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The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad
by:Ronald A. Messier
Originally West African, Berber nomads, the Almoravids emerged from what is today Mauritania to rule Morocco, western Algeria, and Muslim Spain. Over the course of the century-long lifespan of the Almoravid dynasty, the concept of jihad evolved through four distinct phases: a struggle for righteousness, a war against pagans in the Sahara to impose their...
Originally West African, Berber nomads, the Almoravids emerged from what is today Mauritania to rule Morocco, western Algeria, and Muslim Spain. Over the course of the century-long lifespan of the Almoravid dynasty, the concept of jihad evolved through four distinct phases: a struggle for righteousness, a war against pagans in the Sahara to impose their own sense of righteousness, war against "bad" Muslims in Sijilmasa and the rest of the Maghrib, and finally, war against Christian infidels—the Christian kings of Iberia.The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad takes readers through a clear chronology of the dynasty from its birth through its dramatic rise to power, then its decline and eventual collapse. Several important themes in North African history are explored throughout the book, including the dynastic theory of noted Arab historian Ibn Khaldun, the unique relationship of rural and urban lifestyles, the interactions of distinct Berber and Arab identities, and the influence of tribal solidarity and Islam in forming the social fabric of medieval North African society
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