The ancestor of the dynasty was Abu Hafs Umar ibn Yahya al-Hintati
, a Berber
from the Hintata
tribal confederation which belonged to the greater Masmuda
confederation of Morocco
. He was a member of the council of ten and a close companion of Ibn Tumart
. His original Berber name was "Faskat u-Mzal Inti", which later was changed to "Abu Hafs Umar ibn Yahya al-Hintati" (also known as "Umar Inti") since it was a tradition of Ibn Tumart to rename his close companions once they had adhered to his religious teachings. His son Abu Muhammad Abd al-Wahid ibn Abi Hafs, was appointed by the Almohad caliph Muhammad an-Nasir
as governor of Ifriqiya (present day Tunisia), where he ruled from 1207 to 1221.
The Hafsids as governors on behalf of the Almohads faced constant threats from Banu Ghaniya
who were descendants of Almoravid princes
which the Almohads had defeated and replaced as a ruling dynasty.
Hafsid Kingdom and Caliphate
He extended the boundaries of his State by subjugating the central Maghreb, going so far as to impose his overlordship over the Kingdom of Tlemcen
, northern Morocco and the Nasrids
Spain. The Hafsids become completely independent in 1264. The successor of Abû Zakariya' Yahya, Abu ' Abd Allah Muhammad al-Mustansir, proclaimed himself Caliph in 1256 and continued the policies of his father. It was during his reign that the failed Eighth Crusade
took place, led by St. Louis
. After landing at Carthage, the King died of dysentery in the middle of his army decimated by disease in 1270.
Hafsid decline (14th century)
In the 14th century the empire underwent a temporary decline. Although the Hafsids succeeded for a time in subjugating the empire of the Abdalwadids
of Tlemcen, between 1347 and 1357 they were twice conquered by the Marinids
of Morocco. The Abdalwadids however could not defeat the Bedouin
; ultimately, the Hafsids were able to regain their empire. During the same period plague epidemics brought to Ifriqiya from Sicily caused a considerable fall in population, further weakening the empire. To stop raids from southern tribes during plague epidemics, the Hafsids turned to the Banu Hilal
to protect their rural population.:37
In 1429, the Hafsids attacked the island of Malta
, and took 3000 slaves although they did not conquer the island.
The profits were used for a great building programme and to support art
. However, piracy also provoked retaliation from Aragon and Venice
, which several times attacked Hafsid coastal cities. Under Utman
(1435–1488) the Hafsids reached their zenith, as the caravan
trade through the Sahara
and with Egypt
was developed, as well as sea trade with Venice and Aragon. The Bedouins and the cities of the empire became largely independent, leaving the Hafsids in control of only Tunis and Constantine
Uthman conquered Tripolitania in 1458 and appointed a governor in Ouargla in 1463.
He led two expeditions in Tlemcen in 1462 and 1466 and made the Zayyanids his vassals, the Wattasid state in Morocco also became a vassal of Uthman and therefore the entire Maghreb was briefly under the rule of the Hafsids.
Fall of the Hafsids
In the 16th century the Hafsids became increasingly caught up in the power struggle between Spain
and the Ottoman Empire
. The Ottomans conquered Tunis
in 1534 and held it for one year, driving out the Hafsid ruler Muley Hassan
. A year later the King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Charles I and V
seized Tunis, drove the Ottomans out and restored
Muley Hassan as a Hapsburg tributary.
Due to the Ottoman threat, the Hafsids were vassals of Spain after 1535. The Ottomans again conquered Tunis in 1569 and held it for four years. Don Juan of Austria
recaptured it in 1573. The Ottomans reconquered Tunis in 1574, and Muhammad VI
, the last Caliph of the Hafsids, was brought to Constantinople
and was subsequently executed due to his collaboration with Spain and the desire of the Ottoman Sultan to take the title of Caliph
as he now controlled Mecca and Medina. The Hafsid lineage survived the Ottoman massacre by a branch of the family being taken to the Canary Island of Tenerife
by the Spanish.
The Hafsids, with their location in Ifriqiya, was rich in agriculture and trade. Instead of placing the capital at inland cities such as Kairouan
, Tunis was chosen as the capital due to its position on the coast as a port linking the Western and Easten Mediterranean. Christian merchants from Europe were given their own enclaves in various cities on the Mediterranean coast, promoting trans-Mediterranean trade. Under the Hafsids, commerce with Christian Europe grew significantly,
against Christian shipping grew as well, particularly during the rule of Abd al-Aziz II
(1394–1434). By the mid-14th century, the population of Tunis had grown to 100,000. The Hafsids also had a large stake in trans-Saharan trade through the caravan routes from Tunis to Timbuktu
and from Tripoli
to sub-Saharan Africa. The Tunisian population was also becoming more literate - Kairouan, Tunis and Bijaya had become homes to famous university mosques, with Kairouan becoming the center of the Maliki
school of religious doctrine.:34–7
- ^ "الحفصيون/بنو حفص في تونس، بجاية وقسنطينة". www.hukam.net.
- ^ "TunisiaArms". www.hubert-herald.nl.
- ^ C. Magbaily Fyle, Introduction to the History of African Civilization: Precolonial Africa, (University Press of America, 1999), 84.
- ^ Fromherz, Allen J., “Abū Ḥafṣ ʿUmar al-Hintātī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson
- ^ Idris, H. R. (1986) . "Ḥafṣids". In Lewis, B.; Ménage, V. L.; Pellat, C.; Schacht, J. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam. III (2nd ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. BRILL. p. 66. ISBN 9004081186.
- ^ Deverdun, G. (1986) . "Hintāta". In Lewis, B.; Ménage, V. L.; Pellat, C.; Schacht, J. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam. III (2nd ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. BRILL. ISBN 9004081186.
- ^ a b Roland Anthony Oliver; Roland Oliver; Anthony Atmore (16 August 2001). Medieval Africa, 1250-1800. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-79372-8.
- ^ Castillo, Dennis Angelo (2006). The Maltese Cross: A Strategic History of Malta. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 36–37. ISBN 0313323291.
- ^ Braunschvig 1940, p. 260
- ^ History of North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, from the Arab Conquest to 1830, Volume 2 Charles André Julien Routledge & K. Paul, 1970
- ^ Jamil M. Abun-Nasr (20 August 1987). A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period. Cambridge University Press. pp. 118. ISBN 978-0-521-33767-0.
- ^ Roger Crowley, Empires of the Sea, faber and faber 2008 p.61
- ^ Berry, LaVerle. "Hafsids". Libya: A Country Study. Library of Congress. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- ^ http://www.hubert-herald.nl/Tunisie.htm
Last edited on 7 May 2021, at 23:38
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