World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Yusuf II, Almohad caliph

Yusuf II redirects here. It can also refer to Yusuf II, Sultan of Granada.
Yusuf II
Caliph of Morocco
Reign 1213-1224
Successor Abdul-Wahid I
Born C. 1203
Died 1224
Father Muhammad al-Nasir
Mother Qamar
Religion Islam

Abu Yaqub Yusuf 'al-Mustansir' (also known as Yusuf II, c.1203–1224) (Arabic: يوسف بن الناصرYūsuf bin an-Nāṣir) was Caliph of Morocco from 1213 until his death. Son of the previous caliph, Muhammad al-Nasir,[1] the ten-year-old Yusuf was unexpectedly appointed heir by his father on his deathbed.[2] He was confirmed as Almohad Caliph in election by the Almohad sheikhs after his father’s death, and took up the caliphal title "al-Mustansir" ("he who seeks the aid of God"). Yusuf’s mother was a Christian slave Qamar.[3]

Young and pleasure-loving, Yusuf II left the governing of the Almohad empire to a carefully balanced oligarchy composed of older family members, like his father's brothers in al-Andalus and his grand-cousin Abu Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Abi Hafs in Ifriqiya, Marrakesh palace bureaucrats such as the vizier Abu Sa'id Uthman ibn Jam'i and the leading sheikhs of the Almohad Masmuda tribes. But without central leadership, and with the Almohad army having suffered grievous losses at the Battle of Navas de Tolosa in 1212, a series of rebellions broke out in the Maghreb which the Almohad oligarchs were hard-pressed to contain, contributing to the eventual breakaway of Ifriqiya under the Hafsid dynasty.

Yusuf II died suddenly in early 1224 - accidentally gored while playing with his pet cows.[2] Lacking heirs, the palace bureaucrats, led by Ibn Jam'i, quickly engineered the election of his elderly grand-uncle as the next caliph Abd al-Wahid I, as the new caliph in Marrakesh. But the hastiness and probable unconstitutionality of the Marrakesh proceedings upset his uncles, the brothers of al-Nasir, in al-Andalus. They promptly disputed the succession, and elected their own Caliph Abdallah al-Adil.[2]


Yusuf had three viziers in the first year of his reign:

  • Abu Sa`id Uthman ibn Jam`i (1214) (also vizier to Muhammad an-Nasir)
  • Abu Yahya al-Hizraji (1214) (أبو يحيى الهزرجي Abū Yaḥyá al-Hizrajī)
  • Abu `Ali ibn Ashrafi (1214) (أبو علي بن أشرفي Abū ‘Alī b. Ashrafī)
  • Abu Sa`id Uthman ibn Jam`i (again) (1214–1223)

Abu Sa`id Uthman ibn Jam`i would also serve as vizier to Abdul-Wahid I.


  1. ^ Joseph F. O'Callaghan, A History of Medieval Spain
  2. ^ a b c Hugh Kennedy (1996) Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of al-Andalus. London: Addison-Wesley-Longman
  3. ^ Yusuf II al-Mustansir Billah


  • This article began as a translation of the corresponding article in the French WorldHeritage, accessed September 30, 2005.
  • Julien, Charles-André (1931). Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, des origines à 1830. 
Preceded by
Muhammad al-Nasir
Almohad Dynasty
Succeeded by
Abd al-Wahid I
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.