Zahrat ash-Shamarikh

[…] The Souss populations were hard-pressed on all sides by the infidel enemy who held a great many positions on their territory. And while the Christians darkened the air with their massed forces and strengthened their positions, the Muslims remained in utmost confusion for want of a chief who gathered them around him and rallied Islam’s armies. Wattassid authority in the Souss hinterland had considerably weakened; still acknowledged in the towns of the Maghreb, it was purely nominal in the Souss. Besides, the Wattassids were completely consumed by their fight against the infidels in fortified centres at Asila, Larache […]. When the Souss people realised they were exposed to the greatest misfortunes by the activity of the Christians who coveted their country, they turned to their leader, the saintly Ibn al-Mubarak. They explained the woeful situation that the dispersion of their forces and the discord between them for one thing and the enemy’s vigorous and relentless attacks for another had left them in. They went on to propose that the holy man gather them around him for them to swear an oath of allegiance to him, thereby giving him the necessary authority to govern the tribes and lead them into battle against the enemy. Ibn al-Mubarak firmly rejected this proposal: “there is, he said, in Tagmadart in the Dra’a, a sharif who insists his sons are called to a great future. Turn to this person and give him your oath of allegiance: this will serve your plans more worthily.”