Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri (Arabic: يوسف بن عبد الرحمن الفهري‎) was an Umayyad governor of Narbonne in Septimania and governor of al-Andalus from 747 to 756, ruling independently following the collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate in 750. He was a descendant of 'Uqbah, the founder of al-Qayrāwan.[1]

Governor in Narbonne[edit]

After the Battle of Poitiers, Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman was appointed governor of Narbonne according to the Chronicle of Moissac, where he was in command of military operations. During four years he is said to have raided and pillaged the Lower Rhone, and in 735 he took Arles.[2]

Infight and Berber revolt[edit]

Between 716 and 756, al-Andalus was ruled by governors sent from Damascus or appointed on the recommendation of the Umayyad regional governors of Ifriqiya to which it belonged administratively .[3] Like many of his predecessors, Yusuf struggled to control infighting between the Berbers (the bulk of his power base) and the Arabs, and also had to deal with perennial feuding between Syrian and Yemeni Arab tribes comprising his forces.[4]

Governor of al-Andalus[edit]

After the instability of the Berber Revolt in al-Andalus, an arrangement was concluded between different Arab factions to alternate in office. However, after taking over and completing his term, he refused to give up the reins of power, ruling unchallenged for 9 years. After becoming ruler, al-Fihri conducted a census,[5] as part of which Bishop Hostegesis prepared a list of tax and jizya payers. The bishop then made annual visits to make sure the taxes were collected properly.[6]

Arrival of Abd al-Rahman I and downfall[edit]

Yusuf had just broken a revolt attempt in Zaragoza (755) when he led a campaign against the Basques of Pamplona in 755 but the detachment sent was annihilated.[7] This was the moment chosen by Abd ar-Rahman I, who had fled Syria some years before to escape from the Abbasids, to disembark on the southern coast of present-day Spain. He went on to capture important southern strongholds such as Malaga and Seville.

After failing to compromise a deal with Abd-ar-Rahman I by which the Umayyad survivor would succeed him, Yusuf al-Fihri was defeated at the Battle of Musarah[8] just outside Córdoba in May 756[9] by Abd ar-Rahman I, who thus became the first independent Emir of Córdoba.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hitti, Philip Khuri (1970). History of the Arabs from the Earliest Times to the Present. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-09871-4, p. 504.
  2. ^ Collins, Roger (1989). The Arab Conquest of Spain 710-797. Oxford, UK / Cambridge, USA: Blackwell. p. 91. ISBN 0-631-19405-3. 
  3. ^ Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. (1987). A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-33767-4, p. 71.
  4. ^ Gerli, E. Michael & Armistead, Samuel G. (2003). Medieval Iberia: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. ISB 9780415939188, p. 4.
  5. ^ Wolf, Kenneth Baxter (2000). Conquerors and Chroniclers of Early Medieval Spain. Liverpool University Press, ISBN 0-85323-554-6, p. 156.
  6. ^ Imamuddin, S. M. (1981). Muslim Spain - 711-1492 A.D: A Sociological Study. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-06131-2, p. 58.
  7. ^ Trask, R. Larry (1996). The History of Basque. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-13116-2, p. 12.
  8. ^ Al-Sulami, Mishal Fahm (2004). The West and Islam: Western Liberal Democracy Versus the System of Shura. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-31634-0, p. 207.
  9. ^ Payne, Robert (1959). The Holy Sword: the story of Islam from Muhammad to the present. New York: Harper. 
Preceded by
Abd al-Rahman ibn Katir al-Lahmi
Governor of Al-Andalus
747–756
Succeeded by
Abd ar-Rahman I succeeds as Emir