Zaouia Moulay Idriss II
The Zaouia of Moulay Idriss II is a zaouia in Fez, Morocco. It is dedicated to and contains the tomb of Idris II, who ruled Morocco from 807 to 828 and is considered the main founder of the city of Fes and of the first Moroccan Islamic state, it is located in the heart of the UNESCO-listed old medina of Fez. Idris II, born in 791, was the son and successor of Idris I. Idris I was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad who fled from Abbasid-controlled territory after the Battle of Fakh because he had supported the defeated pro-Shi'a rebels, he used his prestige as a descendant of the Prophet to forge an alliance with local Berbers in 789 and became the most important religious and political leader in the region. He died soon after in 791. After Idris II took over his position as ruler in 803 he expanded the authority of the new Idrisid state. With the help of new Arab immigrants he gained independence from his Berber allies and extended Idrisid control to include most of what is today Morocco and parts of eastern Algeria.
As a result, he was of central importance to the early Islamization of Morocco, arguably the first true "Moroccan" Islamic ruler. He died in 828. Crucially, Idris II is responsible for moving the capital of his state from Walili to what is now Fez, founding in 809 a new city on the west bank of the river across from another settlement on the east bank founded by his father in 789, he and his successors turned Fez into an important capital and urban center of Morocco, the city accrued prestige with the creation of institutions like the Qarawiyyin mosque and university in 859. The reputation of Moulay Idris II was revived over time, he came to be considered the patron saint of the city of Fez and his shrine is one of the holiest in Morocco. There is little certain information about the shrine before the Marinid era, the history of both the shrine and the religious culture surrounding it is not traceable until the resurgence of the sharifs in Morocco's political and religious life which took place during the Marinid period.
While there is disagreement among sources as to what happened to Idris II's body after his death, most believe that he was buried in the mosque he had built next to his palace of Dar al-Qaytun in the center of Fes in a mausoleum on its eastern side. This building is referred to as the Shurafa Mosque. During the rivalry between the Ummayyads of Spain and the Fatimids in the 10th century and northern Morocco came under the domination of the Zenata Berbers, who deposed the Idrisids in 917-921, they placed Moussa ibn Abi al-'Afya in charge of Fez. He persecuted the descendants of Idris, drove them out of the city, took measures to discredit their reputation. Among other things, he publicly denied that the Shurafa Mosque contained the real tomb of Idris II, promoting the story that Idris II had instead been buried next to his father in the town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun. Over the following decades, further regime changes and military interventions by powers from outside Morocco resulted in political instability and the complete disenfranchisement of the Idrisids.
In 1069 Fez was conquered by the Almoravids, who promoted a stricter and more orthodox version of Sunni Islam, hostile to the cult of "saints", resulting in another exodus of the sharifian families from the city. As the Idrisids lost power and Fez came under the control of other rulers who were hostile to their influence, the mosque and the mausoleum were neglected and abandoned, the cult of Moulay Idris II along with it. By it was also overshadowed in prestige by the Qarawiyyin, which became the most important institution in Fez. Most of the tombs of saints in the city were ruined over this time; the religious and political importance of the sharifs began to be revived and re-elaborated under the Marinid dynasty. Like the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties before them, the Marinids were Berbers rather than Arabs. Unlike these previous dynasties, their political legitimacy was not based on a program of religious reform or on a strong role in defending the Muslim frontier in al-Andalus at the time.
As a result, they sought new bases of legitimacy. Among other means, they did this by constructing many new madrasas promoting the Maliki Sunni maddhab and its scholars, while at the same time cautiously fostering the various sharifian dynasties and factions inside Morocco for support. For the Marinids, based in Fez, the Idrisid cult and its association with Fez itself was still seen as a possible threat and their relationship to it was tepid and ambivalent. Notably, when the body of Idris I was rediscovered in Walili in 1318 and generated excitement among locals, Marinid officials moved to prevent the story from spreading; however Marinid rulers changed their attitudes and progressively re-adapted the story of the Idrisids so as to instead highlight the role of the Marinids as their symbolic successors. The Marinids presented themselves as rulers who were reviving and preserving an orthodox Islamic state in Morocco. Accordingly and officials under their rule re-emphasized the link between Fez and its Idrisid founders, presented the former Idrisids as definitively Sunni rulers (
Abu al-Ala Idris al-Ma’mun was an Almohad rival caliph who reigned in part of the empire from 1229 until his death. He was a son of Abu Yusuf Yaqub brother of Muhammad al-Nasir and Abdallah al-Adil. At the death of Abdallah, a civil war broke out between Idris and his nephew Yahya, who had the support of the capital Marrakesh. Idris asked Ferdinand III of Castile for help, receiving 12,000 knights who allowed him to conquer that city and to massacre the sheikhs that had supported Yahya. Idris abandoned the Mahdi doctrine, in favour of the Sunni one, he went so far as to claim that the Mahdi was Jesus and not the founder of his dynasty. This sacrilege caused the break away of the Hafsid dynasty in the Ifriqiya province. Following his victory, Idris honored the treaty with Ferdinand III and allowed the construction of a Christian church in Marrakesh in 1230, destroyed two years by Yahya; the side changes of Idris soon lost him popular consent. In the early 1232, when he was besieging Ceuta, Yahya took the occasion to capture Marrakesh.
Idris died during the march to reach the city, was succeeded by his son Abd al-Wahid II. Idris’ other son was Abu al-Hasan as-Said al-Mutadid. Lower, Michael. "The Papacy and Christian Mercenaries of Thirteenth-Century North Africa". Speculum; the University of Chicago Press. Vol. 89, No. 3 JULY
The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God. It is regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature; the Quran is divided into chapters. Muslims believe that the Quran was orally revealed by God to the final Prophet, through the archangel Gabriel, incrementally over a period of some 23 years, beginning on 22 December 609 CE, when Muhammad was 40, concluding in 632, the year of his death. Muslims regard the Quran as Muhammad's most important miracle, a proof of his prophethood, the culmination of a series of divine messages starting with those revealed to Adam and ending with Muhammad; the word "Quran" occurs some 70 times in the Quran's text, other names and words are said to refer to the Quran. According to tradition, several of Muhammad's companions served as scribes and recorded the revelations. Shortly after his death, the Quran was compiled by the companions, who had written down or memorized parts of it; the codices showed differences that motivated Caliph Uthman to establish a standard version, now known as Uthman's codex, considered the archetype of the Quran known today.
There are, variant readings, with minor differences in meaning. The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in the Biblical scriptures, it summarizes some, dwells at length on others and, in some cases, presents alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran describes itself as a book of guidance for mankind 2:185, it sometimes offers detailed accounts of specific historical events, it emphasizes the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence. Hadith are additional written traditions supplementing the Quran. In most denominations of Islam, the Quran is used together with hadith to interpret sharia law. During prayers, the Quran is recited only in Arabic. Someone who has memorized the entire Quran is called a hafiz. Quranic verse is sometimes recited with a special kind of elocution reserved for this purpose, called tajwid. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims complete the recitation of the whole Quran during tarawih prayers. In order to extrapolate the meaning of a particular Quranic verse, most Muslims rely on exegesis, or tafsir.
The word qurʼān appears assuming various meanings. It is a verbal noun of the Arabic verb qaraʼa, meaning "he read" or "he recited"; the Syriac equivalent is qeryānā, which refers to "scripture reading" or "lesson". While some Western scholars consider the word to be derived from the Syriac, the majority of Muslim authorities hold the origin of the word is qaraʼa itself. Regardless, it had become an Arabic term by Muhammad's lifetime. An important meaning of the word is the "act of reciting", as reflected in an early Quranic passage: "It is for Us to collect it and to recite it."In other verses, the word refers to "an individual passage recited ". Its liturgical context is seen in a number of passages, for example: "So when al-qurʼān is recited, listen to it and keep silent." The word may assume the meaning of a codified scripture when mentioned with other scriptures such as the Torah and Gospel. The term has related synonyms that are employed throughout the Quran; each synonym possesses its own distinct meaning, but its use may converge with that of qurʼān in certain contexts.
Such terms include kitāb. The latter two terms denote units of revelation. In the large majority of contexts with a definite article, the word is referred to as the "revelation", that, "sent down" at intervals. Other related words are: dhikr, used to refer to the Quran in the sense of a reminder and warning, ḥikmah, sometimes referring to the revelation or part of it; the Quran describes itself as "the discernment", "the mother book", "the guide", "the wisdom", "the remembrance" and "the revelation". Another term is al-kitāb, though it is used in the Arabic language for other scriptures, such as the Torah and the Gospels; the term mus'haf is used to refer to particular Quranic manuscripts but is used in the Quran to identify earlier revealed books. Islamic tradition relates that Muhammad received his first revelation in the Cave of Hira during one of his isolated retreats to the mountains. Thereafter, he received revelations over a period of 23 years. According to hadith and Muslim history, after Muhammad immigrated to Medina and formed an independent Muslim community, he ordered many of his companions to recite the Quran and to learn and teach the laws, which were revealed daily.
It is related that some of the Quraysh who were taken prisoners at the Battle of Badr regained their freedom after they had taught some of the Muslims the simple writing of the time. Thus a group of Muslims became literate; as it was spoken, the Quran was recorded on tablets and the wide, flat ends of date palm fronds. Most suras were in use amongst early Mu
The Idrisids were an Arab Zaydi-Shia dynasty of Morocco, ruling from 788 to 974. Named after the founder Idriss I, the great grandchild of Hasan ibn Ali, the Idrisids and the Hamroun are considered to be the founders of the first Moroccan state; the founder of the dynasty was Idris ibn Abdallah, who traced his ancestry back to Ali ibn Abi Talib and his wife Fatimah, daughter of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. After the Battle of Fakhkh, near Mecca, between the Abbasids and a Shiite party, Idris ibn Abdallah fled to the Maghreb, he first arrived in Tangier, the most important city of Morocco at the time, by 788 he had settled in Volubilis. The powerful Awraba Berbers of Volubilis took him in and made him their'imam'; the Awraba tribe had supported Kusayla in his struggle against the Ummayad armies in the 670s and 680s. By the second half of the 8th century they had settled in northern Morocco, where their leader Ishak had his base in the Roman town of Volubilis. By this time the Awraba were Muslim, but lived in an area where most tribes were either Christian, Khariji or pagan.
The Awraba seem to have welcomed a Sharifi imam as a way to strengthen their political position. Idris I, active in the political organization of the Awraba, began by asserting his authority and working toward the subjugation of the Christian and Jewish tribes. In 789 he founded a settlement south east of Volubilis, called Medinat Fas. In 791 Idris I was killed by an Abbasid agent. Though he left no male heir, shortly after his death, his concubine Lalla Kanza bint Uqba al-Awrabi, bore him his only son and successor, Idris II. Idris' loyal Arab ex-slave and companion Rashid brought up the boy and took on himself the regency of the state, on behalf of the Awraba. In 801 Rashid was killed by the Abbasids. In the following year, at the age of 11 years, Idris II was proclaimed imam by the Awraba. Though he had spread his authority across much of northern Morocco, as far west as Tlemcen, Idris I had been dependent on the Awraba leadership. Idris II began his rule with the weakening of Awraba power by welcoming Arab settlers in Walili and by appointing two Arabs as his vizier and qadi.
Thus he transformed himself from a protégé of the Awraba into their sovereign. The Awraba leader Ishak responded by plotting against his life with the Aghlabids of Tunisia. Idris reacted by having his former protector Ishak killed, in 809 moved his seat of government from the Awraba dominated Walili to Fes, where he founded a new settlement named Al-'Aliya. Idriss II developed the city of Fez, established earlier by his father as a Berber market town. Here he welcomed two waves of Arab immigration: one in 818 from Cordoba and another in 824 from Aghlabid Tunisia, giving Fes a more Arab character than other Maghrebi cities; when Idris II died in 828, the Idrisid state spanned from western Algeria to the Sous in southern Morocco and had become the leading state of Morocco, ahead of the principalities of Sijilmasa and Nekor. The dynasty would decline following Idriss II's death and under his son and successor Muhammad the kingdom was divided amongst seven of his brothers, whereby eight Idrisid statelets formed in Morocco and Algeria.
Muhammad himself came to rule Fes, with only nominal power over his brothers. During this time Islamic and Arabic culture gained a stronghold in the towns and Morocco profited from the trans-Saharan trade, which came to be dominated by Muslim traders. So, the Islamic and Arabic culture only made its influence felt in the towns, with the vast majority of Morocco's population still using the Berber languages and adhering to Islamic heterodox and heretical doctrines; the Idrisids were principally rulers of the towns and had little power over the majority of the country's population. The Idrisid family in turn was berberised, with its members aligning itself with the Zenata tribes of Morocco. In the 870s the family was described by Ibn Qutaybah as being berberised in customs. By the 11th century this process had developed to such an extant, that the family was integrated in the Berber societies of Morocco. In the 11th century the Hammudid family arose among these Berber Idrisids, able to gain power in several cities of northern Morocco and southern Spain.
In 868 the Berber Khariji tribes of Madyuna and Miknasa of the Fes region formed a common front against the Idrisids. From their base in Sefrou they were able to occupy Fes, his brother Yahya was able to establish himself as the new ruler. The Idrisids attacked the Kharijis of Barghawata and Sijilmasa, the Sunnis of Nekor multiple times, but were never able to include these territories in their state. In 917 the Miknasa and its leader Masala ibn Habus, acting on behalf of their Fatimid allies, attacked Fes and forced Yahya ibn Idris to recognize Fatimid suzerainty, before deposing him in 921. Hassan I al-Hajam managed to wrest control of Fez from 925 until 927 but he was the last of the dynasty to hold power there. From Fes, the Miknasa began a violent hunt across Morocco for members of the Idrisid family, seeking to exterminate them. Most of the Idrisids settled among the Jbala tribes in North-west Morocco where they were protected by the reluctance of tribal elders to have the local descendants of Muhammad's family be wiped out.
In the Jbala region they had a stronghold in the fortress of Hajar an-Nasar, from where they tried to restore their power base, until the last Idrisid made the mistake of switching allegiances back to the Fatimids, was deposed and executed in 985 by the Cordobans. Idris
Fez is a city in northern inland Morocco and the capital of the Fas-Meknas administrative region. It is the second largest city in Morocco with a population of 1.4 million. Located to the northeast of Atlas Mountains, Fez is situated at the crossroad of the important cities of all regions, it is surrounded by the high grounds, the old city is penetrated by the River of Fez flowing from the west to east. Fez was founded under the Idrisid rule during the 8th-9th century, it consisted of competing settlements. The migration of 2000 Arab families in the early 9th century gave the nascent city its Arabic character. After the downfall of the Idrisid dynasty, several empires came and went until the 11th century when the Almoravid Sultan Yusuf ibn Tashfin united the two settlements and rebuilt the city, which became today's Fes el Bali quarter. Under the Almoravid rule, the city gained a reputation for the religious scholarship and the mercantile activity. Fez was expanded during the Almohad rule and became the largest city in the world during 1170-1180 with the estimated population of 200,000.
Fez reached its zenith in the Marinid-era. Numerous madrasas, mosques and city gates were constructed which survived up until today; these buildings are considered the hallmarks of Moroccan architectural styles. Marinid sultans founded Fes Jdid quarter, where newer palaces and gardens were established. During this time, the Jewish population of the city grew as well, with the Mellah attracting the Jewish migrants from other North African regions. After the overthrow of the Marinid dynasty, the city declined and replaced by Marrakesh for political and cultural influence, but remained as the capital under the Wattasids and modern Morocco until 1912. Today, the city consists of two old medina quarters, Fes el Bali and Fes Jdid, modern urban area of Ville Nouvelle constructed during the French colonial era; the medina of Fez is listed as a World Heritage Site and is believed to be one of the world's largest urban pedestrian zones. It has the University of Al Quaraouiyine, founded in 859 and the oldest continuously functioning university in the world.
It has Chouara Tannery from the 11th century, one of the oldest tanneries in the world. The city has been called the "Mecca of the West" and the "Athens of Africa," a nickname it shares with Cyrene in Libya. Fez or Fas is related to the Berber name Fazaz of the region in which it was built; the name is itself derived from an ancient Berber tribe, called the Banu Fazaz in Arabic chronicles. An unfounded myth is that it was derived from the Arabic word فأس Faʾs which means pickaxe, which legends say Idris I of Morocco used when he created the lines of the city. One noticeable thing was that the pickaxe was made from gold. During the rule of the Idrisid dynasty, Fez consisted of two cities: Fas, founded by Idris I, al-ʿĀliyá, founded by his son, Idris II. During Idrisid rule the capital city was known as al-ʿĀliyá, with the name Fas being reserved for the separate site on the other side of the river, it is not known whether the name al-ʿĀliyá referred to both urban areas. It wasn't until 1070 that the two agglomerations were united and the name Fas was used for the combined site.
The city was founded on a bank of the Jawhar river by Idris I in 789, founder of the Idrisid dynasty. His son, Idris II, built a settlement on the opposing river bank; these settlements would soon develop into two walled and autonomous sites in conflict with one another: Madinat Fas and Al-'Aliya. In 808 Al-'Aliya replaced Walili as the capital of the Idrisids. Arab emigration to Fez, including 800 Andalusi families of Berber descent in 817–818 expelled after a rebellion against the Umayyads of Córdoba, 2000 Arab families banned from Kairouan after another rebellion in 824, gave the city its Arabic character; the Andalusians settled in what was called the Fez, while the Tunisians found their home in al-'Aliya. These two waves of immigrants would subsequently give their name to the sites'Adwat Al-Andalus and'Adwat al-Qarawiyyin. With the influx of Arabic-speaking Andalusians and Turnisians, the majority of the population was Arab, but rural Berbers from the surrounding countryside settled there throughout this early period in Madinat Fas and in Fes Jdid during the Marinid period.
Upon the death of Idris II in 828, the dynasty’s territory was divided among his sons. The eldest, received Fez; the newly fragmented Idrisid power would never again be reunified. During Yahya ibn Muhammad's rule in Fez the Kairouyine mosque, one of the oldest and largest in Africa, was built and its associated University of Al Quaraouiyine was founded. Comparatively little is known about Idrisid Fez, owing to the lack of comprehensive historical narratives and that little has survived of the architecture and infrastructure of early Fez; the sources that mention Idrisid Fez, describe a rather rural one, not having the cultural sophistication of the important cities of Al-Andalus and Ifriqiya. In the 10th century, the city was contested by the Caliphate of Córdoba and the Fatimid Caliphate of Tunisia, who ruled the city through a host of Zenata clients; the Fatimids took the city in 927 and expelled the Idrissids, after which their Miknasa
Muhammad al-Nasir was the fourth Almohad caliph from 1199 until his death. Contemporary Christians referred to him as Miramamolin. On 25 January 1199, al-Nasir’s father Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur died. Al-Nasir inherited from his father an empire, showing signs of instability; because of his father’s victories against the Christians in the Iberian Peninsula, he was temporarily relieved from serious threats on that front and able to concentrate on combating and defeating Banu Ghaniya attempts to seize Ifriqiya. Needing, after this, to deal with problems elsewhere in the empire, he appointed Abu Mohammed ibn Abi Hafs as governor of Ifriqiya, so unwittingly inaugurating the rule of the Hafsid dynasty there, which lasted until 1574, he now had to turn his attention back to Iberia, to deal with a crusade proclaimed by Pope Innocent III. This resulted in his defeat by a Christian coalition at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, he died the following year, was succeeded by his young son Yusuf al-Mustansir, born of Christian slave Qamar.
In the early 13th century, King of England was under pressure after a quarrel with Pope Innocent III led to England being placed under an interdict, by which all forms of worship and other religious practices were banned. John himself was excommunicated, parts of the country were in revolt and there were threats of a French invasion. Writing two decades after the events, Matthew Paris, a St Albans chronicler of the early thirteenth century, claims that, in desperation, John sent envoys to al-Nâsir asking for his help. In return John offered to turn England into a Muslim state. Among the delegates was Master Robert, a London cleric. Al-Nâsir was said to be so disgusted by John's grovelling plea. Historians have cast doubt on this story, due to the lack of other contemporary evidence. Abu Zayd bin Yujan Abu Mohammed ibn Abi Hafs, the future governor of Ifriqiya Abu Sa`id Uthman ibn Jam`i Charles-André Julien, Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, des origines à 1830. 1931
Ibrahim I ibn al-Aghlab
Ibrahim I ibn al-Aghlab was the first Emir of the Aghlabids in Ifriqiya He was the son of al-Aghlab, who quelled the revolt of the Khawarij in Ifriqiya at the end of the 8th century. In 800 Ibrahim became Emir of Ifriqiya and founded the Aghlabid dynasty, was recognised as the hereditary ruler by Caliph Harun al-Rashid. After the pacification of the country he established a residence at al-Abbasiyya to keep his distance from the restless Maliki jurists of Kairouan, who were always ready to incite the people into revolt. Specially since, Ibrahim was a Mu'tazili Muslim, he named at the higher religious authority, Qadi Qayrawan, Abu Muhriz, a Mu'tazili imam in 806. A guard of 5000 Zanji slaves was set up to avoid total dependence on Arab troops, the necessity of which measure was proven by the revolts of Arab soldiers in 802, 805 and 810. Ibrahim built up a strong administrative framework for the state which lay the foundations for the prosperity of Ifriqiya in the following century, he was succeeded by his son Abdallah I.
Hitti, Philip K. A History of the Arabs, 5th ed. London, 1951