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Abbad, Abu al-Qasim Muhammad III al-Mu’tamid

Born: 1040 AD
Died: 1095 AD
Nationality: Spanish
Categories: King

1040 – Born in Beja, near Seville, Spain.

1059 – Al’Mu’tamid and Ibn’Ammar often sallied forth in disguise to the river banks to amuse themselves. On such an outing, he eventually met his future wife. Whilestrolling along the river’s bank where some young women were washing linen, Al’Mu’tamid improvised a half-verse, challenging Ibn ‘Ammar to supply the second half-verse on the spot. Ibn’Ammar’s brilliant wit never failed him but suprisingly before he could take up the rhyme, one of the linen-washers unhesitatingly replied the second half-verse. Amazed and captivated by her beauty and cleverness, Al’Mu’tamid had the young poet brought to the palace. Her name was I’Timad; she was commonly known as Rumaikiyyah, the slave of Rumaik, for whom she drove mules. Al ‘Mu’tamid purchased her freedom and later married her. It is said he adopted the public name Al’Mu’tamid ‘ala Allah — "He Who Relies on God" — after his wife’s name I’Timad, or "Reliance".

1063 – He was appointed Governor of Silves, at the age of 23, the prince named Ibn’Ammar his vizier and when he ascended the throne, his prime minister.

1069 – He succeeded his father at the age of 28, was the third and last of the Abbadids. He became a protector of bards and men of letters.  Besides seeking the company of musicians and intellectuals, he himself played the lute and composed delicate poetry.  High-spirited and grand in his way of life, he became an outstanding representative of the 11th century Andalusian-Arab poets and is ranked with the best of Arab lyricists. Although not overly concerned with state affairs, Al’Mu‘tamid succeeded in annexing Córdoba to the kingdom of Seville-a campaign initiated by his grandfather-and this in only the second year of his reign, besides being a benevolent ruler and an eminent statesman, he became known for his personal noble qualities. He enlarged his kingdom, occupying among others cities, Cordova, Jaén and Murcia.  Seville’s poet-king was in the heart of every battle and proved to be a great warrior.

1080 – Al’Mu’tamid brought down upon himself the vengeance of Alfonso VI of Castile. He had endeavoured to pay part of his trinute to the Christian king with false money, but a Jew, one of the envoys of Alfonso, detected the fraud. Al’Mu’tamid, in a moment of folly and rage, crucified the Jew the Jew and imprisoned the Christian members of the mission. The Christian king retaliated with a destructive raid.

1085 – On May 25, 1085, Alfonso VI forcibly annexed Toledo, a great center of Muslim scholarship. He forced many of the Andalusian-Arab states, among them Seville, to pay tribute. In a panic, the Andalusians reliazed that, relying on their own resources, they had but two alternatives: submit to the Christian king or emigrate. The Muslims of Andalusia realized that if they were to survive, they had to seek help and turned to the Almoravids, the Berber rulers of North Africa.  Some of the Andalusian-Arab rulers were not enthusiastic about this invitation but Alfonso’s conquering legions left them no choice. The Arab kings of Seville, Badajoz and Granada sent a delegation to Marrakesh, pressing Yusuf ibn Tashufin, leader of the Almoravids, for help. The Arab kings of Seville, Badajoz and Granada sent a delegation to Marrakesh, pressing Yusuf ibn Tashufin, leader of the Almoravids, for help.

1086 – Heeding the call of the Arab kings, Yusuf ibn Tashufin crossed the Strait of Gibraltar with his army. At the Battle of Zallakah, near Badajoz, aided by Al’Mu’tamid and the other Andalusian-Arab princes, he defeated Alfonso and liberated the Muslims from paying tribute.  Al’Mu’tamid fought like a lion, having three chargers killed under him and receiving three severe wounds.  Returning together as heroes to Seville, Al’Mu’tamid and Ibn Tashufin spent some time together before the latter returned to Africa. When Ibn Tashufin reached his capital, the Arab king returned to their squabbling ways, giving the Christians a chance to renew their attack. The Arab kings, among them Al’Mu’tamid, again travelled to Marrakesh seeking the Berber leader’s assistance. At the same time, the religious leaders of Al-Andalus were petitioning Ibn Tashufin to rid them of their contending Arab Monarchs who were unable to cope with the Christian onslaught.

1090 – Ibn Tashufin returned to Andalusia and in a short time disposed of the Party Kings, despoiled their cities and sent the rulers who were not assassinated into exile in North Africa.  Only Al’Mu’tamid, who had been in the forefront of those asking for Ibn Tashufin’s aid, offered serious resistance.  At the last hour, Seville’s king attempted to forge an alliance with Alfonso, but it was too late.

1091 – Seville surrendered and Al’Mu’tamid and his family were put in chains then loaded on black barges.  Ibn Tashufin, who had come to rescue Andalusia from the Christians, instead, led its foremost king into captivity and disgrace.  The prisoners were initially taken to Meknes, then to Aghmat – the Almoravids’ first capital, located in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains.  During the first two years of exile, though living in utter destitution, Al’Mu’tamid enjoyed some personal freedom, but poetry was his only solace.

1093 – The remaining son of Al’Mu’tamid revolted in al-Andalus, they greeted the insurrection with hope and joy. The rebellion was broken after a few months and the son killed.  Constantly grieving over the loss of her offspring and the sad condition of life in Aghmat, I’timad became very ill and died shortly afterwards.

1095 – Languishing in fetters, forgotten and ill, Al’Mu’tamid was finally overwhelmed with grief after the death of his beloved I‘timad. At the age of 55, he succumbed, dying in exile at Aghmat. He was the last of the native-born Andalusian kings, and he brilliantly represented a magnificent culture. His chivalry, liberality and courage endeared him to succeeding generations.