The Marinid dynasty (Berber: ⴰⵢⵜ ⵎⵔⵉⵏ ayt mrin; Arabic: المرينيون al-marīniyyūn) or Banu abd al-Haqq was a Sunni Muslim dynasty of Zenata Berber descent that ruled Morocco from the 13th to the 15th century.
In 1244, the Marinid rulers overthrew the Almohad Caliphate, which controlled Morocco. The Marinid dynasty briefly held sway over all the Maghreb in the mid-14th century. It supported the Kingdom of Granada in Al-Andalus in the 13th and 14th centuries; an attempt to gain a direct foothold on the European side of the Strait of Gibraltar was however defeated at the Battle of Río Salado in 1340 and finished after the Castilian conquest of Algeciras from the Marinids in 1344.
The Marinid realm at its maximal extent (1347–1348)
|Status||Ruling dynasty of Morocco|
|Abd al-Haqq I|
|Abd al-Haqq II|
|Banu Abd al-Haqq|
|Parent house||Banu Marin|
|Founder||Abd al-Haqq I|
|Final ruler||Abd al-Haqq II|
|Titles||Sultan of Morocco|
|Cadet branches||Wattasid dynasty|
The Marinids were a branch of the Wassin, a nomadic Zenata Berber tribe that lived in the Zibans (present-day Algeria) before being driven towards Tlemcen by the Arab invasion in the 11th century.
The tribe had first frequented the area between Sijilmasa and Figuig, Morocco. Following the arrival of Arab tribes in the area in the 11th-12th centuries, Marinids moved to the north-west of present-day Algeria, before settling into northern Morocco by the beginning of the 13th century.
The Marinids took their name from their ancestor, Marin ibn Wartajan al-Zenati.
After arriving in Morocco, they initially submitted to the Almohad dynasty, which was at the time the ruling house. After successfully contributing to the Battle of Alarcos, in central Spain, the tribe started to assert itself as a political power. Starting in 1213, they began to tax farming communities of north-eastern Morocco (the area between Nador and Berkane). The relationship between them and the Almohads became strained and starting in 1215, there were regular outbreaks of fighting between the two parties. In 1217 they tried to occupy eastern Morocco, but they were expelled, pulling back and settling in the eastern Rif mountains. Here they remained for nearly 30 years. During their stay in the Rif, the Almohad state suffered huge blows, losing large territories to the Christians in Spain, while the Hafsids of Ifriqia broke away in 1229, followed by the Zayyanid dynasty of Tlemcen in 1235.
Between 1244 and 1248 the Marinids were able to take Taza, Rabat, Salé, Meknes and Fes from the weakened Almohads. The Marinid leadership installed in Fes declared war on the Almohads, fighting with the aid of Christian mercenaries. Abu Yusuf Yaqub (1259–1286) captured Marrakech in 1269.
After the Nasrids ceded Algeciras to the Marinids, Abu Yusuf went to Al-Andalus to support the ongoing struggle against the Kingdom of Castile. The Marinid dynasty then tried to extend its control to include the commercial traffic of the Strait of Gibraltar.
It was in this period that the Spanish Christians were first able to take the fighting to Morocco: in 1260 and 1267 they attempted an invasion of Morocco, but both attempts were defeated. After gaining a foothold in Spain, the Marinids became active in the conflict between Muslims and Christians in Iberia. To gain absolute control of the trade in the Strait of Gibraltar, from their base at Algeciras they started the conquest of several Spanish towns: by the year 1294 they had occupied Rota, Tarifa and Gibraltar.
In 1276 they founded Fes Jdid, which they made their administrative and military centre. While Fes had been a prosperous city throughout the Almohad period, even becoming the largest city in the world during that time, it was in the Marinid period that Fes reached its golden age, a period which marked the beginning of an official, historical narrative for the city. It is from the Marinid period that Fes' reputation as an important intellectual centre largely dates, they established the first madrassas in the city and country. The principal monuments in the medina, the residences and public buildings, date from the Marinid period.
Despite internal infighting, Abu Said Uthman II (1310–1331) initiated huge construction projects across the land. Several madrassas were built, the Al-Attarine Madrasa being the most famous. The building of these madrassas were necessary to create a dependent bureaucratic class, in order to undermine the marabouts and Sharifian elements.
The Marinids also strongly influenced the policy of the Emirate of Granada, from which they enlarged their army in 1275. In the 13th century, the Kingdom of Castile made several incursions into their territory. In 1260, Castilian forces raided Salé and, in 1267, initiated a full-scale invasion, but the Marinids repelled them.
At the height of their power, during the rule of Abu al-Hasan 'Ali (1331–1348), the Marinid army was large and disciplined. It consisted of 40,000 Zenata cavalry, while Arab nomads contributed to the cavalry and Andalusians were included as archers. The personal bodyguard of the sultan consisted of 7,000 men, and included Christian, Kurdish and Black African elements. Under Abu al-Hasan another attempt was made to reunite the Maghreb. In 1337 the Abdalwadid kingdom of Tlemcen was conquered, followed in 1347 by the defeat of the Hafsid empire in Ifriqiya, which made him master of a huge territory, which spanned from southern Morocco to Tripoli. However, within the next year, a revolt of Arab tribes in southern Tunisia made them lose their eastern territories. The Marinids had already suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of a Portuguese-Castilian coalition in the Battle of Río Salado in 1340, and finally had to withdraw from Andalusia, only holding on to Algeciras until 1344.
In 1348 Abu al-Hasan was deposed by his son Abu Inan Faris, who tried to reconquer Algeria and Tunisia. Despite several successes, he was strangled by his own vizir in 1358, after which the dynasty began to decline.
After the death of Abu Inan Faris in 1358, the real power lay with the viziers, while the Marinid sultans were paraded and forced to succeed each other in quick succession. The county was divided and political anarchy set in, with different viziers and foreign powers supporting different factions. In 1359 Hintata tribesmen from the High Atlas came down and occupied Marakesh, capital of their Almohad ancestors, which they would govern independently until 1526. To the south of Marakesh, Sufi mystics claimed autonomy, and in the 1370s Azemmour broke off under a coalition of merchants and Arab clan leaders of the Banu Sabih. To the east, the Zianid and Hafsid families reemerged and to the north, the Europeans were taking advantage of the Moroccan instability by attacking the Moroccan coast. Meanwhile, unruly wandering Arab Bedouin tribes increasingly spread anarchy in Morocco, which accelerated the decline of the empire.
In the 15th century Morocco was hit by a financial crisis, after which the state had to stop financing the different marabouts and Sharifian families, which had previously been useful instruments in controlling the country. The political support of these marabouts and Sharifians halted, and Morocco splintered into different entities. In 1399 Tetouan was taken and its population was massacred and in 1415 the Portuguese captured Ceuta. After the sultan Abdalhaqq II (1421–1465) tried to break the power of the Wattasids, he was executed.
Marinid rulers after 1420 came under the control of the Wattasids, who exercised a regency as Abd al-Haqq II became Sultan one year after his birth. The Wattasids however refused to give up the Regency after Abd al-Haqq came to age.
In 1459, Abd al-Haqq II managed a massacre of the Wattasid family, breaking their power. His reign, however, brutally ended as he was murdered during the 1465 revolt. This event saw the end of the Marinid dynasty as Muhammad ibn Ali Amrani-Joutey, leader of the Sharifs, was proclaimed Sultan in Fes. He was in turn overthrown in 1471 by Abu Abd Allah al-Sheikh Muhammad ibn Yahya, one of the two the surviving Wattasids from the 1459 massacre, who instigated the Wattasid dynasty.
— Royal house —
| Ruling house of Morocco
The 1465 Moroccan revolt refers to a popular revolt by local Sharifs in Fes who overthrew the last Marinid sultan. The revolt marked the end of a 215-year reign (1244–1465). The sharifs formed a jihad, against the last Marinid leader, a Jewish vizir, Aaron ben Batash, appointed by Abu Muhammad Abd Al-Haqq. They subsequently put him to death, cutting his throat. Almost all the Jewish community of Fes were also slaughtered in the revolt. As a result of the troubles in Fes, the Portuguese king Afonso V finally managed to take Tangier.
After the execution of Abd al-Haqq, Muhammad b. Imran, head of the Idrissid shurafas of Fes, was proclaimed Sultan. However a "struggle for power ensued between the Idrisi shurafa and the Wattasid mujahids ". He was in turn overthrown in 1472 by the Wattasid Abu Abd Allah al-Sheikh Muhammad ibn Yahya, one of the two Wattasid vizirs surviving the 1459 massacre.
Abu Abd Allah continued somewhat unsuccessfully to advocate Marinid policies. The Wattasids were eventually expelled from Morocco by the Saadi sharifs in 1554.Abd al-Aziz II ibn Ahmad II
Abd al-Aziz II ibn Ahmad II, Abu Faris was Marinid Sultan of Morocco from 1393 to 1396.
Abdul Aziz II succeeded Abul Abbas Ahmad Mustanzir in 1393. During his rule the state was effectively ruled by the vizier.
He was succeeded by his brother Abdallah ibn Ahmad II in 1396.Abdallah ibn Ahmad II
Abu Amir Abdallah ibn Ahmad II was the Marinid Sultan of Morocco from 1396 to 1398.
Abdul Aziz II succeeded his brother Abu Faris Abdul Aziz II in 1396. During his rule the state was effectively ruled by the vizier.
He was succeeded by his brother Abu Said Uthman III in 1398.Abu Bakr ibn Faris
Abu Bakr ibn Faris, Abu Yahya, was Marinid Sultan of Morocco from 1358 to 1359.Abu Bakr ibn Faris assumed the throne in 1358 in succession to Muhammad II ibn Faris.
He was in turn succeeded by Ibrahim ibn Ali in 1359.Abu Thabit Amir
Abu Thabit Amir (أبو ثابت عامر abū θābit ʿāmir) (1283 – 28 July 1308) was a Marinid ruler of Morocco for around a year. Son or grandson of Abu Yaqub Yusuf, whom he succeeded in 1307.Abu Yahya ibn Abd al-Haqq
Abu Yahya ibn Abd al-Haqq (died 1258?) was a Marinid ruler. He was the son of Abd al-Haqq I and the brother of both Uthman I and Muhammad I. During his time as leader of the Marinids, they capture and make Fès their capital. The Almohads attempt a retaliatory strike against the Marinids but it is not successful.Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Othman
Abu Al-Hasan 'Ali ibn 'Othman (c. 1297 – May 24, 1351) (Arabic: أبو الحسن علي بن عثمان) was a sultan of the Marinid dynasty who reigned in Morocco between 1331 and 1348. In 1333 he captured Gibraltar from the Castilians, although a later attempt to take Tarifa in 1339 ended in fiasco. In North Africa he extended his rule over Tlemcen and Ifriqiya, which together covered the north of what is now Algeria and Tunisia. Under him the Marinid realms in the Maghreb briefly covered an area that rivaled that of the preceding Almohad Caliphate. However, he was forced to retreat due to a revolt of the Arab tribes, was shipwrecked, and lost many of his supporters. His son Abu Inan Faris seized power in Fez. Abu Al-Hasan died in exile in the High Atlas mountains.Abu al-Rabi Sulayman
Abu ar-Rabi Sulayman (أبو الربيع سليمان abū ar-rabīʿ sulaymān) (March 1289 – 23 November 1310)(reigned 28 July 1308 – 23 November 1310) was a Marinid ruler of Morocco. Son or grandson of Abu Yaqub Yusuf and brother of Abu Thabit Amir, whom he succeeded in 1308, at the age of 19.Battle of Estepona
The Battle of Estepona was a naval battle that occurred in the year 1342 between the armada of the Crown of Aragon, commanded by Admiral Pere de Montcada, against the fleet of the Marinid Dynasty. The battle took place in the Bay of Estepona in the Strait of Gibraltar and resulted in an Aragonese victory and a rout of the Marinid fleet.Battle of Río Salado
The Battle of Río Salado, also known as the Battle of Tarifa (30 October 1340) was a battle of the armies of King Afonso IV of Portugal and King Alfonso XI of Castile against those of sultan Abu al-Hasan 'Ali of the Marinid dynasty and Yusuf I of Granada.Battle of Salé
The Battle of Salé was a raid of the Moroccan city of Salé by King Alfonso X of Castile in 1260, when the city was governed by the Marinid dynasty. The city remained under Castilian occupation for two weeks, during which they captured 3,000 residents and took them as slaves. However, the Marinid dynasty regained control of the city after Sultan Yacoub ben Abdelhaq ordered his troops to march to the city gates.
According to historian Ibn Khaldun, when the Marinid dynasty took control over Salé from the Almohad Caliphate, Yacoub ben Abdellah le Mérinide rebelled against his uncle Abu Yusuf Yaqub ibn Abd Al-Haqq, and sought the assistance of King Alfonso X. Ruy López de Mendoza, Admiral of Castile formed an armada to assist with Castilian crusades on the North African coast. Salé was an important strategic and commercial centre, and also the gateway to Azghar, the region of northern Morocco.The day before Eid al-Fitr in year 658 of the Hijra (September 1260), thirty-seven warships were sent to Salé by King Alfonso X. On 2 Shawwal, Castilian warriors landed in Salé and took the opportunity to perform the largest massacre in the history of the city. Citizens of Salé were busy celebrating Eid al-Fitr, and the Castilians killed many of them. The warriors plundered properties and destroyed everything in their path. Women, children, and the elderly were rounded up into the Great Mosque of Salé, where 3,000 of them were captured and taken as slaves for Seville.For two weeks, Salé remained under the occupation of the Castilians, before Sultan Yacoub ben Abdelhaq rushed to the aid of the city, and quickly ordered his troops to march to the gates of the city. He ordered that all Castilian soldiers were to be killed, but some were able to escape the attack after ransacking houses, and looting and burning shops. Following the liberation of the city, the Sultan ordered the construction of the Borj Adoumoue and a wall opposite the Bou Regreg.After the failure of the battle, Ruy Lopèz de Mendoza fled to Portugal in fear of King Alfonso X.Battle of Écija (1275)
The Battle of Écija was a battle of the Spanish Reconquista that took place in September 1275. The battle pitted the Muslim troops of the Nasrid Emirate of Granada and its Moroccan allies against those of the Kingdom of Castile and resulted in a victory for the Emirate of Granada.Fes Jdid
Fes Jdid (English: New Fez) is one of the three parts of Fez, Morocco. It was founded by the Marinids in 1276 as an extension of Fes el Bali.Ibrahim ibn Ali of Morocco
Ibrahim ibn Ali, Abu Salim, was Marinid Sultan of Morocco from 1359 to 1361.Ibrahim ibn Ali assumed the throne in 1359 in succession to Abu Bakr ibn Faris.
He was in turn succeeded by Tashfin ibn Ali in 1361.Muhammad II ibn Faris of Morocco
Muhammad II ibn Faris, Abu Zayyan al-Sa'id, was Marinid Sultan of Morocco in 1358 and again from 1362 to 1366.Muhammad II ibn Faris briefly assumed the throne after the death of Abu Inan Faris in 1358 before being replaced by Abu Bakr ibn Faris.
He was again made sultan in 1362 in succession to Tachufin ibn Ali.
From 1362 to 1364 Sijilmasa in the south of the country was ruled independently, first by Abd al-Halim ibn Umar, Abu Muhammed (1362-1363) and then by Abd al-Mu'mim ibn Umar, Abu Malik (1353-1364).In 1366 Sultan Abu Zayyan tried to remove his vizier Umar bin Abdulla al-Yabani from office, and was killed in response.
Abu Faris Abdul Aziz I came to the throne. Once he was firmly in control he had the vizier killed.Rihla
Riḥla (Arabic: رحلة) refers to both a journey and the written account of that journey, or travelogue. Associated with the medieval Islamic notion of "travel in search of (religious) knowledge" (الرحلة في طلب العلم), the riḥla as a genre of medieval and early-modern Arabic literature usually describes a journey taken with the intent of performing the Hajj, but can include an itinerary that vastly exceeds that original route. The classical riḥla in medieval Arabic travel literature, like those written by Ibn Battuta and Ibn Jubayr, includes a description of the "personalities, places, governments, customs, and curiosities" experienced by traveler, and usually within the boundaries of the Muslim world. However, the term rihla can be applied to other Arabic travel narratives describing journeys taken for reasons other than pilgrimage; for instance the 19th century riḥlas of Muhammad as-Saffar and Rifa'a al-Tahtawi both follow conventions of the riḥla genre by recording not only the journey to France from Morocco and Egypt, respectively, but also their experiences and observations.Siege of Ceuta (1419)
The Siege of Ceuta of 1419 (sometimes reported as 1418) was fought between the besieging forces of the Marinid Sultanate of Morocco, led by Sultan Abu Said Uthman III, including allied forces from the Emirate of Granada, and the Portuguese garrison of Ceuta, led by Pedro de Menezes, 1st Count of Vila Real. After the loss of the city in a surprise attack in 1415 known as the Conquest of Ceuta, the Sultan gathered an army four years later and besieged the city. The Portuguese gathered a fleet under the command of princes Henry the Navigator and John of Reguengos to relieve Ceuta. According to the chroniclers, the relief fleet turned out to be quite unnecessary. In a bold gambit, D. Pedro de Menezes led the Portuguese garrison in a sally against the Marinid siege camp and forced the lifting of the siege before the relief fleet even arrived.Blamed for losing Ceuta, the Marinid sultan was assassinated in a coup in Fez in 1420, leaving only a child as his heir. Morocco descended into anarchic chaos, as rival pretenders vied for the throne and local governors carved out regional fiefs for themselves, selling their support to the highest bidder. The political crisis in Morocco released the pressure on Ceuta for the next few years.Sixth Siege of Gibraltar
The Sixth Siege of Gibraltar in 1411 was the only occasion on which control of Gibraltar was contested between two Islamic powers. After the failed Fifth Siege of Gibraltar in 1349–50, which ended with the death of King Alfonso XI of Castile from bubonic plague, the Kingdom of Castile was preoccupied with the Castilian Civil War and its aftermath. In 1369, Sultan Muhammed V of Granada took advantage of the Castilians' distractions and in the Siege of Algeciras (1369) he seized the city of Algeciras, on the west side of the Bay of Gibraltar, which Alfonso XI had captured in 1344. After razing it to the ground he made peace with Henry II, the winner of the civil war. The truce was renewed by Henry's successors John I and Henry III. At some point during the truces, control of Gibraltar was transferred from the Marinid dynasty of Morocco, which had held it since 1333, to the Granadans. It is not clear why this happened; it may have been as a condition of the Granadans assisting the Marinids against rebels in Morocco.In February 1407, the truce between the Christian and Islamic kingdoms collapsed during the reign of the infant John II as the result of a minor skirmish. A Castilian fleet put to sea and inflicted a major defeat on the Moors in the Strait of Gibraltar. The rulers of Granada and Morocco met at Gibraltar and agreed to sue for a fresh truce, but relations between the two Islamic states soon broke down amid disagreements between their rulers.The garrison of Gibraltar rebelled in 1410 against the Granadan ruler, Yusuf III, and declared allegiance to Abu Said Uthman III of Morocco. Abu Said Uthman III sent his brother, Abu Said, to take charge with an army numbering some 1,000 cavalry and 2,000 infantry. They occupied a number of castles in the area as well as the ports of Estepona and Marbella. A Granadan counter-offensive in 1411 drove Abu Said back to Gibraltar, where he took refuge. Yusuf III's son Ahmad laid siege to Gibraltar and defeated several Moroccan attempts to break out. Eventually a Granadan sympathiser in the garrison helped the besiegers to gain entrance. They stormed the Moorish Castle, forcing Abu Said to surrender, and restored Granadan control over Gibraltar. Back in Morocco, Abu Said Uthman III reacted by writing to Yusuf III to ask him to execute Abu Said for disloyalty. Instead, the Granadan sultan gave Abu Said an army and sent him back to Morocco to launch an ultimately unsuccessful rebellion against Abu Said Uthman III.Tashfin ibn Ali (Marinid)
Tashfin ibn Ali, was Marinid Sultan of Morocco from 1361 to 1362.Tashfin ibn Ali assumed the throne in 1361 in succession to Ibrahim ibn Ali.
He was in turn succeeded by Muhammad II ibn Faris in 1362.
Timeline of the Maghreb dynasties