Muhammad XII. (Granada)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Muhammad XII., " El Rey Chico de Granada "

Muhammad XII. Abu Abdallah ( Arabic أبو عبد الله محمد الثاني عشر, DMG Abū ʿAbdi-llāh Muḥammad aṯ-ṯānī ʿašar ; born around 1459 in Granada ; died 1518, 1533 or 1536 in Fès ), known to the Christian Spaniards of his time as Boabdil , also called el chico , "the boy" orالزغبي / az-Zuġbī , "the unfortunate", was from 1482 to 1483 and from 1485 to 1492 emir of Granada .


Muhammad first came to the throne of Granada in 1482 when, with the help of the Abencerrajes , he overthrew his father Abu l-Hasan Ali , known as Muley Hacén (1464–1482). Conflicts within the Nasrid dynasty also contributed to the unstable situation, as Abu l-Hasan Ali's Christian concubine Isabel de Solís , also known as Soraya , tried to establish her sons as successors, which caused the anger of Abu l-Hasan's main wife Aisha al- Horra evoked, who then supported her son Boabdil as much as possible. However, Muhammad XII. as early as 1483 in captivity when he was defeated by the Spaniards near Lucena . After the death of his father (1485) he was able to get his release from captivity in return for considerable concessions to Castile. He established himself in Guadix , which in fact meant a division of the Emirate of Granada in two. After two newly appointed rulers (his father and his brother, counted as Muhammad XIII “al Zagal”), he was able to regain power, but his power was still controversial. Although Spanish troops systematically conquered the Nasrid fortresses, the civil war among the Muslims continued as his uncle Muhammad al-Zagal (XIII) continued to claim rule in Granada with the Abencerrajes.

Muhammad XII. meets Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragón , historical picture by Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz (1882)

In these circumstances, a successful defense was unthinkable. After Malaga was conquered by the Spanish in 1487 , the Ottomans were asked for help. They let corsairs attack the Spanish coastal areas, but could not effectively assist the Nasrids. After Almería fell in 1489 , the siege of Granada by Spanish troops began in 1491 . On November 25, 1491, Muhammad XII capitulated. in the Treaty of Granada and on January 2, 1492 handed Granada to the Catholic Kings Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragón . With the conquest of Granada by the Christians , the last Muslim bastion on the Iberian Peninsula fell after more than seven hundred years .

However, the emirate of Granada had already been under Christian rule for decades, as the Moorish rulers had to pay tribute to the Christian kings. Despite this vassal role , there were repeated armed conflicts due to the financial burden and religious differences.

Muhammad XII./Boabdil lived until 1494 on the estates assigned to him by the Spaniards in the Alpujarras , until he retired to Fez in Morocco and placed there under the protection of the Wattasid sultan . With his exile from Spain, contemporary reports about him cease, news about his last years can only be learned posthumously. The Arab chronicler al-Maqqari writes that in 1628 he spoke to descendants of Boabdil who lived in great misery in Fez. They reported that Boabdil died in 1518 or 1533. In contrast, the Spanish chronicler Luis del Mármol Carvajal reports in his Descripción general de Africa (1573) that Boabdil fell during a campaign for the Moroccan Sultan Abu l-Abbas Ahmad in the battle of Abu Aqba, which is dated to 1536.

At the top of the pass south of Granada there is a place from which a last view of the city is possible. This place is called El suspiro del moro (the Moors sigh) because Boabdil is said to have taken one last look at Granada from there and sighed at the sight of the castle, which is beautifully situated on a ridge and has now been lost forever. His combative mother scolded him for not mourning like a woman what he had previously not been able to defend like a man.

This "last sigh" has recently also been processed literarily and in 1996 was the subject of the novel Des Moors last sigh by Salman Rushdie .






  • Giuseppe Balducci : Boabdil - Re di Granata. Opera Seria in two acts. First private performance in Naples in March 1827, public world premiere in Bad Wildbad on July 7, 2007, directed by Kay Link .
  • Moritz Moszkowski : Boabdil, the last king of the Moors. Opera (1892).
  • Pepe Habichuela : Boabdil (Bulerías) from the album A mandeli (1983).
  • Miguel Ríos : Boabdil el Chico (1986).

Web links

Commons : Muhammad XII. of Granada  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Since the existence of Muhammad X is controversial, Boabdil is also referred to as Muhammad XI in some genealogies. counted.
  2. Leonard Patrick Harvey: Islamic Spain, 1250 to 1500. University of Chicago Press, 1992, ISBN 0-226-31962-8 , p. 327 ( limited preview in Google book search).
predecessor Office successor
Abu al-Hasan Ali Emir of Granada
Abu al-Hasan Ali
Muhammad XIII. Emir of Granada