“In 990 The empire of Ghana annexes the Saharan city of Awdaghust. In 1077-1078 Almoravids take over Tanger, fight the empire of Ghana, and control the trans-Saharan caravan trade; birth of Ibn Tumart, the Almohad Mahdi; Bijaia becomes the captial of the Hammadid dynasty.”
“Sijilmassa is known for its historical role in the trans-Saharan gold trade with ancient Ghana. From the 11th to the 14th centuries, trans-Saharan trade was regulated an attraced Arab, Muslim, and Jewish merchants from the East and Muslim Spain. Gold was transported north to Sijilmassa and then west to Fes, and during this period Sijilmassa had a mint which issued its first coins in 947.”
“Almoravids (1061-1147). The name “Almoravids,” by which the movement is known in Western scholarship, is a Spanish corruption of the Arabic Al-Murabitun and designates a Sanhaja Berber dynasty that ruled over Morocco, western Algeria and al-Andalus. The Almoravids were brought to power by the theologian ‘Abd Allah Ibn Yasin and his reformist holy warriors (al-murabitun).”
“They conquered the Soninke kingdom of Ghana and laid siege to Sijilmasa in 1055-1056. Fes was taken in 1069, and Algiers was brought under their control in 1082 after taking Tlemecen and Oran. The Almoravids also controlled parts of Spain after a solid victory against Alphonso VI in 1086. A relative of the first disciples, Yusuf Ibn Tashafin (1061-1107), who built Marrakech in 1060, became the first founder of the dynasty, which despite its short life left tremendous political and cultural impacts of the historical map of North Africa, Spain, and the Sahara Desert.
“The Almoravids reached their zenith under Ibn Tasafin’s rule. As a result of the establishment of the Almoravids in Spain, North Africa recieved a cultural infusion from Andalusia. The Malikite shcool of law also entrenched itself in North Africa. Opposition to Islamic practices which were limited to the literal and anthromorphic conception of the word of the Qur’an fell into rigidity, and this state of affairs triggered religous and political opposition.”
“In Andalusia, it led to a new disintegration into numerous city-states, and in the Atlas Mountains to a revolt of the Masmuda tribes, inspired by the teachings of the religous reformer Mahdi Ibn Tumart. In addition to constant Chrisitan assaults, the Almoravids would finally succumb to the overwhelimg campaings of the warrairo-monks, the Almohads, as Marrakech was taken in 1147.”
Source: Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) By Hsain Ilahiane