The Emirate of Nekor, the first Muslim State in North Africa

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he Emirate of Nekor was a principality located in the Rif region, precisely in what's today the province of al-Hoceima, near Bni Bouayach.

The principality was the first Muslim political organization in North Africa. It took place a century before the Idrisids, founders of Fes, who Islamized the Berber tribes present in the vicinity. The Emirate of Nekor and the Idrisid dynasty were then two neighboring states.

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The emirate was founded in the year 710 of the Common Era (CE) by al-Himyari Ibn Mansour Salih. It'll play a decisive role in spreading Islam in the Rif region, being accepted by the population of Temsamane, who will become the first to convert, followed by the other tribes in the region. Ibn Salih established this emirate in a spirit of loyalty to the Umayyad dynasty, under the reign of Caliph Abd Al Malik Ibn Marwan. The emirate will have established friendly relationships with the Caliphate, resulting in a lot of exchanges.

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Due to the famine that afflicted Andalusia during this period, many Andalusians settled in the Ajdir area. The emirate was rich in natural resources and experienced an unprecedented economic boom.

Although the Idrisids did not pledge allegiance to the emirate, they nonetheless maintained good relationships with it.

Ahmed ben Idris II will end up marrying Um al-Saad bint Saleh, sister to Emir Salih, with whom he'll live out the rest of his days in the Emirate of Nekor. The emirate will be ruled by a dozen emirs, the tombs of which are still present there.

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In his book titled “Roads and Kingdoms”, al-Bakri tells us about a Viking raid by the leaders Hastein and Björn Ironside on Nekor, taking place in the middle of the 9th century CE. It is said that 2 daughters of the Emir were taken as hostages and that their bond was paid by the Umayyads.

The Aït Ouriaghel tribe had a complicated relationship with the emirate. According to al-Bakri, during the reign of Emir Salih II ibn Sa'id from 803 to 864CE, the Riffian Aït Ouriaghel and Igzenayen tribes revolted by supporting the emir's brother Idris.

Politically linked to the Umayyads of Cordoba, the emirate was also the target of several offensives by the Fatimid Empire and Bedouin tribes led by Musa ben Abi al-Afia.

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Thus, the Emirate of Nekor was in the midst of the Umayyad-Fatimid conflict until its annexation by the Almoravid Empire led by Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, who'll end up razing the entire city.


It is widely accepted that the Salihid family descends from the Himyarite confederation of tribes, located in present-day Yemen. Ya'qubi, after visiting the kingdom in the 9th century, denied this and claimed that the Salihids would be Berbers from the Nafzawah tribe.

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Références :

Description of Northern Africa/by El-Bekri; translated by Mac Guckin from Slane

Author: Bakri, 'Abd Allâh ibn 'Abd al-'Azīz Abu 'Ubayd al- (1040-1094)

Roads and Kingdoms

Author: al-Bakrī

A More Precise Dating of the As - Saqaliba Rebellion in the Medieval Maghrib

Autor: D. Rozmus

Music in Iberia to 711

Autor: Dwight F. Reynolds