Category Archives: Islamic Spain


[By Firas al-Khateeb]

The Middle Ages are commonly associated with ideas such as religious intolerance and intellectual backwardness. Images are conjured up of despotic kings using religion as a pretext for destructive wars that prevented Europe from achieving the prosperity and intellectualism it had during the Roman Empire.

But that image does not necessarily reflect reality. The long history of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula (711-1492) was characterized much more by religious tolerance and intellectual pursuits of both religious and scientific knowledge.

A prime example of this Muslim society that prized religious pluralism is seen in the mid-tenth century, during the reign of the Umayyad caliph ‘Abd al-Rahman III (r.912-961) when an ancient Greek medical text was sent in the year 948 by the Byzantine co-emperors Constantine VII and Romans to the Umayyad caliph. The team that translated the text into Arabic consisted of Muslims and Christians, and was sponsored by a Jewish advisor to the caliph.

The story behind it is relayed by the contemporary Andalusian historian of medicine, Ibn Juljul (c.944-994). His account of the translation effort is copied below:

The book of Dioscorides was translated from Greek into Arabic by Istifan b. Basil the interpreter, in the City of Peace [Baghdad] in the reign of the ‘Abbasid Ja’far al-Mutawakkil [847-61]. Hunayn b. Ishaq the translator went over it, corrected it and approved it for publication. Those Greek names [of plants] for which Istifan knew Arabic equivalents current in his time were explained by him in Arabic, while those for which he knew no equivalents in Arabic he left in their Greek forms in his version, trusting that God would send after his death someone who would understand them and explain them in Arabic…

“This book came to Andalusia in the translation of Istifan, with some things [plants] in it known by Arabic names and some unknown. And so people in both the East and Andalusia made use of what was known in it, until the time of an-Nasir ‘Abd ar-Rahman [III] b. Muhammad, who was then sovereign of Andalusia. King Romanus of Constantinople exchanged letters with him – I reckon in 337 [948/49] – and sent him presents of great value, including the book of Dioscorides, illustrated with wonderful pictures of the herbs in Byzantine style. The book was written in Greek (bi l-Ighriqi), i.e. Hellenic (al-Yunani). With it he sent the book of Orosius the narrator, which is a wonderful Roman (li r-Rum) book of history, containing records of past ages and narratives concerning the early monarchs of great interest. In his letter
to Nasir Romanus wrote:

“‘The benefit of Dioscorides’ book can only be reaped with the aid of someone who is familiar with its Greek expressions and knows the characteristics of those remedies; so if there is anyone in your country with such knowledge you can derive benefit from the book, oh king! As for the book of Orosius, you have Roman Catholics (al-Latiniyyin) in your country who read Latin, and if you show it to them they will translate it for you from Latin into Arabic.’

“Now at that time none of the Christians of Andalusia read Greek, which is the ancient Hellenic, so the book of Dioscorides remained in the library of ‘Abd ar-Rahman an-Nasir in Greek, untranslated into Arabic, but all the while present in Andalusia; and what was in circulation was the translation of Istifan which had come from the City of Peace. So when Nasir replied to King Romanus he requested him to send him someone who spoke Greek and Latin, to teach servants of his to be translators. King Romanus therefore sent Nasir a monk by the name of Nicholas, who arrived in Cordoba in 340 [951/52].

“At that time there was in Cordoba a group of doctors who were keen to find out by research and inquiry the Arabic names of the simple remedies of Dioscorides that were [still] unknown; and from the court of King ‘Abd ar-Rahman an-Nasir they were encouraged in that research by the Jew Hasday b. Shaprut. Above all he favored and honored Nicholas the monk, who explained the names of the unknown remedies in the book of Dioscorides. …Among the doctors who were then making research into the names of the remedies in the book, and determining the characteristics of each, were Muhammad known as ash-Shajjar, a man called al-Bisbasi, Abi ‘Uthman al-Hazzaz nicknamed al-Yabisa, Muhammad b. Sa’id the Doctor, ‘Abd ar-Rahman b. Ishaq b. Haytham, and Abu ‘Abdallah the Sicilian, who spoke [Byzantine] Greek and understood the characteristics of remedies.

“This group was all present at the same time as Nicholas the monk; I was his and their contemporary in the time of Mustansir, and associated with them in the time of Mustansir al-Hakam; Nicholas the monk died early in his reign. Thus the book of Dioscorides was revised through the research of these few men into the names of remedies.

Source: Hourani, George F. “The Early Growth of the Secular Sciences in Andalusia.” Studia Islamica 32 (1970): 143-56.

Spain – The Seeds Of Destruction

“Do you construct palaces as if you will be living forever (on earth)?” [Qur’aan]


Four miles from the City of Qurtuba (Cordova), on Mount Al-Uroos, Sultan Abdur Rahmaan had constructed a most ‘glorious’ palace which he named after his beloved slave girl, Az-Zahra’. This is a veritable city, not merely a building of pomp and splendour. Az-Zahra should not be mistaken   and understood to be a slave in the popular meaning of the term. She was not a slave doing menial labour in some kitchen. On the contrary, thousands of servants were at her beck and call. She was a veritable queen of queens. The Sultan was captivated by her, and it was for her sake that he built this palace which is better known as Medinatuz Zahra (the City of Zahra).

This palace was completed in 25 years. Within the limits of its compound lived many thousands of soldiers and workers. Its fortified walls had 15,000 massive and powerful gates. The length of this palace was 4 miles and its breadth 3 miles. For 25 years, daily 10,000 artisans and labourers, and 4000 camels and mules worked in the construction of this palace. The palace was   constructed on 4316 massive pillars which were of a variety of precious stones. Some of the pillars were sent as gifts by the Christian kings of France, Constantinople and other European countries who sought the favour of the Sultan.

Two wonderfully constructed fountains were established in the palace. The bigger of the two was so adorned with gold-plating, giving the impression that the entire fountain was made of gold.

‘Beautiful’ (satanic in terms of Islam) statues of humans were constructed in this fountain as part of the decorations. 

The smaller fountain was built with green marble stone which was acquired from Syria. Twelve water outlets in the form of animals and birds built with precious stones and studded with  diamonds, etc., from whose mouths and beaks water constantly gushed were erected at this fountain. Even European historians who had seen these fountains conceded that words could not do justice to the beauty and wonder of these constructions.

One section of the palace was known as Qasrul Khulafa’ (The Palace of the Khulafa). History books authored by westerners should be read to understand   the splendour of this section. It will suffice to give an idea to mention that this section of the palace alone had 13,750 servants. From these, 6,314 were in the constant service of the queen of queen, Zahra, the beloved slave girl of Sultan Abdur Rahmaan.

Daily 12,000 loaves of bread would be fed to the exotic fish in the Pond of Zahra.

Besides Qasruz Zahra (the Palace of Zahra), there were also other palaces such as Qasrul Ma’shooq (The Palace of the Beloved One), Qasrus Suroor (The Palace of Happiness), Qasrut Taaj (The Palace of The Crown), Qasrud Damishq (The Palace of Damascus), etc., etc., which were all unique. There was nothing on earth to match the embellishment and adornment of these palaces.

The Sultans of Spain had emulated Shaddaad who had attempted to build ‘jannat’ to vie with the Jannat the Nabi of the time had spoken of. These Sultans sought happiness and pleasure on earth completely oblivious of Maut and the Aakhirat. Not a single one of their herd of palace ulama had advised them about the impending evil and of the disastrous consequences which would follow in the wake of this insane pursuit of the dunya – a pursuit which   had made them oblivious of Allah Ta’ala.

When the Sultan first visited the  palace with his beloved Az-Zahra, on seeing the huge form of the black mountain in the background of the palace, she commented: “This palace is like a beloved sweetheart in the grips of an ugly man.” The Sultan immediately issued orders for the mountain to be demolished and its very roots be uprooted. To satisfy his beloved one, he was prepared, like Iblees, to stand as an adversary to Allah Azza Wa Jal. Imaam Ghazaali (Rahmatullah alayh) said that when a man is trapped in love with a woman, then 80% of his brain cells become inoperative. Finally when the wise men of the palace explained that it was an impossible task and that only Allah Ta’ala could destroy the huge mountain, the Sultan came to his senses. Nevertheless, he issued orders for transforming the entire mountain into a massive orchard of fig trees, almond trees, pomegranates, flowers, etc. The mountain was soon transformed into a ‘garden of paradise’.

Thus, the Muslims themselves planted the seeds of their future destruction in Spain by courting the Wrath of Allah Azza wa jal. They had forgotten about Allah Ta’ala and the Deen. Their ulama, instead of admonishing and advising the Sultans, totally abandoned Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahyi Anil Munkar. On the contrary, they fabricated fatwas to halaalize the evil and the shirk of statues in the same way as the molvis of this era have halaalized pictures of animate objects, digital pictures and television. 

All of this satanism culminated in the final destruction of Muslim rule and the forcible conversion to Christianity and the expulsion of every single Muslim from Spain. “You (O Allah!) grant honour to whomever You will, and You humiliate whomever You will.” (Qur’aan)

Allah Ta’ala snatched away Spain from the Muslims and handed it over to His kuffaar Ibaad (servants), the Christians. Allah is Independent and Unique.

ہسپانیہ کی ہلاکت و بربادی کی بنیادی

(از:حضرت مولانا احمد صادق دیسائی عمت فیوضہم)

کیا تم اس طرح محلات تعمیر کرتے ہو جیسے کہ تم ہمیشہ رہو گے زمین پر  -(قرآن)

قرطبہ شہر سے چار میل کی دوری پر سلطان عبدالرحمن نے ایک بہت ہی عالیشان محل بنوایا تھا جس کا نام اس نے اپنی معشوق باندی الزہرہ کے نام پر رکھ دیا تھا- حقیقتا یہ خود میں ایک شہر تھا، نہ کے ایک شان و شوکت والی عمارت –

الزہرا کو باندی کے مشہور اصطلاحی معنی میں صرف ایک غلام یا نوکرانی سمجھنے کی غلطی نہ کی جائے- وہ کوئی رسوئ خانے میں کام انجام دینے والی معمولی غلام یا نوکرانی نہیں تھی- اس کے برعکس اس کے ایک اشارے پر ہزاروں ملازم پیش خدمت تھے۔ حقیقتا یہ ملکوں کی ملکہ تھی- سلطان اس پر دل فریفتہ تھا اور صرف اس کے لیے اس نے یہ محل بنوایا تھا جو مدینۃ الزہراء یعنی زہرا کا شہر سے جانا جاتا تھا-

یہ محل پچیس سال میں مکمل ہوا- اس کے احاطہ اور حدود میں کئی ہزاروں فوجی اور کارکن رہتے تھے- اس کے محفوظ دیواروں میں 15 ہزار (١٥٠٠٠) مضبوط اور طاقتور دروازے تھے- اس محل کی لمبائی 4 میل اور چوڑائی 3 میل تھی- اس کو تعمیر کرنے میں پچیس سالوں تک روزانہ 10 ہزار (١٠٠٠٠) کاریگر اور چار ہزار (٤٠٠٠) اونٹ اور خچر کارآمد رہے- یہ محل مختلف قسم کے قیمتی اور نایاب پتھروں سے بنے 4316 بھاری ستونوں پر کھڑا کیا گیا تھا۔ ان میں سے چند ستون تحفے تحائف کے طور پر سلطان کی پاسداری کے متمنی قسطنطنیہ اور دیگر یورپین ممالک کے نصرانی بادشاہوں نے دیے تھے۔

محل میں دو حیرت انگیز چشمے بنائے گئے تھے ان دونوں میں سے بڑے چشمے کو اس طرح سونے کا پردہ چڑھا کر مزین کیا گیا تھا کہ وہ دیکھنے میں مکمل سونے کا نظر آئے-

خوبصورت (اسلامی معنیٰ میں شیطانی) انسانی مجسمے زینت کے طور پر ان چشموں میں قائم کیے گئے تھے- چھوٹا چشمہ ملک شام سے حاصل شدہ ہرے رنگ کے سنگ مر مر سے بنایا گیا تھا- قیمتی پتھروں سے بنے اور ہیرے جواہرات سے سجائے گئے جانوروں اور پرندوں کے مجسمے، جن کے منہ اور چونچ سے مسلسل پانی جاری رہنے والے بارہ فوارے ان جشموں میں قائم کیے گئے تھے-

یوروپی تاریخ دان جنہوں نے ان چشموں کو دیکھا ان سب نے تسلیم کیا کہ الفاظ اس خوبصورت و حیرت انگیز تعمیر کا حق ادا نہیں کر سکتے-

محل کا ایک حصہ قصر الخلفاء یعنی ‘خلفاء کا محل’ کے نام سے مشہور تھا- اس حصے کی شان و شوکت معلوم کرنے کے لیے مغربی بندوں کی لکھی ہوئی تاریخ کی کتابوں کا مطالعہ کیا جائے- یہ سمجھنے کے لئے کافی ہوگا کہ محل کے اس حصے میں 13 ہزار 750 (١٣٧٥٠) ملازم تھے- ان میں سے چھ ہزار تین سو چودہ (٦٣١٤) ملکاوں کی ملکہ زہرا، سلطان عبدالرحمن کی معشوق باندی کی مسلسل پیش خدمت رہتے۔ روزانہ 12 ہزار (١٢٠٠٠) بریڈ تالاب زہياء کی رنگ برنگی مچھلیوں کو کھلائی جاتی-

قصر الزہراء (زہراء کا محل) کے علاوہ دوسرے بھی محلات جیسے قصر المعشوق، قصر السرور، قصر التاج، قصر الدمشق وغیرہ بھی تھے، جو خود میں ایک مثال تھے- زمین پر ان محلات کی آرائش و زیبائش کی کوئی مثال نہ تھی۔

ہسپانیہ کے سلطانوں نے شداد کی ہمسری کی، جس نے اپنے وقت کے نبی کی بتائی ہوئی جنت کے مقابلے میں خود جنت بنانے کی کوشش کی تھی- ان سلطانوں نے موت و آخرت سے مکمل غافل ہو کر دنیا ہی میں راحت اور فرحت چاہی۔ ان سے وابستہ علماء کی جماعت میں سے کسی ایک نے بھی ان کو اس کھلی برائی پر نصیحت نہ کی اور نہ ہی انہیں اس دیوانہوار دنیا کی طلب جس نے انہیں اللہ تعالی سے غافل کر دیا تھا اس کے تباہ کن نتائج سے آگاہ کیا-

جب سلطان نے اپنی معشوقہ زہراء کے ساتھ محل کی پہلی زیارت کی تو اس نے محل کے پیچھے ایک بڑے کالے پہاڑ کو دیکھ کر تنقیدی انداز میں کہا “یہ محل تو بدصورت شخص کی گرفت میں ایک ماہوق دل ربا ہے”- سلطان نے فورا پہاڑ کو ڈھانے اور اسے مکمل طور پر زمین ریز کرنے کا حکم جاری کردیا- اپنی معشوقہ کو راضی کرنے کے لیے وہ ابلیس جیسا اللہ تعالی کا باغی بننے کے لیے تیار تھا۔

امام غزالی رحمتہ اللہ علیہ نے فرمایا ہے کہ جب کوئی مرد کسی مستورات کی محبت میں گرفتار ہوجاتا ہے تو 80 فیصد اس کے دماغ کی رگیں کام کرنا بند کردیتی ہیں (سوچنے اور سمجھنے کی قوت میں انحطاط آجاتا ہے)- آخر کار جب محل کے دانشوروں نے سمجھایا کہ یہ ایک ناممکن شئ ہے اور صرف اللہ تعالی اس بڑے پہاڑ کو تباہ کر سکتا ہے تب سلطان کی عقل ٹھکانے آگئی۔

تاہم اس نے حکم جاری فرمایا کہ اس پورے پہاڑ کو انجیر، بادام، انار کے درخت و پھول وغیرہ کا ایک ضخیم باغ بنایا جائے- جلد ہی اس پہاڑ کو جنت کے باغ میں تبدیل کیا گیا-

پس مسلمانوں نے اللہ تعالی کے غضب کو دعوت دیکر ہسپانیہ میں مستقبل کے لئے اپنی ہلاکت کے بیج بوئے انہوں نے اللہ تعالیٰ اور دین کو بھلا رکھا تھا۔

سلطانوں کو ترغیب و تنبیہ کرنا تو دور، ان کے علماء نے تو امر بالمعروف اور نہی عن المنکر کو مکمل ترک کردیا تھا اس کے برعکس انھوں نے مجسموں کی برائی و شرک کو حلال کرنے کے لیے فتوے ایجاد کیے تھے ٹھیک اسی طرح جیسے اس دور کے مولویوں نے جاندار کی تصویر ڈیجیٹل تصویر اور ٹیلیوژن کو حلال کیا ہوا ہے۔

یہ تمام شیطانیت بنیادیں بنی ہسپانیہ سے ہر ایک مسلمان کو بے دخل کرنے ، قوت زور پر نصرانیت کا قبول کرنے اور بالآخر مسلمانوں کی حکومت تباہ ہونے کی ۔

آپ اے اللہ جسے چاہتے ہیں عزت دیتے ہیں اور جسے چاہتے ہیں ذلیل کرتے ہیں- (قران)

اللہ تعالی نے ہسپانیہ کو مسلمانوں سے چھین لیا اور اپنے کفار بندے (نصرانیوں) کے حوالے کردیا-

اللہ تعالی بے نیاز و بے نظیر ہیں۔

Spain – The Destruction of Muslim Rule

Much has been written about the ‘glory’ of Muslim rule in Spain. While Muslims had ruled Spain for several centuries, it cannot be said that genuine Shariah Law had prevailed. It was a regime of worldly pomp and splendour which had made Muslims completely oblivious of the Aakhirat which was furthest from their minds. The pomp, splendour, wealth, comforts and luxuries of the dunya had made them totally oblivious of the objective of man’s temporary sojourn on this ephemeral worldly abode.

They ignored this objective stated in many Aayaat of the Qur’aan: “The life of this world is but play and amusement whilst the Abode of the Aakhirat is best for those who have Taqwa. What! Have you no intelligence?” Yes, the Muslims of Spain lacked intelligence, hence they sowed the seeds of their decline and destruction from the very inception of their rule.

While Spain was a province of the Islamic Empire during the tenure of the Khilaafate of Bani Umayyah, it broke away in the year 128 Hijri when the Abbaasi Khilaafate replaced the reign of Bani Umayyah.

In 138 Hijri, Abdur Rahmaan, the grandson of the tenth Khalifah, Hishaam of the Umayyah Dynasty, managed to escape from the clutches of Bani Abbaas. He reached Spain and established his own Khilaafate. He established the Spanish City of Qurtuba (Cordova) as the Seat and capital of his Khilaafate. This Khilaafate remained with great pomp and splendour in the Bani Umayya until 422 Hijri (288 years). Entire Spain was ruled by Bani Umayyah during this period.

After the demise of the Umayyah Khilaafate established by Abdur Rahmaan, Spain became a splintered Muslim land where  about a dozen miniature khilaafates were established all  engaging in internecine warfare against one other.

Taking advantage of the internecine warfare of the Muslims, the Christians allied themselves with the different Muslim factions to give greater impetus to the process which was sapping the power of the Muslims. Ultimately, the Muslim miniature countries were rendered impotent. The Christians took power and brutally pillaged, plundered and expelled all Muslims from Spain.

There is no other land from which Muslims and Islam were so thoroughly destroyed and extinguished as was the case in Spain. Muslims themselves had brought their own downfall and elimination by their insane plunge into the pomp and splendour the world had to offer. The consequence of their insane love for the dunya is depicted in the following Hadith. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Most certainly, Allah will eliminate from the hearts of   your enemies fear for you, and He will instill in you wahan.” A Sahaabi asked: “O Rasulullah! What is Wahan?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Love of the dunya and dislike for Maut.” The Muslims of Spain forgot about Maut and the Aakhirat, and indulged insanely in the pursuit of the dunya.

The evil worldly pursuit had degenerated to the extent that their Ulama had halaalized the construction of statues of the royalty for placement in public places. Their rationale was that   such statues of the rulers would instil honour and awe for the rulers in the hearts of the masses. This was the low and rotten ebb of satanism to which they had sunk. Shirk and Kufr was legalized and halaalized on a basis and a ‘daleel’ which is expected of only an insane man.

When such villainy became acceptable and the statues were proudly displayed in public for Muslims to worship, then the Wrath of Allah Azza Wa Jal settled on that unfortunate land of Muslims. Allah Ta’ala uprooted every vestige of Muslims and their rule from Spain.

“Say: O Allah! You are the King of all dominion. You grant Mulk (land and power) to whomever You will, and You snatch away Mulk from whomever You will. You give honour to whomever You will, and you disgrace whomever you will. All goodness is in Your power. Verily, You are powerful over all things.” [Surah Aal-e-Imraan, Aayat 26]


Does April Fools Day Got to do Anything with the Fall of Muslim Spain??

By Muhammad Tariq Ghazi

An email or whatsapp message often goes around that warn Muslims again April Fool observation by claiming that this tradition originates from the event of Christians victory over Muslims in Andalusian Spain. It proposes that Europeans made fool of Muslims by introducing Liquor and Tobacco to them and thus gradually weaken them through its indulgence. The author busts the myth with correct version of history and common sense and explain the origin of April Fool’s Day.

I never knew that 1 April would be a day of reckoning, in a dubious style though. As a child I might have played the fool on the fool’s day by saying what I would believe was funny to someone I loved – like my brothers and sister. Nobody stopped me from those innocent escapades, for they were perhaps as innocuous, or as harmful.

But in later years the April fun did not amuse us older children any longer as we found the annual practice very boring. Gradually I realized that not many people around me were taking April Fool’s Day seriously: rarely anyone would try to make fun of gullible peers. This year, however, the day of fools dawned out of blue. I was astonished to know that some educated Muslims believed that the European tradition of All Fools Day was, in their view, to celebrate the fall of Spain’s last Muslim principality of Granada. What a funny story, I said to myself.

I don’t know when this “belief” had crept into Muslim “knowledge bank”, but some friends informed me that this grapevine might have spread about 20-30 years ago that Granada fell to the Christian forces on 1 April and since then the Christians have been remembering this as the day when they had “fooled” the Muslims. And how did those Christians make fool of the Muslims? Well, as the story goes, they sent to Granada “spies” to first study Andalusian Muslims’ habits and life-style and then making them addicted to liquor and cigarette smoking in order to recapture Granada.

What a wonderful way of winning battles and capturing countries. May I divulge the secret that most of the modern Spaniard drink alcohol and many of them smoke cigarettes too.

Do the Christians really believe that Muslims are and were stupid and they were easy prey to be made fool of? Even if such stupidity was really the primary cause of the loss of Andalusia in 1492, aren’t they showing a greater degree of imprudence now in 2018 to remind the Christian masses to mark April 1 as the day of Muslim foolishness with increased passion?

Nevertheless, rumors being circulated in the cyberspace on this issue point to two other dimensions: one academic and the other ethical.

Morally, no doubt, it is uncivilized to make fool of a normally intelligent person. From a Muslim perspective, too, it is unethical as a celebration, whatever its provocation, even if the prank is as harmless as telling someone his shoe-string is untied. From this same perspective, it is all the more disgraceful as this practice encourages people to tell a lie, even if they are innocuous. Every Muslim may sometime refer to a Hadith of the Rasool-Allah, sallAllahu alaihi wasallam, and must be aware that Hadith scholars do not entertain a report from a liar. For a Muslim, therefore, it is the greatest punishment to be excluded from reporting a statement of the Rasool-Allah. Therefore, if the claim that April Fool’s Day is connected with the fall of Andalusia is untrue and historically unfounded, a narrator of this claim stands the risk of being disqualified of quoting from the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Academically, the issue requires investigation in order to ascertain the claim. When I rejected this claim on a Net-group, I was told by one friend hailing from Deoband, India, that he first heard this in his home-town in his childhood, and later in Aligarh, where the “misinformation was corrected at a gathering by a lecturer of Islamic Studies”. It is important to note that in Deoband – unlike Aligarh – it was not any professor or someone else connected with the Darul Uloom, but an ordinary townsman who would tell his nephew that the custom was about the fall of Muslim Spain. The narration might have been unforgivable if it was attributed to a teacher of Darul Uloom Deoband. But then the Ulama engaged in teaching Hadith and Tafseer know well what to report and what to trash.

Another friend, Mustafa Kamal Sherwani, a law professor in Tanzania, informed me in another email that when he was doing LL.M. at Aligarh Muslim University, some students did some activity on April 1 to a senior professor in the Faculty of Law. The discomfited professor then scolded the ill-behaved students and narrated the same Andalus story about April Fool.

While making fun of a teacher is highly uncultured and deplorable, this Aligarh incident suggests the cancer is quite widespread. What is more painful is that even some modern Muslim scholars, having a discernible disinterest in scientific inquiry, would carelessly circulate disinformation which the less-informed or uninitiated public accept as truth coming as it does from supposedly learned people. This lack of interest in ascertaining the truth is unacceptable among the descendants of those who collected Hadith, checked the life and habits of every single narrator – numbering in thousands – evaluated every single statement on the basis of riwayah (the chain of narrators) and dirayah (contextual examination and logical/intellectual scrutiny) before writing it down in an authentic Hadith compendium. Today’s lackadaisical attitude about judging and analyzing reports is deplorable among the successors of those early scholars who had laid the foundations of modern epistemological order. Those were the persons whose consummate analytical prowess resulted in the emergence of about 26 systems of codified Islamic laws in the form of highly respected, admired and followed Fiqh schools, and set rules for academic inquiry that paved the way for advancement in philosophical theories and applied sciences.

But then this is what it is: Muslims seem to have stooped so low intellectually and academically as to believe in hearsay as historical truths!

I wish that the e-message about April Fool’s Day was not written by a Muslim, worse if it was an April Fool’s Day prank. It is a case of misinformation and a demonstration of abject ignorance of people pretending to be learned, innocent and pious, all at one and same time but being none of them.

A little insight into history tells a different tale about a Euro-Christian festival of foolishness.

To begin with, Spain’s last Muslim statelet of Granada, encompassing Almeira and Malaga as well, was lost not on April 1, as claimed by those who have been fooled by their ignorance of history, but on January 2, 1492. References can be made to historians and encyclopedias, or at least Spanish tourism websites like, etc. Spain Travel Newsletter, for example, says: “On January 2nd 1492 Los Reyes Catlicos (The Catholic Monarchs – namely Isabella and Ferdinand) marched into Granada and the last stronghold of Moorish Spain came to an end”. According to cyber-encyclopedia Wikipedia, “On January 2, 1492, the last Muslim leader, Muhammad XII, known as Boabdil (Arabic: Abu Abdullah) to the Spanish, surrendered complete control of Granada, to Ferdinand and Isabella, Los Reyes Catlicos, (The Catholic Monarchs – the title given to the couple by Pope Alexander VI), after the city was besieged”.

“December had nearly passed away. The famine became extreme, and Boabdil determined to surrender the city on the second of January,” says M B Synge, in an article titled “Brave Men and Brave Deeds”, which is published by The Baldwin’s Project.

Vincent Barletta of University of Minnesota says in an article “About the Moriscos” (post-Granada nomenclature for Spanish Muslims, intended to belittle the Moors), with reference to ‘The Legacy of Muslim Spain’, edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi: “The Catholic Monarchs decisively put an end to over eight centuries of sporadic Christian Reconquest in January of 1492. They achieved this by finally taking by military force the isolated and very vulnerable Nasrid Kingdom of Granada”.

A Bangladeshi-American Muslim, Mohammad Abdullah, in a “Rejoinder to Columbus and America”, an opinion article in “News from Bangladesh”, of August 15, 2006, writes: “Regarding the fall of Granada, it is true that in early 1492 (possibly end of January) Isabella and Ferdinand’s army captured it but it was not completely conquered. … Several small pockets around Granada were still unconquered, and insurgency erupted which was totally demolished in October 1492. … At that time Isabella and Ferdinand began to sleep in peace”.

All, except one, of these historians are Europeans or Christians and none of them records the fall of Granada on April 1. Therefore, logic demands that if Christians really wanted to celebrate “foolishness” of Muslims, a suitable date was the New Year’s Day – 1 January – rather than 1 April.

It is not surprising that the Spaniard remember the exact date when they retook the last Muslim statelet in Andalusia, but it is strange that even the educated Muslims do not know the date of their last major defeat in a country which they love so much that Iqbal’s best poem, Masjid-i Qurtuba, came only thanks to our Andalusian nostalgia.

One cannot be so nave as to believe that Christians needed to send “spies” to Muslim Spain to study Muslim life-style and based on those studies worked out a strategy about exporting alcohol and “cigarettes” (sic) in order to corrupt Muslims and retake Andalusia. In Spain, Christians and Jews lived in a mixed, pluralistic society under Muslims and they were well aware of Muslim life-style, many of them even emulating it.

Turning to alcohol, it was not unknown to Muslims. The Qur’an mentions it as impure and harmful. And cigarette was not yet invented when Isabella and Ferdinand were planning to take over Granada in the 1480s. In fact, tobacco itself was not yet known to the Europeans. Nonetheless, Reconquista was not so easy as to have been accomplished by making Andalusian Muslims addicted to smoking cigarettes. It took almost 500 years of ceaseless Christian military campaigns in spite of anarchy and dispersion of power that had prevailed in Muslim Spain since the fall of Andalusia’s Umayyad dynasty in 1031 CE, and 11 years of cleverly crafted strategy of Ferdinand-Isabella team to unseat an incompetent Muslim monarch.

David Nicolle writes in “Granada 1492”, a well-documented study of the last 11 years of Muslim rule in Spain, that the forces of Granada’s last Muslim king Abu Abdullah (Boabdil) Muhammad XII were “no match” to the might of the Spanish royal army that was “revitalized and lavishly equipped with modern artillery”. However, Nicolle adds that “despite this mismatch of strength it took 11 years of hard campaigning before the Spanish troops could bring their guns to bear on the walls of Granada”.

As for tobacco-smoking, according to historians, it did not begin in Europe before the nineteenth century, when it was enjoyed by “gentlemen only” in the form of cigars. Cigarettes (literally meaning small cigars), which were “basically the sweepings off the floor of the cigar factory, were only smoked by the very poor” and their mass production began only in the 1880s – almost 400 years after the fall of Granada.

Historically, there is no indication of habitual tobacco use in the Ancient World, on any continent save the Americas. During his two voyages in 1492 and 1493, Columbus and his sailors became the first Europeans to see tobacco in South America. In his diary for 12 October 1492, Columbus writes, according to tobacco historian Gene Borio, that on the beach of San Salvador Island or Samana Cay in the Bahamas, or Grand Turk Island, the indigenous Arawaks offered gifts which included fruit, wooden spears, and certain dried leaves which gave off a distinct fragrance…. “The fruit was eaten; the pungent ‘dried leaves’ were thrown away”, writes Columbus.

In 1498, Columbus visited what he named as Trinidad and Tobago, “naming the latter after the native tobacco pipe”, says Borio.

Borio further records in “The Tobacco Timeline” (, that Christian monk Ramon Pane had accompanied Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 and he described the New Worlders using snuff and inhaling smoke “through a Y-shaped tube”. Borio says Pane was “the first man to introduce tobacco to Europe” in the closing years of the fifteenth century.

France had come to know of tobacco in the mid-16th century, but according to Wikipedia, Europeans believed then that the use of tobacco was good “to cure ulcers and heal wounds along with other such benefits”. Christians would not allow this “useful medicine to infidel Moors”. To make things easy to understand, Encyclopadia Brittanica records that French Admiral Gaspard II de Coligny, a Huguenot (Protestant) leader, “supported a war in the Low Countries (southern France) against Spain as a means to prevent a resumption of (France’s Catholic-Protestant) civil war”.

Even if there is a historical reference to the use of tobacco as a weapon in France’s hostilities against Spain, one may be reminded that Admiral de Coligny’s proposal to engage Spain in a war came in the 1570s, about 80 years after the end of Spain’s last Muslim regime.

These historical records offer evidence that tobacco was unknown to the world before Columbus’s voyages. And Columbus reached the shores of South America nine months after the fall of Granada. Therefore, this negates the claim that cigarette was used for ending of Muslim rule in Spain.

Those who have a little understanding of history know well that the European Christians regarded Andalusian Muslims as “infidel” but did not consider them “fools” to be ridiculed even on a particular day in the year. Even today, extremist Christians or Westerners may dislike Muslims, but they do not denounce them as stupid people. On the contrary, they recognized Muslims’ superior intelligence, and did save a few books, by risking their own lives, from the raging “bon fires” (meaning good fires) stoked every night by Spain’s Cardinal Ximenes, who had full personal support of Isabella, and perhaps Ferdinand. These books written by Muslim scientists, philosophers and jurists – most of them burnt and destroyed by Ximenes and his subordinate priests – would not have been translated into Latin, Dutch, French, and English if Europeans had thought Muslims were fools.

April Fool’s Day or All Fools Day is in fact connected to the Old World’s New Year celebrations. In olden times in the Roman Empire, New Year of the Julian calendar would fall on April 1 and the weeklong celebrations would begin on March 25, culminating on what was recognized as the First Day of Spring, April 1. Not surprisingly, this compares with today’s weeklong celebrations beginning on December 25 and culminating on January 1 under the reformed Gregorian dating system.

The “most probable time” accepted as the beginning of April Fool’s Day tradition was in 1582, according to Jerry Wilson, an American science teacher and newspaper columnist who specializes in US tobacco industry. In the early 1570s, he says, France’s King Charles IX (reigned 1561-1574) adopted the Gregorian dating system and sent out orders around his kingdom (Iberian Peninsula, including Granada, was outside Charles IX’s realm) to change the New Year’s Day from April 1 to January 1. Jerry Wilson underscores a common European lore that in those days when mail in Europe was still carried by footmen, many people did not receive the news for several years. “Others, the more obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. These backward folk were labeled as ‘fools’ by the general populace. They were subject to some ridicule, and were often sent on ‘fools errands’ or were made the butt of other practical jokes”. It is common knowledge in Europe that this change in the dating system, says Wilson, “is where we get April Fool’s Day”.

It may be noted that Slavic people of Eastern Europe, denominationally known as (Russian) Orthodox Christians, still do not accept Gregorian dating system and continue to mark their religious ceremonies like Christmas and Easter according to the Julian calendar, named after Rome’s Julius Caesar.

It appears that Rome’s pre-Julian New Year’s Day actually fell in March, to mark summer equinox on March 20 or 21, which was originally dedicated to Ishtar, the pagan goddess of fertility. Ishtar’s festival would mark the advent of Spring, the time of new harvests. Ishtar was worshipped in ancient Sumeria (part of Syria) and Babylonia (part of Iraq). Astarte and Esther are alternative names for Ishtar (Arabic letters: ayn, sheen, ta, alif, ra). Early Christians who had made Rome as their religious focal point, had adopted many Roman and pre-Rome pagan rites, rituals and festivals, among them the Festival of Fertility, which was probably adopted by the Romans as a result of their political and economic contacts with West Asia. Another theory is that the lore of Ishatar was brought to Rome and rest of Europe by early Christian immigrants from West Asia. Interestingly, the Anglo-Saxons of British Isle also had the “spring goddess” they called Eostre.

Christian sources like the Dictionary of the Encyclopedia Britannica recognize that the festival of Easter, marked in March-April, actually has its roots in this Semitic festival of Ishtar. This explains the traditions of Easter Eggs, symbols of fertility, and Easter Bunny, the rodent known for a high rate of procreation and its re-emergence from the holes as snow begins to melt in March and green leaves begin to sprout again on denuded tree branches in cold climes of Europe. The Anglo-Saxon Eostre also had the hare and eggs as icons of Easter, “because both of them were regarded to be emblems of fertility”.

Here it may be of some interest to note that even though Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585) moved the Christian New Year to January in order to identify it with what Christians believe is birth-date of Jesus Christ, apparently doing away with a pagan Semitic ritual of the advent of Spring, the earlier celebration still retained religious sanction in the form of Easter. Also, Gregory XIII, who began his papacy 80 years after the fall of Granada, did not give new names to the months identified with Roman deities like Mars (March) and Juno (June), and Roman dictators such as Julius Caesar (July) and Augustus Caesar (August). It is understandable that a pope living under the Roman empire, was loath to or scared of christening months named after earlier emperors and deities, but ironically, he did not give thought to the names of four month which still sound ridiculous to the knowledgeable: the ninth Gregorian calendar month is called September which literally means Seventh (newspapers often report that a sept-uagenarian is a person in his/her seventies), tenth month is still known as October (meaning Eighth – and a schoolchild knows that an eight-point geometric pattern is called an octagon?), eleventh month remains to be November (meaning Ninth) and the twelfth month is still called December (linguistically meaning the Tenth – people may recall dec-imal point, or decade, that’s ten-year period, to understand the meaning of December). These names indicate that the Romans, being proud warriors, would start their year from March 1, named after their god of war, who was actually a carbon image of earlier pagan Greek god of war, Ares.

Now, how should a Muslim behave in dealing with matters like this?

Only illiterate or ignorant people having no civilizational tradition of academic and scientific inquiry would spread hearsay without caring to check the facts. But ignoring the facts is not a modern Muslim tradition only. Even though today’s Muslims are a far cry from what their illustrious ancestors had been, they are apparently influenced by the prevailing order: this approach of pseudo-scholarship is not an attribute of Muslims alone. This is given currency by the modern media – radio and television channels, newspapers and magazines – that may gleefully disseminate any untruth or pretty obvious falsehood with little inclination to verify the details, provided the error is unintentional. I recall just one example: The day India’s prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated I was visiting the US city of Boston. The next morning’s Boston Globe newspaper, a widely read and “respectable” national daily of the United States, reported in an “obituary-cum-news analysis” that Rajiv Gandhi was son of Indira Gandhi (right) and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi (?) and first prime minister of India! Traces of this culture are sometimes detectable in modern academia, too, especially in times when they are serving interests of multinational or other corporations. After all they need funds for research which can be conveniently oriented to suit corporate interests of the engines of the global economy.

As against this, Muslim academic culture of the yore would not allow any doubtful piece of information to spread before all narrated facts were thoroughly checked and tested on the anvil of logic as well as Islamic tenets and belief system. The last reporter in the chain would check the trustability of each and every single preceding reporter if the report passed through more than one narrator. This led to the initiation of the science of biography, Islamically called Ilm Asma ar-Rijal, the Science of the Names of Men. This style of scientific inquiry is the legacy of Muslims. Today’s “reporters” who carelessly post and “discuss” unproven statements are in no way representatives and successors of those who had initiated and instituted the science of scientific investigation just when Muslims were about to be driven out of Spain, sociologically speaking. Nonetheless, the world still expects Muslims to be the most authentic when they report some facts.

Reacting to the inane cyberumor about April Fool’s Day, a Black American Muslim, Abdul-Halim V, has rightly remarked on Planet Granada blog: “…sometimes I get the feeling that as a group, Muslims need to develop a lot more critical-thinking and need to learn not to pass on everything we hear from so-and-so as the truth”.

The Beginning of the Christian Colonial Terrorism after the Fall of Islamic Spain

The Spaniards achieved their own crowning glory when Christopher Columbus, the  so-called first European to ‘discover’ America, set out from Spain to find an alternate route to India at the behest of Queen Isabella of Spain, (although Columbus himself was Portuguese), reached the shores of Cuba and began what would be a series of events that would catapult Spain from being a regional power to a superpower, (which would eventually rival the Uthmanis for a period). The question of whether Columbus was the first to find America is not contentious but rather it is a moot point as, in the words of Abdul Hakim Quick, “How can you discover a place, if the people are living there already? (Quick, Deeper Roots Lecture ).” Certainly one can cite the plethora of information from Muslim sources of having trafficked between the Maghrib and West Africa and the Americas going back to the 10 Century CE and the stories of Mansa Musa, but that is to come later on in this book. Vasco De Gama followed in the footsteps of other Portuguese explorers and, in 1497, successfully went around the Cape of Good Hope, (South Africa), and onwards towards India and established a sea lane to India in 1498. Vasco De Gama subsequently sailed back to Portugal with the riches he desired, (spices). De Gama and other captains after him, would establish small strategic outposts in the territories they went around, (such as on the western coast of Africa and in India). These bases might simply be controlled by merely 20 men as there was no need for large garrisons. After all, the Portuguese, like their Venetian contemporaries, had perfected the art of occupation of territory by way of “…division of political opponents, the employment of economic resources for political ends, and the use of superior military technology when other measures failed (Hess, 1970, 1900).

However, in 1502, Vasco De Gama was sent back to India to reinforce the will of Portugal upon the Hindu Kingdom of Calicut, (or as it is called Kozhikode, and is located in the north of the modern day state of Kerala), and its ruler, (Swami Nambiyathiri Thirumulpad or in its shortened form, Saamoothiri). The ruler did not acquiesce to the establishment of a Portuguese trading post in his territory and thus ordered the killing of the Portuguese left behind by De Gama in Calicut. To retaliate and show the resolve of the Portuguese, on 29 September 1502 one of De Gamas ships, the Sao Gabriel, spotted the ‘Miri,’ a ship from Calicut that was carrying 240 Hujjaaj returning from Makkag, (this number excludes women and children onboard).The Emir of the journey was Jawhar Al Faqih, who was apparently a financier/city in Makkah. Other passengers of the ship “…were ten or twelve of the richest Muslim merchants of Calicut…(Subrahmanyam, 205).” De Gama and his men surrounded the Muslim ship, and the ‘Miri’ did not resist, (in spite of the fact they had ammunition and weapons on board). Jawhar Al Faqih offered generous terms for their release to De Gama, offering first money and spice for all of De Gama’s ships, even going as far as ransoming his wife, nephew and large quantities of spice in exchange for the freedom of the passengers. De Gama refused, and on October 3 , after taking all valuables from the ship and embarking back onto his vessel, “…ordered his bombardiers to set fire to the ship [the ‘Miri’] in several places. They did so, and those on board the ship now realized at last that they had no hope of escape. Taking the few bombards they had, and stones in their hands, both men and women on board attacked the departing Portuguese boats…(ibid, 206).” As the ship burned, and the Portuguese eagerly watched, “…women on board waved their gold and silver jewellery and precious stones, crying out to the Admiral that they were willing to give him all that for their lives; some of the women picked up their infants and pointed at them, ‘making signs with their hands, so far as we could make out, that we should have pity on their innocence,’ (ibid).” However, the bravery of the Muslims should make us ashamed, as they did not cower or called the United Nations to help them, but in the account of Tome Lopes’s, one of De Gama’s crewmen, account of the event, the Muslims aboard the burning vessel, “decided to board one of the Portuguese vessels and rammed it…furious hand to hand combat ensued…(ibid).” Lopes marvels at the ferocity of the Muslims as they fought as if “…they did not feel their wounds…(ibid).” However, in the end all aboard were burnt alive, except for the pilot of the ship and twenty or so children, (who were subsequently converted to Christianity). De Gama was not satisfied and would not be happy till all the Muslim Arabs living in Calicut, (mostly traders), were expelled, as the terrorist devil De Gama explained:

“For since the beginning of the world, the Moors [Muslims] have been the enemies of the Christians, and the Christians and Moors [Muslims] have been the enemies of the Christians, and the Christians of the Moors [Muslims], and they have been at war with each other, and on that account no agreement that could be made [between them] would be firm” (ibid, 214).

It certainly does not leave much unanswered about De Gama’s satanic intentions. For those who believe the Portuguese and Spanish expansion into the Muslim world was simply about spices and wealth was but a Crusader war first and foremost. In fact a few words should be said about the state of the Christendom, its rulers and their mindsets.

King Manuel I of Portugal, (who ruled from 1469-1521), had overseen the rapid rise of Portugal’s fortunes overseas as a colonial and trading powerhouse. He also had a “…rather strong Messianic streak, which made the capture of Jerusalem a particularly important objective in his policy decision…(ibid, 54).” It is strange however that some writers strangely try to brush aside these aims of extremist Manuel, and try to portray his desires as simply a byproduct of his desire for power and economic benefit. This religious angle is something:

“…which robustly materialist historians…have expressed considerable skepticism. But such a round dismissal does scant justice to the sources of the period, and support for a partly religious…interpretation can be found in the writings of even Joao de Barros, who though asked by the court to write ‘of the deeds that the Portuguese did in the discovery and conquest of the seas and lands of the Orient,’ thought fit to begin his great chronicle Da Asia with the rise ‘in the land of Arabia [of] that great anti-Christ Muhammad,’ (ibid).”

Moreover the logical end goal of King Manuel was to be known as the Emperor of the East, cast in the Roman emperors of old, by recapturing “…the Holy Land, and the destruction of the pilgrimage centers of the Hijaz (notably Mecca), came to be seen as the potential climax of overseas expansion…(ibid, 57).” For this reason, King Manuel decided that a direct assault on North Africa and Egypt would be too costly, and thus, the smartest approach was choking the Muslims by taking their sea lanes and trade routes while propping up indigenous Christian kingdoms in Muslim regions. As we will see later, the king was elated to have received word of the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia and its Emperor, Lebna Dengel, who they mistook as the mythical Prester John. [1] They believed that in partnership with this supposed ‘Prester John,’ they could choke the vital red sea trading lane and its vicinity, while mounting attacks into the Hijaz to destroy the Muslims and Makka. After receiving word of the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia and the misidentification of its ruler as ‘Prester John,’ King Manuel,
“…wrote a letter to Pope Leo X…with the familiar projects of the union of Eastern and Western Christianities, the imminent destruction of Makkah (and the ‘tomb’ of Muhammad there), all under the patronage of the Papacy, (ibid, 283).”

The Portuguese subsequently started propping up the Ethiopian King/Negus in his war against Imam Ahmed Bin Ibrahim Al Ghazi, as we shall see in due course.

The wealth and status these crusaders stole laid the foundation for their nations today. As for the millions of Muslims they killed along the way, we hold them accountable till today and will until all the injustices are rectified by the sword or By Allāh ( ﺳﺒﺤﺎﻧﻪ ﻭ ﺗﻌﻠﻰ ) on the Day of Judgement. As for the killing of the Muslims on the ‘Miri’ was one of the events that led to the Mamluke Sultan Al Ashraf Qansuh Al Ghawri to send a large naval detachment to fight the Portuguese.

With the increasing presence of the Portuguese in the traditionally Uthmani, (actually Muslim), sphere of influence, the Uthmanis, (in a coalition with the Mamlukes [2] and the Sultan of Gujarat, amongst others), decided to fight the Portuguese navy, led by a militant named Francisco Almeida, (the Portuguese Viceroy/governor), off the coast of the Gajarati city of Kathiawaar in 1509. The combined Muslim forces lost, paving the way for the Portuguese to capture other key port cities of the region such as Mumbasa, Muscat, Goa, Sri Lanka, Malaqa and the Islands of Suqutra, (which is off the coast of Somalia) and Hormuz, (off the coast of modern day Iran and trading capital at the time). Portuguese trading posts were established in India and elsewhere on his route, while simultaneously him and his crew proselytised the natives to Catholicism and converted people forcefully on the way, (which is why Goa, De Gama’s landing spot on the Malabar coast of India, has a 30% Christian population, which is much higher than the national average which is 2.3%), (Government of India. Census of India 2001, Data on Religion) . Thus the Portuguese, like the Spanish after them conquered in the name of Christ, with The Cross of the Order of Christ [3] adorned Portuguese sails in their travels to India, Brazil and Japan. Some may argue these are but coincidences and that papal authorities did not authorize their excesses but they would be wrong in that assumption as many Papal Bulls, (Papal pronouncements and edicts), and Papal Council records survive that evidence the crusading nature of the Church and its role as an incitor to the ‘Colonization Crusade,’ or as the French would like say, “A Civilizing Mission” or as the British were fond of saying, “White Man’s Burden” or perhaps in a contemporary context, “Operation Enduring Freedom.” This process of colonization was nothing but one in the series of continuous crusades since 1066. Pope Nicholas V issued a Papal Bull, called the Dum Diversas in 1452 stating:

“We grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, without apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens [ Muslims] and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property…and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, (Curran, 67).”

This edict was a blatant statement of the Church authorizing the seizing of by force of Muslim lands and of enslaving their people, making the Church squarely responsible for not only inciting the waves of colonization terror that followed throughout the subsequent centuries, but also in the actual commissioning of the crimes against the Muslim
Ummah, (among other peoples violated by the crusading Christians). In a later Papal Bull ‘Romanus Pontifex ’, in 1455, (underlining is mine):

“…if by his [ King Alfonso’s ] effort and industry that sea might become navigable as far as to the Indians who are said to worship that name of Christ, and that thus he might be able to enter into relations with them, and to incite them to aid the Christians against the Saracens [ Muslims] and other such enemies of the faith, and might also be able forthwith to subdue certain gentile or pagan peoples, living between, who are entirely free from infection by the sect of Mahomet [Muhammad ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ) ]…But since, as we are informed, although the king and infant aforesaid (who with so many and so great dangers, labors, and expenses, and also with loss of so many natives of their said kingdom, very many of whom have perished in those expeditions, depending only upon the aid of those natives, have caused those provinces to be explored and have acquired and possessed such harbors, islands, and seas, as aforesaid, as the true lords of them), fearing lest strangers induced by covetousness should sail to those parts, and desiring to usurp to themselves the perfection, fruit, and praise of this work, or at least hinder it… to prevent this and to conserve their right and possession, [the said king and infante] under certain most severe penalties then expressed, have prohibited and in general have ordained that none, unless with their sailors and ships and on payment of a certain tribute and with an express license previously obtained from the said king or infant, should presume to sail to the said provinces or to trade in their port or to fish in the sea …

We [therefore] weighting all and singular the premises with due meditation, and noting that since we had formerly by other letters of ours granted among other things free and ample faculty to the aforesaid King Alfonso- to invade and search out, capture, vanquish and subdue all Saracens [ Muslims] and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate to himself and his successors the kingdoms, dukedoms, counties, principalities, dominions, possessions, and goods, and to convert them to his and their use and profit- by having secured the said faculty, the said King Alfonso, or, by his authority, the aforesaid infant, justly and lawfully has acquired and possessed, and doth possess, these islands, lands, harbors, and seas, and they do of right belong and pertain to the said King Alfonso and his successors, nor without special license from King Alfonso and his successors themselves has any other even of the faith of Christ been entitled hitherto, nor is he by any means now entitled lawfully to meddle therewith- in order that King Alfonso himself and his successors and the infant may be able the more zealously to pursue and may pursue this most pious and noble work, and most worthy of perpetual remembrance (which, since the salvation of souls, increase of the faith, and overthrow of its enemies may be procured thereby, we regard as a work wherein the glory of God, and faith in Him, and His commonwealth, the Universal Church, are concerned), in proportion as they, having been relieved of all the greater obstacles, shall find themselves supported by us and by the Apostolic See [4] with favors and graces — we, being very fully informed of all and singular the premises, do, motu proprio , not at the instance of King Alfonso or the infante, or on the petition of any other offered to us on their behalf in respect to this matter, and after mature deliberation, by apostolic authority, and from certain knowledge, in the fullness of apostolic power, by the tenor of these presents decree and declare that the aforesaid letters of faculty (the tenor whereof we wish to be considered as inserted word for word in these presents, with all and singular the clauses therein contained) are extended to Ceuta and to the aforesaid and all other acquisitions whatsoever, even those acquired before the date of the said letters of faculty, and to all those provinces, islands, harbors, and seas whatsoever, which hereafter, in the name of the said King Alfonso and of his successors and of the infante, in those parts and the adjoining, and in the more distant and remote parts, can be acquired from the hands of infidels or pagans, and that they are comprehended under the said letters of faculty…”

In simple English, Pope Nicholas declared that the recent acquisition of Non-Christian territories by Portugal in Ceuta, (Ceuta was held by Muslims), and elsewhere were theirs forever, not to be usurped by anyone, even if they be Christian. In essence, the Church had declared war on the Non-Christian world.

Furthermore, the Pope confirmed the Dum Diversas of 1452 while, for good measure, the Pope declares that it is justified for the Portuguese to bar other powers from trading within their conquered territories unless a toll is paid and that Portuguese ships are used. This edict was a result of Portuguese realization that their profit would be cut in later years when other Christian powers manage to find a route to India, and thus offered the Pope to propagate Christianity in their newfound territories in return for exclusive rights to conquered lands. What resulted was a monopoly, reminiscent of the attempts of the gangs of Chicago muscle out competition from their turf, (albeit in this case, using ‘men of the Cloth’ [5] as their alibi), and European powers were none too pleased about this pronouncement by the Pope. In addition, many people, even in Europe were asking, ‘how can the Pope grant the right to conquer and rule places and people that:

1) Are not under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church? (i.e. pagans and Muslims did not come under their official jurisdiction)

2) And how can the Pope grant lands that he has not knowledge of and are not in his possession to give?

Questions such as these were posed by the famous Dutch jurist, Hugo Grotius, whom many consider the father of international law in Europe, (while the actual ‘father’ of International law as considered even by Christian Europeans is Muhammad Al-Shaybani, a Hanafi Faqih who lived during the 8 Century CE), and more specifically the Law of the Seas, (from which, now has come the Law of the Skies), which is used internationally nowadays, (interestingly enough, the origin of these laws are the Catholic Canon Law and old Roman civil law). He asked in his famous ‘Freedom of The Seas’, “Can any nation give away what it never owned, or discover what already belonged to someone else? Does a manifest injustice of long standing create a specific right? (Grotius, 52).” He argues that the Portugal’s claim of exclusivity to trade in the ‘East’ was based on false premises by saying:

“Neither can the Portuguese by any possible means claim to have discovered India, a country which was famous centuries and centuries ago! It was already known as early as the time of the emperor Augustus as the following quotation from Horace shows:

‘That worst of evils, poverty, to shun
Dauntless through seas, and rocks, and fires you run
To furthest Ind,’
And have not the Romans described for us in the most exact way the greater part of Ceylon? And as far as the other islands are concerned, not only the neighboring Persians and Arabs, but even Europeans, particularly the Venetians, knew them long before the Portuguese did, (Ibid, 56-57).”


“But have the Portuguese completely covered the ocean, as we are wont to do on land, by laying out estates on it in such a way that they have the right to exclude from that ocean whom they will? Not at all! On the contrary, they are so far from having done so, that when they divide up the world to the disadvantage of other nations, they cannot even defend their action by showing any boundaries either natural or artificial, but are compelled to fall back upon some imaginary line. Indeed, if that were a recognized method, and such a delimitation of boundaries were sufficient to make possession valid, our geometers long since would have got possession of the face of the earth, our astronomers of the very skies, (Ibid, 70).”

And finally, Grotius argues that:

“But if the Portuguese call occupying the sea merely to have sailed over it before other people, and to have, as it were, opened the way, could anything in the world be more ridiculous? For, as there is no part of the sea on which some person has not already sailed, it will necessarily follow that every route of navigation is occupied by someone. Therefore we peoples of today are all absolutely excluded. Why will not those men who have circumnavigated the globe be justified in saying that they have acquired for themselves the possession of the whole ocean! But there is not a single person in the world who does not know that a ship sailing through the sea leaves behind it no more legal right than it does a track. And as for the assumption of the Portuguese that no one has sailed that ocean before themselves, that is anything but true, (Ibid, 71).”

Thus, Grotius argues that neither sailing a route implies ownership of a land, (which would thus give possession rights to the occupier allowing them to impose their writ over the land in question), nor Papal edict to that effect, since if it did, Dutch geographers would have demarcated the whole world as exclusively Dutch property! Moreover he sullies the claim that Portugal ‘discovered’ the routes they sailed on and the land they traded in but citing that Romans, Arabs and Persians had been to these places before Portugal, (thus effectively providing a European rebuttal to the Age of ‘Discovery’). However, it must be remembered that Grotius wrote this book in 1604 to justify the trading activities of the Dutch East India Company against the Papal edict granting Portugal exclusive status over India and its Asian holdings. Therefore, it can be argued that Grotius perhaps did not actually believe in the argument he posits, but rather does it simply to earn his pay from the Dutch East India Company, (of whom he was hired by to write this thesis). Nevertheless, his arguments are in agreement with what any person with a mind would argue about the absurdity of Papal pronouncements in regards to colonization of other lands.

The rights bestowed by Romanus Pontifex have served as the basis for legal arguments over the centuries. The logic of the rights of conquest and discovery were followed in all western nations including those that never recognized papal authority. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1823 case Johnson v. M’Intosh that as a result of European discovery and assumption of ultimate dominion, Native Americans had only a right to occupancy of native lands, not the right of title. This decision was upheld in the 1831 case Cherokee Nation v. Georgia , giving Georgia authority to extend state laws over Cherokees within the state, and famously describing Native American tribes as “domestic dependent nations.” This decision was modified in Worcester v. Georgia , which stated that the U.S. federal government, and not individual states, had authority in Indian affairs, but it maintained the loss of right to title upon discovery by Europeans.

In recent years, Native American groups including the Taíno and Onondaga have called on the Vatican to revoke the bulls of 1452, 1453, and 1493, (i.e. the edicts of 1452 and others are still in force legally according to the Catholic Church and thus, amongst other things, the Catholic Church is still technically at war with the non-Christian world, which would include the Muslim Ummah).

Pope Alexander VI issued Inter caetera on 4 May 1493, which granted to Spain all lands to the “west and south” of a pole-of-pole line 100 leagues west and south of any of the islands of the Azores or the Cape Verde Islands, granting all lands to the east and south of that line to Portugal. This bull and other similar to it made up the ‘Bulls of Donation.’ This bull was silent regarding whether lands to the east of the line would belong to Portugal, which had only recently reached the southern tip of Africa (1488) and had not yet reached India (1498). These lands were “to be discovered” beyond those along the west coast of Africa as far as Guinea that were given to Portugal via the 1481 bull
Aeterni regis, which had ratified the Treaty of Alcáçovas.

This nullification of Portugal’s aspirations led to the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, (included in Appendix R), between Spain and Portugal, which moved the line further west to a meridian 370 leagues west of the Portuguese Cape Verde Islands, now explicitly giving Portugal all newly discovered lands east of the line. Initially, the Tordesillas line did not encircle the globe. Spain and Portugal could pass each other toward the west or east, respectively, on the other side of the globe and still possess whatever lands they were first to discover. In response to Portugal’s discovery of the Spice Islands in 1512, the Spanish put forward the idea, in 1518, that Pope Alexander had divided the world into two halves. The Treaty of Saragossa (1529) settled the dispute by placing the antipodal[6] line 17° east of the Moluccas.
Inter caetera states:

“Among other works well pleasing to the Divine Majesty and cherished of our heart, this assuredly ranks highest, that in our times especially the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself. …we [the Papacy] command you [Spain]…to instruct the aforesaid inhabitants and residents and dwellers therein in the Catholic faith, and train them in good morals.”

This papal command marked the beginning of colonization and Catholic Missions in the New World. An important if initially unintended effect of the combination of this papal bull and the Treaty of Tordesillas was that nearly all the Pacific Ocean and the west coast of North America were given to Spain.

Inter caetera stated that one Christian nation did not have the right to establish dominion over lands previously dominated by another Christian nation, thus establishing the Law of Nations. Together, the Dum Diversas , the
Romanus Pontifex and the Inter Caetera came to serve as a justification for the Discovery Doctrine [7] and the Age of Imperialism.

The Treaty of Alcacovas which was signed between Portugal and Spain in 1479 was a ground breaking treaty in the history of colonialism, since it is one of the first international documents formally establishing the principle that European powers are empowered to divide the rest of the world into “spheres of influence” and colonize the territories located within such spheres, and that any indigenous people living there need not be asked for their consent (or even be informed that their fate was being decided upon).
In it, the allowances were that:

“… the said King and Prince of Portugal or the future sovereigns of Portugal or their kingdoms, in their possession or quasi possession all the trade, lands and barter in Guinea, with its gold-mines, or in any other islands, coasts or lands, discovered or to be discovered, found or to be found, or in the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and Desertas, or in all the islands of the Azores, or the islands of Flores, as well as the islands of Cape Verde, or in all the islands hitherto discovered, or in all other islands which shall be found or acquired by conquest [in the region] from the Canary Islands down toward Guinea. For whatever has been found or shall be found, acquired by conquest, or discovered within the said limits, beyond what has already been found, occupied, or discovered, belongs to the said King and Prince of Portugal and to their kingdoms, excepting only the Canary Islands, to wit: Lancarote, Palma, Forteventura, Gomera, Ferro, Graciosa, Grand Canary, Teneriffe and all the other Canary Islands, acquired or to be acquired, which belong to the kingdoms of Castile.

And in like manner, [they promised] not to disturb, trouble or molest any persons whomsoever, who, under any title or in any way or manner whatsoever, shall trade or traffic in or acquire by conquest the said trade of Guinea or that of the said coasts or lands, discovered or to be discovered, in the name or under the authority of the said king and prince or their successors. On the contrary, by these presents, they do promise and assure, in good faith and without deceit, the said king and prince and their successors, that they will not, of themselves or through others, order or consent, but rather forbid, that any of their people, native or subject, in any place or at any time, or in any case, specified or not specified, or any other foreign people who might be within their kingdoms and dominions, or who shall be equipped or provisioned in their ports, go to traffic in the said trade or in the islands or lands of Guinea discovered or to be discovered.”

These concepts would remain as generally-accepted principles in the ideology and practice of European powers up to the 20th century decolonization. The Treaty of Alcáçovas could be regarded as the ancestor of many later international treaties and instruments based on the same basic principle – for example the resolutions of the 1884 Conference of Berlin, a full four centuries later, which in much the same way divided Africa into colonial spheres of influence. Morever treaties such as those of, The London Pact, [8] Sykes-Picot, [9] The Balfour Declaration, [10] The Agreement of St.-Jean-de-Maurienne, [11] Sevres, [12] Lausanne, [13] , The San Remo Agreement [14] , the secret Tripartite agreement, [15] ARAMCO [16] and its scheming in Saudi Arabia and the Red Line [17] agreements are a testament that this legacy of division and conquest never ended and continues well into our times with the conquests of Afghanistan, Iraq and the Chaos in the Middle East are instigates by none other than the satanic Zionist and NATO forces, (which includes much of the old cast of villains that terrorized the Muslim world during the 17 -19 centuries), and the US, while, under the pretext of creating Forward Command posts for their armies to fight the War on ‘Terror,’ have erected the equivalent of Portuguese and Spanish trading posts [18] that projects American power well within the regions in question, thus resulting in colonization of the said lands in all but form.

The treacherous kafir T.E. Lawrence stated in an intelligence report that the Arab Revolt, in reference to Britain and the west, was:

“…beneficial to us, because it matches with our immediate aims, the breakup of the Islamic ‘bloc’ and the defeat and disruption of the Ottoman Empire, and because the states [Sharif Hussein] would set up to succeed the Turks would be … harmless to ourselves … The Arabs are even less stable than the Turks. If properly handled they would remain in a state of political mosaic, a tissue of small jealous principalities incapable of cohesion, (Kastan, Wail S. Hassan,‘T.E. Lawrence’).”

The Prophet ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ) states, in an authentic hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud, on the authority of Thawban, we’re told:

ﻳﻮﺷﻚ ﺍﻷﻣﻢ ﺃﻥ ﺗﺪﺍﻋﻰ ﻋﻠﻴﻜﻢ ﻛﻤﺎ ﺗﺪﺍﻋﻰ ﺍﻷﻛﻠﺔ ﺇﻟﻰ ﻗﺼﻌﺘﻬﺎ ﻓﻘﺎﻝ ﻗﺎﺋﻞ ﻭﻣﻦ ﻗﻠﺔ ﻧﺤﻦ ﻳﻮﻣﺌﺬ ﻗﺎﻝ ﺑﻞ ﺃﻧﺘﻢ ﻳﻮﻣﺌﺬ ﻛﺜﻴﺮ ﻭﻟﻜﻨﻜﻢ ﻏﺜﺎﺀ ﻛﻐﺜﺎﺀ ﺍﻟﺴﻴﻞ ﻭﻟﻴﻨﺰﻋﻦ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻣﻦ ﺻﺪﻭﺭ ﻋﺪﻭﻛﻢ ﺍﻟﻤﻬﺎﺑﺔ ﻣﻨﻜﻢ ﻭﻟﻴﻘﺬﻓﻦ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻓﻲ ﻗﻠﻮﺑﻜﻢ ﺍﻟﻮﻫﻦ ﻓﻘﺎﻝ ﻗﺎﺋﻞ ﻳﺎ ﺭﺳﻮﻝ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻭﻣﺎ ﺍﻟﻮﻫﻦ ﻗﺎﻝ ﺣﺐ ﺍﻟﺪﻧﻴﺎ ﻭﻛﺮﺍﻫﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﻤﻮﺕ

The People will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their food.” Someone asked, “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He replied, “No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be froth and scum like that carried down by a torrent (of water), and Allāh will take the fear of you from the breasts (hearts) of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allāh, what is wahn?” He replied, “Love of the world and dislike of death [19] ”

We ask Allāh, The Almighty, for His forgiveness for our feebleness and wahn.

With these facts in mind, the Law of Nations developed, or as we see today, International Law, (it should be noted I have only briefly summarized a topic that would easily take writing a library worth of books to expound on fully). In international law there is a concept called ultima ratio regum or last argument of kings (force and coercion, by military or other means). Many in Europe and America have argued that dictatorships such as China or Cuba are examples of the above wherein due to their sovereignty they are free to do as they wish in their lands and abroad and not beholden to any one else’s laws.

Other states oppose this view. One group of opponents of this point of view, including many European nations, maintain that all civilized nations have certain norms of conduct expected of them, including the prohibition of genocide, slavery and the slave trade, wars of aggression, torture, and piracy, and that violation of these universal norms represents a crime, not only against the individual victims, but against humanity as a whole. States and individuals who subscribe to this view opine that, in the case of the individual responsible for violation of international law, he “is become, like the pirate and the slave trader before him, hostis humani generis, an enemy of all mankind, (Janis & Noyes, p. 148)”, and thus subject to prosecution in a fair trial before any fundamentally just tribunal, through the exercise of universal jurisdiction. Thus, we now begin to see and understand the basis of preemptive military strikes by countries in the present and the imposition of certain moral and ethical values imposed upon the Muslim world and its legal and political systems. Grotius says that:

“For those who force war upon barbarous peoples, as the Spaniards did upon the aborigines of America, commonly allege one of two pretexts: either that they have been refused the right to trade, or that the barbarians are unwilling to acknowledge the doctrines of the True Faith.(Grotius, p. 60).”

While he adds by quoting Plutarch[20] :

“…that it was greed that furnished the pretext for conquering barbarous countries, and it is not unsuspected that greedy longing for the property of another often hid itself behind a pretext of civilizing barbarians. (Ibid, p.57).”



[1] The tale spoke of a Christian patriarch and king said to rule over a Christian nation lost amidst the Muslims and pagans in the Orient. Written accounts of this kingdom are variegated collections of medieval popular fantasy. Reportedly a descendant of one of the Three Magi, Prester John was said to be a generous ruler and a virtuous man, presiding over a realm full of riches and strange creatures, in which the Patriarch of the Saint Thomas Christians resided. His kingdom contained such marvels as the Gates of Alexander and the Fountain of Youth, and even bordered the Earthly Paradise. Among his treasures was a mirror through which every province could be seen in which the prince’s realms were surveyed and his duties laid out. At first, Prester John was imagined to be in India. After the coming of the Mongols to the Western world, accounts placed the king in Central Asia, and eventually Portuguese explorers convinced themselves they had found him in Ethiopia.

[2] The Mameluke Sultan, Al Ashraf Qansuh Al Ghawri had sent his fleet in 1507 to defend the Sultan of Gujarat from the aggression of Vasco De Gama and the Portuguese fleet.

[3] A forerunner of the Knights Templar in Portugal, (The Knights Templar Order had fought during the Crusades and were established after the First Crusade, and existed from approximately 1118 to 1312). These were the same Knights Templar that massacred Muslims in Sham and specifically fought with their crusader zeal against the mujahid Salahuddin in the Battle of Hitteen under the leadership of Gerard de Riderfort. Sultan Salahuddin executed most of the Templars, who were obstinate in their kufr, after their spectacular defeat at the hands of the mujahideen , while
the Crusader Gerard was executed in 1189 after the Battle of Akka (Acre). After the Templars were suppressed in 1312 by Papal authorities and a large number of them were executed in France, including their Grand Master Jacque DeMolay. Many of these knights took refuge in Portugal. Others elsewhere were absorbed into other orders such as the Knights Hospitaller. The influx of new recruits from theTemplar and the shift of the Knights Hospitaller to Rhodes, (an island near the southern coast of modern day Turkey), allowed the the Hospitallers, (now called the Knights of Rhodes), to harass Uthmani Shipping, attack the Uthmani naval mujahideen , (commonly known in the Christian world as the Barbary ‘Pirates’), and conducting small scale incursions into Anatolia and even Egypt with their typical crusader zeal. However in 1522 the Knights were defeated by the mujahid Uthmani Khalifa, Sulaiman, resulting in many of the defeated knights to leave and settle in the Kingdom of Sicily, while others wandered homeless until 1530 when Holy Roman Emperor Charles V conferred upon them the sovereignty of the island of Malta, (thereafter renaming the Knights of Rhodes to the Knights of Malta). The knights survived in Malta, carrying on the Crusader activities of their forefathers and harassing the Uthmani’s, with the end of these crusaders, ironically, coming not as a result of an Uthmani invasion, but rather Napolean Bonaparte’s, (another Allahless tyrant, albeit a brilliant military strategist), invasion of Malta in 1798. The order was revived in many European capitals in various forms but in 1834, the Order established a new headquarters in Rome. It was renamed ‘The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta,’ or as it is better known, ‘The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM).’ Its sovereign status is recognized by membership in numerous international bodies and observer status at the United Nations and others. The Order maintains diplomatic relations with approximately 100 countries, with numerous ambassadors. It issues its own passports, currency, stamps and even vehicle registration plates. The Grand Master of the Order serves as a Papal Viceroy, providing Vatican diplomats with procedural support for making motions, proposing amendments and requiring votes in the sphere of international diplomacy. Many claim that the Templars and Hospitallers survived in the form of freemasonry, thus enduring the persecution and establishing an unbroken chain of transmission of the Crusades from 1066 to our age. However, these claims are without solid proof, and thus cannot be denied or agreed upon.

[4] The Apostolic See is used in the singular to refer to the See of Rome, (the central government of the Roman Catholic Church), referring to the Pope’s status as successor of the Apostle Peter.

[5] Christian clergy

[6] Of, relating to, or situated on the opposite side or sides of the earth

[7] The Discovery Doctrine is a concept of public international law expounded by the United States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, most notably Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. The doctrine was Chief Justice John Marshall’s explanation of the way in which colonial powers laid claim to newly discovered lands during the Age of Discovery. Under it, title to newly discovered lands lay with the government whose subjects discovered new territory. The doctrine has been primarily used to support decisions invalidating or ignoring aboriginal possession of land in favor of colonial or post-colonial governments. This decision is still in force today and denies, (and in all likelihood will never be repealed), Native Americans their rights as the true inhabitants and owners of, if not all, large chunks of North America, (including Canada, where the same logic has been used).

[8] The Treaty of London, 1915, was a secret pact between Italy and Triple Entente, signed in London on 26 April 1915 by the Kingdom of Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Russia. According to the pact, Italy was to leave the Triple Alliance and join Triple Entente, as already stated in a secret agreement signed in London, on 4-5 September 1914. Furthermore, Italy was to declare war against Germany and Austria-Hungary within a month — and in fact the declaration of war was published on the 23 of May of the same year. In exchange, Italy was to obtain some territorial gains at the end of the war, (which included Germany’s Asia and Africa holdings)

[9] The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 was a secret agreement between the governments of the UK and France, with the assent of Imperial Russia, defining their respective spheres of influence and control in west Asia after the expected downfall of the Uthmani Empire during World War I. It was largely a trade agreement with a large area set aside for indirect control through an Arab state or a confederation of Arab states. The agreement was concluded on 16 May 1916. Britain was allocated control of areas roughly comprising today’s Jordan, southern Iraq, and a small area around Haifa, to allow access to a Mediterranean port. France was allocated control of southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq around Mosul, Syria and Lebanon. Russia was to get Constantinople, the Turkish Straits and the Uthmani Armenian vilayets. The controlling powers were left free to decide on state boundaries within these areas. The region of Palestine was slated for international administration pending consultations with Russia and other powers, including the Sharif of Mecca.

[10] The Balfour Declaration of 1917 (dated November 2, 1917) was a classified formal statement of policy by the British government stating that the British government “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” with the understanding that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” The declaration was made in a letter from Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation, a private Zionist organization. The letter reflected the position of the British Cabinet, as agreed upon in a meeting on October 31, 1917. It further stated that the declaration is a sign of “sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations.” The statement was issued through the efforts of Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow, the principal Zionist leaders based in London. The “Balfour Declaration” was later incorporated into the Sèvres peace treaty with Turkey and the Mandate for Palestine. Naturally, the agreement went contrary to the Hussain-Mcmahon Correspondence, (1915-1916), between Hussain Ibn Ali, (the Sharif of Makka), and Sir Henry McMahon, (British High Commissioner of Egypt), wherein McMahon promised the Arabs, (led by British agent T.E. Lawrence), in return for revolting against the Uthmani’s, all Arab states from the southern border of modern day Turkey would get independence.

[11] London Pact stated that if the Ottoman Empire was partitioned, Italy should receive a “just share” in the Adana Region. The borders of this occupation were to be decided at a later time.

[12] The Treaty of Sèvres (10 August 1920) was the peace treaty between the Uthmani Empire and Allies that divided Uthmani possessions amongst the Allies at the end of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles was signed with Germany before this treaty to annul the German concessions including the economic rights and enterprises. The Treaty of Sèvres imposed terms so severe that British policy seemed to have succeeded in strangling the sick man of Europe in his sick-bed in Asia Minor. This had been the dream of Christianity for nearly five hundred years beginning with the Holy Leagues, the Ottoman Empire put into a condition such that it can never be revived again in its old form. The Treaty was annulled by the Treaty of Lausanne

[13] was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland, (1923), that divided the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Uthmani Empire amongst the allies, by annulment of the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) that was signed by the Istanbul-based Uthmani government; as the consequence of the Turkish War of Independence between the Allies of World War I and the Ankara-based Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkish national movement) led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The treaty also led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the new Republic of Turkey as the successor state of the defunct Uthmani Empire. The treaty also stipulated minority rights that Turkey had to give to its population including not discriminating between religions in Section III of the treaty, (i.e. no Ahl Al-Dhimma ).

[14] The agreement was signed in 1920 dividing former Uthmani territories in the Middle East between France and Britain. The agreement involved that Britain and France would establish mandates over Middle Eastern territories. France got control over Syria and Lebanon, Britain over Palestine and Mesopotamia. The agreement was very much based upon the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. The main differences from the Sykes-Picot to the San Remo were that the state of Turkey had been established, taking most of the lands allocated for Russia, and the northern parts of the territory intended for France. Also, there were no more any traces of an Arab state, and the lands of Palestine were defined according to the Balfour Declaration, which was included in the British part of the agreement.

[15] The Tripartite Agreement (1920), confirmed Britain’s oil and commercial concessions and turned the former German enterprises in the Uthmani Empire over to a Tripartite corporation

[16] In 1948 Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon) and Socony-Vacuum Oil (now Mobil) join Standard Oil California, (now Chevron) and Texaco as owners of Aramco, (Arab American Oil Company). In 1933 Saudi Arabia granted oil concession to California Arabian Standard Oil Company (Casoc), affiliate of Standard Oil of California (Socal, today’s Chevron).

[17] An agreement signed by partners in the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC) on July 31, 1928. The TPC, afterwards renamed the Iraq Petroleum Company, was an oil company jointly owned by some of the world’s largest oil companies, (Anglo-Persian Oil Company/BP and Royal Dutch/Shell to name a few), which had a virtual monopoly on all oil exploration in Iraq from 1925 to 1961. The aim of the agreement was to formalize the corporate structure of TPC and bind all partners to a self-denial clause that prohibited any of its shareholders from independently seeking oil interests in the ex-Uthmani territory. It marked the creation of an oil monopoly, or cartel, of immense influence, spanning a vast territory. It is said that Calouste Gulbenkian, (an Armenian businessman and the founder of the TPC) took out a large map, laid it on the table and drew with a thick red pencil an outline demarking the boundaries of the area where the self-denial clause would be in effect. He said that was the boundary of the Uthmani Empire he knew in 1914. The other partners looked on attentively and did not object. They had already anticipated such a boundary. (According to some accounts, the “red line” was drawn not by Gulbenkian but by the French.) Excepting Gulbenkian, the partners were the supermajors, (ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Total S.A.) of today. Within the “red line” was included the entire ex-Uthmani territory in the Middle East, including the Arabian Peninsula (plus Turkey) but excluding Kuwait. Kuwait was excluded, as it was meant to be a preserve for the British.

[18] In the famous example of Vasco De Gama, he established trading outposts at locations his crew stopped off at and initially were involved in trade, but slowly, these posts became the staging posts for the colonial hijacking of the countries in question.

[19] An authentic hadith recorded by Abu Dawud and Ahmad

[20] He was a Roman historian (of Greek ethnicity), biographer and essayist. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in Chaeronea, Boeotia, a town about twenty miles east of Delphi. His main works consist of the Parallel Lives and the Moralia.

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 interfered with and that all freedom of religion should be preserved, (not unlike 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 by God 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 Sham[1] . 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 originally requested papal approval of the Treaty of Garnata, ( 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 negotiations. 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’s [2] 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… (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 do so.

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. Therefore Talavera was successful in making quite a few Muslims either feign apostasy, (out of fear, and rightfully so, of punishment and torture, since the Spanish inquisition had, at this time, already been operating since 1476), or truly apostatize and become Christians. An example of this would be the Muslims of Caspe, (a town in the province of Aragon or Arghun), announcing the desire to be baptized and become Christians in 1499 or that in the district of Teruel and Albarracin [Al Birazeen] a masjid was converted into a church by the residents in 1493.

In terms of global events, the Uthmanis were preoccupied had, since 1453 CE gone from strength to strength, with the conquest of Constantinople and the defeat of the Byzantines, to the gradual acquisition of Eastern European territory between 1456 to 1461, (including Bosnia, Serbia and Albania), while defeating the Shia’ Safawiyya (Safawids), in 1473. During this period the Uthmanis had also attempted to invade Italy in 1480, (which ended in failure).

Truly the Uthmanis were a superpower of their time and European powers trembled at their power whether on land or sea. A special emphasis should be placed of Uthmani sea power as it was the equivalent of American Air power today, and in military terms is a decisive factor in contemporary warfare and strategic planning.

Without doubt, the Uthmanis possessed one of the strongest navys in the world, at the time, with active patrols across the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and even the Pacific. That is to say nothing of the Uthmani naval
ghazis , (such as Khair Al Deen), who used to venture even further out to sea up to even the shores of Iceland and America to raid kafir ships and obtain ghaneema . As it applies to Andalus, the naval power of the Uthmanis was applied when they sent Kamal Reis, an Uthmani naval commander, who was sent to Bijaya, (in the Mediterranean ocean), presumably after the fall of Garnata to maintain contact with the Muslims of Andalus to collect intelligence and assess their situation by which to judge what course of action should be taken, (Harvey, 2005. 335). Kemal Reis was recalled in 1495 back to port in Turkey for unknown reasons, (perhaps he completed his mission?). In light of increasingly successful of Portuguese attacks on Muslim cities on the eastern coast of Africa, and the taking of the island of Hormuz, (on their way to strengthen the Portuguese forces already present in Gujurat), the Mamlukes decided to respond to this Christian aggression. In 1507, on the way to defend the Sultan of Gujrat against the Portuguese, the Mamluke navy fortified the port city of Jeddah against any possible Portuguese aggression. The very real fear was that the Portuguese would sail up the Red Sea and, in the words of Joao de Barros, a 16 century Portuguese historian:

“…take the city of Jeddah, a port very near by, by which we could go to Mecca and thence to Medina to steal the body of their Prophet and hold it in our possession in the same way as they hold Jeruslam, which is the home of our faith…(Peters, 189)”

This certainly was the aim of one of the commanders of the Portuguese naval reinforcement group on its way to Gujrat, Alfonso De Albuquerque. He would go onto replace Francisco de Almeida as the Portuguese governor of the Portuguese territories of India. On arrival in the area, the Mamluke navies, under the command of Hussein Al Kurdi, engaged the Portuguese forces in 1508 in the Battle of Chaul and defeated the Portuguese in the engagement while killing their commander, Lourenco de Almeida, (son of Francisco de Almeida).



[1] Historically it usually refers to the region bordering the eastern Mediterranean, which includes modern-day Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan

[2] This is known in Spanish as Albaycin and was one of the three quarters in the city of Garnata, (Al Bayyazin, Al Hamra’ and the Christian quarter). In Arabic, the full name of the quarter was Ribad Al Bayyazin, which means ‘Quarter of the Falconer,’ but there is dispute over this meaning.

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 Muslims 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 maintaining their Salat, fasting, Zakat and even Hajj during 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 16 century is thought to be due to the restrictions placed upon the use of Arabic from the mid 16 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 14 and 15 , (perhaps even earlier), century due to the fact that Muslims that were living anywhere other than Garnata, (such as Arghun (Aragon), 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 15 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 16 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.  In 1462 CE, he wrote his most famous book, Breviario Sunni , (‘Introduction to the Sunnah’), which was a 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:

1. Tafsir of Ibn Ali Zaminin

2. Tafsir Ghareeb Al Quran of Al Sijistani

3. Ibn Salama’s work on Ayaat that are mansukh , (abrogated)

4. Some works on different modes of Qiraat, even some that argue the difference between Warsh and Qaloon

5. Kitaab Fihi Tafseer Mukhtalif Al Hadith by Ibn Qutayba

6. The Forty Hadith of Imam Ghazali

7. Kitaab Shihab Akbar by Al Quda’i

8. Kitab Anwar Al Saniyya by Ibn Juzayy

9. B’ad Al Khalq Wa Qisaas Al Anbiya by Al Farisi

10. Kitab Al Anwar by Abu Al Hassan Al Bakri

11. Rai’ Al Durar by Al Qazwini

12. Al Risaala by Ibn Zayd Al Qayrawani 1

3. Kitab Al Istadhkaar by Abd Al Barr Al Namari

14. Kitab Al Iqtisaad fee Al Itiqaad by Imam Ghazali

And many more. Below is an example of Ajamiyya text, (the following is a Spanish translation of the Quran written in Arabic script):


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 of 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 the 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 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, (who 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:

ﻋَﻦِ ﺍﺑْﻦِ ﻋَﺒَّﺎﺱٍ ﺭَﺿِﻲَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﻋَﻨْﻪُ ﺃَﻥَّ ﺭَﺳُﻮﻝَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﺻَﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﻋَﻠَﻴْﻪِ ﻭَﺳَﻠَّﻢَ ﻗَﺎﻝَ :
ﺇﻥَّ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪَ ﺗَﺠَﺎﻭَﺯَ ﻟِﻲ ﻋَﻦْ ﺃُﻣَّﺘِﻲ ﺍﻟْﺨَﻄَﺄَ ﻭَﺍﻟﻨِّﺴْﻴَﺎﻥَ ﻭَﻣَﺎ ﺍﺳْﺘُﻜْﺮِﻫُﻮﺍ ﻋَﻠَﻴْﻪِ
‏( ﺣَﺪِﻳﺚٌ ﺣَﺴَﻦٌ، ﺭَﻭَﺍﻩُ ﺍﺑْﻦُ ﻣَﺎﺟَﻪ، ﻭَﺍﻟْﺒَﻴْﻬَﻘِﻲُّ “ ﺍﻟﺴُّﻨَﻦ ‏)

Ibn Abbas, (radiyAllāhu ‘anhu) , reported that the Messenger of Allāh, ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ), said:
“Truly Allāh has for my sake pardoned the mistakes and forgetfulness of my community, and for what they have done under force or duress.” [1]

The Ulema cite in support of this Hadith, (Along with Surah Al Ahzab, Ayah 5 and Surah Baqarah, Ayah 286), cite this
ayah :

ﻣَﻦ ﻛَﻔَﺮَ ﺑِﺎﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻣِﻦ ﺑَﻌْﺪِ ﺇﻳﻤَـﻨِﻪِ ﺇِﻻَّ ﻣَﻦْ ﺃُﻛْﺮِﻩَ ﻭَﻗَﻠْﺒُﻪُ ﻣُﻄْﻤَﺌِﻦٌّ ﺑِﺎﻹِﻳﻤَـﻦِ ﻭَﻟَـﻜِﻦ ﻣَّﻦ ﺷَﺮَﺡَ ﺑِﺎﻟْﻜُﻔْﺮِ ﺻَﺪْﺭًﺍ ﻓَﻌَﻠَﻴْﻬِﻢْ ﻏَﻀَﺐٌ ﻣِّﻦَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻭَﻟَﻬُﻢْ ﻋَﺬَﺍﺏٌ ﻋَﻈِﻴﻢٌ 2

Whoever disbelieves in Allāh 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 Allāh, 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 Allāh 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 Allāh. He refused, saying, “Alone, Alone.” And he said, “By Allāh, if I knew any word more annoying to you than this, I would say it.” May Allāh 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 Allāh” He said, “Yes.” Then Musaylimah asked, “Do you bear witness that I am the messenger of Allāh” 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 Allāh; 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 Allāh.”

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 (rahimahullah) 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), than 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 be ascertained doing things such as eating pork and drinking wine 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 understood the situation of the Andalusis issued fatawa stating that, (if the Muslims are truly under ikrah as mentioned above), 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 ayaat 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 (rahimahullah) clarifies the conditions of remaining in mushrik lands without putting oneself into a sinful position:

ﺇِﻥَّ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺗَﻮَﻓَّﺎﻫُﻢُ ﺍﻟْﻤَﻶﺋِﻜَﺔُ ﻇَﺎﻟِﻤِﻲ ﺃَﻧْﻔُﺴِﻬِﻢْ ﻗَﺎﻟُﻮﺍْ ﻓِﻴﻢَ ﻛُﻨﺘُﻢْ ﻗَﺎﻟُﻮﺍْ ﻛُﻨَّﺎ ﻣُﺴْﺘَﻀْﻌَﻔِﻴﻦَ ﻓِﻲ ﺍﻷَﺭْﺽِ ﻗَﺎﻟْﻮَﺍْ ﺃَﻟَﻢْ ﺗَﻜُﻦْ ﺃَﺭْﺽُ ﺍﻟﻠّﻪِ ﻭَﺍﺳِﻌَﺔً ﻓَﺘُﻬَﺎﺟِﺮُﻭﺍْ ﻓِﻴﻬَﺎ ﻓَﺄُﻭْﻟَـﺌِﻚَ ﻣَﺄْﻭَﺍﻫُﻢْ ﺟَﻬَﻨَّﻢُ ﻭَﺳَﺎﺀﺕْ ﻣَﺼِﻴﺮًﺍ 3

Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) clarifies this Ayah by stating:

Al-Bukhari recorded that Muhammad bin ‘Abdur-Rahmān, 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 Allāh . 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 Allāh sent down the Ayah,

ﺇِﻥَّ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺗَﻮَﻓَّـﻬُﻢُ ﺍﻟْﻤَﻠَـﺌِﻜَﺔُ ﻇَـﻠِﻤِﻰ ﺃَﻧﻔُﺴِﻬِﻢْ

‘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 Allāh 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,

ﺇِﻥَّ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺗَﻮَﻓَّـﻬُﻢُ ﺍﻟْﻤَﻠَـﺌِﻜَﺔُ ﻇَـﻠِﻤِﻰ ﺃَﻧﻔُﺴِﻬِﻢْ

“Verily, as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves,” by refraining from Hijrah,
ﻗَﺎﻟُﻮﺍْ ﻓِﻴﻢَ ﻛُﻨﺘُﻢْ

They (angels) say (to them): ‘In what (condition) were you’
meaning, why did you remain here and not perform Hijrah

ﻗَﺎﻟُﻮﺍْ ﻛُﻨَّﺎ ﻣُﺴْﺘَﻀْﻌَﻔِﻴﻦَ ﻓِﻰ ﺍﻻٌّﺭْﺽِ

They reply: ‘We were weak and oppressed on the earth.’
meaning, we are unable to leave the land or move about in the earth,

ﻗَﺎﻟْﻮﺍْ ﺃَﻟَﻢْ ﺗَﻜُﻦْ ﺃَﺭْﺽُ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻭَﺳِﻌَﺔً

They (angels) say: ‘Was not the earth of Allāh spacious enough for you’

Abu Dawud recorded that Samurah bin Jundub said that the Messenger of Allāh said:

ﻣَﻦْ ﺟَﺎﻣَﻊَ ﺍﻟْﻤُﺸْﺮِﻙَ ﻭَﺳَﻜَﻦَ ﻣَﻌَﻪُ ﻓَﺈِﻧَّﻪُ ﻣِﺜْﻠُﻪ

“Whoever mingles with the mushrik and resides with him, he is just like him.”

In essence Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) 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 to 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 Allāh 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 ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ), 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 (rahimahullah) proceeds to provide the exeptions to this Ayah by clarifying the proceeding Ayah :

ﺇِﻻَّ ﺍﻟْﻤُﺴْﺘَﻀْﻌَﻔِﻴﻦَ

‘Except the weak’ until the end of the Ayah, is an excuse that Allāh 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 Allāh said,

ﻻَ ﻳَﺴْﺘَﻄِﻴﻌُﻮﻥَ ﺣِﻴﻠَﺔً ﻭَﻻَ ﻳَﻬْﺘَﺪُﻭﻥَ ﺳَﺒِﻴﻼً

“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.

Allāh’s statement,

ﻓَﺄُﻭْﻟَـﺌِﻚَ ﻋَﺴَﻰ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﺃَﻥ ﻳَﻌْﻔُﻮَ ﻋَﻨْﻬُﻢْ

“These are they whom Allāh is likely to forgive them” means, pardon them for not migrating, and here, ‘likely’ means He shall…

Allāh’s statement,

ﻭَﻣَﻦ ﻳُﻬَﺎﺟِﺮْ ﻓِﻰ ﺳَﺒِﻴﻞِ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻳَﺠِﺪْ ﻓِﻰ ﺍﻻٌّﺭْﺽِ ﻣُﺮَﺍﻏَﻤﺎً ﻛَﺜِﻴﺮﺍً ﻭَﺳَﻌَﺔً

“He who emigrates in the cause of Allāh, 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,

ﻣُﺮَﺍﻏَﻤﺎً ﻛَﺜِﻴﺮﺍً

“many dwelling places” means, he will find a way out of what he dislikes. Allāh’s statement,

“and plenty to live by” refers to provision. Qatadah also said that,

ﻳَﺠِﺪْ ﻓِﻰ ﺍﻻٌّﺭْﺽِ ﻣُﺮَﺍﻏَﻤﺎً ﻛَﺜِﻴﺮﺍً ﻭَﺳَﻌَﺔً

“…will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by” means, Allāh will take him from misguidance to guidance and from poverty to richness.

Allāh’s statement,

ﻭَﻣَﻦ ﻳَﺨْﺮُﺝْ ﻣِﻦ ﺑَﻴْﺘِﻪِ ﻣُﻬَـﺠِﺮﺍً ﺇِﻟَﻰ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻭَﺭَﺳُﻮﻟِﻪِ ﺛُﻢَّ ﻳُﺪْﺭِﻛْﻪُ ﺍﻟْﻤَﻮْﺕُ ﻓَﻘَﺪْ ﻭَﻗَﻊَ ﺃَﺟْﺮُﻩُ ﻋَﻠﻰَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ

“And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto Allāh and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely, incumbent upon Allāh.” means, whoever starts emigrating and dies on the way, he will acquire the reward of those who emigrate for Allāh. The Two Sahihs, along with the Musnad and Sunan compilers, recorded that ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) said that the Messenger of Allāh (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said:

ﺇِﻧَّﻤَﺎ ﺍﻟْﺄَﻋْﻤَﺎﻝُ ﺑِﺎﻟﻨِّــﻴَّﺎﺕِ، ﻭَﺇِﻧَّﻤَﺎ ﻟِﻜُﻞِّ ﺍﻣْﺮِﻯﺀٍ ﻣَﺎ ﻧَﻮَﻯ، ﻓَﻤَﻦْ ﻛَﺎﻧَﺖْ ﻫِﺠْﺮَﺗُﻪُ ﺇِﻟَﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪِ ﻭَﺭَﺳُﻮﻟِﻪِ، ﻓَﻬِﺠْﺮَﺗُﻪُ ﺇِﻟَﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪِ ﻭَﺭَﺳُﻮﻟِﻪِ، ﻭَﻣَﻦْ ﻛَﺎﻧَﺖْ ﻫِﺠْﺮَﺗُﻪُ ﺇِﻟﻰ ﺩُﻧْﻴَﺎ ﻳُﺼِﻴﺒُﻬَﺎ، ﺃَﻭِ ﺍﻣْﺮَﺃَﺓٍ ﻳَﺘَﺰَﻭَّﺟُﻬَﺎ، ﻓَﻬِﺠْﺮَﺗُﻪُ ﺇِﻟﻰ ﻣَﺎ ﻫَﺎﺟَﺮَ ﺇِﻟَﻴْﻪ 4

The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will be rewarded according to what he has intended. So, whoever emigrated to Allāh and His Messenger, then his emigration is for Allāh 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:

1. Unable to free themselves from the idolators

2. 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 Allāh ( ﺳﺒﺤﺎﻧﻪ ﻭ ﺗﻌﻠﻰ ) states clearly the muhajir who emigrates fee sabillilah [in the cause of Allāh], “…will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by.” So Allāh ( ﺳﺒﺤﺎﻧﻪ ﻭ ﺗﻌﻠﻰ ), 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, they emigrated in His path and waged
Struggle as Allāh ( ﺳﺒﺤﺎﻧﻪ ﻭ ﺗﻌﻠﻰ ), states in Verse 110 of Surah Al Nahl:

ﺛُﻢَّ ﺇِﻥَّ ﺭَﺑَّﻚَ ﻟِﻠَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﻫَـﺠَﺮُﻭﺍْ ﻣِﻦ ﺑَﻌْﺪِ ﻣَﺎ ﻓُﺘِﻨُﻮﺍْ ﺛُﻢَّ ﺟَـﻬَﺪُﻭﺍْ ﻭَﺻَﺒَﺮُﻭﺍْ ﺇِﻥَّ ﺭَﺑَّﻚَ ﻣِﻦ ﺑَﻌْﺪِﻫَﺎ ﻟَﻐَﻔُﻮﺭٌ ﺭَّﺣِﻴﻢٌ

Then, verily, your Lord for those who emigrated after they were put to trials and then struggled in His Path, 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 Allāh. They joined the believers and fought with them against the disbelievers, bearing hardship with patience.
Allāh 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 Muslims 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 the Uthamani navy such as Khair Al Deen, (in the West he is called Barbarossa, or Red Beard), to raid Christian vessels to terrorize the enemies of Allāh and wage battle in His Path. This dichotomy is a perfect way to understand the Muslims of Andalus after 1492, but in its own way, it is a way to understand Muslims in the West today, and even those living under tyrannical Muslim regimes in the ‘east.’



[1] A Saheeh hadith related by Ibn Majah, Al-Baihaqi and others

[2] Surah Nahl, Ayah 106

[3] Surah 4 Ayah 97

[4] Sahih Bukhari, Hadith #: 1

The Fall of the Murabitun, Muwahiddun and The Christian Crusade Upon Garnata

However, in a short span of less than a hundred years, the
Murabitun had been wrestled from power both in the Maghrib and Andalus by Muwahhidun [1] who accused the Murabitun 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 stopped 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 beginning to tilt the momentum towards themselves. This momentum was violently tilted towards the Christians side at the Battle of Las Navas De Tolosa, (or ﻣﻌﺮﻛﺔ ﺍﻟﻌﻘﺎﺏ /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 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 16 century, as all Muslims, Garnati and others, were either expelled, imprisoned, expelled, killed, or baptized by force/coercion.

When Ferdinand III of Castile captured Qurtuba in 1236, Ibn Al Ahmar knew what was coming his way and approached Ferdinand to propose that in return for cooperating in the conquest of Muslim Seville, Garnata would be granted independence. Fernando agreed and took Seville. On returning to Garnata, Ibn Al Ahmar announced “there is no victor but Allāh” ( ﻭ ﻻ ﻏﺎﻟﺐ ﺍﻻ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ), which can be seen inscribed all over the Al Hamra’ palace, (one can surely see the absurdity of his proclamation after what Ibn Al Ahmar did, but this is not the place to get into that debate). As agreed, Ibn Al-Ahmar continued to pay the required tribute to Ferdinand III of Castile in exchange for the independence of Granada. Subsequently Ibn Al Ahmar lost his other holdings to Castille and was left with the city of Garnata only. Ofcourse the populace was kept in the dark about his backdoor deals, although rumours were rampant. It almost seems reminiscent of Muslim rulers of the 21 century, who use religion to justify their misdeeds while keeping their populace in the dark about their policies whether at home or abroad, and most importantly, about who is really controlling the nation. Clever public relations tricks are the soup de jour for Muslim elites as one might want to give the example of a nation that flouts hundreds of court scholars that write lengthy treatises of how allowing Kaffir troops on their land is wrong in principle, but is needed now due to maslaha or the fact that it actively and passively assists Kaffir armies to murder Muslims.


Garnata continued its policy of abating the Christians of paying them to leave them alone for almost 250 years, while increasingly mounting pitched battles to defend against ever ambitious Christian armies who realized that it was more useful to simply conquer Garnata and confiscate its wealth, populace and lands at once, than to keep it alive and bleed its populace to death. Thus the last ten years of Andalus, (1482-1491 CE), were years where Andalus was in a state of economic and military exhaustion due to the continuous raids against them by the Christians. The state of disarray of affairs in the Maghrib did not allow for substantial reinforcements to help them, while in the Muslim world at large, the aftermath of the Crusades and the Mongol Invasion still loomed large, while the Savafid Shia’s would later divert a large chunk of the Ummah’s energy. The Uthmanis, to the detriment of the Garnatis, were later preoccupied with this menace. The Uthmanis were indeed the hope the Garnatans looked towards after the glourious opening of Constantinople in 1453 CE, and hoped they would aid them.

Abu Abdullah Muhammad, (Boabdil in Spanish), the 12 became the Emir of Garnata in 1482 by way of leading a coup against his father, (whom he expelled). At the Battle of Sharqiya in 1483 CE he was caught by Spanish forces. While under detention, the King of Castille, (Ferdinand), with his council deliberated on what to do with Abu Abdullah. Rodrigo Ponce De Leon summed up the then adopted strategy as such, “release Boabdil; grant a short truce, and accept any tribute offered, including the release of Christian prisoners. All that did not preclude prosecuting the war once the truce came to an end, when Castile itself would be in a stronger position. (Harvey, Islamic Spain 1250 to 1500: 1250 to 1500, 281).” The strategy was agreed upon to release him in order to free prisoners and extract payment from the Muslims, but to also make Abu Abdullah feel indebted to the Spanish for freeing him, and thus have their ‘man’ at the helm of Garnata. Rather, Abu Abdullah consented to hold Garnata as a tributary kingdom under Ferdinand and Isabella. The plan worked as in Abu Abdullah’s mother agreed to Ferdinand’s terms by paying “…12,000 Doblas and the release of sixty prisoners a year for five years, and in addition ten noble youths (Boabdil’s son Ahmad among them), were to pass into Castillian hands as hostages (Ibid, 282).” In 1485 he was released, and by 1486 he was in Garnata again. But the people were incensed at this deal as is reflected by a fatwa that survives in Wanshirisi’s Kitab Al Mi’yar Al M’urib regarding the hostage swap wherein, the chief Qadi of Garnata Ibn Al Azraq, The
Mufti Al Mawwaq, Qadi Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Barr and others joined in to condemn the deal. They stated that there was no Islamic grounds for dropping allegiance to Abu Hasan, (the current commander and leader of Garnata), in favor of Abu Abdullah, and anyone who does so, does it in rebellion against Allāh and The Prophet ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ).

As it turned out, the Castilian move did not work, as people did not switch their allegiances to Abu Abdullah.

Abu Abdullah tried winning people over by offering “…a promise that districts loyal to him would be spared the ravages of war, (Ibid, p. 288).” Simply put he was a pascifist looking to bring back peace and stability. This was a message that appealed to traders and countryside folk, which led to renewed in fighting amongst the rival Garnatan factions. Abu Abdullah continued to be the thorn in the side of the mujahideen under Emir Abu Hasan, dividing up the populace into two factions, (people that wanted peace and negotiations with Ferdinand and those that wanted to continue the Jihad Al Difaa’ or defensive
jihad ). In fact by 1485, this strategy reaped rewards as the distracted and divided mujahideen at the city of Ronda were besieged by Ferdinand leading to the martyrdom of Emir Abu Hasan, leading to the succession of Abdullah Al Zagal or otherwise named Muhammd Bin Sa’ad, (Abu Abdullah’s uncle), as Emir of Garnata and the Mujahideen. By October of 1486, Abu Abdullah had managed to muster troops to fight Al Zagal’s forces in the city of Garnata, all the while, (according to Christian Sources), being in contact with the Spanish Monarchs in order to coordinate their efforts better.

In fact, Hernando de Pulgar, (a Spanish writer and Councilor of State at the time in Spain), wrote in his ‘Brief report on the Great Deeds of the Excellent Renowned Great Captain ‘:

“The King and Queen favored this young king [Abu Abdullah] with a safeconduct and peace which they extended to those of his realm who supported him, such as the people of Albaicin [Al Bayyazin], who constantly with their merchants entered Andalusia for bread and oil and necessary provisions. These merchants were well treated by the people on the frontier and the guards. Since Illora is the nearest pass to Granada, and since they were well treated there, that was where they always crossed” (Ibid, 291)

He goes on to say:

“He [Abu Abdullah] sent to the king and queen to beg them to order the captains and governors on the frontier to increase their military pressure because by squeezing the city in that way he would be enabled to sustain his position in the Albaicin [Al Bayyazin] better. When the orders reached the frontier to as Boabdil [Abu Abdullah] had requested, Gonzalo Fernandez [i.e., the future Great Captain] took pleasure in pleasing and being of service to this young man in Albaicin [Al Bayyazin], where inhabitants were beginning to waver because they saw the old king’s [Abu Abdullah] party was ever stronger in the city.” (Ibid, 292)

In other words what is alleged is that Abu Abdullah asked the Spanish to increase pressure on Al Zagal on his front line while he would then attack his rear line. The predicament for Emir Muhammad Al Zagal was indeed dire, in that he had to balance defending the city against the Spanish while keeping Abu Abdullah’s forces in check. The important town of Loja/Lawsha was beseiged by the Spanish crusaders along with foreign mercenaries from all over Europe. The town did subsequently fall, but as a result, embarrisingly enough, the Spanish agent, King Abu AbdAllāh was recaptured by the Spanish, only to be speedily re-released once again, (to avoid people getting the right idea that the Spanish were using Abu Abdullah to subdue the Muslims from within). As a result of the Spanish victory, they were able to move in from the west towards the countryside of Garnata.

In 1487, the Spanish decide to move onto to siege the key city of Maalaqa, (Malaga), on the western coast line, by first going through Balsh-Maalaqa, (Velez Malaga). It was an essential city for the Garnatans as it was their main life-line of supplies from North Africa, and if cut, it severly hurt Garnata in terms of supplies and any hope of receiving reinforcements in the future, (albeit no state in North Africa was in a position to send anything to help them due to their division and in fighting).

Reportedly, (from Hernando Pulgar’s writings), we learn that the Fuqaha of Garnata were pleading with Emir Al Zagal to come to a truce with Abu Abdullah and concede his throne in order to safeguard Garnata from Spanish attack and to present a united front for the mujahideen and for the opposing Spanish army. Pulgar states the Fuquha allegedly: “….him [Al Zagal], saying that if what he wished was to be king, of what country did he wish to be king, if it was all to be lost? In addition they told him that it would have been better if all the fighting which was taking place between his brothers and members of his family…had taken place in defense of the country, against its enemies rather than inflicted on friends, and this they preached all through the city. They ought to grieve, they said, to see homes which they had built being taken over by the Christians, the fruits of trees planted by their fathers and their grandfathers being gathered by them, to see their brothers and relatives exiled from their own land, which had been held by their forefathers for so long. Their blood had been shed to win it, now blood was being shed to lose it” (Ibid, 293).

Pulgar continues by saying the Emir Al Zagal, in order to avoid fitna, offered to step down as Emir and fight under the command of Abu Abdullah, but Abu Abdullah refused.

This resulted in Emir Al Zagal leaving with the mujahideen towards Balsh-Maalaqa (Velez-Malaga) to liberate it. However, on the way there, he received news that Abu Abdullah had successfully taken control of Garnata which meant it was pointless struggling for Maalaqa without his rear base or any good chance of victory at Velez-Maalaqa. Thus he fled with the Mujahideen to the Alpujarras, (or in Arabic, Al Busharaat ), a mountainous area east of Garnata to regroup. The Spanish arrived at Maalaqa for the key battle that was one of the last in series of battles that led to the destruction of Garnata.

The mujahideen under their commander at Maalaqa, Ahmad Al Thagri, were not in a mood to surrender or negotiate. In fact he contemptuously rejected the offer of a negotiated settlement, (Ibid, p.294), and so stiffed his garrison of troops with Berber reinforcements. To make sure that if the
Mujahideen did not achieve victory and their City walls[2] were breached by the Spanish, they destroyed all the houses and buildings near the wall so that the Spanish could not take anything from them nor make it any easier for them, (Ibid, 295), while the Christian account of the siege stated that:

“[The Muslims] seemed to have a greater desire to kill Christians than to preserve their own lives. The fighting went on for six hours, and the sound of trumpets, the shouting, the alarms, the clash of weapons, the noise of the matchlock guns [3] and of the crossbows on both sides were so loud that the hillsides reechoed…So great was the desire for vengeance that it predominated over the desire to gain, and nobody made any attempt to take prisoners, only to kill and to maim” (Ibid, 295-296).

The Christians did eventually breakthrough, but they regressed further into the defensive fortifications of the city and were not looking to give up. Only Shahada or victory was sufficient for them.

Even though there are no Muslim accounts available of the defenders in Maalaqa, Christian accounts spell out clearly that the mujahideen were not looking to give up:

“Although they [the mujahideen] had no food supplies inside, and could hope for none from outside, although they saw their fellows fall dead and wounded in the fighting, it was worthy of not how bold this barbarous folk was in battles, how obedient to their commanders, how hard-working as they repaired the fortifications, how astute the ruses of war, how constant in the pursuit of their objectives” (Ibid, 297)

Emir Al Zagal heard of the siege of Maalaqa, and sent a relief coloumn of Istishadeyeen (Martyrdom seekers), who, in the words of a Christian account of the battle:

“believing that if they did manage to get in to Malaga, that would be a mighty exploit, and if they did not that would save their souls [attain Shahada ], so they resolved to die or enter the city” (Ibid, 298)

In the meanwhile, Abu Abdullah reported these troop movements to King Ferdinand, and he, (Abu Abdullah), subsequently intercepted these brave mujahids and routed them, leaving the remainder to retreat back to Emir Al Zagal.

Hernando Pulgar states that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella “…lavished their favors on Abu Abdullah in gratitude for this, (Ibid).” Other attempts were made to come to the aid of Maalaqa by Ibrahim Al Jarbi, (from Jerba in Tunisia), who was actually a resident of Wadi Ash, (Guadix). He formulated a plot to assinate Ferdinand and Isabella. He rallied some 400 people to his cause, according to Pulgar. They made an unsuccessful attempt to attack the Christians leading to the martyrdom of many whereas Ibrahim Al Jarbi decided to lead the assassination attempt on his own by standing outside of the city of Maalaqa, in an attempt to get arrested by the guards, to be subsequently taken into the Christian camp. There was the danger that the guards would kill him on the spot and not take him close to the King and Queen, but he stuck to the plan and had
Tawakkul , (reliance), on Allāh. The plan worked and the soldiers captured him and took him to Rodrigo Ponce De Leon, Marquis of Cadiz at the time, to be interrogated. He baited Rodrigo by saying that he had a revelation about the war, but told him that he would only reveal it to the King and Queen. After hesitation, he was taken to see them and placed in a waiting tent with other Spanish nobles eager to see what this supposed holy man had to say.

Unfortunately for Ibrahim, he spoke no Castillian and therefore assumed when he saw the ornately dressed Alvaro De Portugal and his wife Felipa, that he reached his target. He attacked with ferocity but failed to kill either, and was subsequently caught and was “…cut into pieces. (Ibid, 299).” The barbaric Christians then catapulted this brave mujahid’s body parts over the city walls to intimidate the Muslims. The Muslims instead decided to stitch his body together and gave him an emotional funeral. In retaliation, Muslims killed a high ranking Christian Prisoner and mounted his body on a Donkey towards the Christian camp.

SubhaanAllāh ! Look at the iman and love for martyrdom and the hatred of humiliation and defeat! People that literally were commiting suicide, by western standards, to make the Word of Allāh uppermost inspite of hunger, lack of reinforcements and the overwhelming strength of the enemy. The story of Abu Abdullah is one that has many allegories in the 21 century in the Muslim world, wherein if we looked at Iraq, we would have seen how the leaders were propped by the United States and its Coalition of The Willing to create the Majlis Al Sahwa , (or Awakening Councils), and subsequently, the Abna’a Al Iraq, (Sons of Iraq), while allowing them enough latitude to criticize America and cloaking themselves in Islamic ideology only to divide the mujahideen and to betray them and steal the fruits of their Jihad. And what is their return on this bargain? They get to rule Iraq in any subsequent government that would be formed if they were to defeat the real mujahideen . If we were to look at Afghanistan and their struggle against Russia, we would see that the blood and sweat put into that Jihad was derailed by the machinations of the international community and, more importantly, Muslim countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia who took it upon themselves to create a nationalist unity government with no mention of Shariah or its establishment, which was the very goal which many
Mujahideen from all over the world gave the ultimate sacrifice for.

People such as Abu Abdullah attempted to gain worldy power while risking their hereafter by allying with the kuffaar , betraying and killing the Muslims. Allāh (ﺳﺒﺤﺎﻧﻪ ﻭ ﺗﻌﻠﻰ ) says:

ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺀَﺍﻣَﻨُﻮﺍْ ﻳُﻘَـﺘِﻠُﻮﻥَ ﻓِﻰ ﺳَﺒِﻴﻞِ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻭَﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﻛَﻔَﺮُﻭﺍْ ﻳُﻘَـﺘِﻠُﻮﻥَ ﻓِﻰ ﺳَﺒِﻴﻞِ ﺍﻟﻄَّـﻐُﻮﺕِ

Those who believe, fight in the cause of Allāh, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of the Taghut. So fight against the friends of Shaytan; ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytan. [4]

In 1489, the Spanish headed towards the town of Basta, (Baza in Spanish), in order to mop up the remainer of Garnatan resistance under Emir al Zagal. The commander at Basta was Sidi Yahya Al Najjar and predictably, he didn’t offer to surrender, just as the Maalaqan commander did. However, as the siege ground on, Yahya wrote to the king and his commanders to begin negotiations to surrender and by the end of the month, they had reached an agreement. However the agreement made no mention of how the Muslims of the city would be treated but rather dealt with how the Muslim elite of the city would survive and “…the subterfuges that would permit Sidi Yahya…to transmogrify himself safely and profitably into Don Pedro de Granada Venegas, (Ibid, p. 302).” In other words, he had made arrangements to convert to Christianity, but you may wonder why such an abrupt turn of events? This agreement was a good way in which to look at how the Garnatan nobles and leaders were willing to become murtad (or at least to pretend to do so), to safeguard their lands and wealth, even if that meant selling out the mujahideen under them and their citizens. As a result of the agreement:

1. Yahya became Ferdinand’s Vassal

2. He became a Christian, and would be baptized in the King’s own chamber, but this conversion was to be kept secret until Basta was surrendered

3. He was confirmed in possession of his lands, “towns. Fortresses, and villages” (i.e. he was to be lord of his own domain)

4. He was exempted from the duty of lodging royal troops (always thought of as a humiliating obligation).

5. He was exempted from certain taxes, including the

6. He was entitled to keep an armed escort

7. Various financial settlements were made to his advantage, and if Basta was surrendered, but not until then, he was to receive and extra gratuitity of ten thousand reales .[5] (Ibid, p. 302-303)

After concluding his secret deal, Yahya headed off to Wadi Ash to persuade Emir Al Zagal to stand down and surrender. Yahya was successful and Emir Al Zagal gave up his resistance and handed over Wadi Ash and Almeria, (King Ferdinand offered him his very own domain in the Alpujarras or Al Bushra . The Emir had no intention of following Yahya’s path, and thus sold the holdings offered to him and crossed over to the Maghrib with his fellow Mujahideen .

However, an alternative reason is presented by an anonymous writer, who was present in Garnata during the last years of its existence, in Akhir Ayyam Gharnatah Nubdhat al- Asr fi Akhbar Muluk Bani Nasr , (The Last Days of Garnata: A synoposis of the era of news of the Kings of Bani Nasr/( ﺁﺧﺮ ﺃﻳﺎﻡ ﻏﺮﻧﺎﻃﺔ ﻧﺒﺬﺓ ﺍﻟﻌﺼﺮ ﻓﻲ ﺍﺧﺒﺎﺭ ﻣﻠﻮﻙ ﺑﻨﻲ ﻧﺴﺮ )):

“All the knights and commanders of the Emir Muhammad b. Sa’d [Al-Zagal], accepted the dhimma [protection of the King of Castille] and began to help him against the Muslims…

Many people assert that Emir Muhammad b. Sa’d [Al-Zagal] and his commanders sold these villages and districts ruled by them to the ruler of Castille, and that they received a price for them. All of this was with a view to taking revenge [ intiqam] on the son of his brother Muhammad b. Ali [Boadil/Abu Abdullah] and on his commanders who had remained in Garnata, with just the city under their government and with benefit of a truce from the enemy. By his action [Al-Zagal], wanted to cut Garnata off, so as to destroy it in the way the rest of the country had been destroyed, (Ibid, p. 304-305).”

Why did he want to destroy Garnata? He simply wanted revenge upon his rival, Abu Abdullah, according to the writer. Shortly afterwards, Abu Abdullah sent out his wazir
to enter into talks with the Spanish to surrender, and as by orchestration, his wazir arrives back in Garnata with two Spanish officers sent by King Ferdinand to negotiate on Spain’s behalf. These men were Gonzalo de Cordoba and Martin de Alarcon and both were known to Abu Abdullah very well and likewise they knew him well. The only people who were not familiar with the nature of these relationships were the people of Garnata and Abu Abdullah’s
Shura . Martin de Alarcon had been in charge of the “…arrangements for Boabdil’s [Abu Abdullah’s] detention when he was first held by the Castilians, at Porcuena in 1483.

From that point on Boabdil had been a tool of Castilian policy, (Ibid, p. 307).” It has to be assumed that perhaps Ferdinand picked Alarcon for psychological reasons as perhaps, during Abu Abdullah’s incarceration, there developed a detainee-jailor relationship, wherein Martin could assert his own will upon Abu Abdullah easier. Gonzalo de Cordoba was the man who, in 1486, had completed an operation inside Garnata to support Abu Abdullah against Emir Al Zagal and was known to Abu Abdullah.

However, in a strange twist of events, Abu Abdullah refused to negotiate reinitiated hostilities against the Spanish. One may assume that perhaps he had a sudden change of heart after his series of betrayals. However, it is perhaps more realistic, (and certainly we can only guess at his intentions), in light of the past and what was to happen at the end of hostilities, that he planned to keep up the ruse and make it appear as if he was the heroic Emir who would not bow down to the Spanish and would fight them till the end, (to dispel rumours that he was in league with the Spanish from the beginning or that there was a secret ‘deal’ between them). The idea was to reach a point wherein Garnatans who, were in no position to fight, had their supply lines cut and were short of trained men who were still able to, or were alive to fight, to want to call for peace themselves, with Abu Abdullah then regretfully having to call for a surrender and mercy for his beloved people. It was the Middle Ages equivalent of Madison Avenue spin-doctoring that the US Defense department would be proud of, since Abu Abdullah had agreed to surrender Garnata and the surrounding kingdoms from the day he was first captured by the Spanish! He was only making his people ask for negotiations over a matter that already, years before had been decided in secret! In fact, that indeed did happen, when the powers in the Maghrib didn’t come to their aid, supplies were short and morale was lowered due to continuing Spanish besiegement. In fact in Akhir Al Ayyam Gharnata , it was stated thus:

“Many people alleged that the Emir of Garnata and his ministers and military chiefs had already made an agreement to hand over the city to the Christian King who was invading them, but they feared the common people, and so kept them duped, and simply told them what they wanted to hear. This was why, when they [the people] came saying what the king and his ministers had been keeping secret from them, they pardoned them on the spot. This was why military operations had been suspended at the time, to give scope for them to find a way of introducting the idea to the common people. So when they sent to the king of the Christians, they found he readily agreed, and was happy to grant all their requests and all their stipulations, (Ibid, p. 311).”

As for the composition of the Spanish armies during this long, arduous and vicious campaign against the Muslims, the allegation that the army was purely Spanish rings hollow. Evidence is presented from the archives in the former royal archives of Aragon, in the Spanish book of essays, ‘Gente del siglo XV,’ which shows that Christians from all over the world showed up during the 1480’s to the end of the campaign, eager for a fight against the Muslims. The numbers that are present in the finding, (Which are included in full in Appendix Z), are startling as there were at least 24 Swiss, 20 French, 17 English, 1 Scottish, 1 Portuguese, 1 Dutch and 23 German Soldiers listed. There are even reports of Italian knights showing up to fight, serving both on the ground and at sea in the service of the Spanish, (Edwards, 124). Do remember this is not even the real total of foreign fighters but simply a glimpse that proves the presence of foreign crusaders fighting the Muslims. In fact the Briton, Edward Woodville, (who is listed in the statistics), led his own band of men to Spain to fight the ‘Saracens.’ After all, the Pope had declared that the war being waged against the Muslims of Garnata was a Crusade as John Edwards says:

“The fact that Ferdinand and Isabella’s campaigns against the emirate of Granada were designated as ‘crusades’ brought troops from outside the Spanish kingdoms to fight in the royal armies. Papal interest in the Spanish frontier against Islam and the Reconquista had already rekindled in the 1430’s. Martin V and Eugenius IV made successive grants of crusading indulgences to those who fought, and gave the traditional two-ninth’s share of the Spanish Church’s tithes…to the respective rulers of Castile and Aragon, (Ibid, 122).”

Edwards continues by stating England’s role in this Crusade at a royal level:

“Henry IV [the King of England at the time] did mount campaigns against Granada between 1455 and 1458, as well as capturing Archidon [Arshidona] and Gibralter [Jabal Tariq] in 1462, (ibid, 123).”

Edwards speaks of a notorious English crusader, Edward Woodville, and his story. His army had:

“…approximately 300 archers together with supporters, left…England at the end of February 1460…The army which Edward Woodville assembled in the Isle of Wight included not only local men but also troops from Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Burgundy, as well as other parts of England…Isabella [Queen of Spain]…designated him as leader of the foreign knights…Woodville’s company…was said to have acquitted itself well in the fighting which ended in the capture of the town [of Loja/Lawsha] on 28-29 May 1486 [6] , (ibid, 127).”

As for Edward’s men, some of them were captured and rightfully enslaved and sent to Fas/Fez to be traded and sold while others were killed by the mujahideen . As for the role of soldiers other than Edward Woodville:

“…other troops from the British Isles, who are known to have participated in the 1486 and 1487 campaigns are William Marston, who is recorded as a groom of Henry VII’s chamber, and Hubert Stanton, who was said to be from Ireland, (ibid).”

The role of the Pope and the Vatican is also described:

“Pope Sixtus IV issued the first crusading bull for war against Granada in November 1479, only two months after signing of the treaty of Alcacovas between Castile and Portugal…Sixtus IV’s lengthy bull of 10 August 1482 was addressed to ‘the universal Christian faithful…, fighters and warriors and other assistance (pugnatores et bellatores aliaque auxilia ), both from Spain…and from other nations,’” (Ibid, 123).

The Activities of the Mercenaries varied by the countries they came from:

“…it is certain that companies of Swiss, and some German, mercenaries continued to gain employment in the successive Granada campaigns. They were present in 1482, staying in Alhama until two years later, and are to be found in the documents once again in 1491, when some of them received letters of commendation from the king” (Ibid).

I will expound further on the role of foreign fighters and mercenaries in Christians armies and the inherent irony of their use during the Crusade in Garnata, the jihad in Bosnia, The Spanish Civil War and the so called ‘War on Terror’ today, in the conclusion.



[1] Berber dynasty, (mostly consisting of Masmuda tribesmen), that was founded in the 12th century, and conquered all northern Africa as far as Libya, together with Al Andalus.

[2] Cities during these periods were fortified usually by a high external stone city wall with built in citadels and other defensive devices in order to allow the city defenders to have the maximum ability to defend the city in the case of an invasion. In fact, within the city there were internal city walls as to allow a secondary position of retreat for the defenders in the case that the attackers had penetrated the first wall.

[3] By 1394, the Garnatan army had already used handguns in the field against Christian troops and were the first to do so in the Jazirat al Andalus (Andalusi peninsula)

[4] Surat al-Nisa’ verse 76

[5] Unit of Spanish currency at the time. The first real was introduced by King Pedro I of Castile at a value of 3 Murabitun/Maravedies, (gold dinars minted by the Murabitun). This rate of exchange increased until 1497, when the real was fixed at a value of 34 maravedíes. The famous Peso de a Ocho (“piece of eight” is referred to the value of 8 Reales = 1 Silver Peso) also known as Spanish dollar, was issued that same year, and it later became widespread in America and Asia.

[6] The battle at Lawsha in 1486 was a key battle and was battle where Abu Abdullah the traitor was recaptured by the Spanish and key Spanish military men proved their mettle. One of these men was Gonzalo Fernandez De Cordoba, who, during the battle had fought effectively with his group of 120 Lancemen. This was the same Gonzalo Fernandez De Cordoba that was sent by King Ferdinand to help Abu Abdullah the traitor to fight the brave Emir Al Zagal in Al Bayyazin and also the same person who King Ferdinand had sent in 1491 to negotiate on Spain’s behalf for the surrender of Muslims forces in the city of Garnata.

The Muluk Al Tawaif and The Rise of the Murabitun

Thus in 1031 CE began the era called the Muluk Al Tawaif , (or roughly translated as Party Kings, to imply the multitude of mini kingdoms that sprang up in the wake of the collapse of the Ummayad Khilafa in Andalus), period. It is a period that sped up the reconquista , (or reconquest of Islamic Spain by the Christians), due to Muslim forces being disunited and fighting amongst each other, but also a period that began the processes of increasing Muslim usage of Christian mercenaries, or vice versa, Muslim fighting alongside Christian armies to fight Muslim rivals.

However, on a brighter note, it is also the period which saw the mujahid Commander, Yusuf Ibn Tashfin (rahimahullah) being requested to land at the shores of Spain to save the Muslims kingdoms from annihilation by an impending Christian onslaught. Ironically of the many princes that requested Tashfeen’s (rahimahullah) increasingly powerful mujahid Murabitun[1] army from Africa was Muhammad Ibn Abbad Al Mu’tamid, (or simply Al Mu’tamid), the ruler of Seville, who had in 1074 CE fought the Murabitun army and ejected them from Jaen, (in Arabic ﺟﻴﺎﻥ ), was not in 1086 CE asking for help against Alfonso VI of Castille, (a clear indication of the dire situation on the part of these corrupt Muslim rulers). In retrospect it was a period not unlike our own in the 20 Century CE, where there were taxes imposed on the people that were not from the Quran and Sunnah, alcohol was everpresent as was debauchery, excessive love of poetry, (Al Mu’tamid was actually quite a famous poet himself), Bid’ah , (innovation in the Religion), misguidance due to Greek Philsophy, forgetting the essential concepts of
Wala and Bara (loving and hating something for Allāh’s ( ﺳﺒﺤﺎﻧﻪ ﻭ ﺗﻌﻠﻰ ) sake), all the while cooperating with the Kuffaar against Muslims and adopting their habits and practices.

The Murabitun were a breath of fresh air that came to revive the deen in Andalus and cleanse it from the impurities acquired over a century of mismanagement, greed and Fitan (corruption). Little did Yusuf know that the fruits of his jihad would be snatched by corrupt rulers looking to their own survival, rather than making Allāh’s Word the highest. In any case Murabitun intervention was successful, capped by a spectacular success at the battle of Zallāqa where 7500 Castillian troops or more died, (out of 15,000 at the beginning of the battle), which is why the battle was named Zallāqa, (slippery ground), since there was so much blood on the floor that soldiers were loosing their foothold. With a series of confrontations at behest of the Andalusi kings, the Murabiteen mujahideen kept a check on increasing ambition on the part of Christian forces hoping to reconquer land back from the Muslim kings. Yusuf bin Tashfeen returned home with his jihad complete, however as soon as he left the Christian pressure began once again and the jizyah like payments began once more to be extracted from the Buyut Al Maal (Treasuries), of the Muslim Kings on the fringes of Christian Spain as a bribe to avoid Spanish attacks upon Muslim territory, (The Muslim kings and their armies were notoriously afraid to fight and avoided it at any cost, even if it meant bankrupting the lands treasury). At the same time Muslim territories were being lost to the Chrisitians in the northern frontier. One of these was Barbushtaru [Bobastro] in north-east Andalus, and bears the ignominious title of the first city to be captured by the Christians, as part of their
reconquista , in 1064. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr wrote about this event and addressed the Muslims of Andalus:

“Being frightened we are addressing you, seeking refuge we are writing to you: our eyelids are ulcerated, our hearts are wounded, and our souls are in flames. It is happened because our enemy has surrounded us like the encirclement of necklaces with the nape; they fought till they won. O Muslims, alas! You saw the lamentable conditions of your coreligionist brothers, they were defeated on their wealth and families, swords pierced their bodies deeply, death captured them, injections of javelins mocked them, clamor and howling increased. Bloods were flowing on their feet, floods of rain were in all ways, and their heads were flying in front of them. Now there is no rescuer and protector, and ears become deaf by the clamor of children and the weeping of women. O Muslim Ummah ! Do you have any idea about the indescribable adversity of your coreligionists? Women and Children-compelled to be undressed- are driven to the places of slaughter, sometimes on their backs, other times on bellies, tied by ropes, bounded in chains and fetters. They are seeking help, but there are none to help them, they are shouting for food, but no food is supplied to them, they are crying for water, but is not given to drink, their dreams went stray and their delusive imaginations were wept out. O Prophet Muhammad! O Holy Quran! (Hoque)”

Ibn Al ‘Assal was affected by the calamity of Bobastro and composed a poem about it:

ﻭﻟﻘﺪ ﺭﻣﺎﻧﺎ ﺍﻟﻤﺸﺮﻛﻮﻥ ﺑﺄﺳﻬﻢ ﻟﻢ ﺗﺨﻂ ﻟﻜﻦ ﺷﺄﻧﻬﺎ ﺍﻻﺻﻤﺎﺀ

ﻫﺘﻜﻮﺍ ﺑﺨﻴﻠﻬﻢ ﻗﺼﻮﺭ ﺣﺮﻳﻤﻬﺎ ﻟﻢ ﻳﺒﻖ ﻻ ﺟﺒﻞ ﻭﻻ ﺑﻄﺤﺎﺀ

ﺟﺎﺳﻮﺍ ﺧﻼﻝ ﺩﻳﺎﺭﻫﻢ ﻓﻠﻬﻢ ﺑﻬﺎ ﻓﻲ ﻛﻞ ﻳﻮﻡ ﻏﺎﺭﺓ ﺷﻌﻮﺍﺀ

ﺑﺎﺗﺖ ﻗﻠﻮﺏ ﺍﻟﻤﺴﻠﻤﻴﻦ ﺑﺮﻋﺒﻬﻢ ﻓﺤﻤﺎﺗﻨﺎ ﻓﻲ ﺣﺮﺑﻬﻢ ﺟﺒﻨﺎﺀ

ﻛﻢ ﻣﻮﺿﻊ ﻏﻨﻤﻮﻩ ﻟﻢ ﻳﺮﺣﻢ ﺑﻪ ﻃﻔﻞ ﻭﻻ ﺷﻴﺦ ﻭﻻ ﻋﺬﺭﺍﺀ

ﻭﻟﻜﻢ ﺭﺿﻴﻊ ﻓﺮﻗﻮﻩ ﻣﻦ ﺃﻣﻪ ﻟﻪ ﺇﻟﻴﻬﺎ ﺿﺠﺔ ﻭﺑﻐﺎﺀ
ﻭﻣﻮﺻﻮﻧﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺧﺪﺭﻫﺎ ﻣﺤﺠﻮﺑﺔ ﻗﺪ ﺃﺑﺮﺯﻭﻫﺎ ﻣﺎ ﻟﻬﺎ ﺍﺳﺘﺨﻔﺎﺀ

* The mushrikun have thrown harms toward us, that never missed, and it was so fierceto make us deaf.

* Sacred palaces [of Bobastro] were torn apart by the strike of their horses’ troop, no hill or flatland remained intact.

* Enemies searched the houses [of the Muslims] and everyday they launched dreaded raids there.

* Hearts of Muslims spent the night filled with fear; since our protectors were cowards in the war.

* How many a place they ransacked, where no child, old man or virgin was pitied!

* How many babies, whom they have separated from their mothers, when they were crying for their mothers.

* Many protected and veiled women were dragged out in a way that no hide-out was left for them. (Ibid)”

And today, our ‘protectors’ are cowards too, who neither defend us, nor aid the interest of Muslims, but rather kill Muslims, as part of their pastime.

In 1090, after long deliberation, Yusuf Bin Tashfin decided to come back to Andalus to get rid of the Muluk Al Tawaif and end the non- shariah based taxes that burdened the Muslims of their land, (these taxes were created to repay the massive debt incurred by the protection money demanded by the Christian armies of Castille). Upon hearing rumours that Yusuf bin Tashfin was coming to free them from the tyranny of the coward rulers that ruled over them, the populace of Andalus was elated.

Yusuf had obtained fatwas from the Moroccan fuqaha which declared that the Muslim rulers of Andalus were unworthy of ruling since they had allied themselves with the Christians and had played a double game against the defenders of Islam. The faqihs of Granada, Abu Ja’far Ahmad al-Qulay’i and Abu Bakr ibn Musakkan were among those most eager to justify this intervention. By this fatwa, Yusuf was therefore authorised to demand of the Andalusi Kings that they carry out their precepts and abolish those taxes which were not prescribed by the Quran and the Sunna, (Bewley, Yusuf ibn Tashfin: The March Of Conquest Of Yusuf B.Tafsin) . This would particularly affect the economies of those kingdoms which relied on all sorts of taxes and impositions to maintain their courts and pay off Alphonso.

Yusuf still had religious doubts which kept him from taking decisive action against the other kings of Andalusia, and so required further fatwas condemning their conduct. The fuqaha of Andalus declared that the Andalusian princes were libertines and impious and that they had corrupted the people by their bad example and made them indifferent to their religious duties. Furthermore, they had levied illegal taxes and, although Yusuf had commanded their abolition, they had maintained them. They had also concluded an alliance with Alphonso VI and so they were unworthy of ruling the Muslims any longer.

To finish, they said:

“We take it on ourselves to answer for this action before Allāh. If we are in error, we agree to pure the penalty of our conduct in the Next world. We declare that you, Amir al-Muslimeen , are not responsible. But we firmly believe that if you leave the Andalusi princes in peace, they will deliver our country to the unbelievers and if that is the case, then you will have to render an account to Allāh of your lack of action, (Ibid).”

This fatwa was was extremely important to Yusuf, but he still was not completely satisfied until the faqihs of Africa had approved of it and he also sent to the famous scholars of Egypt and Asia and they had confirmed the opinion of the scholars of the Maghrib.

Active lobbying on Ibn Tashfin’s behalf was carried out by by the famous Andalusi scholar, Ibn Al Arabi in the Abbasid khalifa’s court to allow Yusuf Bin Tashfin to be recognized and invested of authority by the Abbasid khilafa, (and thus provide the
sharia justification need to fight the Muluk Al Tawaif ). Thus al-Ghazzali [2] and Imam Tartushi [3] approved this
fatwa and acknowledged that Yusuf had the right, as defender of the shariah , to depose the Taifa kings. [4] However, it must be added that inspite of his intention to remove the rulers of Andalus, he did give bay’a (pledge of allegiance) to the ‘Abbasid Khalifa and Ibn Tashfin refused to accept any name other than the laqab[5] of Amir al-Muslimin wa Nasir Al Din, (Leader of the Muslims and the victor of the Religion). In other words, he didn’t aspire to power or to challenge the Abbasid Khilafa. In his fatwa, Imam Ghazali says:

“…They must listen and obey and firmly believe that obedience of the Abbasi khalifa is considered the obedience of the imam and his disobedience is considered the disobedience of the imam. And whoever rebels and disobeys the imam, the verdict applied to him is that of the
baaghi [rebel/transgressor]…

…And compliance of the command of Allāh is to recognize [deferring to] the just Sultan- the one who pledges loyalty of the true imam, associated with the Abbasid khilafa. Anyone who rebels against the truth, he will be repelled by the sword to the truth. So it is compulsory on the Emir and his party to fight those who are rebellious. More importantly they turn to their Christian mushrikeen allies [ awliyaa] for aid- and they are the enemies of Allāh against the Muslims, who are the awliyaa of Allāh and one of the greatest forms of worship is to fight them until they return to the obedience of the just Emir who steadfastly obeys the Abbasid khilafa.”

Prior to the engagement, Sir Abi Bakr, one of Ibn Tashfin’s Generals, asked what their rules of engagement were with the Muluk Al Tawaif and Yusuf replied thus, “order them to accompany thee to the enemy’s country [to wage Jihad to defend the Muslim lands]; if they obey, well and good; if they refuse, lay siege to their cities, attack them one after the other, and destroy them without mercy. Thou shalt begin with those princes whose dominions border on the enemy’s frontier…(Makkari, Al Nafh Al Tibb, p. 296, Vol. II).” Of the many princes killed, (in the case of resistance to the Murabitun), were Al Mutawakkal Omar Ibn Muhammad who was the king of Badajoz and his two sons Al Fadhl and Al ‘Abbas. In addition, Al Mu’tamid’s, the ruler of Ishbiliyya, sons, Al Fath Al-Ma’mun and Yazid Al R’adhi were beheaded, while Malik was trampled under Horses, and Abdul Jabbar was assassinated by an arrow, (Makkari, Al Nafh Al Tibb, p. 297-300, Vol. II).

It would be interesting to ascertain how the current day puppet Muslim scholars and rulers react to these actions by Tashfin and his troops to remove, in the word of Sir Abi Bakr, (in Maqri’s Nafh Al Tibb), the rulers of Andalus who (not unlike their contemporaries), “…were plunged in pleasure and sloth…(Makkari, Al Nafh Al Tibb, 295, Vol. II),” while his men waged, “…incessant war [ Jihad] against the Christians, and leading at the same time a life of hardship and privation…(Ibid).” It would certainly nullify the argument that rebelling against the ruler is wrong Islamically, (as long as the ruler does not interfere/establishes prayer), unless one was to either say that the Muluk al Tawaif didn’t pray at all themselves, (which would be a stretch, but granted, a possibility), or that Yusuf ibn Tashfin was wrong and his reputation in the Muslim world as a hero and a mujahid who made the Christians taste bitter defeat and renewed the Deen in Andalus and cleansed it of the bidah and shirk that was present, would now be nullified to serve the purposes of petty, despotic and Machiavellian rulers, (willing to manipulate Islam to an unheard of extent to achieve their aims).

Yusuf sent emissaries to demand the submission of ‘Abdullah. ‘Abdullah asked for the help of Alphonso and other Taifa kings. He got plenty of verbal encouragement, but no troops or other material help. Fearing the reprisals of Yusuf, the other lords left him to Yusuf’s forces. ‘Abdullah realised he was lost.
By 8 Sept 1090 CE, Yusuf arrived before Granada. ‘Abdullah came out and humbled himself, admitting his mistakes and asking for his pardon. When he arrived before Yusuf, ‘Abdullah dismounted and said he had been unfortunate to displease him and asked for his pardon. Yusuf reassured him that if he had any grievances against him, he had forgotten them and asked him to go to a tent where he would receive honours that suited him. When he was in the tent, he was loaded down with chains. Then Yusuf received the important people of the city and welcomed them and told them that they should have no fear of him. He received their homage and published an edict which abolished all taxes not prescribed by the Quran. Then he entered the city.

‘Abdullah and his family were exiled to Maghrib al-Aqsa and installed in Aghmat. He was well treated and received a pension for his needs.

A short time later, in October, Yusuf deposed Tamim ibn Buluggin from Malaga, and, like his brother ‘Abdullah, he was sent to Maghrib al-Aqsa and confined to Baziaf.

Before returning to the Maghrib, Yusuf received the visits of al-Mu’tamid and al-Mutawakkil in Granada who came to congratulate him. Yusuf received them coldly, having been persuaded of their double game and the falseness of their words. The two princes left having received from Yusuf the command to abolish all illegal taxes and to employ themselves in fighting against the Christians.

By 1094, he had removed them all, except for the one at Zaragoza; and though he regained little from the Christians except Valencia, he re-united the Muslim power, and gave a check to the reconquest of the country by the Christians. With that began the Murabitun era of Andalus. At around the same moment a symbolic mark is reached in the Christain campaign of Reconquista , in that they conquer Tulaytala, (Toledo), in 1092 CE and forthwith, it never returned to Muslim hands. It would be the first of the major Muslim cities to fall to the Christian Spanish forces permenantly.

Imam Tartushi wrote in his letter to Ibn Tashfin in 1098/1099, after Ibn Tashfin’s successful liberation of Andalus:

“…Be aware, Abu Yaqub, that Allāh, ( ﺳﺒﺤﺎﻧﻪ ), has established jihad upon all Muslims, and it can never be rejected by neither tyrant, distanced from orthodoxy, nor the unrighteous who are far from Allāh, until the establishment of the Hour. He, Allāh ( Azza wa jal) says:

﴿ ﻗَـﺘِﻠُﻮﺍْ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﻻَ ﻳُﺆْﻣِﻨُﻮﻥَ ﺑِﺎﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻭَﻻَ ﺑِﺎﻟْﻴَﻮْﻡِ ﺍﻻٌّﺧِﺮِ ﻭَﻻَ ﻳُﺤَﺮِّﻣُﻮﻥَ ﻣَﺎ ﺣَﺮَّﻡَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﻭَﺭَﺳُﻮﻟُﻪُ ﻭَﻻَ ﻳَﺪِﻳﻨُﻮﻥَ ﺩِﻳﻦَ ﺍﻟْﺤَﻖِّ ﻣِﻦَ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺃُﻭﺗُﻮﺍْ ﺍﻟْﻜِﺘَـﺐَ ﺣَﺘَّﻰ ﻳُﻌْﻄُﻮﺍْ ﺍﻟْﺠِﺰْﻳَﺔَ ﻋَﻦ ﻳَﺪٍ ﻭَﻫُﻢْ ﺻَـﻐِﺮُﻭﻥَ ﴾

Fight against those who believe not in Allāh, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allāh and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued [6]
And He did not absolve our people [Muslims] to fight the enemy, as long as they do not deliver jizya or accept Islam, because this verse abrogates any another verse in the Book of Allāh, the exalted, concerning fighting against the kuffaar…

…You have an obligation, therefore, to fight the heretics [ kuffar ] on those frontiers of Islam close to you, because you’re the [Muslim] king closest to them, and have horses [ kura’ ] and weapons, influence, machines of war, Muslim armies and soldiers, all at your command. And, like you, all the warriors, fighters, with strength and power, which are your neighbours and nearby to you. And, you are in a critical moment to stop losing those Muslims, with their wives and children, who are on the borders of Al Andalus. How is it that you do not imitate the defenders and warriors of Islam who had [come] up there [Andalus], from the lands of hijaz , to conquer and extend in them the word of Islam and tawheed ? What about, therefore, he who is close and is a neighbour of those regions?…

Your insistence on fighting and your steadfastness, your support for the deen and … [the] fuqaha… pray for you and give great consideration [to you], and [it] makes us desire to go to fight the heretics [ kuffar] near to you, and increase the wealth of Muslims who follow you. O Lord, who gives generously His bounty, we ask that you and we will be granted shahada in jihad. And humbly ask that you do see where the truth is, and follow that, and avoid the false as false…”

Try to find a scholar today that would give this advice to the mujahideen commanders. They usually preoccupy themselves, as the Faqih of the Marines does, in asking the mujahideen to surrender or telling them how they are khawarij or people of the hell-fire, as the Saudi court scholars usually do.


[1] Berber dynasty, that mostly consisted of the Lamtuna tribe, from the Sahara that spread over a wide area of northwestern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula during the 11th century. Under this dynasty the Moorish empire was extended over present-day Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Jabal Tariq, Tlemcen and a great part of what is now Senegal and Mali in the south, and Spain and Portugal to the north in Europe. At its extent, the empire stretched 3,000 kilometres north to south. In western literature they are known as Almoravids.

[2] Imam Ghazali was from Khorasan. He was a Shafi’i and an Ashari . Ghazali received many titles such as
Sharaful A’emma ( ﺷﺮﻑ ﺍﻻﺋﻤﻪ ), Zainuddin ( ﺯﻳﻦ ﺍﻟﺪﻳﻦ ),
Hujjatul Islam, meaning “Proof of Islam” ( ﺣﺠﺔ ﺍﻻﺳﻼﻡ ).

[3] Another Spanish Imam that came from the city of Tortosa in Spain, who immigrated to Jeruslam. He is most famous for his book Siraj Al Muluk .

[4] A portion of this series of correspondences is included in Appendix J

[5] Epithet or title

[6] Surah Al Tawba, verse 29