Biography of Abú-l-Ula Idris al-Mamoun (ca. 1184-1232)

Almohad Caliph of Morocco and Al - Andalus born in 1184 and died 17 October 1232 in Morocco.

Son of Yaqub al-Mansur and a Portuguese slave called Sirr Al - Husn, Abu-l-Ula Idris was a brother of the Almohad Caliph Abdallah al-Adil and nephew of the also Caliph Abd al - Wahid I, against whom revolted al - Adil in 1224. The same year of the revolt of his brother al - Mamoun was appointed Governor of Seville and at the head of the army for the taking of Baeza, in which the rebel was stationed at Al - Bayasi, former Lord of Seville, who remained faithful to the Caliph of Morocco and counted with the help of Fernando III of Castile. Soon begin the siege al - Bayasi agreed to return to the obedience of al - Adil and al - Mamoun delivered a son as a hostage; This was enough to make al - Mamoun lifted the siege of the city and return to Seville; as soon as this happened to Al - Bayasi returned to rebel and this caused al - Mamoun were labeled cowardly, and relieved of command of the army.

In the spring of 1225 Seville, in which in addition to al - Mamoun were the Caliph al - Adil and the vizier Ibn Yuyyan, was attacked by the troops of Fernando III of Castile, who got a big win in Tejada, causing more than ten thousand casualties in the ranks of Seville. The attempt of conquest of Seville was repeated by the Christians at the end of the year, with identical results. The critical situation of the Almohad territories in Al - Andalus took al - Adil to travel to Morocco to be proclaimed Caliph, naming then Governor-General of Al - Andalus to his brother al - Mamoun. As al - Adil left the Peninsula al - Bayasi attacked al - Mamoun in Seville, but was defeated, losing also Tejada and Aznalcázar castles. In August, 1226 al - Mamoun received a request for help from the inhabitants of Tejada, who was being besieged by Fernando III, but the Lord of Seville did not go to the aid of the besieged. The support that al - Bayasi was paying to the besiegers of Tejada made him fall in disgrace in Córdoba, where he/she was, whose inhabitants killed him and sent his head to al - Mamoun, who reexpidió her to Morocco, where he/she was received by his brother.

September 15, 1227 al - Mamoun revolted in Seville against the power of al - Adil. As a first step won Seville dignitaries through an eloquent sermon written by Abul-l-Walid cadi, in which is stressed the need to proclaim Caliph al - Mamoun to end the prevailing anarchy in the Almohad Empire. Shortly after the proclamation in Seville, the news was known in Morocco, where supporters of al - Mamoun al - Adil killed and sent its appreciation to Seville. However the main supports al - Mamoun had in Morocco, the clans of the Kaskura and the Jult, seemed a threat to the stability of the Empire sheikhs of Hintata and Tinmallal, who convinced the rest of the Almohad Lords to was proclaimed Caliph al Yahya ibn al-Nasir Al-Mutasim.

Ready access to the Caliphate, al - Mamoun requested a truce in the autumn of 1227, which got through the payment of three hundred thousand Maravedis the Castilian King Fernando III. In peace with Christians, al - Mamoun was dedicated to seek support in Morocco in the winter and spring of 1228. Got the accession of the vizier Ibn Yuyyan and the Emirs of the Jult and Haskura, attacked the capital making that Yahya would not be forced to flee to the mountains of the Atlas, but forces loyal to Yahya managed to enter Morocco and stop those responsible for plot, returning to the capital to Yahya.

Meanwhile emerged problems in Al - Andalus which prevented al - Mamoun continue to address the problem in Morocco: the revolt of Ibn Hud, character who joined a party of bandits and managed some victories over the Christians, which earned him to be proclaimed in may 1228 as leader and binder of those elements contrary to the Almohads. Ibn Hud managed to defeat the Governors of Murcia and Valencia and the 4 August 1228 proclaimed in Murcia to the Caliph of Baghdad and is hanging the Muslim emir. After that al - Mamoun came out with his army of Seville to take Murcia and succeeded in defeating the troops of Ibn Hud, although this took refuge in Murcia,

When he/she returned to Seville received recognition as Caliph of the Governors of the squares of Fez, Ceuta and Tlemcen Bejaia, which encouraged him to cross the Strait to defeat Yahya. Earlier, it agreed a new truce with Fernando III, through the payment of other three hundred thousand Maravedis. Al - Mamoun arrived in Morocco in October of 1028 and after organizing the army inflicted a resounding defeat to the Caliphate troops at the battle of Iyilliz, causing Yahya to flee and allowing his proclamation as Caliph (principles of 1229). As it was proclaimed, al - Mamoun began the investigation of the crimes committed by the Lords of Hintata and Tinmallal, that ended up being beheaded by Council of the conceptualisation, along with a hundred of his followers; then began a butchery in which even children of their enemies were killed. Al - Mamoun adjuró of the doctrine of Ibn Tumart and suppressed also typically Almohad institutions, so onwards was considered an apostate.

But while his power was consolidated in Morocco was weakening in the rest of the Empire: at the end of October 1229 Seville swearing allegiance to Ibn Hud, showing its subjection to the Caliphate of Baghdad; shortly after the Almohads in Ifriqiya (Tunisia), after the killing of their relatives in Morocco, they declared themselves independent and Abú Zakariya proclaimed emir. Towards February 1230 there was also an attempt Yahya regain the Caliphate and restore the Almohad institutions, but the army that fell from the Atlas to take the capital was easily defeated and returned to the mountains. Al - Mamoun, conscious of his superiority, tried to eliminate once supporters of Yahya and in 1230 summer began an expedition into the Atlas in which made over four thousand dead among their enemies, whose heads were exposed in the walls of the capital; Yahya fled to Siyilmassa.

Idris al - Mamoun remained in the Moroccan capital until 1232, which attempted the conquest of Ceuta, where his brother Abu Musa, who had been Governor of Malaga, was declared independent. The siege did not make no dent in the city, which remained provisioning by sea and al - Mamoun should lift when it was reported that Yahya was headed with a new army to the conquest of Morocco. According to the Chronicles, he/she died suddenly on the way to the capital, victim of an attack of fury when he/she learned that Abu Musa had delivered Malaga his enemy Ibn Hud. It was succeeded by his son Abd al - Wahid II, who at the time was fourteen years old and reigned with the title of al - Rasid.


HUICI MIRANDA, A. political history of the Almohad Empire. Tetuan, 1957.

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