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Abu Muhammad ʿAbdallah 'al-ʿAdil' (Arabic: عبد الله‎ ʿAbd Allāh; d. October 4, 1227) was an Almohad
Almohad
Caliph of Morocco, a former governor in al-Andalus who challenged and secured the murder of his predecessor, Abd al-Wahid I. His 1224 coup ushered in a period of instability that lasted well beyond his own death in 1227. He is often regarded as one of the most disastrous of Almohad
Almohad
caliphs. His coup divided the Almohads and set in motion the loss of al-Andalus and the eventual collapse of the Almohad
Almohad
state.

Contents

1 Background 2 Aftermath 3 Heroes and cowards 4 References

Background[edit]

Almohad
Almohad
realm of the 13th century

Abu Muhammad Abdallah was a son of Almohad
Almohad
conqueror Yaqub al-Mansur and a brother of the famous caliph Muhammad al-Nasir. Along with his other brothers, Abdallah served as an Almohad
Almohad
governor in al-Andalus.[1] Following the premature death of his nephew, the young Caliph Yusuf II al-Mustansir, without heirs, in January 1224, the Marrakesh palace bureaucrats, led by the vizier Abu Sa'id Uthman ibn Jami'i and the regional Masmuda tribal sheikhs, engineered the election of his elderly grand-uncle as the new caliph Abd al-Wahid I, and presented it to the remaining Almohad
Almohad
family members as a fait accompli. Abdallah, then governing in Murcia, and his brothers, Abu al-'Ala Idris (governing in Córdoba), Abu Musa (in Málaga) and Abu al-Hassan (in Granada), who formed a powerful clique in Almohad
Almohad
hierarchy, were upset at the hastiness and the probable unconstitutionality of the Marrakesh proceedings.[1] Moreover, Abd al-Wahid I, despite his age, had a distinguished record and centralizing tendencies, and was less likely to give the brothers free rein in al-Andalus as the young, neglectful Yusuf II had done. The Almohad dynasty
Almohad dynasty
had never had a disputed succession. Despite disagreements, they had always loyally lined up behind the elected caliph, so rebellion was no casual matter. But Abdallah was soon visited in Murcia
Murcia
by the shadowy figure of Abu Zayd ibn Yujjan, a former high bureaucrat in Marrakesh, whose fall had been engineered some years earlier by al-Jami'i, and was now serving a sentence of exile nearby in Chinchilla (Albacete).[1] Ibn Yujjan persuaded Abdallah to contest the election, assuring him of his high connections in the Marrakesh palace and among the Masmuda sheikhs. In consultation with his brothers, Abdallah soon declared himself as the new Almohad caliph, taking up the caliphal title of "al-Adil" ("the Just" or "the Justicer") and immediately seized Seville, and began make preparations to march on Marrakesh and confront Abd al-Wahid I. But Ibn Yajjan had already pulled on his Moroccan connections. Before the end of the summer, Abu Zakariya, the sheikh of the Hintata tribe, and Yusuf ibn Ali, governor of Tinmal, declared for al-Adil, seized the Marrakesh palace, deposed the caliph and expelled al-Jami'i and his coterie. The fallen caliph Abd al-Wahid I was murdered by strangulation in September 1224. Aftermath[edit] Abdallah al-Adil's murderous breach of dynastic precedence and constitutional propriety shocked the rest of the Almohads. But Abdallah and his brothers were dominant in al-Andalus, and had little trouble imposing themselves on the province, replacing those who refused to recognize the usurpation. In Spain, everyone fell in line, with the notable exception of three of Abdallah's cousins, (the sons of Abu Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Abi Hafs, the powerful governor of Ifriqiya): Abu Zayd (governor of Valencia), Abd Allah (governor of Jaén) and Abu Dabbus.[1] They were promptly deprived of their posts. The Jaén governor, Abd Allah (nicknamed "al-Bayyasi", the Baezan), took a small group of followers and set up camp in the hills of Baeza, calling for open rebellion against al-Adil. In Morocco, Abdallah al-Adil's coup had barely succeeded. Many (most?) of the Masmuda tribal sheikhs, unwilling to see the balance in the Almohad
Almohad
coalition swinging into the hands of the Almohads of Spain, invoked their constitutional role, and refused to ratify al-Adil's usurpation, rallying instead around the figure of his nephew Yahya, the son of al-Nasir. With the coup in danger of being reversed, Abdallah al-Adil
Abdallah al-Adil
made the fateful decision to begin shipping the bulk of the Almohad
Almohad
forces in Spain across the straits to Morocco, intending to march on Marrakesh and imposing himself on the sheikhs. Eager to depart, al-Adil undertook only a half-hearted effort to dislodge al-Bayyasi from the hills of Baeza
Baeza
in the winter of 1224-25. The campaign proved a humiliation – al-Bayyasi's little band of followers managed to fend off the much larger armies that al-Adil sent after them.[1] Al-Adil quickly acquired a reputation for incompetence and poor military skills, which spread across the water to Morocco, emboldening the recusants and shaking the confidence of his allies. Determined to seize Marrakesh before it was too late, al-Adil decided to ignore al-Bayyasi and stepped up the transportation of troops. Al-Bayyasi, in the meantime, struck up an alliance with the hitherto quiet Ferdinand III of Castile. Bemused at the turn of events, and delighted at the evacuation of Almohad
Almohad
troops, Ferdinand sensed an opportunity and decided to lend al-Bayyasi a large Castilian army. In 1225, al-Bayyasi's band, accompanied by the Castilian army, descended from the Baeza
Baeza
hills. With al-Andalus practically denuded of Almohad
Almohad
troops, they ravaged the lands of Jaén, the vega de Granada and by the end of the summer, al-Bayyasi had captured the city of Córdoba.[1] Seeing the vacuity, Alfonso IX of Leon
Alfonso IX of Leon
and Sancho II of Portugal also took the opportunity to launch their own raids. Caceres held up the Leonese, but the Portuguese raiders, facing no opposition, advanced rapidly and reached the outskirts of Seville
Seville
in late 1225. Heroes and cowards[edit] It is reported that the Caliph Al-Adil, his minister Abu Zayd ibn Yajjan and leading Almohad
Almohad
commanders were at that moment in Seville, but they did not have the manpower to challenge the Christian army in the open.[1] As a result, the Portuguese raiders ravaged the outlying areas with impunity. At length, the civilian population of Seville, disgusted at the inactivity of the Almohad
Almohad
rulers, decided to take matters into their own hands. A popular levy was raised in the city and marched out on their own to meet the Portuguese in the field. It was a massacre. The Portuguese men-at-arms mowed down the poorly armed townsfolk. Thousands – in one report as much as 20,000 – were slain before the walls of Seville.[1] Blame for the Seville
Seville
massacre – and other disasters – was placed fully on the incompetence and cowardice of Caliph al-Adil and his Almohad
Almohad
lieutenants. But al-Adil's fortunes soon turned. Al-Bayyasi had promised three frontier fortresses to Ferdinand III in payment for his services. But one of the fortresses, Capilla, refused to pass over. The Castilians were forced to lay a long and difficult siege. The brave defiance of little Capilla, and al-Bayyasi's shipping of provisions to the Castilian besiegers, soon turned opinion against him and back towards the Almohad
Almohad
Caliph. An uprising in Cordoba followed, al-Bayyasi was killed and his head dispatched to the Caliph in Marrakesh.[1] But Abdallah al-Adil
Abdallah al-Adil
did not relish this victory for long. On October 4, 1227,[1] he was drowned in a palace bathtub, and his nephew and rival was elected as the new Almohad
Almohad
Caliph Yahya 'al-Mutasim'. References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h i j H. Kennedy (1996)

Kennedy, Hugh (1996) Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of al-Andalus. London: Addison-Wesley-Longman Julien, Charles-André. Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, des origines à 1830, édition originale 1931, réédition Payot, Paris, 1994.

Preceded by Abdul-Wahid I Almohad
Almohad
dynasty 1224–1227 Succeeded by Yahya

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Rulers of Morocco

Idrisid dynasty (788–974)

Idris I (Idris ibn Abdallah) Idris II (Idris ibn Idris) Muhammad ibn Idris Ali I (Ali ibn Muhammad) Yahya I (Yahya ibn Muhammad) Yahya II (Yahya ibn Yahya) Ali II (Ali ibn Umar) Yahya III (Yahya ibn al-Qasim) Yahya IV (Yahya ibn Idris ibn Umar) Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad Al-Qasim ibn Ibrahim Ahmad ibn al-Qasim Al-Hasan ibn al-Qasim

Almoravid dynasty (1040–1147)

Yusuf ibn Tashfin Ali ibn Yusuf Tashfin ibn Ali Ibrahim ibn Tashfin Ishaq ibn Ali

Almohad
Almohad
dynasty (1121–1269)

Abd al-Mu'min Yusuf I (Abu Yaqub Yusuf) Yaqub al-Mansur Muhammad al-Nasir Yusuf II (Yusuf al-Mustansir) Abd al-Wahid I (Abd al-Wahid al-Makhluʿ) Abdallah al-ʿAdil Yahya al-Mu'tasim Idris al-Ma'mun Abd al-Wahid II Said al-Muʿtadid

Marinid dynasty (1244–1465)

Abubakr ibn Abd al-Haqq Yaqub ibn Abubakr Yusuf ibn Yaqub Amir ibn Abdullah Sulayman ibn Abdullah Uthman ibn Yaqub Ali ibn Uthman Faris ibn Ali Muhammad ibn Faris Abubakr ibn Faris Ibrahim ibn Ali Tashfin ibn Ali Abd al-Aziz ibn Ali Muhammad ibn Abd al-Aziz Ahmad ibn Ibrahim (al-Mustansir) Musa ibn Faris Muhammad ibn Ahmad (al-Wathiq) Ahmad ibn Ibrahim (al-Mustansir) Abd al-Aziz ibn Ahmad Abdallah ibn Ahmad Uthman ibn Ahmad Abd al-Haqq ibn Uthman

Idrisid interlude (1465–1471)

Muhammad ibn Ali Amrani-Joutey

Wattasid dynasty (1471–1549, 1554)

Muhammad ibn Yahya Muhammad ibn Muhammad Ali ibn Muhammad
Ali ibn Muhammad
(Abu Hassun) Ahmad ibn Muhammad Muhammad ibn Ahmad

Saadi dynasty (1549–1659)

Muhammad ash-Sheikh Abdallah al-Ghalib Muhammad al-Mutawakkil Abd al-Malik I (Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik al-Ghazi) Ahmad al-Mansur Abu Faris Abdallah Zidan al-Nasir Abd al-Malik II (Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik ibn Zidan) Al-Walid ibn Zidan Mohammed esh-Sheikh es-Seghir Ahmad al-Abbas

Dila'i interlude (1659–1663)

Muhammad al-Haj ad-Dila'i

Alaouite dynasty (1666–present)

Al-Rashid ibn Ali Ismail ibn Ali Ahmad ibn Ismail Abd al-Malik ibn Ismail Abdallah ibn Ismail Ali ibn Ismail Muhammad II (Muhammad ibn Ismail) Al-Mustadi' ibn Ismail Zin al-Abidin ibn Ismail Muhammad III (Muhammad ibn Abdallah) Al-Yazid ibn Muhammad Hisham ibn Muhammad Suleiman ibn Muhammad Abd al-Rahman ibn Hisham Muhammad IV (Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman) Hassan I (Al-Hassan ibn Muhammad) Abd al-Aziz ibn al-Hassan Abd al-Hafid ibn al-Hassan Yusuf ibn al-Hassan Muhammad ibn Arafa Muhammad V (Muhammad ibn Yusuf) Hassan II (Hassan ibn Muhammad) Muhammad VI (Muhammad ib

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