Category Archives: Islamic Spain

Muslims in The Maghrib & Spain from 711-1492

As Islam started spreading rapidly from the Arabian Peninsula, the Mujahideen opened up many lands to the
Dawa , (or call/preaching), of Islam on the foundation of
tawheed . Amr Ibn Al Aas was one of the many Sahaba , (companions of the Prophet, Peace and Blessings Upon Him), and Mujahids that were involved in these expeditions. He opened, ( Fataha ), Egypt in 641 CE and set up the city of Fustat as a launch pad for further expansion of the Islamic Dawa into Africa. Muslim Expeditions reached further into Africa until they reached Qayrowan in Ifriqiya, (Present day Tunisia), led by the nephew of Amr Bin Al Aas, the Ummayad General Uqba Ibn Naafi (radhiyallahu anhu).

Subsequently Qayrowan replaced Fustat in 671 CE as a launch pad for further Muslim expedition in Africa and Southern Europe.
At around this time in Dimashq, (Damascus), The Ummayads were trying to strategize how best to take Constantinople, (Istanbul), due to it being the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, (or Byzantium, or ‘Rum’), and in an attempt to attain the blessed status promised to the one who opens Constantinople:

ﻋﻦ ﻋﺒﺪﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﺑﻦ ﺑﺸﺮ ﺍﻟﻐﻨﻮﻱ ﻋﻦ ﺃﺑﻴﻪ ﺃﻧﻪ ﺳﻤﻊ ﺍﻟﻨﺒﻲ ﺻﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﻳﻘﻮﻝ :
ﻟﺘﻔﺘﺤﻦ ﺍﻟﻘﺴﻄﻨﻄﻴﻨﻴﺔ , ﻓﻠﻨﻌﻢ ﺍﻷﻣﻴﺮ ﺃﻣﻴﺮﻫﺎ , ﻭﻟﻨﻌﻢ ﺍﻟﺠﻴﺶ ﺫﻟﻚ ﺍﻟﺠﻲ

Abdullah Bin Bashr Al Ghanawi narrates that his father heard the Prophet ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ), say:

“Verily you shall conquer Constantinople. What a wonderful leader will her leader be, and what a wonderful army will that army be!”

The father of the Governor of Bani Ummaya in Qayrawan, Musa Bin Nusayr, had advised the Khalifa Muawiya ( ﺭﺿﻲ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ ) that the only way to take Constantinople was from the south, (through Anatolia) and north, (up through Spain, France, Italy, Romania and Hungary) and so Musa was commissioned to begin the invasion of Europe to reach Constantinople. It was a move that harked of the strategy of the Carthaginian General Hannibal, (and some historians say deliberately so on the part of Musa Bin Nusayr’s father, in that he was aware of Hannibal’s strategy), and his strategy to attack Rome by attacking, first, the Roman province of Hispania, (Spain), and then crossing the Pyrenees and working his way down the Italian Peninsula to attack Rome. Albeit, in Hannibal’s case, Scipio Africanus got the better of his forces for a variety of reasons, (leading to the end of the already crippled Carathaginian Empire [2] in the Third Punic War at the hands of another Scipio, Scipio Aemilianus Africanus in 146 BC), the Khalifa Muawiya believed the tactic could work and so ordered Musa to be groomed to go to Spain. However due to delays and a civil war [3] between Muslims, the plan was delayed.



Spain was, at that time ruled by the Visigoths [4] and Musa hadn’t decided to proceed with a full scale land invasion until an opportunity presented itself when the Governnor of Ceuta, Count Julian, came to Musa Bin Nusayr for assistance in avenging him of King Roderic’s [5] , (The then King of the Visigoths), terrible treatment of the people and for the abduction and rape of his daughter, and hence take him out of power. Muslims took control under the leadership of Tariq Ibn Ziyad and his army of 7,000 troops. Julian provided guides and intelligence on the lay of the land and hence began the invasion.

In 710 CE, as a preliminary intelligence collection mission,
[6] Tareef Ibn Malik, (a Berber Commander under Musa Bin Nusair), was sent to recon the southern coastline of Andalus, with the help of Julian, (Governor of Ceuta under the Visigoths), in order to gauge enemy capabilities and to designate a suitable landing spot for a subsequent larger raiding force to remove Roderic. The recon and subsequent test raid was successful and, after Musa got word of the mission’s success, decided to go forward with a full scale land raid into Andalus. At this very moment, there was a fracturious civil war underway in the Visigothic Kingdom, weakening army morale, reducing coordination of their forces and leaving them off-guard for a possible Muslim raid.

In 711 CE Tariq Bin Ziyad landed 7,000 fighters at Jabal Tariq, (Gibralter), to begin the invasion of Spain through a continuous northward thrust of raids deeper and deeper into Visigothic territory. After a series of raids in enemy territory a decisive engagement took place at the Battle of Guadalete, [7] Tariq ibn Ziyad defeated King Roderic, the last Visigothic ruler of Hispania, at the Guadalete River in the south of the Iberian Peninsula.

Tariq went on to take Tulaytula, while a detachment under Mugeyth Al-Rumi took Qurtuba. Due to internal strife within the Visigoth kingdom and the discipline of the Mujahideen, the Muslim army easily defeated Roderic’s army of over 20,000 men almost without resistance.
The Islamic armies established control of Andalus as a
Wilayat , (province/governorate), under the Ummayad Khilafa with the capital initially being in Ishbiliyyah, (Seville), while Islamic law was established with the Christians and Jews being given their rights as Ahl Al-Dhimma [8] . At the same time, without wasting a moment, detachments of mujahideen and their commanders fanned out across the peninsula to put down the revolts of the seditious local Christians and continued to push northwards to liberate further Christian territory reaching all the way to Tours in 732 CE wherein they encountered Charles Martel and his armies. Under the command of then Governor of Andalus, Abdul Rahmān Al Ghafiqi faced off against the Franks [9] under Martel at Tours, (which Martel decided due to his familiarity with the terrain), with 60,000 mujahideen, versus Martel’s 30,000 troops. Abdul Rahmān assumed these were just one of the many numerous rebellious barbarian tribes that had ravaged the Romans, (i.e. ragtag and without troop discipline, preferring to overwhelm the enemy without recourse to any particularly clever strategy), and that Martel was just one of the many tribal leaders that were not particularly motivated, and would either flee or negotiate after a few skirmishes. However, he was proven wrong, as Martel executed a victory by using the land to his advantage by employing a phalanx[10] formation and fighting downhill, (to negate cavalry charges that would have to charge uphill). Notably, Martel fought without cavalry, (i.e. horses), which would be the equivalent of a modern national army going into battle with only infantry, (i.e. no planes, tanks, trucks, or satellites). Moreover, a rumor spread during the battle that Martel’s men had snuck into the Muslim camp to steal the ghaneema (booty/spoils). As soon as the call went out, the mujahideen raced to rear camp to defend their apparently besieged
ghaneema while leaving this commander and a few detachments exposed to Frankish attacks, (in a replay of the Battle of Uhud [11] all over again), leading to the death of Abd Al Rahmān .

His army routed the Muslim army with many mujahideen and, their commander, Abd Al Rahmān Ghafiqi attaining
Shahada, that most loftiest of stations [12] . Losses upon the Muslim army were estimated to be approximately 10,000. In the aftermath, disunity on part of the Muslim army destroyed any chance of a real counterattack which could have stolen victory from the jaws of defeat, in that, the commanders in the Mujahideen camp could not decide on whom to nominate to lead them and fell into dispute. All the while, Martel capitalized on this and continued bringing the fight to the mujahideen. On this point, the Quranic viewpoint has to be examined, (and it is important in spite of the fact, this is supposed to be a brief introduction to the topic of Muslims after the fall of Andalus), along with the strategic military shortfalls as well. Allah ( ﺳﺒﺤﺎﻧﻪ ﻭ ﺗﻌﻠﻰ ) says:

ﻭَﻟَﻘَﺪْ ﺻَﺪَﻗَﻜُﻢُ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﻭَﻋْﺪَﻩُ ﺇِﺫْ ﺗَﺤُﺴُّﻮﻧَﻬُﻢْ ﺑِﺈِﺫْﻧِﻪِ ﺣَﺘَّﻰ ﺇِﺫَﺍ ﻓَﺸِﻠْﺘُﻢْ ﻭَﺗَﻨَـﺰَﻋْﺘُﻢْ ﻓِﻰ ﺍﻻٌّﻣْﺮِ ﻭَﻋَﺼَﻴْﺘُﻢْ ﻣِّﻦ ﺑَﻌْﺪِ ﻣَﺂ ﺃَﺭَﺍﻛُﻢْ ﻣَّﺎ ﺗُﺤِﺒُّﻮﻥَ ﻣِﻨﻜُﻢ ﻣَّﻦ ﻳُﺮِﻳﺪُ ﺍﻟﺪُّﻧْﻴَﺎ ﻭَﻣِﻨﻜُﻢ ﻣَّﻦ ﻳُﺮِﻳﺪُ ﺍﻻٌّﺧِﺮَﺓَ ﺛُﻢَّ ﺻَﺮَﻓَﻜُﻢْ ﻋَﻨْﻬُﻢْ ﻟِﻴَﺒْﺘَﻠِﻴَﻜُﻢْ ﻭَﻟَﻘَﺪْ ﻋَﻔَﺎ ﻋَﻨْﻜُﻢْ ﻭَﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﺫُﻭ ﻓَﻀْﻞٍ ﻋَﻠَﻰ ﺍﻟْﻤُﺆْﻣِﻨِﻴﻦَ – ﺇِﺫْ ﺗُﺼْﻌِﺪُﻭﻥَ ﻭَﻻَ ﺗَﻠْﻮُﻭﻥَ ﻋَﻠَﻰ ﺃﺣَﺪٍ ﻭَﺍﻟﺮَّﺳُﻮﻝُ ﻳَﺪْﻋُﻮﻛُﻢْ ﻓِﻰ ﺃُﺧْﺮَﺍﻛُﻢْ ﻓَﺄَﺛَـﺒَﻜُﻢْ ﻏَﻤّﺎً ﺑِﻐَﻢٍّ ﻟِّﻜَﻴْﻼَ ﺗَﺤْﺰَﻧُﻮﺍْ ﻋَﻠَﻰ ﻣَﺎ ﻓَﺎﺗَﻜُﻢْ ﻭَﻻَ ﻣَﺂ ﺃَﺻَـﺒَﻜُﻢْ ﻭَﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﺧَﺒِﻴﺮٌ ﺑِﻤَﺎ ﺗَﻌْﻤَﻠُﻮﻥ 13

And Allah did indeed fulfill His promise to you when you were killing them (your enemy) with His permission; until Fashiltum [14] and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed after He showed you what you love. Among you are some that desire this world and some that desire the Hereafter. Then He made you flee from them, that He might test you. But surely, He forgave you, and Allah is Most Gracious to the believers.

(And remember) when you ran away without even casting a side glance at anyone, and the Messenger was in your rear calling you back. There did Allah give you one distress after another by way of requital, to teach you not to grieve for that which had escaped you, nor for what struck you. And Allah is Well-Aware of all that you do.

Ibn Kathir States in these verses, (regarding The Battle of Uhud), about how the Archers on the peak of Uhud disobeyed the orders of Prophet ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ), with the desire to to not miss out on attaining Ghaneema from the apparently defeated Makkan coalition.

He states:
This Ayah means, Allah gave them the upper hand to try and test you, O believers…He forgave the error you committed, because, and Allah knows best, the idolators were many and well supplied, while Muslims had few men and few supplies.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara’ radhiyallahu anhu said, “We met the idolators on that day (Uhud) and the Prophet appointed ‘Abdullah bin Jubayr as the commander of the archers. He instructed them, ‘Retain your position, and if you see that we have defeated them, do not abandon your positions. If you see that they defeated us, do not rush to help us.’ The disbelievers gave flight when we met them, and we saw their women fleeing up the mountain while lifting up their clothes revealing their anklets and their legs. So, the companions (of ‘Abdullah bin Jubayr) said, ‘The booty, the booty!’ ‘Abdullah bin Jubayr said, ‘Allah’s Messenger commanded me not to allow you to abandon your position.’ They refused to listen, and when they left their position, Muslims were defeated and seventy of them were killed. Abu Sufyan shouted, ‘Is Muhammad present among these people’ The Prophet said, ‘Do not answer him.’ Then he asked, ‘Is the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr) present among these people’ The Prophet said, ‘Do not answer him.’ He asked again, ‘Is the son of Al-Khattab (‘Umar) present among these people As for these (men), they have been killed, for had they been alive, they would have answered me.’ ‘Umar could not control himself and said (to Abu Sufyan), ‘You lie, O enemy of Allah! The cause of your misery is still present.’ Abu Sufyan said, ‘O Hubal, be high!’ On that the Prophet said (to his Companions), ‘Answer him back.’ They said, ‘What shall we say’ He said, ‘Say, Allah is Higher and more Sublime.’ Abu Sufyan said, ‘We have the (idol) Al-‘Uzza, and you have no ‘Uzza.’ The Prophet said, ‘Answer him back.’ They asked, ‘What shall we say’ He said, ‘Say, Allah is our protector and you have no protector.’ Abu Sufyan said, ‘Our victory today is vengeance for yours in the battle of Badr, and in war (the victory) is always undecided and is shared in turns by the belligerents. You will find some of your killed men mutilated, but I did not urge my men to do so, yet I do not feel sorry for their deed.’ [15]

”Only Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith using this chain of narration. Muhammad bin Ishaq said that, ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr narrated that Az-Zubayr bin Al-‘Awwam said, “By Allah! I saw the female servants and female companions of Hind (Abu Sufyan’s wife) when they uncovered their legs and gave flight. At that time, there was no big or small effort separating us from capturing them. However, the archers went down the mount when the enemy gave flight from the battlefield, seeking to collect the booty. They uncovered our back lines to the horsemen of the disbelievers, who took the chance and attacked us from behind. Then a person shouted, ‘Muhammad has been killed.’ So we pulled back, and the disbelievers followed us, after we had killed those who carried their flag, and none of them dared to come close the flag, until then.”’ Muhammad bin Ishaq said next, “The flag of the disbelievers was left on the ground until ‘Amrah bint ‘Alqamah Al-Harithiyyah picked it up and gave it to the Quraysh who held it.” [16]

Allah said,

﴿ ﺛُﻢَّ ﺻَﺮَﻓَﻜُﻢْ ﻋَﻨْﻬُﻢْ ﻟِﻴَﺒْﺘَﻠِﻴَﻜُﻢْ ﴾
Then He made you flee from them, that He might test you… [17]

…Allah said,

ﻟِّﻜَﻴْﻼَ ﺗَﺤْﺰَﻧُﻮﺍْ ﻋَﻠَﻰ ﻣَﺎ ﻓَﺎﺗَﻜُﻢْ
by way of requital to teach you not to grieve for that which had escaped you, for that you missed the booty and triumph over your enemy…

Imam Ibn Kathir rahimahullah Continues:

ﺛُﻢَّ ﺃَﻧﺰَﻝَ ﻋَﻠَﻴْﻜُﻢْ ﻣِّﻦ ﺑَﻌْﺪِ ﺍﻟْﻐَﻢِّ ﺃَﻣَﻨَﺔً ﻧُّﻌَﺎﺳﺎً ﻳَﻐْﺸَﻰ ﻃَﺂﺋِﻔَﺔً ﻣِّﻨْﻜُﻢْ ﻭَﻃَﺂﺋِﻔَﺔٌ ﻗَﺪْ ﺃَﻫَﻤَّﺘْﻬُﻢْ ﺃَﻧْﻔُﺴُﻬُﻢْ ﻳَﻈُﻨُّﻮﻥَ ﺑِﺎﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻏَﻴْﺮَ ﺍﻟْﺤَﻖِّ ﻇَﻦَّ ﺍﻟْﺠَـﻬِﻠِﻴَّﺔِ ﻳَﻘُﻮﻟُﻮﻥَ ﻫَﻞ ﻟَّﻨَﺎ ﻣِﻦَ ﺍﻻٌّﻣْﺮِ ﻣِﻦ ﺷَﻰْﺀٍ ﻗُﻞْ ﺇِﻥَّ ﺍﻻٌّﻣْﺮَ ﻛُﻠَّﻪُ ﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻳُﺨْﻔُﻮﻥَ ﻓِﻰ ﺃَﻧْﻔُﺴِﻬِﻢ ﻣَّﺎ ﻻَ ﻳُﺒْﺪُﻭﻥَ ﻟَﻚَ ﻳَﻘُﻮﻟُﻮﻥَ ﻟَﻮْ ﻛَﺎﻥَ ﻟَﻨَﺎ ﻣِﻦَ ﺍﻻٌّﻣْﺮِ ﺷَﻰْﺀٌ ﻣَّﺎ ﻗُﺘِﻠْﻨَﺎ ﻫَـﻬُﻨَﺎ ﻗُﻞ ﻟَّﻮْ ﻛُﻨﺘُﻢْ ﻓِﻰ ﺑُﻴُﻮﺗِﻜُﻢْ ﻟَﺒَﺮَﺯَ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﻛُﺘِﺐَ ﻋَﻠَﻴْﻬِﻢُ ﺍﻟْﻘَﺘْﻞُ ﺇِﻟَﻰ ﻣَﻀَﺎﺟِﻌِﻬِﻢْ ﻭَﻟِﻴَﺒْﺘَﻠِﻰَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﻣَﺎ ﻓِﻰ ﺻُﺪُﻭﺭِﻛُﻢْ ﻭَﻟِﻴُﻤَﺤِّﺺَ ﻣَﺎ ﻓِﻰ ﻗُﻠُﻮﺑِﻜُﻢْ ﻭَﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﻋَﻠِﻴﻢٌ ﺑِﺬَﺍﺕِ ﺍﻟﺼُّﺪُﻭﺭِ – ﺇِﻥَّ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺗَﻮَﻟَّﻮْﺍْ ﻣِﻨﻜُﻢْ ﻳَﻮْﻡَ ﺍﻟْﺘَﻘَﻰ ﺍﻟْﺠَﻤْﻌَﺎﻥِ ﺇِﻧَّﻤَﺎ ﺍﺳْﺘَﺰَﻟَّﻬُﻢُ ﺍﻟﺸَّﻴْﻄَـﻦُ ﺑِﺒَﻌْﺾِ ﻣَﺎ ﻛَﺴَﺒُﻮﺍْ ﻭَﻟَﻘَﺪْ ﻋَﻔَﺎ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﻋَﻨْﻬُﻢْ ﺇِﻥَّ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪَ ﻏَﻔُﻮﺭٌ ﺣَﻠِﻴﻢ 18

Then after the distress, He sent down security for you. Slumber overtook a party of you, while another party was thinking about themselves and thought wrongly of Allah — the thought of ignorance. They said, “Have we any part in the affair” Say: “Indeed the affair belongs wholly to Allah.” They hide within themselves what they dare not reveal to you, saying: “If we had anything to do with the affair, none of us would have been killed here.” Say: “Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death,”
but that Allah might test what is in your breasts; and to purify that which was in your hearts (sins), and Allah is All-Knower of what is in the breasts.
Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts met, Shaytan only caused them to err because of some of what they had earned. But Allah, indeed, has forgiven them. Surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.
The second group mentioned in the Ayah were the hypocrites who only thought about themselves, for they are the most cowardly people and those least likely to support the truth…

ﻭَﻃَﺂﺋِﻔَﺔٌ ﻗَﺪْ ﺃَﻫَﻤَّﺘْﻬُﻢْ ﺃَﻧْﻔُﺴُﻬُﻢْ

While another party was thinking about themselves,” and they were not overcome by slumber because of their worry, fright and fear…
Similarly, Allah said in another statement,

ﺑَﻞْ ﻇَﻨَﻨْﺘُﻢْ ﺃَﻥ ﻟَّﻦ ﻳَﻨﻘَﻠِﺐَ ﺍﻟﺮَّﺳُﻮﻝُ ﻭَﺍﻟْﻤُﺆْﻣِﻨُﻮﻥَ ﺇِﻟَﻰ ﺃَﻫْﻠِﻴﻬِﻢْ ﺃَﺑَﺪﺍً

“Nay, but you thought that the Messenger and the believers would never return to their families” [19] .

This group thought that the idolators achieved ultimate victory, when their forces took the upper hand in battle, and that Islam and its people would perish. This is typical of people of doubt and hesitation, in the event of a hardship, they fall into such evil thoughts…

…Allah the Exalted said,

ﻗُﻞ ﻟَّﻮْ ﻛُﻨﺘُﻢْ ﻓِﻰ ﺑُﻴُﻮﺗِﻜُﻢْ ﻟَﺒَﺮَﺯَ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﻛُﺘِﺐَ ﻋَﻠَﻴْﻬِﻢُ ﺍﻟْﻘَﺘْﻞُ ﺇِﻟَﻰ ﻣَﻀَﺎﺟِﻌِﻬِﻢْ

“Say: “Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death,”

Meaning, this is Allah’s appointed destiny and a decision that will certainly come to pass, and there is no escaping it. Allah’s statement,

ﻭَﻟِﻴَﺒْﺘَﻠِﻰَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﻣَﺎ ﻓِﻰ ﺻُﺪُﻭﺭِﻛُﻢْ ﻭَﻟِﻴُﻤَﺤِّﺺَ ﻣَﺎ ﻓِﻰ ﻗُﻠُﻮﺑِﻜُﻢْ

“That Allah might test what is in your breasts; and to purify that which was in your hearts,” means, so that He tests you with whatever befell you, to distinguish good from evil and the deeds and statements of the believers from those of the hypocrites…

After that lengthy explanation by Imam Ibn Kathir rahimahullah, the point to drive home is that at Uhud, what destroyed the battle strategy was a combination of indiscipline, disobeying orders, (and at that, the Prophet ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ) orders), their fear of the enemy and dying, weak iman and greed for Ghaneema . All of these factors slot almost identically into the loss at Tours.

Strategically speaking, the battle preperations by the Muslim army were too hasty to say the least, and their reconnaissance of Martel’s troop numbers and capabilities were poor and based more on bravado than on old-fashioned reconnaissance and intelligence. Secondly, Abd Al-Rahmān’s army made the massive mistake of allowing the native enemy to choose the battlefield, which was disastrous in this case, as Martel lured the mujahideen in a battlefield where he negated their advantages (i.e. cavalry/horses), and minimized his weakness, (his weakness of not having cavalry). Furthermore his troops were better drilled and trained and had greater battle experience, (almost four years of fighting together as a unit prior to this engagement), whereas the mujahideen were rag-tag with some who had battle experience, and some who merely went along for the ghaneema. This indiscipline first led to the collapse of the Muslim base camp but moreover led to the later confusion in succession of leadership, (in that the Mujahideen failed to make appropriate preparation for the possible event of their commander being killed). To avoid these problems, or at the very least, to avoid a repition of these mistakes in future or current battles, the lessons learnt are:

* Rigorous training for Rank and File: Discipline is always needed in high pressure situations and it makes the difference between victory and defeat. This includes sticking to standard procedures and not making assumptions that are not based on facts on the ground. By that I mean:

1. Making sure a tentative battle plan is in place

2. Making sure to always do adequate Recon of target in question

3. Drafting a comprehensive Plan of Battle: by drafting an Order of Battle by incorporating intelligence, (both of troop capabilities and Geographical Intelligence of enemy location, and if it is suitable for a confrontation, and if not, where is the best place to engage them).

4. Then finally, give the order to execute

Contingency Planning: Put in place a succession plan of leadership, in the case of death of first layer of leadership, with procedures to deal with the prevailing situations in order to avoid drop in morale and coordination of troops.

Intelligence and Recon: These two components are integral to battlefield domination and victory. If it is defective, then the army’s preparation may not be equipped properly for the enemy they will face, which might possibly lead to loss of life and defeat.

The battle marked the northernmost point of the spread of the Islamic Dawa’ , wherein afterward, no raid or campaign was quite so adventurous to venture that far north. Subsequently, after this battle, the Berbers of North Africa and, later, the people of Al Andalus rebelled against the Ummayad Government in place in 739 CE in the
Maghribain , (North Africa and Andalus), due to their grievance that the government was not inclusive of Berbers and was discriminatory towards them. This revolt lasted four years wherein, soon after the Ummayad Dynasty was overthrown by the Abbasids in 749 CE. At this time, an Ummayad Emir, Abd Al Rahmān Al Dakhil, (Abd Al Rahmān I), escaped from the clutches of the Abbasid death squads and made his way out of Iraq, zig-zagging his way through Sham , North Africa and then finally to Andalus, where he established, (after numerous battles), the Ummayad Emirate of Qurtuba in 756 CE. The Emirate lasted till 929 CE and intermittent Christian rebellion continued throughout this period along with infighting between Muslims, (Berber vs. Arabs, New Muslims vs. Old Muslims, Shami’s vs. Yemeni’s etc.). A notable event during this period was the jihad declared by Hisham bin Abd Al-Rahmān Al-Dakhil, (Hisham I), in 792 CE against the Christians in France and Andalus. Tens of thousands of Muslim flocked from as far away as Sham to join the
jihad .

Another notable event during this period came in 850-859 CE, when Perfectus, a pagan Christian priest in Muslim-ruled Córdoba, is beheaded after he refuses to retract numerous insults he made about Muhammad ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ). He is reported to have said that the The Prophet ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ), was a “…false Prophets foretold by Christ and as a moral reprobate who had seduced the wife of his kinsman.” [20] Similar things were said by the remainder of this Christian contingent. Numerous other priests, monks, and laity would follow as Christians became caught up in a zest for ‘martyrdom.’ In total forty-eight Christian men and women are decapitated for refusing to convert or blaspheming Muhammad. They are known as the Martyrs of Córdoba. One cannot help but wonder if the same is reoccurring as the ‘Martyrs of Free Speech’ lead their crusade against the character of the Prophet ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ ), are merely a repitition of the above misguided individuals? Their end will probably be the same as of their idols, but I digress, more on that later in the conclusion.

The next significant development is the resurrection of the Ummayad khilafa in Andalus in 929 CE. How did it come about?? Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muhammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh, (Abd Al Rahmān III), faced with the threat of invasion by the Fatimids[21] , proclaims himself khalifa of Qurtuba, breaking all ties with the Abbasid khilafat in Baghdad. Under the reign of Abd al-Rahmān III, (and his fore-runners), Al Andalus reaches its greatest height with military expansion and waging Jihad against the Christians to the north continuously. However by 1008, Muhammad Al Thani Al Mahdi, (Muhammad II) – great-grandson of Abd al-Rahmān III – deposes Hisham II as khalifa, (Hisham will get reinstated in 1010 but then subsequently deposed and killed by rebel Berbers in 1013 while they massacre half the population of Qurtuba). The period of anarchy over the next 23 years is what resulted, albeit slowly, the fragmentation of Andalus into 30+ Tawaif (groups/separate kingdoms), due to internal infighting, palace intrigues, Christian unity and increasing strength of Christian forces.



[1] Narrated in Imam Ahmed’s Musnad (18189), Imam Bukhari’s Tareekh Al Kabir (1760), and Al Hakim’s
Mustadrak (8300)

[2] Carthage was one of a number of Phoenician settlements in the western Mediterranean that was created to facilitate trade from the cities of Sidon, Tyre and others from Phoenicia, which was situated in the coast of what is now Syria, Lebanon and Israel. In the 3 and 4 Century, it was a power to rival Rome and the leadership of Hannibal and his father before him.

[3] The Second Fitna which took place during 680-692 CE which include the killings of Hussayn Bin Ali, (grandson of the Prophet ( ﺻﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠَّﻢ )), and his followers at the Battle of Karbala, the revolts of Ibn Al-Zubayr and the
khawarij revolts in Iraq and Persia.

[4] They were one of two main branches of the Goths, an East Germanic tribe, the Ostrogoths being the other. Together these tribes were among the barbarians who disturbed the late Roman Empire during the Migration Period. The Visigoths first emerge as a distinct people during the fourth century, initially in the Balkans, where they participated in several wars with Rome. A Visigothic army under Alaric I eventually moved into Italy and famously sacked Rome in 410. By 500 AD they controlled most of Roman Spain as well.

[5] In Arabic, he was named ﻟﺬﺭﻳﻖ

[6] Imam Maqri says that Musa Bin Nusayr wanted to hurry into the invasion, but the khaleefa , Abd Al Malik Ibn Al Waleed, insisted on reconnaissance, showing the military acumen of Abd Al Malik Ibn Al Waleed. In hindsight, his foresight paid off.

[7] Muslim historians placed this battle at slightly different places, as, according to Abd Al Hakam in Futūh Misr , said the battle took place at Medina Sidonia or
Shedunya , while others specified further that it at happened at Wadi Lakka , which is identified as the Guadelete River.

[8] The people of the dhimma or pact of protection which is the one whose dhimma (responsibility of protection has been taken) is a non-Muslim subject of a land governed in accordance with the Sharia. The obligation of the state is to protect the Dhimmi’s life, property, and freedom of religion, (which does not include proselytization), and worship, and required loyalty to the empire, while charging a poll tax known as the jizya, and exemption from military service.

[9] West Germanic tribes first identified in the 3rd century as an ethnic group living north and east of the Lower Rhine. Under the Merovingian dynasty, they founded one of the Germanic monarchies which replaced the Western Roman Empire from the 5th century. The Frankish state consolidated its hold over large parts of western Europe by the end of the eighth century and the Carolingian Empire and its successor states were Frankish.

[10] A rectangular mass military formation, usually composed entirely of heavy infantry armed with spears, pikes, or similar weapons. The term is particularly (and originally) used to describe the use of this formation in Ancient Greek warfare. The word phalanx is derived from the Greek word phalangos , meaning the finger.

[11] A battle that occurred near Jabal Uhud, (near Medina), in 625 AD/3 AH between the Muslims and the Makkan Quraysh a year after the Battle of Badr.

[12] It is for that very reason that this battle is called by Muslim historians ﻣﻌﺮﻛﺔ ﺑﻼﻁ ﺍﻟﺸﻬﺪﺍﺀ or The Battle of the Court of Martyrs
[13] Surah Al Imran, Verses 152-153

[14] Ibn Katheer says in his Tafseer that: “Ibn Jurayj said that Ibn ‘Abbas said that Fashiltum means, ‘lost courage’.” In this context it is “…you lost courage”

[15] Sahih Bukhari

[16] Sahih Bukhari

[17] Surah Al Imran, Verse 152

[18] Surah Al Imran, Verse(s) 154-155

[19] Surah Al Fath, Ayah 12


[21] Ismaili Shia dynasty operating out of Egypt


“With the royal banners and the cross of Pagan Christians plainly visible on the red walls of the Alhambra: …the Moorish king with about eighty or a hundred on horseback very well dressed went forth to kiss the hand of their Highnesses. Whom they received with much love and courtesy and there they handed over to him his son, who had been a hostage from the time of his capture, and as they stood there, there came about four hundred captives, of this who were in the enclosure, with the cross and a solemn procession singing the Te Deum Laudamus [a devotional hymn], and their highnesses dismounted to adore the Cross to the accompaniment of the tears and reverential devotion of the crowd…and the Moorish King and the Moors who were with him for their part could not disguise the sadness and pain they felt for the joy of the Christians, and certainly with much reason on account of their loss, for Granada is the most distinguished and chief thing in the world…”[1]

The date was the second of January, 1492, and the occasion was the procession of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella into the Al Hamra,’ something which was not even imaginable by Spanish Monarchs up till one hundred years prior. When Tariq Ibn Ziyaad(Rahimahullah)marched across Jabal Tariq and into Andalus to liberate it from the Visigoths, he would have shuddered to think that within eight hundred years, Muslims would not only be defeated in Andalus, where the pure blood of thousands of mujahideen under his command flowed and shahada was attained, but that Islam itself would be expelled from it within in a further hundred years. Coincidentally, the same year Tariq (rahimahullah) invaded Andalus was also the same year, at the tender age of 17, Muhammad bin Qasim Al-Thaqafi (rahimahullah), The noble Ummayad Qa’id and Mujahid, under order of the Khalifa Walid I, raided Sindh in retaliation to Hindu Pirate raids launched from there and established Ummayad control over Sind, (and later Punjab). Would Tariq (rahimahullah)have imagined Andalus’s fate when he landed upon those shores and made his famous speech as recounted by Imam Maqri in Al Nafh Al Tib :

“Oh my warriors, whither would you flee? Behind you is the sea, before you, the enemy. By Allāh! there is no salvation for you but in your courage and perseverance. Consider your situation;-here you are on this island like so many orphans cast upon the world; you will soon be met by a powerful enemy, surrounding you on all sides like the infuriated billows of a tempestuous seas, and sending against you countless warriors, drowned in steel, and provided with every store and description of arms. What can you oppose them [with]? You have no other weapons than your swords, no provisions but those that you may snatch from the hands of your enemies…Banish all fear from your hearts, trust that victory shall be ours, and that the barbarian king will not be able to withstand the shock of our arms. Here he comes to make us the masters of his cities and castles, and to deliver into our hands his countless treasures; and if you only seize the opportunity now presented, it may perhaps be the means of your becoming the owners of them [2] , besides saving yourself from certain death. Do not think that I impose upon you a task from which I shrink myself, or that I try to conceal from you the dangers attending this expedition. No: you have certainly a great deal to encounter, but know that if you only suffer for a while, you will reap in the end an abundant harvest of pleasures and enjoyments. And do not imagine that while I speak to you I mean not to act as I speak, for as my interest in this is greater, so will my behavior on this occasion surpass yours [3] . You know well that the khalifa Abdu-l-Malik Ibnu-l-Waleed has chosen you, like so many heroes from among the brave; you know that the great lords of this island are willing to make you their sons and brethren in marriage, if you only rush on like so many brave men to the fight, and behave like true champions and valiant knights; you know that the recompenses of Allāh await you if you are prepared to uphold His word, and proclaim his deen in this peninsula…Bear in mind that Allāh (ﺗﻌﻠﻰ ) will select, according to this promise, those that distinguish themselves most among you, and grant them due reward both in this world and the hereafter and know likewise that I shall be the first to set you the example, and to put in practice what I recommend you to do [4] ; for it is my intention, on the meeting of the two hosts, to attack the Christian tyrant Roderic and kill him with my own hand, Insha’Allāh . When you see me bearing against him, charge along with me; if I kill him, the victory is ours; if I am killed before I reach him, do not trouble yourselves about me, but fight as if I were still alive and among you, and follow up my purpose…If, however, I should be killed, after inflicting death upon their king, appoint a man from among you who unites both courage and experience, and may command you in this emergency, and follow up the success. If you follow my instructions, we are sure of victory, (Makkari, The History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain, Vol. 1, 310-311) [5] “
Tariq’s (rahimahullah) troops replied resoundingly thus:

ﻗﺪ ﻗﻄﻌﻨﺎ ﺍﻵﻣﺎﻝ ﻣﻤﺎ ﻳﺨﺎﻟﻒ ﻣﺎ ﻋﺰﻣﺖ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ، ﻓﺎﺣﻀﺮ ﺇﻟﻴﻪ ﻓﺈﻧﻨﺎ ﻣﻌﻚ ﻭﺑﻴﻦ ﻳﺪﻳﻚ

“We are ready to follow you, O Tariq! We shall all, to the last man, stand by you, and fight for you; nor could we avoid it were we otherwise disposed… (ibid, 311). [6] “

The sacrifices and victories that laid the foundation of the western frontier of Islam, (or as Arabs referred to it as one of the Maghribain , or the ‘west’s’ in reference to North Western Africa and Andalus), seemingly had gone to waste and many Muslims of today see it as a period of nostalgia and of glory lost. We remember it as a time where Muslims excelled in the science, Fiqh, Philosophy and numerous other fields. Unfortunately, confusion is our lot due to not only our military defeats and conquest at the hands of the
Kuffaar over the previous five hundred years in every part of the world and at the hand of every kafir nation, but also the mental colonization that has taken place in the minds of not only the previous generations, but the youth as well. We have been led to believe Andalus was a land of Convivencia , (Coexistence), between Islam, Christianity and Judaism and Western or Western influenced Muslim Scholars reiterate the examples of the translation schools in Tulaytulah, (Toledo), where apparently Muslims and Jews worked together to translate books of Plato and Aristotle, or of the ‘ Zambra [7] ‘ and the musical styles of Andalus, since these worldly and Batil (Falsehood), things are what the West is interested in studying.

Subsequently they disseminate these views through scholarly work, wherein they then work their way down to the masses, (Muslim and non-Muslim alike). However, Muslims that read these books seem to forget that Andalus was the land of jihad, where continuous Ghazwa ‘s took place on the frontier, ( Thagr ) against the Kuffaar in the lands beyond the Pyrenees up to Tours in France, (which is merely a few hundred kilometres from Paris). It was a place where talented
Fuquha , (almost all Maliki), vigorously carried out their duty of guiding the masses and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, (Amr Bil Ma’aroof wa Nahya A’nil Munkar).

On the other hand, those of us that can read Arabic and took the time and trouble to read Muslim sources on the history of Andalus in Arabic, then the picture is certainly clearer with the glaring and the almost inexplicable abrupt end to the account of Islam in Spain. As I explained earlier, for reasons that I will touch upon in the conclusion of this work, Muslim historians’ account of Islamic Spain ends in 1492 with the capitulation treaty being signed between Abu AbdAllāh Muhammad Ithna Ashr (The 12 ), which surrendered the Emirate of Garnata (Granada) to the Spanish, but at the same time allowed the Muslims that remained in the Emirate, full freedom of worship and protected their rights, (going as far as even promising to punish anyone who peers into a Muslim household).

The agreement seemed to be made binding upon the Spanish Crown of Castille but as we shall see, it was broken within ten years after the agreement was put into effect, (I have included terms of the capitulation from Carvajal’s account in Appendix G and Imam Maqri’s in I). Great insight is offered on the issue of the Moriscos and Muslims in Spain after 1492, and the ambivlance shown by Muslims towards the issue by Prof. L.P. Harvey of the University of Chicago:

It is surprising that there has been so little debate within the Islamic world about this final aspect of the experience of Spains Muslims. In 1991, when the Islamic peoples are in the midst of a great debate on where they stand in relation to the modern western world, the experience of the Moriscos is not without relevance. Rather than focus on the Moriscos, however, modern Muslims seem to prefer to direct their attention towards other aspects of the experience of Andalus, on the philosophers of the 5 /11 -7 /13 centuries, or on the heroic conquerors of earlier periods, (Manuela, ‘Handbuch Der Orientalistik,’ 303).”

Undoubtedly, a clear understanding of this most complicated, (but nonetheless, important), of histories can not be attempted until we briefly recap Andalus’s history to bring the issue at hand, (Muslims in Andalus post-1492), in perspective.


[1] From a Letter of an eyewitness to the surrender of the Al Hamra’ to the Bishop of Leon

[2] SubhanAllah! Even though they are heavily outnumbered and are facing what most military strategists would have said was definite defeat and death, here Tariq is saying that Roderic has come to the battlefield to make the Muslims masters of the land of Andalus! He epitomized fearlessness and tawakkul on the battlefield.

[3] Unlike our rulers of today, Tariq says that not only will he give the orders and be on the field with his men, but he will surpass them in taking risks, courage and bravery!

[4] He practiced what he preached, once again, unlike our rulers and military commanders today.

[5] In the Arabic edition, this quotation is located in Vol. 1, on page(s) 240-241

[6] The translator did a sloppy job of this quote. I would have translated it like this: “We have already cut off any hope of what differs from your plan upon him [Roderic], So [lets] go to [fight] him [Roderic]. Verily we are with you and under your command!” And Allah knows best.

[7] In Maghrebi Arabic spoken in Morocco, ‘ zambra ‘, (in Arabic Zamra’ ), means party. Originally this Arabic term was used to describe the noises made by the sounds of lively crowds and certain musical instruments, such as in a party or celebration. The term was applied during the 15th century in Spain when the Muslims continuted their famous and traditional celebrations of song, dance, music, joke and story telling or ‘ Zamr.’ Documents dated to the 1600’s describe the Zamra’ as festivities with the music of wind instruments such as the sounds of pipes and flutes. These were banned by the Kingdom of Spain in the 16 century as sign of Muslim culture, (as were other things such as hijab and salat among many others). ‘Zambra’ could also mean a band of musicians and may have derived from the Arabic word “Samra’” that meant an ‘evening party that went on all night’ or ‘zamara’ meaning ‘musicians.’ The word was also been used to describe an ‘uproar’ or ‘sound of certain instruments and muffled voices with merry-making. If any one was curious, the custom of shouting ‘ole’ in Spain, (generally and in the dance called Flamenco), is derived from the Arabic expression Wa’Allah (‘By Allah’) that was presumably used during the Zamra’ dances.

Do you know about Islamic Spain??

Did you know??

1) Did you know that Muslims lived in Al-Andalus (Islamic Spain) for 780 years! And up to 200 years after the Fall of Granada (the last Muslim Stronghold in Al-Andalus) in 1492??

2) Did you know that the Muslims who were once the rulers of that pure Islamic land were forced to give up all forms of their identity including their own Muslim names!??

3) Did you know that Imam  Al-Ghazali (rahimahullah) gave a fatwa justifying the fighting and killing of the Muluk at Tawa’if
(Muslim rulers of Al-Andalus) and their forces??

4) Did you know that Muslims prepared for and waged
jihad within Al-Andalus (no longer an Islamic State) almost seventy years after the Fall of Granada, under the guidance of the Uthmani Khilafa ??

5) Did you know the Barbary “pirates” were actually Uthmani naval mujahideen ??

6) Did you know the Mujahideen were present in the Philippines and Somalia in the 16 Century fighting the Spanish and Portuguese Crusaders respectively??

Five reasons why YOU
should read this section:

1) This section sheds light upon this forgotten chapter of Muslim history; what really happened to the Muslims after the fall of Granada in 1492??

2) The situation of the Muslims of Al-Andalus post 1492 poses a striking similarity with the situation of the Muslims living in the West today. Well, how??

a) The preference to live in a land with a predominantly Non-Muslim majority because of all the “perks” it contains.

b) Forsaking jihad

c) Adoption of kuffar practices while leaving those of Islam, such as prohibition of the niqab

3) You will understand America’s plans today upon the Muslims as compared to the plans of the Spanish upon the Muslims of Al-Andalus .

4) This section will give you an in depth understanding of the global nature of the Ummah in terms of the cooperation of Muslim nations, participation in jihad , and the schemes of the Kuffar of old.

5) It will shatter any myths and misconceptions regarding jihad both past and present.