Muslims in Spain from 1492-1568

With the Treaty of Garnata in place, Muslims were given a multitude of promises that their Deen shall not be interefered with and that all freedom of religion should be preserved, (not unlike the the modern western liberal democracies such as America, Britain, Canada). In fact the day after the agreement was signed, “…Ferdinand and Isabella made a solemn declaration in which they swore to Allah that all Moors should have full liberty to work on their lands…and to maintain their religious observances and mosques heretofore, while those who preferred could sell their property and go to Barbary, (Lea, 2001, 21).” Thus in the beginning, western historians argue that the capitulations were made in good faith by the Spanish sovereigns and that they intended to carry them in good faith as well.

It must be remembered that under the Capitulations, Garnata and only Garnata, was given a certain degree of autonomy, (albeit technically and in fact being part of the Spanish crown as its territory), to govern their religious and social affairs. In regards to the Muslims of Spain, (inclusive of Garnata), located mostly in Valencia, Castille and Garnata, they were now all Ahl Al-Dajn or Mudajaneen. In the hectic times that followed, the people that were afraid for their Deen and of the permissibility of remaining under the rule of the Kuffaar, fled mostly to the Maghreb States, (modern-day Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya), Mali, Egypt and Sham47. The Spanish had arranged transport and logistics to allow for the exit of these Muslims, and they left unhindered by Spanish forces either on the path to the port or after departure.

As for those that stayed behind, the capitulations were respected and implemented. Ferdinand and Isabella appointed Inigo Lopez De Mendoza as their Captain General, (e.g. governor), of Garnata and he certainly intended to follow the letter of the law in regard to his Spanish-Muslim subjects. Abu Abdullah, the ousted Emir of Garnata, was suspicious of the Christians, (Ibid, 23), and rightfully so, as he had originially requested papal approval of the Treaty of Garnata, (as is evidenced in Appendix I, as Maqari mentions in his account of the Garnatan capitulations, that Papal approval was demanded by the Muslims), but after realizing the futility of the endeavour, he dropped this point during Treaty negotiatons. As per the capitulations, Muslims were left relatively unhindered in their religious affairs and traffic back and forth between the Maghrib and Andalus was not restricted.

Furthermore, Al Bayyazin’s48 wall was monitored to avoid Christians climbing upon it to peer down at Muslim houses. However, taxes were made more burdensome on Muslims by, “…farming the revenues to Moorish almojarifes or tax speculators whose familiarity with the wealth of their compatriots… (Ibid, 24).” Furthermore, (inspite of the fact that Spanish Crown did not charge a toll to exit Spain or hindered the path of emigrants), private ship owners began speculating, (increasing), on the prices of the trip and freight to the Maghrib, (Ibid). This burdened many of the people that wanted to leave, and in fact stopped many people from leaving since they did not have the funds to leave. The Spanish, had begun to renege on some of their non-religious promises of the Garnata Capitulations but had for the time kept their end of the bargain, (with a few exceptions), on religious matters, (Ibid).

It was only when, in 1499, Cardinal Ximenes was appointed to assist Talavera in Garnata that matters began to devolve. However, let me state clearly that even if Ximenes was not present in Garnata, the forced conversions, the inquisition courts, massacres and the expulsions of the Muslims would have happend anyway (due to many reasons, not the least of which was the nature of the reconquista, in that it was a religious crusade against the ‘infidel’ and ‘heretic’ Muslim occupier). Ximenez’s appointment only accelerated affairs.

In any case, as a sign of the charitable stance of the Spanish sovereigns, they appointed Hernando De Talavera to be the Archbishop of Garnata in 1493. Talavera was known to be a man that was gentle and a man of “…Charity and loving kindness, (Lea, 2001, 26).” In addition he instructed “…his missionaries to learn Arabic but he himself in his old age acquired it sufficiently for his purposes and composed an elementary grammar and vocabulary, (Ibid).” Talavera certainly wasn’t an opponent of the reconquista and of destroying the Muslim faith, but he certainly didn’t adopt the inhumane measures adopted later by his assistant Ximenes. Continue reading

The End of Islamic Garnata

After a series of negotiations and assurances that the Christians would safeguard the agreement that was about to be signed, the Garnata Capitulations were signed in 1491, (otherwise known as The Treaty of Garnata), and in 1492 the Christian forces took over the city, and thus Islamic rule of Andalus ended after almost 780 years of continuous rule. Albeit this did not mean that 1492 marked the end of the Muslim presence in Andalus, as they remained for another hundred or more years or so. As for Abu Abdullah he ended up dying in obscurity fleeing from Andalus to Morocco.

Islam flourished in Andalus, but due to our disunity and worldy desires, we lost Andalus in a mere 780 years, wherein not even a trace of it exists in modern day Spain. The rulers then were not unlike the rulers now and likewise the people of those lands not unlike us. However, the history of Andalus that we’re interested in in this project is not the above history. Nay, it is actually what happened after the Treaty of Garnata that is of interest to us, in that it applies to many a situation of Muslim today, be it the first, (or second), generation western Muslim who are living in Dar Al Kufr, by virtue of birth or immigration due to economic reasons, (and even political asylum seekers), and of those Muslims in ‘Muslim’ countries, and their thoughts in relation to their rulers and their view of the Kuffaar.

The Muslims of Andalus were assured by the Christian Kings that all treaty capitulations shall be upheld and Muslims could continue to practice as they wish, run their Shariah courts and in general have freedoms that, by today’s standards, would seem magnanimous on the part of Christian conquerors. However, within ten years they broke the treaty by creating their own pretext and thus began forcefully converting Muslims, destroying Arabic books, (including the Quran), banning the Arabic language and finally killing or imprisoning people that violated any of their bans on Islam by way of the Inquisition and its Inquisitorial courts which bear an uncanny resemblance to the CIA created ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ program and its protocols, (wherein people would disappear all of a sudden, taken to an unknown location , without habeas corpus rights being granted to the families of the detainee, and were detained for extended periods of time while subjected to psychological and physical torture for alleged acts of ‘terrorism’). Muslims had to increasingly use Aljamiado (Al Ajamiyya), to communicate instead of Arabic and lie to Christians about their faith while secretly maintain their Salat, fasting, Zakat and even Hajjduring these trying times. Continue reading

Fall Of The Murabitun, Muwahiddun and The Christian Crusade Upon Garnata

However, in short span of less than a hundred years, the Murabitun had been wrestled from power both in the Maghrib and Andalus by Muwahhidun37 who accused of the Muraibtun of becoming lax in their application of the Shariah while claiming they had come to purify the region of its Bida’. In fact by 1147, victory was almost complete for the Muwahhidun, but that certainly stop the tempo of raids into Muslim territory by Christian forces. As it became clearer to later observers, each successive wave of internal ‘regime change’ undertaken, had resulted in lesser territory in Muslim possession as compared to the regime before. In other words, the internal tumult led only to more land falling into the hands of the Christians. If we look at the map on the next page, (The Spanish mangled the Arabic word ‘Al Muwahiddun’ into Almohad), we can see the state of the world and the Muslim holdings in the Maghrib and Andalus around 1200 CE. Notice how Portugal was no longer under Muslim Control as it had been taken as a result of the Reconquista campaign of the Christians.

In any case, The Muwahiddun captured and lost territory to the Christians, with a see saw like struggle taking place, where the Christians, being united and without the high level of strife present in the Muslim camp, were begin to tilt the momentum towards themselves. This momentum was violently tilted towards the Christians side at the Battle of Las Navas De Tolosa, (or معركةلالعقاب/The Battle of punishment/retribution), in 1212 CE where the Muwahiddun sustained, some historians say, 100,000 casualties resulting in crushing loss and the end of the Muwahiddun power over Andalus. In fact, between 1217-1252 CE, Fernando the III, (King of the Kingdoms of Castille and Leon), conquered all Muslims kingdoms, (including Qurtuba), leaving Garnata as the sole independent Muslim Kingdom. Therefore it can be said that by 1252 CE, the end of Islam in Andalus was nigh. This period marked sporadic uprising by local Muslims against their kafir occupiers but this memory is marked by treachery by Muslim rulers who worked openly with the kuffaar to safeguard their kingdom, while lying to their people about events unfolding.

A great example of this is of Mohammad Ibn Al Ahmar, (who was the founder of the Banu Nasr dynasty that ruled Garnata till its fall in 1492). In addition, the Muslim lands and populations that came under Spanish control became ‘Mudejars,’ (or Mudajjan), or Muslims who lived under the Christian rulers and obeyed them while, the conversely the Spanish King promised to safeguard the Shariah and Sunnah and not meddle in its application and the Islamic practices of the populations. This designation ended in the beginning of the 16th century, as all Muslims, Garnati and others, were either expelled, imprisoned, expelled, killed, or baptized by force/coercion. Continue reading