The Info List - Idrisid Dynasty

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The Idrisids (Arabic: الأدارسة‎ al-Adārisah) were an Arab-Berber[1][2] Zaydi-Shia[3] dynasty of Morocco,[4] ruling from 788 to 974. Named after the founder Idriss I, the great grandchild of Hasan ibn Ali, the Idrisids are considered to be the founders of the first Moroccan state.[5][6]


1 History 2 The dynasty

2.1 Rulers 2.2 Timeline 2.3 Offshoots

3 See also 4 Notes and references 5 Sources 6 External links

History[edit] The founder of the dynasty was Idris ibn Abdallah
Idris ibn Abdallah
(788–791),[7] who traced his ancestry back to Ali ibn Abi Talib[7] 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, and by 788 he had settled in Volubilis. The powerful Awraba Berbers
of Volubilis
(or Walili as the Berbers called it) took him in and made him their 'imam' (religious leader). The Awraba tribe was originally from the Tlemcen
region and 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 already Muslim, but lived in an area where most tribes were either Christian, Jewish, Khariji
or pagan. The Awraba seem to have welcomed a Sharifi imam as a way to strengthen their political position. Idris I, who was very 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
Idris I
was poisoned and killed by an Abbasid agent. Even 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. Even though he had spread his authority across much of northern Morocco, as far west as Tlemcen, Idris I
Idris I
had been completely 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, and 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 (791–828) 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, Barghawata and Nekor. The dynasty would decline following Idriss II's death and under his son and successor Muhammad
(828–836) the kingdom was divided amongst seven of his brothers, whereby eight Idrisid statelets formed in Morocco
and Algeria.[8] 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 (mostly Berber) traders.

Fountain at Place Nejjarine, Fez, dating from the Idrisid dynasty.

Even so, the Islamic and Arabic culture
Arabic culture
only made its influence felt in the towns, with the vast majority of Morocco's population still using the Berber languages
Berber languages
and often 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 heavily berberised, with its members aligning itself with the Zenata
tribes of Morocco. Already 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 fully integrated in the Berber societies of Morocco. In the 11th century the Hammudid family arose among these Berber Idrisids, which was able to gain power in several cities of northern Morocco
and southern Spain.

Idrisid coin, minted at al-'Aliyah (Fez), Morocco, 840 CE.

Historical Arab states and dynasties

Ancient Arab States

Kingdom of Saba 1200 BC–275 AD

Kingdom of Awsan 800 BC–500 BC

Kingdom of Ma'in 800 BC–100 BC

Kingdom of Qedar 800 BC–300 BC

Kingdom of Lihyan 600 BC–100 BC

Kingdom of Qataban 400 BC–200 AD

Nabataean Kingdom 400 BC–106 AD

Kingdom of Kindah 200 BC–633 AD

Kingdom of Himyar 200 BC–525 AD

Kingdom of Osroene 132 BC–244 AD

Kingdom of Characene 127 BC–221 AD

Royal family of Emesa 64 BC–300s AD

Kingdom of Araba 100s–241 AD

Ghassanid kingdom 220–638 AD

Lakhmid Kingdom 300–602 AD

Arab Empires

Rashidun 632–661

Umayyads 661–750

Abbasids 750–1258

Fatimids 909–1171

Eastern Dynasties

Emirate of Crete 824–961

Dulafids 840–897

Kaysites 860–964

Shirvanshah 861-1538

Alavids 864–928

Hamdanids 890–1004

Rawadids 955–1071

Jarrahids 970–1107

Uqaylids 990–1096

Numayrids 990–1081

Mirdasids 1024–1080

Muzaffarids 1314–1393

Ma'anids 1517–1697

Shihabid 1697–1842

Al-Azm family 1720–1807

Western Dynasties

Emirate of Córdoba 756–929

Muhallabids 771–793

Idrisids 788–974

Aghlabids 800–909

Emirate of Sicily 831–1091

of Córdoba 929–1031

Kanzids 1004–1412

Tujibids 1013–1039

Abbadids 1023–1091

Hammudids 1026–1057

Jawharids 1031–1091

Hudids 1039–1110

Sumadihids 1041–1091

Nasrids 1230–1492

Saadis 1554–1659

Senussids 1837–1969

Arabian Peninsula

Ziyadids 819–1138

Yufirids 847–997

Ukhaidhirds 865–1066

Rassids 897–1962

Qarmatians 899–1077

Wajihids 926–965

Sharifate of Mecca 968–1925

Sulayhids 1047–1138

Sulaymanids 1063–1174

Uyunids 1076–1253

Zurayids 1083–1174

Nabhanids 1154–1624

Mahdids 1159–1174

Rasulids 1229–1454

Usfurids 1253–1320

Jarwanids 1305–1487

Kathirids 1395–1967

Tahirids 1454–1526

Jabrids 1463–1521

Qasimids 1597–1872

Ya'arubids 1624–1742

Upper Yafa 1800–1967

Rashidids 1836–1921

Qu'aitids 1858–1967

Emirate of Beihan 1903–1967

Idrisids 1906–1934

Mutawakkilite Kingdom 1926–1970

Current monarchies

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Al Qasimi
Al Qasimi
(Ras al Khaymah) 1727–present

Al Qasimi
Al Qasimi
(Sharjah) 1727–present

Al Saud (Saudi Arabia) 1744–present

Al Said
Al Said
(Oman) 1749–present

Al Sabah (Kuwait) 1752–present

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Al Nuaim (Ajman ) 1810–present

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Al Thani (Qatar) 1825–present

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Al Maktoum
(Dubai) 1833–present

Al Sharqi
Al Sharqi
(Fujairah) 1833–present

(Jordan) 1921–present

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In 868 the Berber Khariji
tribes of Madyuna, Ghayata and Miknasa of the Fes
region formed a common front against the Idrisids. From their base in Sefrou
they were able to defeat and kill the Idrisid Ali ibn Umar and occupy Fes. His brother Yahya was able to retake the city in 880 and establish himself as the new ruler. The Idrisids attacked the Kharijis of Barghawata
and Sijilmasa, and 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, and was deposed and executed in 985 by the Cordobans.

The dynasty[edit] Rulers[edit]

Idrisid dynasty

Parent house Sharifian

Country Morocco

Founder Idris ibn Abdellah

Titles Emir

Cadet branches Asiri Idrisids Hammudid dynasty Senussi

Idris I
Idris I
– (788–791) Idris II – (791–828) Muhammad
ibn Idris – (828–836) Ali ibn Muhammad, known as "Ali I" – (836–848) Yahya ibn Muhammad, known as "Yahya I" – (848–864) Yahya ibn Yahya, known as "Yahya II" – (864–874) Ali ibn Umar, known as "Ali II" – (874–883) Yahya ibn Al-Qassim, known as "Yahya III" – (883–904) Yahya ibn Idris ibn Umar, known as "Yahya IV" – (904–917)

overlordship – (917-925)

Al-Hajjam al-Hasan ibn Muhammad
ibn al-Qassim – (925–927) Al Qasim Gannum – (937-948) Abu l-Aish Ahmad – (948-954) Al-Hasan ibn Guennoun, known as "Hassan II" – (954–974) (not to be confused with Hassan II, born in 1929)



Hammudid dynasty in al-Andalus – (1016–1058) Idrisids of Morocco
(Joutey branch) – (1465–1471) Banu Rachid of Chefchaouen
(Alami branch) – (1471–1561) Idrisid emirs of Asir
– (1906–1934) Senussi
dynasty of Libya
– (1918–1969)

— Royal house — Idrisid dynasty

Preceded by — Emirs of Morocco 789–917 925–927 937–974 Succeeded by — Umayyad overlordship

Preceded by Umayyad dynasty Caliphs of Cordoba Hammudid branch 1016–1023 1025–1027 Succeeded by Umayyad dynasty (Restored)

Preceded by — Disintegration of the Caliphate
of Cordoba Taifa kings of Malaga Hammudid branch 1026–1057 Succeeded by — Annexed to the Taifa of Granada

Preceded by — Disintegration of the Caliphate
of Cordoba Taifa kings of Algeciras Hammudid branch 1039–1058 Succeeded by — Annexed to the Taifa of Seville

Preceded by Marinid dynasty Sultans of Morocco Joutey branch 1465–1472 Succeeded by Wattasid dynasty

See also[edit]

Hammudid dynasty Kingdom of Libya


al-Idrisi, descendant of the Idrisid dynasty History of Algeria History of Morocco List of Shi'a Muslim dynasties

Notes and references[edit]

^ Idrisids, Brian A. Catlos, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, ed. Josef W. Meri, (Routledge, 2006), 381. ^ Moroccan Feminist Discourses. Fatima Sadiqi. 2014, page 46. ^ According to:

Ibn Abī Zarʻ al-Fāsī, ʻAlī ibn ʻAbd Allāh (1340), Rawḍ al-Qirṭās: Anīs al-Muṭrib bi-Rawd al-Qirṭās fī Akhbār Mulūk al-Maghrib wa-Tārīkh Madīnat Fās, ar-Rabāṭ: Dār al-Manṣūr (published 1972), p. 38  Ignác Goldziher & Bernard Lewis, Introduction to Islamic theology and law, Princeton University Press (1981), p. 218 James Hastings, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Part 24, Kessinger Publishing (2003), p. 844 Abd Ar Rahman ibn Khaldun (translated by Franz Rosenthal), The Muqaddimah, Chap III : On dynasties, royal authority, the caliphate, government ranks, and all that goes with these things, on www.muslimphilosophy.com

^ Hodgson, Marshall (1961), Venture of Islam, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 262  ^ Per:

Mahjoob Zweiria & Christoph Königb, Are Shias rising in the western part of the Arab world? The case of Morocco, in: Journal of North African Studies, Volume 13, Issue 4, 2008, pages 513–529 Ch.-A. Julien, Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, de la conquête arabe à 1830 - Tome II, p.44 (éd. Payot, 1961) : "Idriss Il n'était pas seulement un fondateur de villes, il fut le fondateur du premier État marocain" G Joffe, Morocco: Monarchy, legitimacy and succession, in : Third World Quarterly, 1988 : "tradition (...) reaches back to the origins of the modern Moroccan state in the ninth century Idrisid dynasty which founded the venerable city of. Fes" Moroccan dynastic shurfa’‐hood in two historical contexts: idrisid cult and ‘Alawid power in : The Journal of North African Studies Volume 6, Issue 2, 2001 [1] : "The Idrisids, the founder dynasty of Fas and, ideally at least, of the modern Moroccan state (...)" Ruth Cyr, Twentieth Century Africa, iUniverse, 2001 (ISBN 9780595189823), p.345: "In 788 Idris, the first Arab ruler of the whole of Morocco, united the Berbers
and Arabs under his rule, creating the first Moroccan state. He founded the Idrisid dynasty
Idrisid dynasty
that reigned for almost two hundred years."

^ John G. Hall; Chelsea House Publishing (2002). North Africa. Infobase Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-7910-5746-9. : "Some historians believe that this was the beginning of the first Moroccan state, but it did not encompass the entire area of modern-day Morocco. Certain territories remained under the control of the Umayyad emirs in southern Spain
or the Fatimid
empire, as well as several Berber confederacies that maintained autonomous rule in neighbouring territories" ^ a b Idris I, D. Eustache, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. III, ed. B.Lewis, V. L. Menage, C. Pellat and J. Schact, (Brill, 1986), 1031. ^ Idrisids, D. Eustache, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. III, 1035.


Ibn Abi Zar, Rawd al-Qirtas (contains a chronicle of the dynasty). Charles-André Julien, Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, des origines à 1830, Payot 1994.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Idrisid dynasty.

External links[edit]

(in English) Y. Benhima, "The Idrisids (789- 974)" in qantara-med.org (2008) (in French) C. El Briga, "Idrisides", in Encyclopédie berbère, vol.24 (Edisud 2001) (in English) B. Duignan, "Idrīsid dynasty", in Encyclopædia Britannica (2007)

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