Lalla Aisha Mubarka

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Lalla Aisha Mubarka, often referred to as Zaydana or Zaidana (died 1716), was the chief spouse of sultan Ismail Ibn Sharif of Morocco (r. 1672–1727). She had an acknowledged influence over the affairs of state through her personal influence over the sultan. Some Europeans are said to have called her the "Empress of Morocco".[1]

Life[edit]

Zaydana was purchased to the harem as a slave concubine from Mawaly ar-Rashid for sixty ducats.[2] In accordance with the Islamic law, the sultan was allowed to have a harem of slave concubines except for his four wives, as long as the concubines were slaves. However, despite of the fact that the sultans normally only married women from prominent families such as the shariffamilies, he married Zaydana, who managed to require an achieve a great emotional bond from him and she thereby gained influence over this powerful man. The French Dominican friar Dominique Busnot described her as an enormous, tall and fat black woman who somehow managed to acquire such influence over the sultan that she could often deal with him as she wished. To explain her influence, many Moroccans called her a witch.[2]

Zaydana staged intrigues and plots to have her own son Mawlay Zaydan (1672–1708) named successor before Mawaly Muhammade al-Alim, who was the son of a European consort, a Mrs Shaw. She claimed that he was preparing a coup to conquer the throne. While this was not initially true, he was in 1704 provoked to do so for real, after which he was captured in July 1704. He committed suicide in 1706 after his father had one of his hands and feet amputated.[1] Zaydana then had her own son replace him as governor. However, in October 1708 her son was murdered by his concubines at Taroudannt.[1] Zaydan was said to be a drunk.[2][3] It has been suggested that the two women accused of the killing were following the orders of the sultan, who did not dare to tell Zaydana, who had the two women executed. Zaydan was buried in the Mulay Muhammad al-Alam Mausoleum at Meknes.[1]

Zaydana died in 1716.[2] Some Europeans are said to have called her the "Empress of Morocco".[1] Another report made by a Spaniard called Joseph de Leon allege that Ismail Ibn Sharif was strangled by his concubine "Zaydana". However Ismail Ibn Sharif lived for over a decade after Zaydana died.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Morocco - The Alawi Dynasty". royalark.net. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d Hamel, Chouki El (2013). Black Morocco : a history of slavery, race, and Islam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 110702577X. 
  3. ^ The Alawi Dynasty, Morocco.net, retrieved 22 April 2014
  4. ^ Hamel, Chouki El (2013). Black Morocco : a history of slavery, race, and Islam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 8. ISBN 110702577X.