The fifty-five-year reign of Moulay Ismail, the founder of the Alawi dynasty, from 1672 to 1727, is the longest of any sultan of Morocco. He had inherited a country weakened by internal tribal wars and royal succession struggles. Nevertheless, he rejected these forms of political discourse and imposed his authority and consolidated his legitimacy through different means. In particular, Moulay Ismail relied on ‘Sharifism’, the legitimisation ideology based on the status of being a descendant of the Prophet Mohamed, as a crucial element of religious, political and cultural capital. This prophetic descent and respect for kinship networks earned him strong alliances with both Arab and Berber tribes. This chapter will demonstrate that Moulay Ismail’s most effective instrument for his success was a combination of this strategy and the recruitment of the Abid Alboukhari army, composed of foreigners from sub-Saharan tribes whose sole allegiance was to him alone. In the end, however, the fragile balance between these two forces was not maintained by the Sultan’s successors, and the Alawi dynasty had to search for a different means of legitimisation and political control.