“If God has given me the Kingship, then no man can take it away.” – Sultan Moulay Ismail Ibn Sharif, the King of Morocco from 1672 to 1727. He was born in the year 1645 at Sijilmasa according to some scholars whiles others hold that his year of birth is not conclusive.
As the seventh son of Moulay Sharif, he was most definitely bound for the throne which he ascended in 1672 after the death of his half-brother; Moulay Rashid. He reigned as King of Morocco for about 55 years and is remembered as the longest reigning King in Moroccan history.
Moulay Ismail Ibn Sharif was a very powerful and feared ruler. His military strength over neighbouring and distant kingdoms was actively evident throughout his reign. Due to this, he added to the power, wealth and fame of the Alaouite dynasty of Morocco.
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The French diplomat; Dominique Busnot is recorded to have written that; King Moulay Ismail Ibn Sharif had 4 official wives and 500 concubines with 868 children as of 1703. Dominique Busnot again wrote that the King’s 700th son was born in the year 1727 which also doubles as the year he died, but by which time he had fathered well over 1000 children.
King Solomon of Biblical lore is recorded to have acquired a respectable 700 wives and 300 concubines, but as to the total number of children he fathered before the end of his days, that is not entirely clear. King Moulay Ismail Ibn Sharif has in view of this gone down the annals of history as the man with the most number of children.
The Moroccan King was also recorded to have been very strong-willed with an astonishingly enduring physical strength and stamina. Critiques and sceptics have attacked the authenticity of his status as fathering over 1000 children. Some researchers in view of this air of doubt have availed that it would take about 65 to 100 women for a man to father the number of children in question, whereas the Moroccan King is estimated to have kept over 500 concubines.
Known as the ‘blood-thirsty’ King, Moulay Ismail Ibn Sharif commanded an army of pirates also known as ‘Corsairs’. With this army, he gained power and affluence over large territories near and far. Using his pirates as an extension of himself, Moulay Ismail Ibn Sharif planted fear in his enemies and guarded himself as well as his loved ones from harm.
Moulay Ismail Ibn Sharif died in 1727 aged about 81 years. The cause of his death has been tied to a stomach ailment that took a toll on his already waning health.