Ali ibn Yusuf
|Ali ibn Yusuf|
|Amir of the Almoravids|
|Predecessor||Yusuf ibn Tashfin|
|Successor||Tashfin ibn Ali|
|Died||26 January 1143|
|Father||Yusuf ibn Tashfin|
Ali ibn Yusef was born in 1084 in Ceuta. He was the son of Yusuf ibn Tashfin, the fourth Almoravid Emir, and a Christian concubine. At the time of his father's death, in September 1106, he was 23 years old. He succeeded his father on 2 September 1106. Ali ruled from Morocco and appointed his brother Tamim ibn Yusuf as governor of Al-Andalus. Ali expanded his territories in the Iberian Peninsula by capturing Zaragoza in 1110 but eventually lost it again to Alfonso I, King of Aragon, in 1118. Cordoba rebelled against the Almoravids in 1121.
He commissioned a minbar now known as the Minbar of the Kutubiyya Mosque from a workshop in Córdoba to furnish his grand mosque, the original Ben Youssef Mosque (destroyed under the Almohads), in the imperial capital, Marrakesh. The Almoravid Qubba also bears Ali's name.
At the advice of Abu Walid Ibn Rushd (grandfather of Averroes), Ali built walls around Marrakesh as Ibn Tumart became more influential. There had been walls around the mosque and the palace, but Ali ibn Yūsuf spent 70,000 gold dinars on the city's fortifications, doubling the city's size, and told the amirs of Al-Andalus to fortify their walls as well.
He also established an irrigation system in Marrakesh, a project managed by Obeyd Allah ibn Younous al-Muhandes. This irrigation system made use of qanawat (قناة, p. قنوات). Ali also had the first bridge over the Tensift River built.
According to the Muslim cartographer Muhammad al-Idrisi, the Mugharrarin (also translated as "the adventurers") sent by Ali ibn Yusuf, led by his admiral Ahmad ibn Umar, better known under the name of Raqsh al-Auzz reached a part of the ocean covered by seaweed, identified by some as the Sargasso Sea, which stretches into the Atlantic from Bermuda.
- 7 rajab 537 AH
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Yusuf ibn Tashfin
Tashfin ibn Ali