The name "Almoravids," with which the movement is known in Western scholarship, is a Spanish corruption of the Arabic "Al-Murabitun" and designates a Sanhaja Berber dynasty, which ruled over Morocco, western Algeria, and al-Andalus. The Almoravids were brought to power by the theologian `Abd Allah Ibn Yasin and his reformist holy warriors (al-murabitun). They conquered the Soninke Kingdom of Ghana and laid siege to Sijilmassa in 1055-1056. Fès was taken in 1069, and Algiers was brought under their control in 1082 after taking Tlemcen and Oran. The Almoravids also controlled parts of Spain after a solid victory against Alphonso VI in 1086. A relative of the first disciples, Yusuf Ibn Tashfin (1061-1107), who built Marrakech in 1060, became the first founder of the dynasty, which, despite its short life, left tremendous political and cultural impacts on the historical map of North Africa, Spain, and the Sahara Desert.
   The Almoravids reached their zenith under Ibn Tashfin's rule. As a result of the establishment of the Almoravids in Spain, North Africa received a cultural infusion from Andalusia. The Malikite school of law also entrenched itself in North Africa. Opposition to Islamic practices that were limited to the literal and anthropomorphic conception of the word of the Qur'an fell into rigidity, and this state of affairs triggered religious and political opposition. In Andalusia it led to a new disintegration into numerous city-states, and in the Atlas Mountains it led to a revolt of the Masmuda tribes, inspired by the teachings of the religious reformer, the Mahdi Ibn Tumart. In addition to constant Christian assaults, the Almoravids would finally succumb to the overwhelming campaigns of the warrior-monks, the Almohads, as Marrakech was taken in 1147.

Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . . 2014.

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