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Elizabeth Heath

The Almoravids movement of Abd Allah ibn Yasin conquered parts of northwestern Africa and later Spain during the eleventh and twelfth centuries and converted the defeated populations to Malekite (Maliki) Sunni Islam. Little is known of Abd Allah ibn Yasin's life prior to 1035, when as a student he was visited by a Sanhadja Berber chieftain and invited to return home with him to teach his people the true faith of Islam A devout Muslim Abd Allah ibn Yasin was scandalized by the lax and immoral practices of the Sanhadja Berbers He encouraged them to convert to Malekite Sunni Islam imposing a strict interpretation of Qur anic law Eventually he even restructured the Berber s military to conduct jihads holy wars in accordance with the Qur an By 1041 however the Berber chieftains resented the religious scholar s rule and sent him away Abd Allah ibn Yasin and ...

Article

Chouki El Hamel

Islamic teacher and founder of the Almoravid movement in Morocco, was a Berber originally from the Jazula clan of the Sanhaja (or Znaga) tribal group. He grew up in the Sus region in the south of Morocco.

Ibn Yasin’s political career began after a visit around 1035 by Yahya ibn Ibrahim (other sources refer to Yahya ibn Ibrahim as al-Jawhar ibn Sakkum) from the Berber group in the western Sahara, who set off with some Sanhaja leaders to perform the Pilgrimage. On his way back home, Yahya encountered Wajjaj ibn Zalwi al-Lamti, the Maliki religious leader and founder of a religious school known as Dar al-Murabitin Concerned that the Sanhaja people were only nominally Muslims and needed to be taught the Islamic beliefs and practices according to the Maliki doctrine Yahya asked Wajjaj to allow one of his students to return with him to educate his people on the ...