Idris I of Morocco

This article is about Idris I of Morocco. For information on Idris I of Libya, see Idris of Libya. For information on Idris I of the Kanem Empire, see Idris I of Kanem.
Idris I
إدريس الأول
Emir of Morocco
Reign 788–791
Successor Idris II
Born 745
Died 791
Burial Moulay Idriss Zerhoun
Spouse Kenza al-Awrabiya
Full name
Idris ibn Abdullah
Dynasty Idrisid
Father Abdullah al-Kamil
Mother 'Atika bint Abdulmalik

Idris I (or Idris ibn Abdullah) (Arabic: إدريس بن عبدالله Idrīs ibn ‘Abdallāh) was the first Arab ruler and founder of the Idrisid dynasty, ruling from 788 to 791. He is credited with founding the dynasty that was instrumental in the early Islamization of Morocco.[1] He was the great-great-great grandson of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.


Idris was the great grandchild of Hasan, who was the son of Fatimah and grandson of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. His brothers Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya and Ibrahim had been killed by the Abbasids during an abortive rebellion, and Idris himself escaped after the defeat of another Alid uprising at the Battle of Fakhkh in 786 and took refuge in the western Maghreb (nowadays Morocco). There he established the Arabian Idrisid dynasty.

The Tomb of Idris I (green roofed structure, bottom left)

In 789 arrived in Walīla, the site of the Roman Volubilis where he founded the town of Moulay Idriss near the hill of Zerhoun surrounding the native Berber tribes. It was then occupied by the Berber tribe of the Awraba, under Ishaq ibn Mohammed. He married Kenza, daughter of Ishaq ben Mohammed the king of the tribe, fathering a son, Idris II. This event is considered a consolidation and the birth of both the Idrisid dynasty and the birth of Morocco, the second Muslim State after Al-Andalus to cut off relationships and become independent from the Muslim Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad.

Idris I conquered large parts of northern Morocco, his son Idris II made Fez the capital city of the Idrisid dynasty. In 789 AD, he captured Tlemcen (modern day Algeria) which became part of the kingdom. This succession of events prompted vengeance from the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, who sent emissaries to kill him. Idris I was poisoned and died in 791. His son, Idris II, was brought up by the Awraba, and left Walīla for Fes in 808. Idris is buried in Moulay Idriss.

See also


  1. A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period, Jamil M. Abun-Nasr, 1987, p. 52

External links


Preceded by
New creation
Idrisid dynasty
Succeeded by
Idris II

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