Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib al-Fihri

Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Habib Al-Fihri

Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib al-Fihri

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Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib al-Fihri (died 755) was an Arab noble of the Oqbid or Fihrid family, and ruler of Ifriqiya (North Africa) from 745 through 755 AD.

Background

Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib was a great-grandson of Oqba ibn Nafi al-Fihri (Muslim Arab conqueror of North Africa). His family, the al-Fihris, were among the leading Arab families of the Maghreb.

In 740, he joined his father Habib ibn Abi Obeida in an Arab expedition across the water to Sicily in what was possibly the first attempt at a full-scale invasion of the island (rather than a mere raid). They had a successful landing and laid a brief siege to Syracuse, securing its submission to tribute. But the break-out of the Great Berber Revolt in the Maghreb forced the al-Fihris to cancel the invasion of Sicily and ship their army quickly back to Africa to help quell the uprising. The Arabs were defeated by the Berbers the Battle of Bagdoura (near the Sebou) (741). His father killed in the field, Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib narrowly escaped himself and fled across the straits to Spain with the remnant of the Arab army.

While in Spain, Ibn Habib intrigued in the conflict which immediately erupted between the commanders of the defeated army (the 'Syrian' regiments (junds)), and the resident governor, Abd al-Malik ibn Qatan al-Fihri, When the Syrian commander Balj ibn Bishr al-Qushayri tortured and executed the elderly Ibn Qatan, a Fihrid relative, Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib openly broke with the Syrians and joined the...
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