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Nasrid dynasty

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Nasrid dynasty
بنو نصر
Parent houseBanu Khazraj
CountryEmirate of Granada
Founded1232; 792 years ago (1232)
FounderMuhammad I of Granada
Final rulerMuhammad XII of Granada
Deposition2 January 1492; 532 years ago (1492-01-02) (Treaty of Granada)

The Nasrid dynasty (Arabic: بنو نصر banū Naṣr or بنو الأحمر banū al-Aḥmar; Spanish: Nazarí) was an Arab dynasty that ruled the Emirate of Granada from 1232 to 1492.[1][2] It was the last Muslim dynasty in the Iberian Peninsula. Twenty-three sultans ruled Granada from the founding of the dynasty in 1232 by Muhammad I until 2 January 1492, when Muhammad XII surrendered all lands to Isabella I of Castile. Today, the most visible evidence of the Nasrid dynasty is the Alhambra palace complex built under their reign.

Historical background[edit]

The dynasty founded by Muhammad I of Granada held a territory that included Granada, Jaén, Almería, and Málaga. Valencia, Játiva, and Jaén were conquered by Christians during the campaigns of the Reconquista and for the most part, the Nasrids were made into tribute-paying vassals from 1243. Granada continued as a center of Islamic culture. The Nasrids later formed alliances with the Marinids of Morocco.[3]

Nasrid crafts like textile work such as ceramic overglaze used techniques from 9th century Baghdad and were applied to make lusterware, first in Málaga, Murcia, and Almería, and then by the 15th century in Manises. This style of pottery produced first under Muslim patronage, then Christian, influenced the later style of colorful and glazed Italian ceramics known as maiolica. Throughout the 14th century, the Nasrids are noted for their palace architecture like the Alhambra, which was a product of the efforts of Ismail I and Muhammad V.[3]

In 1469, Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella I of Castile, resulting in the union of the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. The monarchs shared a common cause of conquering the last Muslim kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula. During the time the Christians were launching a campaign against the Emirate of Granada that would effectively end the Nasrid dynasty, the Nasrids were engaged in a civil war over the throne of Granada. When Abu l-Hasan Ali, Sultan of Granada, was ousted by his son Muhammad XII, Abu l-Hasan Ali retreated to Málaga and civil war broke out between the competing factions. Christians took full advantage of this and continued capturing Muslim strongholds. Muhammed XII was caught by Christian forces in 1483 at Lucena, Córdoba. He was freed after he swore an oath of allegiance to Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. Abu l-Hasan Ali finally abdicated in favor of his brother Muhammad XIII, Sultan of Granada, known as Al-Zaghal (the valiant), and a power struggle with Muhammad XII continued. Al-Zaghal prevailed in the inner struggle but was forced to surrender to the Christians. Muhammad XII surrendered Granada to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492 and was given a lordship in the Alpujarras mountains, but instead took financial compensation from the Spanish crown to leave the Iberian Peninsula.[4] The remaining Muslim population was given the status of mudéjar.[3]


The Nasrid dynasty was descended from the Arab Banu Khazraj tribe,[8] and claimed direct male-line descent from Sa'd ibn Ubadah, the chief of the tribe and one of the companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[9]

Family tree[edit]

The family tree below shows the genealogical relationship between each sultan of the Nasrid dynasty.[10][11] It starts with their common ancestor, Yusuf al-Ahmar. Daughters are omitted, as are sons whose descendants never reigned. During times of rival claims to the throne, the family tree generally recognizes the sultan who controlled the city of Granada itself and the Alhambra palace.

List of Nasrid sultans of Granada[edit]

First dynasty (al-dawla al-ghalibiyya)[edit]


S. n. Name Birth date Death date Reign Notes
1 Abu Abdallah Muhammad I al-Ghalib bi'llah c. 1194 22 January 1273 1232 – 22 January 1273
2 Abu Abdallah Muhammad II al-Faqih c. 1235 8 April 1302 22 January 1273 – 8 April 1302
3 Abu Abdallah Muhammad III al-Makhlu 15 August 1257 21 January 1314 8 April 1302 – 14 March 1309
4 Abu'l-Juyush Nasr 1 November 1287 16 November 1322 14 March 1309 – 8 February 1314

Second dynasty (al-dawla al-isma'iliyya al-nasriyya)[edit]


S. n. Name Birth date Death date Reign Notes
5 Abu'l-Walid Ismail I 3 March 1279 8 July 1325 February 1314 – 8 July 1325
6 Abu Abdallah Muhammad IV 14 April 1315 25 August 1333 8 July 1325 – 25 August 1333
7 Abu'l-Hajjaj Yusuf I al-Muayyad bi'llah 29 June 1318 19 October 1354 August 1333 – 19 October 1354
8 Abu Abdallah Muhammad V al-Ghani bi'llah 4 January 1339 16 January 1391 October 1354 – August 1359
9 Abu'l-Walid Ismail II 4 October 1339 24 June or 13 July 1360 23 August 1359 – 24 June/13 July 1360
10 Abu Abdallah Muhammad VI al-Ghalib bi'llah 1333 25 April 1362 June/July 1360 – April 1362 known as "The Red King" (el rey Bermejo)
11 Abu Abdallah Muhammad V al-Ghani bi'llah (2x) 4 January 1339 16 January 1391 April 1362 – 16 January 1391
12 Abu'l-Hajjaj Yusuf II al-Mustaghni bi'llah c. 1356 5 October 1392 15 January 1391 – 5 October 1392
13 Abu Abdallah Muhammad VII c. 1370 13 May 1408 3 October 1392 – 13 May 1408
14 Abu'l-Hajjaj Yusuf III al-Nasir li-Din Allah 1376 9 November 1417 May 1408 – 9 November 1417
15 Muhammad VIII al-Mutamassik 1411 1431 November 1417–1419 known as "the Little One" (al-Saghir/el Pequeño)
16 Abu Abdallah Muhammad IX al-Ghalib bi'llah 1396 1454 1419–1427 known as "the Left-Handed" (al-Aysar/el Zurdo)
17 Muhammad VIII al-Mutamassik (2x) 1411 1431 1427–1429 known as "the Little One" (al-Saghir/el Pequeño)
18 Abu Abdallah Muhammad IX al-Ghalib bi'llah (2x) 1396 1454 1430–1431 known as "the Left-Handed" (al-Aysar/el Zurdo)
19 Abu'l-Hajjaj Yusuf IV unknown 1432 1431–1432 known as Ibn al-Mawl or Abenalmao
20 Abu Abdallah Muhammad IX al-Ghalib bi'llah (3x) 1396 1454 1432–1445 known as "the Left-Handed" (al-Aysar/el Zurdo)
21 Abu Abdallah Muhammad X 1415 1454 1445 known as "The Lame" (al-Ahnaf/el Cojo)
22 Yusuf V unknown 1463 1445–1446, 1462 known as Ibn Ismail or Aben Ismael
23 Abu Abdallah Muhammad X (2x) 1415 1454 1446–1447 known as "The Lame" (al-Ahnaf/el Cojo)
24 Ismail III[14] unknown 1448 1447–1448
25 Abu Abdallah Muhammad IX al-Ghalib bi'llah (4x) 1396 1454 1448–1453 known as "the Left-Handed" (al-Aysar/el Zurdo)
26 Muhammad XI unknown 1454 1453–1454 known as "The Little Fellow" (el Chiquito)
27 Abu Nasr Sa'd al-Mustain bi'llah unknown 1465 1454–1462 known as Ciriza and Muley Zad
28 Ismail IV[15] unknown 1463 1462–1463
29 Abu Nasr Sa'd al-Mustain bi'llah (2x) unknown 1465 1463–1464 known as Ciriza and Muley Zad
30 Abu'l-Hasan Ali unknown 1485 1464–1482 known as Muley Hacén
31 Abu Abdallah Muhammad XII c. 1460 1533 1482 known as Boabdil
32 Abu'l-Hasan Ali (2x) unknown 1485 1482–1485 known as Muley Hacén
33 Abu Abdallah Muhammad XIII c. 1444 c. 1494 1485–1486 known as "The Brave" (al-Zaghal/el Zagal)
34 Abu Abdallah Muhammad XII (2x) c. 1460 1533 1486–1492 known as Boabdil

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1996). "The Nasrids or Banu 'l-Ahmar". The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-0748696482.
  2. ^ Boloix-Gallardo, Bárbara (2021). "Granada, Capital of al-Andalus and Core of the Nasrid Kingdom (7th–9th/13th–15th Centuries)". A Companion to Islamic Granada. Brill. p. 122. ISBN 978-90-04-42581-1.
  3. ^ a b c "The Art of the Nasrid Period (1232–1492)". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  4. ^ Barton, Simon (2009). A History of Spain. London: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-230-20012-8.
  5. ^ "Textile Fragment". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  6. ^ Ekhtiar, Maryam (2011). Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 82.
  7. ^ Trevelyan, Raleigh (1985). Shades of the Alhambra. Secker & Warburg. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-436-53401-0.
  8. ^ Harvey 1992, p. 21.
  9. ^ Hitti, Philip K. (2002). History of The Arabs. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 549. ISBN 978-1-137-03982-8.
  10. ^ Prescott, William Hickling (1995). McJoynt, Albert D. (ed.). The Art of War in Spain: The Conquest of Granada, 1481-1492 (Edited extract from Prescott's History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic published in 1838). Greenhill Books. ISBN 978-1-85367-193-7.
  11. ^ Lane-Poole, Stanley (1894). The Mohammedan Dynasties: Chronological and Genealogical Tables with Historical Introductions. Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company. p. 29. OCLC 1199708.
  12. ^ a b Fernández-Puertas 1997, p. 4.
  13. ^ a b Latham & Fernández-Puertas 1993, p. 1020.
  14. ^ Castro 2018, https://dbe.rah.es/biografias/27719/ismail-iii.
  15. ^ Castro 2018a, https://dbe.rah.es/biografias/27720/ismail-iv.

General and cited references[edit]

  • Fernández Puertas, Antonio (1997). The Alhambra. Vol 1. From the Ninth Century to Yusuf I (1354). Saqi Books. ISBN 0-86356-466-6.
  • Fernández Puertas, Antonio (1997). The Alhambra. Vol. 2. (1354–1391). Saqi Books. ISBN 0-86356-467-4.
  • Harvey, Leonard Patrick (1992). Islamic Spain 1250 to 1500. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-31962-8.
  • Watt, W. Montgomery (1965). A History of Islamic Spain. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-7486-0847-8.
  • Arié, Rachel (1990). L'Espagne musulmane au Temps des Nasrides (1232–1492) (in French) (2nd ed.). De Boccard. ISBN 2-7018-0052-8.
  • Bueno, Francisco (2004). Los Reyes de la Alhambra. Entre la historia y la leyenda (in Spanish). Miguel Sánchez. ISBN 84-7169-082-9.
  • Cortés Peña, Antonio Luis; Vincent, Bernard (1983–1987). Historia de Granada. 4 vols (in Spanish). Editorial Don Quijote.
  • Miranda, Ambroxio Huici (1970). "The Iberian Peninsula and Sicily". In Holt, P.M; Lambton, Ann K.S.; Lewis, Bernard (eds.). The Cambridge History of Islam. Vol. 2A. Cambridge University Press.
  • Fernández-Puertas, Antonio (April 1997). "The Three Great Sultans of al-Dawla al-Ismā'īliyya al-Naṣriyya Who Built the Fourteenth-Century Alhambra: Ismā'īl I, Yūsuf I, Muḥammad V (713–793/1314–1391)". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. Third Series. 7 (1): 1–25. doi:10.1017/S1356186300008294. S2CID 154717811.
  • Latham, J.D. & Fernández-Puertas, A. (1993). "Naṣrids". In Bosworth, C. E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W. P. & Pellat, Ch. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Volume VII: Mif–Naz. Leiden: E. J. Brill. pp. 1020–1029. ISBN 978-90-04-09419-2.
  • Castro, Francisco Vidal (2018). "Ismail III". Real Academia de la Historia.
  • Castro, Francisco Vidal (2018a). "Ismail IV". Real Academia de la Historia.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Banu Nasr at Wikimedia Commons