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.