The Islamic Maghreb means:
The geographical space which basically includes Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco and is currently called "Arabian Maghreb." We aim to recall the most important political stops by which the Islamic victory passed.
The opening (Opening countries for Islam which non-Muslims call it conquest) began by sending the Islamic armies to Maghreb during the caliphate of `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) after the opening of Egypt that extended for long years and was completed during the time of `Abdul-Malik ibn Marwan. That victory was coupled with the name of `Uqbah ibn Nafi` (may Allah be pleased with him) who was the leader of the first Campaign. He tried again during the time of Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah and founded the city of Kairouan as a capital to the city. His troops reached the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the West but he died during that opening and his grave is still in Sidi `Uqbahn to the east of Algeria.
Between the two mentioned campaigns, there were other campaigns since the caliphate of `Uthman ibn `Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) headed by: `Abdullah ibn Abu Sarh, Al Muhajir ibn Dinar, and Zuhayr ibn Qays Al Balawy. The opening has been completed at the hand of Hassan ibn An-Nu`man where the country got rid of the Byzantine occupation and the locals embraced Islam and mastered the Arabic language.
After Muslims had taken command and during the Abbasid Caliphate, several countries were established in Maghreb, most of them were established on one of the current three countries that made up Al Maghreb which was known as Ifriqiyyah (currently known as Tunisia) and central Maghreb (Algeria), and Maghreb Al-Aqsa (Morocco).
The most important of these countries are:
The Rustamid Kingdom: It was established by the Ibadis (who were parts of the Kharijites (a Shiite sect who rebelled against both Ali ibn Abu Talib and Mu`awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan to found their independent group, then denied the doctrines of the Sunnah and were divided into various sub-sects)) a state that was not important in Kairouan in the first centuries that followed the opening. After its fall, some of their leaders fled to Tiaret (currently west of Algeria) and there, `Abdur-Rahman ibn Rustum established the Rustamid Kingdom that continued from 160 AH to 296 AH.
The Idrisi State: Its origin was in Maghreb Al-Aqsa which traces back to Zaydiyah (one of the Shia sects). In its era, the city of "Fez" was established as well as the Masjid of Al-Karaouine which became the first university in the Muslim World. The Masjid was built by Fatimah Al Firhriyyah, the elder daughter of Idris, from her own money. The state fell at the hand of the Fatimid after it had continued from 172 AH to 309 AH.
The Aghlabids: It was established in Tunisia and gained its independence from the Abbasid Caliphate. It was characterized by spreading the Arabic culture, but some of its rulers were cruel. It also fell at the hand of Fatimid and continued from 184 AH to 296 AH.
The Fatimid: It was established by `Abdullah Al Da`y Al Shi`y Al Isma`ili after he had stayed in Maghreb for ten years giving glad tidings with Al Mahdy Al Muntazhar who was Abu `Abdullah Al Mahdy, the first leader of the State.
It had taken Kairouan as its capital and eradicated, as mentioned, the Rustamid kingdom, the Idrisi State, and the Aghlabids then the State directed its Forces toward Egypt, which Al Mu`iz li Din Allah conquered and during its ruling Gawhar Al Siqilli founded the city of Cairo as well as Al Azhar Mosque.
This state continued until Saladin (may Allah show mercy to him) destroyed; the State continued from 297 AH to 567 AH.
The Zirid dynasty: It was established once the Fatimid Caliph left Morocco and appointing Bilkin ibn Ziri as his deputy. The latter established an independent state from the Abbasid caliphate in central Meghreb (currently Algeria) and took "Bejaia" as its capital. Banu Hammad established a glittering civilization and made Bejaia a scientific city that was headed by knowledge seekers from all over the world. For example, `Abdul-Mu`min ibn Ali had graduated in its schools (who established the Almohad Dynasty after its first founder Ibn Tumurt) as well as the Italian engineer Leonardo da Vinci.
The Hammadi State continued from 398 AH to 540 AH until it had fallen under the attacks of Norman invaders in the north, Al Hilalin from the east and south, and the Almoravids in the West.
The Almoravids: It was established in Mauritania at the hand of `Abdullah ibn Yasin and the great leader Yusuf ibn Tashfin had established its pillars. It was a strong fighting country that fought the Spanish and united Al Maghreb. It was a backdoor castle which helped Andalusia and reinforced the Islamic existence there.
It continued from 487 AH to 558 AH and fell because of jurists' interference in politics without mastering its tools, which gave the chance to Al Mahdy ibn Tumurt to undermine its pillars with his cunningness and experience.
The Almoravids: was the first state that united Maghreb at the hand of the natives and attached Andalusia to Al Maghreb. It was established by Ibn Tumurt in 513 AH, where his successor `Abdul-Mu'min established its pillars. That state was distinguished by spreading knowledge on wide scale. Ibn Rushd was graduated in its schools, Ibn Tufayl, the famous philosopher, along with other scholars.
It was collapsed in 609 AH after it had been defeated by crusaders in the battle of "Hisn Al `qab" in Andalusia.
The division of Islamic Maghrib
After the breakdown of the Almoravids State, the Islamic Maghreb was divided into three independent states:
The Hafsid State in Tunisia.
The Mariniyah State in Maghrib Al-Aqsa.
The Ziri State in Algeria.
On the other hand, Andalusia declared independence by its emirs.
The Ziri State: It is worth mentioning that the state was established by Egmrason Zayyan in 633 AH, took "Tilmisan City" as its capital, and lasted for three centuries that were full of war against its neighbors and against the Spanish.
Ibn Khaldun stayed there and wrote his book "Al Muqadimmah" which sought help with the two brothers: Khayr Al Din, and Baba `Arruj to stand against the Spanish and Portuguese in 926 AH. Thereby, Algeria was attached to the `Uthman caliphate until its end in 962 AH.
At all these stages, the Islamic Maghreb resorted to the Islamic Shari`ah in all its affairs like other Muslim states. It remained as such until it was afflicted by foreign occupation.
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