The Rustamid (or "Rustumid", "Rostemid") dynasty of Ibāḍī
Kharijiteimāms ruled the central Maghrebas a Muslim theocracy for a century and a half from their capital Tahertin present Algeriauntil the Ismailite FatimidCaliphs destroyed it. The state's extent is not entirely clear, but it stretched as far east as Jabal Nafusain Libya.
The Ibādiyya reached North Africa by
719, when the missionary Salma ibn Sa'dwas sent from the Ibādī "jama'a" of Basrato Kairouan. By 740, their efforts had converted the major Berber tribes of Huwwaraaround Tripoli, Nafusain Jabal Nafusaand Zenatain western Tripolitania. In 757(140 AH), a group of four Basra-educated missionaries (including Abd ar-Rahman ibn Rustam) proclaimed an Ibādī imamate, starting an abortive state led by Abul-Khattab Abdul-A'la ibn as-Samhwhich lasted until the Abbasids suppressed it in 761, and Abul-Khattab Abdul-A'la ibn as-Samhwas killed. On his death, the Tripolitanian Ibādiyya elected Abul-Hatim al-Malzuzias imām; he was killed in 772after launching a second unsuccessful revolt in 768.
After this, the center of power shifted to
Algeria, and ˤAbd ar-Rahmān ibn Rustam, a Tunisian-born convert to Ibadiism of Persian origins already mentioned as one of the four founders of this imamate, was elected imām; after this, the post remained in his family, a practice which the Ibādiyya justified by noting that he came from no tribe, and thus his family had no bias towards any of the tribes of which the state was formed.
The new imamate was centered on the newly built capital of
Tahert; several Ibādī tribes displaced from Tunisiaand Tripolitaniasettled there and strong fortifications were built. It became a major stop on the newly developing trade routes with sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. It is described by visitors such as the SunniMuslim Ibn as-Saghiras notably multi-religious, with a significant and loyal Christianminority and a substantial number of Sunnis and Jews, and open religious debate was encouraged.
Ibn as-Saghir also describes the imām as notably ascetic, repairing his own house and refusing gifts; the citizens sharply criticized him if they considered him derelict in his duty. Religious ethics were strictly enforced by law.
The Rustamids fought the
Aghlabids of Ifriqiyya (based in Qairawan) in 812, but otherwise reached a "modus vivendi"; this displeased the Ibādī tribes on the Aghlabid border, who launched a few rebellions.
After Abdu l-Wahhāb, the Rustamids grew militarily weak; they were easily conquered by the
Ismaili Shiite Fatimids in 909, upon which many Ibādiyya - including the last imām - fled to the Sedratatribe of Ouargla, whence they would ultimately emigrate to Mzab.
Abd ar-Rahman ibn Rustamibn Bahram ( 776- 784)
Abd al-Wahhab ibn Abd ar-Rahman( 784- 832)
Aflah ibn Abd al-Wahhab( 832- 871)
Abu Bakr ibn Aflah( 871)
Muhammad Abul-Yaqzanibn Aflah ( 871- 894)
Yusuf Abu Hatimibn Muhammad Abil-Yaqzan ( 894- 897)
Yaqub ibn Aflah( 897- 901)
Yusuf Abu Hatimibn Muhammad Abil-Yaqzan, again ( 901- 906)
Yaqzan ibn Muhammad Abil-Yaqzan( 906- 909)
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