Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar

Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar (died in 1087) ( _ar. أبو بكر بن عمر) was an Al-Murabitoon ruler. He was appointed General of the Al-Murabitoon movement by its leader Abdallah ibn Yasin on the death of his brother Yahya ibn Ibrahim in 1056 . He captured Sūs and its capital Aghmat in southern Morocco in 1057, and became leader of the Murabitūn on the death of Ibn Yasin in battle with the Berghwata Berbers in 1059. He married the wealthiest woman in Aghmat, Zaynab an-Nafzawiyyat, and began to found a new capital at Marrakech in 1070. On being recalled to the Sahara in 1071 to put down a rebellion, he left control of the Sūs to his cousin Yusuf ibn Tashfin while his son Ismail was given charge of Sijilmassa. He divorced Zaynab before he left and advised her to marry Yusuf, knowing that she was not suited to a life of jihad in the Sahara.

After suppressing the rebellion, he wanted to return to take up his former position. However, Yusuf had taken a liking to power. Acting on Zaynab's advice Yusuf was able to turn back Abu-Bakr using diplomacy rather than force. As a courtesy to his former leader, Yusuf kept Abu-Bakr's name on the Al-Murabitoon coinage until his death.

Abu-Bakr returned to the Sahara. He is said to have attacked ancient Ghana in 1076 and is often credited with initiating the spread of Islam on the southern periphery of the Sahara [However, there is considerable controversy about this (see [http://www.uta.fi/~hipema/Venus.htm this review article] ). Even before Abu-Bakr's time, Muslim traders had already propagated Islam over much of the south of the Sahara.] . Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar died shortly after receiving news of Yusuf Ibn Tashfin's victory at battle of az-Zallaqah near Badajoz (in modern Spain), in 1087.

A leader of remarkable ability, he fused his tribes with a religious reform movement; his remarkable tolerance of Yusuf ibn Tashfin's insubordination preserved the infant Al-Murabitoon state and permitted its rapid expansion into the Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia) and most of North Africa as well.

Notes

References

*Ibn Idhari, "Al-bayan al-mughrib" Part III, annotated Spanish translation by A. Huici Miranda, Valencia, 1963.
* N. Levtzion & J.F.P. Hopkins, "Corpus of early Arabic sources for West African history", Cambridge University Press, 1981, ISBN 0521224225 (reprint: Markus Wiener, Princeton, 2000, ISBN 1-55876-241-8). Contains English translations of extracts from medieval works dealing with the Almoravids; the selections cover some (but not all) of the information above.


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