al-Andalus (Arabic: الأنْدَلُس, trans. al-ʼAndalus; Aragonese: al-Andalus; Asturian: al-Ándalus; Basque: al-Andalus; Berber: ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ Andalus; Catalan: al-Àndalus; Galician: al-Andalus; Portuguese: al-Ândalus; Spanish: al-Ándalus), also known as Muslim Spain, Muslim Iberia, or Islamic Iberia, was a medieval Muslim territory and cultural domain that in its early period occupied most of Iberia, today's Portugal and Spain. At its greatest geographical extent, it occupied the northwest of the Iberian peninsula and a part of present day southern France Septimania (8th century) and for nearly a century (9th–10th centuries) extended its control from Fraxinet over the Alpine passes which connect Italy with the remainder of Western Europe. The name more generally describes the parts of the peninsula governed by Muslims (given the generic name of Moors) at various times between 711 and 1492, though the boundaries changed constantly as the Christian Reconquista progressed, eventually shrinking to the south around modern-day Andalusia and then to the Emirate of Granada.
Following the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, al-Andalus, then at its greatest extent, was divided into five administrative units, corresponding roughly to modern Andalusia, Portugal and Galicia, Castile and León, Navarre, Aragon, the County of Barcelona, and Septimania. As a political domain, it successively constituted a province of the Umayyad Caliphate, initiated by the Caliph Al-Walid I (711–750); the Emirate of Córdoba (c. 750–929); the Caliphate of Córdoba (929–1031); and the Caliphate of Córdoba's taifa (successor) kingdoms. Rule under these kingdoms led to a rise in cultural exchange and cooperation between Muslims and Christians. Christians and Jews were subject to a special tax called Jizya, to the state, which in return provided internal autonomy in practicing their religion and offered the same level of protections by the Muslim rulers.
Under the Caliphate of Córdoba, al-Andalus was a beacon of learning, and the city of Córdoba, the largest in Europe, became one of the leading cultural and economic centres throughout the Mediterranean Basin, Europe, and the Islamic world. Achievements that advanced Islamic and Western science came from al-Andalus, including major advances in trigonometry (Geber), astronomy (Arzachel), surgery (Abulcasis), pharmacology (Avenzoar), agronomy (Ibn Bassal and Abū l-Khayr al-Ishbīlī), and other fields. Al-Andalus became a major educational center for Europe and the lands around the Mediterranean Sea as well as a conduit for culture and science between the Islamic and Christian worlds.
For much of its history, al-Andalus existed in conflict with Christian kingdoms to the north. After the fall of the Umayyad caliphate, al-Andalus was fragmented into minor states and principalities. Attacks from the Christians intensified, led by the Castilians under Alfonso VI. The Almoravid empire intervened and repelled the Christian attacks on the region, deposing the weak Andalusi Muslim princes and included al-Andalus under direct Berber rule. In the next century and a half, al-Andalus became a province of the Berber Muslim empires of the Almoravids and Almohads, both based in Marrakesh.
Ultimately, the Christian kingdoms in the north of the Iberian Peninsula overpowered the Muslim states to the south. In 1085, Alfonso VI captured Toledo, starting a gradual decline of Muslim power. With the fall of Córdoba in 1236, most of the south quickly fell under Christian rule and the Emirate of Granada became a tributary state of the Kingdom of Castile two years later. In 1249, the Portuguese Reconquista culminated with the conquest of the Algarve by Afonso III, leaving Granada as the last Muslim state on the Iberian Peninsula. Finally, on January 2, 1492, Emir Muhammad XII surrendered the Emirate of Granada to Queen Isabella I of Castile, completing the Christian Reconquista of the peninsula. Although al-Andalus ended as a political entity, the nearly eight centuries of Islamic rule which preceded and accompanied the early formation of the Spanish nation-state and identity has left a profound effect on the country's culture and language, particularly in Andalusia.
The toponym al-Andalus is first attested by inscriptions on coins minted in 716 by the new Muslim government of Iberia. These coins, called dinars, were inscribed in both Latin and Arabic. The etymology of the name "al-Andalus" has traditionally been derived from the name of the Vandals; however, proposals since the 1980s have challenged this tradition. In 1986, Joaquín Vallvé proposed that "al-Andalus" was a corruption of the name Atlantis, Halm in 1989 derived the name from a Gothic term, *landahlauts, and in 2002, Georg Bossong suggested its derivation from a pre-Roman substrate.
During the caliphate of the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I, the commander Tariq ibn-Ziyad led a small force that landed at Gibraltar on April 30, 711, ostensibly to intervene in a Visigothic civil war. After a decisive victory over King Roderic at the Battle of Guadalete on July 19, 711, Tariq ibn-Ziyad, joined by Arab governor Musa ibn Nusayr of Ifriqiya, brought most of the Visigothic Kingdom under Muslim occupation in a seven-year campaign. They crossed the Pyrenees and occupied Visigothic Septimania in southern France.
Most of the Iberian peninsula became part of the expanding Umayyad Empire, under the name of al-Andalus. It was organized as a province subordinate to Ifriqiya, so, for the first few decades, the governors of al-Andalus were appointed by the emir of Kairouan, rather than the Caliph in Damascus. The regional capital was set at Córdoba, and the first influx of Muslim settlers was widely distributed.
The small army Tariq led in the initial conquest consisted mostly of Berbers, while Musa's largely Arab force of over 12,000 soldiers was accompanied by a group of mawālī (Arabic, موالي), that is, non-Arab Muslims, who were clients of the Arabs. The Berber soldiers accompanying Tariq were garrisoned in the centre and the north of the peninsula, as well as in the Pyrenees, while the Berber colonists who followed settled in all parts of the country – north, east, south and west. Visigothic lords who agreed to recognize Muslim suzerainty were allowed to retain their fiefs (notably, in Murcia, Galicia, and the Ebro valley). Resistant Visigoths took refuge in the Cantabrian highlands, where they carved out a rump state, the Kingdom of Asturias.
In the 720s, the al-Andalus governors launched several sa'ifa raids into Aquitaine, but were severely defeated by Duke Odo the Great of Aquitaine at the Battle of Toulouse (721). However, after crushing Odo's Berber ally Uthman ibn Naissa on the eastern Pyrenees, Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi led an expedition north across the western Pyrenees and defeated the Aquitanian duke, who in turn appealed to the Frankish leader Charles Martel for assistance, offering to place himself under Carolingian sovereignty. At the Battle of Poitiers in 732, the al-Andalus raiding army was defeated by Charles Martel. In 734, the Andalusi launched raids to the east, capturing Avignon and Arles and overran much of Provence. In 737, they traveled up the Rhône valley, reaching as far north as Burgundy. Charles Martel of the Franks, with the assistance of Liutprand of the Lombards, invaded Burgundy and Provence and expelled the raiders by 739.
Relations between Arabs and Berbers in al-Andalus had been tense in the years after the conquest. Berbers heavily outnumbered the Arabs in the province, had done the bulk of the fighting, and were assigned the harsher duties (e.g. garrisoning the more troubled areas). Although some Arab governors had cultivated their Berber lieutenants, others had grievously mistreated them. Mutinies by Berber soldiers were frequent; e.g., in 729, the Berber commander Munnus had revolted and managed to carve out a rebel state in Cerdanya for a while.
In 740, a Berber Revolt erupted in the Maghreb (North Africa). To put down the rebellion, the Umayyad Caliph Hisham dispatched a large Arab army, composed of regiments (Junds) of Bilad Ash-Sham, to North Africa. But the great Umayyad army was crushed by the Berber rebels at the Battle of Bagdoura (in Morocco). Heartened by the victories of their North African brethren, the Berbers of al-Andalus quickly raised their own revolt. Berber garrisons in northern Spain mutinied, deposed their Arab commanders, and organized a large rebel army to march against the strongholds of Toledo, Cordoba, and Algeciras.
In 741, Balj b. Bishr led a detachment of some 10,000 Arab troops across the straits. The Arab governor of al-Andalus, joined by this force, crushed the Berber rebels in a series of ferocious battles in 742. However, a quarrel immediately erupted between the Syrian commanders and the Andalusi, the so-called "original Arabs" of the earlier contingents. The Syrians defeated them at the hard-fought Battle of Aqua Portora in August 742 but were too few to impose themselves on the province.
The quarrel was settled in 743 when Abū l-Khaṭṭār al-Ḥusām, the new governor of al-Andalus, assigned the Syrians to regimental fiefs across al-Andalus – the Damascus jund was established in Elvira (Granada), the Jordan jund in Rayyu (Málaga and Archidona), the Jund Filastin in Medina-Sidonia and Jerez, the Emesa (Hims) jund in Seville and Niebla, and the Qinnasrin jund in Jaén. The Egypt jund was divided between Beja (Alentejo) in the west and Tudmir (Murcia) in the east. The arrival of the Syrians substantially increased the Arab element in the Iberian peninsula and helped strengthen the Muslim hold on the south. However, at the same time, unwilling to be governed, the Syrian junds carried on an existence of autonomous feudal anarchy, severely destabilizing the authority of the governor of al-Andalus.
A second significant consequence of the revolt was the expansion of the Kingdom of the Asturias, hitherto confined to enclaves in the Cantabrian highlands. After the rebellious Berber garrisons evacuated the northern frontier fortresses, the Christian king Alfonso I of Asturias set about immediately seizing the empty forts for himself, quickly adding the northwestern provinces of Galicia and León to his fledgling kingdom. The Asturians evacuated the Christian populations from the towns and villages of the Galician-Leonese lowlands, creating an empty buffer zone in the Douro River valley (the "Desert of the Duero"). This newly emptied frontier remained roughly in place for the next few centuries as the boundary between the Christian north and the Islamic south. Between this frontier and its heartland in the south, the al-Andalus state had three large march territories (thughur): the Lower March (capital initially at Mérida, later Badajoz), the Middle March (centered at Toledo), and the Upper March (centered at Zaragoza).
These disturbances and disorders also allowed the Franks, now under the leadership of Pepin the Short, to invade the strategic strip of Septimania in 752, hoping to deprive al-Andalus of an easy launching pad for raids into Francia. After a lengthy siege, the last Arab stronghold, the citadel of Narbonne, finally fell to the Franks in 759. Al-Andalus was sealed off at the Pyrenees.
The third consequence of the Berber revolt was the collapse of the authority of the Damascus Caliphate over the western provinces. With the Umayyad Caliphs distracted by the challenge of the Abbasids in the east, the western provinces of the Maghreb and al-Andalus spun out of their control. From around 745, the Fihrids, an illustrious local Arab clan descended from Oqba ibn Nafi al-Fihri, seized power in the western provinces and ruled them almost as a private family empire of their own – Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib al-Fihri in Ifriqiya and Yūsuf al-Fihri in al-Andalus. The Fihrids welcomed the fall of the Umayyads in the east, in 750, and sought to reach an understanding with the Abbasids, hoping they might be allowed to continue their autonomous existence. But when the Abbasids rejected the offer and demanded submission, the Fihrids declared independence and, probably out of spite, invited the deposed remnants of the Umayyad clan to take refuge in their dominions. It was a fateful decision that they soon regretted, for the Umayyads, the sons and grandsons of caliphs, had a more legitimate claim to rule than the Fihrids themselves. Rebellious-minded local lords, disenchanted with the autocratic rule of the Fihrids, conspired with the arriving Umayyad exiles.
In 756, the exiled Umayyad prince Abd al-Rahman I (nicknamed al-Dākhil, the 'Immigrant') ousted Yūsuf al-Fihri to establish himself as the Emir of Córdoba. He refused to submit to the Abbasid caliph, as Abbasid forces had killed most of his family. Over a thirty-year reign, he established a tenuous rule over much of al-Andalus, overcoming partisans of both the al-Fihri family and of the Abbasid caliph.
For the next century and a half, his descendants continued as emirs of Córdoba with nominal control over the rest of al-Andalus and sometimes parts of western North Africa, but with real control, particularly over the marches along the Christian border, vacillating depending on the competence of the individual emir. Indeed, the power of emir Abdallah ibn Muhammad (circa 900) did not extend beyond Córdoba itself. But his grandson Abd-al-Rahman III, who succeeded him in 912, not only rapidly restored Umayyad power throughout al-Andalus but extended it into western North Africa as well. In 929 he proclaimed himself Caliph, elevating the emirate to a position competing in prestige not only with the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad but also the Fatimid caliph in Tunis – with whom he was competing for control of North Africa.
The period of the Caliphate is seen as the golden age of al-Andalus. Crops produced using irrigation, along with food imported from the Middle East, provided the area around Córdoba and some other Andalusī cities with an agricultural economic sector that was the most advanced in Europe by far, sparking the Arab Agricultural Revolution. Among European cities, Córdoba under the Caliphate, with a population of perhaps 500,000, eventually overtook Constantinople as the largest and most prosperous city in Europe. Within the Islamic world, Córdoba was one of the leading cultural centres. The work of its most important philosophers and scientists (notably Abulcasis and Averroes) had a major influence on the intellectual life of medieval Europe.
Muslims and non-Muslims often came from abroad to study in the famous libraries and universities of al-Andalus, mainly after the reconquest of Toledo in 1085 and the establishment of translation institutions such as the Toledo School of Translators. The most noted of those was Michael Scot (c. 1175 to c. 1235), who took the works of Ibn Rushd ("Averroes") and Ibn Sina ("Avicenna") to Italy. This transmission of ideas remains one of the greatest in history, significantly affecting the formation of the European Renaissance.
The Caliphate of Córdoba effectively collapsed during a ruinous civil war between 1009 and 1013, although it was not finally abolished until 1031 when al-Andalus broke up into a number of mostly independent mini-states and principalities called taifas. In 1013, invading Berbers sacked Córdoba, massacring its inhabitants, pillaging the city, and burning the palace complex to the ground. After 1031, the taifas were generally too weak to defend themselves against repeated raids and demands for tribute from the Christian states to the north and west, which were known to the Muslims as "the Galician nations", and which had spread from their initial strongholds in Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, the Basque country, and the Carolingian Marca Hispanica to become the Kingdoms of Navarre, León, Portugal, Castile and Aragon, and the County of Barcelona. Eventually raids turned into conquests, and in response the Taifa kings were forced to request help from the Almoravids, Muslim Berber rulers of the Maghreb. Their desperate maneuver would eventually fall to their disadvantage, however, as the Almoravids they had summoned from the south went on to conquer and annex all the Taifa kingdoms.
In 1086 the Almoravid ruler of Morocco, Yusuf ibn Tashfin, was invited by the Muslim princes in Iberia to defend them against Alfonso VI, King of Castile and León. In that year, Tashfin crossed the straits to Algeciras and inflicted a severe defeat on the Christians at the Battle of Sagrajas. By 1094, ibn Tashfin had removed all Muslim princes in Iberia and had annexed their states, except for the one at Zaragoza. He also regained Valencia from the Christians.
The Almoravids were succeeded by the Almohads, another Berber dynasty, after the victory of Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur over the Castilian Alfonso VIII at the Battle of Alarcos in 1195. In 1212, a coalition of Christian kings under the leadership of the Castilian Alfonso VIII defeated the Almohads at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. The Almohads continued to rule Al-Andalus for another decade, though with much reduced power and prestige. The civil wars following the death of Abu Ya'qub Yusuf II rapidly led to the re-establishment of taifas. The taifas, newly independent but now weakened, were quickly conquered by Portugal, Castile, and Aragon. After the fall of Murcia (1243) and the Algarve (1249), only the Emirate of Granada survived as a Muslim state, and only as a tributary of Castile until 1492. Most of its tribute was paid in gold that was carried to Iberia from present-day Mali and Burkina Faso through the merchant routes of the Sahara.
The last Muslim threat to the Christian kingdoms was the rise of the Marinids in Morocco during the 14th century. They took Granada into their sphere of influence and occupied some of its cities, like Algeciras. However, they were unable to take Tarifa, which held out until the arrival of the Castilian Army led by Alfonso XI. The Castilian king, with the help of Afonso IV of Portugal and Peter IV of Aragon, decisively defeated the Marinids at the Battle of Río Salado in 1340 and took Algeciras in 1344. Gibraltar, then under Granadian rule, was besieged in 1349–50. Alfonso XI and most of his army perished by the Black Death. His successor, Peter of Castile, made peace with the Muslims and turned his attention to Christian lands, starting a period of almost 150 years of rebellions and wars between the Christian states that secured the survival of Granada.
From the mid 13th to the late 15th century, the only remaining domain of al-Andalus was the Emirate of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in the Iberian Peninsula. The emirate was established by Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar in 1230 and was ruled by the Nasrid dynasty, the longest reigning dynasty in the history of al-Andalus. Although surrounded by Castilian lands, the emirate was wealthy through being tightly integrated in Mediterranean trade networks and enjoyed a period of considerable cultural and economic prosperity. However, for most of its existence Granada was a tributary state, with Nasrid emirs paying tribute to Castilian kings. Granada's status as a tributary state and its favorable geographic location, with the Sierra Nevada as a natural barrier, helped to prolong Nasrid rule and allowed the emirate to prosper as a regional entrepôt with the Maghreb and the rest of Africa. The city of Granada also served as a refuge for Muslims fleeing during the Reconquista, accepting numerous Muslims expelled from Christian controlled areas, doubling the size of the city and even becoming one of the largest in Europe throughout the 15th century in terms of population.
In 1469, the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile signaled the launch of the final assault on the emirate. The King and Queen convinced Pope Sixtus IV to declare their war a crusade. The Catholic Monarchs crushed one center of resistance after another until finally on January 2, 1492, after a long siege, the emirate's last sultan Muhammad XII surrendered the city and the fortress palace, the renowned Alhambra (see Fall of Granada).
By this time Muslims in Castile numbered half a million. After the fall, "100,000 had died or been enslaved, 200,000 emigrated, and 200,000 remained as the residual population. Many of the Muslim elite, including Muhammad XII, who had been given the area of the Alpujarras mountains as a principality, found life under Christian rule intolerable and passed over into North Africa." Under the conditions of the Capitulations of 1492, the Muslims in Granada were to be allowed to continue to practice their religion.
Mass forced conversions of Muslims in 1499 led to a revolt that spread to Alpujarras and the mountains of Ronda; after this uprising the capitulations were revoked. In 1502 the Catholic Monarchs decreed the forced conversion of all Muslims living under the rule of the Crown of Castile, although in the kingdoms of Aragon and Valencia (both now part of Spain) the open practice of Islam was allowed until 1526. Descendants of the Muslims were subject to expulsions from Spain between 1609 and 1614 (see Expulsion of the Moriscos). The last mass prosecution against Moriscos for crypto-Islamic practices occurred in Granada in 1727, with most of those convicted receiving relatively light sentences. From then on, indigenous Islam is considered to have been extinguished in Spain.
The society of al-Andalus was made up of three main religious groups: Muslims, Christians, and Jews. The Muslims, although united on the religious level, had several ethnic divisions, the main being the distinction between the Arabs and the Berbers. The Arab elite regarded non-Arab Muslims as second-class citizens; and they were particularly scornful of the Berbers.
The ethnic structure of al-Andalus consisted of Arabs at the top of the social scale followed by, in descending order, Berbers, Muladies, Mozarabes, and Jews. Each of these communities inhabited distinct neighborhoods in the cities. In the 10th century a massive conversion of Christians took place, and muladies (Muslims of native Iberian origin), formed the majority of Muslims. The Muladies had spoken in a Romance dialect of Latin called Mozarabic while increasingly adopting the Arabic language, which eventually evolved into the Andalusi Arabic in which Muslims, Jews, and Christians became monolingual in the last surviving Muslim state in the Iberian Peninsula, the Emirate of Granada (1230–1492). Eventually, the Muladies, and later the Berber tribes, adopted an Arabic identity like the majority of subject people in Egypt, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and North Africa. Muladies, together with other Muslims, comprised eighty percent of the population of al-Andalus by 1100. Mozarabs were Christians who had long lived under Muslim and Arab rule, adopting many Arab customs, art, and words, while still maintaining their Christian and Latin rituals and their own Romance languages.
The Jewish population worked mainly as tax collectors, in trade, or as doctors or ambassadors. At the end of the 15th century there were about 50,000 Jews in Granada and roughly 100,000 in the whole of Islamic Iberia.
Non-Muslims were given the status of ahl al-dhimma (the people under protection), with adult men paying a "Jizya" tax, equal to one dinar per year with exemptions for the elderly and the disabled. Those who were neither Christians nor Jews, such as pagans, were given the status of Majus. The treatment of non-Muslims in the Caliphate has been a subject of considerable debate among scholars and commentators, especially those interested in drawing parallels to the coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims in the modern world.
Jews constituted more than five percent of the population. Al-Andalus was a key centre of Jewish life during the early Middle Ages, producing important scholars and one of the most stable and wealthy Jewish communities.
The longest period of relative tolerance began after 912 with the reign of Abd-ar-Rahman III and his son, Al-Hakam II, when the Jews of al-Andalus prospered, devoting themselves to the service of the Caliphate of Córdoba, to the study of the sciences, and to commerce and industry, especially trading in silk and slaves, in this way promoting the prosperity of the country. Southern Iberia became an asylum for the oppressed Jews of other countries.
Under the Almoravids and the Almohads there may have been intermittent persecution of Jews, but sources are extremely scarce and do not give a clear picture, though the situation appears to have deteriorated after 1160. Muslim pogroms against Jews in al-Andalus occurred in Córdoba (1011) and in Granada (1066). However, massacres of dhimmis are rare in Islamic history.
The Almohads, who had taken control of the Almoravids' Maghribi and Andalusi territories by 1147, far surpassed the Almoravides in fundamentalist outlook, and they treated the non-Muslims harshly. Faced with the choice of either death or conversion, many Jews and Christians emigrated. Some, such as the family of Maimonides, fled east to more tolerant Muslim lands.
Many ethnicities, religions, and races coexisted in al-Andalus, each contributing to its intellectual prosperity. Literacy in Islamic Iberia was far more widespread than in many other nations in the West at the time.
From the earliest days, the Umayyads wanted to be seen as intellectual rivals to the Abbasids, and for Córdoba to have libraries and educational institutions to rival Baghdad's. Although there was a clear rivalry between the two powers, there was freedom to travel between the two caliphates, which helped spread new ideas and innovations over time.
The Alhambra palace and fortress best reflects the culture and art of the last centuries of Moorish rule of Al-Andalus. The complex was completed towards the end of the Muslim rule of Spain by Yusuf I (1333–1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353–1391). Artists and intellectuals took refuge at Alhambra after the Reconquista began to roll back Muslim territory. The site integrates natural qualities with constructed structures and gardens, and is a testament to Moorish culture in Spain and to the skills of the Muslim artisans, craftsmen, and builders of their era.
The decoration within the palace comes from the last great period of Andalusian art in Granada, with little of the Byzantine influence of contemporary Abbasid architecture. Artists endlessly reproduced the same forms and trends, creating a new style that developed over the course of the Nasrid Dynasty using elements created and developed during the centuries of Muslim rule on the Peninsula, including the Caliphate horseshoe arch, the Almohad sebka (a grid of rhombuses), the Almoravid palm, and unique combinations of these, as well as innovations such as stilted arches and muqarnas (stalactite ceiling decorations). Columns and muqarnas appear in several chambers, and the interiors of numerous palaces are decorated with arabesques and calligraphy. The arabesques of the interior are ascribed to, among other sultans, Yusuf I, Muhammed V, and Ismail I, Sultan of Granada.
The historian Said al-Andalusi wrote that Caliph Abd-ar-Rahman III had collected libraries of books and granted patronage to scholars of medicine and "ancient sciences". Later, al-Mustansir (Al-Hakam II) went yet further, building a university and libraries in Córdoba. Córdoba became one of the world's leading centres of medicine and philosophical debate.
When Al-Hakam's son Hisham II took over, real power was ceded to the hajib, al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir. Al-Mansur was a distinctly religious man and disapproved of the sciences of astronomy, logic, and especially of astrology, so much so that many books on these subjects, which had been preserved and collected at great expense by Al-Hakam II, were burned publicly. With Al-Mansur's death in 1002, interest in philosophy revived. Numerous scholars emerged, including Abu Uthman Ibn Fathun, whose masterwork was the philosophical treatise "Tree of Wisdom". Maslamah Ibn Ahmad al-Majriti (died 1008) was an outstanding scholar in astronomy and astrology; he was an intrepid traveller who journeyed all over the Islamic world and beyond and kept in touch with the Brethren of Purity. He is said to have brought the 51 "Epistles of the Brethren of Purity" to al-Andalus and added the compendium to this work, although it is quite possible that it was added later by another scholar with the name al-Majriti. Another book attributed to al-Majriti is the Ghayat al-Hakim, "The Aim of the Sage", which explored a synthesis of Platonism with Hermetic philosophy. Its use of incantations led the book to be widely dismissed in later years, although the Sufi communities continued to study it.
A prominent follower of al-Majriti was the philosopher and geometer Abu al-Hakam al-Kirmani who was followed, in turn, by Abu Bakr Ibn al-Sayigh, usually known in the Arab world as Ibn Bajjah, "Avempace".
The al-Andalus philosopher Averroes (1126–1198) was the founder of the Averroism school of philosophy, and his works and commentaries influenced medieval thought in Western Europe. Another influential al-Andalus philosopher was Ibn Tufail.
As Jewish thought in Babylonia declined, the tolerance of al-Andalus made it the new centre of Jewish intellectual endeavours. Poets and commentators like Judah Halevi (1086–1145) and Dunash ben Labrat (920–990) contributed to the cultural life of al-Andalus, but the area was even more important to the development of Jewish philosophy. A stream of Jewish philosophers, cross-fertilizing with Muslim philosophers (see joint Jewish and Islamic philosophies), culminated with the widely celebrated Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages, Maimonides (1135–1205), though he did not actually do any of his work in al-Andalus, his family having fled persecution by the Almohads when he was 13.
In the book Medieval Iberia: An Encyclopedia Daniel Eisenberg describes homosexuality as "a key symbolic issue throughout the Middle Ages in Iberia", stating that "in al-Andalus homosexual pleasures were much indulged in by the intellectual and political elite. Evidence includes the behaviour of rulers, such as Abd al-Rahmn III, Al-Hakam II, Hisham II, and Al Mu'tamid, who openly kept male harems; the memoirs of Abdallah ibn Buluggin, last Zirid king of Granada, makes references to male prostitutes, who charged higher fees and had a higher class of clientele than did their female counter-parts: the repeated criticisms of Christians; and especially the abundant poetry. Both pederasty and love between adult males are found. Although homosexual practices were never officially condoned, prohibitions against them were rarely enforced, and usually there was not even a pretense of doing so." Male homosexual relations allowed nonprocreative sexual practices and were not seen as a form of identity. Very little is known about the homosexual behaviour of women.
Los arabes y musulmanes de la Edad Media aplicaron el nombre de Al-Andalus a todas aquellas tierras que habian formado parte del reino visigodo: la Peninsula Ibérica y la Septimania ultrapirenaica. ("The Arabs and Muslims from the Middle Ages used the name of al-Andalus for all those lands that were formerly part of the Visigothic kingdom: the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania")
Only a few years after the Islamic conquest of Spain, Al-Andalus appears in coin inscriptions as the Arabic equivalent of Hispania. The traditionally held view that the etymology of this name has to do with the Vandals is shown to have no serious foundation. The phonetic, morphosyntactic, and historical problems connected with this etymology are too numerous. Moreover, the existence of this name in various parts of central and northern Spain proves that Al-Andalus cannot be derived from this Germanic tribe. It was the original name of the Punta Marroquí cape near Tarifa; very soon, it became generalized to designate the whole Peninsula. Undoubtedly, the name is of Pre-Indo-European origin. The parts of this compound (anda and luz) are frequent in the indigenous toponymy of the Iberian Peninsula.
Abu Jafar ibn Harun al-Turjali (died c. 1180) was born and raised in Trujillo to a noted Muladi Muslim family. He received his education in Cordoba and later entered Almoravid service as a physician in Seville in Al-Andalus, he was a talented reader regarding the works of philosophy, he was thoroughly familiar with the Principles (usul) and the Branches (fura) of medical science, he was an excellent practitioner and his cures were frequently successful. He was the renowned educator of Ibn Bajjah and the young Ibn Rushd in his late years.Abu al-Hakam al-Kirmani
Abu al-Hakam al-Kirmani (Arabic: أبو الحكم الكرماني; d. 1066 CE) was a prominent philosopher and scholar from the Muslim al-Andalus. A student of Maslamah Ibn Ahmad al-Majriti, he was a Neoplatonic advocate, and seen as an influence on Ibn 'Arabi, but he also wrote extensively on geometry and logic. His exact date of death is not known as he fled to Morocco in the twelfth century. It is possible that it was he who returned to al-Andalus with the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity.Al Andalus Tobruk
Al Andalus (Arabic: الأندلس) is a Libyan football club, currently playing in the Libyan Second Division.
The club hails from the historical city of Tobruk, in the far east of Libya. They play at Tobrok Stadium, which they share with their city rivals, Suqoor.
The club is managed by the Libyan manager, Muftah Mqairhy.Almanzor
Abu ʿĀmir Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Abi ʿĀmir, al-Ḥājib al-Manṣūr (Arabic: أبو عامر محمد بن عبد الله بن أبي عامر الحاجب المنصور) (c. 938 – August 8, 1002), better known as Almanzor, was for 24 years (978–1002) the de facto ruler of al Andalus under the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba (Arabic: خلافة قرطبة, translit. Khilāfat Qurṭuba). His rule marked the peak of power for al-Andalus. Some say that he claimed the title of a King, and was known as Al Malik Al Mansur (meaning, King Al Mansur).Almohad Caliphate
The Almohad Caliphate (British English: /almə(ʊ)ˈhɑːd/, American English: /ɑlməˈhɑd/; Berber languages: ⵉⵎⵡⵃⵃⴷⵉⵢⵏ (Imweḥḥdiyen), from Arabic الموحدون (al-Muwaḥḥidūn), "the monotheists" or "the unifiers") was a Moroccan Berber Muslim movement and empire founded in the 12th century.The Almohad movement was founded by Ibn Tumart among the Berber Masmuda tribes of southern Morocco. Around 1120, the Almohads first established a Berber state in Tinmel in the Atlas Mountains. They succeeded in overthrowing the ruling Almoravid dynasty governing Morocco by 1147, when Abd al-Mu'min al-Gumi (r. 1130–1163) conquered Marrakesh and declared himself Caliph. They then extended their power over all of the Maghreb by 1159. Al-Andalus soon followed, and all of Islamic Iberia was under Almohad rule by 1172.The Almohad dominance of Iberia continued until 1212, when Muhammad III, "al-Nasir" (1199–1214) was defeated at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in the Sierra Morena by an alliance of the Christian princes of Castile, Aragon and Navarre. Nearly all of the Moorish dominions in Iberia were lost soon afterwards, with the great Moorish cities of Cordova and Seville falling to the Christians in 1236 and 1248 respectively.
The Almohads continued to rule in Africa until the piecemeal loss of territory through the revolt of tribes and districts enabled the rise of their most effective enemies, the Marinids, in 1215. The last representative of the line, Idris al-Wathiq, was reduced to the possession of Marrakesh, where he was murdered by a slave in 1269; the Marinids seized Marrakesh, ending the Almohad domination of the Western Maghreb.Almoravid dynasty
The Almoravid dynasty (Berber languages: ⵉⵎⵔⴰⴱⴹⵏ, Imrabḍen; Arabic: المرابطون, Al-Murābiṭūn) was an imperial Berber Muslim dynasty centered in Morocco. It established an empire in the 11th century that stretched over the western Maghreb and Al-Andalus. Founded by Abdallah ibn Yasin, the Almoravid capital was Marrakesh, a city the ruling house founded in 1062. The dynasty originated among the Lamtuna and the Gudala, nomadic Berber tribes of the Sahara, traversing the territory between the Draa, the Niger, and the Senegal rivers.The Almoravids were crucial in preventing the fall of Al-Andalus to the Iberian Christian kingdoms, when they decisively defeated a coalition of the Castilian and Aragonese armies at the Battle of Sagrajas in 1086. This enabled them to control an empire that stretched 3,000 kilometers (1,900 mi) north to south. However, the rule of the dynasty was relatively short-lived. The Almoravids fell—at the height of their power—when they failed to stop the Masmuda-led rebellion initiated by Ibn Tumart. As a result, their last king Ishaq ibn Ali was killed in Marrakesh in April 1147 by the Almohad Caliphate, who replaced them as a ruling dynasty both in Morocco and Al-Andalus.Alqueria
An alquería (Spanish: [alkeˈɾi.a]; Valencian: alqueria [alkeˈɾi.a]; Portuguese: alcaria [aɫkɐˈɾi.ɐ]; from Arabic al-qarīa, "village, hamlet") in Al-Andalus made reference to small rural communities that were located near cities (medinas). Since the 15th century it makes reference to a farmhouse, with an agricultural farm, found mainly in eastern and southeastern Spain, such as Granada and Valencia. Regarding the latter location Joan Fuster, in his book called El País Valenciano, makes extensive reference to the Valencian alquerías.Berber Revolt
The Great Berber Revolt of 739/740–743 AD (122–125 AH in the Muslim calendar) took place during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and marked the first successful secession from the Arab caliphate (ruled from Damascus). Fired up by Kharijite puritan preachers, the Berber revolt against their Umayyad Arab rulers began in Tangiers in 740, and was led initially by Maysara al-Matghari. The revolt soon spread through the rest of the Maghreb (North Africa) and across the straits to al-Andalus.
The Umayyads scrambled and managed to prevent the core of Ifriqiya (Tunisia, East-Algeria and West-Libya) and al-Andalus (Spain and Portugal) from falling into rebel hands. But the rest of the Maghreb was never recovered. After failing to capture the Umayyad provincial capital of Kairouan, the Berber rebel armies dissolved, and the western Maghreb fragmented into a series of small Berber statelets, ruled by tribal chieftains and Kharijite imams.
The Berber revolt was probably the largest military setback in the reign of Caliph Hisham. From it, emerged some of the first Muslim states outside the Caliphate. It is sometimes also regarded as the beginning of Moroccan independence, as Morocco would never again come under the rule of an eastern Caliph or any other foreign power until the 20th century.Caliphate of Córdoba
The Caliphate of Córdoba (Arabic: خِلَاَفَةُ قُرْطُبَةٍ; trans. Khilāfat Qurṭuba) was a state in Islamic Iberia along with a part of North Africa ruled by the Umayyad dynasty. The state, with the capital in Córdoba, existed from 929 to 1031. The region was formerly dominated by the Umayyad Emirate of Córdoba (756–929). The period was characterized by an expansion of trade and culture, and saw the construction of masterpieces of al-Andalus architecture. In January 929, Abd ar-Rahman III proclaimed himself Caliph (Arabic: خليفة) of Córdoba, replacing thus his original title of Emir of Córdoba (Arabic: أمير قرطبة 'Amīr Qurṭuba). He was a member of the Umayyad dynasty, which had held the title of Emir of Córdoba since 756.
The caliphate disintegrated during the Fitna of al-Andalus, a civil war between the descendants of the last caliph, Hisham II, and the successors of his hayib (court official), Al-Mansur. In 1031, after years of infighting, the caliphate fractured into a number of independent Muslim taifa (kingdoms).Emirate of Córdoba
The Emirate of Córdoba (Arabic: إمارة قرطبة, Imārat Qurṭuba; Spanish: Emirato de Córdoba) was an independent emirate in the Iberian Peninsula ruled by the Umayyad dynasty with Córdoba as its capital.Gharb Al-Andalus
Gharb Al-Andalus (Arabic: غرب الأندلس, trans. gharb al-ʼandalus; "The West of Al-Andalus"), or just Al-Gharb (Arabic: الغرب, trans. al-gharb; "The West"), was the name given by the Muslims of Iberia to the region of southern modern-day Portugal and part of West-central modern day Spain during their rule of the territory, from 711 to 1249. This period started with the fall of the Visigothic kingdom after Tariq ibn-Ziyad's invasion of Iberia and the establishment of the Umayyad control in the territory. The present day Algarve derives its name from this Arabic name. The region had a population of about 500,000 people.Ibn Masarra
Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah b. Masarra b. Najih al-Jabali (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد بن عبد الله بن مسرة بن نجيح الجبلي) (883–931), was an Andalusi Muslim ascetic and scholar. He is considered one of the first Sufis as well as one of the first philosophers of Al-Andalus.
He is believed to be a muladi.Ibn Muʿādh al-Jayyānī
Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Muʿādh al-Jayyānī (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد بن معاذ الجياني;989, Cordova, Al-Andalus – 1079, Jaén, Al-Andalus) was a mathematician, Islamic scholar, and Qadi from Al-Andalus (in present-day Spain). Al-Jayyānī wrote important commentaries on Euclid's Elements and he wrote the first known treatise on spherical trigonometry.Ibn al-Wafid
Ali Ibn al-Husain Ibn al-Wafid al-Lakhmi (Circa 997– 1074), known in Latin Europe as Abenguefit, was an Arab pharmacologist and physician from Toledo. He was the vizier of Al-Mamun of Toledo. His main work is Kitāb al-adwiya al-mufrada (كتاب الأدوية المفردة, translated into Latin as De medicamentis simplicibus).Ibn al-Wafid was mainly a pharmacist in Toledo, and he used the techniques and methods available in alchemy to extract at least 520 different kinds of medicines from various plants and herbs.
His student Ali Ibn al-Lukuh was the author of ʿUmdat al-Ṭabīb fī Maʿrifat al-Nabāt li kulli Labīb, a famous botanical dictionary.Moorish architecture
Moorish architecture is the articulated Islamic architecture of North Africa and parts of Spain and Portugal (Al Andalus), where the Andalusians (Moors) were dominant between 711 and 1492. The best surviving examples are La Mezquita in Córdoba and the Alhambra palace in Granada (mainly 1338–1390), as well as the Giralda in Seville (1184). Other notable examples include the ruined palace city of Medina Azahara (936–1010), the church (former mosque) San Cristo de la Luz in Toledo, the Aljafería in Saragossa and baths at for example Ronda and Alhama de Granada.Multifoil arch
A Multifoil arch is a style of arch that was an architectural element in the Moorish architecture of al-Andalus.The multifoil arch design was influenced by Islamic art and architecture. Examples are found in the maqsuras and arcades of the Moorish Umayyad Caliphate's mosques, which are located in present-day Spain.
The term is French, "foil" means "leaf." A specific number of foils may be indicated by a prefix: e.g. trefoil for three, quatrefoil for four, etc., or simply multifoil for many.Taifa
In the history of the Iberian Peninsula, a taifa (from Arabic: طائفة ṭā'ifa, plural طوائف ṭawā'if, a party, band, or faction) was an independent Muslim-ruled principality, of which a number were formed in Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia) after the final collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba in 1031. Most of these were emirates, but there was one oligarchy, Seville.Tariq ibn Ziyad
Ṭāriq ibn Ziyād (Arabic: طارق بن زياد) was a Muslim commander who led the Islamic Umayyad conquest of Visigothic Hispania in 711–718 A.D. Under the orders of the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I he led a large army and crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from the North African coast, consolidating his troops at what is today known as the Rock of Gibraltar. The name "Gibraltar" is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name Jabal Ṭāriq (جبل طارق), meaning "mountain of Ṭāriq", which is named after him.Umayyad conquest of Hispania
The Umayyad conquest of Hispania was the initial expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate over Hispania, largely extending from 711 to 788. The conquest resulted in the destruction of the Visigothic Kingdom and the establishment of the independent Emirate of Córdoba under Abd ar-Rahman I, who completed the unification of Muslim-ruled Iberia, or al-Andalus (756–788). The conquest marks the westernmost expansion of both the Umayyad Caliphate and Muslim rule into Europe.
During the caliphate of the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I, forces led by Tariq ibn Ziyad disembarked in early 711 in Gibraltar at the head of an army consisting of Berbers (north-western Africa).
He campaigned his way northward after the decisive Battle of Guadalete against the usurper Roderic, after which he was reinforced by an Arab force led by his superior wali Musa ibn Nusair. By 717, the combined Arab-Berber force had crossed the Pyrenees into Septimania and Provence (734).