Biography of Califa de al-Andalus Abd al-Rahman o Abderramán IV (¿-1018)

Full name Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ben Abd al - Malik, seventh Caliph of Córdoba in al - Andalus (1018), great-grandson of the great Caliph Abd al-Rahman III (912-961), born in Córdoba in undetermined date and died in Guadix in 1018. He/She was released by the Lords of Zaragoza and Almeria at the forefront of a movement to expel the dynasty of the hammudids of the cordobese caliphal throne. Nominal Caliph proclaimed in April of 1018, failed to reign in fact to be killed by those who had exalted him.


Removed from the Cordoba Court from the first moments of fitna (civil war) triggered by the caliphal throne, during the brief reign of the idrisi Ali Ibn Hammud (1016-1018), the Umayyad Prince was rescued Golden Valencian exile by Almería Jayran (the same that before indujese to Ali Ibn Hammud to March against Córdoba to overthrow the Caliph Sulayman), and by the tuchibi Mundhir ben Yahya of Zaragoza, which put him at the head of the revolt armies East peninsular with the aim of overthrowing the dynasty reigning hammudid in Cordoba. Abd al - Rahman also counted with the collaboration of a significant contingent of troops provided by the count of Barcelona. The rebel forces were concentrated in Játiva, place that went the Umayyad pretender to lead the bulk of the army which should go to Cordoba, passing first through Jaén to conquer it and establish a head of bridge which control access and routes to the South.

When on the night of 21 to 22 March of the same year, the Caliph Ali Ibn Hammud was killed, the hammudid dynasty supporters rushed to tell the brother of this, Al - Qasim ibn Hammud, Governor of Seville, who appeared in Cordoba ready to occupy the post of his unfortunate brother in just six days.

To learn hand hit given by al - Qasim, the conspirators determined to accelerate preparations for the invading army, composed of about forty thousand men. But before leaving they legalized the status of Umayyad suitor, and April 29, proclaimed you legitimate Caliph of Cordoba, with the title or laqab of al - Murtada (' the one who enjoys the divine satisfaction'). Abd al-Rahman IV, to the surprise of Jayran and Mundhir ben Yahya, was revealed as a person not exempt from energy and courage to assume all the responsibilities that had acquired as Caliph of Cordoba, in view of which those who had been enthroned him previously, believing that they chose a Caliph manageable and no little personality, decided to get rid of it to chance.

The occasion for the Defenestration of Abd al-Rahman IV himself led to it was when he/she committed the imprudence of launching an attack against the Zirid of Granada, the city defended by the experienced general Zawi ben Ziri, who refused twice to give in to the ultimatum thrown by the Umayyad suitor. In the intermediate of the talks, Jayran did know Zawi intentions from him and his colleague Mundhir of abandon to their fate as annoying pretender in battle. When Abd al-Rahman IV ordered the final assault to Granada, the few thousand soldiers of Zawi loaded with all its fury against attackers surprised, put them on the run and then pursued them to annihilate nearly the entire army. The two traitors without the least care for the fate of the reckless Umayyad, went swift to Almeria, while Catalan soldiers did the same, the turning and returning to the North in full rout. Initially, Abd al-Rahman IV managed to escape from a secure killing to take refuge in the town of Guadix, where he/she finally found him a few emissaries sent by Jayran and murdered him without regard.

The news of the death of hapless Umayyad Caliph grew even more bitterness and fear of Córdoba, anguished at the prospect of being ruled by another Member of the dynasty hammudid, to Al - Qasim ibn Hammud.


ARIE, R. The Muslim Spain. Barcelona: Labor, 1984.

CHEJNE, Anwar G. history of Spain Muslim. Madrid: Cátedra, 1980.

GLICK, Thomas F. Christians and Muslims in medieval Spain (711-1250). Madrid: Editorial Alianza, 1991.

GUICHARD, Pierre. The Muslim Spain: Umayyad al - Andalus (siglos VIII - XI). Madrid: Group 16.

VALLVÉ, J. The Umayyads. Madrid: Group 16, 1985.