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Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain (Al-Andalus)

July 20, 2021, 11:41:46 am Ruhi_Rose: Wa'Salam and Eid al Adha mubarak dear Sis 🙂
July 20, 2021, 10:50:47 am Zainab_M: As-Salaam Alaikum dear brothers and sisters.  Hajj mubarak and Eid-al-Adha mubarak.
July 15, 2021, 09:46:44 am N. Truth Seeker: What are the months for Hajj, and what does "Ten Nights" in Surah Al-Fajr refer to?  Visit the following link to study this very significant information.
4 months of Hajj, and Surah Al-Fajr.
July 12, 2021, 05:44:36 am Heba E. Husseyn: As we enter the month of Dhul Hijjah 1442, please read what the Great Quran says about Hajj.  Also visit the related links at the end of the same post to learn more.
July 10, 2021, 11:40:41 am Zainab_M: They're folks with zero conscience.
July 10, 2021, 11:39:02 am N. Truth Seeker: I see ....  if they had only given a fraction of the money for rebuilding Gaza ..
July 10, 2021, 11:37:24 am Heba E. Husseyn: I think another slimeball is elon musk ..
July 10, 2021, 11:34:58 am N. Truth Seeker: so true sister.  Btw, are bezos and branson the only ones, anyone else as well trying to please their lowly ego?
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« on: July 18, 2008, 01:13:17 am »

The Glorious days of Islamic Spain (Al-Andalus).  The image shows teaching art (music) to children.

It is openly expressed in the history of the Spanish Inquisition how the multiculturism (i.e. Muslims, Christians and Jews living in harmony) of Spain was thrown into pieces with the persecution carried out by the Catholic Church in the name of the "Holy Inquisition" where all those who weren't rigidly following the orders issued by the Vatican at Rome were to be declared as "heretics."  These "heretics" would be tried by the office of the Catholic Chruch, a trial known as the Inquisition.  They would then be subjected to different types of punishments, the lightest of which was either exile or confined within the walls of a prison for many years, sometimes for life, on only bread and water.  The worst punishments included being quartered, burnt alive on the stake, thrown into the river or sea with hands bound with a rope and attached with a heavy stone, beheaded or thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil.   The Inquisition completely disrupted the tranquility of this community.  In the process, it gave rise to intrigues even among the common people in order to ensure their safety by getting themselves into the 'good books' of the Inquisitors.  Thus, friends and neighbours spying on each other became commonplace.  This step was the beginning of the end of multicultural Spain. Watch this wonderful documentary, if you can get it, to watch everything about this era prior to the Inquisition. 

The documentary "Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain" produced & directed by Alexander Kronemer was shown on in 'Cities of Light.'   The following is Kronemer's article on this documentary.

Islamic Spain: History's refrain

It's a model for interfaith ties, and a warning about religious division.

The past sometimes provides examples of glory and success that serve as

models. Other times, as the philosopher George Santayana said, it warns

of impending calamity for those who do not learn from it.

For the past several years, I've been immersed in a history that does

both. As one of the producers for an upcoming PBS documentary on the

rise and fall of Islamic Spain, I've witnessed its amazing ascent and

tragic fall countless times in the editing room, only to go home and watch some of

the same themes playing out on the nightly news.

Islamic Spain lasted longer than the Roman Empire. It marked a period

and a place where for hundreds of years a relative religious tolerance

prevailed in medieval Europe.

A model for religious tolerance

At its peak, it lit the Dark Ages with science and philosophy, poetry,

art, and architecture. It was the period remembered as a golden age for

European Jews. Breakthroughs in medicine, the introduction of the number

zero, the lost philosophy of Aristotle, even the prototype for the

guitar all came to Europe through Islamic Spain.

Not until the Renaissance was so much culture produced in the West. And

not until relatively recent times has there been the level of pluralism

and religious tolerance that existed in Islamic Spain at its peak. Just

as the vibrancy and creativity of America is rooted in the acceptance of

diversity, so was it then.

Because Islam's prophet Muhammad founded his mission as a continuation

of the Abrahamic tradition, Islamic theology gave special consideration

to Jews and Christians. To be sure, there were limits to these

accommodations, such as special taxes levied on religious minorities.

But in the early Middle Ages, official tolerance of one religion by

another was an amazingly liberal point of view. This acceptance became

the basis for Islamic Spain's genius. Indeed, it was an important reason

Islam took hold there in the first place.

When the first Muslims crossed the straits of Gibraltar into Spain, the

large Jewish population there was enduring a period of oppression by the

Roman Catholic Visigoths. The Jewish minorities rallied to aid the Arab

Muslims as liberators, and the divided Visigoths fell.

The conquering Arab Muslims remained a minority for many years, but they

were able to govern their Catholic and Jewish citizens by a policy of

inclusiveness. Even as Islam slowly grew over the centuries to be the

majority religion in Spain, this spirit was largely, if not always

perfectly, maintained.

Pluralistic though it was, Islamic Spain was no democracy. After years

of enlightened leadership, a succession of bad leaders caused the

unified Muslim kingdom to fragment among many smaller petty kingdoms and


Though they competed and fought, the spirit of pluralism continued.

Indeed, it thrived as rival kings sought the best minds in the Muslim,

Christian, and Jewish worlds for their courts. This was just as true in

the Christian petty kingdoms, as the Muslim ones. Christian and Muslim

armies even fought alongside each other against mutual rivals of both


It is at this point that the darker parallels to our time begin. In to

the competition for land, resources, and power, some leaders on both

sides began to appeal to religion to rally support for their cause. Wars

became increasingly religious in nature. Into this tinderbox a match was

thrown: the Crusades - the same term that many Arabs use today when

referring to America's adventure in Iraq.

The Crusades deepened Spain's religious divide. Minorities in both

Christian and Muslim kingdoms become increasingly suspect. Persecutions,

expulsions, and further warfare ensued. Nothing could stop it, not even

the black plague.

Ultimately, Christian kingdoms gained the upper hand as the Muslim

kingdoms of Islamic Spain fell. Spain's Muslims and Jews were forced to

either leave or convert. This led to the rise of the Inquisition, whose

purpose was to verify the loyalty of suspect converts. The expulsions

and inquisitions racked Spain economically, culturally, and morally. Its

power was severely compromised. The fall of pluralism in Spain was the fall of

Spain itself.

Dark parallels with today

This fall directly links to events today and raises many of the same

stakes. Though few Americans note it, one of Osama bin Laden's

justifications for the 9/11 attacks was to avenge the "tragedy" of

Islamic Spain.

So far, the post-9/11 world and the policies it has spawned seem to be

heading in the same dangerous direction as witnessed before. The

religious intolerance that engulfed and overwhelmed medieval Spain

threatens the increasingly beleaguered pluralism of our own time.

At its best, the history of Islamic Spain is a model for interfaith

cooperation that inspires those who seek an easier relationship among

the three Abrahamic faiths. At its worst, it's a warning of what can

occur when political and religious leaders divide the world.

It reminds us what really happens when civilizations clash.

Alexander Kronemer is a writer, lecturer, and documentary producer
focusing on religious diversity, Islam, and cross-cultural

Source of this article: CS Monitor

"Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain" is available in DVD and can be purchased online by visiting the website Film & Outreach.

Scroll down to see the 45-Minute Classroom Video of Muslims in Spain:

"A battle re-enactment scene from a film. In 1492, greed, fear and intolerance destroyed the peaceful co-existence of Muslims, Christians and Jews in Islamic Spain. Puritanical judgments and religious absolutism snuffed out the lights of learning, thus beginning years of war and destruction." -

"The lemon tree, the water wheel and Aristotle's lost philosophy all arrived in Europe through Islamic Spain, as did algebra and the beginnings of modern medicine, science and poetry. Here were the very roots of the European Renaissance. But the fragile union dissipated, destroyed by greed, fear and intolerance
."   ..... intolerance of hardcore, orthodox Christianity!   Just about all Western historians admit the huge advancement of human civilization that was achieved during the 700 years of Islamic rule in Al-Andalus.  They also admit that its downfall started with intolerance.  But they stop short of saying that intolerance came wholly from bigots loyal to the Catholic Church.

Enjoy the following video clips.

Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain - Introduction (2.02 minutes)

The Berber Revolt in Islamic Spain (5.33 minutes)

Muslims, Christians and Jews Collaborate (5.54 minutes)

Full documentary available at following sites:
Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain.

Cities of Light.

Full documentary on Youtube at MV Video Board - 'Cities of Light'  

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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 03:30:26 am »

Very very interesting.  I saw this documentary on Cities of Light.  After that I waited and waited to see it again but PBS never showed it.  InshAllah I'll try to buy this video offline or online - but I think it's available only online.  It was great seeing these video clips and reading that nice article by Alexander Kronemer.
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2020, 01:42:55 am »

Those two links of full documentary at the end are very good. 

Also watch this very nice one titled Muslim Spain's legacy by Abdullah Hakim Quick.

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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2021, 11:09:02 pm »

Mash'Allah ..... with a refreshing deep breath!  Today I got the time to read, read and read on this topic, this thread .. and then also watched the 2-hour full documentary on Cities of Light and the 1.5 hour video covered by Abdullah Hakeem Quick. 

Wonderful times, wonderful lives and a lovely era.  Subhan'Allah.

Came across the following art and I loved it.   Quoting Sister Zainab in Pinterest "It's 10th century Cordoba (Islamic Spain or Al-Andalusia).  It was a the most breathtaking city in the world. As early as that, Cordoba had paved and well lit streets, running water, thousands shops, countless number of bookstores and libraries which included the Caliph's library with a collection of nearly half million books. These were the times of the Ommayads in Spain and then the Nasrids.  Western historians themselves acknowledge this spectacular civilization, referring to the cities of Andalusia as 'Cities of Light.'  "

And the following is the Mosque of Cordoba at present.  The architecture is so well preserved, still exactly the same.   Below image taken in October 2014 showing nuns visiting the "Mosque-Cathedral" of Cordoba.  How did this change of name come about?  It was always a Mosque, NOT a Cathedral.  The Mosque of Cordoba which is a historical treasure and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also the subject of a dispute over its ownership.

Another image below, Cordoba Mosque being disrespected by the ignorant segments of non-Muslims.

Western analysts and historians say they aren't sure what started this dishonest drama in 2015 that went yet further from Spain's 1980 declaration of wrongly adding the term "Cathedral" to the Mosque of Cordoba.  But one doesn't need to be a genius to know the reason for it, which was to erase all traces of Islamic heritage in Spain effacing the image of the Great Mosque of Cordoba which was the spiritual and intellectual heart of Al-Andalusia (Islamic Iberia).

By the 10th century Cordoba was the center of the entire Muslim world.

The Mosque of Cordoba was the symbol of Umayyad and Nasrid power and also the center of the city’s intellectual life. Large enough to hold 50,000 people, it was Cordoba's biggest prayer center and also the university where the intellectual elite of the western Islamic world studied and carried out numerous research. After the takeover of Ferdinand III's fascist rule in 1494, the Catholic fanatics transformed the mosque into a cathedral.  But the Mosque's محاريب (maḥarib) in the wall that indicates the direction of the qibla (facing the Kaa'ba in Makkah) still stands, and its entire architecture remains intact with those gorgeous, eye-catching
red-and-white horseshoe arches.

In its heyday, the Mosque of Cordoba was the manifestation of education, progress and cultural achievements in Al-Andalusia.

At present, when political and religious extremism and foreign policy manipulation are widespread within all non-Muslims, the Mosque of Cordoba is a shining symbol of a very different ideology - the ideology of tolerance and promotion of peaceful co-existence.   

But modern-day Christian Spain is an unspeakable disgrace.  It is currently home to some of the highest levels of anti-Islam sentiment in Europe. 

At the same time, Spain is making effort to promote itself as a mediator for Europe’s increasingly hostile attitude toward Islam.  After all, there are some folks in Spain who, when they are reminded of Al-Andalusia's historical reputation of tolerance feel they can do better today.  Not to forget, this approach by the Spanish government partly dwells in monetary benefit trying to promote Spain as a major destination for Muslim tourism.

The Mosque of Cordoba continues to stand firm in the midst of Spanish and European wrangling over the history of Spain's lengthy Islamic past.

Surprisingly, in the 10th century Western history reports that a German Catholic nun (935–973 CE) described Córdoba as “The ornament of the world.”  She was mainly impressed by the Islamic achievements in the field of education.  Undoubtedly a rare figure in Christian history as by far the majority of practicing Catholics have an aversion for higher education particularly scientific education which was one of the most significant fields in Islamic Spain.  The Muslim rulers of Spain did a wonderful job of building up a multi-cultural society. At the same time, the Muslims of Islamic Spain strictly and carefully adhered to the Islamic culture within their community.  Alongside, they were tolerant to the fullest toward the Christians and Jews who had complete freedom to follow their religion.  Though educational progress and research predominantly belonged to the Muslim circles in Islamic Spain (Al-Andalusia), there were small segments of Christians and Jews who also worked with Muslim educationists.  Gerbert, a 10th century Christian European scholar who often boasted about monastery libraries, was stunned and left speechless when he saw the countless number of libraries in Islamic Spain.  Some reports say Gerbert brought Arabic numerals to the rest of Europe.  But according to other reports, Gerbert was not that cooperative and unenvious.  He didn't do that.  Instead Arab numerals came to Europe in the 12th century via Arab Muslim educationists including the ones in Al-Andalusia.

This was the true Golden Era.   Indeed, Allah The Almighty, helps those who help themselves.  All praise be to You, ya Allah. 

Related posts:

-  Westerners yell about AyaSofya, what did they do to the Great Mosque of Cordoba?
-  History of Europe when Muslims ruled Spain
-  Music Tarab-e-Andalusia that originated from Islamic Spain
-  The last Muslim ruler of Spain
-  Chronological order of Islamic History
-  Zaida, the hoax princess of Seville, a story concocted by Western historians
-  Secret Files of the Inquisition - startling change from  tolerance and harmony of Islamic Spain
-  Spanish Inquisition, epitome of brutality
-  Flashbacks of the Inquisition - unpleasant analogies 

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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2021, 04:09:12 am »

Big thanks Sister Ruhi for this excellent information on the Mosque of Cordoba.   Built by the Umayyad ruler Abd-ar-Raḥman (I) in 784–786 CE and further extended in the 9th and 10th centuries. It is one of the largest Masjids in the Islamic world. The Catholics have an eye on it. They wanna grab and rob it as they've done with so many Islamic landmarks with exquisite architecture & valuables along the path of Islamic History. They want to change it into a cathedral. But that nasty game won't work this time.
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