A historic figure who claimed prophethood among the Berber Ghomara, sparking a unique religious movement in 10th-century Morocco.

Ha-Mim, short for Ha-Mim ibn Mann-Allah ibn Harir ibn Umar ibn Rahfu ibn Azerwal ibn Majkasa, also known as Abu Muhammad, emerged as a significant religious figure in the 10th century. He belonged to the Majkasa sub-tribe of the Ghomara Berbers, a community located near Tetouan in Morocco. His life and teachings provide a fascinating glimpse into the dynamics of religious movements within Berber societies during this period.

Early Life and Proclamation

Born into the Majkasa sub-tribe, Ha-Mim’s claim to prophethood in 925 CE was marked by his assertion of receiving divine revelation in the Berber language. This claim resonated widely among the Ghomara, leading to his acceptance as a prophet by many within the community. The content of his revelations, as quoted by the renowned historian Ibn Khaldun, centers on pleas for divine mercy and recognition of Ha-Mim’s prophetic mission.

Religious Leadership and Death

Ha-Mim not only claimed prophethood but also established rules for his followers, thereby instituting a structured religious movement within his community. His leadership was characterized by an attempt to forge a distinct religious identity for the Ghomara, anchored in the revelations he claimed to have received.

His death in 927 CE occurred amidst conflict with the Masmuda Berbers near Tangier. Following his demise, Ha-Mim’s son Isa succeeded him in a political capacity, extending the influence of his father’s teachings by sending an embassy to the Umayyad Caliph Abd-ar-rahman III an-Nasir.

Legacy and Disappearance

The religious movement initiated by Ha-Mim left a mark on the historical and religious landscape of Morocco during the 10th century. However, the specifics of its doctrinal beliefs, practices, and eventual dissolution remain somewhat obscure, with the movement vanishing before the time of Ibn Khaldun. This lack of detailed historical records leaves many aspects of Ha-Mim’s life and teachings shrouded in mystery, contributing to the enigmatic legacy of this Berber prophet.

The Ha-Mim narrative is emblematic of the diverse and complex religious history of North Africa, highlighting the region’s role as a fertile ground for the emergence of new religious movements and figures. His story underscores the dynamic interplay between religion, culture, and politics among the Berber communities of medieval Morocco​​​​.

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