Idris I of Morocco

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Idris (I) ibn Abdallah (Arabic: إدريس بن عبدالله‎), also known as Idris the Elder (Arabic: إدريس الأكبر‎, romanizedIdris al-Akbar) was a Hasanid and the founder of the Idrisid dynasty in part of northern Morocco, in alliance with the Berber tribe of Awraba. He ruled from 788 to 791. He is credited with founding the dynasty that established Moroccan statehood and is regarded as the "founder of Morocco".[1]

Idris I ibn Abdallah
إدريس بن عبدالله
Emir of Morocco
Reign788–791
SuccessorIdris II
Born745
Arabia
Died791 (aged 45–46)
Morocco
Burial
SpouseKenza al-Awrabiya
Full name
Idris ibn Abdallah ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn Ali
DynastyIdrisid
FatherAbdallah al-Kamil
MotherAtika bint Abd al-Malik
ReligionZaydi Shia

HistoryEdit

Idris was the great-grandchild of Hasan, who was the son of Fatimah and Ali and grandson of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.[2] His brothers Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya and Ibrahim had been killed by the Abbasids during an abortive rebellion.

Idris himself had participated in another Alid uprising in 786. After is defeat at the Battle of Fakhkh, he escaped and remained in hiding, before moving to Egypt. Assisted by the local head of the caliphal postal system, Wadih, he managed to leave Egypt and reach the Maghreb.[2]

In 789 he arrived in Walīla, the site of the Roman Volubilis. Here his headquarters have been discovered in recent excavations conducted by the Moroccan Institute of Archaeology (INSAP) and University College London.[3] The headquarters lies just outside the walls of the Roman town, which was then occupied by the Berber tribe of the Awraba, under Ishaq ibn Mohammed. He married Kenza, of the Awraba, fathering a son, Idris II. This event is considered a consolidation and the birth of the Idrisid dynasty, the fourth Muslim State in Morocco after Nekor (710 - 1019), Barghawata (744 - 1058), and Midrar (757 - 976). According to Ibn Khaldoun, he was buried on the site. However, early in the Merinid period his tomb was discovered there, and moved to the town of Moulay Idriss near the hill of Zerhoun, where his tomb is found today.

 
The Tomb of Idris I (green roofed structure, bottom left) in Moulay Idris

Idris I conquered large parts of northern Morocco, his son Idris II made Fez the capital city of the Idrisid dynasty. In 789 AD, he captured Tlemcen[citation needed] (in modern-day Algeria) which became part of the kingdom. This succession of events prompted vengeance from the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, who sent emissaries to kill him. Idris I was poisoned and died in 791. His son, Idris II, was brought up by the Awraba, and left Walīla for Fes in 808.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period, Jamil M. Abun-Nasr, 1987, p. 52
  2. ^ a b Eustache 1971, p. 1031.
  3. ^ Fentress and Limane 2018.

SourcesEdit

  • Julien, Charles-André, Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, des origines à 1830, original edition in 1931, new edition by Payot, Paris, 1994
  • Abum-Nasr, Jamil M. (1987). A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period.
  • Fentress, Elizabeth; Limane, Hassan (2018). Volubilis après Rome. Fouilles 2000-2004. Brill.
  • Eustache, D. (1971). "Idrīs I". In Lewis, B.; Ménage, V. L.; Pellat, Ch. & Schacht, J. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume III: H–Iram. Leiden: E. J. Brill. p. 1031. OCLC 495469525.
New title Idrisid emir
788–791
Succeeded by
Idris II