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Tariq ibn Ziyad or Taric bin Zeyad ( , , 720) was a Berber Muslim and Umayyad general who led the conquest of Visigothic Hispania in 711 under the orders of the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I.

Tariq ibn Ziyad is considered to be one of the most important military commanders in Iberian history. He was initially the deputy of Musa ibn Nusair in North Africa, and was sent by his superior to launch the first thrust of a conquest of the Visigothic Kingdom (comprising modern Spainmarker and Portugalmarker).


At the bottom of page of Volume I of the book of Ibn Khaldun on the origins of the Berbers figure, without any reference or date or place, the following annotation: "the branch of Ulhasmarker, information it would return the writings of the historian Ibn Idhari author of the Al Bayan Al Moghrib.

If this branch is currently sedentary tribes on the banks of the wadi Tafna in current Algeriamarker, the absence of any reference in the writings of Ibn Khaldun does not identify where it was located in the time of Tariq ibn Ziyad.

Apart from its name, the surname of his father, date and place of his death, the civil of the military is uncertain. As for his ethnicity, historians today agree that he was Berber, although there are some sources giving him Persian ancestry..

If like Ibn Khaldoun, an Arabic historian, wrote Tariq ibn Ziyad was a berber so his initial family'name could not be Tariq Ibn Ziyad ; Indeed this name is Arabic which means Tariq son of Ziyad.

The name Tariq, which can also be written or Tarik Tarek, has many meanings in Arabic:

  • Morning star, like At-Tariq, the Sura N° of Qur'an of the same name
  • someone who knocks at the door
  • Road or Way (which there is a female " tariqa " meaning the way or method religious Sufi)

Tareq surname would mean in Arabic "conqueror or traveler" but it is unclear whether this name is related or not from his father's Arab first name.

Given the symbolism of the name of the conqueror, it is likely that Tariq's nickname was given to him after the conquest.

The Spanish historian Ignacio Videla Olago in his essay La revolución Islámica Occidente published in 1974, supports TARIC that the name is of Germanic origin meaning " son of Tar ". The suffix " ic " meaning " son of ", found in many termination Germanic names such Euric, Alaric, Gesalic, Roderic, etc.... supports the hypothesis that was the TARIC Visigothic governor of the province of Tangier whose existence was confirmed by Witiza, Visigothic king of Toledo whose his sons were allies of Taric against the Visigothic King Roderic.

Beyond his hypothesis on the probable origin Visigothic Tariq, the arguments put forward by Videla tend to deny the stories of Arab-Muslim historians of an Arab invasion of Spain, the french historian Pierre Guichard responded to the assumptions of Videla in his book full of information about Muslim Spain, entitled The Arabs have invaded Spain

For Joaquin Vallvé the name Tariq refers to a eponymous figure and simply means Leader.


Around the Tariq's life , there are many legends.

On April 29 711, the armies of Tariq landed at Gibraltarmarker (the name Gibraltar is derived from the Arabic name Jabal al Tariq, which means mountain of (the) Tariq, or the more obvious Gibr Tariq, meaning rock of Tariq).

The 17th century Muslim historian Al-Maqqari wrote that upon landing, Tariq burned his ships and then made a speech, well-known in the Muslim world, to his soldiers.

The Muslim armies swept through Hispania and, in the summer of 711, won a decisive victory when the Visigothic king, Roderic, was defeated and killed on July 19 at the Battle of Guadalete. Afterwards, Tariq was made governor of Hispania but eventually was called back to Damascusmarker by the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I, where he spent the rest of his life.

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