Marinid Empire ( Dynasty )

Marinid  Sultanate (Dynasty, 1215-1465) was the successor empire of the Almohad Empire in the Maghrib. Fez was the capital. It was ruled by a sub-ethnic of the Zenata Berbers. Marinid Sultanate was contemporary with the Mali Empire.


Zenata Berbers made up the leadership of the Marinid state. Revolution began in the Rif Mountains under the Banu Marin, sub-ethnic of the Zenata Berber. Initially, the Marinids supported the Almohad Empire in battles against Christians in al-Andalus. The main battle being the Battle of Alarcos in 1195. 

Opposition against the Almohad did not prove positive until the death of Mayhyu, who became a martyr, shaheed, for sacrificing himself fighting Chrisitians in al- Andaluse. His son, Abd Al-Haqq utilize the martyr status of his father for political gain in uniting the Zenata under the Marinid leadership, against the Almohad. Abd Al-Haqq's son continued solidification of Marinid power of the Zenata Berber confederation. In 1220, the Marinid declared the Rif region independent of Almohad control.

The Marinid leadership utilized anti-Almohad sentiments. Nomads besieging outlying areas, large number of droughts, and strict, rigid dictates added to negative views of Almohad overlordship, events utilized by the Marinids. The Marinids mainly made political arguments against the Almohad, arguments such as Almohads being guilty of administrative neglect and protection of the people. Marinids kept away from the moral arguments, since the Almohad had strict conservative codes, which made the latter very unpopular with the common populace.

The Marinids weakened the Almohad Empire and began winning territories: by 1244 they conquered Meknes, 1248 Fez, and 1255 Sijilmasah. In 1269, all of Almohad territory was under Marinid control. They were able to add Gibraltar to their territory in al-Andalus. Two competing kingdoms proved difficult to attain in the Maghrib, Zayyanid and Hafsid, but was later conquered: Zayyanid in 1337 with the taking of Tilimisan and later Hafsid with the taking of Tunis. The Marinid Empire now occupied the whole Maghreb. During the reign of Sultan Abu al-Hassan, the Marinid Empire, experienced its golden age and consolidation of its power and territories.


Initially, the Marinid leader took the title of amir, but after 1258, beginning with the reign of Abu Yusuf Ya'qub Abd Al-Haqq, Marinids took the title of sultan. The sultan was a political position, not a religious one. They broke away from previous traditions of the Almohad and Almoravid, where the leader was both religious and political. Religious functions were left to fuqaha (jurists) and ulama (scholars). 

The sultan was part of the central government assisted by the wazir, katib and hajib , who were responsible for the daily running of the central government. The second part of the government was the provincial branch, run by the wali (governor) representing the sultan. The wali was assisted by the the qadi, sahib, Al-Shurtah, Al-Muhtasib, and Al-Muhtasib, and Al-Nazr fi-Al-Al-Mazalim.