Abu Inan Faris (1329 – 10 January 1358) (Arabic: أبو عنان فارس بن علي) was a Marinid ruler of Morocco. He succeeded his father Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Othman in 1348. He extended his rule over Tlemcen and Ifriqiya, which covered the north of what is now Algeria and Tunisia, but was forced to retreat due to a revolt of Arab tribes there. He died, strangled by his vizier, in 1358.

Abu Inan Faris
Coin minted in Fes during the reign of Abu Inan Faris
Sultan of Morocco
Reign1348 – 10 January 1358
PredecessorAbu al-Hasan Ali ibn Othman
SuccessorMuhammad II ibn Faris
Died10 January 1358
Fāris ibn ʿAlī al-Marīni
FatherAbu al-Hasan Ali ibn Othman

History edit

Abu Inan's father, Abu'l Hasan, had taken the town of Tlemcen in 1337.[1] In 1347 Abu'l Hasan annexed Ifriqiya, briefly reuniting the Maghrib territories as they had been under the Almohads.[2] However, Abu'l Hasan went too far in attempting to impose more authority over the Arab tribes, who revolted and in April 1348 defeated his army near Kairouan. Abu Inan Faris, who had been serving as governor of Tlemcen, returned to Fez and declared that he was sultan. Tlemcen and the central Maghreb revolted.[2] Abu Inan took the title of Amir al-Mu'minin ("commander of the believers").

Abu'l Hasan had to return from Ifriqiya by sea. After failing to retake Tlemcen and being defeated by his son, Abu'l Hasan died in May 1351.[2] In 1352 Abu Inan Faris recaptured Tlemcen. He also reconquered the central Maghreb. He took Béjaïa in 1353. [2]

The Nasrid rulers of Granada were concerned that if Abu Inan was able to gain full control of the Maghreb, he would then invade Granada. To weaken him, they sponsored a rebellion by his brother Abul Fadl, who had briefly been governor of Tunis from December 1349. Sultan Abul-Hajjaj of Granada hired ships from Castile and used them to take Abul-Fadl and his supporters to Sousse, where he launched a short-lived rebellion.[3]

Abu Inan continued his eastward expansion, and took Tunis in 1357, becoming master of Ifrikiya.[2] Due to the intrigues of his vizier, Faris bin Maymum, he was forced to retreat from Tunisia in 1357. Abu Inan fell ill in November 1357.[3] His vizier Hasan bin Umar al-Fududi had a dispute with his heir apparent Abu Zayyan Muhammad, so nominated his young son Abu Bakr Sa'id as his successor instead. When Abu Inan began to recover from his illness, the vizier feared he would be punished for nominating Abu Bakr. On 10 January 1358 he had Abu Inan strangled.[3]

Legacy edit

Zawiyat An-Noussak in Salé, built by Abu Inan Faris in 1356

Under Abu Inan's rule the Black Death and the rebellions of Tlemcen and Tunis marked the beginning of the decline of the Marinids. The Marinids proved unable to drive back the Portuguese and the Spaniards, who would start to settle on the North African coast during the reign of the Wattasids, who succeeded the Marinids.

Abu Inan commissioned one of his secretaries, Ibn Juzayy, to record an account of Ibn Battuta's 29 years of travelling. The result, Ibn Battuta's rihla, was completed in December 1355.[4]

Abu Inan built madrasas in Meknes and Fes in 1350, and built another madrasa in Fes in 1357. The Bou Inania Madrasa of Fes and that of Meknes were named after him.

References edit


  1. ^ Niane 1984, p. 94.
  2. ^ a b c d e Fage & Oliver 1975, p. 358.
  3. ^ a b c Abun-Nasr 1987, p. 113.
  4. ^ Dunn 2005, pp. 310–311.


  • Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. (1987-08-20). A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period. Cambridge University Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-521-33767-0. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  • Dunn, Ross E. (2005). The Adventures of Ibn Battuta. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24385-4.. First published in 1986, ISBN 0-520-05771-6.
  • Fage, John Donnelly; Oliver, Roland Anthony (1975). The Cambridge History of Africa. Cambridge University Press. p. 356. ISBN 978-0-521-20981-6. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  • Niane, Djibril Tamsir (1984). Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century: 4. University of California Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-435-94810-8. Retrieved 2013-05-15.

Further reading edit