Tin Mal. The Heart of the Almohad Empire / Serce imperium Almohadów

Mohamed Ibn Tumart is born in a Berber tribe in the middle of Atlas. Since his youngest years Islam is his whole world. While his father lights the candles in the local mosque, the son studies the holy book and begs for money in the streets. Before turning 30 he fulfills his duty and does hajj, a pilgrimage to Mekka. Later, he continues studies in Baghdad. Soon after returning to Morocco, he starts to preach himself exhorting to reinstate strict laws of Quran. He is not happy with the way the Almohad dynasty, which rules over Morocco, interprets the religion. But his plans reach further than just preaching…

Beginning of the XIIth century. Ibn Tumart prepares his followers for the siege of Marrakech. He does not know yet that he will not live long enough to see the fall of the city and the defeat of the Almoravids. He dies in 1130, 17 years too early. After his death, the Almohads successfully conquer a big part of Northern Africa, present Portugal and southern Spain.

Wywodzący się z plemienia Berberów Mohamed Ibn Tumart od najmłodszych lat oddany jest bez końca nauce Islamu. Podczas gdy ojciec rozpala świecie w meczecie, syn zgłębia świętą księga i żebrze. Przed ukończeniem 30 lat spełnia swój obowiązek i odbywa hadżdż, pielgrzymkę do Mekki, by następnie pobierać nauki w Bagdadzie. Wkrótce, po powrocie do Maroka, zaczyna sam wygłaszać kazania nawołując do przywrócenia surowych zasad Koranu. Nie podoba mu się otwartość światopoglądowa dynastii Almorawidów, rządzących wówczas w Maroku. Na kazaniach nie zamierza jednak poprzestać…

Początek XII wieku. Ibn Tumart przygotowuje swoich wyznawców do oblężenia Marrakeszu. Nie wie jeszcze, że nie będzie mu dane być świadkiem pokonania znienawidzonych Almorawidów i zdobycia miasta. Umrze w 1130 roku, 17 lat za wcześnie. Już po jego śmierci Almohadzi podbiją sporą część północnej Afryki, obecną Portugalię oraz południową Hiszpanię.

 

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The army prepares itself for the siege of Marrakech high in the Atlas mountains, in the village of Tinmel near the mountain pass of Tizi-n-Test. This is where the dynasty of Almohads is born. Also here, at the same place, about 100 years later it eventually cease to exist, this time defeated by the Merenids.

Today, despite 750 years that passed, the mosque of Tin Mal still stands, high over the long abandoned village. It was built already after the death of Ibn Tumart, in approximately 1150 as a part of the defensive structure of the city. It is as though the builders suspected that the Atlas mountains would forever be a battlefield. It is one of the only two Muslim temples in Morocco, which can be accessed by the infidels (another one is the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca), which fact the fundamentalists of the old dynasty would have most likely hated.

Do oblężenia Marrakeszu armia przygotowuje się wysoko w górach Atlasu, w wiosce Tinmel położonej na przełęczy Tizi-n-Test. Właśnie w tym miejscu rodzi się dynastia Almohadów. Również dokładnie tutaj nieco więcej niż 100 lat później ostatecznie umiera pokonana tym razem przez Merenidów.

Dziś, mimo upływu 750 lat, wysoko nad nieistniejącą już wioską wznosi się meczet Tin Mal. Zbudowano go już po śmierci Ibn Tumarta, około 1150 roku jako część struktur obronnych miasta Tinmel. Widocznie spodziewano się, że góry Atlas już na zawsze będą areną walk. To jedna z dwóch muzułmańskich świątyń w Maroku, do którego mają wstęp niewierni (drugi to meczet Hassana II w Casablance), co fundamentalistom dawnej dynastii z pewnością nie przypadłoby do gustu.

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If the Almoravid and Almohad history got you interested, I would recommend watching a documentary prepared by BBC4 – The Amazigh (Berber) Empire.

As usual, you can find much more on my Facebook page – Nareszcie Urlop.

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Jeśli zainteresowała Was historia Almorawidów i Almohadów to zachęcam do obejrzenia dokumentu przygotowanego przez BBC4 – The Amazigh (Berber) Empire.

Więcej jak zwykle na mojej stronie na facebook’u – Nareszcie Urlop.

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37 thoughts on “Tin Mal. The Heart of the Almohad Empire / Serce imperium Almohadów

  1. Maćku, jakie to piękne miejsce. Patrzę na te eleganckie łuki i myślę – ze smutkiem – że wiele lat upłynie, zanim znowu będzie można pojechać spokojnie do północnej Afryki i zobaczyć te wszystkie skarby. Teraz to nawet w Europie nie wiadomo już gdzie jechać, by być bezpiecznym. Dziwne czasy nastały …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A great history lesson. Ibn Tumart travelled from Morocco to Mekka and after that to Baghdad, it would be really interesting to know how he did it. Of course with camels, but he needed also a boat, and how long it took from Morocco to Mekka.
    That photo with you two and the arches is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, I never thought of that! I guess that his travels were taking him more time than he was spending in those places. Back in the XIIth century – how did you know HOW to travel and where to travel.. everything had to be so new to the travelers, how safe was it? So many angles to take.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All people should have access to all public places. Religion is not excluded, as it is a public happening. I’m glad this mosque is open to all. It’s wisdom at its finest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True enough. Yet look at the Christian churches. Poland – mostly closed if there is no mass. Italy – 90% entry is paid because of some “modern art exhibition”… so much about religion being open and welcoming for all…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you! I also hope that the monuments will keep standing with all that’s happening in the world right now. It is our common history, one we need to remember and care for.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What an impressive mosque, the high arches are very beautiful and the colour as well. I learnt something new today, first time I hear of Tin Mal. High quality post as always! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The image of you and Aga, Maciek, is framed beautifully. Well done to your friend.
    Like many before me, I too am so impressed by the quality of the buildings. To stand this length of time, shows an enormous degree of craftsmanship..
    Fascinating history!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. il fascino della storia unito alle bellezza straordinaria dell’architettura dovrebbe unire i popoli, riesco sempre a stupirmi come l’animo umano troppo spesso si dimentichi questo per i suoi cruenti giochi di potere!

    Liked by 1 person

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