Biography of King of la taifa de Almería Muhammad al-Mutasim (ca. 1038-1091)

King of the taifa of Almeria born towards 1038 and died 12 June 1091.

Son of Ma'n Ibn Sumadih, Muhammad was the second tuchibi King of the dynasty of the Banu Sumadih who reigned in Almeria. His family, of Arab origin, had settled in the Iberian Peninsula at the beginning of the 8th century and had established a Kingdom in Huesca during the 10th century. By mother, Muhammad was the grandson of the King of Valencia Abdel Aziz. The death of Ma'n in 1052 Muhammad inherited the Kingdom of Almeria counting some fourteen years, so his uncle Abu Utba took over his guardianship.

During his minority, won against him the Governor of Lorca, Ibn Sabib, who took advantage of the minority of Muhammad and Abu Utba weakness to try to become independent. The Regent requested the help of Badis Ibn Habbus of Granada to try to reduce the rebel and both armies managed to seize the castles of Amin, Tebar, bridges and Teli. But Ibn Sabib, which counted with the help of Abdel Aziz of Valencia, managed to resist the stakes of their attackers could consolidate the definitive separation of Lorca and the regions of Velez and Vera of the Kingdom of Almeria.

All this took place before 1054, year that killed Abu Utba and Muhammad ended their minority. Initially it only took the titles honorific of Siradj al - Dawla and Muizz al - Dawla, but when he/she saw that the other Kings of taifa, especially the King of Seville, embraced Caliphate titles, himself took the title of al - Mutasim and al - Wathik fadhli-bi-llah, which were those used on coins which coined. At the beginning of his reign he/she infeudó his dominions the King of Granada in Exchange for their protection against possible foreign enemies. Besides al - Mutasim relented to his guard part of the tithes charged in Almeria to the merchants who trafficked in their port; to this was added a clause which allowed Granada to exercise control over such revenue; This clause was a humiliation to the Banu Sumadih, that Arabs were pure, while the Zirid of Granada were Berbers.

In 1061, killed Abdel Aziz of Valencia and happened by Abd al-Malik Al - Muzaffar, al - Mutasim attempted arreabatar of the Kingdom of Valencia some strengths that remained you faithful, probably in Vera, which apparently had managed to escape the influence of the new Lord of Lorca, and to this end requested the concurrancia of Granada. But al - Mutasim and Badis withdrew from combat without attempting to take the fortress when arrived the troops of Abul Hassan Yahyaof Toledo, whom al - Muzaffar had asked for help.

In 1066, al - Mutasim broke the Covenant of vassalage with Badis and tried to conquer his Kingdom. According to the Chronicles, the instigator of this project was José, a Jewish vizier of Granada ziri Court. Al - Mutasim sent to Granada Ibn Arqam, its private, you exercise the dual role of Ambassador before Granada and contact with José kunai, but Ibn Arqam relinquished conjure against Badis, so al - Mutasim sent to Granada a brother of its private to collaborate in the Jewish plans José. This got Badis away of the city to its main warlords and then informed al - Mutasim in Granada were only military heads of small importance and that it would open the gates of the city. The Almeria Régulo entered the Kingdom of Granada by the region of Fiñana and began by apoderarse de Guadix, where he/she received from José news pressed him to go to Granada, but al - Mutasim delayed his departure from Guadix; During this delay, José was killed by the Granada populace. When al - Mustasim met his death he/she went to Almeria Guadix leaving their principal chiefs military. Meanwhile, Badis returned to request the assistance of Yahya of Toledo and together they marched to encircle Guadix, where, after a long siege, al - Mutasim officials offered the surrender of the plaza in Exchange for their lives. Once recovered Guadix Yahya withdrew to their States and Badis began to invade the Kingdom of Almeria as a reprisal by the action of al - Mutasim. The King of Almería requested meet the Granada to ask for his forgiveness. Badis agreed to forgive al - Mutasim, but instead imposed heavy taxes.

After the death of Badis Ibn Habbus in 1073 Al - Mutasim found the opportunity to avenge the humiliation suffered in 1066: the city of Baza, which had tilted between the kingdoms of Toledo and Granada, wanting to disassociate itself from the Kingdom of Granada between 1073 and 1066 offered its sovereignty to al - Mutasim, who took advantage of the eventual war between the taifa of Granada and Seville and the inability to address the issues of the new King of Granada Baza, Abdallah Ibn Buluggin, seized asset and its surrounding forts, including the castle of Siles. Granada Abdallah signed a truce with al - Mutasim why the second returned Siles to Granada and in return obtained the fortress of Sant Aflay, located between Fiñana and taverns.

1082 al - Mutasim faced del rey de Sevilla Lubrin and Tahal castles or Abul Qasim Muhammad Ibn Abbad when it played him the strength of Sorbas and others in the memoirs of Abd Allah are referred to as "the strengths of the mountain" and the historian Tapia Garrido identifies as Mojacar, Teresa and Cabrera. The war between both kings not put an end to the border conflict that had sparked the hostilities, since in 1088, both attended the camp of Aledo to request arbitration in respect of the Almoravid leader Yusuf Ibn Tashufin, but it is known that in the same year 1082 al - Mutasim and Ibn Abbad had an encounter friendly in the lands of Sorbas, which limits the time of war to the same 1082. After the interview of Sorbas al - Mutasim hosted as a guest for three weeks to the Sevillian King, who later returned to his country.

Al - Mustasim returned to go to war with Granada to 1086, when Abdallah Ibn Bulugin occupied the fortress of al - Munturi and to prevent from Almería to enter into his Kingdom, put defenses in forts that protected the access to their territory. Given the fact that al - Mutasim had accomodated in Almeria to Samaya, that had been vizier Abdallah Regent during his minority, and had been expelled from Granada in 1082, year in which was declared of age of Abdallah. It seems that hatred of the King of Granada professed towards his former vizier and the fact that host it the Almeria was the cause that triggered the hostilities between the two kingdoms. The granadan King himself, in his memoirs, explains that it was himself who proposed the peace sign and began to dismantle the fortresses erected against its enemy.

Probably Abdallh signed peace because that year from 1086 the Almoravid disembarked in the Iberian Peninsula and its leader, Ibn Tashufin, claimed the union of all the Muslims against the forces of Alfonso VI. Al - Mutasim not attended the battle of Sagrajas (1086), the great Almoravid trinfo against Christians, citing his advanced age, but instead sent his son Muizz al-Dawla Almeria troops and a large number of gifts for the North African leader. Also helped al - Mutasim with the Almoravids in Aledo (1088) decision, which sent a siege elephant-shaped contraption.

Muhammad al - Mustasim died few months before the almoravides acupasen the Kingdom of Almeria and handed it to his son Muizz al - Dawla, although the Banu Sumadih left Almeria in November of 1091.

Al - Mutasim had five sons and a daughter: Muizz al - Dawla, Obaidala, Izz al - Dawla, Abu crush and Omalquiran. He/She was a man of letters who gathered at his court the cream of the intelligentsia of his time. According to the Chronicles was a monarch courtiers and religious that he/she surrounded himself with conceptualisation to discuss the texts of the Quran and the traditions regarding Muhammad. During his long reign dealt beautifying Almeria with buildings such as the Palace of the Alcazaba and the Sumadihiya, a recreational estate located at the entrance of the Valley of Pechina; It was also important public works such as the construction of the first public supply of the city, which together with his piety and his sense of Justice won him the popularity of the Almeria.


DOZY, R. Histoire des Muslim d'Espagne juste la conquête de l' Cordoba pas les Almoravides. Paris, 1932.

JOVER ZAMORA, J. M. (dir). "The Taifa kingdoms. Al - Andalus in the 11th century,"in history of Spain Menéndez Pidal, vol. VIII-I. Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1994.

TAPIA GARRIDO, J. A. General Historia of Almería and its province. T. III. Almeria Muslim I (711-1172). Almeria, 1986.