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Old Tuesday, March 03, 2015
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Default Muslim Rule In Spain Notes



*Vsigothic tribe 1st attacked Rome in 410.
*under Athaulf (410-415) captured Barcelona
*Visigoth defeated all tribes of sapin (vandal,alans and suevis) became sole master of sapin in 475.
*king leovigild transfeered capital from toulouse to Toledo lasted till 711.



*visigoth have form of religion known as ARIANISM different from christanity.
*arian bishops appointed as head of church than pope.
*He reccared in 586 resolve issue by accepting christanity.
church and crown united.


*Elective monarchy
*king was to lead tribe in battle field not to rule.
*dethronement of his son WAMBA in 680 a.c.
*rivalry among nobels and crown.
*visigoth rulers tried to applied Germanic rule concept for spainish army but it proves opposite.

*clash b/w king visigoth and roderick
*revenge of count julian
*invitation to musa by julian.


society divided into 2 main classes

1)Ruling class
2)Subject class

1) it include King,clergy and nobles.
2)it include burgesses,serf,slaves and jews.


*munciple life lost prosperity.
*serfs were opposed by nobles and bishops.
*triblistic outlook of visigoth towrds jews.


*IN every council of church held at toledo,the bishops and nobles together formulated repressive injunctions against jews.

*frequent persecution of jews drove them to amke plan of revolt with the help of berbers across the strait.


The subject class were waiting for savior that ultimatly came from muslim IFRIQIAH,where many spaniards had found refuge.the previliged class had lost energy and power.The mismanagement of visigoth,excessive influence enjoyed by priest,internal factions,jealousies and intrigues were the rael cause of down fall of goth state.

The Conquest of Spain

The conquest of Spain was the beginning of a new era in world history.
It was the first interaction of Islamic civilization with the Latin West.
For centuries, Muslim Spain was a beacon of knowledge to a European continent that was shrouded in the stupor of the Dark Ages.
It was Spain, along with southern Italy, that was destined to act as a conduit for learning to the West.
It played a central role in the reawakening of Europe.
The very name Andalus conjures up images of a bygone golden age of a brilliant civilization.
Spain, as Andalus is known today, is situated in the northwestern corner of the Mediterranean.
It is a peninsula, bound to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east by the Mediterranean Sea.
To the north the Pyrenees Mountains separate it from France and the rest of Europe.
To the south the narrow Straits of Gibraltar connect the waters of the Atlantic with the Mediterranean.
Geographically, it is a part of the Mediterranean world, although topographically,
the rugged mountains of the Peninsula make it more a part of North Africa than southern Europe.
The Atlantic Ocean had arrested the westward advance of Muslim armies.
But the narrow straits separating Morocco from Spain were not wide enough to stop their inexorable march northward into Europe.
They were propelled by the vision of a world order wherein tyranny was abolished and freedom of religion guaranteed.
The early Muslims considered Tawhid(meaning, a God-centered civilization) to be a Divine trust and the establishment of Divine patterns on earth, a mission.

Neither the ocean nor the desert was an insurmountable barrier in their drive to establish a just order on the globe.

Faith was the driver for centralization of power during the first centuries of Islamic rule,

just as today economics is the driver for centralization of power in the world.
Faith cements civilization, advances knowledge and brings prosperity.
Absence of faith destroys civilization, fosters ignorance and invites poverty.
When the human soul is motivated by faith, nothing in this world—not greed, nor passion nor even glory—
can detract it from the single-minded pursuit of a higher goal.
People with faith work together and create civilizations.
It is only when faith is weak that greed and passion win, co-operative struggle becomes impossible and civilization crumbles.

The Muslims had arrived on the scene with a new creed and a new mission, preaching the freedom of man and justice before the law.

The openness of the Muslims was not unknown in Spain and many of the serfs and the Jews had escaped and found a new home in Maghrib al Aqsa (Morocco).
North Africa was seething with vibrant energy. The Berber revolts had been overcome.
The Berbers were enlisting in the Muslim armies with the newfound zeal of faith.
In Damascus, Waleed I had ascended the Omayyad throne.
A skillful administrator and shrewd statesman, he had successfully crushed a rebellion in far-away Khorasan and had even outmaneuvered the Chinese emperor into a stalemate in Sinkiang.
Waleed is known in history as the Emir who gathered around himself the most capable generals of any Omayyad.
Noteworthy among these generals were Muhammed bin Qasim (the conqueror of Sindh and Multan),
Qutaiba bin Muslim (the conqueror of Sinkiang),
Musa bin Nusair and Tariq bin Ziyad (conquerors of Spain).

The Omayyad governor of the Maghrib, Musa bin Nusair, waged a constant struggle with the Visigoths
for the control of Maghrib al Aqsa (The western frontier, today’s Morocco).
One by one, the Visigoth strongholds on the Mediterranean had been captured.
Only Ceuta remained under Visigoth control and Count Julian, a Visigoth deputy, governed it.
It was customary among the Visigoth nobles to send their daughters to the royal palace so they could learn the etiquette of the court.
In accordance with this custom, Count Julian sent his daughter Florinda to the court in Toledo.
There, the profligate Rodriguez raped her. Julian was outraged and sought to take revenge on Rodriguez for this act of dishonor.
Besides, Julian’s wife was the daughter of Vietza, whose throne Rodriguez had usurped.
At this time, the area around Ceuta was governed by Tariq bin Ziyad,
a deputy of Musa bin Nusair.
Julian traveled to Kairouan to confer with Musa and ask him to invade Spain and humble Rodriguez.
The timing was right. Musa ordered Tariq to cross the straits with a contingent of troops.

Tariq Invasion

According to Ibn Khaldun, there were three hundred Arab and 10,000 Berber troops in the army of Tariq bin Ziyad.
The towering rock near which Tariq landed is called Jabl al Tariq, the mountain of Tariq ( in English Gibraltar),
and the straits separating North Africa from Spain are called the Straits of Gibraltar.
Tariq was an outstanding soldier, a brilliant general, a man of faith and determination.

He burned the boats that had brought his forces across the straits and extolled his men to march forward in the name of Tawhid or perish in the struggle.

A skirmish ensued with the local Visigoth lord, Theodore Meier, in which the latter was soundly defeated. The year was 711.

Rodriguez heard of the invasion and collecting a force of 80,000, advanced to meet the Muslim force.

Tariq called for reinforcements and received an additional contingent of 7,000 cavalrymen under the command of Tarif bin Malik Naqi .
The two armies met at the battlefield of Guadalupe.

The Muslims were fighting to establish a just political order whereas the Visigoths were fighting to protect and preserve an oppressive scheme.

The Arabs were superior in the art of mobile warfare. They were superb horsemen and had mastered the art of rapid enveloping movements
in their advance from the desert across Asia and .

The Visigoths were accustomed to fighting in static, fixed positions.
There was no contest. Even though the Muslims were outnumbered, the Visigoths were cut to pieces. Rodriguez was slain in battle.

The defeated Visigoths retreated towards Toledo, the ancient capital of Spain.

Tariq divided his troops into four regiments.

One regiment advanced towards Cordoba and subdued it.

A second regiment captured Murcia.

A third advanced north towards Saragossa.

Tariq himself moved swiftly towards Toledo.

The city surrendered without a fight. Visigoth rule in Spain came to an end.

Musa bin Nusair landed in Spain

Meanwhile, Musa bin Nusair landed in Spain with a fresh contingent of Berber troops.

His first advance was towards Seville.
The defenders closed the city gates and a long siege ensued.
The offensive capability of the Arabs, backed by military engineering and technology, was superior to the defensive capabilities of the Visigoths.
Musa had brought his Minjaniques (machines) with him, which threw heavy projectiles at the city ramparts demolishing them.
After a month, the city surrendered. The Umayyad armies now fanned out across the Spanish peninsula.

In rapid succession, Saragossa, Barcelona and Portugal fell one after another.
The Pyrenees was crossed and Lyons France was occupied. The year was 712.
Musa was ready to continue his drive into France and Italy.
But in the meantime, Caliph Waleed I fell ill in Damascus.
In the power struggle that ensued, Musa was called back to take his oath to the next Caliph Sulaiman.

Musa appointed his son Abdel Aziz as the Emir of Spain, left another son Abdallah in charge of North Africa and hastened to the Umayyad Capital.
During their conquest of Spain, the Muslims had captured an enormous amount of booty.
Musa was eager to hurry up and bring the conquered booty to Walid I so that the dying Emir would appreciate the services rendered by Musa.
Meanwhile, Sulaiman, the heir-apparent, wrote to Musa to slow down his return so that by the time the war booty arrived in Damascus,
Walid I would be dead and the booty would belong to Sulaiman.
However, Musa, out of courtesy to the dying Emir, did not oblige Sulaiman.
He arrived before Walid died. Sulaiman was very upset at losing his chance to claim the war booty.
So, when he ascended the throne, he stripped Musa of all rank, accused him of misappropriating war funds and reduced him to stark poverty.
Musa lived the rest of his life as a beggar, half blind and at the mercy of public charity.

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Default Abd al-Rahman I

Abd al-Rahman I

Born near Damascus in Syria, grandson of Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik,
Abd al Rahman was the son of the Umayyad prince Mu'awiya ibn Hisham and a Berber mother.
He was twenty when his family, the ruling Umayyads, were overthrown by a popular revolt known as the Abbasid Revolution, occurring in the year 750.

Flight from Damascus

Abd al-Rahman and a small selection of his family fled Damascus, where the center of Umayyad power had been;
people moving with him include his brother Yahiya, his four-year old son Sulayman, and some of his sisters, as well as his former Greek slave (a freedman), Bedr.
The family fled from Damascus to the River Euphrates.

All along the way the path was filled with danger,
as the Abbasids had dispatched horsemen across the region to try to find the Umayyad prince and kill him.
The Abbasids were merciless with all Umayyads that they found.
Exile years
After barely escaping with their lives, Abd al-Rahman and Bedr continued south through Palestine, the Sinai, and then into Egypt.

In 755, Abd al-Rahman and Bedr reached modern day Morocco near Ceuta.
Their next step would be to cross the sea to al-Andalus,
where Abd al-Rahman could not have been sure whether or not he would be welcomed.
Following the Berber Revolt of the 740s, the province was in a state of confusion, with the Muslim community torn by tribal dissensions
among the Arabs and racial tensions between the Arabs and Berbers.
At that moment, the nominal ruler of al-Andalus, emir Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri Among the Syrian junds were contingents of old Umayyad clients, numbering perhaps 500, and Abd al-Rahman believed he might tug on old loyalties and get them to receive him.

Bedr was dispatched across the straits to make contact.
Yemenite commanders felt they had little to lose and much to gain, and agreed to support the prince.
Bedr returned to Africa to tell Abd al-Rahman of the invitation of the Umayyad clients in al-Andulus.

Abd al-Rahman landed to the east of Málaga, in September 755.

Fight for power

Upon landing in al-Andalus, He was able to take advantage of the rivalry between the Qais and the Yaman tribes.

During his brief time in Málaga, he was able to amass local support quickly.
Waves of people made their way to Málaga to pay respect to the prince they thought was dead, including many of the aforementioned Syrians.
News of the prince's arrival spread like wildfire throughout the peninsula.
In order to help speed his ascension to power, he was prepared to take advantage of the feuds and dissensions.

However, before anything could be done, trouble broke out in northern al-Andalus.

Zaragoza, an important trade city on the Upper March of al-Andalus, made a bid for autonomy.

Al-Fihri and al-Sumayl rode north to quash the rebellion.
This might have been fortunate timing for Abd al-Rahman, since he was still getting a solid foothold in al-Andalus.

By March 756, Abd al-Rahman and his growing following of Umayyad clients and Yemenite junds, were able to take Sevilla without violence.

Battle of Musarah

Then The two contingents met on opposite sides of the River Guadalquivir,
just outside the capital of Córdoba on the plains of Musarah.

Abd al-Rahman led the charge toward al-Fihri's army.
Al-Sumayl in turn advanced his cavalry out to meet the Umayyad threat.

After a long and difficult fight "Abd ar-Rahman obtained a most complete victory, and the field was strewn with the bodies of the enemy.".

Both al-Fihri and al-Sumayl managed to escape the field (probably) with parts of the army too.

Abd al-Rahman triumphantly marched into the capital, Córdoba.
Danger was not far behind, as al-Fihri planned a counterattack.
Again Abd al-Rahman met al-Fihri with his army;
this time negotiations were successful, although the terms were somewhat changed.

Al-Fihri eventually did make another bid for power.
He quit Córdoba and quickly started gathering supporters.
While at large, al-Fihri managed to gather an army allegedly numbering to 20,000.

Abd ar-Rahman's appointed governor in Sevilla took up the chase,
and after a series of small fights, managed to defeat al-Fihri's army.
Al-Fihri himself managed to escape but later he was promptly killed.

Al-Fihri's head was sent to Córdoba, where Abd al-Rahman had it nailed to a bridge. With this act, Abd ar-Rahman proclaimed himself the emir of al-Andalus.

However, one final act to take over southern Iberia had to be performed:
al-Fihri's general, al-Sumayl, had to be dealt with, and he was garroted in Córdoba's jail.
Now most of central and northern al-Andalus (Toledo, Zaragoza, Barcelona, etc.) was out of his rule,
with large lands remaining in the hands of Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri's supporters until 779 (submission of Zaragoza).
Indeed, Abd al-Rahman only proclaimed himself as emir, and not as caliph.
This was likely because al-Andalus was a land besieged by many different loyalties,
and the proclamation of caliph would have likely caused much unrest.

In the meantime, a call went out through the Muslim world that al-Andalus
was a safe haven for friends of the house of Umayya,

Abd al-Rahman probably was quite happy to see his call answered by waves of Umayyad faithful and family.
Abd al-Rahman placed his family members in high offices across the land, as he felt he could trust them more than non-family.
The Umayyad family would again grow large and prosperous over successive generations.

However, by 763 Abd ar-Rahman had to get back to the business of war.
Al-Andalus had been invaded by an Abbasid army.

Berber revolt 763

Berber revolt led by NorthAfrican Governor with support of Abbasides:
Far away in Baghdad, the current Abbasid caliph, al-Mansur, had long been planning to depose the Umayyad who dared to call himself emir of al-Andalus.
Al-Mansur installed al-Ala ibn-Mugith (also known as al-Ala) as governor of Africa
(whose title gave him dominion over the province of al-Andalus).
It was al-Ala who headed the Abbasid army that landed in al-Andalus, .
The Abbasid contingent was vastly superior in size, said to have numbered 7,000 men.
The emir quickly made for the redoubt of Carmona with his army.
The Abbasid army laid siege to Carmona for approximately two months.

Abd al-Rahman hand-picked 700 fighters from his army and led them to Carmona's main gate.

There, he started a great fire and threw his scabbard into the flames.
Abd al-Rahman told his men that time had come to go down fighting than die of hunger.
The gate lifted and Abd ar-Rahman's men fell upon the unsuspecting Abbasids, thoroughly routing them.
Most of the Abbasid army was killed.
The heads of the main Abbasid leaders were cut off.
The heads were sent to the Abbasid caliph who was on pilgrimage at Mecca.
Upon receiving the evidence of al-Ala's defeat in al-Andalus, al-Mansur is said to have gasped,
"God be praised for placing a sea between us
!" Al-Mansur hated, and yet apparently respected Abd al-Rahman to such a degree that he dubbed him the "Hawk of Quraysh"

(The Umayyads were from a branch of the Quraysh tribe).[14]
Despite such a tremendous victory, Abd al-Rahman had to continuously put down rebellions in al-Andalus. Various Arab and Berber tribes fought each other for varying degrees of power,
some cities tried to break away and form their own state,
and even members of Abd al-Rahman's family tried to wrest power from him.

The city of Zaragoza on the Upper March remained out of reach of the Umayyad leader
since the times of Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri, bidding for autonomy in 779.

Problems in the Upper March

In 779 Abd ar-Rahman offered the job of Zaragoza's governorship to one of Sulayman's allies, a man named al-Husayn ibn Yahiya.
Within two years, however, al-Husayn broke off relations with Abd al-Rahman and announced that Zaragoza would be an independent city-state.

Once again Abd al-Rahman had to be concerned with developments in the Upper March.
He was intent on keeping this important northern border city within the Umayyad fold.
By 783 Abd al-Rahman's army advanced on Zaragoza.
Abd al-Rahman's army were thirty-six siege engines.
Zaragoza's famous white granite defensive walls were breached under a torrent of ordnance from the Umayyad lines.
Abd al-Rahman's warriors spilled into the city's streets,
quickly thwarting al-Husayn's desires for independence.

Military Mercenary Army:

Abd al-Rahman knew that one of his sons would one day inherit the rule of al-Andalus, but that it was a land torn by strife.
In order to successfully rule in such a situation, Abd al-Rahman needed to create a reliable civil service and organize a standing army.

He felt that he could not always rely on the local populace in providing a loyal army; and therefore bought a massive standing army consisting mainly of Berbers from North Africa as well as slaves from other areas.
The total number of army-men under his command were nearly 40,000.


‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Dākhil
overpowered intrigues and insurgencies very wisely.
He displayed statesmanship of a high calibre in administering the Muslim state.
He reorganised the system of law and justice.
Abd al-Rahman continued in his improvement of al-Andalus' infrastructure.
He ensured roadways were begun, aqueducts were constructed or improved,

He divided Spain into six provinces.
Each province had a governor called wali.
Later on rime minister called Hajib was also appointed.
He also reorgnized the governmental system.
He reorganised the system of law and justice.

Social, Cultural and constructions works:
He was extremely fond of knowledge and learning.
He invited celebrated scholars from all over the world and
organized specialized debates and discussions.
It was mainly due to his patronage of knowledge that
Spain eventually rose to the position of the world centre of arts and sciences.

He took keen interest in constructing magnificent mosques and beautiful buildings.

A new mosque of Córdoba:
Construction of famous Great Mosque of Córdoba was started circa the year 786.
Qartaba, the capital of the Muslim Spain, was turned into an extremely pretty metropolis.

Palace of Rusafa :

AR 1 nostalgia of his birth place is beautifully reflected in place of Rusafa,
It was his private dwelling full of gardens,like the place of his grandfather Hisham.
He raised a charming garden outside the Qartaba city.

Flower and fruit trees of a vast variety were planted in that garden.
A date-palm tree, specially imported from Syria,
was also planted to serve as a refreshing symbol of the great Arab civilization and culture.
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Default Abd al-Rahman III (912-961)

Abd al-Rahman III (912-961)

He was the greatest of the Umayyad rulers of Spain and the first to take the title of Caliph.

During his reign Islamic Spain became wealthy and prosperous.
Abd al-Rahman III, called al-Nasir or the Defender (of the Faith),
was born at Cordova on Jan. 7, 891, the son of Prince Muhammad and a Frankish slave.

Accession as emir

ʿAbd al-Raḥmān succeeded his grandfather ʿAbd Allāh as emir of Córdoba in October 912 at the age of 21.
Because of his intelligence and character he had been the obvious favourite of his grandfather,
who had designated him heir presumptive in preference to the other royal princes.
In appearance he is described as having been light-skinned, handsome, thickset, and short-legged.
He appeared to be very short when he walked but was imposing on horseback.
Public homage was paid to ʿAbd al-Raḥmān in Córdoba immediately after his accession.

State of Chaos and Fragmented Empire

He inherited an emirate on the verge of dissolution, his power extending not far beyond the vicinity of Córdoba.

Almost all the provinces and districts of emirate were in the hands of the Arab or Muwallad or Christian rebels.
To the north, the Christian Kingdom of Asturias was continuing its program of Reconquista in the Duero valley.
To the south in Ifriqiya, the Fatimids had created an independent caliphate that threatened to attract the allegiance of the Muslim population, who had suffered under the harsh rule of Abdullah.
On the internal front the discontented Muladi families (Muslims of Iberian origin)
represented a constant danger for the Córdoban emir.

Those powerful families were supported by Iberians who were openly or secretly Christians and had acted with the rebels.

These elements, which formed the bulk of the population, were not averse to supporting a strong ruler who would protect them against the Arab aristocracy.

Abd ar-Rahman moved to subdue them by means of a mercenary army that included Christians.

The Muladi rebels were the first problem he confronted.
The most powerful of the latter was Umar ibn Hafsun, who, from his impregnable fortress of Bobastro, controlled much of eastern Al-Andalus.

Consolidated the empire

From the very early stages of his reign,
Abd ar-Rahman showed a firm resolve to quash the rebels of Al-Andalus,

He consolidate centralized power and reestablish internal order within the emirate.
He led annual expeditions against the northern and southern tribes
to maintain control over them.

Ten days after his accession he had the head of the first rebel exhibited in Córdoba.

Thereafter, for a score or so of years, he led almost annual expeditions against the rebels,

first in southern and later in central and eastern Spain.

Mercenary Army recruitment:

To accomplish his aims he introduced into the court the saqalibah, slaves of East European origin.
The saqalibah represented a third ethnic group that could neutralize the endless strife between his subjects of Muslim Arab heritage, and those of Muslim Berber heritage.

war with Ibn Hafsun

Abd al-Raḥmān’s greatest enemy was a crypto-Christian rebel, ʿUmar ibn Ḥafṣūn, lord of Bobastro.
Abd al-Raḥmān’s strategy was one of continuous harassment of Ibn Ḥafṣūn’s forts.

Abd al-Raḥmān captured 70 forts in the provinces of Elvira, Granada.
all of which had been directly or indirectly controlled by Ibn Ḥafṣūn.

In 913 Sevilla (Seville) was captured, followed by Algeciras, Sidonia, and Carmona.

When Ibn Ḥafṣūn died in 917, the rebellion collapsed.
the centre of the rebellion, Bobastro, was finally stormed in 928.

In 924 province of Valencia surrendered

Later governor of Saragossa also submitted.

In 933 Toledo fell after a bitter siege, and, with its fall,
the last Muslim centre of resistance to Córdoban hegemony disappeared.

Campaigns against the Christians

Meanwhile, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān also had to check threats from the Christian north.

The main danger came from the kingdom of Leon Ordoño II
An expedition commanded by Ordoño II,into Muslim territory in the summer of 913,
he attacked Merida ravaged it with fire and sword massacre of its Muslim population,
produced widespread resentment in Muslim Spain.
Abd al-Raḥmān decided to counterattack.

He captured the forts of leon and inflicted a crushing defeat on the combined armies of Leon and Navarre at Valdejunquera on July 26, 920.

With these two campaigns, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān was able to secure his frontiers .

North Africa the policy of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān

In North Africa the policy of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān was directed against the Fāṭimids in al-Qayrawān
(now in Kairouan, Tunisia).

In order to check their control over North Africa he financed rebellions against them and sent naval expeditions to sack the coastal cities.

They wanted to conquer Mauritania that was a signal of threat to Spain so he supported its rulers against Fatimids so to make it a buffer state.

The chief of berber had defeated fatimid general and to avoid Fatimid reprisals he recognized the sovereighnty of ARIII over whole of central Maghrib.

He also win over chief of Ceauta to his side.
The city of Ceutawas fortified in 931 as a base of operations in North Africa.

Adopted title of Caliph in 929

As a result of his early successes, and probably at his own suggestion, some of his court poets urged ʿAbd al-Raḥmān to adopt the title of caliph.
He assumed that dignity in 929, shortly after the fall of Bobastro, and chose the honorific title Al-Nāṣir li-Dīn Allāh (“Victor for the Religion of God”).
His reasons were, internally, to enhance his prestige and, externally, to counter the Fāṭimid claim to this honour.


The consolidation of power brought great prosperity to Muslim Spain—

one indication of which was his building of a mint where pure gold and silver coins were struck. It also brought prosperity, and with this he created mints where pure gold and silver coins were created.

As an Administrator:

control over the affairs of state
He kept a very strict control over the affairs of state and his civil service,
changing his governors frequently to avoid the growth of local dynasties.
In 949 he executed his own son for conspiring against him.
Tolerant reign.
Christian and Jewish communities flourished during ʿAbd al-Raḥmān’s tolerant reign.
It dazzled with its civilised air and multicultural activity, with Muslims, Jews, and Mozarabs (Christians living in al-Andalus) mingling at all levels.

Development of Trade,Industry,Agriculture:

After Abd al-Rahman III became the first Spanish Caliph, the caliph had two purposes:

one was to strengthen the Peninsular kingdom, and

the other was to consolidate the commercial routes of the Mediterranean outside the country,

economic relationship with the east-Byzantium, guaranteed the supply of gold.

In 972, a Spanish city located on the Mediterranean on the north coast of Africa,
called Melilla was occupied, and later in the same century,

the Umayyad controlled the triangle formed by Algeria, Siyima, and the Atlantic.

Madinat al-Zahra

Abd-ar-Rahman was a patron of arts, especially architecture.
A third of his revenue sufficed for the ordinary expenses of government,
a third was hoarded,
a third was spent on buildings.
At vast expense he launched the construction of a luxurious pleasure palace and administrative city,Madinat al-Zahra, just outside Cordova a new royal city, to house his household and government.

Begun in 936, the construction took 40 years, and for a while the Caliph spent one-third of his annual income on it.

He occupied the palace in 945, moving most of the governmental administrative bureaus there.

Cordova itself, as the capital of Islamic Spain, became during his reign the greatest metropolis of western Europe, rivaling Constantinople.

After declaring the caliphate, he had a massive palace complex, known as the Medina Azahara, built some five kilometers north of Córdoba.

The Medina Azahara was modeled after the old Umayyad palace in Damascus and served as a symbolic tie between the new caliph and his ancestors.

He renovated and added to the Mosque of Córdoba

Abd al-Rahman III and Córdoba.

During the 10th century, al-Andalus enjoyed enormous political and cultural clout, especially under Abd al-Rahman III (ruled 912-961),
his son al-Hakam II (r 961-976), and the vizier al-Mansur, effective ruler during most of the reign of Abd al-Rahman's grandson, Hisham II (r 976-1009).

The capital, Córdoba, was a centre of learning and the largest city in Europe, attracting visitors from far and wide.

His fame spread so far beyond his domains that Córdoba by the end of his reign enjoyed almost as much fame as Constantinople in the Mediterranean world.
In Córdoba he received emissaries from such distant rulers as Otto I of Germany and the Byzantine emperor.
Córdoba was said to have contained 3,000 mosques and more than 100,000 shops and houses.
His reign, the second longest of any Muslim caliph, afforded his wise and courageous policies the fullest chance of development.

It was said that Cordoba contained

3000 mosques and
100,000 shops and homes during his reign.
Under his reign, Córdoba became the most important intellectual centre of Western Europe.
He expanded the city's library, which would be further enriched by his successors.

Iberian fleet
He also reinforced the Iberian fleet, which became the most powerful in Mediterranean Europe. Iberian raiders moved up to Galicia, Asturias, and North Africa
Due to his consolidation of power, Muslim Iberia became a power for a few centuries.

Diplomats and emissaries

Diplomats and emissaries came from far and wide:
Constantinople, the Maghreb (North West Africa) and also from the fledgling Christian kingdoms north of al-Andalus wanting to make peace with Abd al-Rahman.

In Córdoba he received emissaries from such distant rulers as Otto I of Germany and the Byzantine emperor.

Visitors brought with them expensive and exotic gifts:
gold and silver, silk, firs, rare wood, horses, slaves, rugs, tapestries to enrich already wealthy rulers.
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Default Islamic Architecture in Spain


With the establishment of Abd al-Rahman III -
“the great caliphate of Cordova” - came the golden age of Al-Andalus.
Cordova, in southern Spain, was the intellectual center of Europe.
half a million inhabitants,
living in 113,000 houses.
700 mosques and
300 public baths spread throughout the city and its twenty-one suburbs.
The streets were paved and lit.” (Burke, 1985, p. 38)
“The houses had marble balconies for summer and
hot-air ducts under the mosaic floors for the winter.
adorned with gardens with artificial fountains and orchards”.

Knowledge and Education Progress
“Paper, a material still unknown to the west, was everywhere.
There were bookshops and
more than 70 seventy big libraries.”
During the end of the first millennium,
Cordova was the intellectual well from which European humanity came to drink.
Students from France and England traveled there to learn philosophy, science and medicine .
In the great library of Cordova alone, there were some 600,000 manuscripts .
With its 113,000 houses, 21 suburbs, seventy big libraries and numerous colleges,
mosques, palaces, parks and gardens it had acquired international reputation.
With its well-illuminated streets, Cordova provided a striking contrast to the European cities and according to John William Draper,

Whenever the Christian rulers of European States needed an artist,
physician or technical hand, they applied to the Cordova Government.
"The fame of the Muslim Capital penetrated as far as the distant Germany
where a Saxon nun (Hrosvitha) styled it as 'The Jewel of the World'.'
The great social and cultural progress of Cordova inspired awe and admiration in the hearts of European travellers"
When the student of the University of Oxford abhorred baths as custom the Moors enjoyed baths in luxurious establishments.

The Grand Mosque of Cordova:

Most important monument of muslim rule:
Begun by Abdur Rehman 1 in 786.
Completed by his son hisham 1 793.
Further enlarged by their successors.

Area 620ft by 440 ft.

Enclosed by high buttressed wall pierced by 21 horseshoe archways.

Courtyard on north
Prayer chamber on south.
The building is most notable for its arcaded

Hypostyle hall,

Ceilings of carved wood painted colourfully.
with 1293 columns of marble, and granite.
Dome like a China Bowl.
Octagonal Mahrab decorated with Mosaic decoration.
Pulpit (standing point)of 3600 pieces of ivory and timbers,precious stones,gold nail.
The walls with Quranic inscriptions written on them.

Combined assimilated

Coloumns of Roman
Capitals of African.
Arches of Syrian desighns.
Mosaic of Byzantine

Abd-er-Rahman III added a new tower.

The minaret is 27 by 108 ft high four-faced,
with fourteen windows,
During his rule 10000 lamps lighted.
having arches upon jasper columns,
and the structure is adorned with tracery
The minaret contained two staircases,
which were built for the separate ascent and descent of the tower.

On the summit there were three apples,
two of gold and one of silver, with lilies of six petals.
Roof of Cordova mosque was made of silver plates.
300 servants looked after

The double arches were a new introduction to architecture, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns.

The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.

The famous alternating red and white voussoirs of the arches were inspired by those in the Dome of the Rock.
A centrally located honey-combed dome has blue tiles decorated with stars.
The edifice also has a richly gilded prayer niche or mihrab.
The mihrab is a masterpiece of architectural art, with geometric and flowing designs of plants.

Other prominent features were:

an open court (sahn)
tile work, calligraphy and architectural forms.
Marbles of spotless white were chosen for the columns.

Alcazar (Seville)
Built by Muwahhidin ruler
Noteworthy for its profuse and graceful decoration.
Ambassador Hall
Maidens courtyard are most beautiful parts of palace.

Zahra Palace

(Cordova) four miles Built BY (ARIII)
It was built in memory of beloved queen zahraPalace
Mansions & terraces.
Area 100 acres
City wall 1500 gates.
Took 25 years to complete.
Cost 300000 Dirhams ARIII
Wild trees of surroundings replaced by fruit & flower plants
Marble pillars
Octagonal roof Golden tiles.
Throne room was of gold & silver.
In middle decorated pool Shone brightly.
Golden pictures of birds and animals embellished the palace.

Al Hamra(Granada)

Nasirid palace:Built by nasirid ruler Muhammad I (1232-72)
Build on Red Hilly terrace natural surrounding.
Enlarged and beautified by successors
Multicoloured Walls of hall richly decorated.
Most beautiful part
Court of lions(plaster walls)
Look like carpets
Capital of coloumns embellished with ornaments.
Floor with many coloured tiles.
Its colour changed according to son position.
12 marbel Lions in circle supporting fountain in center of the court.
Pouring water through their mouth.
Ceiling depictsscenes of cavalry & hunting painted.
Two sisters hall of two marble slabs.
Finest rooms facing landscape of Sierra Nevada & Surroundings.

Giralda (Seville)

Massive Giralda tower of Seville
43ft square by 300 ft height.
Instead of stairs ramps were there.
7ft thick walls pierced by windows and capitals.
Built by abu Yaqub Yusuf(1172-1195)
Used as observatory for astronomers and minaret for the Mosque.
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Default Economic Progress in Spain During Muslim Rule

Economic Progress in Spain During Muslim Rule

After the Muslims took over al-Andalusia, the economy slowly began to patch up, because Better agriculture produced a healthier, higher population.

This in return allowed the government to lower tax rates, and this encouraged urban growth and more industries.
The economy of the caliphate was diverse and successful, with trade predominating.

Muslim trade routes connected al-Andalus with the outside world via the Mediterranean.

The Arabs introduced crops such as rice, watermelon, banana, eggplant and hard wheat.

Spain's Trade Hub

As it emerged as a meeting place of east West
Gold from Sudan
Negro slaves from Senegal to chad
Gum ,silk ,Textiles,carpets,spices from East
Christian saqliba slave trade

Jews played middle man role.

Spain's Industry:

Industries revitalized during the caliphate included
textiles, metals,
silk, ivory carving,
paper and book making,
woolens ceramics, glassware, metalwork, and
dying with dyes imported from as far away as India.

Industrial techniques borrowed from Egypt,Iraq ,Persia Chineese,Byzatine passed on to Europe.

Paper industry was established by muslims first time in Europe

Textile industry (Loom houses cottage industry)
Almeria (800 waorkshops) and
Malaga of Persian and Egypt origin.

Glass factories from china origin were established
(Glass lamps,jars,bowls,rose water sprinklers produced)

Pottery and Ceramics
with Kufic inscriptions,animals figures,plants painted tiles,marbels.
Special Muslim spain golden pottery and lustre ceramics at Toledo.

Leather work
Saragossa famous jackets ,
shoemaking ,
belts,shields of Cordova.


Candle clock indicated and moved by counter weight regulated by candle.
Palace of hours with windows arranged for sun shone at different times.
Mercury Clock
Water Clock

Flour Mills were established.

Muhtasibs market inspectors were appointed to regulate prices and fair trade practices.

Spain's agriculture

Arab Green Revolution

“Irrigation systems imported from Syria and Muslimia turned the dry plains... into an agricultural cornucopia. Olives and wheat had always grown there.

The Muslims added pomegranates, oranges, lemons, aubergines, artichokes, cumin, coriander, bananas, almonds, pams, henna, woad, madder, saffron,
sugar-cane, cotton, rice, figs, grapes, peaches, apricots and rice.” (Burke, 1985, p. 37)

Spain's agriculture especially flourished, from such new crops as rice,
hard wheat for pasta (which required less water and stored better as a result),

sorghum, sugar cane, cotton, oranges, lemons, limes, bananas,eggplant, pomegranates, figs, watermelon, spinach, and artichokes.

Making this "green revolution" possible were extensive irrigation and waterwheel systems copied from Syrian models,
the largest being around Valencia.

Fields were irrigated with water wheels Noriah.

Horzontal and vertical wheels water uplifting machines were installed.
There were reportedly 5000 waterwheels along the Guadalquivir River alone by 1200.

Better agriculture produced a healthier and more numerous population, which allowed the government to lower tax rates,
which in turn promoted more innovation, thus creating even better agriculture, and so on.

This, of course, allowed and encouraged urban growth and more industries,


Figs, which were a Byzantine monopoly, supposedly reached Spain by smuggling seeds wrapped in a book past the customs agents.

Harvesting figs provided a greater diversity of fruits for consumers.
Malaga (a city in Spain) was one of the most important centers for growing figs.
The city is surrounded on all sides by fig trees.
These figs were exported by Muslims and Christians and were sold in Baghdad as well as India and China.

The fig was valued for it’s taste as well as the ability to preserve for a full year.

Ibn Bassal (fl. 1038-1075 CE)

He was an original scientist and engineer who lived in Toledo and wrote about agriculture.

He described different types of soil and divided land into 10 kinds according to production capacity.

stated how often each should be plowed and irrigated to get the best yields.

He described how to best engineer hydraulic systems made up of wells, ditches, and pumps.

Irrigation systems were studied and policies were set down,
determining exactly when each crop was irrigated,
how stored reservoir and rainwater was used,
and how water use by farmers and city dwellers was managed.
As an example of how effective these systems were, the “Tribunal of the Waters” in Valencia is a group of officials

Rabi bin zayd compiled a calendar which contained information about agricultural conditions month wise.

One indication of Moorish Spain's prosperity at this time was government revenue, which reached 6,500,000 gold dinars a year.
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Default Al-Hajib Al-Mansur (938 – 1002),

Al-Hajib Al-Mansur (938 – 1002),

was the de facto ruler of Muslim Iberia (al-Andalus) in the late 10th to early 11th centuries.
His rule marked the peak of power for al-Andalus.

Early Life

Almanzor was born Muhammad ibn Abi Aamir, into a noble Arab family from the area of Yemen.
He arrived at the Court of Córdoba as a student studying law and literature.
He subsequently became manager of the estates of Prince Hisham II.
He was elevated to the post of city police chief of Cordova and later on became the chief justice.

In a few years Almanzor had worked his way from this humble position to considerable heights of influence, eliminating his political rivals in the process.

Caliph al-Hakam II died in 976 and Ibn Abi Amir was instrumental in securing the succession of the young Hisham II, aged twelve, to the throne.
Almanzor exercised strong influence over Subh, the mother and regent of the young Hisham II.

On death of Hakam II He took advantage of situation and supported 12 years old Hisham II for succession.

When top eunuchs courtiers were divided over making him as their ruler.
Two years later he became hajib (a title similar to that of vizier in the Muslim East).

During the following three years Almanzor consolidated his power with the building of a new palace on the outskirts of Córdoba, al-Madina az-Zahira,

while at the same time completely isolating the young Caliph, who became a virtual prisoner in Medina Azahara.

Following al-Hakam's death,Almanzor had al-Hakam's library of "ancient science" books destroyed.

His efforts to win hearts of Theologians:

He wrote the text of Holy Quran with his hands to paortray himself as the bastion of islam.
It was an attempt to obliterate and mitigate tha hatred garnished by faqihs of his time against him.
He ordered to burn the books on philosophies and sciences which were pointed out by Faqihs.
This helped him again favours of some hardliners theologians of his time.

Millitary Campaigns

In 981, upon his return to Córdoba from the Battle of Torrevicente, in which he crushed his last remaining rival (and father-in-law), Ghalib al-Nasiri,
he assumed the title of al-Mansur bi-llah, [the] Victorious by God. In
Christian Spain he was referred to as Almanzor.

He captured fortress of Alhama in Leon in 981AD

Almanzor's hold on power within al-Andalus was now absolute.
Almanzor dedicated himself to annual military invasions of the Christian states of the peninsula.

He organized and took part in 57 campaigns, and was victorious in all of them.

Although Almanzor mainly fought against León and the Castile, Navarre
he also sacked Barcelona in 985, Leon in 988 and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in 997,

These endless campaigns against the Christians served as a constant demonstration of the greatness of Islam and undoubtedly appealed to the religious leaders in Córdoba;they also helped unite the disparate Muslim population.

They were also a practical source of booty and served as an important incentive, especially to the mercenaries, with promises of wealth, slaves, livestock etc.

Significantly there was no attempt to establish Muslim garrisons.

Almanzor also waged several campaigns against the Kingdom of Navarra, including his longest, in which he defeated a Castilian army at the Battle of Cervera.

Sacking of Santiago:

It was regarded as holiest city of Christians.
No other ruler had dared to invade it.
Al Mansur razed the city and brought all churches to the ground.

Military Reforms

In order to improve the efficiency of his forces for the razzias, al-Mansur reorganised his armies in 991, and eliminated regiments made up of tribal groups.As this kind of organization had lost its utilityAs they were more under the control of their chiefs not ruler.

He also recruited mercenaries, especially Berbers from the Maghreb --and even Christian soldiers-- to provide the manpower that the raids required.
He organized his army of approximately 600000 men.

His army consisted of two divisions Regular and Volunteers.

Madinatul AZ ZAHIRA:
It was a magnificent city buit by him on the banks of river Guadlaquivis.
He constructed a huge palace for himself which remains to be a worth seeing site.
He also built a bridge on this river.

Revolt Berber Ziri:

Regent Subh mother of HishamII wanted to set hi son free from clutches of Al mansur.

She hired Berber chief Ziri and offered him heavy amount to cast away Al Mansur.

Himself a devout Muslim, al-Mansur always carried a copy of the Koran with him,
He married Abda, daughter of Sancho Garcés king of Navarra, who bore him a son by the name of Abd al-Rahman. He was commonly known as Sanchuelo (Little Sancho, in Arabic: Shanjoul).

Adminstration:Before him law and order situation had worsened horribly,Looting and killing people all around.
He ordered his police to deal with culpirits with heavy hand the wrong doers were severly punished. Even his own son who had violated the law was beaten with so many lashes that he had died a few days later.
Law and order situation improved so much that people of Cordova could sleep at night without fear.

Al Mansur held Responible for fall of Cordova:

He created an unprecedent example in system of succession of Umayyads.

Though he expanded boundaries of empire but did not attempt to consolidate them under one central authority.

His ignorance towards the policy of recolonization.
Lack of will, far sightedness ,strategic plans to settle muslim colonies in newly conquered areas caused fall of Cordova.
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Default Science in al-andalus


Spain first prospered under the rule of the Umayyads, who established a dynasty there after they had lost the caliphate in the East to the Abbasids.

At first, the culture of the Umayyad court at Córdoba was wholly derivative.
Fashions, both in literature and dress, were imitiative of those current in the Abbasids’ newly founded capital of Baghdad.

Scholars from the more sophisticated lands to the east were always assured of a warm reception at the court of Córdoba,

where their colleagues would listen avidly for news of what was being discussed in the capital,

what people were wearing, what songs were being sung, and -- above all -- what books were being read.
Islamic culture was pre-eminently a culture of the book.

The introduction of paper

The introduction of paper from China in 751 gave an impetus to learning and an excitement about ideas which the world had never before known.
Books became more available than they had been even in Rome, and incomparably cheaper than they were in the Latin West,
where they continued to be written on expensive parchment.

In the 12th century, a man sold 120 acres of land in order to buy a single Book of Hours.

In the ninth century, the library of the monastery of St. Gall was the largest in Europe, boasting 36 volumes.
At the same time, that of Córdoba contained 500,000.

The cultural lag between East and West in the Middle Ages can be attributed partly to the fact that the Arabs had paper, while the Latin West did not.
It took much more than paper to create an intellectual and scientific culture like that of Islamic Spain, of course.

Islam, with its tolerance and encouragement of both secular and religious learning, created the necessary climate for the exchange of ideas.

The court of Córdoba, like that of Baghdad, was open to Muslims, Jews and Christians alike, and one prominent bishop complained that young Christian men were devoting themselves to the study of Arabic, rather than Latin –
a reflection of the fact that Arabic, in a surprisingly short time, had become the international language of science, as English has today.

Abd al-Rahman II of Córdoba

Islamic culture in Spain began to flourish in earnest during the reign of ‘Abd al-Rahman II of Córdoba,
as Arabic spread increasingly among his non-Muslim subjects, especially in the cities, leading to a great flowering of intellectual activity of all kinds.
In a courtly society, the tastes and predilections of the ruler set the tone for society at large, and

Abd al-Rahman II, passionately interested in both the religious and the secular sciences,
was determined to show the world that his court was in no way inferior to the court of the caliphs at Baghdad.
To this end, therefore, he actively recruited scholars by offering handsome inducements to overcome their initial reluctance to live in what many in the lands of the East considered the provinces.

As a result, many scholars, poets, philosophers, historians and musicians migrated to Al-Andalus, and established the basis of the intellectual tradition and educational system, which made Spain so outstanding for the next 400 years.

Another result was that an infrastructure of public and private libraries, mosques, hospitals and research institutionsrapidly grew up and famous scholars in the East, hearing of these amenities, flocked to the West.

They in turn attracted students of their own; in the Islamic world it was not at all unusual for a student to travel thousands of miles to study at the feet of a famous professor.

Abbas ibn Firnas

One of the earliest of these scholars was ‘Abbas ibn Firnas, who died in the year 888 and who,
had he lived in the Florence of the Medici, would have been a “Renaissance man.”

He came to Córdoba to teach music, then a branch of mathematical theory, but—not a man to limit himself to a single field of study --
soon became interested in the mechanics of flight.

He constructed a pair of wings, made out of feathers in a wooden frame, and attempted to fly -- anticipating Leonardo da Vinci by some 600 years.

Luckily, ‘Abbas survived, and, undiscouraged, turned his mind to the construction of a planetarium in which the planets actually revolved --
it would be extremely interesting to know the details of the gearing mechanism. It also simulated such celestial phenomena as thunder and lightning and was, of course, a wild success. Next ‘Abbas turned to the mathematical problems involved in the regularity of the facets of certain crystals and evolved a formula for manufacturing artificial crystals.

It must be remembered that a knowledge of the achievements of men like ‘Abbas has come to us purely by chance.

It has been estimated that today there are 250,000 Arabic manuscripts in western and eastern libraries, including private collections.

Yet in the 10th century, private libraries existed which contained as many as 500,000 books.

Literally millions of books must have perished, and with them the achievements of a great many scholars and scientists whose books, had they survived, might have changed the course of history. As it is, even now, only a tiny proportion of existing Arabic scientific texts has been studied,
and it will take years to form a more exact idea of the contributions of Muslim scientists to the history of ideas.

One of the fields most assiduously cultivated in Spain was natural science.

Although Andalusian scholars did not make contributions as fundamental as those made by their colleagues in the East,
those that they did make had more effect on the later development of science and technology, for it was through Spain and the scholars of Al-Andalus that these ideas reached the West.

No school of translators comparable to the House of Wisdom of al-Ma’mun existed in Spain,
and Andalusian scholars seem not to have interested themselves in the natural sciences until the translations of the House of Wisdom reached them.

Interest in mathematics, astronomy, and medicine was always lively, however, because of their obvious utility --

Mathematics for commercial purposes, computation of the rather complicated Islamic laws of inheritance, and as a basis for measuring distances.

Astronomy was useful for determining the times of prayer and adjusting the calendar, and the study of medicine needed no apology.

The introduction of the new Aristotelian ideas, however, even in Arab dress, aroused a certain amount of suspicion in the conservative West,
and it was some time before public opinion would accept that Aristotelian logic did not conflict with the revelation of Islam.

Part of the suspicion with which certain of the ideas emanating from the scholars of the Abbasid court were viewed was due to an inadequate distinction between sciences and pseudo-sciences. This was a distinction which the Muslims made at a much earlier date than western scholars, who, even during the Renaissance, tended to confound astronomy with astrology, chemistry with alchemy. Ibn Hazm, a leading Andalusian scholar of the 11th century and staunchly conservative, was very outspoken on this point. People who advocated the efficacy of talismans, magic, alchemy, and astrology he calls shameless liars. This rational approach did much to make Islam preeminent in the natural sciences.

The study of mathematics and astronomy went hand in hand.

Al-Khwarizmi’s famous book entitled The Calculation of Integration and Equation reached Al-Andalus at an early date, and became the foundation of much later speculation. In it, Al-Khwarizmi dealt with equations, algebraic multiplication and division, measurement of surfaces and other questions. Al-Khwarizmi was the first to introduce the use of what he called “Indian” and we call “Arabic” numerals. The exact method of transmission of these numerals—and the place-value idea which they embodied—is not known, but the symbols used to represent the numbers had slightly different forms in eastern and western Islam, and the forms of our numerals are derived from those used in Al-Andalus. The work of al-Khwarizmi, which now only survives in a 12th-century Latin translation made in Spain, together with a translation of Euclid’s Elements, became the two foundations of subsequent mathematical developments in Al-Andalus.

The first original mathematician and astronomer of Al-Andalus was the 10th century’s Maslama al-Majriti.

He had been preceded by competent scientists—men like Ibn Abi ‘Ubaida of Valencia, who in the ninth century was a leading astronomer, and the emigré from Baghdad, Ibn Taimiyyah, who was both a well-known physician and an astronomer—but al-Majriti was in a class by himself. He wrote a number of works on mathematics and astronomy, studied and elaborated the Arabic translation of Ptolemy’s Almagest and enlarged and corrected the astronomical tables of al-Khwarizmi himself. He compiled conversion tables, in which the dates of the Persian calendar were related to hijridates, so that for the first time the events of Persia’s past could be dated with precision.

Al-Zarqali, known to the Latin West as Arzachel, was another leading mathematician and astronomer who flourished in Córdoba in the 11th century.

He combined theoretical knowledge with technical skills, and excelled at the construction of precision instruments for astronomical use.
He built a waterclock capable of determining the hours of the day and night and indicating the days of the lunar month.
He contributed to the compilation of the famous Toledan Tables, a highly accurate compilation of astronomical data.

His Book of Tables, written in the form of an almanac (almanac is an Arabic word meaning “climate,” originally indicating the stations of the moon)
contains tables which allow one to find on what day the Coptic, Roman, lunar and Persian months begin; others give the position of the various planets at any given time;

still others allow prediction of solar and lunar eclipses.

He also compiled valuable tables of latitude and longitude; many of his works were translated, both into Spanish and into Latin.

Still another luminary was al-Bitruji (the Latin scholars of the Middle Ages called him Alpetragius), who developed a new theory of stellar movement and wrote the Book of Form in which it is detailed.


But the Muslim science par excellence was the study of medicine.
Interest in medicine goes back to the very earliest times.
The Prophet himself stated that there was a remedy for every illness, and was aware that some diseases were contagious.

The great contribution of the Arabs was to put the study of medicine on a scientific footing and eliminate superstition and harmful folk-practices.

Medicine was considered a highly technical calling, and one which required long study and training.

Elaborate codes were formulated to regulate the professional conduct of doctors.
It was not enough to have a mastery of one’s subject in order to practice medicine.
Certain moral qualities were mandatory.

Ibn Hazm said that a doctor should be kind, understanding, friendly, good, able to endure insults and adverse criticism;
he must keep his hair short, and his fingernails as well; he must wear clean, white clothes and behave with dignity.

Before doctors could practice, they had to pass an examination,
and if they passed they had to take the Hippocratic oath, which, if neglected, could lead to dismissal.

Hospitals were similarly organized.

The large one built in Córdoba was provided with running water and baths,
and had different sections for the treatment of various diseases, each of which was headed by a specialist.

Hospitals were required to be open 24 hours a day to handle emergency cases, and could not turn any patient away.

Muslim physicians made many important additions to the body of medical knowledge which they inherited from the Greeks.

Ibn al-Nafis, for example, discovered the lesser circulation of the blood hundreds of years before Harvey, and ideas of quarantine sprang from an empirical notion of contagion.

Another example is Ibn Juljul, who was born in Córdoba in 943, became a leading physician by the age of 24 and compiled a commentary on the De Materia Medica of Dioscorides and a special treatise on drugs found in Al-Andalus.

In his Categories of Physicians, composed at the request of one of the Umayyad princes, he also presents a history of the medical profession from the time of Aesculapius to his own day.

During the 10th century, Al-Andalus produced a large number of excellent physicians.

Several went to Baghdad, where they studied Greek medical works under the famous translators Thabit ibn Qurra and Thabit ibn Sinan.

On their return, they were lodged in the government palace complex at Madinat al-Zahra. One of these men, Ahmad ibn Harran, was placed in charge of a dispensary which provided free medical care and food to poor patients.

Ibn Shuhaid, also known as a popular doctor, wrote a fundamental work on the use of drugs.

He -- like many of his contemporaries -- recommended drugs only if the patient did not respond to dietary treatment,
and said that if they must be used, simple drugs should be employed in all cases but the most serious.

Al-Zahrawi, who died in 1013, was the most famous surgeon of the Middle Ages.
He was court physician of al-Hakam II, and his great work, the Tasrif, was translated into Latin by Gerard of Cremona and
became a leading medical text in European universities in the later Middle Ages.
The section on surgery contains a number of illustrations of surgical instruments of elegant, functional design and great precision.
It describes lithotrites, amputations, ophthalmic and dental surgery and the treatment of wounds and fractures.

Ibn Zuhr, known as Avenzoar, who died in 1162, was born in Seville and earned a great reputation throughout North Africa and Spain.
He described abscesses and mediastinal tumors for the first time, and made original experiments in therapeutics.
One of his works, the Taysir, was translated into Latin in 1280 and became a standard work.
The last of the great Andalusian physicians was Ibn al-Khatib, who was also a noted historian, poet, and statesman.
Among his other works, he wrote an important work on the theory of contagion:
“The fact of infection becomes clear to the investigator who notices how he who establishes contact with the afflicted gets the disease,
whereas he who is not in contact remains safe, and how transmitting is effected through garments, vessels, and earrings.”

Ibn al-Khatib was the last representative of the Andalusian medical tradition.
Soon after his death, the energies of the Muslims of Al-Andalus were wholly absorbed in the long, costly struggle against the Christian reconquista.


An outgrowth of the interest in medicine was the study of botany.
The most famous Andalusian botanist was Ibn Baitar, who wrote a famous book called Collection of Simple Drugs and Food.
It is an alphabetically arranged compendium of medicinal plants of all sorts, most of which were native to Spain and North Africa,
which he had spent a lifetime gathering.
Where possible, he gives the Berber, Arabic, and sometimes Romance names of the plant, so that for linguists his work is of special interest.
In each article, he gives information about the preparation of the drug and its administration, purpose and dosage.


Another field that interested the scholars of Al-Andalus was geography,
and many of the finest Muslim works in this field were produced there.
Economic and political considerations played some part in the development of this field of study,but it was above all their all-consuming curiosity about the world and its inhabitants that motivated the scholars
who devoted themselves to the description of the earth and its inhabitants.
The first steps had been taken in the East, when “books of routes,” as they were called, were compiled for the use of the postmasters of the early Abbasid caliphs.

Soon, reports on faraway lands, their commercial products and major physical features were compiled for the information of the caliph and his ministers.

Advances in astronomy and mathematics made the plotting of this information on maps feasible, and soon cartography became an important discipline in its own right.

Al-Khwarizmi, who did so much to advance the science of mathematics, was also one of the earliest scientific descriptive geographers.
Basing his work on information made available through the Arabic translation of Ptolemy,
al-Khwarizmi wrote a book called The Form of the Earth, which included maps of the heavens and of the earth.

In Al-Andalus, this work was carried forward by Ibn Muhammad al-Razi, who died in 936,
and who wrote a basic geography of Al-Andalus for administrative purposes.

Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Warraq, a contemporary of al-Razi, wrote a similar work describing the topography of North Africa.

The wide-ranging commercial relations of Al-Andalus allowed the collection,
from returning merchants, of a great deal of detailed information about regions as far north as the Baltic.

Ibrahim ibn Ya‘qub, for example, who traveled widely in Europe and the Balkans in the late ninth century -- he must have been a brave man indeed -- left itineraries of his travels.

Two men who wrote in the 11th century collected much of the information assembled by their predecessors and put it into convenient form. One of them, al-Bakri, is particularly interesting.


Born in Saltes in 1014, al-Bakri was the son of the governor of the province of Huelva and Saltes.
Al-Bakri himself was an important minister at the court in Seville and undertook several diplomatic missions.
An accomplished scholar as well as litérateur, he wrote works on history, botany and geography as well as poetry and literary essays.
One of his two important geographical works is devoted to the geography of the Arabian Peninsula, with particular attention to the elucidation of its place names.
It is arranged alphabetically, and lists the names of villages, towns, wadis and monuments which he culled from the hadithand histories.
His other major work has not survived in its entirety, but it was an encyclopedic treatment of the entire world.

Al-Bakri arranged his material by country -- preceding each entry by a short historical introduction –
and describes the people, customs, climate, geographical features and the major cities, with anecdotes about them.
He says of the inhabitants of Galicia, for example: “They are treacherous, dirty and bathe once or twice a year, even then with cold water;
they never wash their clothes until they are worn out because they claim that the dirt accumulated as the result of their sweat softens their body.”


Perhaps the most famous geographer of the time was al-Idrisi, “the Strabo of the Arabs.”
Born in 1100 and educated in Córdoba, al-Idrisi traveled widely, visiting Spain, North Africa and Anatolia, until he eventually settled in Sicily.
There he was employed by the Norman king Roger ii to write a systematic geography of the world, which is still extant, and is usually known as The Book of Roger.

In it, al-Idrisi describes the world systematically, following the Greek division of it into seven “climes,” each divided into 10 sections.
Each of the climes is mapped—and the maps are highly accurate for the time in which they were compiled.
He gives the distances between major cities and describes the customs, people, products and climate of the entire known world.
He even records the voyage of a Moroccan navigator who was blown off course in the Atlantic, sailed for 30 days, and returned to tell of a fertile land to the west inhabited by naked savages.

The information contained in The Book of Roger was engraved on a silver planisphere, which was one of the wonders of the age.

History and Travelers

Al-Andalus also produced the authors of two of the most interesting travel books ever written. Each exists in good English translation.

The first is by Ibn Jubair, secretary to the governor of Granada who, in 1183, made the Hajj, and wrote a book about his journey, called simply Travels.
The book is in the form of a diary, and gives a detailed account of the eastern Mediterranean world at the height of the Crusades.
It is written in clear, elegant style, and is filled with the perceptive, intelligent comments of a tolerant -- and often witty -- man.

Ibn Battuta

The most famous of all the Andalusian travelers was Ibn Battuta --
the greatest tourist of his age, and perhaps of any.
He went to North Africa, Syria, Makkah, Medina and Iraq.
He went to Yemen, sailed down the Nile, the Red Sea, Asia Minor, and the Black Sea.
He went to the Crimea and to Constantinople. He went to Afghanistan, India and China.

He died in Granada at the age of 73.

It is impossible to do justice to all the scholars of Al-Andalus who devoted themselves to the study of history and linguistic sciences.
These were the prime “social sciences” cultivated by the Arabs, and both were brought to a high level of art in Al-Andalus.
For example, Ibn al-Khatib, whose theory of contagious diseases we have touched on already, was the author of the finest history of Granada that has come down to us.

Ibn al-Khatib was born in 1313, near Granada, and followed the traditional educational curriculum of his time --
he studied grammar, poetry, natural sciences and Islamic law, as well, of course, as the Qur’an.
His father, an important official, was killed by the Christians in 1340.
The ruler of Granada invited the son to occupy the post of secretary in the department of correspondence.
He soon became the confidant of the ruler and gained a position of great power.

Despite his busy political career, Ibn al-Khatib found time to write more than
50 books on travel, medicine, poetry, music, history, politics and theology.
The achievements of Ibn al-Khatib were rivaled only by those of his near contemporary Ibn Khaldun,

Ibn Khaldun

the first historian to seek to develop and explicate the general laws which govern the rise and decline of civilizations.
His huge, seven-volume history is entitledThe Book of Examples and Collection from Early and Later Information Concerning the Days of Arabs, Non-Arabs and Berbers.
The first volume, entitled Introduction, gives a profound and detailed analysis of Islamic society and indeed of human society in general,
for he constantly refers to other cultures for comparative purposes.

He gives a sophisticated analysis of how human society evolved from nomadism to urban centers,
and how and why these urban centers decay and finally succumb to less developed invaders.
Many of the profoundly disturbing questions raised by Ibn Khaldun have still not received the attention they should from all thinking people.
Certainly, anyone interested in the problems of the rise and fall of civilizations, the decay of cities,
or the complex relationship between technologically advanced societies and traditional ones should read Ibn Khaldun’s Introduction.


Another great area of Andalusian intellectual activity was philosophy,
but it is impossible to do more than glance at this difficult and specialized study.
From the ninth century, Andalusian scholars, like those in Baghdad,
had to deal with the theological problems posed by the introduction of Greek philosophy into a context of Islam.

How could reason be reconciled with revelation? This was the central question.

Ibn Hazm was one of the first to deal with this problem.
He supported certain Aristotelian concepts with enthusiasm and rejected others.
For example, he wrote a large and detailed commentary on Aristotle’s Posterior Analects, that abstruse work on logic.
Interestingly, Ibn Hazm appears to have had no trouble relating logic to Islam --
in fact, he gives illustrative examples of how it can be used in solving legal problems, drawn from the body of Islamic law.
Nothing better illustrates the ability of Islam to assimilate foreign ideas and acclimatize them than Ibn Hazm’s words in the introduction to his work:
“Let it be known that he who reads this book of ours will find that the usefulness of this kind of work is not limited to one single discipline but includes the Qur’an, hadith and legal decisions concerning what is permissible and what is not, and what is obligatory and what is lawful.”

Ibn Hazm considered logic a useful tool, and philosophy to be in harmony, or at least not in conflict, with revelation.
He has been described as “one of the giants of the intellectual history of Islam,
” but it is difficult to form a considered judgment of a man who wrote more than 400 books, most of which have perished or still remain in manuscript.

Ibn Bajjah, whom western scholastic theologians called Avempace, was another great Andalusian philosopher.

But it was Averroës -- Ibn Rushd -- who earned the greatest reputation.
He was an ardent Aristotelian, and his works had a lasting effect, in their Latin translation, on the development of European philosophy.

Islamic technological innovations also played their part in the legacy that Al-Andalus left to Medieval Europe.

Paper has been mentioned, but there were others of great importance --
the windmill, new techniques of working metal, making ceramics, building, weaving and agriculture.

The people of Al-Andalus had a passion for gardens, combining their love of beauty with their interest in medicinal plants.

Two important treatises on agriculture -- one of which was partially translated into Romance in the Middle Ages, were written in Al-Andalus.

Ibn al-‘Awwam, the author of one of these treatises, lists 584 species of plants and gives precise instructions regarding their cultivation and use.
He writes, for example, of how to graft trees, make hybrids, stop blights and insect pests, and how to make floral essences and perfumes.

This area of technological achievement has not yet been examined in detail,
but it had as profound an influence on Medieval European material culture as the Muslim commentators on Aristotle had on Medieval European intellectuals.

For these were the arts of civilization, the arts that make life a pleasure rather than a burden, and without which philosophical speculation is an arid exercise.
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Default Abd Rahman II

Abd Rahman II

(822 - 852)

It was a period of prosperity which muslim spain had not enjoyed before,But it was also a period when Christians began to challenge the rule of the Muslims.

Revolt of his grand uncle::his uncle resided at tangier in Africa. When he ascended throne he invaded his kingdom and he hoped that his sons who were in service of the Emir and held high posts would support his revolt but they didn’t. having failed in revolt against Emir fled to Valencia but then on advice of his sons took oath of allegiance at Emirs hand and Emir appointed him governor of Murcia.

Norman Invasion in 844: They were pagans or non Christians who dwelt in Scandinavia in the north Europe.
They were seafaring and piratical people.They first appeared on the coast of Lisbon and attacked cadiz plundered then Seville and medonia Sedonia through river of Guadalquivir.
The Emir sent an army against them which drove them out.later a shipyard was set up in Seville and other coastal town were foritified with watch towers to put end to the menace of the Norman invaders.

Revolt in Merida: Christian majority in the town of Merida revolted on the question of taxes in 822.The Frankish king Charlemagne incited the Christians.Finally revolt was crushed and 700 miscreant killed.

Revolt in Toledo:Revolt led by a blacksmith a Neo Muslim Hashim supported by Frankish ruler .ARII himself led a an army against rebels.After a fierce battle rebels were defeated and Hashim killed.

Taking of leon 845: The mountainous region in the north of peninsula was always in a state of perpetual warfare with Muslim spain.
Leon was the capital of the kingdom of the christians in the north Its king Alfonso II had attacked Medinat Salim in Aragon following him other Christians also started attacking raiding and plundering muslim lands.
A strong force was sent to leon was then attacked and captured .a heavy fine was imposed on its Christian ruler.

Arabicized Christians:More than a century had passed since muslim conquest of Spain .Islam and Arabic culture and language had deeply influenced the Spanish Christians.Most of them adopted Arab dress manners,.They were known as Mozarabs though Strongly opposed by fanatical elements of Christians.

Balsphemy during his reign:

Christian fanatics publicly denounced Holy prophet as false prophet and raged the Muslims of Cordova it was a deliberate violation of law.
Fanatics were duly punished with death.

Four favourites:

He was dominated by a theologian,a musician,a woman,and a eunuch.

Yahya bin Yahya theologian:He acquired influence on the Emir and thus introduced Malikism in the country.Yahya never misused his influence ,he applied himself to the administration of justice in the light of fiqh of Imam malik.He appointe maliki fiqh so malikism became the dominated fiqh in Islamic Spain.

Second favourite was ziryab:

Other two favourites were Sultana Turab and eunuch Nasr:Turab was one of his numerous wives and slave girls the sultan had married.But she was most favourite .She had borne him a son named Abdullah.She was very clever ,scheming,and greedy woman.she had captivated her heart.She wanted his son to be nominated by Emir as his successor.But sultan had no good opinion of him as he wanted his other son Muhammad as his successor.She made a plot with nasr eunuch to finsh both Sultan and other son but failed.

His Character:
Abdur Rahman II was a wise and sagacious ruler endowed with political insight,administrative acumen and military far sightedness.
He was a lover of art and music and patronize great musicians like Ziryab.
His court was attended by men of arts and learning.

His Achievements:
Abdur RahmanII devoted his 30 years of peaceful reign to works of peace and of war with the enemies of Islam.He led personally war expeditions to north Christians,in all these expeditions large quantities of booty and great number of captives were broughtback to the capital.

Built Navy:
He raised a navy and shipyards at Seville , Malaga,Valencia to defend kingdom from Normans and Fatimis.

Foreign policy:
Diplomatic Alliance with Byzantines against Charlemagne Frankish kings diplomatic Alliance with Abbasides.

His patronage of Arts ,Science and Learning.

With equally significant with war and foreign policy was ARII lavish patronage of the artists,scientists and philosophers.

Ziryab The famous musician

Abbas ibn Firnas was a scientish attached to his court.

Another courtier in ARII was Hakkam al Ghazal.
He was a man of great learning and poet also interested in Botany.
He went to the Byzantine Emperor as Ambassador of ARII.
On return He brought with him seeds of FIG tree secretly wrapped in Book.He planted and watered it it bore fruits,He showed it to Emir as a present.
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Default Ziryab Flight of the Blackbird

Ziryab Flight of the Blackbird

He was known as Ziryab, a colloquial Arabic term that translates as "blackbird."

The Cultural Icon of al-Andalus

Culture is often a difficult topic to study historically.
How did present-day cultures develop? What other regions and times have affected our modern-day cultures? How were ancient cultures different from our own? One of the best ways to address such questions is to look at some of the cultural giants of the past.

One of these giants was a Muslim man who lived in al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) in the 800s.

He was affectionately known as Ziryab and he revolutionized everything from fashion, to dining, to music, to hairstyles, to hygiene.

He was one of the greatest cultural icons of the Middle Ages and the impact he had is still felt in the world today.

Music and Origins

Ziryab’s birth name was Abu al-Hassan.
He was born in 789,
His nickname of Ziryab means “Blackbird” in Arabic.

He got this nickname because of his dark skin and beautiful singing voice.

He was originally a court entertainer during the reign of Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad.

The story has it that he was such a good musician that others in the royal court were jealous of him enough to exile him, lest they lose their jobs to his immense talent.
Once exiled, he sought refuge in Africa, offering his skills to whatever local ruler was willing to patronize him.

He got his big break, however, when he was invited to the Umayyad emirate of Spain, by the Umayyad emir al-Hakam.

A medieval lute.

When Ziryab finally made it to al-Andalus, he was welcomed by al-Hakam’s successor, Abd al-Rahman II.

Abd al-Rahman was fascinated by Ziryab’s talents and immediately made him a major part of the royal court in Cordoba.

Ziryab was given a hefty salary, a palace to live in, and major control over the cultural development of al-Andalus.

He established an institute to educate people in musical arts and entertainment.
At the institute, he took wealthy and poor students alike. He taught the traditional musical styles and songs of his old home, Baghdad, but also added his own twist to many songs, innovating as he went along. He even added a fifth string to the traditional instrument, the lute. This later paved the way for the development of the guitar. He was respected by all in al-Andalus at the time as the foremost musician of the day.

Fashion and Food

Like today’s superstar musicians, Ziryab was also a fashion and cultural icon.
People looked to him for the latest and greatest forms of dress, hairstyles, and culinary trends.

Ziryab never disappointed.Up until his arrival, al-Andalus was a quite rough and tumble land.
Not much emphasis was put on fashionable clothing, or other ways of looking stylish.

Changes Brought by Ziryab.

He dictated that certain colors of clothing should be reserved for certain times of the year.

Winter clothes should be of darker color and heavier material, with furs being an important part of outfits.

Fall and Spring clothing was supposed to reflect the dominant colors of the seasons.

In Fall one should wear reds, yellows, and oranges, reflecting the changing colors of the leaves.

In Spring, he believed brighter colors reminiscent of the blooming flowers should be worn.

In the Summer, whites and other light colors should be worn.
This was the origin of the modern rule of “no white clothes after Labor Day (early September)”.

Asparagus was first used as a food by Ziryab

He also changed the way food was eaten in al-Andalus.
Before him, no one in al-Andalus (or elsewhere in the Muslim world) cared much for food being served in courses.

Different flavors and types of food from sweets to meats to salads were all served together.

Ziryab dictated that there should be an order to how food is eaten.
Soup was served first as an appetizer.

This was then followed by the main course, which would include meats, fish, and other heavier plates.

Finally, the meal was finished off by fruits and other sweets, with nuts being served afterwards as a snack.

This revolutionized how chefs prepared food and how people ate.

Modern multi-course meals also follow this same process today, over 1000 years after Ziryab initiated it.

Ziryab also innovated in many other aspects of dining.

He was the first to recognize asparagus as an edible and tasty vegetable.

He got rid of the clunky old metal goblets people had been using since before Islamic times and replaced them with lighter, more attractive crystal and glass cups, another innovation that still exists today.


Not being a man of only a few tricks, Ziryab changed the way Andalusians looked at hygiene.

He was the first to introduce toothpaste to the peninsula .

He was the first to suggest deodorant as a way of smelling nice, even in the hot Andalusian summers.

He brought new hairstyles as well.

Before his time, the people of al-Andalus (both men and women) generally had long and disheveled hair.

Ziryab made popular hairstyles that kept men’s hair a little shorter and cleaner, and suggested bangs for women.

These new hairstyles were managed with a new form of
shampoo that Ziryab initiated that was made with rosewater and salt, leaving hair healthier than before.

As a cultural icon, his self-imposed rules about fashion, hygiene, and food quickly spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula and beyond.

Throughout Medieval Europe and the Muslim world, his styles were imitated and added to existing cultures.

His innovations remain today in the way we eat, dress, and take care of ourselves.

He was truly a cultural icon whose styles lasted well beyond his lifetime.
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Western Renaissance

"Spain and not Italy was cradle of the rebirth of Europe. After sinking lower and lower in barbarianism, it had reached the darkest depth of ignorance and degradation when the cities of Baghdad, Cairo, Cordova, Toledo were growing centres of civilization and intellectual activity. It was there that the new life arose which was to grow into a phase of human evolution. From the time when the influence of their culture made itself, began the stirring of a new life."
(Robert Briffault)

Europe in Dark Ages Before Arrival Of Islam

Europe had no culture and civilization in dark ages
learning and knowledge was non existent for long.
The clergy had paralyzed every walk of life.
The corruption and atrocities were norms of clergy.
Religious freedom was in short supply.
Enjoyment and pleasure in life was unknown to human imagination

European Renaissance Due to Muslim Influences:

The nomadic Arabs, who rose from their desert tents, founded in remarkably short space of time, the mightiest empire of the Mediaeval era,
which stretched from the shores of the Atlantic in the West to the Great Wall of China in the East.
they brought about the greatest revolution in all aspectsof human activity.
"It was under the influence of Arabian and Moorish revival of culture", that the real renaissance took place.

Muslims initiated the mighty revolution of culture,civilization and learning in Europe.
All the factors that contributed to bring about renaissance were given birth by muslims in one way or other.Muslim Universities in Cordoba and Granada effected European Renaissance in Following Ways.
Development of Science during Renaissance and muslim Influence.
Influence on the West
The Muslims, who were pioneers in almost all branches of learning led the West in diverse spheres Of mediaeval thought.

The brightest luminaries of the Mediaeval times were Jabir, Kindi, Jahiz and Baytar in sciences;

Zakariya Razi, Ibn Sinaand Zahrawi Khwarizmi, Omar Khayyam, Abul Wafa and Nasiruddin Toosi in mathematics and astrbnomy; Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Arabi and Fakhruddin Razi in philosophy;

They became master of Europeans Students.
Their works were Translated.
Their version became the syllabus of of schools and in Universities.
They have left behind on the pages of history
the imprint of their genius in the respective branches of their activity.

The Arabs were the real originators of sciences in the world.

Discarding the speculative method of the Greeks,
they based their scientific research on observation and experiment.
which gave birth to experimental method.

This experimental method introduced by the Arabs was in fact, responsible for rapid advancement of science during the mediaeval times.

Knowledge and Education:

A large number of educational institutions had sprung up in the four corners of the State including in Cordova, Granada, Toledo Seville,
where learned teachers imparted lessons in the sciences and arts.

Arabic Became Language of Learning

Love for Learning:
Ignorance in Europe had lasted long .
It had suppressed love of learning.
Muslim sciences ,inventions influenced them and revived love of learning

Education Institutions:
University of Granada.
Educational institutes of Cordoba.
Baitul Hikmahin Baghdad
Nizamiyyah University Baghdad
Darul Hikma at Cairo
University Of Kairowan

The Islamic universities of Nizamiyah and Mustansariya at Baghdad, the Al-Azhar of Cairo, and the universities of Cordova and Salerno diffused knowledge to students composed of all communities who flocked to these seats of learning from distant parts of the world including Europe.

These Islamic institutions of Muslim Spain and Sicily were the cradle of modern European civilization and
the training ground of persons like Roger Bacon and Gerbert Aurillec who ultimately paved the way for the renaissance of Mediaeval Europe.

The Christian students enjoyed absolute religious tolerance,
troops of students from Germany, France, England, flocking to the Moorish seats of learning'.

In spite of the strict restrictions imposed by the orthodox Christian missionaries.

who after completing their studies in Moorish Schools went back to their native places and
taught new theories to astonished people.

A great civilization:

The Muslim State of Spain had cultivated a great civilization and a high degree of culture. Its well planned cities and well organised public works including the well laid out
made it a model State in the West whose phenominal cultural, industrial and social progress was viewed with wonder by the Christian visitor.

The Moors had introduced beneficial irrigation systems and new crops in Spain.

The high class fabrics manufactured in their textile factories were used in the Royal Houses of Europe.

Cordova, the Capital of Moorish Spain was the most cultured city of Europe.
It had acquired international reputation. With its

4 Major Factors that contributed towards Renaissance of West.

1 Discovery of Greek Classics:
Arabs patronised and saved Classics them from total extinction.
Hence the Greek classics existed in Arabic version only,
lost works of Aristotle reached Western Christendom,
IBN rushd and other muslim philosophers
revived and revitalized the true spirit of classical learning.
These classics later became harbinger of renaissance in Europe.

2 Decline of church authority.
Rebirth of reasoning faculty in Europe overthrew church dominance.
People of Europe began to understand life and its problems from a rational perspective.
Blind observance of illogical and dogmatic beliefs became moribund.
All this change and development of thought would not have been possible witout the vigour and force of reason derived from the modern and scientific learning of muslims.

3 Discovery Of America
This spirit of discovery acquired was outcome of renaissance .
The spirit was inculcated in mind of Europeans when they acquired knowledge at muslim universities.Discovery Of America was practical manifestationof this spirit.

4 Printing Press
The fourth factor namely the invention of the Printing Press is also indirectly connected with the introduction and large scale production of paper in Europe by the Arabs.
Without paper there would have been no Printing Press.
Translations at Toledo

Toledo, after its fall into Christian hands in 1085 A.D.
became an important centre for the transmission of Arabic literary treasures to the West..
Under the guidance of Archbishop Raymond I (1126--51 A.D.)
there arose a regular translation deparment in which
Michael Scot,
Robert Chester and
Gerard of Cremona
made valuable translations of important Arabic works.

Alfonso, had established schools at Toledo for the translation of Arabic works.

The Christian Scholars who had studied in the institutions of Muslim Spain translated several important works of Arab writers
into European languages which provided the firm ground on which the stately edifice of Western learning was raised.

Gerard of Cremona
Gerard of Cremona was one of the greatest exponents of Arabian learning.
He spent more than 50 years in Muslim Spain devoting himself to the pursuit of Arabic learning and
translated more than ninety Arabic works including
Ibn Sina, Al Qanoon
Tasrif of Al-Zahrawi,
Al-Razi works
AlHaitham astronomy.
Al-Hawi, the well-known medical work of Al-Razi .

Europe is chiefly indebted for its knowledge of Arabic medicine to Constantine,
Gerard of Cremona whose translations paved the way for the growth of medical science in the West.

He brought a large number of books from Cordova, which he translated and popularised in England.

Michael Scot (1236)
who is considered as one of the founders of Latin Averroism later became the court astrologer of Frederick II of Sicily.. He translated Ibn Rushd's commentary, and many Arabic works on zoology.
His translations of Ibn Rushd's works greatly influenced the later European philosophers.

Robert Chester:
Made the first translation of Al-Khwarini's algebra in 1145 A.D.
AlKhwarizmi, the astronomical tables
astronomical and mathematical treatises.
great work of:-Al-Khwarizmi on algebra.
His translated works greatly influenced later writers,
hence he is considered the founder of modern mathematics in Europe..

John of Seville translated among others the medical and philosophical works of
al-Farghani, Abu Mahsar,
Al-Kindi and
Plate and Tivoli translated the astronomy of
AlBattani as well as other mathematical works.

Roger Bacon (1214-94 A.D.) is considered the father of the European renaissance.
He was educated by Jewish teachers in the Oxford School which was established, for the propagation of Muslim science by Jews who had been driven out of Spain by the Christians and had reached England along with William of Normandy.
Rager Bacon was profoundry versed in Arabian learning and derived from it many of the germs of his philosophy."The influence of Ibn Haitham (Alhazen) on Roger Bacon is clearly visible in his works. As a reward for his love of Arabic science, Roger Bacon was thrown into prison as a sorcerer and he died shortly after his release from 10 years imprisonment.
Ways & Means By which Islamic Culture and Civilization Transferred to Europe:

Spain and not Italy, was the cradle of the rebirth of Europe.

After sinking lower and lower in barbarism, it had reached the darkest depths of ignorance and degradation when the cities of the Saracenic world Baghdad, Cairo, Cordova, Toledo, were growing centres of civilization and intellectual activity.
It was there that the new life arose which was to grow into a new phase of human evolution.
From the time when the influence of their culture made itself felt, began the stirring of a new life".

Another great orientalist Philip K. Hitti, acknowledges the greatness of Arab culture when he writes in his History of the Arabs "Moslem Spain wrote one of the brightest Chapters in the intellectual history of mediaeval Europe”.

Between the middle of the 8th and the beginning of the 13th centuries, as we have noted before, the Arab speaking peoples were the main bearers of the torch of culture and civilization throughout the world.

Sicily stands next to Spain in the diffusion of Arab culture.

Muslim learning was transmitted to Europe from Spain and Sicily.
Frederik II, the Emperor of Italy and Sicily:
Frederik II, the Emperor of Italy and Sicily was accused of being a Muslim due to his patronage and love of Islamic learnings.
Even after the fall of the Muslim State, the Norman kings of Sicily continued to patronise Muslim learnings, for which they were condemned by the Pope.

Jews as Ambassadors and Translators of Arabian:

Jews, after Muslims,were the great exponents of Arab learning and founded schools along Spanish lines at Bari, Salerno, Tarentum and other places.

4,000 Jewish scholars scattered all over southern and western Europe who had imbibed Arab civilization and culture and were well versed in Arabian learning.

Arabic sciences and arts reached Europe
Gradually the Arabic sciences and arts made their way into Europe,
opening of a number of institutions in France, Germany and even in .
England where Arabian sciences were taught by teachers who had learnt them in Muslim Spain and Sicily.


During the 12th and 13th centuries A.D.
the process of the diffusion of Arab sciences assumed massive scale and
there were several centres in southern France for the dissemination of Arabian Culture.
Montepellier in the 14th century A.D.,
was the principal centre for the teaching of Arabian medicine and astronomy in France.
Raymond prepared planetary tables based on those of Toledo in Marseilles, a French port on the Mediterranean that in 1140 A.D..


As early as the 1Oth century A.D. Arabian sciences were introduced in Lorraine,
which after two centuries grew into an important region for scientific study.
"From Lorraine it radiated into other parts of Germany Cities like Liege, Cologne,
provided the most congenial atmosphere for the growth of Arabian knowledge.
and was transported into Norman England by men born or educated in Lorraine.
The Westerners learned many Muslim and Oriental ways
"The Westerners learned many Muslim and Oriental ways and developed a taste for the luxuries of the region.
All this promoted a demand for Eastern goods and accelerated the growth of commerce.
The Italians, who had acted as transporting agents for the Crusaders,
took full advantage of their opportunities to build up trading relations with the East.


"By the close of the 13th century", writes Philip K. Hitti, "Arabic science and philosophy had been transmitted to Europe, and Spain's work as an intermediary was done.
The intellectual avenue leading from the portals of Toledo through the Pyrenees wound its way through Provence and the
Alpine passes into Lorraine, Germany, and Central Europeas well as across the Channel into England".
The translated works of Arab scientists in botany, zoology, physics and alchemy were taught in European universities specially those of Northern Italy and France.
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