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Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi

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(Redirected from Abd-ar-Rahman)

Abu Said Abdul Rahman ibn Abdullah ibn Bishr ibn Al Sarem Al 'Aki Al Ghafiqi (? – 732), variously known as Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Abd er Rahman, Abdderrahman, Abderame, and Abd el-Rahman, led the Andalusian Muslims into battle against the forces of Charles Martel in the Battle of Tours. His unexpected death was probably the main reason for the defeat of the Muslim army.

From the Yemeni tribe of Ghafiq, he relocated to Ifriqiya (now Tunisia), then to the Maghrib (now Morocco), where he became acquainted with Musa Ibn Nusair and his son Abdul Aziz, the governors of Al-Andalus.

After Al Samh ibn Malik was killed at the Battle of Toulouse in 721 (102 A.H.) by the forces of Duke Odo of Aquitaine, Abdul Rahman took over the command of Eastern Andalus. He was briefly relieved of his command, when 'Anbasa ibn Suhaim Al Kalbi was appointed in 105 A.H. After 'Anbasa was killed in 107 A.H. battle in Gaul; several successive commanders were put in place, none of whom lasted very long.

In 112 A.H. the Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik appointed Abdul Rahman as governor/commander of Al Andalus. He prepared to invade Gaul, and called for recruits from Yemen and the Levant. Many arrived, and he crossed the Pyrenees range, with an army of 80,000 composed of Arabs and Berbers. He made his way through Gascony and Aquitaine, and captured the city of Bordeaux, defeating the army of Duke Odo of Aquitaine.

However, the Frankish Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, Charles Martel, managed to form an army of Gauls and Germans, and defeated Abdul Rahman near Poitiers, south of the Loire River. Abdul Rahman was killed in this battle. One of the reasons for the defeat of the Muslim army was their preoccupation with war booty; another was squabbles between various ethnic and tribal factions.

All Arab historians praise Abdul Rahman as a just and able administrator and commander, and bestow on him the honor of being the best governor of Andalus. Also, he did not take sides in the ethnic and tribal divisions that plagued Andalus under other rulers.

References

  • History of Abdul Salam Al Termanini (http://history.al-islam.com/names.asp?year=114#n621) (in Arabic)
  • The New Century Book of Facts, King-Richardson Company, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1911
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