Abu Zakariya Yahya
: أبو زكريا يحيى بن حفص
, Abu Zakariya Yahya I ben Abd al-Wahid) (1203 – 1249) was the founder and first sultan of the Hafsid dynasty
. He was the grandson of Sheikh Abu al-Hafs, the leader of the Hintata
and second in command of the Almohads
after Abd al-Mu'min
He was the Almohad
governor of Gabès
and then of Tunis
by 1229, having inherited this position in Tunisia from his father and then was appointed in Gabès by his brother.
Abu Zakariya would rebel against central authority after he heard that the Almohad caliph in Marrakesh
al-Ma'mun, had overthrown and killed two of his brothers and that he cancelled the creed of Ibn Tumart
Additionally, al-Ma'mun instructed the Imams to insult Ibn Tumart in the mosques and cancelled the call to prayer in Berber.
Abu Zakariya, then declared himself independent late in 1229. He subsequently captured Constantine
in 1230 and annexed Tripolitania
in 1234, Algiers
in 1235 and subdued important tribal confederations of the Berbers
from 1235 to 1238.
In 1242 he captured Tlemcen
, forcing the Sultan of Tlemcen
to become his vassal
. In the December of that year, caliph Abd al-Wahid II
, died, leaving Abu Zakariya as the most powerful ruler of Maghreb. By the end of his reign, the Marinid Dynasty
and several Muslim
princes in Al-Andalus
paid him tribute and acknowledged his nominal authority. A skillful general, his ability to utilize the military power of the tribesmen enabled him to establish a strong state. His Hafsid dynasty brought peace, prosperity, and stability to Tunisia
Julien, Charles-André. Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, des origines à 1830, Payot, Paris, 1994.
Last edited on 6 March 2021, at 21:19
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