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Zirid dynasty

Political Aspect:

  The Zirid state is ruled by Ziri ibn Manad of the Sanhaja tribe of the Bernese from central Algeria now. In the year 324 AH / 935 AD, Ziri bin Mounad, the chief of the Sanhaja tribe and a Fatimid supporter, established the city of Asher during the reign of al-Qaim by Amrallah al-Fatimid. When Abu Yazid al-Kharji, also known as the Man on the Donkey, revolted against the Fatimid Shiites (the Ubaids) in 335 AH / 946 AD, al-Mansur al-Fatimi proceeded to Makrah. He therefore requested Ziri bin Munad Al-Sinhaji to assist him in putting an end to Al-Khariji Abi Yazid's insurrection. With the assistance of Ziri bin Manad, the Fatimids were able to put a stop to this movement. Then Al-Mansur Al-Fatimi praised Ziri bin Manad by making him governor of Tihert, Ghaya, Masila, the Zab and Hodna lands. The Zirids established Asher as the capital of their kingdom, and the currency was coined after Ziri bin Munad al-Sinhaji.

    In the year 361 AH / 972 AD, the Fatimids chose to leave for Egypt under the reign of Al-Muizz Li Din Allah. They chose Ziri bin Manad as their envoy in controlling the Maghreb, except for Tripoli and Sicily, because of his bravery and involvement in aiding the Fatimids. Belkin bin Ziri was able to expand his state's frontiers to the city of Ceuta to the west, while the Zirids invaded but were unable to enter the city of Fez. During the reign of Al-Mansour Ben Belkin, he agreed with his uncle Hammad to battle the Zenata tribe. In exchange, Hammad agreed to take over the reign of the Middle Maghreb after defeating the Zenata tribe. During the reign of Badis bin Al-Mansour bin Belkin, he nominated his uncle Hammad as governor of Asher and all of Algeria's eastern kingdoms. He also appointed his uncle Yatoufet Ben Belkin on Tihert and all the western provinces of Algeria, and both of them earned the titles of “Ziri Deputy Prince”  Badis in these districts.                                  

 During the reign of Al-Mou’iz bin Badis, and following multiple wars with his uncle Hammad, the two parties agreed to sign a peace pact. As a result, the Zirid kingdom was divided into two parts: After the Hilali expansion and defeat of Al-Muizz bin Badis at the Battle of Haidaran in the year 443 AH/1051 AD, an eastern portion and its capital, Kairouan, was established. The Zirid capital was relocated to Al-Mahdiyya, and the descendants of Al-Mu'izz bin Badis ruled this dynasty until its fall to the Normans in the year 543 AH / 1148 AD. The capital of the western section of the Zirid kingdom, which became known as the Hammadid state, was the Citadel and subsequently Bejaia until it fell to the Almohads in 547 AH / 1152 AD.

   Algeria in the Zirid era consisted of four states: The state of Baghaya, which encompassed the Kutama tribe's heartland from Guelma and Annaba to Setif and Jijel, and the state of Masila, which included Ajisa residents and Zenata tribe citizens in Zab and Al-Hudna. The states of Asher, which contain Sanhaja and the adjacent territories of Zawat and Zenata, and Tihert, which includes Magrawa, Ifrane, and Ghaleb Zenata. Abu al-Bahar, the governor of Tihert under the reign of his brother al-Mansur ibn Belkin, was one of Algeria's most prominent rulers during the Zirid era. His son, Ayoub bin Abi Al-Bahar, succeeded him as ruler of Tihert. And Al-Mansur bin Belkin held a contract for his brother, Hammad, above Asher and Masila's mandate. Zadeh Al-Moez bin Badis governed Tabneh, Al-Zab, and Tihert during the time.

   The Zirid era's ruling and governance was hereditary, passed down via the descendants of Ziri bin Munad al-Sinhaji. The Zirids considered themselves representatives of the Fatimid kingdom until the age of al-Mu'izz ibn Badis, who declared his return to the Maliki Sunni sect and rejection of the Ismaili Shiite  sect at Kairouan in the year 440 AH/1088 AD. As a result, he wrote to the Abbasid Caliph Al-Qa'im Bi-Amr Allah, requesting a covenant with him over the African and Maghreb territories. So the Abbasid Caliph sent him black banners and flags, promising to take over the state.

Economic Life: 

   During the reign of the Zirid state, economic activity was busy, and the Zirids were engaged in agriculture, which was the backbone of economic life at the time. Irrigation techniques have led to the growth of agriculture, and among the most significant agricultural crops known in the Zirid era are the production of cereals like as wheat and barley, particularly in the cities of Barshak, the chicken marina, and Pune (Annaba).  Bani Mazgna, Pune, Marsa Dajaj, and Masila were well-known for growing animals like as sheep and cows. Tness was notable for the cultivation of fruits. Tihert known for horses, mules, sheep, and Al-Barathin Al-Farahiya (Type of Horses). They have a lot of honey and ghee, and the city of Naqas was known for its fruit and vine production, as well as grain farming. Oran was noted for the cultivation of several types of fruits. During the Zirid era, Algeria was also known for the cultivation of cotton and sugar cane, as well as the manufacture of dates, for which it was famed for Biskra. Jijel was known for its fishing as well as its grape and fig production.

   In terms of industry, it was the coral extraction industry from Pune and the Khazar Marina (Al-Qala), and it was well-known for the production of weaponry and military instruments. Algeria prospered in the textile and silk industries, woollen clothes, leather industry, and ceramics throughout the Zirid era.

  During the Zirid era, markets proliferated in Algerian cities, helping to revitalize the commercial activity. There were butchers, glaziers, and poultry markets, in addition to sheep, and cow markets. Algeria became a prosperous country and a commercial hub for the East and West at the time. Export and Import were active at the time. Olive oil was sold from the ports of Annaba, Skikda, and Tizi Ouzou to Levant and European nations, while servants were imported from Sudan and the Saqlabah. Algeria imported gold from Sudan during the Zyyrid era via the trade route from Sudan to Ouargelan (Ouargla) and subsequently to Masila.

Scientific Life:

  The Zirid state embraced the Maliki Sunni sect under the reign of al-Mu'izz ibn Badis, while the Ismaili Shi'a religion was rejected. And the Ibadi philosophy was limited to the M'zab valley, whilst the Zyrites were more engaged in science. Sunni and Shia academics debated in the mosques of the Middle Maghreb, leading to the rise of the Maliki school of thought. The kings of the Zirid kingdom were likewise interested in science and intellectuals. Al-Muizz bin Badis assembled over a hundred poets around his palace, including Nabg Al-Hakim bin Imran Al-Wahrani and Abu Al-Hasan bin Rashiq Al-Musili (456 AH/1064 AD), a scholar of literature and poetry. "Gold Pieces in Criticism of Arab Poetry" and Daoudi Al-Tilmisani are among his writings. Badis Abd al-Karim al-Nahshali al-Masili (405 AH/1014 AD) developed as a poet who was knowledgeable in language and poetry.

   Because the Zirids were interested in urbanisation, the cities of Asher, the Kalaa, Medea, Miliana, and others were founded. They also Egyptianized the Algerian city of Bani Mazgna. There were mansions, palaces, spas, and mosques in the Zyyrid state, which attracted numerous notables, academics, and authors.



The Zyyrid Dynasty in its biggest expansion

The first capital of the Zyyrid Dynasty (Asher)