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Rustamid dynasty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rustamid Kingdom
The maximum extent of the kingdom in its prosperity.[2]
The maximum extent of the kingdom in its prosperity.[2]
Common languagesBerber, Arabic, Persian
Ibadi Islam
• 777–788
ʿAbdu r-Rahman ibn Bahram ibn Rūstam
• 906–909
Yaqzan ibn Muhammad Abil-Yaqzan
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Abbasid Caliphate
Emirate of Tlemcen
Fatimid Caliphate
Today part ofAlgeria

The Rustamid dynasty (Arabic: الرستميون) (or Rustumids, Rostemids) was a ruling house of Ibāḍī imāms of Persian descent[4][5] centered in Algeria.[6][7][8] The dynasty governed as a Muslim theocracy for a century and a half from its capital Tiaret (in modern Algeria) until the Ismaili Fatimid Caliphate defeated it. Their realm extended over most of northern Algeria reaching far south to the border of Mali, it also extended to western Libya including all of Tripolitania and Zawila in the southeast, Tafilalt in Morocco and the principalities in the Rif were also owned by the Rustamids as well as part of Mauritania and southern, central and eastern Tunisia.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]


Genealogy of the Rustamid dynasty
Genealogy of the Rustamid dynasty

The Ibāḍī movement reached North Africa by 719, when the missionary Salma ibn Sa'd was sent from the Ibādī jama'a of Basra to Kairouan.[citation needed] By 740, their efforts had converted the major Berber tribes of Huwara around Tripoli, in the Nafusa Mountains and at Zenata in western Tripolitania. In 757 (140 AH), a group of four Basra-educated missionaries including ʻAbd ar-Rahmān ibn Rustam proclaimed an Ibāḍī imamate, starting an abortive state led by Abu l-Khattab Abdul-A'la ibn as-Samh which lasted until the Abbasid Caliphate dispatched Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath al-Khuza'i to suppress it in 761, and Abul-Khattab Abdul-A'la ibn as-Samh was killed.[citation needed] On his death, the Tripolitanian Ibādiyya elected Abu l-Hatim al-Malzuzi as Imām; he was killed in 772 after launching a second unsuccessful revolt in 768.[citation needed] After this, the center of power shifted to Algeria, and, in 777, ʻAbd ar-Rahmān ibn Rustam, an Ifriqiyan-born convert to the Ibāḍī movement of Persian origin[17] and one of the four founders of the imamate, was elected Imām; after this, the post remained in his family, a practice which the Ibādiyya justified by noting that he came from no tribe, and thus his family had no bias towards any of the tribes of which the state was formed.[citation needed]

The new imamate was centered on the newly built capital of Tiaret; several Ibādī tribes displaced from Tunisia and Tripolitania settled there and strong fortifications were built.[citation needed] It became a major stop on the newly developing trade routes with sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.[18]

Ibn as-Saghir also describes the Imām as ascetic, repairing his own house and refusing gifts; the citizens sharply criticized him if they considered him derelict in his duty. Religious ethics were strictly enforced by law.[citation needed]

The Rustamids fought the Kairouan-based Aghlabids of Ifriqiya in 812, but otherwise reached a modus vivendi; this displeased Ibādī tribes on the Aghlabid border, who launched a few rebellions.

After Abdu l-Wahhāb, the Rustamids grew militarily weak; they were easily conquered by the Ismaili Fatimids in 909, upon which many Ibāḍis – including the last Imām – fled to the Sedrata tribe of Ouargla, whence they would ultimately emigrate to Mzab.

The Rustamid dynasty, "developed a cosmopolitan reputation in which Christians, non-Kharijite Muslims, and adherents of different sects of Kharijism lived".[19] On the intellectual field, the Rustamids had many scholars and learned men, such as ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Rustam, ‘Abd al-Wahhab ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman, Aflah ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, dan Abu al-Yaqzhan ibn Aflah, Mahdi an-Nafusi, ‘Abd Allah al-Lamthi, and Mahmud ibn Bakr. ‘Abd ar-Rahman had an exegesis of the Qur’an. ‘Abd al-Wahhab wrote his Masa'il Nafusah on Islamic jurisprudence. Aflah mastered Arabic literature, mathematics, and astronomy. Abu al-Yaqzhan wrote about 40 works. Because of their intellectual enthusiasm, the Rustamids vigorously transferred valuable works from the Mashriq to the Maghrib, especially to the library of al-Ma‘shumah (in Tahert) and that of Khizanah Nafusah (in Jabal Nafusah). Moreover, Tahert was famous as ‘Iraq al-Maghrib, al-‘Iraq ash-Shaghir, Balkh al-Maghrib, or Little Basra. Apart from these achievements, the Rustamids also had significant contribution to Islamization in the Maghrib and Bilad as-Sudan. For about two centuries (130-340 AH / 750-950 AD), the Kharijite people gained control of trade routes in the Maghrib and Bilad as-Sudan. Many Ibadite merchants made journeys along the vast area, such as Tahert, Wargla, Nafzawa, Jabal Nafusah, Tadmakkat, Gao, and Ghana. By this economic activity, the Ibadites took advantages of trading business and preaching Islam at the same time.[20]

Rustamid Imams

  • Abd al-Rahman ibn Rustam (Bānū-Bādūsyān) (776-788)
  • Abd al-Wahhab ibn Abd al-Rahman (788-824)
  • Aflah ibn ʿAbdi l-Wahhab (824-872)
  • Abu Bakr ibn Aflah (872-874)
  • Muhammad Abu l-Yaqzan ibn Aflah (874-894)
  • Yusuf Abu Hatim ibn Muhammad Abi l-Yaqzan (894-895)
  • Yaʿqub ibn Aflah (895-899)
  • Yusuf Abu Hatim ibn Muhammad Abi l-Yaqzan, again (899-906)
  • Yaqzan ibn Muhammad Abi l-Yaqzan (906-909)


  1. ^ A Chronology of Islamic History, 570-1000 CE - Habib Ur Rahman G.K. Hall, 1989
  2. ^ Chronique D'Ibn Saghir Sur Les Imams Rostemides de Tahert. Par A. de C. Motylinski, Etc. Arabic & Fr. Ibn saghir. p. 19.
  3. ^ The Transmission of Learning in Islamic Africa - Scott Steven Reese
  4. ^ Bosworth, C.E., ed. (1995). Encyclopedia of Islam (New ed.). Leiden [u.a.]: Brill [u.a.] p. 638. ISBN 9004098348.
  5. ^ Islamic History - Laura Etheredge - p73
  6. ^ Britannica Encyclopedia, Retrieved on 18 December 2008.
  7. ^ "The Places where Men Pray Together", pg. 210.
  8. ^ Based on Britannica 2008: The state was governed by imams descended from ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān ibn Rustam, the austere Persian who founded the state in the 8th century.
  9. ^ The Puffin History of the World: Volume 1, By Roshen Dalal
  10. ^ Revue africaine: journal des travaux de la Société historique algérienne, Volumes 105-106 Kraus Reprint,
  11. ^ Vers la paix en Algérie: les négociations d'Evian dans les archives diplomatiques françaises (15 janvier 1961-29 juin 1962). Bruylant,
  12. ^
  13. ^ Concise History of Islam - Muzaffar Husain Syed, Syed Saud Akhtar, B D Usmani [1] "The exact extent of its dominions is not entirely clear, but it stretched as far east as Jabal Nafusa in Libya"
  14. ^ Approaching African History By Michael Brett
  15. ^ Le passé de l'Afrique du Nord: Les siècles obscurs. Avec 25 illustrations hors texte et 16 figures dans le texte Emile Félix Gautier Payot
  16. ^ Journal asiatique, Volume 1 Société asiatique.
  17. ^ Britannica Encyclopedia, Retrieved on 18 December 2008.
  18. ^ Chronique D'Ibn Saghir Sur Les Imams Rostemides de Tahert. Par A. de C. Motylinski, Etc. Arabic & Fr. Ibn saghir. p. 19.
  19. ^ John P. Entelis, Algeria: The Revolution Institutionalized, page 14.
  20. ^ Ahmad Choirul Rofiq, "Moderation and Civilization: A Historical Analysis on the Moderate Policy of the Rustamid Dynasty" in


This page was last edited on 19 January 2022, at 15:22
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