Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad

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This article is about the Abbadid king of Seville. For the Abbasid caliph, see Al-Mu'tamid.
Coin of Al-Mutamid

Muhammad ibn Abbad al-Mu'tamid Arabic: المعتمد بن عباد‎; reigned c. 1069–1091, lived 1040-1095) was the third and last ruler of the taifa of Seville in Al-Andalus. He was a member of the Abbadid dynasty.

After the death of his father Abbad II al-Mu'tadid in 1069, he inherited Seville. In 1071, he attempted to seize neighboring Córdoba. He lost Córdoba in 1075 but regained it in 1078.

Al-Mu'tamid supported the Almoravid ruler Yusuf ibn Tashfin against king Alfonso VI of Castile in the Battle of Sagrajas in 1086. In 1091, however, his kingdom was overthrown by the Almoravids and he was deposed. On the other side, he had foreseen such probability, nevertheless he choose calling on Almoravids. When his son, Rashid, advised him not to call on Yusuf ibn Tashfin, Al-Mu'tamid rebuffed him and famously said

I have no desire to be branded by my descendants as the man who delivered al-Andalus as prey to the infidels. I am loath to have my name cursed in every Muslim pulpit. And, for my part, I would rather be a camel-driver in Africa than a swineherd in Castile.[1]

He is also considered, in his own right, one of the greatest of the Andalusi poets. Also the Sicilian Arabic poet Ibn Hamdis was guest and friend of his.

When he was 13 years old Al-Mu'tamid's father made his son Emir of Seville and appointed the Andalusi Arabic poet Ibn Ammar as his vizier. The young Al-Mu'tamid fell in love with Ibn Ammar. One night after enjoying poetry and wine he declared “Tonight you sleep with me on ths same pillow!" Al-Mu'tamid's father disapproved of the relationship (particularly as Ibn Ammar was a commoner) and sent him into exile in order to separate the two. When Al-Mu'tamid succeeded his father he recalled Ibn Ammar and bestowed high political and military favours on him. One night when sleeping together Ibn Ammar dreamt Al-Mu'tamid was going to kill him and fled. The caliph tried to reassure him that he would never do such a thing. However, they later got into a furious quarrel, and the caliph “fell into a rage and hacked him to death with his own hands”. After Ibn Ammar's death, the caliph grieved bitterly and gave his lover a sumptuous funeral.[2][3][4][5][6] It was this type of decadence that would create resentment among his deeply religious Almoravid supporters.

In 1091 Al-Mutamid was taken into captivity by the Almoravids and exiled to Aghmat, Morocco where he died in 1095. His grave is located in the outskirts of Aghmat.[7]

Al-Mu'tamid was the father (or according other weaker sources the father-in-law, through his son, Fath al-Mamun death in 1091) of Zaida, mistress, and possibly wife, of Alfonso VI of Castile.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Levi Provencal, L'Espagne musulmane au Xe siècle. Institutions et vie sociale, Paris, 1932
  3. ^ Crompton, Louis (2006), Homosexuality and civilization, Harvard University Press, p. 167, ISBN 978-0-674-02233-1 
  4. ^ Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe, Islamic homosexualities: culture, history, and literature, 1997
  5. ^ James Neill, The origins and role of same-sex relations in human societies, New York, 2009
  6. ^ Heather Ecker, Caliphs and kings: the art and influence of Islamic Spain, Lonon, 2008
  7. ^ Lisan Al Din Ibn Al Khatib (Fourteenth century). Nafadhat al-jirab (the Ashtray of the Socks). p. 9.  Check date values in: |date= (help)


  • Souissi, Ridha (1977). Al Mutamid Ibn Abbad et son oeuvre poétique : étude des thèmes. Université de Tunis. 
  • Scheindlin, Raymond P. (1974). Form and structure in the poetry of Al-Mutamid Ibn Abbad. Leiden: Brill. 
  • Hagerty ed., Miguel José (1979). Poesia / Al-Mutamid. Barcelona: Antoni Bosch. 
  • Rubiera Mata ed., María Jesús (1982). Poesías / Al Mutamid Ibn Abbad. Madrid: Universidad de Sevilla. 
  • de Oviedo, Pelayo. Chronicle of the Kings of Leon of Pelayo of Oviedo. 
  • Reilly, Bernard F. (1988). The Kingdom of Leon-Castilla under King Alfonso VI, 1065-1109. Publisher: Princeton University Press. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Abbad II al-Mu'tadid
Abbadid king of Seville
Deposed by Yusuf ibn Tashfin
(Almoravid dynasty)