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thirtieth and final sultan of the Moroccan Marinid dynasty, became titular head of the state at the age of one, after his father, Abu Saʿid Uthman III, was murdered. This development allowed ʿAbd al-Haqq’s regent, Abu Zakariyya Yahya al-Wattasi, to rule the state in his name. Upon Abu Zakariyya’s death in 1448, his nephew, ʿAli ibn Yusuf, took power, once again in the name of ʿAbd al-Haqq, whom the Wattasids kept excluded from real authority. Ten years later, in 1458, ʿAli ibn Yusuf al Wattasi died, and Abu Zakariyya’s son, Yahya, took over the all-powerful position as ʿAbd al-Haqq’s regent.

It was at this point that ʿAbd al-Haqq rebelled against Wattasid dominance in order to exercise his authority independently. After executing every member of the Wattasid family living in Fez, ʿAbd al-Haqq proceeded to punish Fezzi ulama who had countenanced the Wattasid co optation of power His ...

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George Michael La Rue

sultan of the Sudanese kingdom of Darfur (c. 1682–1722) was born in Jabal Marra to Sultan Musa and an unknown woman; his full name was Ahmad Bukr bin Musa bin Sulayman. He built up Darfur as a regional power, energetically worked to expand the role of Islam, and invited new ethnic groups to settle in the sultanate.

As the youngest of his father s eight sons Ahmad Bukr came to power after his oldest brother proved unfit There are few fixed dates in his history but he was very successful in his military campaigns routing such local rivals as the Gimr in a seven year campaign and driving the invading forces of Wadai out of his territory They had reached the Kabkabiyya region north of Jabal Marra and he countered by sending to Egypt for firearms and to Bagirmi a sultanate west of Wadai for allies To consolidate his ...

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Barsbay  

Allen J. Fromherz

whose full name was al-Malik al-Ashraf Abu an-Nasr Barsbay, was one of the more ruthless and tragic of the Mamluk sultans of Egypt. He ruled the Mamluk Empire from Cairo between 1422 and 1438, a time of increasing external pressure on the sultanate. His early life, like that of many a Mamluk or slave soldier, was brutal. Years of imprisonment hardened his character and his resolve for power.

Upon his succession to the sultanate Barsbay immediately banned Jews and Christians from participating in government service despite centuries of tradition that kept Jewish and Christian families firmly inside the Mamluk power network There is some debate about the reasons for Barsbay s ban It may have been paranoia over the increasing influence of European pirates and merchants on Mamluk shores Indeed the property of all European traders many from Genoa and Venice was confiscated by the sultan as an immediate ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

sultan of the kingdom of Mali, was born sometime in the late fifteenth century. He became king around 1496. Unfortunately for him, his reign is best known for a range of internal and external problems. These problems greatly weakened the kingdom.

To the west, Mahmud III struggled with the rise of Koly Tengella, the leader of the Denianke Peul-speaking community. The Denianke moved into the Peul kingdom of Futa Toro and into western provinces long part of the Mali empire, like Futa Jallon. Futa Toro also attacked Mali in the mid-sixteenth century. Mali’s old vassals of Songhai now controlled much of the old territory to the east. While Mali managed to hold onto the valuable Bambuk gold mines, Songhai’s reach deep into the Sahara placed Mali’s eastern neighbor in a much better position to control trans-Saharan trade. Songhai’s sultan, Askia Muhammad, defeated Mahmud III’s general, Fati Quali, in 1502 ...

Article

Aomar Boum

Wattasid Sultan of Fez, was born in Asila around 870/1465, the son of Muhammad al-Shaykh ibn Yahya. He is also known as Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya. Banu Wattas were a subclan of Banu Marin (Marinids), their tribal kinsmen. As a political regency, the Wattasids had emerged mainly in northeast Morocco with virtual autonomy from the Marinids to whom they were tied ethnically and politically. In the 1420s Morocco fell into anarchy and the Marinids began to lose their control over the whole country especially after the murder of the Marinid Sultan Abu Saʿid ʿUthman III. The Marinids were not only weakened by family feuds over power control but also targeted by Iberian powers. By 1415 Portugal captured the port city of Ceuta The failure of the Marinids to extend their authority throughout the coastal communities led to the emergence of religious brotherhoods that would threaten not only ...

Article

Allen J. Fromherz

one of the most important Mamluk sultans of Egypt and Syria, was a Circassian whose full name was Al-Malik al Ashraf abu al Nasr Sayf al-Din Al Mahmudi al Zahiri Qaʾit Bay. Circassia is a region in the Caucasus hundreds of miles from Cairo, in the mountains between the Black and Caspian Seas. As with many Mamluk Sultans purchased as slaves, the precise date of his birth is difficult to decipher. He was probably born between the years 1416 and 1418 and, showing great promise, was purchased by the Sultan Barsbay. Being purchased as a slave of the Sultan was considered an honor, and sources indicate that many Circassians actively groomed their sons for a chance to work as Mamluks (slave–soldiers). In exceptional circumstances these boys would advance through the ranks to become rulers of Egypt and Syria.

After several promotions in the Mamluk army and having proved his mettle ...

Article

Allen J. Fromherz

ruled the Mamluk slave sultanate from Egypt and was the penultimate ruler of the Mamluks. Another form of his name is Qansawh al Ghawri. His able leadership slowed what could have been a more rapid decline of Mamluk power. A slave, or Mamluk, of the Sultan Qaʿitbay, Qansuh was trained in the Mamluk system of military schools of his predecessors. Proving himself in battle and in administration, Qansuh rose through the elite ranks of the Mamluks. He became governor of Upper Egypt in 1481. He campaigned against the Ottomans, increasingly the main threat to the Mamluks in the north. He learned, early on, to forcefully deal with revolts in the provinces, suppressing a rebellion of townsfolk in Aleppo in 1491 His elevation to the sultanate may not have been completely voluntary A group of high Mamluk princes virtually forced him into accepting the position Unaffiliated with the many ...

Article

George Michael La Rue

the first Muslim sultan of the Sudanese kingdom of Darfur, and often cited as the founder of the Kayra dynasty, was born in Jabal Marra to Kuuruu, a local Fur king, and a woman of the Serbung section of the Masalit. Known as Solong or Solongdungo (literally the red-faced, implying here Arab), Sulayman was a descendant of the local Wise Stranger, Ahmad Maʿqur (Ahmad the ham-stringed), a nearly mythical figure, thought to be a Hilali Arab from North Africa who had first introduced Islam to the earlier Tunjur dynasty, and through them to the Fur, according to conflicting versions of the oral traditions. Sulayman Solong was famous for expanding the territory of the Fur westward and for expanding Muslim influence in Darfur.

His father one of a series of Fur rulers in Jabal Marra the volcanic massif at the heart of Darfur had been involved in a dispute with Tunsam ...