Biography of King of la taifa de Denia Muyahid Yusuf al-Amir (ca. 990-1045)

Taifa King of Denia, born in Córdoba to 990 and died July 15, 1045 in Denia. It was created in Denia a stable and powerful Kingdom added that different territories; at the end of his days, it had established a Kingdom which dominated the main trade routes of lift, as well as the maritime routes of the Mediterranean.

Son of Abd Allah, a saqaliba (slave of European origin) of the Cordoba Court, Mujaahid is educated in the Court of Almanzor, who was page. Its name, which means 'Warrior', and even his nickname, Abu - Yaish, which means 'father of the army', indicate that he/she was destined from childhood for the exercise of weapons. Prior to 1010, Mujaahid attacked Tortosa and was proclaimed independent, as a result of which, a series of castles Governors and Governors of cities recognized their sovereignty, in an era in which Cordoba was heavily besieged by Sulayman, Caliph of the Berbers; Subsequently he/she got Valencia, whose Governors, the saqaliba Mudaffar and Mubarak swore you submission, although they later decided to dispense with it and Mujaahid went to Denia, where at 1010 had already as sovereign. The only document preserved from this period are attributed to him and minted coins in the ECSC's Al - Wata, which has not been located. María Jesús Rubiera historian believes that the transition from Tortosa to Valencia and from there to Denia was due to a default plan: conquest of the Balearic Islands, which would give him dominion over the sea.

The limits of the Kingdom of Mujaahid were, by North Bairén, in la Safor, and to the South the Marina Baja. At the time of the conquest of Cordoba by the Berbers (1010), some amiries of the caliphal city fled and founded kingdoms in the East of peninsular territory. Initially did not interfere with each other, understanding that they were to legitimize his power, rebel to Caliph al - Musta'in. But in July 1014 the amiri Jayran took Almeria and killed their King, Aflah. These facts alarmed Mujaahid, that to legitimize his Government took an unusual political decision: appoint an Umayyad Caliph in Denia which he/she would be the haajib; Indeed, in December of 1014 was proclaimed Caliph a Quraishi of the tribe of Mahoma, Abu Abd al - Rahman Abd Allah Ibn Ubayd Allah al - Muaiti, who took the title of al - Mustansir, honorific while Mujaahid, as its haajib, was titled al - Muwaqaf to. This to Al - Muaiti was an alfaqui who had fled Córdoba together with other scholars and had taken refuge in Denia, under the protection of Mujaahid. The proclamation of Al - Muaiti caused Almeria Jayran proclaimed another anticalifa of Berber origin, Alí Ibn Hammud, who reigned in Ceuta and Malaga. In any case, the existence of these two anticalifas not ebbed significantly the power and legitimacy of al - Musta'in Cordoba, because the supporters of the first two were more interested in preserving their taifa that Government to replace him on the throne of Córdoba.

Immediately after getting the legitimacy, Mujaahid began the conquest of the Balearic Islands. The absence of news of a military conquest suggests that the haajib took advantage of the vacuum of power after the death of its last Governor, Muqatil. The fleet, which was the Caliph al - Muaiti, departed from Denia in early 1015 and his first destination was Ibiza, where troops went to Mallorca. The peaceful conquest was supplemented with a series of measures aimed at preventing uprisings of the Arab nobility and that, according to Ibn al - Khatib, were effective. The conquest of the Balearic Islands made the most important ruling saqaliba Mujaahid, above those of Tortosa and Almeria and based its strength on the Caliphate fleet, anchored in the Bay of Palma. This caused the maritime clash of Jayran and Mujaahid, which has only been record thanks to a literary text of Baghdad Said, panegyrist of Almanzor, who had taken refuge in Denia, and which Mujaahid sent a bag of money along with the news of his victory over Jayran from Mallorca.

In Balearic Islands Mujaahid imposed a rigorous control of the stud farms and established a record of them and their characteristics. The haajib forcing horse owners to register the Colts when they were born and raise them until they could be mounted, after which the horse was confiscated for five dinars of gold. In the event that the horse was not delivered, its owner should justify it to the authorities and would get a certificate exempting him from liability if he/she could prove his innocence. Punishments were established for those who negotiated with horses fraudulently, as mark your own ear who tried to change the brand carrying the Colts in his. This concern of Mujaahid horses did not respond to military, but commercial reasons since his army qualified as a "marine Cavalry", needed horses for the conquest of Sardinia, which was already being planned by Mujaahid.

Al - Muaiti ordered his haajib officially the conquest of Sardinia, coveted by the Muslims since his arrival in the Western Mediterranean. The army of Mujaahid, composed of 125 boats and more than 1000 riders, departed the Bay of Palma with destination to Sardinia in 1015. The fleet is docked near Cagliari, where they found the opposition of the Sardinian troops, captained by Malut, but Cavalry coiled defenders and killed his boss. Shows that Mujaahid attack was not a simple RAID the fact that after conquering the plain of Campidano and part of the province of Cagliari, Mujaahid had built a series of fortresses and defensive towers and adapted a fortress at Castro Mugete, near the village of San Gregorio. Following the andalusi tradition, it became an ancient Roman villa in summer residence and enabled its thermal baths, transforming them into Arab baths. It is likely that the name of Castro Mugete responds to the transformation of Mujaahid name.

The presence of Mujaahid in Sardinia took legendary overtones and alerted the Italian Republics that they organized a crusade against the invader. Legend has it that Mujaahid sent to Pope Benedict VIII a sack of chestnuts meaning the large number of Muslims who were willing to attack Christianity, to which the Pontiff responded by sending to Mujaahid a sack of millet to show that it was even greater number of Christians ready to defend. Pisa and Genoa allied to expel the invader from Sardinia, but his fleet was not prepared until 1016, time which took Mujaahid to return to the Balearic Islands in search of reinforcements. When the genovesa-pisana fleet appeared on the horizon there were divergences between the troops of Mujaahid: a sector rebelled against the haajib and refused the showdown against the Christians, proposing to leave the island with the wealth acquired in the looting. According to Ad-Dabbi and al - Humaidi, Mujaahid sent its troops to the sea to quell the rebellion rather than deal with the Italians. The caliphal fleet boats were surprised by the associated fleet and fell in the hands of the Italians to one. Before the imminent defeat Mujaahid ordered his Admiral, Abu Kharoub, that find refuge at a Sardinian port that was not sheltered from the winds; against the advice of Admiral Mujaahid order was fulfilled and then broke a huge storm that wrecked most of the invading fleet. The Eastern chronicler Thábit al - Yuryani, who accompanied the King of Denia, narrates how Abu Kharoub reproached the error of Mujaahid, ente the cries of despair of this. The few ships that managed to escape went to the Balearic Islands; Mujaahid family was held prisoner in Sardinia and the King of Denia never returned to the island. The Genoese and the Pisans competed for the honor of having expelled to Mujaahid and the legend created then, they made it back to Sardinia, where he/she was converted to Christianity.

When Mujaahid returned to the Balearic Islands in 1016, he/she found that his Caliph, al - Muaiti, perhaps thinking of his haajib would not return, had dispensed with it for the Government of Denia and the Balearic Islands. Mujaahid reaction was the removal of the Caliph, who sailed to the coast of Africa, where it lived until the end of his days dedicated to the teaching of the children as a simple school teacher. The exile solution contrasts with the of other characters of his time, which is unloaded of the Caliphs themselves had been promoted by the murder. Later, from Balearic Islands, Mujaahid tried to rebuild the fleet and made all efforts possible to achieve freedom of his family, dam in Sardinia, which quickly got with some exceptions: his mother refused to return to Al - Andalus, which has served some historians to establish the theory of the origin of the Sardinian family from Mujaahid; Ali, his firstborn was retained as a hostage, to avoid new expeditions of the King of Denia against Sardinia and was raised in the Court of Henry II of Germany. He/She would not return to Denia to 1026.

For as long as Mujaahid had remained in Sardinia, Almería Jayran, allied with the Berber Alí Ibn Hammud, had entered Córdoba and murdered the Caliph Sulayman al - Musta'in and the second was proclaimed Caliph, adopting the title of An-Nasir. This caused the ire of Jayran, what wanted was the restoration of Hisham II, so looked for a new suitor Umayyad Caliph in Jativa who erected in April of 1018: al - Murtada. The new monarch was recognized by Mudaffar and Valencia Mubarak, Labib of Tortosa and Ibn Yahya Al-Mundhir of Zaragoza, Ibn Hud, Governor of Tortosa and Ibn Qasim in Alpuente. Although some contemporary authors cite Mujaahid between the regulos who supported this legitimist restoration, no Arabic source mentions it. In any case, the Umayyad restoration was short-lived and after the murder in Granada in al - Murtada was proclaimed Caliph al-Qasim ibn Hammud, brother of the missing Sulayman.

In 1019 Mujaahid was associated with the throne of Valencia and Játiva, taken in principle by Labib of Tortosa, after the death of its governors, Mudaffar and Mubarak. This partnership came caused by problems that were raised to Labib to take power, because Valencia did not accept it fully, as they accused him of pro-catalan and called to replace him the Governor of Lleida, Sulayman Ibn Hud. This recall also away to the Government of Valencia and Tortosa Mujaahid, therefore launched his army against the troops of Ibn Hud. The war ended in 1021, when the King of Denia abandoned their aspirations to the Government of the Levantine kingdoms, accepting the appointment as haajib of Abd al - Aziz, grandson of Almanzor and like his grandfather took the title of al - Mansur. However, Almeria Jayran not accepted this appointment and on their own named haajib to Muhammad Ibn Abd al - Malik, also grandson of Almanzor and cousin of Abd al - Aziz, to whom the Government of Murcia delivered. However towards 1022 Abd al - Aziz was expelled from Jativa by the same fatás who had handed power. This went to Valencia where he/she continued ruling, but Jayran got is to recognize its sovereignty over Játiva. From this time Muhammad was already enough in their plans and was expelled from the city, fleeing to Denia, where was welcomed by Mujaahid, while previously it had recognized his cousin Abd al - Aziz.

In 1025 the Hammudid Yahya ibn Alí ibn Hammudwas proclaimed Caliph of Cordoba, after a period of Umayyad restoration. In 1026 Mujaahid and Jayran were called by Córdoba, who did not want a Berber Caliph. Despite being enemies, both attended the call without establishing a plan of action; However, the news of his presence in the city caused a rebellion of the population, which triggered a massacre of Berber and ended the Government of Yahya Ibn Hammud. The two Kings of the taifas then left the city without attempting any maneuver for a restoration of the Umayyad, since their interests were already fully focused on their Levantine kingdoms. The only thing that made Mujaahid was leaving in Cordoba to Muhammad Ibn Abd al - Malik, who got the title of haajib in the Government which was proclaimed Caliph, Hisham III.

1026 Ali, the son of Mujaahid that had been hostage in Sardinia, was rescued by the Banu Hammad of Bejaia and returned to Denia. In its ten years of captivity he/she had abandoned Islam and had converted to Christianity, and I had also forgotten the Arabic language. On his return he/she returned to adopt their primitive religion and again learn Quranic language. While Mujaahid had more sons, appointed Ali as his heir.

In 1028 Mujaahid broke the balance that had been established between the different taifas of Al - Andalus at the start of an operation to extend its area of influence and control existing trade routes. That year died Jayran in Almeria and was succeeded by Zuhayr, who inherited a Kingdom widened to which recognized their sovereignty Jativa, Tudmir (from Alicante to Lorca), the province of Albacete, with its important road enclave of Chinchilla, Almería and Jaén. Mujaahid tried to incorporate the territories of his neighbor to his Kingdom and began by Tudmir, whose Government had been entrusted by Zuhayr to Abu Bakr Ibn Táhir, a murcian noble of rancio ancestry. This Governor found the opposition of Abu Amr Ibn Khattab, whose nobility came from the Umayyad for part of father and the Visigoths from his mother. Mujaahid intervened in the confrontation between the two taking sides for the second. His troops captured Ibn Tahir, who was rescued by Zuhayr by a high amount of money. With this operation Mujaahid did not control Tudmir, but created interest in his favor among the powerful family of Ibn Jattan, whom Zuhayr led Almeria to prevent new conflicts.

Later, in 1035 Mujaahid signed a partnership with the Emirs of Seville, which would be very beneficial for both realms: Abul Qasim Muhammad I, Lord of Seville proclaimed the news of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham II was alive and urged the rest of the Kings of taifa that accept its sovereignty. It was a gimmick, since the fake Caliph was actually an esterero of Seville whose features resembled the deceased ruler. However Mujaahid and other Kings admitted the farce and proclaimed its subjection to Seville. Zuhayr of Almeria did not and, on the other hand, continued to show their fidelity to the Hammudid cause. This led Zuhayr to ally themselves with Granada against Sevilla and the death of the King of Granada, ibn Habbus Maksan, trying to conquer his Kingdom, but died in the attempt (1038). Zuhayr, who was a eunuch, was succeeded by Abd al - Aziz of Valencia, the grandson of Almanzor whom Mujaahid had supported in his attempt to govern Játiva. The new King wanted to continue with the conquest of Granada and so asked the help of Mujaahid, which lent it without much conviction and recommended prudence; There was a verbal confrontation in Lorca between the new Lord of Almería and the King of Denia where the first called cowardly to the second; Mujaahid abandoned its Alliance and left Abd al - Aziz in a very compromising situation. Mujaahid, who was a spiteful man, took advantage of the weakness of Abd al - Aziz to attack their lands (1041), beginning with Lorca, Jódar and Játiva. Abd al - Aziz asked for help to the Castilians and got to undergo the fatás of Játiva. The real cause of the war must have been the enmity that was created between the two Kings following the dispute of Lorca, since during all the race both crossed with insults and satirical literature, letters that Abd al - Aziz was accused of drunk - an insult very serious, if we take into account that Islam prohibits alcohol - and Mujaahid of servile. The war ended thanks to the mediation of Sulayman to the - Mustasin of Zaragoza, which asked both kings to stop the fight in the name of Islam. Finally peace along with a triple matrimonial Alliance is signed: Ali, the eldest son of Mujaahid married a daughter of Sulayman and Abd al - Aziz Valencia married a daughter of the King of Denia. The outcome of the war was very favorable to Mujaahid, which took up its neighbor's Territories North of the Segura to Orihuela, Baeza, Jódar and probably the territory now occupied by the province of Albacete, with a wealth of timber.

At the end of his days, Mujaahid strengthened its alliance with the taifa of Seville via a new link marriage: married his own daughter to Abu Amr Abbad Ibn Muhammad, King of the city of the Guadalquivir; the party which was held after the wedding lasted a week the political importance of this marriage can be seen in the fact that the Princess deniense was the only lawful wife of the Sevillian Regulus, who had a harem of over 700 concubines. Shortly after Mujaahid died and was succeeded by his son Ali; the Alliance signed between his father and Abu Amr Abbad marked to a large extent his reign.

Mujaahid was also a man of letters and a generous patron of the arts. Fond of Philology, especially the Koranic, surrounded himself with quranists and lexicographers, who commissioned to unravel the archaic Arabic of the Qur'an and cultivated his study. However not maintained poets in his court since, reportedly, his philological knowledge allowed him to discover any impropriety in the poetry and embarrass the poet for this reason. In this sense, he/she is credited with the authorship of a book of rhetoric that would be used to correct the failures that committing his contemporaries. His personality has been described by different writers: Ibn Hayyan, who was his contemporary, speaks of a complex personality and a fickle character that motivated the drastic changes of mood and activities; I was suffering major depressions that had him spend long periods dedicated to the study, and to dispense totally with books and surrender to the pleasures. Although Ibn Hayyan attacked the saqaliba - its description of Mudaffar and Mubarak of Valencia is loaded with pejorative dyes - appreciates the Government of Mujaahid; the chronicler Ibn Bassam, who wrote at the beginning of the 12th century, agreed with Ibn Hayyan description of the complex character of Mujaahid, although you rate negatively his reign and stigmatizes you traitor for having embraced the cause of Muhammad al - Mahdi. According to this reporter, this betrayal had been motivated by his ambitious character.


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