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contents - Abu Yaqoub Yusuf Ibn Abdul-Momin (558/1163-580/1184)

As we mentioned in section above, when Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Momin was removed from power because he was incompetent, the caliphate had to go to his brother Omar, but he declined and announced his allegiance to his other brother Yusuf, Abu Yaqoub. We also mentioned in section [ref:ibn-mardanish above that during the reign of Abu Yaqoub Yusuf Ibn Abdul-Momin, Almohads crossed the sea to Andalusia in 567/1171 and subjugated it under their rule after fighting the crumbling state of Almoravids and the Kings of Sects such as Ibn Mardanish and Banu Ghaniya. After that, they devoted themselves to quell the opposition movements that took place against their rule in Maghrib.

After facing the revolutions, Abu Yaqoub decided to face the threat of the Christians, so he marched with his armies and crossed from Maghrib to Andalusia in 580/1184 and went to Seville and then to the city of Santarem which was defended by Afonso I of Portugal. After resisting the siege for three days, Yusuf ordered the lifting of the siege, but as his army was retreating quickly and they tried to cross the river before receiving the orders of their prince, who remained with only a few of his men, Afonso took advantage of the opportunity and attacked them, destroying the remaining army and injuring the prince. Yusuf was fatally wounded and he died in the same year, and the armies of the Almohads traveled back to Seville. His son Yaqoub Ibn Yusuf was appointed as their prince, and he returned with his troops to Maghrib.

We shall see later, in section [ref:enteringislam] of Chapter II, that Ibn al-Arabi was a soldier in the service of King Yusuf and he was in his company in this same year 580/1184, and he mentioned that he saw him in the grand mosque in Cordoba kneeling and prostrating with sincerity and fully emptied to Allah Almighty, and that was the reason that led Ibn al-Arabi to abandon the service and enter the Way of Sufism.