Berber Revolt

Berber Revolt

The Great Berber Revolt of 740-43 A.D. (122-25 A.H. in the Muslim calendar) took place during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and marked the first successful secession from the Arab caliphate (ruled from Damascus). The revolt began in Tangier in 740, and was led initially by Maysara al-Madghari, a member of the caliphal army.

By 740 Hisham's armies had been defeated by the Byzantines at the Battle of Akroinon; expeditions into Gaul during the period 732-737 had been repulsed by the Franks under Charles Martel, and the strategic city of Narbonne was threatened; the Caucasian front was at a standstill and Gujarat had been lost. Against this series of reversals, the revolt of the Berbers in Ifriqiya marked the crowning blow and largest military catastrophe of Hisham's reign.

The main causes of the revolt were the harsh policies of the governor of North Africa, 'Ubayd Allah bin al-Habhab (which required that Berber slaves be delivered as part of the tribute paid by Berber tribes) and discrimination against Berber units of the caliphal army as compared to Arab units, the former frequently being exposed to dangers that commanders spared the latter.

The army of the Berber rebels, most of whom belonged to the radical Kharijite sect, swept through the Maghreb slaughtering most the Arab aristocracy at the Battle of the Nobles in 741. In 743 a force sent from Damascus under the command of Kulthum finally brought the revolt to an end at the Battle of Kairouan.

ee also

* Berbers and Islam


*Blankinship, Khalid Yahya (1994). "The End of the Jihad State: The Reign of Hisham Ibn 'Abd Al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads". SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-1827-8
*Heath, Jeffrey M (2002). "Jewish and Muslim Dialects of Moroccan Arabic". London: Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-1514-2
* Holt, P M, Lambton, Ann K S. and Lewis, Bernard (1977). "The Cambridge History of Islam". Cambridge University PRess. ISBN 0-521-29137-2
*Roth, A M and Roth, Norman (1994). "Jews, Visigoths and Muslims in Medieval Spain: Cooperation and Conflict". Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-09971-9

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