Biography of Muhammad I (823-886)

Fifth Umayyad emir of Al - Andalus (852-886), son and successor of Abd al-Rahman II (822-852), born in the year 823 in Cordoba and died on 4 August the year 886 in the same city, at the age of sixty-three. He/She continued faithful to the policy undertaken by his father and maintained his reign in a remarkable state of prosperity, despite the many seditious movements to which they had to face in the interior of the Emirate and the intensification of the fight against the Christian kingdoms. During his reign were the second Norman invasions and the emergence of two characters of extraordinary importance for the future of the Emirate, Ibn Marwan al-Chilliqi , and Omar ibn Hafsún, both rebels against the Umayyad power cordobés, endangering the very existence of the Emirate.

Ascension to the throne

After the sudden death of his father, Muhammad was quick to take over ahead of the favorite of the dead emir, the Princess Tarub, who was installed on the throne to his son Abd Allah. Aided by the competent Isa ibn Shubayd Chamberlain, the new emir took oath of obedience for all the nobles and commoners of the Kingdom. Muhammad I took the success of his coming to further strengthen the bonds of friendship between Cordoba and various Princes of North Africa and the Peninsula, such as the ruisumies dynasty and the Banu Qasi. Also it also worried counter the pernicious influence that exercised certain characters of the Court, as the harem eunuchs and the wives real, eager to place their offspring the highest possible insofar as possible.

Internal problems: the fight against dissent

The problem of the martyrs

Muhammad I inherited from the previous reign the annoying problem of the Christian martyrs of Cordoba, which provoked a tension socio-religious difficult to resolve, given continuing obstinacy from the Cordoba mozarab community of publicly insulting the memory of the Prophet, and thus be executed as a martyr. The emir decided to release their leader, the cleric Eulogio, which forced into exile in Córdoba. When it returned to the capital, intensified further if fits his sermons and lectures, enraging Muhammad I, tired because of such insolence, sent to demolish the monastery of Horseflies, main focus of the mutineers, and imprison Eulogio, who finally was tried and beheaded on 11 March the year 859. Eulogio became a martyr for his followers, as he/she intended, but movement was gradually sending up to their total disappearance.

The rebellion of Toledo

When Muhammad I just wore a week as emir, Toledo, capital of the Middle mark and continuing focus of uprisings and disappointment towards the power of the Umayyad, returned to rise in rebellion under the pretext of a new abuse of power by Muhammad I. The leaders of the revolt deposed the Governor imposed by Cordoba and formed an army that got to do with the control of Calatrava, although the square was recovered the following year by Prince al - Hakam. However, the Toledo persisted in his rebellious attitude, so they decided to look for the Alliance of the Asturian King Ordoño Ito face off against Muhammad I, which gladly sent an impressive contingent of troops under the command of count Gastón. Toledo and astures troops were literally wiped out by the Cordoba in the battle of Guazalete, in the year 853, in which Muhammad I killed over eight thousand enemies, whose heads huddled together so that they were clearly visible. Anyway, Toledo continued resisting several years the continuous assaults and sieges by the own Muhammad I and his son and heir al-Mundhir, until in the year 858, before the apparent abandonment by the Christian allies, the city requested an amnesty conceded by the emir. In the year 875, Toledo returned to rise in rebellion, but this time Muhammad I acted without delay, subjecting the city to the prey of his hungry troops. Toledano end, Muhammad I, was named Governor of the city to one of his own sons, al - Mustarrif.

Muladíes rebellions

The pacification of Toledo did not end, nor much less, the problem of dissent. Muhammad I was overwhelmed by the subsequent appearance of a series of much more dangerous than the Toledo origin muladi rebellions, since they caused the progressive weakening of the Emirate and the Emirs, which would have resulted in the disintegration of the Emirate of Cordoba have not appeared the military and political genius of the Caliph Abd al - Rahman III (912-961).

The rebellion of Mérida: ibn Marwan Al - Chilliqi

In the year 868, al - Chilliqi took advantage of military disturbances in the North to declare themselves independent of Córdoba with the support of the muladíes and Mozarabs. The central government laid siege to Mérida and managed to capture al - Chilliqi, that prisoner was taken to Córdoba, where he/she was held until the year 875. When he/she regained freedom, he/she returned to rise in rebellion until Cordoba sent an impressive contingent against him, led by the hated Chamberlain Abd al - Aziz. Al - Chilliqi won a memorable battle the forces of Córdoba and made prisoner the Chamberlain, whose freedom cost a hundred thousand dinars paid to Alfonso III, ally of the rebel. The rebel victory served as a salutary lesson for other areas raised against Córdoba. Al - Chilliqi was refugee at the Leonese court until the year 884, managing to dominate all the current Badajoz and a vast territory to the South. On his death, in the year 884, his descendants continued ruling the same territory in a political state of the semi-dependent which lasted until the year 929, the date on which the first Caliph of Córdoba, Abd al-Rahman III forced them to return to the obedience of Córdoba.

The Banu Qasi and the upper mark

Traditional collaboration and friendship between Cordoba and the powerful Banu Qasi muladi family was fractured when the head of the dynasty, Musa ibn Musa, broke the vassalage to Córdoba and himself is entitled as the third King of Spain. On his death in the 862, his descendants continued the same policy of rebellion of alliances with Christians to conquer Zaragoza in 871, capital of the upper mark. Until almost the end of the reign of Muhammad I, once both sides reach an advantageous economic arrangement for the dynasty, did not get Cordoba back to recover this city.

The secession of ibn Hafsun

Without a doubt, the insurrection most dangerous development in the Córdoba central power was the starring adventurer and Bandit Omar ibn Hafsún, which began in round the 879 and lasted for almost half a century more, while undermined the foundations of the Umayyad, to the extreme of forcing Emirate even to the powerful Abd al - Rahman III to negotiate a solution to the crisis. Ibn Hafsun took perfectly moments of confusion and Córdoba weakened during the last years of the reign of the emir to extend his domain by the lower Andalusia from his fortress of Bobastro, capturing for their cause to a lot of fans unhappy with the rigid authority imposed by his Chamberlain Abd al - Aziz and Muhammad I. Ibn Hafsun came to have an impressive army at your service. In the year 886, Crown Prince al - Mundhir put siege to Bobastro with a significant contingent of troops, but when it seemed that the rebel strength would fall in a matter of days, he/she had to retire abruptly upon learning that his father had died of his father to take charge of the throne.

Campaigns against the Christian kingdoms

Until the insurrection of the Banu Qasi, in all the aceifas organized by Muhammad I against the Christians, both those directed by his son and heir al - Mundhir or his Chamberlain Abd al - Aziz, and the sent by himself cordobesas troops ravaged Alava, Pamplona and even Barcelona, city in which the still-faithful Musa ibn Musa abu Qasi managed to capture a great booty and prisoners to several high nobles of the County. In the year 863 the entire territorial de Álava returned to be devastated by the troops of al - Mundhir, who on his way back to al - Andalus destroyed the hosts of the Castilian count Rodrigo García.

After the rebellion of the Banu Qasi, Muhammad I in person led an aceifa by all top brand that led him to retrieve Tudela, and in 872 intervened throughout the Pamplona, which also esquilmó. In the year 877, Muhammad I tried to attack León without success, what King Alfonso III took the opportunity to launch a counterattack that could grab treats and Deza squares. Thereafter, Muhammad I relations with the Christians followed a pattern of raids and contraincursiones, some with success and other sterile or little productive, although to the dessert served to maintain the Muslim presence in the upper mark and stabilize somewhat borders.

The Norman invasions

Towards the year 859, the Normans (machus) returned to make Act of presence on the Peninsula, a fleet composed of 62 boats tried unsuccessfully to land in Galician lands, after which fell to the mouth of the Guadalquivir intending plunder Seville and then go up to Cordoba. Warned that an army of the emir will have to deal with them, the Normans withdrew their efforts to continue with the company and went to Algeciras, where Yes were able to disembark. After raze this city, they went to Alicante, tracing the course of the Segura to Orihuela, after which left the Peninsula due to the continuous attacks of the Umayyad fleet in the Mediterranean.

Back of a fruitful season of looting by the Hispanic brand, the Balearic Islands and French noon, Norman returned to the sacking of the Spanish coasts but, as in past occasions, the Danes just managed to get something of value.

Other aspects

Established in all of the work undertaken by his father, Muhammad I gave the appropriate auction to enlargement that took place in the Aljama mosque, a building he/she endowed as well as a splendid maqsura (prayer of the emir and his entourage of honor enclosure). He/She also ordered the construction of public works of relief and other reforms in the old Alcazar of the Emirate.

Muhammad I inherited from his father a State perfectly structured in terms of their administration, so that just had need of Touchup or introduce something new. Lover of culture and good taste, good Umayyad which was, in his court as the most famous scholars of the time gathered at their corresponding specialty, such as the great Alchemist and poet Abbas ben Firnasm, Persian musician Ziryad and the great poet and diplomat Yahya ibn to Al - Hakam al - Gazal.

In the year 886, Muhammad I died in the cordovan Alcazar. He/She left the throne to his son al - Mundhir, prominent military that had the strength and sufficient decision to take charge of new outbreaks of rebellion that they came from Northern peninsular.


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