Aixa al-Hurra



Known for

Last Regent of Moorish Granada


Time In Power: Hijri Unknown-897 (AH); Common Era Unknown-1492 (CE)

Aixa al-Hurra


Aisha al-Hurra (some historiographers have found evidence indicating her name may have been Fatima although Aisha remains the more accepted view) was the mother of the last king of Granada, Boabdil, and it was through her machinations that her son was put on the throne, which he subsequently lost. The marriage of Aisha to her husband, ‘Ali abu al-Hasan (r. 1461-1482) was an unhappy one which heard its death knells after ‘Ali, now in his dotage, became infatuated with his Catholic concubine Isabella (converted to Islam under the name Zoraya). With the Catholic armies fast approaching Granada, his love of the Catholic made both his nobles and his first wife anxious. Aisha feared that her sons would be supplanted in the ascension by Zoraya’s issue. While ‘Ali was abroad, Aisha turned the population against her husband and gained the support of nobles and military leader from Abencerragesin in a plot to put her son on the throne. With Aisha’s aid, ‘Ali was deposed and in his place her son, Abu ‘Abdullah, known to the West as Boabdil, became King of Granada in 1482. While playing a prominent role in the rule of her son, she also bore witness to his stunning loss of Granada in 1492 at the hands of Isabella and Ferdinand. Driven from his city, he took one last look at Granada and seeing its wonders said, “Allahu akbar,” and began to sob. Bitterly, Aisha responded, “Weep like a woman for what you could not defend like a man!”


Hugh Chisholm, ed. "Granada." Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Jennifer Heath,The Scimitar and the Veil: Extraordinary Women of Islam, (Mahnah: HiddenSpring, 2004).
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