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Almohades

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ALMOHADES (properly Muwahhadis, i.e., "Unitarians"), a Mohammedan religious power which founded the fifth Moorish dynasty in the 12th century, and conquered all northern Africa as far as Egypt, together with Muslim Spain. It originated with Mohammed ibn Tumart, a member of the Masmuda, a Berber tribe of the Atlas. Ibn TUmart was the son of a lamplighter in a mosque and had been noted for his piety from his youth ; he was small, ugly and misshapen and lived the life of a devotee-beggar. He represented a revolt against the anthropomorphism of com monplace Mohammedan orthodoxy, but he was a rigid predestina rian and a strict observer of the law. After his return from Mecca and Baghdad to Morocco at the age of 28, he began preaching and agitating, heading riotous attacks on wine-shops and on other man ifestations of laxity. He even went so far as to assault the sister of the Murabti (Almoravide) amir `Ali III., in the streets of Fez, because she was going about unveiled after the manner of Berber women. 'Ali, who was very deferential to any exhibition of piety, allowed him to escape unpunished.

Ibn TUmart, who had been driven from several other towns for exhibitions of reforming zeal, now took refuge among his own people, the Masmuda, in the Atlas. It is highly probable that his influence would not have outlived him, if he had not found a lieutenant in `Abd-el-Mumin el KUmi, another Berber, from Al geria, who was undoubtedly a soldier and statesman of a high order. When Ibn Tumart died in 1128, 'Abd-el-Mumin not only rooted out the Murabtis, but extended his power over all northern Africa as far as Egypt, becoming amir of Morocco in 1149. He died in 1163, and in 1170 the Muwahhadis transferred their capi tal to Seville, a step followed by the founding of the great mosque, now superseded by the cathedral, the tower of which they erected in 1184 to mark the accession of Ya`kub el Mansur. From the time of Yflsef II., however, their amirs crossed the straits only to lead a jehad against the Christians and to return to their capi tal, Marrakesh.

The Muwahhadi princes had a longer and a more distinguished career than the Murabtis or "Almoravides" (q.v.). YUsef II. or "Abu Ya`kub" (1163-84), and Ya`kub I. or "El Mansur" (1184 99), the successors of Abd-el-Mumin, were both able men. They were fanatical, and their tyranny drove numbers of their Jewish and Christian subjects to take refuge in the growing Christian States of Portugal, Castile and Aragon. But in the end they be came less fanatical than the Murabtis, and Ya`kub el Mansur was a highly accomplished man, who wrote a good Arabic style and protected the philosopher Averroes. His title of El Mansur, "The Victorious," was earned by the defeat he inflicted on Alphonso VIII. of Castile at Alarcos in I195. In 1212 Mohammed III., "En Nasir" (I199-1214), the successor of El Mansur, was utterly de feated by the allied five Christian princes of Spain, Naval

The amirs of the Muwahhadi Dynasty were as follows : `Abd el-Mumin (1145) ; Yusef II., "Abu Ya`kub" (1163) ; Ya`kub I., "Abu Yusef el Mansur" (1184) ; Mohammed III., "En-Nasir" (1 199) ; YUsef III., "Abu Ya`kub el Mustansir" (1214) ; `Abd el-Wchid, "El Makhluwi" (1223) ; `Abd-Allah II., "Abu Moham med" (1224) ; Yahya V., "El Mu`tasim" (1226) ; Idris III., "El Mamun" (1229); Rashid I., " `Abd-el-Wahid II." (123 2) ; 'Ali IV., "Es-Said el Mu tadid" (1242) ; Omar I., "El Mortada" (1248) ; Idris IV., "El Wathik" (1266-69). (B. M.; D. H.)

yakub, mansur, abu, ibn and tumart