Zawiya of Moulay Idris II

Fès, Morocco

Zawiya of Moulay Idris II

The Zawiya of Moulay Idris II is a zawiya (an Islamic shrine and religious complex, also spelled zaouia) in Fez, Morocco. It contains the tomb of Idris II (or Moulay Idris II when including his sharifian title), who ruled Morocco from 807 to 828 and is considered the main founder of the city of Fez. It is located in the heart of Fes el-Bali, the UNESCO-listed old medina of Fez, and is considered one of the holiest shrines in Morocco.

Idris II, born in 791, was the son and successor of Idris I. Idris I was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad who fled from Abbasid-controlled territory after the Battle of Fakh because he had supported the defeated pro-Shi'a rebels. He used his prestige as a descendant of the Prophet to forge an alliance with local Berbers in 789 and quickly became the most important religious and political leader in the region. He died soon after in 791, just before his son Idris (II) was born. After Idris II officially took over his position as ruler in 803 he significantly expanded the authority of the new Idrisid state. With the help of new Arab immigrants he gained independence from his Berber allies and extended Idrisid control to include most of what is today Morocco and parts of eastern Algeria. As a result, he was of central importance to the early Islamization of Morocco, and arguably the first true "Moroccan" Islamic ruler. He died in 828.



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