Biography of Alí Ibn Tashufin. Emir de Marruecos (1084-1143)

Real name Ali Ben Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, second emir of the Almoravids (1106-1143). Son of Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, founder of the dynasty, and of a Christian slave called Qamar, was born in Ceuta (City currently belonging to Spain), in the year 1084, and died in Marrakech (Morocco), in the year 1143.

Educated by his father in the same habits of austerity and Puritanism, was a contemporary of the Peninsular three alfonsos: Alfonso VII of Castile and León, Alfonso I the Battler of Aragon and Afonso I of Portugal. Although Ali rebelled as a monarch well prepared for the Government of an empire so vast, that relied on capable and loyal Governors, his reign went through two very different eras. The first fifteen years were ascending, the koubba tallest in the political arena, military, economic and cultural. The second stage of his reign meant by gradual decline at all levels, since he could not help how everything what has been achieved previously was crumbling before the Reconquista thrust imposed by Christian monarchs Peninsular and the appearance in the very heart of the Maghreb from the dynasty of the Almohads, along with a serious rebellion produced in Cordoba.

Just upload to the Almoravid throne by expressed desire of his father, given its political qualities while it was not the eldest son, Ali faced powerful factors that influenced against yours both inside and on the outside of the Almoravid empire. The Christian Iberian peninsula was animated by religious fervor and a strong spirit of crusade, circumstance that would collide with political ambition and the religious aspect of the Almoravid dynasty in a confrontation that coincided with a Jihad ('holy war') international and a crusade, which pierced the boundaries of al - Andalus and the Maghreb. The clash destroyed the hitherto harmonious relations between Christians and Muslims, which began to look with suspicion and disdain.

His reign began with uprisings promoted by their relatives who questioned his appointment as emir. Once he managed to solve their internal problems, Ali landed on the Peninsula to name a series of Governors and thus slow down the Christian advance on al - Andalus. In the year 1107, Ali decided to appoint his brother Tamin, who settled in Granada, a city from which deployed all their forces against the Christian monarchs, achieving a resounding success at the battle of Uclés, in the year 1108 Governor of Al - Andalus. The following year, Ali returned to the Peninsula to take part in a campaign against Talavera, which managed to occupy as well as Madrid and Guadalajara, besieging below the city of Toledo for a whole month without positive one. In the year 1110, the almoravides armies reached its maximum territorial expansion on the Peninsula conquering Zaragoza to the taifas regulos allied with the Aragonese King Alfonso I the Battler, triumph that will be rounded up four years later with the conquest of the Balearic Islands. The year of the fall of the Balearic Islands in Muslim hands, the almoravide general Muhammad Ibn al - Hach led a punitive expedition against Barcelona without result, instead suffering in their retreat the disaster of the Congest of Martorell. From this moment on, the effective power of the Almoravids, both on the Iberian peninsula and North Africa, began to progressively diluted up to their total disappearance.

In the year 1118, Alfonso I the Battler took the important city of Zaragoza after having taken over several towns and forts at the top mark, making its capital. The Aragonese monarch developed its aljama mosque into a church and forced many Muslims to flee the city. With such transcendental conquest, Alfonso I the Battler pushed the balance of forces in favour of Christians, as happened in the year 1085, when Alfonso VI of Castile and León conquered Toledo. Encouraged by the call of Christians who were under Almoravid domination, Alfonso I the Battler undertook a bold crusade against Granada in the year 1125, city which was presented to leading an army of about 80,000 men, after passing through Lérida, Valencia, Denia, Játiva and Murcia. Although the Aragonese monarch was forced to retreat, his deep insight into territories of al - Andalus showed the vulnerability of the Almoravid empire in the Peninsula, at the same time that Ali began to be threatened in the heart of the Maghreb by the nascent Almohad movement.

In the year 1121 exploded an uprising promoted by the Andalusian Cordoba who put in check the Government of Ali, which was soon imitated by other territories of the Empire in the Peninsula forcing Ali to intervene in person to eradicate it. In these circumstances, more concerned with the Affairs of the Maghreb, in the year 1128 Ali appointed Governor of al - Andalus his son Ibn Tashfin, which he called ten years later to Marrakech to appoint him as his successor, while turning a blind peninsular Affairs to focus on the African, which were enough.

The last 13 years of his reign, Ali spent them fighting against the Almohads, which from the year 1130 were led by his best general, the first Almohad emir Abd al-Mumin, who undertook a systematic conquest of the entire Western Maghreb up to the very gates of Marrakech, just when Ali died, transferring your child an empire that already it was condemned in advance to disappear before the Almohad thrust.

Bibliography

ARIE, Rachel: Muslim Spain: siglos VIII - XV. Barcelona: Labor, 1984.

BOSCH VILÁ, Jacinto: The Almoravids. Granada: Universidad de Granada, 1990.

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

VV.AA: Cultural route of almoravides and almohades: Maghreb and Iberian peninsula. Granada: Ed. Junta de Andalucía - Ministry of culture, 1999.