Islam, July - Sept 2003

Muslims On The Iberian Peninsula

By Mariam Santos Garcia

In the Name of God, The Gracious, Merciful,

This presentation is dedicated to our Muslim brothers from Spain from 1492 who gave their lives to protect Al Andalus while trying to maintain their faith in Islam.

You are probably wondering why the title of my speech is called Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula and not in Spain, well simply because there was no Spain, nor was Spanish spoken at that time, the territory of the Iberian Peninsula was occupied by the Visigoths , a tribe of Western Goths that came from present-day Germany, while their government lasted, they treated the inhabitants who were called Ibero-Romans, curious truth, well they treated them as if they were slaves. That is why the governor of the area Ibero-Roma asked for help from the Berbers who were the North African tribe today that region is called Morocco to free them from the persecutions of the Visigoths.

In 711 Yebel Tarik, Lieutenant of the Governor of North Africa Musa ben Nusayr, leaves Tangier at the head of an army of 9,000 thousand men and disembarks in Gibraltar (Yebel Tarik) which means the Mountain of Tarik, the conquest alone took 8 years the reason for this was that the majority of the population, descendants of Hispano-Romans and Visigoths, had converted to Islam, receiving the name of MULADI, only in the cities remained a part of the population that remained Christian called MOZARABES, who was highly respected and equal to the Jewish woman, was allowed to practice their religion freely and to be able to work in the judiciary, I mean that they were part of the judicial court.

The stay of Muslims in the Iberian peninsula called Al Andalus is divided into five periods:

THE EMIRATE (711-756)
OF TAIFAS (929-1031)
THE EMIRATE (711-756)

During the second half of the eighth century (8) there were strong changes in the Muslim empire, a series of ruptures that ended with the Umayyads who ruled in Damascus, to begin the reign of the Abbasids who accentuated in Baghdad, but a prince Umayyad fled Damascus Abderrahman I penetrating into Al Andalus Forming a new state based in Cordoba: The Emirate independent of Baghdad politics.


Eight emirs succeeded in the course of time from 756-926, it was a brilliant era of culture until Abderrahman III decided to found a caliphate, declaring himself Emir al-Muminin (prince of the believers), which gave him In addition to earthly power, spiritual power over the community of believers (umma) This caliph and his successor AL HAKAM II, knew how to favor the ethnic-cultural integration between Berbers, Arabs, Hispanics and Jews, at this time a pact was made with Christians to build and expand The mosque of Cordoba as well as a great majority of buildings, what a marvelous thing. I believe that not even the United Nations can or have achieved something like that.

REALMS OF RATES (929-1031)

Not all the successors of these brilliant caliphs followed such a policy, but it would have been because they let the horse of power run wild, after 22 years of separations and civil wars the caliphate ended around the year 1031. When this happened all the The great Arab, Berber and Muladis families (the Hispano-Romans who converted to Islam) wanted to take over the reins or at least their city, thus emerging all over the world. Kings of Taifas (small kingdoms) proclaiming themselves owners and lords of the main squares. the beginning of the end of Al Andalus and in the face of this deterioration in the south, the enemy that was the north composed and led by the Castilians, Aragonese and Basques organized and united as they had never done before to fight the Muslims.This caused the first great victory over Islam on the peninsula, starring Alfonso VI (6) when in 1085 he took over the important city of Toledo.


At the end of the 11th century (11) in the western Maghreb, today Morocco, a new political and religious movement arose within a Berber tribe from the south, the Lamtuna, who founded the Almoravide dynasty. troops of Alfonso VI (6), recovering Toledo again and ending the Taifa kings and gain control of AL Andalus, meanwhile the Castilian Aragonese led by Alfonso I of Aragon, conquer Zaragoza in 1118, at the same time the Almoravides experience a threat to their own supremacy by a new religious movement emerged in the Maghreb; Almohad this new dynasty was generated within one of the Berber tribes that took power and ruled with economic and cultural prosperity as they were great builders and great scientists of the time,


When all seemed lost and the Castilian advance was unstoppable, Ferdinand III took over a large part of the Andalusian cities in the thirteenth century (13) A new Nazari dynasty emerged in Jaen, founded by the famous Abenamar. Muslims of Granada, accentuating their kingdom in Granada, the Nazaries established a kingdom based on instability, despite all this Granada was one of the best cities that welcomed Muslims from all corners in which the best palaces such as LA ALHAMBRA mosques and public bathrooms, Granada had more than 600 bathrooms, 28 schools and 200 libraries.

While in the rest of Europe 99% did not know how to read or write, where women went to school when the rest of Europe did not consider them to have any type of education and they had the best hospitals, the kings of all Europe came to Granada to get treatment. All this lasted until 1492 after 800 years at war with the Castilian Aragonese from the north, the Musumans lost Al Andalus, King Boabdil was forced to hand over the keys of Granada to the Catholic Kings of Castile and Aragon, with tears in her mother’s eyes told her Don’t cry like a woman what you haven’t been able to defend like a man, this frace nowadays is called the last sigh of the Moor. Well this was the beginning of massive perceptions of mistreatment, burning of estates, rapes ect.

Well I leave you with one thought in mind, let’s look at our origins, strengthen our roots, learn from our past to make a better precent Without forgetting that it is ALLAH that gives us the opportunity to understand our past and future, and let us be proud of what that we are, descendants of Hispanic Muslims.