‘Abd al-Rahman III

A 10th-Century Description

This text is from an anonymous chronicle written in Arabic, dependent upon the 10th-11th-century historian Ibn Hayyan. It recounts ‘Abd al-Rahman III’s rise to the Caliphate.

Source, pp. 89-90.

A 10th-century Poem

This is a poem that describes the military campaigns of ‘Abd al-Rahman III before he became caliph. It was written by Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi, a poet who worked at the Umayyad court.

Source, pp. 63-5.

A 10th-century Proclamation

We are the most worthy to fulfil our right, and the most entitled to complete our good fortune, and to put on the clothing granted by the nobility of God, because of the favor which He has shown us, and the renown which He has given us, and the power to which He has raised us, because of what He has enabled us to acquire, and because of what He has made easy for us and for our state [dawla‎] to achieve; He has made our name and the greatness of our power celebrated everywhere; and He has made the hopes of the worlds depend on us, and made their errings turn again to us and their rejoicing at good news be (rejoicing at good news) about our dynasty [dawla]. And praise be to God, possessed of grace and kindness, for the grace which He has shown, [God] most worthy of superiority for the superiority which He has granted us. We have decided that the daʽwa should be to us as Commander of the Faithful and that letters emanating from us or coming to us should be [headed] in the same manner. Everyone who calls himself by this name apart from ourselves is arrogating it to himself [unlawfully] and trespassing upon it and is branded with something to which he has no right. We know that if we were to continue [allowing] the neglect of this duty which is owed to us in this matter then we should be forfeiting our right and neglecting our title, which is certain. So order the khatib in your place to pronounce [the khutba] using [this title] and address your communications to us accordingly, if God will. Written on Thursday, 2 Dhu l-Hijja 316 [16 January 929].

Source, p. 95.

10th-century Tiraz

This is approximately the second half of the original full inscription, which measured well over two meters long; the bulk of the original textile with the first half of the inscription was formerly preserved in the Cathedral of Siquenza. As preserved on the two fragments, the full inscription reads: “[Commander of the Be]lievers al-Nasir li-Din al-Muslimin, may God support him! That which was made through the agency of Durri, his servant, in the year thirty and three hundred.”

A 10th-century Coin

Obverse, in field: “no god but God, unique, He has no associate, Muhammad is the messenger of God Muhammad”; in margin: “Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions” (Q9:33)

Reverse, in field: “the Prince, Defender of God’s Faith, ‘Abd al-Rahman, Commander of the Faithful”; in margin: “in the name of God this dinar was struck the year one and twenty and three hundred”

A 16th-century Description

This snippet is from Maqqari’s description of the reign of ‘Abd al-Rahman III. Maqqari was a North African historian who wrote his history of Andalus in Arabic; it is one of the most important sources on Andalusi history.

Source, pp. 133-4.