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Zahia Smail Salhi

Algerian emir and anticolonialist leader, was born on 6 September 1808 near Mascara in the west of Algeria. His full name was ʿAbd al-Qadir bin Muhieddine; he is known in the Arab east as ʿAbdel-Kader al-Jazaʾiri and in Algeria as al-Amir ʿAbd El-Kader.

His father, Muhieddine al-Hassani, was a Sufi shaykh who followed the Qadiriyya religious order and claimed to be a Hasani (sharif ) descendent of the Prophet with family ties with the Idrisi dynasty of Morocco. As a young boy, ʿAbdel-Kader trained in horsemanship, and from this he developed his love for horses, about which he wrote some beautiful poetry. He was also trained in religious sciences; he memorized the Qurʾan and read in theology and philology. He was also known as a poet who recited classical poetry and wrote his own poetry, mostly centering on war and chivalry.

In 1825 ʿAbdel Kader set out with ...

Article

Ness Creighton

Mamluk bey of Upper Egypt and head of the Hawwara (a Berber people), was the emir and the de facto ruler of Upper Egypt during the mid-eighteenth century who was part of the opposition to ʿAli Bey’s rule of Egypt. Abu Yusuf and the tribe belonged to Nisf Haram, which would become closely associated with the Qasimmi Mamluks. His full name was Humam ibn Yusuf ibn Ahmad al-Hawwari, also sometimes given as Humam Abu Yusuf.

Like previous Hawwara leaders, the power base of Abu Yusuf was in Farshut, in the province of Qena. From here, their influence extended westward, encompassing large sections of the Saʾid. Initially, Hawwara claims under Abu Yusuf came into conflict with both the Bardisi and the Akhmim claims. Humam was successful in eventually eliminating both of these rivals.

Abu Yusuf oversaw a brief period of comparative prosperity and tranquility in the history of Upper Egypt during ...

Article

Pierre Bonte

emir of Mauritania, was the oldest son and successor to the emir SidʾAhmed, who was himself the son of ʿUthman, founder in the middle of the eighteenth century of the emirate of the Mauritanian Adrar (Adrar tmar, “Adrar of the dates”), which SidʾAhmed institutionalized by stabilizing the title within the Ahl ʿUthman and by attaching to it emirate wealth, in particular goods paid as tribute from the znaga. Ahmed Ould Aida brought to the emirate a new renown in the Saharan west.

His surname, Ould Aida, was given to him by the second wife of his father, of noble brakna origin, either in reference to his mother, who was of the Liʿwaysyat, a hassan group of warrior gentry or in reference to his nurse and out of derision He assumed it in defiance and thus the name is found among his descendants the Ahl Ahmed Ould ...

Article

Russell Hopley

emir of the Almoravid dynasty from 1106 to 1143, was born in the Moroccan city of Ceuta to a mother who was a Christian captive from Spain. ʿAli inherited rule of the Almoravid state upon the death of his father, Yusuf ibn Tashfin, in 1106. Almoravid rule at the time of ʿAli’s accession to power was at its zenith and encompassed a considerable portion of territory of the Islamic west, including Andalusia, the western region of North Africa, and portions of the bilad al-Sudan Indeed it is a commonplace of the classical Arabic chronicles that ʿAli s name was invoked from some two thousand pulpits at the outset of every Friday sermon However his rule was beset with a host of serious problems almost from the outset ranging from quarrels among the various tribal factions that formed the backbone of the Almoravid regime to doctrinal disputes the ...

Article

Idris I  

Stephen Cory

founder of the first Islamic dynasty in Morocco the Idrisids who ruled over portions of the country between 788 and 985 was born and raised in Arabia Idris ibn ʿAbdullah is said to have fled from Abbasid persecution to the farthest west where he established his authority among Awraba Berbers near the ancient Roman city of Volubilis Declaring himself a descendant of the Prophet s grandson Hasan Idris extended his rule throughout northern Morocco However his reign was cut short when the Abbasid caliph Harun al Rashid had him poisoned in 791 Idris is credited with laying the foundations for the city of Fez which his son Idris II would later complete Idris II also established a state that stretched from the Sus valley in the south to the city of Oran in the northeast His kingdom was divided among his descendants who maintained political authority in parts of northern ...

Article

Idris I  

Marian Aguiar

Sidi Muhammad Idris as-Sanusi was born in al-Joghboub, Libya, the son of Sayyid al-Mahdi, leader of the Sanusi, a powerful Islamic religious order. As heir to his father’s position, Idris became the de facto ruler of the Libyan region of Cyrenaica, where the Sanusi order was based. Soon after he assumed leadership at the age of twenty-two, Idris began negotiations with Italy for recognition of an emirate in Cyrenaica. In 1920, in return for a promise that Cyrenaicans would lay down their arms, Italy acknowledged Idris as the autonomous Sanusi emir of several oases. Many nationalists from both Tripolitania and Cyrenaica subsequently regarded Idris as the leader of the independence movement.

During World War II Idris risked reprisal from Italy by allying with Great Britain Following the Allied victory he was installed as emir of Cyrenaica Libyan support for the monarchy was in no way complete some nationalists in ...

Article

Russell Hopley

final emir of the Almoravid dynasty in the Maghreb (present-day Morocco), the grandson of the eminent Almoravid emir Yusuf bin Tashfin (d. 1106), assumed rule of the Almoravid state, already significantly reduced, in its terminal phase. He took power in 1145 at the age of fifteen following a palace coup that overthrew his nephew, Ibrahim bin Tashfin, aged only nine at the time of his removal. Ishaq’s brief tenure as emir was marked by a series of decisive defeats for the Almoravids. The Almohad armies commanded by ʿAbd al-Muʾmin al-Kumi (d. 1163) made rapid progress during the first year of Ishaq’s rule in their effort to occupy the eastern regions of Morocco. The strategically placed cities of Oran, Tlemcen, Oujda, Taza, Guercif, Fez, and Meknès fell in quick succession to the Almohads. Several chronicles report that the Almoravid defenders of Fez simply removed their facial veils, the litham for ...

Article

Russell Hopley

emir of the Zirid dynasty (962–1108) in present-day Tunisia, was born at the Zirid royal residence in Sabra near the capital city of al-Qayrawan. Tamim was designated heir apparent to the Zirid throne in 1050 by his father, al-Muʿizz (r. 1016–1062). He was subsequently appointed governor of Mahdia in 1053. Following the destruction of al-Qayrawan in 1057 by Hilali Bedouin tribesmen, Zirid rule was effectively confined to the city of Mahdia and its environs, and the task of restoring the Zirid state to its former grandeur would be the focus of much of Tamim’s efforts when he acceded to power in 1062.

Tamim was said to be tall fair complexioned and endowed with a powerful physique and he devoted considerable time tending to his health and appearance He received an extensive education in classical Arabic letters while growing up in al Qayrawan and he showed a fine appreciation ...

Article

M. W. Daly

, Sudanese military commander, was born ʿUthman ibn Abi Bakr Diqna in the eastern Sudan, probably at Suakin, into a merchant family of Kurdish or Turkish descent, and a Hadandua Bija mother. In 1877 he was caught slave trading between the Sudan and Arabia, imprisoned, and financially ruined; other accounts tell of government forces plundering him during a trading foray to Darfur. While ʿUthman’s enmity for the Egyptians (and British) has been ascribed to personal vendetta, his lifelong loyalty to the Mahdiyya remains unquestioned.

ʿUthman joined the Mahdist revolution against Turco Egyptian rule sometime before the fall of El Obeid in 1883 when the Mahdi commissioned him to raise the tribes of his native region As an adept of the Majdhubiyya order of sufis ʿUthman exploited the rival Khatmiyya order s association with the Egyptian regime and crystallized local grievances in favor of the Mahdist cause Despite early defeats by Egyptian ...

Article

James H. Vaughan

emir of Madagali, a small Fulbe (Fulani)-ruled suzerainty on the east bank of the Yedseram River in what is today Nigeria (1902–1927), was born in Madagali, Nigeria, the son of Ardo Bakari Njidda and was formally named Muhammad Yaji. He is largely known because of a journal he kept between 1912 and 1927 in which he recounted his daily routine, administrative travel, dealings with family, friends, and government administrators, and raids upon pagan hamlets.

At the beginning of his reign, Madagali—the name denotes both a town and the surrounding area—was a part of German Kamerun, but following World War I the area became a League of Nations Mandated Territory, first under the French and then, after 1920 the British who governed it as a part of British Northern Cameroons This sequence as well as increasing European penetration into the area led to considerable friction between Hamman Yaji and the ...

Article

Russell Hopley

emir of the Moroccan Almoravid dynasty from 1061 to 1106, whose origins were among the veiled nomadic Berbers of the Banu Turgut, a branch of the Sanhaja confederation of tribes whose historical homeland encompassed the vast desert expanses of northwest Africa, a region roughly comprising present-day upper Senegal and Mauritania. Yusuf ibn Tashfin (frequently rendered as Tashufin) first appears in the classical Arabic sources for North African history in 1061, already aged 50, when he assumed leadership of the Sanhaja, effectively replacing his cousin Abu Bakr ibn ʿUmar (d. 1087) in that role. The formerly pagan tribes of the Sanhaja had been brought into the fold of Islam by ʿAbd Allah ibn Yasin al-Jazuli (d. 1059 a strict Maliki and subsequently adopted the epithet of al Murabitun Latinized in European sources as Almoravids both as a sign of their commitment to the new faith and as ...