The Historic Kingdom of Nekor

Located in the Rif region of Morocco, the town of Nekor was founded in 710 AD and served as the capital of the medieval Kingdom of Nekor from its establishment through to its demise in 1019 AD. The Kingdom of Nekor was created by Yemeni-born Salih I ibn Mansur al-Himyari by authority of a Caliphal grant – a Caliph being the “Commander of the Faithful” and successive leader of the Muslims, following the death of Muhammad in 632.

Salih I ibn Mansur al-Himyari set about converting the local Berber tribes to the religion of Islam, with some measure of success. However, they reportedly grew weary of the restrictions placed on them by their new-found beliefs and deposed him, choosing to follow az-Zaydi from the Nafza tribe instead. Presumably az-Zaydi did not live up to the expectations of the people, as they returned to Salih I ibn Mansur al-Himyari, strengthening his dynasty, the Banū Sālih, which continued to rule until the year 1019.

One of the biggest challenges faced by the Kingdom of Nekor in its history was an attack by a group of Vikings in 859. The Viking fleet numbered sixty-two ships and the attack was against Moorish forces in Nekor that had attempted to curtail the plundering of the region that Vikings were so well known for. The Viking forces remained on Moroccan soil for eight days before returning to Spain and continuing their reign of terror up the east coast.

Salih I ibn Mansur al-Himyari founded the Banū Sālih dynasty in 710 and ruled until 749. While exact dates that each successive ruler remained in power are not clear, it is known that al-Mu’tasim ibn Salih succeeded the founder and was followed by Idris I ibn Salih, the founder of the town of Nekor, which took over from the town of Temsaman as the Kingdom’s capital. Between 803 and 1019, the Banū Sālih dynasty had a succession of rulers, many of whom were killed because of the position they held. The last ruler of the dynasty was Jurthum ibn Ahmad ibn Ziyadat Allah ibn Sa’id I ibn Idris – a follower of the Maliki school of religious law within Sunni Islam – and he remained ruler until the Kingdom of Nekor was brought to an end in 1019 by the Azdâji emir Ya’la ibn Futuh.