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"Zaida" - The Hoax Princess of Seville


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Author Topic: "Zaida" - The Hoax Princess of Seville  (Read 127 times)
Zeynab
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« on: February 27, 2020, 03:40:55 am »



As-Salaam Alaikum and peace dear folks!   How many of you have read that ridiculous story of the Muslim princess commonly spoken of as "Zaida of Seville" (in Al-Andalusia) living as mistress of the Catholic ruler of Castille, King Alfonso VI, bearing two (or maybe three) of his children and then converting to Christianity?  This crazy, phony tale has been going around in some social segments seeking to falsify history. 

In 1091, Seville was captured by Al-Moravid (Berber) troops of Morocco headed by Yusuf ibn Tashfin.  Al-Mutamid, the Emir of Seville and Zaida's "father-in-law" was defeated and exiled to Morocco.  Zaida was married to Al-Mutamid's son, Al-Mamun, who was killed during the siege by Al-Moravids.  Consequently and somehow (not explained by gossip mongers), Zaida fled from the palace after the battle.  She decided to take refuge in northern Seville very close to Castile under Catholic rule.  She was soon captured by the Castilians and sent to the Castilian court.  That's where she met Alfonso VI, ruler of Leon & Castile.  The meeting led to a lengthy courtship. She soon became his mistress, mother of at least two of his illegitimate children, then converted into Christianity, baptized as "Isabel."   She died during childbirth while delivering this man's second (or third) child.

Alfonso was born in 1039 and died 1109, age 70.   The so-called Zaida of Seville was born in 1070 and died 1100.  That makes her 31 years his junior.  According to her year of birth and death, she died very young at age 30 only. 

According to historical data, Alfonso was already married three times (at least) to Catholic women.  The name of his third wife was Isabel.  Considering that, why would Alfonso want Zaida to be the namesake of his third wife?   That too is unlikely.    Furthermore, this blooper has caused big confusion within the  gossip mongering circles, distinguishing Alfonso's children from his Catholic wife, Isabel, and those from Zaida baptized as 'Isabel.'

Coming to the most relevant aspect, how did this tale originate?   To begin with, Burke's Peerage Limited (a British genealogical publishing organization established 1826) has been pretty actively promoting this fable.  Furthermore, a notorious Catholic cleric of medieval Spain (in Leon & Castile), Bishop Pelayo, has reportedly contributed a ton of lies.  More on that later.  In modern times, the contentious grand mufti of Egypt, Ali Goma,  "suggested" (not confirmed) that "Zaida was the offspring of al-Mutamid, ruler of Seville and a descendant of the daughter of the Prophet, Fatima and her husband Ali."   Apart from sketching a completely false lineage of this unknown woman descending from the family tree of Fatima Zahra and Imam Ali hundreds of years later, the second mind boggling discrepancy popping from the storytellers claims  "Zaida enjoyed the many luxuries of the court of the Abbadid dynasty of Seville through her marriage to Fath al-Mamun, the son of the emir al-Mutamid."   If she was the "offspring" of Al-Mutamid (as mentioned by Ali Goma), obviously al-Mamun would be her brother.  So, how on earth could she be married to him?    No answers to that.   While in Al-Mutamid's biography, Zaida is constantly mentioned to be his daughter along with Al-Mamum  his son, the history forgers' version perpetually refers to her as al-Mutamid's daughter-in-law and al-Mamun's wife (not sister).  This is a huge contradiction which the fabricators refuse to clarify.  

By the way, Ali Goma, the Egyptian jurist of modern times born 1952 was grand mufti of Egypt from 2003 to 2013 and a strong supporter of the country's former dictator, Hosni Mubarak.  Though he follows the Shafi school, he's also said to be a Sufi.  His religious perception is fraught with controversy.   His inadvertent collaboration with the medieval crook, Bishop Pelayo, portraying a Catholic King taking a Muslim 'princess' as his whore looks to be his concept of promoting the idea of multi-faith assimilation.   That may also be the reason why Western sources often refer to him as a "champion of moderate Islam."

Concerning the medieval Bishop Pelahyo (also known as 'Pelayo of Oviedo') is synonymous with bloviation.   He had a very shady reputation within his own community as a spinner of tall tales and a stockist of forged documents.  He constructed and embellished many ludicrous stories of cheap romance that can easily be dismissed as humbug.  His date of birth is not known, and he reportedly died in 1153.  During the tenure of his episcopal power he  supervised the biggest scriptorium of Spain's monasteries which primarily included his own contributions titled "Chronicle of the Kings of León" with appalling falsifications of history.  Loads of documents derived from his office were found to be forged, interpolated and cleverly altered that gave him the title of  "el Fabulador" in Spain which means  "the Fabulist" (person who writes fables).  The same person was also known as "prince of falsifiers" in the circle of historians and intellectuals.  Though officially this man is viewed as a historian, his status has constantly been a matter of deep academic disagreement.

History states that Pelayo was generally on good terms with Alfonso VI (died 1109), yet even his own biography makes no mention of his tattletales perhaps to salvage Pelayo's reputation as a liar, and also underscoring the irrelevance of his idle talk.

Interestingly, well-known historians in the West and in the Arab world whose works are widely and officially recognized in academic circles have hardly spoken anything about Zaida of Seville.

Analyzing the final contradiction of this gossip, it claims that Zaida was buried in Sahagun, a town in Leon, northern Spain and community of Castile.   The tomb marker showed the inscription in Latin: "H.R. Regina Elisabeth, uxor regis Adefonsi, filia Benabet Regis Sevillae, quae prius Zayda, fuit vocata."    In English that translates to   "Queen Elizabeth, wife of King Alfonso, daughter of Benabet, King of Seville, formerly Zayda."   This inscription is totally baffling.  While 'Elizabeth' is generally the medieval Spanish form of 'Isabel,'  who was "Benabet?"   Al-Mutamid was the Emir of Seville and surely "Benabet" is not the Latin variation of Al-Mutamid.  Therefore, who was he?   No answers. 

The myth goes farther.   Zaida's tomb was supposedly shifted from Sahagun to Leon where it is in a sepulchre with another inscription referring to "Queen Isabel" as daughter of "Louis, King of France"  though Zaida's wiki biography itself admits that there was no king of that name before Queen Isabel's generation and that neither of the two inscriptions are considered authentic.  It also raises the question, which "Isabel" are they referring in the second tombstone inscription .. Alfonso's Catholic wife or Zaida or someone else? Moreover, this second inscription quite blatantly indicates the bogus nature of this story;  if she was really baptized as Isabel and her father was Louis, then she was born Catholic, never a Muslim. 

Lies always end up in an illogical mess and this story is no exception.  

We do know for sure that events until the siege of Seville by Al-Moravid, and al-Mutamid's defeat as the Emir of Seville are true.   These are historical facts well documented.  It is also true that his son, al-Mamun, was killed in this battle and Al-Mutamid was exiled to Morocco;  it's taken for granted that he was exiled with the members of his family, namely women and children, who lived in the palace as always was the case in such situations.   Thus, this is the starting point of the fiction, weaving the tale of the 'runaway princess' after a defeated battle and the Emir's palace in shambles. 

While fake sources claim Zaida was the daughter-in-law of the Emir, recent studies and careful analysis have exposed she was quite definitely an outsider who gained access into the family’s inner circle either through marriage to some relative or friend of the Emir or by simply being as a worker inside the palace.   It's hugely possible that she was a palace employee, such as a palace maid or a laundry woman etc.  Just as likely, she was a resident of some household in the neighborhood close to the palace.  She fled after the battle, masquerading as a princess to acquire recognition and a better life.  She either randomly picked the name 'Zaida' or purposely stole the name of the Emir's daughter who had already left the palace for exile to Morocco with the rest of the royal family. 

In the entirety of Islamic History, female members of an elite vanquished family residing in palaces were never harmed by the conquerors.  The most questionable aspect is the version of her fleeing in panic and heading into the wrong direction, at the wrong location, into another bastion of Seville's enemy.  History states that Al-Mutamid who lost the battle was sent to live in exile in Morocco, and his son died in battle resisting the siege.  In such a situation, why would the daughter-in-law need to take flight?   If the Emir was granted permission to live in exile, it would be still simpler for a female member of his family to leave the palace unhurt.  Into the bargain, a medieval princess (particularly a Muslim princess) led a very protected life with maids and royal guards.  How and why would she flee by herself?   Where were all her escorts?   If they were killed in the siege, it would be impossible for her to survive, let alone flee north of Seville into the comfort of the Castilian court.   

This story has the fingerprints of deliberate, pre-planned actions by an  impersonator.  Therefore peeps, beware if you come across the names "Zaida and Alfonso."  It's the biggest scam in history, and a spoof.




This is a painting of the so-called Zaida.  Another hoax caught here.  This image posted at Pinterest says she's in Alhambra Palace while she's supposed to be "Zaida of Seville."   Alhambra Palace is in Granada, nearly 250 km away from Seville. 



This art is also sometimes captioned "Zaida" but that's again a very wrong title.   This painting is of an Algerian woman mid 1700s by  Jean-Baptiste Hilair.



These are two images of Alfonso VI, the one on the left when he was younger.




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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2020, 03:03:25 am »




Walaikum As-Salam and peace dear Sis.  Have heard of this senseless story earlier.  But thanks for these details and careful scrutiny to show its lack of conformity with logic.  This is another one of those Anastasia kind of spiel.

Wondering, what exactly is the goal of those who have hyped and puffed it as fodder for tale listeners?   ....  to show the power & influence of Alfonso through his sexual depravity?   He was a man with arrogant aspirations, wanting to become king of the entire Iberian peninsula taking over all Islamic territories.  Quoting Ibn Al-Kardabus, a 13th century Tunisian chronicler "the arrogant Castilian ruler even started to fashion himself as the “Emperor of the Two Religions”.   In this context, the decision to welcome Zaida at the Castilian court – instead of sending her to Morocco to her relatives in exile – and Alfonso’s sexual relationship with the Muslim princess, was not as a sign of coexistence, but a confident statement of power."
   




The tomb marker showed the inscription in Latin: "H.R. Regina Elisabeth, uxor regis Adefonsi, filia Benabet Regis Sevillae, quae prius Zayda, fuit vocata."    In English that translates to   "Queen Elizabeth, wife of King Alfonso, daughter of Benabet, King of Seville, formerly Zayda."   This inscription is totally baffling.  While 'Elizabeth' is generally the medieval Spanish form of 'Isabel,'  who was "Benabet?"   Al-Mutamid was the Emir of Seville and surely "Benabet" is not the Latin variation of Al-Mutamid.  Therefore, who was he?   No answers.  
 

I concur, Alfonso was double-crossed by a palace maid or some female Jewish commoner posing as the daughter of Al-Mutamid for a more comfortable lifestyle.  'Benabet' sounds like a very Jewish name.  Never ever heard any Muslim having this name nor is it a modification of any Muslim name.  The truth about this imposter's non-Muslim origin was inadvertently leaked out on the tombstone inscription.  Also it does flatly confirm that she wasn't Mutamid's daughter-in-law.  So the persistence of the fabulists that she was is another enigma.

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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2020, 03:21:40 am »




This is another one of those Anastasia kind of spiel.




Wondering, what exactly is the goal of those who have hyped and puffed it as fodder for tale listeners?   ....  to show the power & influence of Alfonso through his sexual depravity?   He was a man with arrogant aspirations, wanting to become king of the entire Iberian peninsula taking over all Islamic territories.  Quoting Ibn Al-Kardabus, a 13th century Tunisian chronicler "the arrogant Castilian ruler even started to fashion himself as the “Emperor of the Two Religions”.   In this context, the decision to welcome Zaida at the Castilian court – instead of sending her to Morocco to her relatives in exile – and Alfonso’s sexual relationship with the Muslim princess, was not as a sign of coexistence, but a confident statement of power."

 


Both these points are so correct Sister Heba.




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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2020, 03:38:04 am »




Walaykum Salam .....   Or let's call Anastasia the Zaida of Russia ....    Grin  Cheesy  Grin

I do think it's true that someone by the name "Zaida" did run north of Seville in the direction of Leon & Castile, but that person was a hoaxer .. 200% sure about that.   

The story might have remained a bit emaciated, but has been puffed up and fattened by miscreants like Pelayo and fools like Ali Goma for reasons stated by the Tunisian chronicler and the analysis of the historical backdrop in Sister Zeynab's post.   I don't know how Ali Goma didn't observe the incongruity, that daughter and daughter-in-law are two very different relationships. 

Al-Motamid did have a daughter named Zaida as I've also read about that.  The reason why she has been depicted as his daughter-in-law instead is to make this fabrication more gullible.  If she was characterized correctly as his daughter, the story would have been still more incredulous.  The father would have been determined to get his daughter back with the rest of family in Morocco.

 
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2020, 03:51:11 am »




Al-Motamid did have a daughter named Zaida as I've also read about that.  The reason why she has been depicted as his daughter-in-law instead is to make this fabrication more gullible.  If she was characterized correctly as his daughter, the story would have been still more incredulous.  The father would have been determined to get his daughter back with the rest of family in Morocco.
 

Exactly .. that's a very thoughtful point.

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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2020, 04:21:12 am »



Wa'salam and right brother TS .... I think so too.




Or let's call Anastasia the Zaida of Russia ....    Grin  Cheesy  Grin 

lol  😃



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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2020, 04:35:53 am »


Shocked   Thanks for these details everyone.  Once a relative of mine mentioned this story but we didn't pay much attention as it sounded pretty absurd.  It's now clear how it all started.  Alfonso was fooled.   Some commoner took him for a ride and he swallowed it assuming she's a Muslim princess.  The cheat made a twit out that bugger ..  🤣
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2020, 04:44:22 am »




Shocked   ..... Some commoner took him for a ride and he swallowed it assuming she's a Muslim princess.  The cheat made a twit out that bugger .. 

😆

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