Yahya ibn Muhammad

(d. 1948)

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(d. 1948)

Zaydi imam and political ruler of North Yemen (1904–48). Succeeded his father, Muhammad, as imam of the Zaydis. Led the struggle of North Yemeni tribes against Ottoman rule to create a kingdom in North Yemen. Accepted the British presence but attempted to insulate Yemen from the rest of the world. Was autocratic, rejected political and economic modernization, and favored preservation of a traditional Islamic society. The Free Yemeni Movement revolted against his despotic rule. He was killed in 1948. His son Ahmad ruled North Yemen until 1962; after his death it became a republic, ending the rule of Zaydi imams over the country.

Subjects: Islam.

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