stock than the Arabs they came to save. The early Arab colonists of Ifriqiya and al-Andalus had been drawn largely from tribes of south Arabian origin (known as Kalbid or 'Yemenite' tribes), whereas the Syrian junds were mostly of north Arabian tribes (Qaysid or Mudharite, or 'Syrian' tribes). The ancient and deep pre-Islamic tribal rivalry between Qaysid and Yemenite found itself invoked in repeated quarrels between the earlier colonists and the arriving junds.)

Moving slower with the bulk of the forces, Kulthum ibn Iyad himself did not enter Kairouan, but merely dispatched a message assigning the government of the city to Abd al-Rahman ibn Oqba al-Ghaffari, the qadi of Ifriqiya. Collecting the Syrian vanguard, Kulthum hurried along to make junction with the remaining Ifriqiyan forces of Habib ibn Abi Obeida al-Fihri holding ground in the vicinity of Tlemcen.

The junction between the North African and Eastern forces did not go smoothly.[8] News of the Syrian misbehavior in Kairouan had reached the Ifriqiyan troops, while the Syrians, incensed at the poor reception, treated their Ifriqiyan counterparts in a high-handed fashion. Habib and Balj bickered and the armies nearly came to blows. By smooth diplomacy, Kulthum ibn Iyad managed hold the armies together, but the mutual resentments would play a role in subsequent events.

The Berber rebel army, under the leadership of Khalid ibn Hamid al-Zanati (perhaps jointly with a certain Salim Abu Yusuf al-Azdi [8]), while boasting great numbers (some 200,000), were very poorly equipped. Many Berber fighters had nothing but stones and knives, dressed in a mere loin cloth, heads shaved in the Sufri Kharijite fashion and Qura'nic scriptures tied to their lances and spears. But they made up for this in knowledge of the terrain, excellent morale, and a fanatical Sufrite-inspired religious fervor.

The Berber and Arab armies finally clashed at the Battle of Bagdoura (or Baqdura) in October-November, 741, by the Sebou river (near modern Fes). Disdaining the experience and cautious advice of the Ifriqiyans, Kulthum ibn Iyad made several serious tactical errors. Berber skirmishers dehorsed and isolated the Syrian cavalry, while the Berber foot fell upon the Arab infantry with overwhelming numbers. The Arab armies were quickly routed. By some estimates, two-thirds of the Arab army were killed or captured by the Berbers at Bagdoura.[9] Among the casualties were the new governor Kulthum ibn Iyad al-Qasi and the Ifriqiyan commander Habib ibn Abi Obeida al-Fihri.

The Syrian regiments, now reduced to some 10,000, were pulled together by Kulthum's nephew, Balj ibn Bishr and scrambled up towards the straits, where they hoped to get passage across the water to Spain. A small Ifriqiyan contingent, under Habib's son Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib al-Fihri, joined the Syrians in their flight, but the rest of the Ifriqiyan forces ran in a scattered way back to Kairouan. The bulk of the Berber rebel army set off in pursuit of the Syrians, and laid siege to them in Ceuta.

Offensive on Kairouan

The Zenata Berber leader Khalid ibn Hamid al-Zanati who delivered the two great victories over the Arab armies disappears from the chronicles shortly after Bagdoura (741).[10] But news of the defeat emboldened hitherto quiet Berber tribes to join the revolt. Berber uprisings erupted across the Maghreb and al-Andalus.

The most immediate threat arose in southern Ifriqiya, where the Sufrite leader Oqasha ibn Ayub al-Fezari immediately raised a Berber army and laid sieges to Gabes and Gafsa. By a rapid sally south with the remnant of the Ifriqiyan army, the Kairouan qadi Abd al-Rahman ibn Oqba al-Ghaffari managed to defeat and disperse Oqasha's forces near Gafsa in December, 741.[11]. But the qadi possessed far few Arab troops to put up a pursuit, and Oqasha immediately set about re-assembling his forces quietly around Tobna in the Zab valley of western Ifriqiya.

Immediately after hearing of the disaster at Bagdoura, the Caliph Hisham ordered Handhala ibn Safwan al-Kalbi, the Ummayyad governor of Egypt, to quickly take charge of Ifriqiya. In February 742, Handhala ibn Safwan hurried his army westwards and reached Kairouan around April 742, just as Oqasha was returning to try his luck again. Handhala's forces pushed Oqasha back again.

When Oqasha was reassembling his forces once more in the Zab, he came across a large Berber army coming from west, under the command of the Hawwara Berber chieftan Abd al-Wahid ibn Yazid al-Hawwari (possibly dispatched by the Berber caliph Khalid ibn Hamid al-Zanati, although he is not mentioned in the chronicles). Abd al-Wahid's army was composed of some 300,000 Berbers, ostensibly the largest Berber army ever seen.[12]. After a quick consultation, Oqasha and Abd al-Wahid agreed on a joint attack on Kairouan, Oqasha taking his forces along a southerly route, while Abd al-Wahid led his large army through the northern passes. They would make junction again in the Tunisian plains, before Kairouan.

Hearing of the approach of the great Berber armies, Handhala ibn Safwan realized it was paramount to prevent their junction. Dispatching a cavalry force to harass and slow down Abd al-Wahid, Handhala threw the bulk of his forces south, crushing Oqasha in a bloody battle at El-Qarn and taking him prisoner. But Handhala had taken a lot of losses himself, and now faced the unhappy prospect of Abd al-Wahid's gigantic army. Hurrying back, Handhala is said to have put the entire population of Kairouan under arms to bolster his ranks, before setting out again. In perhaps the bloodiest encounter in the Berber wars, Handhala ibn Safwan defeated the great Berber army of Abd al-Wahid ibn Yazid at El-Asnam around May 742 (perhaps a little later), just three miles outside of Kairouan. Some 120,000-180,000 Berbers, including Abd al-Wahid, fell in the field of battle in that single encounter. Oqasha was executed shortly after.

Although Kairouan was saved for the caliphate, and with it Ifriqiya, Handhala ibn Safwan now faced the unenvious task of dragging the more westerly provinces, still under Berber sway, back into the fold. He would not have the chance to accomplish this.

Revolt in al-Andalus

The coup that installed Abd al-Malik ibn Qatan al-Fihri as ruler in Spain in early 741 had been a failsafe device. But once the news of the disaster at Bagdoura spread, a general Berber uprising in Spain could no longer be prevented. In October 741, Berber garrisons in the northwest frontiers of Galicia mutinied. They discarded their Arab commanders and took to the field, abandoning their garrison posts to assemble their own Berber rebel army around the center and march against the Andalusian Arabs in the south.

Although their leaders' have names escaped us, the Spanish Berber rebel army was organized into three columns - one to take Toledo (the main garrison city of the central march), another to aim for Córdoba (the Umayyad capital) and the third to seize Algeciras (where the rebels hoped to seize the Andalusian fleet to ferry additional Berber troops from North Africa).

With the frontier garrisons of Galicia suddenly evacuated, the Christian king Alfonso I of the Asturias could hardly believe his luck, and set about dispatching Asturian troops to seize the empty forts. With remarkable swiftness and ease, the northwestern provinces of Galicia and, shortly after, Leon, were added to the Asturian kingdom and permanently lost to al-Andalus. The Asturians immediately set about evacuating the Christian populations from the towns and villages of the Galician-Leonese lowlands, creating an empty buffer zone in the Douro River valley (the Desert of the Duero), between the Christian north and the Islamic south. This new emptied frontier will remain in place for the next few centuries.

The Syrians in Spain

Through much of the winter of 741-42, the remnant of the Syrian expedition, some 10,000 men, under Balj ibn Bishr, remained trapped in Ceuta, besieged by the Berber rebels. The Andalusian ruler Abd el-Malik ibn Qatan Al-Fihri, wary that the presence of the Syrians in Spain would only aggravate matters, refused them passage across the water. Indeed, he forbade any relief of the stranded Syrians, going so far as to publicly torture to death an Arab merchant who had dared to dispatch a couple of grain boats to Ceuta to feed the desperate Syrians.[13]

But news soon reached the Andalusian governor that the Berber rebel armies from Galicia had been organized and were now barreling south in three columns, towards Toledo, Córdoba and Algeciras.

Not having enough Arab forces at hand, the Andalusian governor Abd al-Malik realized he had little choice but to make use of the stranded Syrian force to defeat the Berber armies. In a carefully negotiated treaty, Abd al-Malik granted the Syrians permission to cross over, on the condition that they promise to return to North Africa within a year of the settlement of the Berber matter in Spain. Hostages were taken to secure Syrian compliance.

The Syrian junds under Balj ibn Bishr crossed the straits in early 742 and immediately headed to the environs of Medina-Sidonia, where they intercepted and disposed of the Berber column aiming for Algeciras. The Syrians then joined the Andalusian Arabs in crushing the main Berber rebel army in a ferocious battle outside of Córdoba in the Spring of 742. Shortly after they proceeded to defeat the third Berber army, then laying siege to Toledo.

The Berber rebellion was quashed in Spain, but the Syrians showed no signs of intending to leave. When the Andalusian governor Abd al-Malik ibn Qatan ibn Fihri pressed the point, Balj ibn Bishr, decided to simply depose him and proclaim himself governor, invoking his credentials as designated successor to his uncle, the late Ifriqiyan governor Kulthum ibn Iyad al-Qasi. In revenge for the merchant of Ceuta, Balj ordered the elderly Ibn Qatan tortured to death.

A civil war was not short in happening. Rallied by Qatan and Umayya, the sons of the late Fihrid governor, Andalusian Arabs took up arms against the Syrian junds. The Syrians delivered a decisive defeat upon the Andalusians outside of Córdoba in August 742, but Balj ibn Bishr was mortally wounded in the process. Command of the Syrian armies devolved to Thalaba ibn Salama al-Amili, and for the next few months, the Syrians remained bunkered down, while the Andalusians (soon joined by what remained of the Beber rebels), assembled in Mérida.

Much of the next few months was spent in an intercenine Arab civil war, the Berber question relegated to a secondary concern. Eventually, tiring of war, the parties, appealed to the Ifriqiyan emir Handhala ibn Safwan al-Kalbi to resolve the matter. Handhala dispatched his cousin Abu al-Khattar ibn Darar al-Kalbi as the new governor for al-Andalus, arriving in May, 743.

Abu al-Khattar immediately set about restoring peace in Andalusia, liberating prisoners (Arab and Berber) and figuring a resolution to the displaced Syrian troops. He decided to distribute the various Syrian junds across Spain, carving out regimental fiefs in hitherto thinly-held areas: the Damascus jund was established in Elvira (Granada), the Jordan jund in Rayyu (Málaga and Archidona), the Palestine jund in Medina-Sidonia and Jerez, the Emesa (Hims) jund in Seville and Niebla and the Qinnasrin jund in Jaén. The Egypt jund was divided between Beja (Algarve) in the west and Tudmir (Murcia) in the east.[14] (Al-Maqqari refers to an additional jund from Wasit (Iraq) that was settled in Cabra, but this jund is not recorded in other sources).[15]) The Syrian junds were allocated a third of the tax revenues collected in their regions, and given responsibilities of tax-collection and military service to the Andalusian governor.

The arrival of the Syrian junds would have tremendous implications for subsequent Spanish history. They increased substantially the Arab element on the Iberian peninsula, and, as such, were instrumental in deepening the Muslim hold on the south, what would become the heart of al-Andalus. But they also brought trouble. Unwilling to be governed, the Syrian junds carried on an existence of autonomous feudal anarchy, severely destabilizing the power (and much of law & order) of the governor of al-Andalus.

Later years

It is common to denote 742 or 743 as the 'end' of the Great Berber Revolt, after the failure of the Berber armies to seize Kairouan or Córdoba. But the Berber hold on Morocco would continue.

See also



  1. ^ Dhannun Taha (1989: 198)
  2. ^ Hrbek, Ivan (1992), Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century, 3rd, University of California Press, p. 131, ISBN 9780520066984 
  3. ^ Ibn Khaldun, p.216-17
  4. ^ Following Ibn Khaldun (p.217), commentators usually mark that encounter at the Chelif river (in Algeria). However, it is unlikely that the Berber rebels would have reached that far east so soon. It is likely Ibn Khaldun or his transcribers confused that location with a similar-sounding one, closer to Tangiers. Julien (1961: p.30) suggests it was in the upper reaches of the Sebou river.
  5. ^ a b Blankinship (1994, p.208)
  6. ^ Blankinship, 1994:p.209
  7. ^ Blankinship, 1994: p.209.
  8. ^ a b Blankinship, p.211
  9. ^ Blankinship, p.212
  10. ^ Fournel (1857: p.79)
  11. ^ Blankship, p.215
  12. ^ Ibn Khaldun (1857: p.363); Fournel (1857: p.79)
  13. ^ al-Maqqari (1840-43, v.2, p.41), Mercier (1888: p.234);
  14. ^ Levi-Provençal, (1950: p.48); Kennedy (1996: p.45).
  15. ^ Al-Maqqari (1840-43: p.46)


  • al-Maqqari (1840-43 transl. by P. de Gayangos) The History of the Mohammedan dynasties in Spain, 2 vols, London: Royal Asiatic Society.
  • Blankinship, Khalid Yahya (1994). The End of the Jihad State: The Reign of Hisham Ibn 'Abd Al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads. SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-1827-8
  • Fournel, Henri (1857) Étude sur la conquête de l'Afrique par les Arabes, Paris, Impermerie Imperiale.
  • Heath, Jeffrey M (2002). Jewish and Muslim Dialects of Moroccan Arabic. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-1514-2
  • Holt, P M, Lambton, Ann K S. and Lewis, Bernard (1977). The Cambridge History of Islam. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-29137-2
  • Hrbek, Ivan (1992), Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century, 3rd, University of California Press,
  • Ibn Khaldun (1852 transl.) Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique, Algiers.
  • Lévi-Provençal, E. (1950)Histoire de l'Espagne musulmane, Tome 1, 1999 ed., Paris: Larose.
  • Julien, Charles-André, Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, des origines à 1830, édition originale 1931, réédition Payot, Paris, 1961
  • Kennedy, Hugh (1996) Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of al-Andalus, New York and London: Longman.
  • Mercier, E. (1888) Histoire de l'Afrqiue septentrionale, V. 1, Paris: Leroux. Repr. Elibron Classics, 2005.
  • Roth, A M and Roth, Norman (1994). Jews, Visigoths and Muslims in Medieval Spain: Cooperation and Conflict. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-09971-9
  • Taha, Abd al-Wahid Dhannun (1989) The Muslim conquest and settlement of North Africa and Spain, London, Routledge.


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