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Ifriqiya or Ifriqiyah (Arabic: إفريقية Ifrīqya) or el-Maghrib el-Adna (Lower West) was the area during medieval history that comprises what is today Tunisia, Tripolitania (western Libya) and the Constantinois (eastern Algeria); all part of what was previously included in the Africa Province of the Roman Empire.[1].

The southern boundary of Ifriqiya was far more unchallenged as bounded by the semi-arid areas and the salt marshes called el-Djerid. The northern and western boundaries fluctuated; at times as far north as Sicily otherwise just along the coastline, and the western boundary usually went as far as Béjaïa. The capital was briefly Carthage, then Qayrawan (Kairouan), then Mahdia, then Tunis.[2] The Arabs generally settled on the lower ground while the native population settled in the mountains.

The Aghlabids, from their base in Kairouan, initiated the invasion of Sicily beginning in 827 and establishing the Emirate of Sicily, which lasted until it was conquered by the Normans.


Conquest phase

Umayyad Governors of Ifriqiya

Fihrid Emirs of Ifriqiya

Kharijite rulers

Abbasid governors in Kairouan

Appointed governors
Appointed governors

Aghlabid Emirs of Ifriqiya


Fatimid Caliphs in Ifriqiya


Zirid dynasty rulers of Ifriqiya


(invasion of the Banu Hilal (1057) — Kairouan destroyed, Zirids reduced to the main coastal cities, rural areas fragments into petty Bedouin emirates)[8]

(Ifriqiyan coast annexed by Norman Sicily (1143–1160))

Norman kings of the Kingdom of Africa (Ifriqiya)


(All of Ifriqiya conquered and annexed by the Almohads (1160))[10]

Hafsid governors of Ifriqiya


  • Abd al-Wahid (1207–1216)
  • Abd-Allah (1224–1229)
  • Abu Zakariya (1229–1249)

Hafsid caliphs of Ifriqiya

  • Muhammad I al-Mustansir (1249–1277)
  • Muse Mohammed {1223–1270}
  • Yahya II al-Watiq (1277–1279)
  • Ibrahim I (1279–1283)
  • Ibn Abi Umara (1283–1284)
  • Abu Hafs Umar I (1284–1295)
  • Muhammad I (1295–1309)
  • Abu Bakr I (1309)
  • Aba al-Baqa Khalid an-Nasir (1309–1311)
  • Aba Yahya Zakariya al-Lihyani (1311–1317)
  • Muhammad II (1317–1318)
  • Abu Bakr II (1318–1346)
  • Abu Hafs Umar II (1346–1349)
  • Ahmad I (1349)
  • Ishaq II (1350–1369)
  • Abu al-Baqa Khalid (1369–1371)
  • Ahmad II (1371–1394)
  • Abd al-Aziz II (1394–1434)
  • Muhammad III (1434–1436)
  • Uthman (1436–1488)
  • Abu Zakariya Yahya (1488–1489)
  • Abd al-Mu'min (Hafsid) (1489–1490)
  • Abu Yahya Zakariya (1490–1494)
  • Muhammad IV (1494–1526)
  • Muhammad V (1526–1543)
  • Ahmad III (1543–1570)
  • Muhammad VI (1574–1574)
  • Jafari "Jafari the Clean" Yahya (1574–1581)
  • Alem Nafirr (1581)

See also


  1. (in French) Article « Ifriqiya » (Larousse.fr).
  2. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Arabic_Thought_and_Its_Place_in_History : DE LACY O’LEARY, D.D. "ARABIC THOUGHT AND ITS PLACE IN HISTORY" London: KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., LTD. / NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON & CO. (1922), pp. 227-8.
  3. See chronicles of Ibn Abd al-Hakam and al-Nuwayri for accounts of the conquest.
  4. This follows the tradition of al-Nuwayri, who says Mu'waiya ibn Hudaij was the first emir of Ifriqiya (ruling from Baqra) in 665. Ibn Khaldoun, however, dates the appointment of Mu'waiya ibn Hudaij as early as 651/52, when Abdallah ibn Sa'ad was governor in Egypt.
  5. This is primarily covered in the chronicle of al-Nuwayri.
  6. On the rise of the Fatimids, see Ibn Khaldoun (v.2 App. #2(pp.496–549))
  7. See al-Nuwayri (v.2, App.1) and Ibn Khaldoun, v.2
  8. On the Banu Hillal invasion, see Ibn Khaldoun (v.1).
  9. Abulafia, "The Norman Kingdom of Africa"
  10. For an account of the Almohad and Norman conquests of Ifriqiya, see Ibn al-Athir (p.578ff)
  11. See Ibn Khaldoun (v.2 & 3)



  • Ibn Abd al-Hakam, English trans. by C.C. Torrey, 1901, "The Mohammedan Conquest of Egypt and North Africa", Historical and Critical Contributions to Biblical Science, pp. 277–330. online; French trans. in De la Salle Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique Septentrionale, 1852, v.1, App. 1 (pp. 301–308)
  • al-Nuwayri, French trans. in De La Salle, Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique Septentrionale, 1852, v.1, App. 2 (pp. 314–444) (From 647 raid through end of Aghlabids) and 1854, v. 2 App.1 (pp. 483–89) (for Zirids). Italian transl. in M. Amari (1851) Nuova raccolta di scritture e documenti intorno alla dominazione degli arabi in Sicilia, (p.27-163) (Aghlabids only)
  • Ibn Khaldoun, French trans. in De La Salle (1852–56), Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique Septentrionale 4 vols, Algiers: Imprimerie du Gouvernment. v.1, v.2 v.3, vol. 4
  • Ibn al-Athir extracts from Kamel al-Tewarikh, French trans. in De La Salle, Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique Septentrionale, 1854, v.2, App.#5, (pp. 573ff)


  • Julien, C.A. (1931) Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, vol. 2 – De la conquête arabe à 1830, 1961 edition, Paris: Payot.

Coordinates: 35°00′N 7°00′E / 35.000°N 7.000°E / 35.000; 7.000

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