Biography of King of la taifa de Denia Alí Iqbal Ad-Dawla (1009-1081)

Taifa King of Denia, born in Denia in 1009 and died in Zaragoza in 1081. Under his reign Denia developed a strong foreign policy. His Kingdom was annexed to the expansive taifa of Zaragoza in 1076.

Of European origin (saqaliba), was son of Mujaahid of Denia, which constituted an independent Kingdom in Dénia that dominated the sea and land routes between 1010 and 1045. 1016 Ali, who was still a child, was with his father in the conquest of Sardinia, but the Alliance of Pisan and Genoese got the victory over the Muslim troops of Mujaahid who had to flee to the Balearic Islands. Ali was held hostage along with his family by the Italians. Mujaahid, from the moment he/she came to his possessions, transacted the freedom of members of their families, but only achieved success in part: his wife - and mother of Ali, of Christian origin, refused to return to Al - Andalus and Ali was retained as a guarantee that the King of Denia would not undertake new actions on Sardinia. During his captivity, he/she stayed at the Court of Henry IIof Germany, where he/she was educated in the Christian religion and forgot the Arabic language. In 1026, he/she was rescued thanks to the intervention of the Hammadids of Bejaia, who pled with his jailers, after which he/she returned to the Kingdom of their father.

Although Mujaahid had more sons named his heir to Ali, who took the title of Iqbal Ad-Dawla ('prosperity of the dynasty'); his brother Hasan, who up to the release of Ali believed to merit succession pretended to submit to the will of Mujaahid, but reality, as we will see later was another. This Prince took the honorific title of Sad Ad-Dawla ("happiness of the dynasty"). As the own Ali account in a letter to Abd al - Aziz of Valencia, in his proclamation after the death of his father (1045) swore you faithfulness all the powerful of Denia, including his brother Hasan. In any case, the decision of Mujaahid appoint heir to Ali and not Hasan did not respond any favoritism, but the first was the firstborn; in the time of Mujaahid coins both princes appear with the same rank.

But the powerful King of Seville, Abu Amr Abbad Ibn Muhammad, was not compliant with the appointment of Ali as his heir and preferred to see Hasan, who was brother-in-law - he/she had married a daughter of Mujaahid - in the throne of Denia, so sent to the Court of Ali to a slave named Salama which became the paje of Hasan; its purpose, according to the orders of Muhammad of Seville, were to kill Ali. Hasan Sad Ad-Dawla came into collusion with the Seville Regulus and chose a Friday, after the official sentence, to commit the murder. Like every Friday, Ali attended Denia aljama mosque for presiding over the prayers; as it was his custom, after leaving the mosque came out with his retinue to the seashore, to then return to Palace, taking a road of narrow alleys. There he/she took Salama to try to stab to the sovereign, but failed coup and was shot by the guard of Ali, Hasan took advantage of the tumult and fled the city. Ali was transferred to Palace where recovered from a hand injury, after which brought together his generals to make sure that any popped into the side of his brother. Meanwhile Hassan had travelled to Seville to convince Muhammad that it invade the Kingdom of Denia and proclaimed him King, but Seville refused to deal with an enemy that, in case of defeat, would close the gates of Seville to the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, Ali began to spread the news of his brother's betrayal, so Hasan failed to find support and withdrew to Valencia with his sister. It is known that Hasan died in Valencia, but neither the Chronicles and the documentation returned to name it.

There are occasional news of Foreign Affairs during the reign of Ali; contacts with other kingdoms began during the Government of Mujaahid, mostly through marital links. Firstly, the King of Denia filed with the Hammadids of Béjaïa, in the central Mediterranean, and relations with the Zirid of Ifriqiya, in the Eastern Mediterranean. The first were those who negotiated their ransom when he/she was prisoner in Sardinia; with the latter, relatives of the Zirid of Granada, the reasons were eminently commercial. But the most important action of Ali, as far as foreign policy is concerned, is the beginning of relations between the Kingdom of Denia and Egypt: in 1055, Knower of the famine that had suffered the African country, Ali sent to the Fatimid Caliph, al - Mustansir, a boat full of food, accompanied with a letter of presentation, work of his SecretaryIbn Arqam; in return it received the boat loaded with money and works of art. The most negative consequence of the beginning of these relationships was that Ibn Arqam was attacked by their enemies and abandoned Denia to take refuge in the Kingdom of Almeria, with which Ali lost one of his top aides. Like his father, Ali tried to improve relations with neighboring kingdoms through a deliberate double policy: only marriage that we have credible news is a daughter of Ali with Muhammad al-Mutasim of Almería (towards 1050), link that led to the composition of an epistle in rhymed prose, the Secretary Ibn Arqam work.

Arabic chronicles collected the news that in 1065 Ali Iqbal Ad-Dawla helped Fernando I of Castile in the siege of Valencia. Abd al - Malik of Valencia asked the King of Toledo, who ended up taking the city and taking possession of it. In the Christian Chronicles has not been recorded that the King of Denia help Fernando I in his attempt of conquest of the city.

In 1076, a series of circumstances made that Ali apportioning the Kingdom of Denia to Ahmed I al-Muqtadir of Zaragoza: this King had captained the holy war that was proclaimed between the different taifas of al - Andalus when in 1064, the Crusaders took Barbastro (was after the victory that Zaragoza Ahmed took the title of al - Muqtadir); After this victory, Ahmed began an expansionist policy that would lead to the conquest of the Kingdom of Denia. Initially, al - Muqtadir only tried to take some squares belonging to Ali to give them his son Mungir, ruling in Tortosa. Ignored, what were these squares, given unclear boundaries that separated the realms of Denia, Valencia, Zaragoza and Tortosa at this time. Ali gave the order to its governors so that they handed the squares to the Zaragoza, but later, persuaded by his advisors, gave the contrary to these Governors order and asked for help his allies of Seville and Almeria through its Minister Ibn Muslim, aid that did not get. When al - Muqtadir saw that the squares were not delivered him he/she went with his army to Denia, where he/she met with Prince Muizz Ad-Dawla. Negotiations was addressed by the Minister of al - Muqtadir, Ibn Ar-Royolo - romance name was the Rojuelo-that was deniense and according to the Dhajira of Ibn Bassam who was intrigued that the King of Zaragoza to think apoderarse de Denia. This occurred when al - Muqtadir entered the city and its dignitaries signed accountability recognizing the sovereignty of Ahmed over the Kingdom, in March 1076.

Ali was taken by al - Muqtadir to Zaragoza dressed in a rough outfit showing his defeat to Zaragoza. Al - Muqtadir, who was relative, gave some lands in fief, in whose possession it lived until his death in 1081.

Ali Iqbal Ad-Dawla was a refined man who had received a careful education Christian during his captivity in Sardinia and that its return to Al - Andalus was surrounded by a whole host of philologists of the Court from Mujaahid, the first of which was his own father. However, the fact of having forgotten the Arabic language during childhood did what it does not reach the levels of linguistic family. The tolerance of Christianity that boasted became suspect to some historians who was a criptocristiano; This fact no has been able to never be contrasted, and, on the other hand, the Chronicles show you as a good Muslim and a strict follower of the Koranic precepts. But the aspect that most Chronicles when referring to the personality of Ali is his fondness for business, that devoted more efforts to the defence of the realm. Indeed, Ali Iqbal Ad-Dawla became a very rich character. Ibn Bassam censorship that you pulled money even from the marriages of his daughters - although the only documented is the link of your daughter with the King of Almería-, under the usual Islamic be the groom pays the dowry or mahr. Unlike his father, Iqbal felt more love for that beautiful letters to Philology. More specialists were found in his court that pure philological rhymed prose. One of their tastes was the exchange of Epistles in rhymed prose, by their secretaries, with the rulers of the neighboring kingdoms. The hobby of the King of Denia is also mentioned in the Chronicles by horses. Under his reign, Denia was a tolerant Kingdom that lived together in peace, Muslims, Jews and Christians, as happened in Toledo of Alfonso VI.


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