Nasrid (Granada)

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The coat of arms of the Nasrid dynasty with the motto:
ولا غالب إلا الله- Wa-lā ġāliba illā ʾllāh
("There is no victor but God ")

The Nasrids or Naṣrids ( Arabic بنو نصر, DMG Banū Naṣr ) were a Muslim - Moorish dynasty of the Emirate of Granada (1232–1492) in what is now the Spanish region of Andalusia .


After the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212), the Almohad rule began to dissolve in al-Andalus . With the uprising of Ibn Hud near Murcia and its expansion to all of Andalusia, the Almohad regime finally collapsed. However, Ibn Hud could not defend the land against Castile and León . In 1230 and 1231 he suffered several defeats and had to pay tributes to the Christians .

The Emirate of Granada and the dynasty of Nasrid originate in the person of Arabic descent Muhammad Yusuf ben Nasri "Al-Ahmar" (1232-1272), which in 1232 in Arjona for Sultan made a proclamation. Since he realized that he was facing the advance of Ferdinand III. of Castile had nothing to oppose, he took his side. Together with Ferdinand, he signed an armistice with Ibn Hud in 1236 after the fall of Cordoba . In 1237 Muḥammad settled in Granada and founded the Naṣrid Empire of Granada. In 1246 he signed with Ferdinand III. the Treaty of Jaén, which can be considered the birth certificate of the Empire of Granada. But in this treaty the Granadine sultan also submitted to the Christian king as a vassal ; he undertakes to pay a considerable tribute and to provide military aid in armed forces. So he got into the humiliating position of taking part in the siege of Seville with a cavalry corps on the side of Castile until the city was finally conquered by the Christians. This attitude undermined Muḥammad's reputation among the Muslim population, who were aware of their powerlessness. Nevertheless, Muḥammad I ibn Naṣr was able to consolidate the emirate of Granada until his death and also stimulate the economy by accepting Muslim refugees.

Under Muḥammads son Muhammad II. Al-Faqih (1273-1302) the empire was strengthened inside through the establishment of a solid administration. However, his rocking policy towards the Merinids led to a rift with this ruling family, so that the Naṣrids could no longer expect any support from North Africa in the fight against Castile. The attempt of Muḥammads III. to expand the empire at the expense of the Merinids and Aragons , led to a devastating counterstrike, so that Muḥammad III. was disempowered due to popular resentment. The military failures and discontent continued among the next rulers. Only under Muḥammad IV , who proved to be a courageous and energetic ruler, could the situation slowly consolidate with the conquest of strategically important cities.


The Emirate of Granada reached its economic and cultural peak under Yusuf I (1333-1354) and Muḥammad V (1354-1391). During this time, the Naṣrids were able to regain control of the Strait of Gibraltar and expand trade. At the same time, Granada was greatly expanded and there were several palaces in the Alhambra , u. a. the Löwenhof, built. In addition, the rulers also proved to be patrons of the arts, the natural sciences and the humanities.


The emirate began to decline in the 15th century. It began with a period of relative external peace, as several clans within struggled for power in the empire. Many of the rulers had other aspirants to the throne imprisoned or even murdered when they ascended the throne for fear of rivalry, which only increased the severity of the dynastic battles. Although the empire under Abu l-Hasan Ali (1464–1482) was temporarily pacified and consolidated again, after its union with Aragón in 1479, Castile gained overwhelming preponderance. In 1485, united Spain began the systematic conquest of the emirate while the Muslims exhausted their strengths in a civil war. Granada had to capitulate in 1492 and fell to the Catholic Kings . This meant the end of Muslim statehood on the Iberian Peninsula.

Family tree of the Naṣrids

Naṣr (Namensgeber der Dynastie)
├─┬Yusūf ibn Naṣr
│ └1┬Muhammad I. ibn Nasr (1232–1273) (Gründer der Dynastie)
│   └2┬Muhammad II. al-Faqih (1273–1302)
│     ├3─Muhammad III. (1302–1309)
│     └4─Nasr (1309–1314)
  └─┬Abu Said Faray
    │ └─┬Ismail
    │   └10┬Muhammad VI. (1360–1362)
    │      └─┬Ibn al-Mawl u. Tochter
    │        └16─Yusuf IV. (1432)
    └5┬Ismail I. (1314–1325) 
      ├6─Muhammad IV. (1325–1333)
      └7┬Yusuf I. (1333–1354)
        ├8┬Muhammad V. (1354–1359 und 1362–1391)
        │ ├11┬Yusuf II. (1391–1392)
        │ │  ├12─Muhammad VII. (1392–1408)
        │ │  ├13┬Yusuf III. (1408–1417)
        │ │  │  └14┬Muhammad VIII. (1417–1419 und 1427–1429)
        │ │  │     └19─Muhammad XI. (1453–1454)
        │ │  ├─┬Ahmad
        │ │  │ └18─Yusuf V. (1445–1446 und 1462)
        │ │  └─┬Ali
        │ │    └20┬Said (1454–1462 und 1462–1464)
        │ │       ├21┬Abu l-Hasan Ali „Muley Hacén“ (1464–1482 und 1483–1485)
        │ │       │  └22─Muhammad XII. „Boabdil“ (1482–1483 und 1486–1492)
        │ │       └23─Muhammad XIII. „El Zagal“ (1485–1486)
        │ └─┬Nasr
        │   ├15─Muhammad IX. (1419–1427, 1429–1431, 1432–1445 und 1448–1453)
        │   └─┬Utman
        │     └17─Muhammad X. (1445 und 1446–1448)
        └9─Ismail II. (1359–1360)


  • Thomas Freller: Granada. Kingdom between Orient and Occident. Jan Thorbecke Verlag, Ostfildern 2009, ISBN 978-3-7995-0825-4 .
  • Ulrich Haarmann (ed.): History of the Arab world . CH Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-38113-8 .
  • Arnold Hottinger : The Moors. Arabic culture in Spain . Wilhelm Fink, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-7705-3075-6 .
  • Maḥmūd ʿAlī Makkī: The Nasrid Granada. In: Almut von Gladiß (ed.): Treasures of the Alhambra: Islamic art in Andalusia. [Exhibition in the special exhibition halls at the Kulturforum Berlin, October 29, 1995 to March 3, 1996.] Exhibition catalog. Skira, Milan 1995, ISBN 88-8118-034-0 , pp. 39-59.
  • Peer Schmidt (ed.): Small history of Spain . Reclam, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-15-017039-7 .
  • Rachel Arié: L'Espagne musulmane au Temps des Nasrides (1232-1492) . New edition. De Boccard, Paris 1990 (1973), ISBN 2-7018-0052-8 . (French)

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