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Almoravids(ălmôr`əvĭdz), Berber Muslim dynasty that ruled Morocco and Muslim Spain in the 11th and 12th cent. The Almoravids may have originated in what is now MauritaniaMauritania
, officially Islamic Republic of Mauritania, republic (2005 est. pop. 3,087,000), 397,953 sq mi (1,030,700 sq km), NW Africa. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean in the west, on Western Sahara in the northwest and north, on Algeria in the northeast, on Mali in the east
..... Click the link for more information. . The real founder was Abd Allah ibn Yasin, who by military force converted a number of Saharan tribes to his own reformed religion and then advanced on Morocco. After his death (c.1059), Yusuf ibn TashfinYusuf ibn Tashfin
, d. 1106, ruler in the dynasty of the Almoravids (c.1059–1106). A Muslim, he led the Berbers in N Africa, continued the conquest of Morocco, took Algeria, and founded (1062) Marrakech, which became his capital.
..... Click the link for more information. and his brother Abu BakrAbu Bakr
, 573–634, 1st caliph, friend, father-in-law, and successor of Muhammad. He was probably Muhammad's first convert outside the Prophet's family and alone accompanied Muhammad on the Hegira.
..... Click the link for more information. came to power. MarrakechMarrakech
, city (1994 pop. 672,478), W central Morocco. The city, renowned for leather goods, is one of the principal commercial centers of Morocco and a major tourist center.
..... Click the link for more information. was founded in 1062 and was the center of a powerful empire. Called by the Moors in Spain to help stem Christian reconquest, Yusuf entered Andalusia and defeated (1086) Alfonso VI of Castile. He later subdued the local Muslim rulers and governed Muslim Spain and N Morocco (Abu Bakr ruling over S Morocco). The dynasty also pushed south, destroying the ancient state of GhanaGhana
, ancient empire, W Africa, in the savanna region of what is now E Senegal, SW Mali, and S Mauritania. The empire was founded c.6th cent. by Soninke peoples and lay astride the trans-Saharan caravan routes. Its capital was Kumbi Salih (in present-day SE Mauritania).
..... Click the link for more information. . The Almoravids were rough and puritanical, contemptuous of the luxurious Muslim courts in Spain. Their rule was never entirely stable and in the 12th cent. was attacked by the AlmohadsAlmohads
, Berber Muslim dynasty that ruled Morocco and Spain in the 12th and 13th cent. It had its origins in the puritanical sect founded by Ibn Tumart, who stirred up (c.1120) the tribes of the Atlas Mts. area to purify Islam and oust the Almoravids.
..... Click the link for more information. , who finally (by 1174) won both Morocco and Muslim Spain.