Abû 'Uthmân Sa'îd ibn Hakam al Qurashi

Abû ‘Uthman Sa’îd ibn Hakam al Qurashi (30 December 1204 - 9 January 1282) (Arabic: أبو عثمان سعيد بن الحكم القرشي‎) was the first Ra’îs[1] of Manûrqa (modern Menorca) from 1234 to 1282.

Abû ‘Uthman Sa’îd ibn Hakam al Qurashi
Ra'is of Manûrqa
In office
1234–1282
Succeeded byAbû 'Umar ibn Sa'îd
Personal details
BornDecember 30, 1204
Tavira, Algarve (now Portugal)
DiedJanuary 9, 1282 (aged 77)

Early life

Sa’îd ibn Hakam was born in the city of Tavira in the Algarve (modern Portugal). He studied philology at Seville, the capital of the Almohad Caliph of Al Andalus, and took part in literary reunions of famous poets.

Al Andalus had been in a process of decadence primarily due to the downfall of the Abbasid Caliph which meant the closing of a vital commercial relationship. This situation brought a critical spiral of internal conflicts and external invasions. Because of the political instability in Al Andalus, Sa’îd ibn Hakam moved to North Africa, to the cities of Bejaïa and Tunis, where he served as secretary to the Almohad governors.

Al-Motaserrif of Manûrqa

Two years later, he planned to return to Al Andalus, but the situation had worsened, so he was given refuge by the Almohad wali[2] of Medina Mayurqa (Modern Majorca). He was then sent to Manûrqa as al-Motaserrif[3] in 1227. His mission was to collect and administrate the taxes and command the army.

In 1229, James I of Aragon invaded Mayurqa, but did not take any action at that moment against Manûrqa. By 1231, the resistance of Mayurqa’s Muslims was finally crushed and James I sent three ambassadors to Manûrqa, Berenguer de Santa Eugenia, Don Assalit de Gudar and Don Pere Maça, to negotiate its submission to the Kingdom of Aragon. James I, who at that time had a small number of troops, ordered fires to be set on the coast facing Manûrqa as to simulate a larger army and thus put more pressure on the Muslims. After a meeting between the Kadī[4] Abû ‘Abd Allah Muhammad, Sa’îd ibn Hakam, the sheiks and three hundred of the principal people of the island, they agreed to become vassals to the new King of Majorca. The treaty of Capdepera was signed on 17 June 1231. It was rumoured that Sa’îd ibn Hakam was the real instigator of the treaty with James I, although his role in the text of the treaty was discreet. The treaty gave wide political autonomy to the island and the military protection of the island by the King of Majorca in exchange for the payment of an annual tribute of three thousand quarters of wheat, a hundred cows and five hundred goats or sheep, later adding two “quintals” (hundredweight) of fresh butter and two hundred bezants for leave to transport the cattle. Abû ‘Abd Allah Muhammad was the new ruler of Manûrqa.

Rise to power

In July 1234, Sa’îd ibn Hakam took over power through an armed coup and negotiated a new treaty with James I, in which he ruled alone with the title of Ra’îs of Manùrqa. This is believed to be the only time in the history of the island that it was an independent political entity, although tributary to the Kingdom of Majorca. Under his harsh rule, Manûrqa became an Islamic law-abiding structured state. It is said that he executed by beheading those Muslims found drunk. He constructed a strong political apparatus in Madina al Jazira (modern Ciutadella) with a council of ministers, secretaries and clan representatives, and a small military force consisting of mercenaries. His political shrewdness allowed for the survival of this Islamic entity while other Muslim territories fell to the Christian Reconquista: Cordoba (1236), his hometown Tavira (1242), and Seville (1248). Only the Kingdom of Granada remained independent, although vassal to the Kingdom of Castille.

At the death of James I (1276), the Kingdom of Aragon was split in two: the Kingdom of Majorca (the Balearic Islands and counties of Roussillon and Cerdagne) went to his son James and the Kingdom of Aragon to his other son Peter. Manûrqa remained tributary to James II. This division would ultimately mean the fall of Manûrqa.

Sa’îd ibn Hakam died in 1282 in Madina al Jazira, and his son Abû 'Umar ibn Sa'îd became the next and last Ra’îs of Manûrqa. Sa’îd ibn Hakam was also an important Islamic intellectual figure of the 13th century, learned in Islamic law and medicine, philologist, grammarian and poet. He managed a great library at Madina al Jazira. Some samples of this collection are kept in the library of El Escorial.

Footnotes

  1. ^ (Arabic) Chief, leader.
  2. ^ (Arabic) Governor.
  3. ^ (Arabic) Tax-collector or Minister of Finances.
  4. ^ (Arabic) Judge

References

  • Barcelo, M. El tractat de Capdepera de 17 Juny de 1231 entre Jaume I i Abû 'Abd Allàh Muhammad de Manûrqa. Sobre la funció social i política del fugaha. 1984
  • Moll Mercadal, B. Abû 'Uthmân Sa'îd ibn Hakam, Ra'îs de Manûrqa (631/1234-680/1289) Publicacions des Born nº5. 1999
  • The Book of Deeds of James I of Aragon (available in PDF format)

External links

Preceded by
(New creation)
Ra'îs of Manûrqa
1234—1282
Succeeded by
Abû 'Umar ibn Sa'îd
1204

Year 1204 (MCCIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

1282

Year 1282 (MCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Abû 'Umar ibn Sa'îd

Abû ‘Umar ibn Sa’îd (Arabic: أبو عمر بن سعيد‎) (died c. 1287) was son of Abû 'Uthmân Sa'îd ibn Hakam al Qurashi and last ra’îs[1] of Manûrqa (1282–1287).

In his first year in government, King Peter III of Aragon and his fleet stopped by Manurqa on their way to the city of Constantine (North Africa). Bugron, the Lord of Constantine, had secretly plotted with Peter to convert to Christianity and surrender the city to the Crown of Aragon. According to Ramon Muntaner’s Cronica, Abû ‘Umar sent messengers to North Africa letting know of this plot. The consequences were that Bugron was executed and Peter’s surprise invasion was discovered.

Years later, Peter and King James II of Majorca, (Menorca’s vassal lord) came into a dispute. Peter’s son King Alfons III of Aragon set out from Salou on 22 November 1286 with an invasion force against Manûrqa. This was both to avenge Abû ‘Umar ibn Sa’îd and James II. He arrived on 5 January 1287. Abû ‘Umar ibn Sa’îd prepared himself with mercenary troops from North Africa. The first battle took place on 17 January. Alfons won this battle and Abû ‘Umar ibn Sa’îd and a few of his followers fled to the fortress near Madina al Jazira, nowadays known as the fortress of Santa Àgueda.

On 21 January, Abû ‘Umar ibn Sa’îd, seeing himself outnumbered, signed his surrender with the treaty of San Agayz. He was allowed to leave the island towards North Africa, with two hundred of his followers, the remains of his father, his library and fifty swords. Alfons chartered him a ship manned by a Genoese, which according to Muntaner, encountered a storm off the North African coast and was destroyed. There were no survivors.

December 30

December 30 is the 364th day of the year (365th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There is one day remaining until the end of the year.

January 9

January 9 is the ninth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 356 days remaining until the end of the year (357 in leap years).

Nisba (onomastics)

In Arabic names, a nisba (also spelled nesba, sometimes nesbat ; Arabic: نسبة‎ nisbah, "attribution") is an adjective indicating the person's place of origin, tribal affiliation, or ancestry, used at the end of the name and occasionally ending in the suffix -iyy(ah). Nisbah is originally an Arabic word that was passed to many other languages such as Turkish, Persian and Urdu.

In the usage of Persian, Turkish and Urdu, it is pronounced/written exclusively nisbat. In Arabic usage, that pronunciation occurs when the word is uttered in its construct state only.

The practice has been adopted in Iranian names and South Asian Muslim names. The nisba has sometimes become a surname.

Ra'îs of Manûrqa

The Ra'îs of Manûrqa is a Muslim political title given to the two governors that from 1234 to 1287 ruled the island of Manûrqa (modern Menorca) as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Majorca. During this period, the island was allowed a great deal of autonomy and it had the protection of the Kingdom of Majorca in exchange of an annual tribute.

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