Al-Ḥurr ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Thaqafī
(الحر بن عبد الرحمن الثقفي) was an early Umayyad
governor who ruled the Muslim
province of Al-Andalus
from between 716
. He was the third successor to Musa bin Nusair
, the North African
governor who had directed the conquest of Visigothic Spain
several years earlier in 711
. Al-Hurr was the first Muslim commander to cross the Pyrenees
, leading a small raiding party into Septimania
. His incursions were largely unsuccessful, for which he was deposed in 718
In 711, an Umayyad army led by freedman Tariq bin Ziyad
had been sent to the Iberian peninsula
under the orders of North African governor Musa bin Nusair
, resulting in its eventual conquest
. Leaving his son ('Abd al-'Aziz) in charge, Musa led a triumphant procession of over 400 well-dressed Visgothic princes, followed by slaves and prisoners of war, to the Caliph al-Walid I
. During that visit, Musa dramatically fell out of favor with al-Walid: Tariq informed the caliph that the treasure paraded, for which Musa had claimed credit, had actually been captured by himself instead. Musa was stripped of his status, and 'Abd al-'Aziz remained in charge of the newly conquered territories, which were now named "Al-Andalus
After the assassination of Abd al-Aziz in 716, and the six-month rule of his cousin Ayyub ibn Habib al-Lakhmi, al-Hurr ibn 'abd al-Rahman al-Thaqafi was assigned the post. Soon afterwards, he relocated the Andalusian administrative capital from Seville
. Al-Hurr was heavily involved in trying to suppress Christian Gothic resistance, and was largely successful in doing so; except against a pocket of resistance in the Asturian mountains, from which the Reconquista
would emerge many years later.
Al-Hurr also turned his attention to the Franks across the Pyrenees. Sources suggest he was enticed by the treasure horded in the convents and churches, as well as the internal dissension between the chief officers of the Merovingian court and the dukes of Aquitaine. None of al-Hurr's predecessors had attempted to cross the Pyrenees, and in 717, he attempted to do just that. He led a small expedition across the range into Septimania, the first of which was likely to just reconnoiter the region. Several attempted raids later, all of which proved unsuccessful, al-Hurr was deposed by the caliph, who appointed Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani in 718 as his replacement. Al-Samh continued expeditions into France, reaching as far as the Rhône, but would be killed in the Battle of Tolouse in 721.
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