chapter  IX
3 Pages

The Title of the Almohad Chronicle of Ibn Ṣāḥib al-Ṣalāt

WithJeremy Rogers

One of the most important chroniclers of the Almohads was the Andalusī Abū Marwān ‘Abd al-Malik b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm al-Bājī, known as Ibn Ṣāḥib al-ṣalāt (d. after 600/1203). His chronicle of the caliphate inaugurated by ‘Abd al-Mu’min has only partially survived, and bears the title of al-Mann bi-l-imāma ‘alā l-mustaḍ ‘afina bi-an ja ‘alahum Allāh a’imma wa-ja ‘alahum al-wārithīn wa-zuhūr al-imām mahdī al-muwaḥḥidīn. 1 Huici Miranda translated this title as “The gift of the imamate for those who did not deserve that God should appoint them as imams and placed them as his heirs, and the appearance of the Mahdī of the Almohads” [El don del imamato para los que no merecieron que los colocase Dios como imames y los puso como sus herederos y la aparición de al-Mahdī de los almohades]. From this translation it might be deduced that the Almohads themselves (bearing in mind that Ibn Ṣāḥib al-ṣalāt formed part of the ṭalaba, the Almohad “official” elites) were not very convinced of their own religious and political legitimacy. Huici Miranda’s translation has influenced later researchers, 2 despite the fact that the editor 2of the Arabic text, ‘Abd al-Hādī al-Tāzī, had already pointed out the close connection of this title with a Qur’ānic verse, 3 which helps to clarify its meaning.