What You Know About Islam in Spain (Al-Andalus)?

Alhambra - Spanien - Spain

I was reading about the history of Islam in Spain and came across some pretty amazing facts. Surprised me at first, but yea real talk, read below on how much Muslims accomplished in Southern Spain alone:

Did you know that…..

  • Al-Andalus, which means, “to become green at the end of the summer” is referred to the territory occupied by the Muslim empire in Southern Spain
  • The city of Cordoba 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 Europe’s first street lights
  • It also had Fifty hospitals
  • In the seven centuries Muslim ruled also known as “The Golden Age”, Muslims treated Christians and Jews with tolerance, this resulted in many of them accepting Islam! In fact, many Jews and Christians held government positions.
  • All Jews and Christians were allowed to maintain their beliefs and live their lives as they desired as long as they respected their Muslim rulers
  • In Muslim Spain, knowledge from Greece and Rome was preserved. Arab scholars produced encyclopedias on medicine and astronomy in 11th century, also including astrology, psychology, zoology, biology, botany, chemistry, physics, mathematics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, etc., which Christian scholars acquired and translated.
  • Muslims in Spain produced cotton, paper, salt, silk, satin, pepper, stamps, clocks, soaps, rulers, maps, globes, furs, velvets, described over 200 surgical instruments, and named over 200 stars with Arabic names.

Most importantly, their were certain factors that played a key role in the collapse of Muslim Spain

  • The greed and self-indulgence that gripped its elites, the loss of a unifying religious vision
  • The rivalries that weakened and divided the Muslims
  • The loss of religious tolerance

Lesson learned –

I end with an Ayah from the Holy Qur’an

“and hold fast to the rope of Allah and do not be divided.” (Qur’an 3:103)

May Allah swt guide us to the straight path, keep us united, and give us the knowledge to excel in all spheres of life so we can help the World, Ameen!

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4 Responses to What You Know About Islam in Spain (Al-Andalus)?

  1. Anonymous July 27, 2009 at 2:57 am #

    And then Spain raped all of the Islam world througout the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Santiago Matamoros: Santiago The Moor Killer. Spain's patron saint.

    • Anonymous March 6, 2010 at 9:52 am #

      well, that's an over simplified version.. sure, spainish inquision was one of the most untolerant organisations of the world, to muslims, to jews, and to cristians themselves, in the urge to make catholicism united under one lithurgy and one rule – the roman pope.

      But, tolerance was first broke by the almoravids in the Al-Andalus – that were shocked by the westernised habits of the spanish muslims – who did not separate sexs during parties or in education, and drunk wine, for example. The loss of religious tolerance was on of the saddest events in spain and portugal. But it happened both ways. Catholics were trying to take back and expand their territories – portugal was the first country in europe to have definity frontiers, still standing today – and spain's differents kigdoms were united by then by the catholic king. The arab world was also making an effort to unite itself – as so many different etnies and traditions make itself up – but they did it at the cost of tolerance and diversity.

      so lesson learned here – diversity is the key to greater knowledge.

      While the Al Andaluz was home to both muslim, sefardites, mozarabs and catholics, they were the richest comunity in europe… and then… knowledge lost, richess lost, culture lost. whats left is for tourists to visit.

      I strongly advise to visit cordoba. still is a place tgat speaks of tolerance and diversity. The mosque is beautiful.

      Your portuguese friend, that deeply admires the print that islam left in her country, full of orange trees and white painted houses, who loves olive oil (we say azeite), olives (azeitona), and resting in the Algarve (al-gharb), loves cheesecakes ( queijada,as in qajjata) and entrances (acepipes, as in al zebib)…

  2. Anonymous August 19, 2009 at 3:06 am #

    To the comment above-

    Gotta love Spain.

  3. Anonymous May 28, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    Gotta love Syria

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