Abu al-Hasan

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Abu l-Hasan Ali ibn Uthman ( Arabic أبو الحسن علي بن عثمان, DMG Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. ʿUṯmān ; † 1351 ) was the eighth Sultan of the Merinids in Morocco from 1331 to 1351 .


After taking power from his father Abu Said Utman II (r. 1310-1331), Abu l-Hasan turned to the fight against Castile in Andalusia . As early as 1333, the city of Tarifa was recaptured in alliance with the Republic of Genoa and the Nasrids of Granada . However, the Merinids and Nasrids under Abu l-Hasan suffered a crushing defeat against the united army of Castile and Portugal seven years later (October 30, 1340) on the Rio Salado . Abu al-Hasan could only save himself by fleeing. With Algeciras , the Merinids lost their last base in Andalusia in 1343.

Abu l-Hasan, however, was more successful in the Maghreb , where he - after a marriage alliance with the Hafsids - was able to conquer the kingdom of the Abdalwadids (1334-1337). In 1349 he even succeeded in subjugating the Hafsid Empire and entering Tunis . However, the Bedouin tribes soon rebelled , which the Berber troops of Abu l-Hasan near Kairouan severely defeated in 1350. This led to the complete collapse of the Merinid rule in Ifrīqiya , so that Abu l-Hasan had to flee by ship across the Mediterranean to Morocco .

In the meantime, assuming that Abu l-Hasan did not survive the defeat of Kairouan, his son Abu Inan Faris had himself proclaimed Sultan. It came to a fight in which Abu al-Hasan was defeated, whereupon he had to retreat to the High Atlas . During the subsequent negotiations with his son he died and was buried in Fez . Although Abu l-Hasan was a great general, he lacked the talent to secure his conquests in the long term and to integrate them into the empire.

Even if Abu al-Hasan had failed as a general, the inner peace in Morocco was preserved except for the revolt of a son. This led to an economic upswing in the country and a cultural flowering, which was further promoted by Abu l-Hasan.

Great Mosque of Mansourah


A mosque near Tlemcen above the grave of the important mystic Abu Madjan and the Medersa Misbahiyya in Fez are attributed to his commission. He is also credited with building the Ben Youssef Medersa in Marrakech . In addition, he operated the completion of the Great Mosque of Mansourah in present-day Algeria, which had already been started under his predecessor Abu Yaqub Yusuf (r. 1286–1307) .

His own mausoleum ( Qubba ) is partially preserved in the Chellah , the Merinid necropolis of Rabat .


  • Ulrich Haarmann : History of the Arab World. Edited by Heinz Halm. 4th revised and expanded edition. CH Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-47486-1 ( Beck's historical library ).
  • Stephan Ronart, Nandy Ronart: Lexicon of the Arab World. A historical-political reference work. Artemis Verlag, Zurich et al. 1972, ISBN 3-7608-0138-2 .