Idris I of Morocco

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Idris I (Arabic: إدريس الأول‎), also known as Idris ibn Abdillah, was the founder of the Arab Idrisid dynasty in part of northern Morocco in alliance with the Berber tribe of Awraba. He ruled from 788 to 791. He is credited with founding the dynasty that established Moroccan statehood and is regarded as the "founder of Morocco".[1] He was the great-great-great-grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. He is Syed from Hasan ibn Ali lineage.

Idris I
إدريس الأول
Emir of Morocco
CoronationEmir of Morocco
SuccessorIdris II
SpouseKenza al-Awrabiya
Full name
Idris ibn Abdullah
FatherAbdullah al-Kamil
Mother'Atika bint Abdulmalik
ReligionZaydi Shia


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 Idrisid dynasty.

In 789 he arrived in Walīla, the site of the Roman Volubilis. Here his headquarters have been discovered in recent excavations conducted by the Moroccan Institute of Archaeology (INSAP) and University College London.[2] The headquarters lies just outside the walls of the Roman town, which was then occupied by the Berber tribe of the Awraba, under Ishaq ibn Mohammed. He married Kenza, of the Awraba, fathering a son, Idris II. This event is considered a consolidation and the birth of the Idrisid dynasty, the fourth Muslim State in Morocco after Nekor (710 - 1019), Barghawata (744 - 1058), and Midrar (757 - 976). According to Ibn Khaldoun, he was buried on the site. However, early in the Merinid period his tomb was discovered there, and moved to the town of Moulay Idriss near the hill of Zerhoun, where his tomb is found today.

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

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[citation needed] (in 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.


  • Fentress, Elizabeth; Limane, Hassan (2018). Volubilis après Rome. Fouilles 2000-2004. Brill.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period, Jamil M. Abun-Nasr, 1987, p. 52
  2. ^ Fentress and Limane 2018.

External linksEdit


  • Julien, Charles-André, Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, des origines à 1830, original edition in 1931, new edition by Payot, Paris, 1994
  • Abum-Nasr, Jamil M. (1987). A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period.
Preceded by
New creation
Idrisid dynasty
Succeeded by
Idris II