Musa Ibn Nusair

Musa Ibn Nusair was born in an Arab tribe near Madinah in 640 CE in the reign of Umar radhiallahu anhu. Musa spent his formative years in Madinah learning Islam from the Sahaaba. Later Musa’s father was appointed head-guard for Caliph Muawiyah radhiallahu anhu and Musa learnt about military campaigns and politics from Muawiyah radhiallahu anhu in Syria. Musa learnt about naval warfare when Muawiyah radhialalhu anhu led the second naval campaign in Islamic history in 659 CE. Musa participated in later sea battles against the Roman navy.

Caliph Marwan Ibn Hakam’s son appointed Musa as his chief adviser when he was appointed Governor of Egypt. Musa then helped another of the Caliph’s sons in Iraq. Musa returned to Egypt in 695. In 705 he was appointed Governor of Kairawaan in Tunisia, North Africa. Musa successfully ruled the Berber tribes in North Africa, integrating the in the army. He cleaned up the pockets of Roman rule remaining on the coastal areas and expanded the Islamic empire further west. He sent armies to occupy Morocco and thus brought the whole of North Africa under Muslim rule. Musa chose a Berber Tariq Ibn Ziyad as the Governor of Tangier. Musa expanded the ship-building yard in Tunis to produce more warships. He occupied strategic islands in the Mediterranean. Musa then organised raids into Spain and deputed Tariq Ibn Ziyad to lead an invasion. Musa himself then went to Spain to complete the conquest.

In his 70’s the Caliph called Musa back to Damascus. He went with the Caliph for Hajj. He passed away in his birthplace Madinah in 720 CE at the age of 80. He had never been defeated in battle since the age of 40.