Islam In Spain

Muslim presence in the Iberian Peninsula

Muslim presence in the Iberian Peninsula

The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is a peninsula located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It is the westernmost of the three major southern European peninsulas—the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan peninsulas. It is bordered on the southeast and east by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the north, west and southwest by the Atlantic Ocean. The Pyrenees form the northeast edge of the peninsula, separating it from the rest of Europe. In the south, it approaches the northern coast of Africa. It is the second-largest peninsula in Europe, with an area of approximately 582,000 km2 (225,000 sq mi). This is a timeline of notable events in the Muslim Empire in Iberia, which started with the Umayyad conquest in the 8th century. Timeline   Conquest (710–756) Further information: Umayyad conquest of Hispania 710 – The Berber General Tariq ibn Ziyad takes Tangier. Several Muslim expeditions raid across the straits into Hispania Baetica or (Andalusia), including a fairly large one led by a Berber called Tarif ibn Malluk. Civil war is raging between rival kings in Visigothic Hispania. 711 – A Muslim force of about 7,000 soldiers (mainly Arabs and Berbers) under Tariq ibn Ziyad, loyal to the Umayyad Emir of Damascus, Al-Walid I, enter the Iberian peninsula from North Africa. At the Battle of Guadalete Tariq ibn Ziyad defeats King Roderic, the last Visigothic ruler of Hispania, at the Guadalete River in the south of the Iberian peninsula. Tariq goes on to take Toledo, while a detachment under Mugit al-Rumi takesCórdoba. 712 – The Muslim governor of Northern Africa, Musa ibn Nusayr, follows Tariq ibn Ziyad with an army of 18,000 Arabs. He takes Medina-Sidonia, Seville and Mértola. 713 – Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa, Musa ibn Nusair’s son, takes Jaén, Murcia, Granada, Sagunto. The Christians of Seville and Toledo revolt, but are put down by Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa’s troops. Toledo is pillaged and its notables are beheaded. 714 – First Muslim campaigns in the lower Ebro valley and south East part of the Iberian Peninsula. Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa takes Évora, Santarém and Coimbra. 715 – By this year, virtually all of southern Iberia is in Muslim hands. Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa is left in charge and makes his capital the city of Seville, where he marries Egilona, widow of King Rodrigo, who encourages him to convert to Christianity. The Umayyad Caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik, orders Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa assassinated. 716 – Lisbon is captured by the Moors. 717 – Córdoba becomes the capital of Muslim Al-Andalus. During the wars between Christians and Muslims, Jewishcourtiers are valued as diplomats, translators, and advisors to both sides.[citation needed] 718 – Pelayo, a Christian Asturian noble and possibly, but not certainly, comrade-in-arms of King Rodrigo at the Battle of Guadalete leads the fight against the Moors in the Asturian region and establishes the Kingdom of Asturias. The Muslims set out destroy...

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Islam In Spain

Islam In Spain

The religion of Islam was present in modern Spanish soil from 709 until 1614 beginning with Arab rule and ending with the expulsion of the Moriscos of Al-Andalus. By the time ‘Abd al-Rahman reached Spain, the Arabs from North Africa were already entrenched on the Iberian Peninsula and had begun to write one of the most glorious chapters in Islamic history. After their forays into France were blunted by Charles Martel, the Muslims in Spain had begun to focus their whole attention on what they called al-Andalus, southern Spain (Andalusia), and to build there a civilization far superior to anything Spain had ever known. Reigning with wisdom and justice, they treated Christians and Jews with tolerance, with the result that many embraced Islam. They also improved trade and agriculture, patronized the arts, made valuable contributions to science, and established Cordoba as the most sophisticated city in Europe. By the tenth century, Cordoba could boast of a population of some 500,000, compared to about 38,000 in Paris. According to the chronicles of the day, the city had 700 mosques, some 60,000 palaces, and 70 libraries – one reportedly housing 500,000 manuscripts and employing a staff of researchers, illuminators, and book binders. Cordoba also had some 900 public baths, Europe’s first street lights and, five miles outside the city, the caliphal residence, Madinat al-Zahra. A complex of marble, stucco, ivory, and onyx, Madinat al-Zahra took forty years to build, cost close to one-third of Cordoba’s revenue, and was, until destroyed in the eleventh century, one of the wonders of the age. Its restoration, begun in the early years of this century, is still under way. By the eleventh century, however, a small pocket of Christian resistance had begun to grow, and under Alfonso VI Christian forces retook Toledo. It was the beginning of the period the Christians called the Reconquest, and it underlined a serious problem that marred this refined, graceful, and charming era: the inability of the numerous rulers of Islamic Spain to maintain their unity. This so weakened them that when the various Christian kingdoms began to pose a serious threat, the Muslim rulers in Spain had to ask the Almoravids, a North African Berber dynasty, to come to their aid. The Almoravids came and crushed the Christian uprising, but eventually seized control themselves. In 1147, the Almoravids were in turn defeated by another coalition of Berber tribes, the Almohads. Although such internal conflict was by no means uncommon- the Christian kingdoms also warred incessantly among themselves- it did divert Muslim strength at a time when the Christians were beginning to negotiate strong alliances, form powerful armies, and launch the campaigns that would later bring an end to Arab...

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