Bio: Mawlay Idris II – The Founder of Fas | مولانا إدريس الأزهر

Bio: Mawlay Idris II – The Founder of Fas

Moulay Idris II – Founder of the City of Fas

سيدنا ومولانا إدريس الأزهر  
b. 157 H. – d. 213 H. in Fas


He is Idris b. Idris b. `Abdullah b. al-Hasan II, Abu’l-Qasim. His father was Mawlay Idris I of Zarhun (d. 157 H.). The Idrisis are scions of the Prophet who settled in Morocco and nearby areas. They are from the progeny of Imam al-Hasan b. ‘Ali b. Abu Talib, may Allah have mercy on both of them.


Sayyiduna Idris al-Azhar was the second ruler of Morocco from the Adarisa Dynasty, and the founder of Fez. He was born in Walild, his father passing away while he was still a foetus. Upon his father’s death, the political affairs of the Berbers were managed by Rashid. After the latter’s death in AH 186, Idris was switched to the guardianship of Abu Khalid al-‘Abdi until he turned eleven, whereupon the Berbers swore allegiance to him in the mosque of Walila, in AH 188. He then took over his father’s throne and ruled in a praiseworthy manner. He was generous, eloquent and resolute. He was loved by his subjects and succeeded in winning over the inhabitants of Tunis, Tripoli in Lybia and Islamic Spain. Walila was crowded by outside delegations and by locals, which is why he planned the foundation of Fez in the year AH 192, as mentioned by the author in detail. After visiting Tlemcen in present-day Algeria, he returned to Fez, where he was unanimously supported by the Berber and Zanata tribal groups. The Moroccans separated themselves from Abbasid rule, from the outermost Sus region until the Shalaf Valley near Tangier. The whole of Morocco was stable under his rule, and he minted coins in his name. He passed away in Fas in 213 H.

Sayyiduna Idris al-Azhar (the Most Radiant)

From: Kuhin: Tabaqat Al-Shadhiliyyah Al-Kubra – in the entry on The Wafai Masters
translated by Ahmad Ali al-Adani as “Biographies of Prominent Shadhilis”

When his rule over Morocco became established, the general political climate became favourable to him and he was approached by multiple delegations of allegiant Arabs. As a result of this, it became clear that existing city of Volubilis [1] was too small to accommodate everyone. He thus wished to build a city that he might inhabit, along with his close entourage and governmental notables. One day, he set out on a riding party along with a retinue of close aides to choose an ideal spot. He eventually reached Mount Zaligh. Delighted by its height and by the purity of its air and soil, he had construction work began there. Some of the houses and fences had already been erected when, during one night, a flood came and demolished the houses and fences. Accordingly, he stopped any further work taking place and sent his adviser ‘Umayr b. Mus’ab al-Azdi [2] to find another location to build the new city he had his sights on.

‘Umayr b. Mus’ab alighted in Fahs Sayis, together with a retinue of close aides. He was pleased by this location and explored it well. From there, he arrived at the springs from which the valley of Fez sprouts forth. There he noticed some sixty original sources of water and found it all agreeable.

Armed with the good news, he headed back to Mawlay Idris al-Azhar so he too could take a look at the spot. Mawlay Idris al-Azhar found it to his liking. He purchased the thicket, wherein it was located, from the tribes of Banu al-Khayr and Banu Yarghish, who entered Islam at his hands. He then began to build the city, which he moved to along with his children. He built the mosque known as Jami’ al-Ashyakh, where he would deliver the public sermon on Fridays. He followed this up by building Jami’ al-Shurafa’. When he had completed it, he had the Friday public sermon established there too. He subsequently built his house, known as Dar al-Qaytun, in an area inhabited by the Jutiyyun nobles. He encircled it with marketplaces. He also instructed people to build, saying, ‘Whoever builds in a place or plants in it, it will be his.’ As a result, people began building things.

When the city of Fez was complete, he climbed the pulpit and delivered a sermon to the people amassed there, raising his hands skywards, and praying: ‘O Allah, You are fully aware that I did not build this city out of boastfulness, pride, ostentation, fame or material competition. I have only intended that You be worshipped in it, Your Book be recited in it, the laws of Your din be established in it, along with the Sunna of Your Prophet, Muhammad (upon him salutations and peace) , so long as the world endures. O Allah, give success to its inhabitants and residents to what is good, help them attain it, spare them the burden of their enemies, bestow on them abundant provisions, and unsheathe from them the sword of faith-testing ordeal and splitting disunion. You are indeed All-Powerful over every thing.’ Those in attendance recited amin after his supplication, and thus facets of goodness abounded in the city and blessings were manifest in it. Allah actualized his supplication by His favour, Glorified and Exalted is He: hardly will you find a poor man, in fact, but that he has ample provision; and hardly does a year pass by except that saints and pious people, whose number cannot be encompassed by other than their Creator, emerge from the city.

Among the fine qualities of urban Fez is that its river divides it into two, its brooks branching out amid houses, public baths, streets and marketplaces. It abounds in mosques, including the Qarawiyyin Mosque, which is considered the largest mosque in the world, in length and width. It has forty doors for entry. It is called Qarawiyyin Mosque because it is said that the reason behind its construction was a channel from al-Qayrawan. There is also the Andalus Mosque, the Diwan Mosque and other ones too.

The jurist ‘Abdullah al-Maghili praised it when he was serving as judge in the city of Azemmour and was yearning to be back in the urban area of Fez, may Allah safeguard it from any calamity:

O Fez, from moist earth Allah enlivened your soil
And gave you to drink the effusion of clouds spread out
O garden of this world surpassing Homs
By its vista more radiant and prettier
Room after room, and underneath flowing
A tastier water than cascading fresh nectar
And silken orchards embellished
By brooks as if vipers or tongues.

Mawlay Idris al-Azhar died on 2 Jumada II AH 213. He was thirty six years old. He was buried in his mosque, opposite its eastern wall. His shrine in Fez’s urban area is one of the sacred places therein. Moroccans seek it to find cure [from illnesses]. In this respect, it is like the shrine of Imam Abu ‘Abdullah al-Husayni in Egypt. Visitors head for it from far-away locations, and read litanies and the Dala’il [al-Khayrat] there. It has many endowments. O Allah, benefit us by them and by their secrets.

[1] A Moroccan city near Tangiers (Mu jam al-Buldan, 5/384).
[2] ‘Umayr b. Mus’ab b. Khand b. Harthama b. Yaild b. al-Mulahhab b Abu sufra al-Azdi was a wazir and political leader after whom the spring of ‘Ayn `Umayr, not far from Fez, is named. He was, together with his father, in al-Andalus when the Moroccan Caliphate fell into the hands of Idris b. Idris. ‘Umayr went to visit him with a delegation of fellow Azd tribesmen. Idris al-Azhar appointed him as close adviser ( wazir) and as head of his army, in addition to giving in marriage to him one of his daughters, named ‘Atika. When Idris al-Azhar founded the city of Fez, he sent ‘Umayr to the place in which the said spring was located, which is why it took his name. He was one of the chivalrous Arab chiefs of his times. He died in Fez. He is the ancestor of Bana al-Maljum, a clan who bequeathed some notable judges from Fez.


From Kuhin: Tabaqat al-Shadhiliyya: View book | Download | Chapter [27]

سيدنا ومولانا إدريس الأزهر
سيدنا ومولانا إدريس الأزهر([8]) منشئ مدينة فاس رضى الله عنه، وسبب إنشائه لها لمَّا تمكَّن سلطانُه في المغرب، وصفا له الجو، وكثرت الوفود من العرب عليه، وضاقتْ بهم مدينة وَلِيلَى([9])، أَراد أن يَبني لنفسه مدينةً يسكنها هو وخاصَّتُه، ووجوه دولته، فركب يومًا في جماعةٍ من حاشيته، وخرجَ يتخيَّرُ البقاع، فوصل إلى جبل زالغ، فأعجبه ارتفاعه، وطيبُ هوائه وتربته، فشرع في البناء فيه فبنى بعضًا من الدور، ونحوَ الثُّلث من السور، فأتى السيلُ في بعض الليالي فهدمَ الدور والسور، فكفَّ عن البناء إلى أن بعث وزيره عُميرَ ابنَ مُصعب الأزدي يرتاد موضعًا يبني فيه المدينة التي عزم عليها، فنزل هو وجماعةٌ من الحاشية حتى انتهى إلى فحصِ سايس، فأعجبه المحلُّ، فأوغل فيه حتى انتهى إلى العيون التي ينبع منها وادي فاس، فرأى بها من عناصر الماء ما ينيف عن الستين عنصرًا، فاستطابه، فرجع إلى مولانا إدريس الأزهر رضى الله عنه لينظر إلى البقعة، فأعجبته، فاشترى الغيضة([10]) من بني الخير، وبني يرغش، وأسلموا على يديه، وشرعَ في بناء المدينة، وانتقل إليها هو وأولاده، وبنى بها الجامعَ المعروف بجامع الأشياخ، وأقامَ فيه الخطبة، ثم أخذ في بناء جامع الشُّرفاء، فأتمَّه وأقام فيه الخطبة أيضًا، وبنى دارَه المعروفة بدار القيطون، التي يسكنها الشرفاء الجوطيون، وأدار الأسواق حوله وأمرَ الناس بالبناء، وقال لهم: من بنى موضعًا أو اغترسه فهو له. فبنى الناسُ من ذلك شيئًا كثيرًا.

ولما فرغَ من بناء مدينة فاس، وحضرتِ الجمعةُ الأولى صَعِدَ المنبرَ، وخطب في الناس، ورفع يديه، وقال: اللهم، إنَّك تعلمُ أنَّي ما أردتُ ببناء هذه المدينة مباهاةً ولا مُفاخرةً، ولا رياء ولا سمعةً ولا مكاثرة، وإنَّما أردت أن تُعبَدَ بها، ويُتلى بها كتابُك، وتُقام بها حدودُك وشرائعُ دينك وسنةُ نبيك محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ما بقيتِ الدنيا، اللهم وفِّقْ سكانها وقطَّانها للخير، وأعنهم عليه، واكفهم مؤونة أعدائهم، وأدرر عليهم الأرزاق، واغمد عنهم سيفَ الفتنة والشقاق، إنك على كلِّ شيء قدير. فأمَّنَ الناسُ على دعائه، فكثرتِ الخيرات بالمدينة، وظهرت بها البركاتِ، وقد حقَّقَ الله دعاءه بفضله سبحانه وتعالى، قلَّما تجد فقيرًا إلا وهو في سَعَة من الرزق، وما من عام يمرُّ إلا وقد تخرج منها أولياء وصلحاء لا يُحصيهم إلا خالقُهم.

ومن محاسن حضرةِ فاس أنَّ نهرها يشقُّها نصفين، وتتشعبُ جداوله في دورها وحماماتها وشوارعها وأسواقها، وبها مساجدُ كثيرة، منها مسجد القرويين، وهذا المسجد يعدُّ أعظمَ مساجد الدنيا طولًا وعرضًا، له أربعون بابًا، وسُمّي بالقرويين لما قِيل أن سبب إنشائه فتاةٌ من القيروان، وجامع الأندلس، وجامع الديوان، وفيها غيرُ ذلك، وقد مدحها الفقيه ابن عبد الله المغيلي لما كان يلي خطة القضاء بمدينة آزمور، ويتشوّق إلى حضرةِ فاس حرسها الله من كل باس:

يا فاسُ حَيَّا اللهُ أرضَك من ثرى * وسَقاكِ من صوبِ الغمام المُسبلِ
يا جنَّة الدُّنيا التي أَربتْ على * حمصَ بمنظرها البَهيِّ الأجملِ
غُرفٌ على غُرفٍ ويجري تحتها * ماءٌ ألذُّ من الرَّحيقِ السَّلْسَل([11])

وبساتنٌ من سُندسٍ قد زخرفت * بجداولٍ كالأيم أو كالمفصلِ([12])

وكان وفاة مولانا إدريس الأزهر رضى الله عنه ثاني جُمادى الآخرة سنة ثلاث عشرة ومئتين، وعمره نحو ست وثلاثين سنة، ودفن بمسجده بإزاء الحائط الشرقي منه، ومقامُه في حضرة فاس من الأماكنِ المقدَّسةِ، تُستشفى به أهلُ المغرب قاطبةً، وهو بمثابة الإمام أبي عبد الله الحسيني رضى الله عنه بمصر، تقصدُه الزّوارُ من الأماكن البعيدة، ويقرؤون عنده «الدلائل» والأحزاب، وله أوقافٌ كثيرةٌ. اللهم انفعنا بهم، وبأسرارهم.

وآخرُ من توفي منهم سيدي عبد الخالق السادات بن وفا، وله مقصورةٌ مستقلة قد نُقش عليها اسمه، وهذا المسجد باقٍ على حاله إلى الآن، تُقام فيه الشعائر الدينية. اللهم إنّا نسألُكَ بسرِّهم لديك ومكانتهم عندك أن تُميتنا على حبِّهم، وتمدَّنا بأنوارهم. آمين.

([8]) إدريس بن إدريس بن عبد الله بن الحسن المثنى، أبو القاسم، ثاني ملوك الأدارسة في المغرب الأقصى، وباني مدينة «فاس» ولد في وَلِيلَى سنة 173هـ. فقام بشؤون البربر راشد فقتل سنة 186هـ، ثم قام بكفالته أبو خالد العبدي حتى بلغ الحادية عشر، فبايعه البربر في جامع وَلِيلَى سنة 188هـ. وكان جوادًا فصيحًا، أحبته الرعية، واستمال أهل تونس وطرابلس الغرب والأندلس فغصت وَلِيلَى بالوفود فبنى مدينة فاس سنة 192هـ وانتقل إليها، ثم غزا المصامدة، ونفرا فانقادت إليه، وزار تلمسان ثم عاد إلى فاس وصفا له ملك المغرب وضرب السكة باسمه وتوفي بفاس. [«الأعلام» (1/278)].
([9]) وَلِيلَى: مدينة بالمغرب قرب طنجة. [«معجم البلدان» (5/384)].
([10]) الغيضةُ: الشجر الكثير الملتف. و: الموضع الذي يجتمع فيه الماء فينبت فيه الشجر.
([11]) الرحيق: الخمرُ. و: ضرب من الطيب. السَّلْسَل: الماء العذب الصافي السلِسُ السهل إذا شرب تسَلْسَل في الحلق.
([12]) السُّنْدُسُ: ضربٌ من رقيق الديباج. الأيم: الحية أو ذكر الأفعى.



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