The Image of Yusuf ibn Tashafin form Two Perspectives: Historical and Literary

Imtenan O. Smadi, Amenah C. Badawi


This study seeks to highlight the image of the Moroccan leader Yusuf ibn Tashafin from the perspectives of history and literature – specifically poetry – as a military leader who helped delay the demise of al-Andalus by more than four centuries. The significance of this study stems from the degree of variation in the narratives and reports about his military and political role recorded in the historical and literary sources. That is due, on the one hand, to differences in interpretations of the events that occurred, and, on the other hand, to the scarcity of poetic texts that praise him other than some about him and al-Mu‘tamid ibn ‘Abbad following their victory in the battle of al-Zallaqah (479 A.H./1086 A.D.).
To achieve that purpose, the study examines references to Yusuf ibn Tashafin in the historical sources and modern Arabic and foreign scholarship and what was said about him in literary works and collections of poetry in order to answer the following questions: Is there a divergence in reports about Ibn Tashafin in historical narratives and poetic texts? If so, what are the reasons for that divergence? Why do poets ignore him? The article attempts to do him justice by clarifying his image in the manifold references, allusions, allegories and religious meanings that the study of poetry found.


ibn Tashafin, Al-Mu'tamid , Al-Murabiten

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