Mohammed V of Morocco

Mohammed al-Khamis bin Yusef bin Hassan al-Alawi (Arabic: محمد الخامس بن يوسف بن الحسن بن محمد بن عبد الرحمن بن هشام بن محمد بن عبد الله بن إسماعيل بن الشريف بن علي العلوي), also known as Sidi Mohammed bin Yusef (Arabic: سيدي محمد بن يوسف) or Mohammed V (Arabic: محمد الخامس) (10 August 1909 – 26 February 1961), was Sultan of Morocco from 1927 to 1953; he was as Sultan again upon his return from exile in 1955, and as King from 1957 to 1961. Upon the death of his father, Yusef bin Hassan, he succeeded to the throne. He was a member of the 'Alawi dynasty .

Mohammed V
Mohammed bin Yusef
محمد الخامس
Amir al-Mu'minin
King of Morocco
Reign14 August 1957 – 26 February 1961
SuccessorHassan II
Prime Ministers
See list
  • Mbarek Bekkay
    Ahmed Balafrej
    Abdallah Ibrahim
Sultan of Morocco
Reign30 October 1955 – 14 August 1957
PredecessorMohammed bin 'Arafa
Reign17 November 1927 – 20 August 1953
PredecessorYusef bin Hassan
SuccessorMohammed bin 'Arafa
Born(1909-08-10)10 August 1909
Fes, Morocco
Died26 February 1961(1961-02-26) (aged 51)
Rabat, Morocco
SpouseHanila bint Mamoun
Abla bint Tahar
Bahia bint Antar
Hassan II
Mohammed al-Khamis bin Yusef bin Hassan bin Mohammed bin Abd al-Rahman bin Hisham bin Mohammed bin Abdallah bin Ismail bin Sharif bin Ali al-Alawi
محمد الخامس بن يوسف بن الحسن بن محمد بن عبد الرحمن بن هشام بن محمد بن عبد الله بن إسماعيل بن الشريف بن علي العلوي
FatherYusef bin Hassan
ReligionSunni Islam


A portrait of the young Sidi Mohammed ben Yusef al-Alawi taken by Marcelin Flandrin for Agence Rol.

Early life (1909–1927)

Mohammed bin Yusef was born on 10 August 1909 in Fes, and was the youngest of his three brothers. In March 1912, the Treaty of Fes was signed, turning Morocco into a French protectorate after a French invasion from the west and the east, resulting in an eventual capture of the capital, Fes. While Mohammed's father Yusef bin Hassan spent most of his time in the new capital, Rabat, Mohammed spent most of his time in the Royal Palace in Fes, where he received education in the traditional Moroccan way, Arabic religious lessons. However, Mohammed also learned the French language, which he did not master, as it was necessary to communicate with French authorities.[1]

Beginning of his reign (1927–1939)

The young sultan sitting with the former French résident général, Hubert Lyautey, in 1930.[2]

Mohammed V was one of the sons of Sultan Yusef, who was enthroned by the French in September 1912 and his wife Yaqut.[3] On 18 November 1927, a "young and timid" 17-year-old Muhammad bin Yusef was enthroned after the death of his father and the departure of Hubert Lyautey.[4]

Sultan Sidi Mohammed V with his son, the future King Hassan II, in a replica Panhard, 1930

He married Hanila bint Mamoun in 1925 and in 1928, he married Abla bint Tahar, the latter gave birth to Hassan II in 1929. Finally he married Bahia bint Antar.

During World War II (1939–1945)

At the time of Mohammed's enthronement, the French colonial authorities were "pushing for a more assertive 'native policy.'"[4] On 16 May 1930, Sultan Muhammad V signed the Berber Dahir, which changed the legal system in parts of Morocco where Berber languages were primarily spoken (Bled es-Siba), while the legal system in the rest of the country (Bled al-Makhzen) remained the way it had been before the French invasion.[4][5] Although the sultan was under no duress, he was only 20 years old.[4] This dhahir "electrified the nation"; it was sharply criticized by Moroccan nationalists and catalyzed the Moroccan Nationalist Movement.[4]

Sultan Muhammad V participated in the Anfa Conference hosted in Casablanca during World War II.[4] On 22 January 1943, he met privately with the US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Prime Minister of the UK Winston Churchill.[4] At this dinner, Roosevelt assured the sultan that "the post-war scene and the pre-war scene would ... sharply differ, especially as they related to the colonial question."[4] The sultan's 14-year-old son and future king of Morocco, Hassan II, also attended and later stated that Roosevelt said, "Ten years from now your country will be independent."[4]

"There are competing accounts of exactly what Mohammed V did or did not do for the Moroccan Jewish community" during the Holocaust.[6] However, "though a subject of debate, most scholars stress the benevolence of Mohammed V toward the Jews" during the Vichy era.[7] Mohammed reportedly refused to sign off on efforts by Vichy officials to impose anti-Jewish legislation upon Morocco and deport the country's 250,000 Jews to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps in Europe.[8] The sultan's stand was "based as much on the insult the Vichy diktats posed to his claim of sovereignty over all his subjects, including the Jews, as on his humanitarian instincts."[8] Partial Nazi race measures were enacted in Morocco over Mohammed's objection,[8] and Mohammed did sign, under the instructions of Vichy officials, two decrees that barred Jews from certain schools and positions.[9]

Nevertheless, Mohammed is highly esteemed by Moroccan Jews who credit him for protecting their community from the Nazi and Vichy French government,[6] and Mohammed V has been honored by Jewish organizations for his role in protecting his Jewish subjects during the Holocaust.[10] Some historians maintain that Mohammed's anti-Nazi role has been exaggerated; historian Michel Abitol writes that while Mohammed V was compelled by Vichy officials to sign the anti-Jewish dahirs, "he was more passive than Moncef Bay (ruler of Tunisia during the Second World War) in that he did not take any side and did not engage in any public act that could be interpreted as a rejection of Vichy's policy."[9]

Struggle for independence (1945–1953)

Prince Hassan stands behind Sultan Mohammed V seated with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during the 1943 Casablanca Conference.

Sultan Muhammad V was a central figure in the independence movement in Morocco, or as it is also called: the Revolution of the King and the People (ثورة الملك والشعب). This Moroccan Nationalist Movement grew from protests regarding the Berber Dahir of 16 May 1930. He was critical of early movements for reform in French colonial administration in Morocco before becoming a supporter of independence later on.[11]

His central position in the Proclamation of Independence of Morocco further boosted his image as a national symbol. On 9 and 10 April 1947, he delivered two momentous speeches respectively at the Mendoubia and Grand Mosque of Tangier, together known as the Tangier Speech, appealing for the independence of Morocco without calling out specific colonial powers.[12][13]

Moulay Hassan and his father, Sultan Mohammed V in 1950

In 1947, the rapid progress of the nationalist movement prompted Sidi Mohammed to demand independence for the first time during the Tangier speech, where he also called for the union of the Arabs and Morocco's membership of the Arab League which was founded in 1945, in which he praised, emphasized the close ties between Morocco and the rest of the Arab world. This rapprochement between the monarchy and the nationalist movement, whose projects differ, can be explained, according to historian Bernard Cubertafond, by the fact that "each side needs the other: the national movement sees the growing popularity of the king and his prudent but gradual emancipation from a protector who, in fact, left the treaty of 1912 to come to direct administration; the king cannot, except to discredit himself, cut himself off from a nationalist movement bringing together the living forces of his country and the elite of his youth, and he needs this power of protest to impose changes on France”.[14]

From then on, relations became strained with the French authorities, in particular with the new Resident General, General Alphonse Juin, who applied severe measures and pressured the sultan to disavow the Istiqlal and distance himself from nationalist claims. The break with France was consummated in 1951 and Sidi Mohammed concluded with the nationalists the pact of Tangier to fight for independence. The appointment of a new Resident General, General Augustin Guillaume , accentuated the dissension between Mohammed V and France. Further demonstrations turn into riots in Morocco in 1952, notably in Casablanca, while Sidi Mohammed gives the Moroccan cause an international audience at the UN with the support of the United States.[14]

Deposition and exile (1953–1955)

On 20 August 1953 (the eve of Eid al-Adha), the French colonial authorities forced Mohammed V, an important national symbol in the growing Moroccan independence movement, into exile in Corsica along with his family. His first cousin once removed, Mohammed Ben Aarafa, called the "French sultan," was made a puppet monarch and placed on the throne.[15] In response, Muhammad Zarqtuni bombed Casablanca's Central Market on Christmas Eve of that year.[15]

King Mohammed V of Morocco in 1957

Mohammed V and his family were then transferred to Madagascar in January 1954. Mohammed V returned from exile on 16 November 1955, and was again recognized as Sultan after active opposition to the French protectorate. The situation became so tense that in 1955, the Moroccan nationalists, who enjoyed support in Libya, Algeria (with the FLN) and Egypt forced the French government to negotiate and recall the sultan. In February 1956 he successfully negotiated with France and Spain for the independence of Morocco.

After independence (1956–1961)

Mohammed V supported the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) in the struggle for Algerian Independence and offered to facilitate the participation of FLN leaders in a conference with Habib Bourguiba in Tunis.[16] On October 22, 1956, French forces hijacked a Moroccan airplane carrying leaders of the FLN during the ongoing Algerian War.[17][16][18] The plane, which was carrying Ahmed Ben Bella, Hocine Aït Ahmed, and Mohamed Boudiaf, was destined to leave from Palma de Mallorca for Tunis, but French forces redirected the flight to occupied Algiers, where the FLN leaders were arrested.[16]

As Mohammed V returned to the throne, he suppressed many insurgencies, especially in the south and in the Rif. In 1957, he took the title of King of Morocco, to symbolise the unity of the country despite the divisions between Arabs and Berbers. In terms of domestic policy, upon his return he allowed the first congress of the Istiqlal, which formed various governments under his reign. He authorized the creation of trade unions, but the unrest and the strikes lead him to take full power in the last years of his reign.[14]

During his reign, the Moroccan Liberation Army waged war against Spain and France, and successfully captured most of Ifni as well as Cape Juby and parts of Spanish Sahara. With the treaty of Angra de Cintra, Morocco annexed Cape Juby and the surroundings of Ifni, while the rest of the remaining colony was ceded by Spain in 1969.[19]

Death (1961)

He died at 51 years old 26 February 1961 following complications of a minor operation he had undergone.[20]


Mohammed V's nisbah is Mohammed bin Yusef bin Hassan bin Muhammad bin Abd al-Rahman bin Hisham bin Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Ismail bin Sharif bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Youssef bin Ali bin Al Hassan bin Muhammad bin Al Hassan bin Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abi Al Qasim bin Muhammad bin Al-Hassan bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Arafa bin Al-Hassan bin Abi Bakr bin Ali bin Al-Hasan bin Ahmed bin Ismail bin Al-Qasim bin Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya bin Abdullah al-Kamil bin Hassan al-Muthanna bin Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Talib bin Abd al-Muttalib bin Hashim.[21]


The Mohammed V International Airport, Stade Mohammed V and Mohammed V Square in Casablanca, the Mohammed V Avenue, Mohammed V University and Mohammadia School of Engineering in Rabat, and the Mohammed V Mosque in Tangier are among numerous buildings, locales and institutions named after him. There is an Avenue Mohammed V in nearly every Moroccan city and a major one in Tunis, Tunisia, and in Algiers, Algeria. The Mohammed V Palace in Conakry, Guinea, is named in his honour.

In December 2007, The Jewish Daily Forward reported on a secret diplomatic initiative by the Moroccan government to have Mohammed V admitted to the Righteous Among the Nations.[22]

Personal life

His first wife was Hanila bint Mamoun. They married in 1925.[23][24] She was the mother of his first daughter Fatima Zohra.

His second wife was his first cousin Abla bint Tahar. She was the daughter of Mohammed Tahar bin Hassan, son of Hassan I of Morocco. She married Mohammed V in 1928 and died in Rabat on 1 March 1992. She gave birth to five children: the future King Hassan II, Aisha, Malika, Abdallah and Nuzha.[25]

His third wife was Bahia bint Antar, mother of his last daughter Amina.


Sultan Mohammed V of Morocco wearing a jalaba in 1934

See also


  1. "محمد الخامس.. تعليم لا يليق بالملوك". 14 May 2014. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  2. photographique (commanditaire), Agence Rol Agence (1930). "8-7-30, [de g. à d.] El Mokri, le sultan, maréchal Liautey, M. Saint : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol]". Gallica. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  3. Prince Moulay Hicham El Alaoui (9 April 2014). Journal d'un Prince Banni: Demain le Maroc (Grasset ed.). ISBN 978-2-246-85166-0. allait devenir la petite-fille préférée de Hassan II, le roi s'est émerveillé sans aucune gêne des yeux bleus de la nouveau-née. « Elle tient ça de son arrière-grand-mère turque », faisait-il remarquer en rappelant les yeux azur de la mère de Mohammed V
  4. Susan Gilson Miller (2013). A history of modern Morocco. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-62469-5. OCLC 855022840.
  5. "الأمازيغية والاستعمار الفرنسي (24) .. السياسة البربرية والحرب". Hespress (in Arabic). 9 June 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  6. Jessica M. Marglin. (2016). Across Legal Lines: Jews and Muslims in Modern Morocco (Yale University Press), p. 201.
  7. Orit Bashkin & Daniel J. Schroeter. (2016). "Historical themes: Muslim-Jewish relations in the modern modern Middle East and North Africa" in The Routledge Handbook of Muslim-Jewish Relations (Routledge), p. 54.
  8. Susan Gilson Miller. (2013). A History of Modern Morocco (Cambridge University Press), pp. 142-143.
  9. Abdelilah Bouasria. (2013). "The second coming of Morocco's 'Commander of the Faithful': Mohammed VI and Morocco's religious policy" in Contemporary Morocco: State, Politics and Society Under Mohammmed VI (eds. Bruce Maddy-Weitzman & Daniel Zisenwine), p. 42.
  10. "KIVUNIM Convocation Honoring the Memory of King Mohammed V of Morocco". Kivunim. 24 December 2015.
  11. Lawrence, Adria K. (2013). Imperial Rule and the Politics of Nationalism: Anti-Colonial Protest in the French Empire. Cambridge University Press. pp. 70–72. ISBN 978-1-107-03709-0.
  12. Atlasinfo (6 April 2016). "Evènements du 7 avril 1947 à Casablanca, un tournant décisif dans la lutte pour la liberté et l'indépendance". l'essentiel de l'actualité de la France et du Maghreb (in French). Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  13. Safaa Kasraoui (10 April 2018). "Morocco Commemorates Sultan Mohammed V's 'Historic Visits' to Tangier and Tetouan". Morocco World News.
  14. Saïd., Bouamama (2014). Figures de la révolution africaine : de Kenyatta à Sankara. Découverte. ISBN 978-2-35522-037-1. OCLC 898169872.
  15. "Histoire : Le Noël sanglant du marché central de Casablanca". Yabiladi (in French). Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  16. "22 October 1956 : Ben Bella, King Mohammed V and the story of the re-routed plane". Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  17. Essemlali, Mounya (2011). "Le Maroc entre la France et l'Algérie (1956-1962)". Relations internationales. n° 146 (2): 77. doi:10.3917/ri.146.0077. ISSN 0335-2013.
  18. Essa (22 October 2020). "أكتوبر في تاريخ المغرب أحداث وأهوال | المعطي منجب". القدس العربي (in Arabic). Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  19. Pennell, C. R. (2000). Morocco Since 1830: A History. Hurst. ISBN 978-1-85065-273-1.
  20. "Mohammed V of Morocco Dies at 51 After Surgery". The New York Times. 26 February 1961. Retrieved 13 June 2008. King Mohammed V died today after a minor operation. He was 51 years old and had occupied the throne since 1927
  21. "Wayback Machine". 9 April 2020. Archived from the original on 9 April 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  22. An Arab King Righteous Among the Nations?. The Forward, 12 December 2007
  23. Triple royal wedding in Morocco
  24. "Feue la princesse Lalla Fatima Zahra décedée le 10 aout 2014". Skyrock (in French). 13 August 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  25. International Business Publications, Morocco Foreign Policy and Government Guide p. 84
  26. Guía oficial de España, p. 211
  27. Boletín Oficial del Estado


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.