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ALMORAVIDS (al-Murabitun)

Yusuf ibn Tashufin
AH 453-500 / AD 1061-1107


                AR Qirat (0.93 g, 12mm, 2).

Mint:
Struck:
Obv:



Rev:



Ref:
Uncertain.
Uncertain.
Kufic legend:
         la ilah illa | Allah | Muhammad rasulu- | allah
         (There is no deity except | God | Muhammad is the messenger of | God)
Above, pellets flanking annulet.
Kufic legend:
         al-amir | Yusuf ibn | Tashufin
         (amir | Yusuf ibn | Tashufin)
Above, pellet-in-annulet; below, pellets flanking annulet.
Gomez 132; Vives 1535; cf. Lavoix 545; Album 465.
Notes: Yusuf ibn Tashufin was the first Almoravid prince to invade al-Andalus, and was a major opponent to both King Alfonso VI and the warrior El Cid. By 1086, the warriors of the Reconquista had recently achieved major success under the command of Alfonso VI, the powerful king of Castile and Leon, and the entire Iberian peninsula was either under Christian rule, or paying tribute. al-Mutamid, the Abbasid caliph nominally in control of al-Andalus, had no other option than to plead to Yusuf to bring his army to help recover the Muslim lands. By that time, Yusuf was an accomplished general, having greatly expanding the Almoravid frontier in al-Maghreb (North Africa), and was noted for his piety. Yusuf also had been in contact with the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, who encouraged his involvement in al-Andalus. An initial invasion in 1086 resulted in a massive victory at Algeciras, but Yusuf had to return to Africa to attend to a revolt. In 1090 Yusuf returned with a larger force, with the intent of not only pushing back the Christian forces, but also bringing all of the Muslim rulers under his control. By and large, the Muslim rulers of al-Andalus were viewed as highly corrupt, and morally reprehensible, both by their populations at large and also religious and secular Muslim leaders abroad. Many religious authorities actually issued fatwas in support of Yusuf's endeavor. Yusuf was greatly successful, and by the time he died, he had retaken roughly the southern half of the peninsula, and brought all of the Muslim leaders under his authority (except for Zaragosa). He had also been given the title amir al-Muslimin (commander of the Muslims) by the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, in honor of his victories. The most significant victory of Yusuf's campaigns was the capture of Valencia in 1099, in which Alfonso VI was driven out of the city after a seven-month siege. His forces also had several engagements against El Cid, including a battle in August of 1097 in which the Cid's son was killed.


TAIFAS ALMOHADS (al-Gharb)

Musa ibn Muhammad (ibn Mahfuz)
AH 631-660 / AD 1234-1262


                AR Dirham (1.50 g, 15mm, 12).

Mint:
Struck:
Obv:


Rev:


Ref:
Niebla.
Uncertain.
Kufic legend:
         Allah Rabbuna | Muhammad rasuluna | al-'Abbas | imamuna
         (Allah is our lord | Muhammad is our Prophet | al-'Abbas | is our imam)
Kufic legend:
         Amir al-Gharb | al-Musta'in bi-Allah | Musa ibn Muhammad | ibn Nasr ibn Mahfuz
         (Commander of the West | al-Musta'in bi-Allah | Musa ibn Muhammad | ibn Nasr ibn Mahfuz)
Gomez 208; Vives 2123.
Notes: In the aftermath of the disintegration of the Almohad empire, several small taifas were established. At the southern tip of Portugal, the taifa of al-Gharb (mod. Algarve) was established, based at the town of Niebla (in modern Spain). Musa ibn Muhammad (ibn Mahfuz) was the sole ruler of this, the last Islamic territory in Portugal. It is thought that he ruled this territory as a vassal of the Christian kingdoms.