Part 8

The greatness, territorial size, and length of a dynasty depend on the numbers of its supporters


This is because royal authority exists only through group feeling.

Representatives of group feeling are the militiamen who settle in the territories of the dynasty. The more numerous the tribes and groups of a large dynasty, the stronger and larger are its and lands. Their royal authority, therefore, is wider.

An example of this was the Muslim dynasty when God united the power of the Arabs in Islam. The Prophet’s last raid had 110,000,45 Muslims against Tabuk. This consisted of Mudar and Qahtin horsemen and foot soldiers.

This was augmented by those who became Muslims after the raid up to the Prophet’s death.

When all these people then set out to seek for themselves the royal authority held by other nations, there was no protection against them or refuge.

They were allowed to take the realms of:

  • the Persians,
  • Byzantines,
  • the Turks in the East
  • the European Christians and Berbers in the West (Maghrib)
  • the Goths in Spain

They went from the Hijiz to as-Sus in the far west, 46 and from the Yemen to the Turks in the farthest north. They gained possession of all seven zones.

One may also look at the Sinhajah and Almohad dynasties and their relationship to the ‘Ubaydid (-Fitimids) before them.

The Kutimah were the supporters of the ‘Ubaydid-Fatimid dynasty. They were more numerous than the Sinhajah and the Masmudah.

Consequently, their dynasty was larger. They took possession of:

  • Ifriqiyah
  • the Maghrib
  • Syria,
  • Egypt
  • the Hijaz.

One may also look at the later Zanatah dynasty. Since the number of the Zanatah was smaller than that of the Masmt dah, their royal authority fell short of that of the Almohads, because the Zanatah were numerically inferior to the MasmGdah from the very start.

One may also consider the situation of the two Zanatah dynasties at this time, the Merinids and the ‘Abd-al-Wadids.

The Merinids were numerically stronger than the ‘Abd-alWadids when they first seized power. Therefore, their dynasty was stronger and larger than that of the ‘Abd-alWadids.

Time after time, the Merinids defeated the Abdal-Wadids. There were 3,000 Merinids at the start of their rule. The Abd-al-Wadids were 1,000.

However, possession of dynastic power with its life of ease and the great number of its followers increased their numbers.

Thus, the expansion and power of a dynasty correspond to the numerical strength of those who obtain superiority at the beginning of the rule.

The length of its duration also depends upon it. The life of anything that comes into being depends on the strength of its temper. The temper of dynasties is based on group feeling.

If the group feeling is strong, the dynasty’s temper likewise is strong, and its life of long duration. Group feeling, in turn, depends on numerical strength.

Large dynasties last longer because when collapse comes, it begins in the outlying regions. The large dynasty has many such provinces far from its center.

Each defection that occurs necessarily requires a certain time. The time required for collapse of the dynasty will be long in such cases, because there are many provinces, each of which collapses in its own good time.

The duration of a large dynasty, therefore, is long. This is observed in the Arab Muslim dynasty.

It lasted the longest of all Muslim dynasties, counting both the Abbasids in the center and the Umayyads far away in Spain. Their rule collapsed only after the 10th century.

The ‘Ubaydid-Fatimids lasted about 280 years. The Sinhajah dynasty did not last as long as that of the Ubaydid-Fatimids, namely, from the time when Ma’add al-Mu’izz entrusted Ifrigiyah to Buluggin b. Zirt in 969 up to the time when the Almohads took possession of al-Qal’ah 49 and Bougie in 1162.

The contemporary Almohad (Hafsid) dynasty has lasted nearly 270 years.

Thus, the life of a dynasty depends on the number of its supporters.


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