Abd al-Rahman ibn Rustam

Abd al-Rahman ibn Rustam
Reign776/777 or 778/779–784/785
SuccessorAbd al-Wahhab ibn Abd al-Rahman

Abd al-Rahman ibn Rustam was the first imam of the Imamate of Tahart and the founder of Rustamid dynasty, which existed in central Maghrib from about 776 or 778 CE to 908 CE. He was also the founder of the new Tahert.


Abd al-Rhman was probably born c. 729–730 in Iraq. His father, Rustam, a Persian man, leaves Iraq with his son and wife to join the Maghreb, but dies when he arrives in Mecca or its surroundings. His mother had remarried a Kairouani pilgrim she had met in Mecca and the couple raised Al-Rahman at Kairouan.[1]

Abd Al-Rahman was a quick and energetic learner, and had studied under Abu Ubaida Muslim in Basra. Abd Al-Rahman became one of the five missionaries who was ultimately responsible for the spread of the Ibadite doctrine in the Maghreb.

The first Imam of the Ibadites had captured Kairawan from the Warfadjuma warriors and after his conquest, he gave several parts of Ifrikiya to Abd al-Rahman (unfortunately, in June 758- the same year- Ibn al-Asha'ath retook Kairawan). Ibn al-Ash'ath was after him though.

Quickly though, Abd Al-Rahman and his son Abd al-Wahhab and their companions took refuge in central Maghrib and ended up finding the town of Tahert, which is now known as Tagdemt near Kuzul. The city was quickly populated with Abadite emigrants from Ifrikiya and Djebel Nefusa.

At about 776 or 778 CE, Abd Al-Rahman became the Imamate of the Ibadites of Tahert. He seems to have had a very peaceful reign and worked hard to ensure that justice and simplicity were also instilled in Tahert's legal system. The eastern Abadite communities held high respect for him and sent him a number of money and presents, in addition to recognizing his right to an Imamate. He is allegedly to have died at about 784 CE and his son Abd Al-Wahhab was supposed to have succeeded him. [2]


  1. ^ Prevost, Virginie (2011). "Ἁbd al-Raḥmān ibn Rustum al-Fārisī. Une tentative de biographie du premier imam de Tāhart". Der Islam: Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East. 86 (1): 45. ISSN 0021-1818.
  2. ^ The Encyclopædia of Islam: A Dictionary of the Geography, Ethnography and Biography of the Muhammadan Peoples. Holland: EJ Brill. 1913. pp. 56–57.