Abu Sa'id Uthman II

'Uthmān II
Sultan of Morocco
Amīr al-Muslimīn
Reign 1310 – 1331
Born 1276
Died Taza, 1331
Full name
Abū Saʿīd ʿUthmān ibn Yūsuf al-Marīnī
Dynasty Banū Marīn
Father Yūsuf ibn Yaʿqūb al-Marīnī
Mother ʿĀ'ishah bint Mhalhal al-Kholtī

Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān II (or Abū Sa'īd 'Ūthmān) (أبو سعيد عبد الله عثمان بن يوسف ابو يعقوب (7 IPA: [abu: saʕi:d ʕuθma:n bin ju:suf] December 1276 - August 1331)(reigned 1310-1331) was the 10th Marīnīd sultan. A younger son of Yūsuf Abū Ya'qūb, Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān succeeded his nephew Abū al-Rabï' Sulaymān as Sultan of Morocco in November 1310, at the age of 33.


His full name was 'Abdullāh 'Uthmān ibn Yūsuf Abū Ya'qūb ibn 'Abd al-Ḥaqq. He was the son of Abū Ya'qūb Yūsuf al-Nașr and his wife 'Ā'ishah who was a daughter of an Arab tribal leader (Abū 'Atīyah Mhalhāl bin Yahyā al-Khalti). He was described by his biographer as being of a white complexion, average height and well featured.[1]


Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān inherited Morocco after a tumultuous period during which the Marinids had survived a dangerous rebellion in Ceuta, a long conflict with the Kingdom of Tlemcen and a severe check from Ferdinand IV of Castile, who, in the previous year (1309–10), had seized Gibraltar and laid siege to Marīnīd-owned Algeciras.

Pious and preferring peace, Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān refrained from any great enterprises. In 1313, hoping to divest himself of any entanglements on the Iberian peninsula, he returned the towns of Algeciras and Ronda to the Naṣrid ruler Nașr of Granada.

In 1315, Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān faced a rebellion by his son and designated heir, Abū 'Alī, who ensconced himself in Fez. At first not enthusiastic about a confrontation, the sultan entered into negotiations which would pass the Marinid state over to his son and leave himself as governor of Taza. But Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān gained courage when he heard Abū 'Alī had fallen ill, and hurried to lay siege to Fez and secure his son's capitulation. Abū 'Alī was removed from the line of succession, in favour of another son, Abū al-Ḥasan 'Alī. However, Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān granted Abū 'Alī an appanage centered on Sijilmasa in southern Morocco, which he would rule as a quasi-independent state for the next couple of decades. In 1316, Yahyā ibn 'Afzi, governor of Ceuta, revolted against the Marinid sultan, and managed to maintain Ceuta as effectively independent for nearly a dozen years, before returning to the fold.

In 1319, facing a renewed challenge from Castile, the Naṣrid ruler Ismā'īl I of Granada appealed to the Marīnīd sultan for assistance, but Abū Sa'īd 'Uthman imposed such onerous conditions that the Granadines decided to handle the matter without him.

In 1320 his son Abū 'Alī renewed his revolt against his father. From his base in Sijilmasa, Abu Ali seized control of much of southern Morocco (including Marrakech), threatening to split the Marinid dominions in two. In 1322, the Marīnīd sultan Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān marched against the south and defeated Abū 'Alī at the Oum er-Rebia. But, once again, he reconciled with his son and allowed him to retain Sijilmasa.

Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān built three significant madrasas in Fez: Fez al-Jedid (1320), Es-Sahrij (1321) and El-'Ațțārīn(1323).

In 1329, pressed by an invasion from Abdalwadid sultan Abū Tashufin of Tlemcen, the Ḥafṣid ruler Abū Bakr of Ifriqiya appealed to the Marīnīd sultan Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān for assistance, offering his daughter Fāțimah as a bride for the Marīnīd heir Abū al-Ḥasan. Satisfied by the terms, Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān arranged a diversionary raid against Tlemcen from the west, while dispatching a Marīnīd fleet to support the Ḥafṣid efforts in the east.

In August 1331, while arranging for the reception of the Tunisian princess, Abū Sa'īd 'Uthmān fell ill and died in the environs of Taza. He was succeeded by his son and designated heir Abū al-Ḥasan, although his other son Abū 'Alī retained his quasi-independent appanage in the south.

Preceded by
Abū al-Rabī' Sulaymān
Succeeded by
Abū al-Ḥasan


  1. Rawd al-Qirṭās fī Tārīkh Mulūk al-Maghrib wa Fa's, pp273-274 by Abū al-Ḥasan 'Alī ibn 'Abdallāh ibn Abī Zara'. French translation: A. Beaumier, Rawd al Kirtas. Histoire des Souverains du Maghreb et Annales de la Ville de Fès. Editions La Porte, Rabat, 1999.


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