Biography of Abd al-Wahid II al-Rasid (1218-1242)

Almohad Caliph of Morocco and Al - Andalus born in 1218 and died December 5, 1242. During his ten years of reign, of which four were in minor, Morocco lived constant civil wars which emphasized the inevitable breakdown of the Almohad Empire. Al - Rasid and his counselors are thus the Affairs of Al - Andalus, where Fernando III of Castile attained great progress in the Christian Reconquest. Under his reign recovered the Almohad cult which had renounced its predecessor.

Son of Abu-l-Ula Idris al-Mamoun and of Hababa, a Christian slave, al - Rasid was only fourteen when his father died in October 1232. Al - Mamoun had died way to Morocco, when he/she went from Ceuta with its army to quell an attempt of restoration of the deposed Caliph, Yahya ibn al-Nasir Al-Mutasim; Hababa persuaded the military leaders that the only solution to remain United against the Almohads (al - Mamoun had renounced the doctrine of Ibn Tumart) was hiding the death of the Caliph and proclaim Abd al - Wahid in secret until they recover the capital and thus became (17 October 1232). Abd al - Wahid took the caliphal title al - Rasid.

The troops of al - Rasid, composed largely of Christian troops, came to Morocco in late October and inflicted another defeat to Yahya, who was forced to flee along with the Governor of Morocco Abu Said Wanudin loyalists. Abu-l-Fadl Jafar was appointed Governor of Morocco by the own inhabitants of the city; This showed exemplary conduct and was primarily responsible for the surrender of the capital. Al - Rasid entered winner in Morocco and was proclaimed Caliph on November 1. By advice of his mother, he/she decreed a general amnesty for the Almohads and suppressed illegal taxes.

When even didn't get to Al - Rasid a year on the throne, he/she was declared in default Ibn Waqarit (October 1233), Sheikh of the Haskura, principal instigator of the intrigue that led to the death of the vizier Abu Muhammad Sa'd, who tried to replace. It demanded privileges for his tribe and attained that they will grant you Hazraya and Agmat Urika tributes. Finally he/she adhered to the party of Yahya Ibn al - Nasir and went to meet him in the region of Mazala. The rebellion of Ibn Waqarit al - Rasid counselors led to undertake an operation of punishment against the lands of the Haskura, to the North of the Atlas; But meanwhile, Yahya Ibn Waqarit mobilized to the South of the Atlas Haskura, the Mazala and the Yalawa and together marched to Morocco to seize it by surprise. The troops of al - Rasid desandaron road and they were to meet, again defeating Yahya, who once again sought refuge in Siyilmassa.

The connivance of Yahya with Ibn Waqarit, led to the sheikhs Almohad, eager to return to the doctrine of Ibn Tumart, who had been abolished along with the Almohad institutions by al - Mamoun, to seek negotiation with al - Rasid to rites and doctrines of tawheed were restored. Gadmiwa, Abu Utman, Sheikh was the first that was submitted to the authority of al - Rasid, aware that the union of Yahya Ibn Waqarit was one of the main obstacles to the Almohad reunification. He/She was greeted in the capital, where got that remaining Almohad sheikhs joining his example. They took the road of Morocco to pay tribute to al - Rasid, but were attacked by the Jult, among them Ibn Waqarit, was refugee who failed to stop them. Al - Rasid advisers decided to then end the power of the Jult and ambushed its Sheikh Ma'sud, who was called to the capital and murdered; After he/she slew all the julties that were in the capital and their property was looted. Subsequently took place the negotiations in which the directors of al - Rasid accepted the replantation of the Almohad cult.

The death of Ma'sud constituted a serious offense for Jult, who was named successor to Yahya ibn Hilal, acknowledged the authority of Yahya ibn al - Nasir and allied themselves with Ibn Waqarit and the Haskura, declaring the war to al - Rasid and marching toward the capital. Faced with the impossibility of taking Morocco were to spread ruin throughout the region. The only attempt to break the siege of the city came from the Christian troops that were in it, but failed and returned to Morocco, where rippled discouragement and hunger began to spread up to the end of cannibalism. The counselors of the young al - Rasid, realizing the impossibility of breaking the siege weapons, designed a stratagem that managed to get away to the Arab besiegers and led to the Caliph to Aghmat and from there, pursued closely by the Jult, the Atlas mountains and Siyilmassa, from where the Almohads prepared its entry into Morocco.

In spring of 1235 Yahya ibn al-Nasir managed is to proclaim Caliph in Morocco. Meanwhile, al - Rasid won support from Sufyan Arabs and of the city of Fez, among others. At the end of the year he/she marched toward the capital, defeating Yahya troops at the battle of Awiyidan, which played an important role the Christian contingent addicted to al - Rasid; Yahya fled to Garb, where soon after murdered (1236).

Before returning to the capital al - Rasid counselors dedicated themselves to rebuild the Administration undone by the Jult. Among other measures tax collectors, named because the Arabs had abolished the territorial contribution; settled Arabs Sufyan in the territory of the Jult and were granted all the loot that stick; the julties were sent to her. When al - Rasid joined Morocco in summer of 1235 his advisers granted a general pardon. 1236 al - Rasid turned of age and dispensed with his previous advisers, putting in front of the Affairs of State several of their relatives. At the time he/she received the submission of Siyilmassa, where had just concluded the rebellion of Abú Muhammad ibn Abd al - Aziz.

Meanwhile Ibn Waqarit, who had fled to Seville, convinced its Lord, Ibn Hud, to convene an expedition for the conquest of Rabat and Salé (1237), which failed before the fierce defence of the cities. A year later al - Rasid received the submission of Seville, where, at least nominally, proclaimed the Almohad authority; the Seville was sent to Morocco to Ibn Waqarit. In 1238 Ceuta sacked its Governor, al - Yanasti, and followed the example of Seville and that same year Muhammad ibn Yusuf of Granada al - Rasid sent its recognition on behalf of Granada, Malaga, Jaen and all their domains.

The greater difficulty of al - Rasid to pacify the country was the hostility that showed the marinids in the region of the Garb. To fix this the Caliph authorized Garb, Ibn Wanudin, Governor to move troops from Ifriqiya to stop the advances of the marinids invaders, although it was not the fighting, which had broken the precarious peace. By his account, Ibn Wanudin conspired to assassinate the emir benimerin, Abd al - Haqq, considering that the death of the leader would bring disunity their enemies; then there were skirmishes between the Almohad troops and marinids, until it came to the conflict opened near the city of Meknes, with triumph of the invaders. Ibn Wanudin was forced to flee and al - Rasid, resigned to see the North of Morocco dominated by the marinids, signed truces with them (ca. 1242). The subsequent peace allowed the Caliph the capital reconstruction and beautification of their Palace with new pavilions and gardens.

At the end of 1242 death surprised al - Rasid unexpectedly. One day came up with a concubine to a boat in a pond of his palace; According to some versions, it fell into the water and drowned; another version says that he/she died of a pneumonia. Though he/she had sons, these were minors on the date of his death and the Almohad sheikhs preferred does not califa nominate another minor, so it was succeeded by Abu-l-Hassan Ali I, descendant Abd al-Mumin.


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JOVER ZAMORA, J.M. (dir). "The territorial retreat of Al - Andalus", in history of Spain Menéndez Pidal, vol. VIII-II. Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1994.