Moulay Idris II
Moulay Idris II
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Established Islam in Morocco, transformed Fes into capital
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Idris Al-Azhar ibn Idris ibn Abdallah Al-Kamel, known as Idris II (Arabic: إدريس الثاني), was the son of Idris I, the founder of the Idrisid dynasty in Morocco. He was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
He was born in Volubilis two months after the death of his father. His mother Kenza, the wife of Idris I, was the daughter of the chief of the Berber Awarba tribe. Idris II, having never met his father, was raised among the Berbers of Volubilis and had a remarkable career. The historian Rom Landau, says:
In the lore of the Moroccans, Idris II was a being of almost magical attributes. An exceptional young man he certainly must have been. At many points we are reminded of one of the greatest sages of Islam, Ibn Sina or Avicenna. At the age of four, Idris apparently could read, at five write, at eight he knew the Quran by heart, and by then is said to have mastered the wisdom of all the outstanding savants. He was of real physical strength as well, and when he became officially sovereign in 805 at the age of thirteen, he had already accomplished feats of endurance that men twice his age could not emulate. His profound Islamic faith enhanced all these advantages and increased the veneration accorded him.
Idris II re-established the city Fez 20 years after his father founded it. He chose to establish the city to the west of the Fez River, on the opposite side to where his father had founded a settlement. He transformed the settlement into an important capital and urban centre of Morocco. He then began to unify Morocco under the banner of Islam, firmly establishing the religion within the country. He went on to expand his territory and extend his control to include most of modern-day Morocco and parts of eastern Algeria.
Idris II, who married a descendant of Suleyman the sultan of Tlemcen (a brother of Idriss I) fathered twelve sons: Muhammed, Abdullah, Aïssa, Idriss, Ahmed, Jaâfar, Yahia, Qassim, Omar, Ali, Daoud and Hamza. The tradition of monarchy in Morocco, established by Idris I and II, is still present in Morocco to this day.
Moulay Idris II died in Volubilis in 828 at the age of 35. His tomb is contained in Zaouia Moulay Idriss II in Fez. It was rediscovered under the sultanate of Abd al-Haqq II in 1437, becoming an important place of visitation up until today.