Miknasa

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The Miknasa (Berber: Imeknasen) is a Zenata Berber tribe in Morocco and western Algeria.[1]

Unlike the indigenous Maghrawa of today's Morocco, the Miknasa Berbers originated in southern Ifriqiya (modern Tunisia), but migrated westwards into central Morocco and western Algeria in pre-Islamic times. The modern Moroccan city of Meknes, which took its name from them,[2] bears witness to their presence, as does the Spanish town of Mequinenza.[3]

After defeat by the Umayyads, many of the Miknasa converted to Islam.[4] In 711, members of the tribe took part in the conquest of the Visigothic Kingdom under Tariq ibn Ziyad. They settled north of Córdoba and in the 11th century founded the Aftasid dynasty in Badajoz.[5]

Another group of the Miknasa took part in the successful massive Berber Revolt led by Maysara Amteghri in 739-742 against the Umayyad Arabs, and managed to wipe out the Umayyad Arab presence in Morocco and Algeria.[6] The Berber principality Banu Midrar is named after Abul-Qasim Samku ibn Wasul, nicknamed Midrar, a Miknasa Berber who was said to take part in the Berber Revolt.[6] The Miknasa adopted Kharijism-Islam and established the Emirate of Sijilmasa, under the Midrarid dynasty, on the northern edge of the Sahara in 757.[7][8] This became very wealthy as the western end-point of the Trans-Saharan trade route with the Sudan.[9] In alliance with the Caliphate of Córdoba, it was able to fight off the attacks of the Fatimids. However, when the Miknasa chief Al-Mutazz allied himself with the Fatimids, the Miknasa were driven out of Sijilmasa by the Maghrawa, who were allies of the Umayyads.[citation needed]

A further group of Miknasa were allied with the Fatimids against the Umayyads, and overthrew the Rustamids of Tahert in 912 and drove the Salihids from northern Morocco in 917.[10][11][12] But they could not maintain their resistance to the Magrawa in northern Morocco permanently, and, weakened by the struggle, they were subdued by the Almoravids in the 11th century.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nijst, A. L. M. T. (1973). Living on the edge of the Sahara: a study of traditional forms of habitation and types of settlement in Morocco. Govt. Pub. Office. p. 333.
  2. ^ Halm, Heinz (1996). Der Nahe und Mittlere Osten. BRILL. p. 266. ISBN 9004100563.
  3. ^ Scales, Peter C. (1993-12-31). The Fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba: Berbers and Andalusis in Conflict. BRILL. p. 148. ISBN 9004098682.
  4. ^ Africa, Unesco International Scientific Committee for the Drafting of a General History of (1992). Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century. J. Currey. p. 123. ISBN 9780852550939.
  5. ^ Jayyusi, Salma Khadra; Marín, Manuela (1992). The Legacy of Muslim Spain. BRILL. p. 51. ISBN 9004095993.
  6. ^ a b Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. (1987-08-20). A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period. Cambridge University Press. p. 49. ISBN 9781316583340.
  7. ^ Haji, Hamid (2006-05-26). Founding the Fatimid State: The Rise of an Early Islamic Empire. I.B.Tauris. p. 106. ISBN 9780857712721.
  8. ^ Hoyland, Robert G. (2014). In God's Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire. Oxford University Press. p. 243. ISBN 9780199916368.
  9. ^ Blanchard, Ian (2001). Mining, Metallurgy and Minting in the Middle Ages: Asiatic supremacy, 425-1125. Franz Steiner Verlag. p. 130. ISBN 9783515079587.
  10. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2014-01-15). Faiths Across Time: 5,000 Years of Religious History [4 Volumes]: 5,000 Years of Religious History. ABC-CLIO. p. 629. ISBN 9781610690263.
  11. ^ Bloom, Jonathan M. (1989). Minaret: Symbol of Islam. Oxford University Press. p. 108. ISBN 9780197280133.
  12. ^ Scales, Peter C. (1993-12-31). The Fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba: Berbers and Andalusis in Conflict. BRILL. p. 149. ISBN 9004098682.
  13. ^ Africa, Unesco International Scientific Committee for the Drafting of a General History of (1992). Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century. J. Currey. p. 37. ISBN 9780852550939.