Praise be to Allah. And may His blessings be upon His Messenger and the Chosen prophet.
Islamic Spain or Andalusia is one of the most fruitful accomplishments Muslims have achieved throughout the Islamic history. Contrary to the belief that islam was spread by the swod, Muslims first invaded span for a very noble and a protective course. The governor of Qairawan Musa Ibn Nusayr [i]was sought help by Count Julian[ii], to avenge his daughter’s as she was assaulted by King Roderic[iii] who was the Visigoth ruler of Spain. It was also contributed by the pain shared by the archbishop of Seville about harshness of King Roderick to Julian. As a matter of fact, Musa ibn Nusayr commanded Tariq ibn Ziyad whose origins are from the Berbers, the governor of Tangiers city and the commander of the Moroccan force to carry out the mission.
Tariq Ibn Ziyad was over joyed and encouraged by the dream he saw in which prophet (peace be upon him) gave him the good news of the conquest of Spain. Hence he marched forth and conquered the city on 5th Shawwal 92 A.H. And thus, he conquered Andalusia. And with Musa ibn Nusayr, the city of Cordova, Toledo and the southern and southeastern cities were conquered by the son of Musa, Abdul Aziz.
Even though, the Ibn Ziyad and Musa conquered Spain, the first ruler of Spain was Abdu Aziz Ibn Musa Ibn Nusayr. He instilled these beautiful qualities in his ruler ship. In which Spain flourished with fruitful outcomes.
The religious Freedom
He let Christians of Spain practice their faith with full freedom. Upon announcing that every slave who accepts islam will be free from slavery, a great deal of slaves accepted islam. The true example of freedom of religion during his reign is that, he married the widower of king Roderick, Anjilona and left her to practice her faith. He even appointed Christian as administrators. However, this later proved to be fatal to him as Anjilona and the administrators made him go against the Caliph Sulaiman bin Abdul Malik which led to his assassination.
Ayyub bin Habib[iv] was later appointed as the ruler of Spain who the shifted the capital headquarters to Cordova. And the Muslim population in Spain was increased when Ayyub invited the Berber and Arab tribes of Africa and Morocco to settle in there. Many forts were made and manned in the frontiers for more protection. Also, his “attractive” tour to the country and fulfilled the needs of them. But sadly he was also despositioned as his influence and popularity was feared. Later, Harb ibn Abdur Rahman Ghafqi was made the ruler who treated the Jews and the Christians harshly, until they asked to disposition him. And he was replaced by Sahm Ibn Malik under the caliphate of Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz.
Sahm worked hard to bring justice and prosperity to Spain. He was ordered by the caliph to conduct census of the Spain. Berbers were asked to live in the desert area and cultivate in agriculture and crafts. Moreover, geographical map of the country was made with details of the distances. Bridges and many mosques were built by him in different areas. Special rules and regulations for trade, commerce, agriculture, poll tax and ect were enacted. Thus justice prevailed in all over the country. This beloved ruler was martyred while fighting with the Christians, in the expeditions in Southern France.
After some phases of changing the governors of the Spain, it came back to Abdur Rahman bin Abdulla Gafqi. He made schools, mosques and bridges in many towns. Another great ruler of Spain, Utbah bin hajjaj saluli, set up separate police departments and horsemen to patrol the cities. Courts were made in villages; schools were made with fixed revenue for the course. Mosques when required were built with a school attached to it. Berbers were controlled by giving them constructional works. The revenue and tax collection was lowered. Unfortunately when he went to Africa to confront rebels there, the situation of Spain was infested by a former deposed governor. All these later with many changed in the administrations made Spain divided into four provinces. And Andalusia became the province with Cordova, Carmona, Seville, Sidonia, Malaga, Ilbira and Jaen.
Andalusia had great impact on the economic and social development. Due to the justice prevailed in the society, Jews and Christians lived in the cities with peace and harmony. Education was provided to almost all the masses of population in science, medication and literature. Many kings sent their sons and daughters to study in the schools and gain knowledge. Muslims mastered in the arts of calligraphy, floral and geometrical designs. Ibn Hazm, Ibn Sina, Qurthubi, Al-Khawarizmi are some of the famous masters of these arts just to name a few. The grand mosque of Cordova is just an example of this, regardless of the fact that Spain was scattering away into pieces.
As a result of the civil wars and internal disputes and overthrowing of Ummayad dynasty in Bagdad by Abbasids, Islamic Spain started losing its value, because they refused to acknowledge the Abbasid caliphate. And the later rulers of Spain made treaties with the enemies of Allah, Christians and Jews, to fight with other Muslims. The Crusaders found their way in this loop hole of Muslims.
The rise and fall of Islamic Spain teaches us tremendous lessons. The result of civil war and thirst for power and worldly gains is heart breaking. We are not to blame the Jews and the Christians or the time. When the muslims of that time forgot Allah, Allah forgot about them. They forgot that every ruler who ruled the Spain was trying to spread the Word of Allah and His religion. It is as when at the fall of Grenada, when Abu Muhammd cried, and his mother said, “why are you crying like a woman, when you could not defend this city like a man?”
The salves of Allah forgot their Lord. They fought each other for worldly gains. And forgot that dominance is only for the sake of Allah.
[i] Musa Ibn Nusayr was the governor of the occupied Western territories in Qairawan during Walid bin Abdul Malik’s caliphate.
[ii] The garrison commander of the Ceuta fort of the northern coast of Africa (Morrocco) which was under the rule of Christians
[iii] A military commander who belonged to the royal family & was enthroned after the last Gothic king Witiza’s disposition with the claim that he was favoring Jews, when he tried to cut the powers of bishops who were treating inhuman ways to the Jews in general at that time.
[iv] He was the son of Musa ibn Nusayr’s sister
Merciful Servant ( 2013, September 25), Fall of Andalus – Islamic Spain retrieved from (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMkZ2Lz1kyc)
Akbar Ahmed (2018 February 1)What Andalusia can teach us about Muslims and non-Muslims living together, retrieved from (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/akbar-ahmed/andalusia-muslims-non-muslims-living_b_7088320.html)
Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed PhD, retrieved from (https://historyofislam.com/cordoba-the-fall-of/)