Idris I (Arabic: إدريس الأول), also known as Idris ibn Abdillah, was the founder of the Idrisid dynasty in part of northern Morocco in alliance with the Berber tribe of Awraba. He ruled from 788 to 791. He is credited with founding the dynasty that established Moroccan statehood and is regarded as the “founder of Morocco“. He was the great-great-great-grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
Idris was the great-grandchild of Hasan, who was the son of Fatimah and grandson of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. His brothers Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya and Ibrahim had been killed by the Abbasids during an abortive rebellion, and Idris himself escaped after the defeat of another Alid uprising at the Battle of Fakhkh in 786 and took refuge in the western Maghreb (nowadays Morocco). There he established the Arabian Idrisid dynasty.
In 789 arrived in Walīla, the site of the Roman Volubilis where he founded the town of Moulay Idriss near the hill of Zerhoun surrounding the native Berber tribes. It was then occupied by the Berber tribe of the Awraba, under Ishaq ibn Mohammed. He married Kenza, daughter of Ishaq ben Mohammed the king of the tribe, fathering a son, Idris II. This event is considered a consolidation and the birth of the Idrisid dynasty, the fourth Muslim State in Morocco after Nekor (710 – 1019), Barghawata (744 – 1058), and Midrar (757 – 976).
Idris I conquered large parts of northern Morocco, his son Idris II made Fez the capital city of the Idrisid dynasty. In 789 AD, he captured Tlemcen (modern-day Algeria) which became part of the kingdom. This succession of events prompted vengeance from the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, who sent emissaries to kill him. Idris I was poisoned and died in 791. His son, Idris II, was brought up by the Awraba, and left Walīla for Fes in 808. Idris is buried in Moulay Idriss.