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.
At this juncture, it would be fitting to discuss Al Ajamiyya or Aljamiado. In our context, Aljamiado refers to writings which utilizes the Arabic script for transcribing Romance languages such as Spanish. The most common reason for its increasing popularity in the 16th century is thought to be due to the restrictions placed upon the use of Arabic from the mid 16th centuries, Muslims had to adapt to these restrictions by using Castillian. However, this explanation by itself would be inaccurate. It cannot be stressed enough that Ajamiyya had been in use since the 14th and 15th, (perhaps even earlier), century due to the fact that Muslims that were living anywhere other than Garnata, (such as Arghun, Valencia and Castile), started forgetting their Arabic and acclimatizing gradually, but increasingly, to Spanish. Some of the works that have been unearthed in Spain and elsewhere in Ajamiyya are for the most part meant for the common people and serve an educational role to educate the Muslims of Spain about Islam, usually in a summarized format, (therefore making these books easy to hide from the prying eyes of the Inquisitors). Some of the non Islamic works in Ajamiyya that have been found are as follows:
“Prose narratives (divisible into romances, short stories, and legends): Rekontamiento del rey Alisandere (Story of King Alexander), Historia de los amores de París y Viana, Libro de las batallas, Leyenda de ‘Ali ibnu abi Talib y las cuarenta doncellas (Legend of ‘Ali ibnu abi Talib and the Forty Damsels), El baño de Zarieb, and Leyenda de Yuçuf (Legend of Joseph).
Eschatological texts: Estoria del día del juicio (Story of the Day of Judgment) and Ascención de Mahoma a los cielos (Ascension of Muhammad to the Heavens). Biblical legends: La leyenda de Ibrahim (The Legend of Abraham), Historia del sacrificio de Ismael (Story of the Sacrifice of Ishmael), Las demandas de Muça (The Questions of Moses), Leyenda de Muça con la paloma y el halcón (Legend of Moses with the Dove and the Falcon), Muerte de Muça (Death of Moses), Historia de Ayub (Story of Job), Recontamiento de Çulayman (Story of Solomon), Nacimiento de Iça (Birth of Jesus), Jesús resucita a Sem hijo de Noe (Jesus Resuscitates Shem, Son of Noah), and Historia del rey Jesús (Story of King Jesus).
Travel literature: Itinerario de España y Turquía (Itinerary of Spain and Turkey) and Avisos para el caminante (Warnings for the Walker). Didactic prose: Los castigos de ‘Ali (The Moral Teachings of ‘Ali), Los castigos de Alhaquim a su hijo (The Moral Teachings of al-Hakim for His Son), Los castigos del hijo de Edam (The Moral Teachings of the Son of Edam), Libro y translado de buenas doctrinas y castigos y buenas costumbres (Book of Good Doctrine, Moral Teachings, and Good Habits), and Libro de predicas y examplos y doctrinas para medecinar el alma y amar la otra vida y aborrecer este mundo (Book of Preachings, Exempla, and Doctrine to Heal the Soul, Love the Life to Come, and Abhor This World).
Treatises on popular beliefs and superstitions: Libro de dichos maravillosos (Book of Marvelous Sayings), Libro de las suertes (The Book of Fortunes), and Libro de los sueños (Book of Dreams). Anti-Christian and anti-Jewish polemics: Disputa contra los judíos y disputa contra los cristianos (Dispute against the Jews and Dispute against the Christians) and Preguntas de unos judíos a Muhammad (Questions of Some Jews to Muhammad)…
Poetic works: Poema de Yuçuf, Almadha de alabança al annabi Muhammad (Poem of Praise for the Prophet Muhammad), Historia genealógica de Mahoma (Genealogical History of Muhammad), and Coplas en alabança del-adín del-aliçlam (Verses in Praise of the Religion of Islam), (Barletta, 8).”
One of the more famous Muslim scholars of the Mudajjan and ‘Morisco’ period is Isa Al Shaadhili. He was a faqih and the qadi of the Jama’a of Al Shaqoubiyah, (Segovia), in Castile, during the middle of the 15th century CE. He was one of the Ahl Al Dajn, as were the rest of the community that was with him in Castile. He was Maliki by way of his fiqh as was virtually everyone in the Maghrib and Andalus, (until the Uthmani forces took control during the 16th century CE, wherein the population of Ahnaaf/Hanafis began to increase). As is evident from his name he was a Sufi of the Shadhiliyya order which is the most prevelant in the Maghrib today and was then too, along with the Tijaniyya order. It would seem Sufism had an easier time surviving in Christian Spain due to the flexibility in Aqeedah of Sufis and their practice of Islam. In 1462 CE, he wrote is most famous book, Breviario Sunni, (‘Introduction to the Sunnah’), which was manual designed to aid Muslims in their daily practice of Islam. He also had the infamy of having cooperated with the Christian authorities of Segovia to translate the Quran from Arabic to Castilian.
As for the religious works that were translated into Spanish were:
- Tafsir of Ibn Ali Zaminin
- Tafsir Ghareeb Al Quran of Al Sijistani
- Ibn Salama’s work on Ayaat that are mansukh, (abrogated)
- Some works on different modes of Qiraat, even some that argue the difference between Warsh and Qaloon
- Kitaab Fihi Tafseer Mukhtalif Al Hadith by Ibn Qutayba
- The Forty Hadith of Imam Ghazali
- Kitaab Shihab Akbar by Al Quda’i
- Kitab Anwar Al Saniyya by Ibn Juzayy
- B’ad Al Khalq Wa Qisaas Al Anbiya by Al Farisi
- Kitab Al Anwar by Abu Al Hassan Al Bakri
- Rai’ Al Durar by Al Qazwini
- Al Risaala by Ibn Zayd Al Qayrawani
- Kitab Al Istadhkaar by Abd Al Barr Al Namari
- Kitab Al Iqtisaad fee Al Itiqaad by Imam Ghazali
And many more.
In other contexts, the word aljamiado is sometimes used for other non-Semitic language written in Arabic letters. For example, some Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian and Albanian texts written in Arabic script during the Ottoman period have been referred to as aljamiado. A very interesting example of the principle writing another language in Arabic script is Xiao’erjing, which is the method by which Hui Chinese Muslims use to write Mandarin Chinese in Arabic script. Formerly the Dungan descendants of these Chinese Muslims in Central Asia also used this method of writing until Soviet Union banned it by enacting writing reforms which forced the Dungan people to replace Xiao’erjing with a Roman script and later a Cyrillic one, which they continue to use up until today. However, in our discussion, we are only referring to Spanish written in Arabic script.
Returning to the Muslims of Andalus, it must be clear, and it will be discussed, that Christians in their treachery had deliberately designed a method by which the Muslims in Andalus would not be able to escape to the Maghrib and would thus, by their calculations, have to accept Christianity and enlarge the number of Christian followers in the land. One hundred and fifty years later from the Treaty of Garnata, after two major insurgencies, the resilience of Muslims holding on to their faith and their refusal to become Murtad, (apostate), (even when their nobles were the first in line to apostasize and safeguard their wealth), the Spanish decided to expel all the Muslims, (by now they were called Moriscos), and admit their defeat at the hands of a few hundred thousand oppressed souls.
A mention should be made of an issue that deserves our attention, and that is the question that is on the mind of most Muslims when they touch this topic, that if they converted, then how can they be Muslim (speaking of the period of 1502 where Mudajjan status had ended all over spain and everyone was forced to convert and called Morsico’s)? It is a question which scholars have tussled over and were tussling with at the time over how to rule on this question. In hindsight and availability of documents, it was seen that what was imposed on the Muslims of Andalus, (that either wanted to leave and weren’t able to due to poverty and not able to afford the transport off the peninsula or were captured before reaching the ports, and not those who deliberately desired to stay in Andalus, unless they were attempting to regroup and lead an insurgency to liberate Andalus from the Kuffaar), by its very definition was Ikrah in its textbook definition, (i.e. compulsion and coercion). Therefore if we look at what the scholars have said in regard to a situation like this, we can see that there were grounds for them to pretend to convert, while still being Muslim, (Taqiyyah or dissimulation). Imam Nawawi in his Arba’ain in Hadith number 39:
Ibn Abbas, radiyAllahu ‘anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, (صل َّىلاللهلعليہلوسل َّم), said: “Truly Allah has for my sake pardoned the mistakes and forgetfulness of my community, and for what they have done under force or duress.”43
The Ulema cite in support of this Hadith, (Along with Surah Al Ahzab, Ayah 5 and Surah Baqarah, Ayah 286), cite this ayah:
Whoever disbelieves in Allah after his belief – except one who was forced while his heart is at peace with the faith – but whoever opens their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a terrible torment
Ibn Kathir States in the Ayah regarding “except one who was forced while his heart is at peace with the faith:”
“This is an exception in the case of one who utters statements of disbelief and verbally agrees with the Mushrikin because he is forced to do so by the beatings and abuse to which he is subjected, but his heart refuses to accept what he is saying, and he is, in reality, at peace with his faith in Allah and His Messenger . The scholars agreed that if a person is forced into disbelief, it is permissible for him to either go along with them in the interests of self- preservation, or to refuse, as Bilal did when they were inflicting all sorts of torture on him, even placing a huge rock on his chest in the intense heat and telling him to admit others as partners with Allah. He refused, saying, “Alone, Alone.” And he said, “By Allah, if I knew any word more annoying to you than this, I would say it.” May Allah be pleased with him. Similarly, when the Liar Musaylimah asked Habib bin Zayd Al-Ansari, “Do you bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” He said, “Yes.” Then Musaylimah asked, “Do you bear witness that I am the messenger of Allah” Habib said, “I do not hear you.” Musaylimah kept cutting him, piece by piece, but he remained steadfast insisting on his words. It is better and preferable for the Muslim to remain steadfast in his religion, even if that leads to him being killed, as was mentioned by Al-Hafiz Ibn `Asakir in his biography of `Abdullah bin Hudhafah Al-Sahmi, one of the Companions. He said that he was taken prisoner by the Romans, who brought him to their king.
The king said, “Become a Christian, and I will give you a share of my kingdom and my daughter in marriage.” `Abdullah said: “If you were to give me all that you possess and all that Arabs possess to make me give up the religion of Muhammad even for an instant, I would not do it.” The king said, “Then I will kill you.” `Abdullah said, “It is up to you.” The king gave orders that he should be crucified, and commanded his archers to shoot near his hands and feet while ordering him to become a Christian, but he still refused. Then the king gave orders that he should be brought down, and that a big vessel made of copper be brought and heated up. Then, while `Abdullah was watching, one of the Muslim prisoners was brought out and thrown into it, until all that was left of him was scorched bones. The king ordered him to become a Christian, but he still refused.
Then he ordered that `Abdullah be thrown into the vessel, and he was brought back to the pulley to be thrown in. `Abdullah wept, and the king hoped that he would respond to him, so he called him, but `Abdullah said, “I only weep because I have only one soul with which to be thrown into this vessel at this moment for the sake of Allah; I wish that I had as many souls as there are hairs on my body with which I could undergo this torture for the sake of Allah.” According to some reports, the king imprisoned him and deprived him of food and drink for several days, then he sent him wine and pork, and he did not come near them. Then the king called him and asked him, “What stopped you from eating” `Abdullah said, “It is permissible for me (under these circumstances), but I did not want to give you the opportunity to gloat…”
So as Imam Ibn Kathir says, “It is better and preferable for the Muslim to remain steadfast in his religion, even if that leads to him being killed…” indicating a preference to be steadfast and be put to death, (as in the case of Habib bin Zayd Al Ansari), then apostasizing. However, as we see in the case of Abdullah Hudhaifa Al Shami, he says, “It is permissible for me (under these circumstances), but I did not want to give you the opportunity to gloat.” So it can ascertained doing things such as eating pork and drinking wine and eating pork are permissible under compulsion but not the preferable mode of action as the first recourse.
Another view or category is the distinction between speech and actions. In terms of speech, a person might be forced and allowed to say something that is not allowable. The scholars say he should not practice taqiyah. Taqiyah means to say or do something which you do not believe in and are not satisfied with. This only applies to sayings and not actions. Regarding this issue there is an agreement among the Muslim scholars. They say that whoever is forced to say something that is not allowed in shari’ah, then he will be allowed to say it – he will not be regarded or considered as ‘saying’ it. There is another condition that the scholars set. They say that whenever a person is put into ikrah or duress, the duress should be definite and most likely to happen and not just something the person imagines or assumes. He has to be sure. Through proofs such as these Scholars who understoof the situation of the Andalusi’s issued fatawa stating that, (if the Muslims are truly under ikrah as mentioned above), then they can state that they are christian but in their heart not believe, play with words to make statements that are favorable to Christians but neither are outright shirk and kufr. These ahadith and Ayat are, if you will, part of the camp of people that did not, or could not resist the Christians or were unable to leave the land due to genuine Ikrah.
However, on the other hand in Surah Al Nisaa,’ (Ayah 97), Imam Ibn Kathir clarifies the conditions of remaining in mushrik lands without putting oneself into a sinful position:
Al-Bukhari recorded that Muhammad bin `Abdur-Rahman, Abu Al-Aswad, said, “The people of Al-Madinah were forced to prepare an army (to fight against the people of Ash-Sham during the Khilafah of Abdullah bin Az-Zubayir at Makkah), and I was enlisted in it. Then I met `Ikrimah, the freed slave of Ibn `Abbas, and informed him (about it), and he forbade me strongly from doing so (i.e., to enlist in that army), and then he said to me, `Ibn `Abbas told me that some Muslims used to go out with the idolators increasing the size of their army against the Messenger of Allah . Then, an arrow would hit one of them and kill him, or he would be struck on his neck (with a sword) and killed, and Allah sent down the Ayah,
‘Verily, as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves’
Ad-Dahhak stated that this Ayah was revealed about some hypocrites who did not join the Messenger of Allah but remained in Makkah and went out with the idolators for the battle of Badr. They were killed among those who were killed. Thus, this honorable Ayah was revealed about those who reside among the idolators, while able to perform Hijrah and unable to practice the faith. Such people will be committing injustice against themselves and falling into a prohibition according to the consensus [emphasis is mine] and also according to this Ayah,
“Verily, as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves,” by refraining from Hijrah, They (angels) say (to them): ‘In what (condition) were you’ meaning, why did you remain here and not perform Hijrah
They reply: ‘We were weak and oppressed on the earth.’ meaning, we are unable to leave the land or move about in the earth, They (angels) say: ‘Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you’ :Abu Dawud recorded that Samurah bin Jundub said that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever mingles with the mushrik and resides with him, he is just like him.”
In essence Ibn Kathir explains the Ayah by saying that those who have the ability to make hijrah, (i.e. they were able to leave the land or able to traverse the earth without prohibition), and do
not do it, and have an inability to practice their Islam, will be falling into a prohibition according to the concensus of scholars. The issue directly applies to the Muslims in Andalus after 1492, as many Muslims, (who had the ability to make hijrah), chose to stay behind in the misguided notion that if they stayed they could reclaim Andalus from the Christians with the help of the Fatimi/Mahdi, (when clearly they neither had the force inside Andalus or in the Maghrib to help them achieve that. Furthermore, Uthmani help never came until much later in a very meager form. The best solution would have been to regroup in the Maghrib in order to regain Andalus), or simply that, they had an attachment to the land and didn’t want to leave, even if it meant hardship, slavery or even feigned or real apostasy to Christianity. It is clear according o the scholars how grave the issue of living among the Mushrikeen is, as, Imam Ibn Katheer cites a hadith from Abi Dawood that whosoever lives and mingles with the mushrikeen, is like him (i.e. a mushrik). Moreover a hadith is narrated where “some munafiqeen who did not join the Messenger of Allah but remained in Makkah and went out with the mushrikeen for the battle of Badr. They were killed among those who were killed.” Imam Ibn Kathir explains that the Ayah applies to those who were able to make hijrah, unable to practice their Islam and resided amongst the mushrikeen. However the hadith adds that those Muslims, who fought under the mushrikeen at Badr against the Prophet ( صل َّىلاللهلعليہلوسل َّم), and were killed, died in a state where they would be wronging themselves. It is a stark reminder especially to those living in countries ruled by kafirs such as in those of the Americas and Europe. Their armies have come to do nothing short of occupation and the manipulation, if not annihilation, of the Deen of Islam and Muslims. Many Muslims fight in these armies and put themselves at great peril. As for those who still are obstinate and choose to remain in kafir lands when they have the wherewithal to leave, they are at risk of being drafted into the armies of kafir host countries and put their aakhirah [hereafter] in peril.
Imam Ibn Kathir proceeds to provide the exeptions to this Ayah by clarifying the proceeding Ayah:
‘Except the weak’ until the end of the Ayah, is an excuse that Allah gives for this type of people not to emigrate, because they are unable to free themselves from the idolators. And even if they did, they would not know which way to go. This is why Allah said,
“Who cannot devise a plan, nor are they able to direct their way,” meaning, they do not find the way to emigrate, as Mujahid, `Ikrimah and As-Suddi stated.
“These are they whom Allah is likely to forgive them” means, pardon them for not migrating, and here, `likely’ means He shall…
“He who emigrates in the cause of Allah, will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by.” this encourages the believers to perform Hijrah and abandon the idolators, for wherever the believer emigrates, he will find a safe refuge to resort to. Mujahid said that,
“many dwelling places” means, he will find a way out of what he dislikes. Allah’s statement,
“and plenty to live by” refers to provision. Qatadah also said that,
“…will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by” means, Allah will take him from misguidance to guidance and from poverty to richness.
“And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto Allah and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely, incumbent upon Allah.” means, whoever starts emigrating and dies on the way, he will acquire the reward of those who emigrate for Allah. The Two Sahihs, along with the Musnad and Sunan compilers, recorded that `Umar bin Al- Khattab said that the Messenger of Allah said:
The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will be rewarded according to what he has intended. So, whoever emigrated to Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration is for Allah and His Messenger. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration is for what he emigrated for.
This Hadith is general, it applies to Hijrah as well as every other deed…
In this the exception is clear, in that, the only ones excused are those that are:
- Those unable to free themselves from the idolators
- And those, even if they were to free themselves, would not know which way to go, or find the way to emigrate.
In addition, many Muslims after the Treaty of Garnata, exclaimed that the reason they didn’t
want to go to the Maghrib was because life was rough there and there was no living to be made in Andalus, (as an Andalusi Muslim had asked Imam Wanshirisi during the 1500’s). However Allah states clearly the muhajir that emigrates fee sabillilah [in the cause of Allah], “…will )سبحانہلولتعلى ( find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by.” So Allah (سبحانہلولتعلى), is not saying there is a possibility of sustenance or shelter, rather, He is saying that there will be shelter and sustenance for those who immigrated in His path.
Hand in hand with the previous verses, the people mentioned here are those who were put to trial and were under oppression, and could not leave the land, but when they opportunity arose, the emigrated in His path and waged jihad as Allah (بسحانہلولتعلى ), states in Verse 110 of Surah Al Nahl:
Then, verily, your Lord for those who emigrated after they were put to trials and then performed Jihad, and were patient, – after this, your Lord is indeed Forgiving, Most Merciful.
About this Ayah, Ibn Kathir States:
“This refers to another group of people who were oppressed in Makkah and whose position with their own people was weak, so they went along with them when they were tried by them. Then they managed to escape by emigrating, leaving their homeland, families and wealth behind, seeking the pleasure and forgiveness of Allah. They joined the believers and fought with them against the disbelievers, bearing hardship with patience. Allah tells them that after this, meaning after their giving in when put to the test, He will forgive them and show mercy to them when they are resurrected.”
This Ayah fits in perfectly of those Muslim who after hiding their faith for a number of years and safeguarding it, managed to escape Andalus and subsequently managed to join up with the Ghazis of Uthamani navy such as Khair Al Deen, (in west he is called Barbarossa, or Red Beard), to raid Christian vessels to terrorize the enemies of Allah and wage jihad in His Path. This dichotomy is a perfect way to understand the Muslims of Andalus after 1492, but in its own way, it’s a way to understand Muslims in the west today, and even those living under tyrannical Muslim regimes in the ‘east.’
Author and Work
Ibn Hashim al Mujahid
The Muslims of Spain Post 1492/897 In a Global Context and Its Relevance to Muslims Today
43 A Saheeh hadith related by Ibn Majah, Al-Baihaqi and others
44 Surah Nahl, Ayah 106
45 Surah 4 Ayah 97
46 Sahih Bukhari, Hadith #: 1