'Abd al-Rahman III
The First Cordoban Caliph
Abd al-Rahman III (891 - 961) was the greatest of the Umayyad rulers of Spain and the first to take the title of Caliph. During his reign, Islamic Spain became wealthy and prosperous. He founded the great Caliphate of Madinat al-Zahra at Cordova and did much in his lifetime to pacify his realm and stabilise the borders with Christian Spain. He died at the apex of his power on Oct. 15, 961.