Granada: The Last Refuge of Muslims in Spain

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 20th December 2004

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Granada on the southern coast of Spain was to stay in Muslim hands until 1492. Its fall came centuries after other Muslim areas fell to the Christians. This article highlights some of the important legacies of Muslim Granada.

Figure 1. External view of the Alhambra complex in Granada (Source)

Figure 2. Alcazar de Genil interior

If anyone wants to know about the so-called Granada wars, or the wars that depict the Spanish Christian capture of the Granada Emirate between 1482 and 1492, there is no better work than Washington Irving’s Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada.[1] Should anyone seek to understand the foundations of Christian-Muslim military conflict of the late medieval period, including the Granada wars, then, the master is the unchallengeable Norman Housley.[2] None better than him can explain these and related matters.[3] Related to this, many people don’t understand that the Spanish Christian Reconquista did not just involve the ‘reconquest of Spain and Portugal,’ it also involved the Christianisation of North Africa. Housely as just noted is an excellent source on this issue, but there are other sources which also explain this very well including: Ch. E. Dufourcq: L’Espagne catalane et le Maghrib aux XIIIe et XIVe siècles;[4] A. Giménez Soler: La Corona de Aragón y Granada,[5] A. Masiá de Ros: La Corona de Aragón y los estados del norte de Africa;[6] and A.S. Atiya: The Crusade in the Later Middle Ages.[7] A major proponent of the Christianisation of North Africa and the Re-conquest of Jerusalem through a victorious march through North Africa was Ramon Lull (1232-1316), whose theories on how this should be done are widely available in his writing: His Liber de fine and Liber de acquisitione Terrae Sanctae.[8] José Goñi Gaztambide has also an excellent work on role of the Papacy in supporting and financing the crusading projects against Muslims including in North Africa.[9]

If anyone sought to follow the progress of the Christian so called Reconquista in military terms, here one can cite the excellent works by Lomax,[10] O’Callaghan,[11] and for those fortunate to understand Spanish: Huici Miranda.[12] The best outline of all is by Bishko.[13] This latter work in fact is part of one of the best scholarly legacies to date: Kenneth Setton’s History of the Crusades. One does not agree with Setton on many issues, but his edition of this multivolume work, and it must be said the collaboration with him in editing separate volumes by the likes of Hazard, and the quality of the essays, make it a vivid instance of Western scholarship at its very best.[14]

In regard to the impact of the Spanish-Christian victory over the Muslims, here, there are few works of immense quality. We begin with a brief and yet excellent outline by another Irving (T.B) on the end of Islamic Spain.[15] Two books are by the unequaled H.C. Lea.[16] This author’s work on the Inquisition in particular, is the must read by every person who cares for good scholarship.[17] The other excellent work on Muslim Spain and the fate of Muslims following their defeat, besides a great narration of the various Muslim uprisings, is S.P. Scott’s History of the Moorish Empire.[18] Against the wisdom of the modern scholars of Muslim Spain, who with hardly any exception have always ignored Scott, this author, instead, has seen in him a first class scholar, and has always been generous in his citations of him from the moment he discovered him late in the 1990s. S.P Scott (1846-1929) one reminds was a banker, who instead of seeking to make more money than he already had, chose to withdraw into seclusion and devote his life to scholarship. What better instance and guide to all those who fail to see the true value of things than him.

In a recent (2014) article devoted to Scott, by Kearley, we read:

In the preface to his History of the Moorish Empire in Europe, which is dated 1903, Scott says that the work ‘engaged the attention of the author for more than twenty years.[19]  In fact one has to wonder whether Scot’s dedication to the History might have caused him to be inattentive to his bank duties and might have contributed to his downfall.[20] The book long anticipated appearance also may have provided him a much needed boost during his difficult years of bank litigation, and it might have been easier for him to cease his previous civic activities and focus instead on scholarly endeavours.” [21]

Just like Scott’s History, the best literature on Muslim Spain, especially in relation to our subject is to be found in the aged, and yet first class works by the likes of Prescott.[22] Anyone writing on the history of Spain, especially of that period, has to have recourse to him, Prescott, and also the excellent R.B. Merriman.[23] The stuff that keeps coming in recent decades, especially in the past few years, few exceptions aside (such as Glick and Castro), is to be discarded, except, maybe, to be used in order to correct a few dates and names here and there as old sources have some failings in these particular areas. French writing on Spanish history is also to be dismissed. One cannot think of one single piece of writing of worth with the exception of Rodrigo de Zayas who writes/or wrote in French explaining the manner Muslims were dehumanized before being removed from Iberia.[24] Highly publicized works such as Lapeyre’s Geographie de l’Espagne Morisque are a calamity of misinformation as the author, Lapeyre, tries very hard to reduce the Muslim population of al Andalus to a mere few thousands, and to make us believe that the so called Moors expelled in 1609-1610 were just few thousands who reached North Africa and were massacred by their Arab brethren.[25]

Spanish sources, especially old ones, are absolutely necessary for any scholar, and their quality is essentially excellent. One says this regardless if such sources are not always and all of them kind to the Islamic side. This does not matter. What matters is their quality; that is their scholarly standards and the fats and information they convey. In relation to our subject (Granada), we can cite at random some such excellent material:

  • Alvaro Garcia de Santa Maria: Crónica de Don Juan II de Castilla (Colección de documentos inéditos para la historia de España, vols. XCIX-C, Madrid, 1891).
  • J. de M. Carriazo in, the Colección de crónicas españolas (9 vols., Madrid, 1940-1946).
  • Diego de Valera, Crónica de los Reyes Católicos (ed. J. de M. Carriazo, Madrid, 1927; Col. crón. esp.)
  • Fernando del Pulgar: Crónica de los Reyes Católicos (ed. Carriazo, Madrid, 1943; Col. crón. esp.)
  • Alfonso de Palencia: Narratio belli adversus Granatenses (Sp. tr. by A. Paz y Melia, Madrid, 1909).
  • Andrés Bernáldez: Memorias del reinado de los Reyes Católicos (ed. M. Gómez-Moreno and J. de M. Carriazo, Madrid, 1962).
  • J. de M. Carriazo, “Historia de la guerra de Granada,” in Menéndez Pidal, ed., Historia de España, XVII, vol. I (Madrid, 1969), 385-914.
  • A. de la Torre: Los Reyes Católicos y Granada (Madrid, 1946).
  • M.A. Ladero Quesada: Milicia y economia en la guerra de Granada (Valladolid, 1964).
  • M.A Ladero Quesada: Castilla y la conquista del reino de Granada (Valladolid, 1967).
  • M.A. Ladero Quesada, Granada, historia de un país islámico, 1232-1571 (Madrid, 1969).
  • Jeronimo Zurita: Anales de la Corona de Aragon; Saragossa, 1610; 6 vols.
  • Nueva Bibliotheca de Autores Espanoles; Madrid, 1905-1912, 20 vols.
  • M. Lafuente: Historia General de Espana; Madrid; 1850-67; 30 vols.
  • Colleccion de Documentos ineditos para la Historia de Espana; Madrid, 1842-1895; 112 vols.
  • Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles; Madrid, 1846-1880; 71 vols.
  • M. S. Carrasco Urgoiti, El Moro de Granada en la literatura del siglo XV al XVI (Madrid, 1956).
  • Luis del Marmol Carbajal, Rebelion y Castigo de los Moriscos de Granada (Bibliotheca de autores espanoles, Tom. XXI).
  • M. Danvila Y Collado, La expulsion de los Moricos espanoles, Madrid, 1889.
  • F. Janer, Condicion social de los moriscos de Espana, Madrid, 1857.
  • Damian Fonseca: Lusta expulsion de los moriscos de Espana, Madrid 1612.
  • Olmo, Relacion del Auto de la Fee celebrada en Madrid 30 Junio de 1680, Madrid, 1680.
  • Perez de Hita: Guerras civiles; Blanchard-Demouge ed; 2 vols; Madrid; 1913.


The nineteenth century, French poet, Victor Hugo, in a poem on Granada, included in his collection Les Orientales (1829), exclaims:

L’Alhambra! l’Alhambra! palais que les Genies
            Ont dore comme un reve et rempli d’harmonies..

(Alhambra! Alhambra! Palace the genii
Have adorned like a dream flowing with harmonies).

Equally impressed was the 19th century traveller, Washington Irving who wrote:

Such was its lavish splendour that even at the present day the stranger, wandering through its silent courts and deserted halls, gazes with Astonishment at gilded ceilings and fretted domes, the brilliancy and beauty of which have survived the vicissitudes of war and the silent dilapidation of ages. [27]

The Alhambra is a feature of Granada’s Muslim legacy. It is not the only one. Granada was also a city of scholars and high culture. It was most of all the last refuge of Muslims in Spain. This followed the loss of Cordova (1236,) Valencia (1238,) Seville (1248,) Murcia and the rest of Muslim Andalusia (all falling to Christians in the following years.)

Scores of people know that the Muslims lost Spain. Most, however, are little aware of the crucial phases of such loss and fall. Many believe the whole of Spain was lost in 1492. Many more confuse the various parts and dates, and their history. Nearly everyone questions themselves on where have the Muslims of Spain gone, and when did they disappear. The following outline enlightens on such issues, but does it as briefly as possible.

Soon after the death of the great leader, Ibn Abi Amir (al-Mansur (1002), Muslim Spain fell into chaos, the era of the `party kings’ (reyes de taifas, muluk at-tawa’if) (1009-1091), when the Peninsula broke into as many as thirty more or less independent rulers, who fought each other.[28] Profiting from this, Christian princes in North West Spain swept south, conquering one Islamic kingdom after the other, very often using one against the other.[29] In panic some Reyes called the Almoravids of Morocco, and their leader Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, who had to assist them on three occasions, each time after crushing the Christian armies, he was asked to leave Spain, to be re-called once the Reyes were threatened again. The third time he was invited, in 1090, Ibn Tashfin crossed the straight of Gilbraltar from Morocco, and this time eliminated the inept Reyes, and installed Almoravid rule all over the country. Under Almoravid rule was not just restored   the unity of the Muslim Peninsula, but also re-appeared in the West a combative form of Islam that responded to the Christian combativeness.[30] When Almoravid power subsided, the Almohads came to the fore in 1147. Their most determinant victory was on 18th July, 1195, when they inflicted a crushing defeat on the Christian alliance of many armies at Alarcos, the Christian army being virtually exterminated.[31] However, once their rule became ridden with internal rivalries, the Almohads were themselves crushed at Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, a defeat which Lewis rightly recognised, `broke the back of Muslim power in the Peninsula.’[32] It was not just that, for Muslims were busy fighting each other, too, and often siding on the Christian side against other Muslims. Hence, Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar of Granada became a vassal of Ferdinand I of Castile, contracting to pay him a large annual tribute, and even helping him to conquer the Muslim principality of Seville in 1248.[33] By then, Cordova had already fallen in 1236, Valencia in 1238, soon followed by other towns and cities, only leaving the Granada Emirate/principality in Muslim hands. Abul-Beka, of Ronda, Ibn-al-Lebburn, of Murviedro, and Ibn-al-Khatib, of Granada, describe the national calamities inflicted by Christian supremacy,—the dissolution of empire, the desecration of the sanctuary, the dismemberment of families, the exile of the vanquished, the horrors of servitude.[34] For a couple of centuries, whilst the Spanish monarchs were busy in their rivalries, Granada remained independent in Muslim hands, the last beacon of Muslim civilisation in the Christian West. Granada provided refuge for Muslims expelled from Spanish Christian territory, such as Valencia and Almeria, and these refugees in time doubled the size of the city, besides increasing the lustre of its civilization.[35] Commerce and industry revived, art flourished, and the little kingdom survived till 1492 as the last European foothold of ‘a culture that had made Andalusia for many centuries an honour to mankind.’[36] Granada’s useful services to its Christian neighbours and its natural impregnability go far to explain its long survival, enjoying a unique position athwart Christian Spain and the Muslim Maghrib.[37]

The Emirate of Granada would, as we will see further down, be torn piece by piece in the 1480s, Granada itself falling in 1492.[38] The story of such a fall was like all Muslim stories: a combination of acts of the lowest sort on the part of Muslims (their usual fickleness and acts of betrayal), but also acts which always mark Muslim history: exceptional courage on the part of many as Muslims alone are capable of.

Figure 3. Al Hambára Palace (Source)

Granada was the capital of the former Muslim kingdom of that name and one of the major cities of Muslim Andalusia. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada some 689 meters (2,260 feet) above sea level. The city was built on three hills, two of which are separated by a deep ravine through which the Darro River (Arabic: Hadarru) flows, covered for much of its length by broad, tunnel like bridges.[39]

The three major sections of the city are the Antequeruela (named after refugees from Antequeruela who settled there in 1410), which is enclosed by the Darro River, with the Alhambra to the west; the Albaicin (from rabad al- hayazf,) or falconers’ quarter, though one tradition connects the name with refugees from Baeza who fled there in 1245, after Christians captured their town), which is the oldest quarter, much favored by Muslim nobles, located to the northwest, on the other side of the Darro; and Granada proper.[40]

Figure 4. The Mountains of the Sierra Nevada, from the walls of Granada

Granada’s illustrious past is inextricably linked with the Muslims. Following the Muslim conquest in the early eighth century, it was governed by the Umayyad caliphate at Damascus and later came to be known as the Damascus of the West. After 1031 the Zirid ruler, Zawl, established an independent kingdom here. [41]

The increasing prosperity of Granada under Almohad rule made it, by about 1200, the fifth largest city in Spain, with a population of Arab, Spanish, and Berber Muslims, Spanish Christians, and Jews living in separate quarters.[42] Ibn Sa’îd, a thirteenth-century writer from Alcalá la Real (Granada), remarked that no eastern cities reminded him of home except for Damascus and Hama, a central Syrian town, and al-Shaqundî called Granada the Damascus of al-Andalus.[43] Indeed, despite all the upheavals around, the Muslim Spanish realm being lost one large stretch of land after the other, Granada was still prosperous. A brief period of insurrection between 1229 and 1238 brought a scion of the Banu Hud from Saragossa to power. He ruled Granada as part of a larger kingdom stretching from Algeciras to Almeria, but he was defeated by Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar, prince of Jaen, who seized the city and founded the Nasrid dynasty there in 1248, becoming lord of Malaga and Almeria at the same time.[44] He was going to be the first of a line of twenty-one Nasrid sovereigns who maintained the independence of Granada until 1492, when the city, the last surviving outpost of Muslim Spain succumbed to the Spanish Catholic monarchy, on which more further on.[45]

Granada had received many exiles from Valencia, Cordova, and other places which the Muslims had deserted.[46] These refugees in time doubled the size of the city, besides increasing the lustre of its civilisation.[47] With a population whose numbers were daily increased, Grenada, at this period, was more than three leagues in circuit, surrounded by impregnable ramparts, defended by many strong towers, and by ‘A brave and numerous people, whose military prowess seemed to ensure their safety and independence.’[48]

Fourteen medium cities and more than one hundred of smaller size, together with a large number of towns, constituted the Grenada kingdom.[49] This kingdom was surrounded by the natural defences of the Sierra Nevada and outlying ranges of the Baetic Cordillera. Its interior could be reached only through a limited number of passes and twisting mountain roads, watched by castles or walled towns.[50] The few good harbours along its rockbound coast -Malaga, Vélez-Málaga, Almeria- gave no easy access to the interior. As in Grenada, the relatively dense population, in part descended from refugees from other places, possessed ‘naturally warlike inclinations, hatred of the ancestral Christian enemy, a fierce love of independence, and a deep awareness that they were defending the last free Islamic homeland in the peninsula.’[51]

This renowned kingdom, Irving remarks, although protected by rugged mountains, embraces deep, rich, and ‘verdant valleys of prodigal fertility.’[52] ‘It was a vast garden of delight,’ refreshed by numerous fountains and by the river Xenil. ‘The labour and ingenuity of the Moors,’ Irving adds, had diverted the waters of this river into ‘thousands of rills and streams, and diffused them over the whole surface of the plain.’[53] Indeed, they had endowed this region with an incomparable degree of prosperity, and took a pride in decorating it:

The hills were clothed with orchards and vineyards, the valleys embroidered with gardens, and the wide plains covered with waving grain. Here were seen in profusion the orange, the citron, the fig, and the pomegranate, with great plantations of mulberry trees, from which was produced the finest silk. The vine clambered from tree to tree, the grapes hung in rich clusters about the peasant’s cottage, and the groves were rejoiced by the perpetual song of the nightingale. In a word, so beautiful was the earth, so pure the air, and so serene the sky of this delicious region that the Moors imagined the paradise… to be situated in that part of the heaven which overhung the kingdom of Granada.” [54]

The cultural and scholarly splendour of Granada

Granada was dwelt by a large number of scholars.

Al-Mazini al-Andalusi al-Gharnati was born in 1080-1081 in Granada; died in 1169-1170 in Damascus. He was a Hispano-Muslim geographer. In 1114-1115 he was in Egypt, but he must have returned to his country not long afterwards; in 1117 he left Spain, sailing to Egypt via Sardinia and Sicily; in 1122-1126, he was in Baghdad; in 1130 in Abhar, Jibal; in 1131 at Sakhein (or Saqsin) on the Upper Volga—he spent many years in that region.[55] In 1135-1136 he was in Bulghar (near Kazan, on the Volga); in 1150-1151 in Bashgird, Hungary, in 1160 in Baghdad; after that he resided in various places in Khurasan and Syria— for example, in 1162 he was in Mosul. He died in Damascus in 1169-1170.[56] Travel to the East was very common among Andalusi fuqahâ’, and it was typical to read in a biographical account that a man had travelled in the lands of the East (tâfa bilâd al-mashriq) and that he had done so “in search of knowledge” (fîtalab al-‘ilm).[57] To a certain extent, the pilgrimage destination of Mecca determined the places visited (e.g., Qayrawân, Alexandria, Cairo, all places with scholarly communities), but the search for specialized knowledge deflected scholars to, for example, Basra and other Iraqi centres to study grammar.[58]

Al-Mazini, was a contemporary of another illustrious geographer, al-Idrisi, born before him, and dying three years after him.  He was more of a cosmographer in the old Islamic way than a systematic geographer, yet he gives information which is unobtainable anywhere else. He wrote various geographical works: (1) in Baghdad in 1160, Al-mughrib ‘an baad ‘ajaib al-Maghrib (Collection of singularities relative to some of the marvels of the Maghrib); (2) in Mosul in 1162, Tuhfat al-albab wa nukhbat al-a’jab (Gift to the hearts and choice of wonders); (3) Nukhbat al-adhan fi ‘aja’ib al-buldan; (4) ‘Aja’ib al-makhluqat (Wonders of the creatures).[59] It would seem that 3 and 4 are completely or partly identical with 1 and 2. His accounts of foreign countries are largely anecdotic and include many fables. The Tuhfat is divided as follows: Introduction; (1) general description of the world and its inhabitants, men and jinn; (2) singularities of various countries, (3) seas and islands, extraordinary animals living in them; (4) caverns, fossils….[60] During his stay among the Bulgars in 1136 he witnessed the trade in fossil bones (ivory?), which were exported as far as Khwarizm for the making of combs. After many years of travel he settled down in the Near East-as much as a restless person of his type could settle down anywhere-and finally died in Damascus.[61]

Ibn Tufayl, a Hispano-Muslim philosopher and physician, was born about 1100-1110 in Wadi Ash, modern Guadix, northeast of Granada. A physician in Granada; later secretary to the governor of the province; in 1154-1155 secretary to the governor of Ceuta and Tangier; finally physician to the Almohad Abu Ya’qub Yusuf I (sultan 1163-1184). Ibn Tufayl was among the illustrious scholars who lived and worked in the Almohad court, especially under the third Caliph, Abu Yaqub, where they constituted a sort of corporation presided by one amongst them.[62] Alongside Ibn Tufayl were Ibn Rushd and Ibn Zuhr, and many more philosophers and scholars found sanctuary and served the Almohad rulers.[63] When old age obliged Ibn Tufayl to resign his position at the service of the Almohad rulers, in 1182-1183, he was succeeded by his friend, Ibn Rushd.[64] He died in Marrakech in 1185-1186. Ibn Tufayl wrote one of the most original books of the Middle Ages, a philosophical romance called after its hero, Haiy ibn Yaqzan.[65]

The story itself includes a sketch of a natural classification of the sciences, a discussion of spontaneous generation, and miscellaneous scientific information. It was translated into Hebrew, and Moses ibn Joshua of Narbonne (second half of the fourteenth century) wrote a commentary upon it in 1349.[66]

Ibn Tufayl wrote two medical treatises (lost?), and gave advice to Ibn Rushd with regard to the latter’s commentaries and to his Kulliyat a tib, which was known as (Collegiate in the Latin world).[67] It was he who suggested to al-Bitruji the latter’s modification of the theory of homocentric spheres.[68]

A large number of Muslim scholars moved between Granada and North Africa. The historian Ibn Khaldun, the philologist Abu Hayyan, Ibn Battuta, and the vizier-cum-litterateur Ibn al-Khatib frequented this court.[69] The passport given to the great scholar Ibn-Khaldun by Mohammed V., King of Granada, was written in rhyme.[70] Ibn-al-Khatib, of Granada, whose erudition was displayed in the greatest of his works, The Universal Library, an immense epitome of the literary and historical facts obtainable in his time.[71] Besides their patronage of the arts, literature, and science, the Nasrid sultans cultivated a lively Islamic civilization.[72] In it women had their share of participation, too. Hence, Zainab and Hamda, the daughters of Zaid, the bookseller who lived at Wadi al-Hima in the neighbourhood of Granada, were both `excellent poetesses, thoroughly versed in all branches of learning and science.’[73]

The second reign of Muhammad V (1362-1391) witnessed the apogee of Nasrid culture in Granada, when much of the Alhambra was built; silks and other textiles of unsurpassed quality were widely exported; irrigation and agriculture flourished as never before.[74] But it was earlier, in 1248, that Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar (1232-73) ordered the erection of Spain’s most famous edifice, the Alhambra—i.e., ‘`the red.”[75] The date of the construction of the Alhambra very probably dates from even earlier. The dates mentioned here are, however, the more certain ones. Regardless, the chosen site was a mountain crag bounded by deep ravines, and looking down upon two rivers, the Darro and the Genil. The emir found there a fortress, the Alcazaba, dating from the ninth century; he added to it, built the great outer walls of the Alhambra and the earlier of its palaces, and left every- where his modest motto: `There is no conqueror but Allah.”[76] The immense structure has been repeatedly extended and repaired. Following the principles of military architecture as developed in Eastern Islam, the unknown architect designed the enclosure first as a fortress capable of holding 40,000 men.[77] The more luxurious taste of the next two centuries gradually transformed this fortress into a congeries of halls and palaces, nearly all distinguished by unsurpassed delicacy of floral or geometrical decoration, carved or stamped in coloured stucco, brick, or stone. In the Court of the Myrtles a pool reflects the foliage and the fretted portico.[78] Behind it rises the battlemented Tower of Comares, where the besieged thought to find a last and impregnable redoubt. Within the tower is the ornate Hall of the Ambassadors; here the emirs of Granada sat enthroned, while foreign emissaries marvelled at the art and wealth of the tiny kingdom; here Charles V, looking out from a balcony window upon the gardens, groves, and stream below, mused, “How ill-fated the man who lost all this!’[79] In the main courtyard, the Patio de los Leones, a dozen ungainly marble lions guard a magnificent alabaster fountain; the slender columns and flowered capitals of the surrounding arcade, the stalactite archivolts, the Kufic lettering, the time-subdued tints of the filigree arabesques, make this the masterpiece of the `Morisco style.’[80]

Perhaps in their, enthusiasm and their luxury the Muslim architects and artists here pressed their art beyond elegance to excess; where all is ornament the eye and soul grow weary even of beauty and skill. This building has survived a dozen earthquakes; the ceiling of the Hall of the Ambassadors fell, but the rest remained. In sum this picturesque ensemble of gardens, palaces, fountains, and balconies suggests both the climax and the decay of Moorish art in Spain: a wealth gone to extravagance, a conquering energy relaxed into a flair for ease, a taste for beauty that has subsided from power and grandeur to elegance and grace.[81]

Figure 5. Al Hambra Decoration (Source)

In the nineteenth century, a new wave of travel literature swept over Europe in the decades after Waterloo, culminating in one of the most widely read books of the century: The Alhambra (1832) by Washington Irving. This understandably went through numerous editions in the land of its author: ‘from the time of the welcoming review in the New York Mirror in June of the year of publication its success was assured.’[82] It is of some significance that Mrs L.C. Tuthill in her History of Architecture from the Earliest Times (Philadelphia 1848) has, as Gerald Bernstein noted, five pages on `Arabian Architecture’ of which three consist of direct quotations from Irving’s book.[83] This may suggest a relative scarcity in America of Owen Jones’s book on the Alhambra which, the New World apart, ‘was circulating badly enough in Britain, no doubt in part because of its bulk. But then Irving’s volume, lacking in visual analysis yet replete with romantic narrative, scored heavily on a number of counts: small size, comparative cheapness, and human content.’[84]

Figures 6-7. Alcazar de Genil (Source )

The same Washington Irving also wrote a great work on the conquest of Granada,[85] and also left us memorable lines of his trip to the place. Thus, in one of his letters dated May 28, 1828, he says:

The Arab conquest brought a higher civilisation and a nobler style of thinking into Gothic Spain. The Arabs were a quick witted, sagacious, proud spirited, and poetical people, and were imbued with Oriental science and literature. Wherever they established a seat of power, it became a rallying place for the learned and ingenious; and they softened and refined the people whom they conquered.” [86]


They (the Muslims) deserved this beautiful country, for they won it bravely, and they enjoyed it generously and kindly… Everywhere I meet traces of their sagacity, courage, urbanity, high poetical feeling, and elegant taste. The noblest institutions in this part of Spain, the best inventions for comfortable and agreeable living, and those attitudes and customs which throw a peculiar and Oriental charm over the Andalusian mode of living may be traced to the Moors.” [87]

The Muslim legacy of Granada spread widely in space and time. Muslim construction skills also meant that architects from Granada were employed by Castilian monarchs in the construction of palaces, and even by orthodox prelates in the ornamentation of cathedrals.[88] But it was not the only form of legacy. Much of the Muslim legacy has been victim to time and upheavals of all sorts, but traces of this splendour survive. The Cuarto Real de Santo Domingo is a thirteenth-century villa set in beautiful gardens; the Alcazar de Genil was built in the mid fourteenth century as a palace for the Nasrid queens. Several other examples of Nasrid domestic architecture survive.[89] The Casa del Cabildo Antigua has as its core a fourteenth-century college founded by Yusuf I, and beneath the modern restorations of the Corral del Carbon may be discerned a Muslim inn, Alhondiga gedida (al-funduq- al-jadid, the new inn).[90] Some of the nine original Muslim bridges over the Darro were incorporated into the urban fabric when the river was partially covered; the best-preserved of them is the Puente del Genil (qantarat Shanfl). The Church of S. Maria occupies the site of the Great Mosque, the Church of S. Ana was also originally a mosque, and the towers of the churches of S. Jose and S. Juan de los Reyes utilize minarets.[91] The covered market now known as Alcaiceria (al-qaysarrya) was burned down in 1843 but was rebuilt using the ancient pillars. Nearby is the Bibarrambla Plaza (rabbat Bab al-Ramla, “Sand Gate”), which in medieval times was the scene of tournaments, feuds, and a form of bullfighting, there are also two Muslim baths, including the “Nut-tree Bath,” Bano del Nogal, near the eleventh-century Puente del Alcaide (qantaratal-qadi), “Bridge of the Judge”).[92]

The beauty of the “garden that has no equal”, as Ibn ‘Amar calls it in his verses-the Generalife, which according to Hernando de Baeza means “the no­blest and highest garden of all”-was a byword from the moment of its construc­tion. Al-Khatib praised its leanness, which kept out the sun; Ibn Zamrak called it “Granada’s throne”; and Alonso de Herrera in his Book of Agriculture, published in Alcala de Henares in 1539, alludes to the curious shapes into which myrtles can be trained “if they are planted as those in the Generalife in Granada.”[93] The making of the Generalife began later than the Alhambra, but it must have been before 1319, when the Sultan Abu’l-Walid had several repairs carried out in it and filled its walls with inscriptions.[94] It is on seven levels, the site being a hillside. The highest terrace is the Court of the Canal, which is enclosed on three sides by buildings and on the fourth by an arcade, its name being derived from the narrow canal down the centre of the long axis. Other features of this court are a miniature mosque, a fountain, and clipped box parterres.[95] At a lower level on one side is a square walled garden, the walls pierced by decorated windows commanding fine views. On the other side is the Harem court with a horse shaped canal, ancient cypresses, and oleanders, leading to the next terrace through an arched gateway by way of steps and landings ornamented with pebble mosaics.[96] A belvedere reached by more decorated steps is above this terrace, and from it there is a novel water staircase, the water being carried down the hollow tiled balustrade. Stairs lead to the Mirador from which you have a view of the Alhambra, with the sierra in the distance.[97] It was not the traditional Muslim urge for seclusion alone that caused it to be hidden and enclosed; its situation at a distance from other habitations ensured its safety from prying eyes.[98] Words, Sordo says, ‘are not enough to express the sensation produced by the Generalife: it can only be experienced amid its patios and gardens, its gurgling waters and its whispering glades.’[99]

The gentle trickle of water, in the hot summers of the Islamic land, most particularly, invites contemplation without and within. At the Lion Court in the Alhambra, nearly all the main rooms of the palace had water running through them in a marble groove in the floor, and the garden of the Generalife is typical of the love of gardens with walks and fountains, all arranged in close relation to the living quarters.[100]

With the constantly renewed trees and flowers and the flowing and bubbling of its water, the Generalife evokes, even more than the Alhambra, the private life of the Nasrid princes. And the architects of Grenada have never surpassed this perfect alliance of gardens, water, landscape, and architecture, which was their supreme aim, and sets the seal upon their art [says Terrace.]” [101]

As Smith concludes:

Yet even now the traveller in Spain feels as he approaches Andalusia that he is breathing a clearer atmosphere, that he is brought into contact with a finer literature, and is contemplating a far nobler architecture, than any which the more northern parts of the peninsula can boast. Moorish, not Catholic, is everything that appeals to his imagination and to his finer feelings; Moorish are the legends and the ballads of the country; Moorish are the Alcazar and the Giralda of Seville; Moorish everything that is not discordant in the once matchless Mosque, now the interpolated Cathedral of Cordova; Moorish all the glories of the Alhambra. And as the traveller passes the hill which is still called, with such deep pathos, `the last sight of the Moor,’ he feels that the day which saw the fall of Grenada is a day over which every Spaniard may well sigh for what it cost Spain, and every European for what it cost humanity at large.” [102]

The Reconquista: Its Aims and Spirit

When Gibraltar was taken, in 1309, by the Castilians, King Ferdinand IV, the conqueror, expelled its Muslim inhabitants. Among the unfortunate exiles was an old man, who, noticing the King, approached him, leaning on his staff:

“King of Castile,” he said to him, “what injury have I done to thee or thine? Thy great-grandfather Ferdinand drove me from my native Seville: I sought an asylum at Xeres; thy grandfather Alphonso banished me from thence: retiring within the walls of Tarifa, thy father Sancho exiled me from that city. At last I came to find a grave at the extremity of Spain, on the shore of Gibraltar; but thy hatred hath pursued me even here: tell me now of one place on earth where I can die unmolested by the Christians!’
“Cross the sea!” replied the Spanish prince and he caused the aged petitioner to be conveyed to Africa.”

This story typifies the fate of the Muslims of Spain, pushed from one place of refuge to another, until the last place before the final exile, that is if they survived along the while. This last plight of the Muslims is barely publicised, which contrasts with the vast knowledge about the early history of Al-Andalus and subsequent Muslim rule. More remarkable is the even scarcer knowledge about the last fight which the Muslims delivered as they sought to preserve both their faith and their very presence on Iberian soil. Yet, this fight, as becomes immediately apparent to whomsoever delves into its history, was gigantic, a true epic in fact, as we will see in the final heading of this article. The final point we raise here, and which is dealt with next is a decisive element in the history of North Africa and al Andalus which very few know, and which scholars such as Housley, Bishko and a few more have dealt with expertly, and that is the ideology of the Reconquista.

The Reconquista, indeed, did not just aim at driving out the Muslims of Iberia, but also subjugating and removing those of North Africa, besides smothering those of Andalusia itself. We won’t look here at the fate of Muslims of al Andalus beyond the briefest of outlines (one paragraph) as this is extremely lengthy and is not the remit of this work. We will not either dwell too long on the Spanish/Portuguese onslaught on North Africa. Only a page or so will be devoted to the Spanish onslaught on that region to highlight the spirit and ideology of the Reconquista. Our focus is on Granada.

Muslims of Al Andalus

Following the loss of Muslim power in al-Andalus (late 13th century), there remained two separate Muslim entities in the Peninsula: an independent Muslim state in the south, the Grenada enclave, and a large Muslim community living under Christian rule further north (the Mudejares). The latter Muslims fell under greater pressure as their social, cultural and economic status deteriorated. Their physical removal became a priority for the Church. In 1266, Pope Clement IV pointed out to King James of Aragon the peril of allowing Muslims to remain in his realm, and this was a constant theme of the papacy in its relations with the Aragonese (and other Hispanic) rulers.[104] The same year the king issued edicts requiring members of both Muslim and Jewish denominations to kneel whenever a priest, carrying a consecrated wafer, passed them on the street.[105] The Mudejares, visible through open doors and windows, were reported and fined for not kneeling even in their own homes and workshops. Those caught outside the moreria (Muslim Quarter) as the consecrated Host came into view, and who fled for cover in nearby houses to avoid kneeling were denied entry, and were beaten by Christian bystanders.[106] In Aragon the local Christians made dunghills and built houses not only in the Muslim cemetery, which had existed as far back as memory went, but also in their mosque. In Saragossa, the Muslim cemetery was also used as a cesspit, whilst a brothel was opened in the moreria.[107] Muslims were required to wear upon their caps and turbans a blue crescent `of the size of an orange,’ which constantly brought upon them the affronts of children, and not infrequently the taunts and violence of a fanatical populace.[108] Deprived of their arms, they were left defenceless at a time when ‘to the Christians the blood of the despised race was little more than that of a dog.’[109] The Church was succeeding in gradually awakening the spirit of intolerance, Lea observes.[110] Already, in 1337, the final policy of expulsion was suggested by Arnaldo, Archbishop of Tarragona. In a letter to Pope Benedict XII, he implored the pope to order the King of Aragon to adopt it.[111] A century after, Alfonso de Borja, Archbishop of Valencia (1429-1455), urged upon Juan II of Aragon the expulsion of the Mudejares of Valencia; in this gaining the support of Cardinal Juan de Torquemada, uncle of the celebrated inquisitor general.[112]

Assault on North Africa

In 1260 Alfonso X of Castile sent a crusading fleet to attack Atlantic Morocco. After extensive preparations and with strong papal encouragement the Castilians sailed from Seville in September, surprised the port of Salé – perhaps with the aim of striking thence towards Arzila or even Marrakech, then still held by an Almohad ruler, and three weeks later returned laden with spoils and captives.[113] This African crusade of Alfonso X was no isolated venture, Bishko remarks.[114] It preceded by a decade king Louis IX of France’s Tunisian crusade, continued Ferdinand III’s known interest in getting a foothold in Africa, and also embodied Castilian hopes, strong all through the thirteenth century, of carrying the reconquest to the principal enemy’s homeland.[115] It was the authentic forerunner of the landings by the Portuguese at Ceuta (1415) and by the Castilians themselves at Melilla (1497) and Oran (l505), then subsequently other parts of the North African coast.[116] Indeed, in 1284-86 the islands of Gerba and Qarqannah (Kerkennah) in Tunisia were added to the Aragon dominions thus becoming Europe’s first African colonial possession.[117] More attacks reflected Castilian hopes, strong all through the 13th century, of carrying ‘the reconquest’ to the principal enemy’s homeland.[118] In 1291, King Sancho of Castile concluded a new reconquest partition agreement with James II of Aragon, which for the first time envisaged the division of North Africa into Castilian and Aragonese zones, demonstrating how firmly rooted was the concept of extending the Christian advance southward beyond the peninsula into the Maghrib itself.[119] This was codified by the treaty of Monteagudo (November 29, 1291), which made the Moulouya River the demarcating line; everything to the west falling in Castile’s sphere, all to the east in Aragon’s.[120] Muslim North African principalities suffered recurrent attacks and devastating raids as a result.[121] These attacks were led by, or included forces from, all Western Christian countries.[122] With the years, it became obvious that North Africa’s fall under Christian sway was only a matter of time. In 1486 the Marquis of Cadiz proclaimed that King Ferdinand of Aragon, the most powerful Christian monarch of the time, would:

Not only… gain the Kingdom of Granada, but he will subdue all Africa… and he will take the Holy House of Jerusalem… and with his hands he will put the banner of Aragon on Mount Calvary.” [123]

According to Peter of Quintana, the King’s Secretary of State:

The principal end and desire held by [Ferdinand] was general peace among Christians and war against the infidel. . . and he desired both these holy purposes like the salvation of his soul.” [124]

In the wake of the Grenada success, in 1492, the Spaniards took Oran and Mers el-Kebir on the western Algerian coast before in January 1510, making their greatest gain of all: Bejaia, which they took on the 6th.[125] Besides their usual massacre of the Muslim dwellers, the Spaniards settled part of the city and razed the rest to the ground.[126] The same year they occupied Tripoli and made Algiers submit to their sway at canon range. The Portuguese had already, decades earlier, made great gains, capturing Ceuta, Tangiers, and other places on the Moroccan coast. From their strong-points, they directed raids against Muslim towns and hamlets, inflicting destruction, gathering considerable booty, and taking large numbers of Moroccans into slavery.[127] Both countries, Spain and Portugal, and the Christian hordes fighting by their side, emulated each other in cruelties inflicted on Muslims.[128] Their main aim reflected a similar one in the Americas: gaining land and riches with Christianised natives or none at all.[129] Divided, true, but Muslims, whenever brought together by their faith, put up determined resistance, which certainly accounted for their survival.[130] In contrast, natives elsewhere, because of their ineffectual weaponry or their good natured compliance, and most of all due the absence of a unifying element, were removed en masse, or were used as an almost inexhaustible supply of forced labour or for sexual gratification.[131] In just a century after the Europeans’ arrival, the native population of North and Central America, which had encountered them, was reduced by 80-90% of its total numbers.[132] Just as in the Americas, the natives off North Africa, i.e the Canary Islands, were wiped off in their near entirety.[133] The rest of Africa was soon to experience the scourge of mass slavery, which in the 18th century, in particular, was to cost the lives of possibly 100 million Africans.[134]

The fate of Muslims, indeed, differs most remarkably from that of others visited by even lesser forces.[135] Helping North African survival was the timely arrival of Ottoman support, again a decisive expression of the uniting factor of Islam. From the early 16th century, North Africans and Ottomans became engaged against Western Christendom in a bloody conflict on both land and sea (see entry on Piri Reis).


Grenada itself was object of similar carving up plans. In 1309 Ferdinand IV and James II at Alcalá de Henares agreed upon a total reconquest and partition of the Nasrid kingdom, by which the Aragonese crown was to retain one-sixth of its area, comprising the city and kingdom of Almeria.[136] Ferdinand IV’s siege of Algeciras and James II’s of Almeria both proved failures; and the magnate Alfonso Pérez de Guzmán el Bueno succeeded in capturing Gibraltar for Castile, although not long thereafter he died while invading Granada. An uneasy peace was arranged in 1310, but Ferdinand IV was preparing for a new Granada war when in 1312 death surprised him.[137]

The military onslaught against Grenada was maintained whenever conditions of Christian unity and peace permitted.[138] Twice Christian armies reached the gates of Granada, where Muslims were busy fighting each other (1316-1317, 1319).[139] Muhammad IV’s rule (1325-1333) was marked by serious infighting amongst the leading hierarchies of the kingdom.[140] Profiting from this Alfonso XI who had now come of age resumed hostilities which had been suspended since the disaster of the Battle of the Vega in 1319.[141] A great international crusade was planned involving men from France, Navarre, England, Bohemia, and also Aragon.[142] Alfonso XI moved by attacking Granada in 1327 and forced Muhammad IV to sue for peace.[143] The reign of Mohammed IV and that of his successor Yusuf I (1333-1354), both of whom perished in the same manner (being murdered), present nothing during thirty years but an unbroken series of infighting amongst Muslims.[144]

It was in October 1340 that the death blow was struck at Muslim power in the region. On October 30, 1340 a Christian army, much inferior in size to that of its Muslim foes facing it, drew up in order of battle on the bank of the Salado River near Tarifa. The Merinid King, fully confident in his superior arms, had crossed the Straits not only with his troops but also with his court, wives, and all his entourage. Once on Spanish soil, he besieged Tarifa, having brought with him at least twenty siege engines.[145] On the bank of the Salado River, with his Grenadan ally, he offered battle to the Christian army aiming at relieving the siege. At the height of the fighting the Tarifa garrison fell upon the Muslim rear-force, and inflicted terrible slaughter on it. This was decisive in winning for the Castilians the battle of the River Salado, the largest such encounter fought in the reconquest since Las Navas de Tolosa a century before.[146]

Internal feuding continued to make matters worse on the Muslim side. Sultan Yusuf I’s rule ended by his murder in 1354.[147] He was succeeded by Muhammad V, who was sixteen when he became ruler, but his reign was interrupted when he was twenty one by another Nasrid prince (Ismail II), who himself was replaced by a third member of the royal family (Mohammed VI).[148] At the age of twenty four Mohammed V returned to power without further interruption till he was fifty three.[149] This follows some quite interesting events which reflect Grenadan politics. The first usurper, Ismail II, was murdered with his court circle in 1360, to bring to power Mohammed VI. In the midst of the conflict between this Mohammed VI with the Vth, the former decided to put himself at Peter the Cruel, King of Castile’s, mercy.[150]

At the opening of the fifteenth century, midway through his reign, the Castilian ruler, Enrique (Henry) III, displayed clearly his intention to resume the reconquest on a scale unknown since Alfonso XI.[151] A number of specific factors, such as internal rivalries amongst Muslim Granadan rulers and the feuding and divisions in North Africa played their part in encouraging him. No doubt, Bishko remarks, the subsequent landing of the Portuguese at Ceuta (1415), carrying the reconquest into Morocco, also aroused the Castilian monarchy to renewed consideration of its own Granadan and African expansionist possibilities.[152] Christians took heart when they learned, in the first years of the 15th century, that the Tartar leader, Timur Lang, was overrunning Anatolia and threatening the Ottomans from the rear.[153] Timur furthermore had, by 1402, devastated the Muslim world from India through to Iraq and Syria. Only few lands, primarily North Africa and Granada, were left in Muslim hands. This was the real chance to finish the Muslim world altogether. In order to obtain information about Timur and to incite him to join forces with the Christians against their common, Muslim Sunni, foe, Enrique III sent an embassy to him.[154] The Castilian envoys witnessed Timur’s great victory at Angora in 1402, and he in turn sent envoys to Castile, and in 1403, again, Enrique dispatched ambassadors to the East.[155]

In Granada, in the meantime, Yusuf III died in 1417, and following his death the kingdom became engulfed in internal conflict.[156] The period that followed the death of Yusuf III, Harvey points out, provides an extreme example of the Granadan phenomenon ‘of multiple, interlocking reigns.’[157] The days of Muhammed V (themselves chaotic) seem in contrast a model of stability and of continuity. From all corners there came sources of instability, including interference in Granadan affairs from Castile and North Africa, and bitter fighting between factions within Granada.[158]

At last, sensing the occasion the right one, in 1430 the Castilian monarchy resumed the war against Granada. When a Castilian contingent seized Jimena de la Frontera above Gibraltar (1431), and drawing Granadan attention to the west, Alvaro de Luna invaded the Vega of Granada.[159] This was followed by other successes, and the conduct of devastating raids around Ronda and Malaga.[160]

Great stimulus to the offensive was, as per usual, given by the Church and Papacy. Pope Eugenius IV (1431-1447) strongly encouraged the Castilian crusade, granting it the usual indulgence and forbidding – as the popes so often did – all sale of foodstuffs and strategic materials to the ‘Moors.’[161] In 1449, when he made rulings for a frontier crusade against the Muslims of Granada, as per usual, Pope Nicholas V (1447-1455), first, cited Muslim aggression as the excuse:

As a petition recently shown to us on your behalf explained, the Saracens are not only endeavouring to take the said town of Seville, but are daily worsening their aggression against Christ’s faithful, and trying to invade and destroy many other places and lordships belonging to them…. lawfully attack and assault the Saracens, laying hands on them violently, and disabling, wounding and killing them, without any irregularity or disqualification.” [162]

The war was a disaster for Muslims. Sometimes a little Christian troop of cavalry or infantry surprised a village, massacred the inhabitants, pillaged their houses, and carried away their flocks. Sometimes an army suddenly appeared in a fertile plain, devastated the fields, uprooted the vines, felled the trees, besieged and took some town or fortress, and retired with their booty.[163] This kind of warfare was ruinous, most of all to the unfortunate cultivator of the soil, and the Granadan dominions suffered so much, especially the fertile Vega which had been so often desolated by the Spaniards.[164]

No sooner had Isabella and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon secured possession of their respective kingdoms, suppressed all domestic disturbances, and effected peaceful arrangements with foreign powers, than they mutually resolved ‘to concentrate all their efforts for the annihilation of the Muslim dominion in Spain.’[165]

When the king and queen asked the pope in 1485 to grant the bull of crusade for the war against Granada, they declared that they hoped:

That the holy Catholic faith would be increased and Christendom would be delivered from this continued threat at the gates [and] these infidels of the kingdom of Granada [will be] ejected and expelled from Spain.” [166]

They also recalled that previous pontiffs had accepted this war against Granada ‘as no less just and necessary as that of the Holy Land.”[167]

From the time Ferdinand and Isabella restored internal peace to Castile and Aragon, the poets encouraged them to subjugate the kingdom of Granada as alien to Christian Spain.[168] Diego de Valera urged them to prosecute

This holy and necessary war, so that the enemies of our holy faith may be diminished and the land that they have usurped may be taken, and where God is now condemned, blasphemed and despised he may be praised, adored, and loved.” [169]

The Loss of Granada: 1482-1492

The conquest of Grenada was a combined outcome of the Spanish Catholic monarchs Ferdinand’s and Isabella’s decision to overthrow the emirate, and also of the Pope’s crusading zeal.[170] A regular army was built to replaces feudal horsemen; artillery was reformed, peasants armed en masse under the name of St Hermandad (fraternity), and a special corp of thirty thousand talladores para military forces was charged with burning crops, expelling labourers, and cutting fruit trees in all Muslim lands. All was ready for the fight to death Spain was delivering on the Muslims.[171] Before the attack, the Christian monarchs launched a sustained campaign of devastation against the Nasrid realm, that is its economy, before they engaged in a clinical conquest of one town and city after the other.[172]

Just at the moment when the Muslims of Grenada needed all their forces to withstand the Christian attack, they were seriously weakened by dynastic quarrels: jealousies in the harem of the emir.[173]

Such a suicidal mania invaded the minds of the rulers of Grenada [Lane Poole says] at a time when every man they could gather together was needed to repel the invasion of the Christians, they wasted their strength in ruinous struggles with each other, and one would even intercept the other’s army when it was on the march against the common enemy. The people of Grenada, divided into various factions, aided and abetted the jealousy of their sovereigns always fickle.” [174]

The Catholic monarchs were happy at the divisions amongst Muslims, which they supported so as to neutralise their fighting spirit.[175] Indeed, the Muslims of Granada could have held out for more than the ten years that it took to reduce the kingdom, had it not been for such outbreak of a bitter family feud.[176] This feud involved Abu’l Hassan ‘Ali (Mulay Hassan), ruler of Grenada, and his son Muhammad XII, known as Boabdil.[177] It was Boabdil’s alliance with the Spanish Christian monarchs, which contributed as much as any other cause to the overthrow of Muslim power in Andalusia.[178]  Whilst revolt and sedition were thus rife in the Muslim camp, the Christian side presented enthusiastic unity and devotion such as Spain had seldom witnessed before.[179] And to stimulate the spirit of unity, the sovereigns did their utmost to instil into their troops the conviction that the war was a war for religion.[180] Further impetus to the Catholic rulers was given by the Pope’s call for a crusade.[181]

The end of Muslim Grenada began in 1482, when the Christian armies of Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, Marquis of Cadiz, Struck at al-Hammah in the Sierra of the same name, south west of Granada and deep in Nasrid territory.[182] The Muslims sought to resist awaiting Abu’l-Hassan with a relief force from Grenada. He arrived too late. The Marquis and his troops broke out, burnt down the mosque, where the women and children had taken shelter, and massacred the remaining defenders after fierce hand to hand fighting in the streets.[183] Abu’l-Hassan returned to Grenada after his unsuccessful attempt to relieve al-Hammah, to find that in his absence, the population has been swung against him in favour of his son, Boabdil and his mother Aisha.  With the Alhambra’s garrison ranged against him, Abu’l-Hassan was forced to take refuge with his brother, Muhammad al-Zeghal, governor of Malaga.[184]

Figure 8. The Granada Emirate and the Main Sites of Battles with dates of their loss.

Led by Abu’l Hassan and Al-Zeghal, Muslim forces fought with such determination, that despite the shortcomings and betrayal of some emirs, it took ten years of implacable struggle to secure the triumph of Christianity.[185] The seventeen strongholds and eighty boroughs of the Emirat (of Grenada) had to be conquered one by one.[186] In Al-Zeghal, Lane Poole tells us, we see

The last great Moorish king of Andalusia. He was a gallant warrior, a firm ruler, and a resolute opponent of the Christians. Had he been untrammelled by his nephew (Boabdil), Grenada might have remained in the hands of the Muslims during his life.” [187]

It was Boabdil’s war against his father and uncle, al-Zeghal, alongside Christian forces, which eventually led to the fall of Grenada.[188] Boabdil, despised by the Christians, and hated by the majority of the Muslims, thanks to the money given to him by the Spaniards, and also their logistic support, worked towards destroying the last combative powers of the kingdom.[189] Boabdil both offered a promise to the Muslim populations of the Granada region that districts loyal to him would be spared the ravages of war.[190] He also did his best to foil the resistance of his uncle, Al-Zeghal, against the Christians who were gradually narrowing the circle that they had drawn round the doomed kingdom.[191] City after city fell into Christian hands. In the Spring of 1485, Ronda suffered a heavy onslaught. Siege engines pounded the town and its defences with an intense fire, and the defenders were exhausted by incessant attacks. Then, just as the heat of late Spring began to mount, the water supply into the city was cut off, thus forcing the town to surrender on May 22. The rapid collapse of resistance at Ronda led the whole region to seek terms. The Muslims in those parts had succumbed to superior armament, artillery above all, which now shattered not just their defences but also their mental strength. The psychological effect of artillery bombardment is commented on by Pulgar:

The bombardment was so heavy and so continuous that the Moors on sentry duty could only hear one another with great difficulty: they did not have the opportunity to sleep, nor did they know which sector most needed support, for in one place the cannon knocked down the wall, in another the siege engines destroyed the houses, and if they tried to repair the damage wrought by the cannon they could not, for the continuous hail of fire from the smaller weapons killed anybody on the wall… The inhabitants of the city had felt safe and confident because of their massive fortifications, but now their confidence was suddenly converted into terror.” [192]

However led by El-Zeghal, the Muslim forces fought with great determination. The Spanish answered by using Boabdil to promise peace and safety to the Muslims who did not fight the Christians. This led to divisions amongst Muslims and renewed outbreak of civil war between them: the Muslims of Albaycin engaged in street fighting with the supporters of al-Zeghal in the rest of the city.[193] Granada fell to Boabdil with Christian help, the same Christians profiting of the civil war between Muslims occupied Loja, Illorca, and Moclin;[194] and were able to progress towards Malaga.[195] The Spaniards took possession of the city in August 1487.[196] All Christians who had converted to Islam found there were tortured to death with sharp pointed reeds, and then burnt alive.[197] Thousands of Muslims were massacred and young Muslim boys were picked up by priests to catechise them into Christianity, then Malaga was burnt down.[198]

Boabdil came to a further arrangement with the Catholic monarchs, that he would deliver Granada to them on condition that he retained some fiefdom, and his immediate supporters to receive privileges guaranteed by the Christians, whilst the inhabitants of Albaycin would retain their properties and right to live in peace and practice their faith.[199] However, after the fall of Almeria and the surrender of Al-Zeghal he was called upon to deliver the city.[200]   Boabdil handed over the keys of Grenada, and left the Alhambra by a little frequented route. After a brief but courteous exchange with Ferdinand and Isabella, he continued his journey into exile, while the Catholic Monarchs made their triumphant entry into the city; the singing of the Te Deum and the hoisting of the banner of Santiago over the citadel symbolising the end of Muslim Spain.[201] A secret agreement had been concluded, guaranteeing the safety of Boabdil and his family and granting him the small principality of the Alpujarras on the coast south of Granada and the retention of 30,000 pieces of gold, together with certain other benefits.[202]

So ended almost eight hundred years of Muslim rule in Spain. Boabdil had surrendered the last outpost without a fight, and the bitter reproach of his mother `Aisha, who had herself played no little part in its downfall, rings down the centuries as his epitaph:

‘Weep like a woman for what you could not defend like a man.’[203]

What happened after 1492

What happened to Muslims after 1492 is one of the darkest pages of human history. The facts relating to their tragic fate, and what they went through are available in a vast literature, hundreds, if not thousands of works and documents depicting their tragedy. Of course such works are all old, and what they depict cannot be found in the moribund historical writing/teaching of today. This article is not going to depict the tragedy of Muslims either. Not because the author is incapable of it. He is. The facts and their sources are available in thousands of pages. This author does not mind depicting some horrors inflicted on Muslims throughout time and space in order to make a specific argument or to explain why certain places and Muslim localities fell into decline, or have remained deserted, or just to illustrate briefly the barbarity of the invader. This author, however, is not going to pile page after page of the horrors inflicted on Muslims. This would demand encyclopaedias, and he has neither the interest, nor the physical and mental capacities to do this. It also serves no purpose other than delving in endless gore. After all human nature is what it is, and all societies and humans have the propensity to inflict immense pain, and also to be immensely good and humane. The trick is to avoid plunging societies and humans in the condition whereby the infliction of pain is the mot d’ordre. You do this by learning from the past. The aim, indeed, is to learn from the past in order to avoid the repetition of its worst. If you focus on learning and reaching the right conclusions you can do that. If, on the other hand, you allow yourself to dwell and focus on horrors alone, then you just dwell on them, and never draw any lesson.

Now, let’s look at some of what Muslims went though with focus on the central elements: religious intolerance and lack of empathy for the other, both factors of so much human misery. We also need to look at this issue so as to hit, and hopefully hard, at the type of Western scholarship which tends to distort the whole issue. By distorting reality, this crooked ‘scholarship’ not only distorts history but also perpetuates the suffering of Muslims throughout the centuries as it darkens their image on a permanent basis, that Muslims are always responsible for all that is vile.

Back to where we left: On 29 November 1491 Ferdinand and Isabella made a solemn declaration in which:

They swore by God that all Moors should have full liberty to work on their lands or to go where they desired through the kingdoms in search of advantage and to maintain their religious observances and mosques as heretofore, while those who preferred could sell their property and go to Barbary.” [204]

The surrender clause of 1492 promulgated by the secretary of the Catholic monarchs, Hernando de Zafra, read:

It is granted by their majesties and their descendants, and for ever, in perpetuity, that they will allow the said king, Muley Boabdil, and his governors, cadis, scholars, muftis, alfaquihs, algazils, nobles, servants, old, good people, and the community, little and big, according to the law. They will not force them to give up their mosques, nor their schools, nor their muezzin, nor the minarets used by such muezzins, so as they could call for prayers. They will give orders to leave these mosques their property, and their rent just as now. They (the Muslims) will continue to be tried according to Muslim law, with the advice of their cadis according to Muslim customs. Her majesties will protect, and will have protected these good practices and customs.” [205]

Muslims used to make such promises and, of course, respect them scrupulously. Not their enemies, though. Muslims did not long remain in ignorance of the duplicity of their conquerors. Soon their homes were invaded, and mosques whose possession had been especially guaranteed by the articles of the treaty, were one after the other seized and consecrated to Christian worship.[206] The highest Christian ecclesiastical authority adopted a maxim susceptible of unlimited application, that

All treaties or engagements entered into with the descendants of the invaders were valid only so long as the Christians chose to observe them, as having been dictated by necessity and contracted with persons outside the pale of the law.” [207]

Under Christian rule, and not just in Granada but throughout Spain, Muslims only experienced persecution and oppression, the most solemn promises to respect them and their possessions being violated in the name of religion.[208]

The victory at Granada in 1492 might have been expected to lead to a military response, a counter attack from somewhere in the Islamic world. Not only, as Harvey remarks, was Islamic North Africa weak, but Spain’s military might was increasing all the time, and before long its superiority over any Islamic state within striking distance was overwhelming.[209] Soon Spanish military power was exerted on the Maghrib, towns and cities falling one after the other, the dream of other Granadas beyond the sea becoming ever more real, and in its wake the accomplishment of the cherished objectives: Christianisation of North Africa, and marching down and through the Muslim world for the conquest of Jerusalem.[210]

The Ottoman empire was still far distant, and until the Turks arrived on the North Africa scene, and the Barbarossa Brothers began to repulse the Spanish onslaught, all the Ottomans could attempt was for some of their seamen to rescue as many Muslims as they could and convey them to safety. In an Arabic poem, the Hispano-Muslims explained to the sultan, Bayazid II (1481—15l2), how the Christians had ‘compelled the faithful to dissimulate in order to preserve true belief.’[211] When, passages in the Muslim ode to the Ottoman sultan commented upon ‘the dropping of the veil, the arranging of forced marriages not sanctioned by Islamic law, and the exchange of Muslim for Christian names, the poet signalled real social distress.’[212] Stressing their intention to remain among the believers, they called upon the Ottoman state to intervene on their behalf.[213] Bayazid II was however the weakest of Ottoman sultans, and his unwarlike attitude was not to the service of Muslims whether in Spain or elsewhere. While the Spanish Muslims vainly waited for their deliverance, they accepted sorrowfully the injustice of a world that let Christians act against Muslims in a manner so much in contrast with the mild treatment the Christians received while living under Islam.[214]

The Spanish Muslims had to endure a rapid decline to their status. They submitted to the statutes of Limpieza de sangre (the purity of blood,) that is they were banned from public positions and to status.[215] Ten years after the taking of Granada Muslims found themselves converted into Christians in defiance of the pledges solemnly given.[216] Cardinal Ximenez de Cisneros instituted a policy of forced baptism. His method was first to assemble the faqihs (learned religious people) and to try persuasion, with the idea that they would then influence their following: ‘To preach to them and to induct them into the way of our Holy Catholic faith.’[217]

The superficial acceptance of Christianity soon came under close Church scrutiny, which intensified the campaign against Islamic social practices.[218] Amongst these were the use of Arabic, the use of baths, not eating pork, and the like.

Mass conversions to the Christian faith by the use of force had now spread widely, and many instances are recorded. In the little town of Manices (Valencia region), on April 1518, two hundred and thirty Muslims were converted almost en masse in the church by the inquisitors of Valencia. They had come in under an Edict of Grace, ‘confessing and abjuring the errors into which they had relapsed.’[219] There must have been a little cruel preliminary work, though, Lea remarks, for, in the list of these penitents, no less than thirty two women are described as the wives or daughters of men who had been burnt alive.[220]

Muslims were compelled to attend Christian services in their former places of worship.[221] In order ‘to ease’ their entry into the new faith, Muslims were summoned ‘to abide by the word of the Gospel, which they had to learn.’ On May 12, 1524, a papal brief was issued, exhorting Charles V:

To order the inquisitors to preach the word of God to them. If they persist in their obstinacy the inquisitors shall designate a term and warn them that on its expiration they shall be exiled under pain of perpetual slavery, which shall be rigorously executed. The tithes of their temporal possessions, which they have never hitherto paid, shall accrue to their lords in recompense for the damage caused to them by the expulsion.” [222]

The Inquisition gave notice that it was prepared to act, and it published measures with a penalty of a thousand florins, against all failing to aid it against those who obstinately resisted ‘the sweetness of the Gospel and the benignant plans of the Emperor.’[223]

Placed in such dire straits, great numbers of Muslims sought relief in exile and flight in the direction of North Africa, helped in this by the increasing arrival of Ottoman seamen in the region. In October 1529, taking advantage of the fact that the best of Spain’s navy were escorting the Emperor to Genoa, the most daring of Barbarossa’s sea captains, the famous Caccia Diabolo, suddenly appeared, with fifteen ships, off Cape St. Martin in Valencia.[224] He landed, raided the surrounding country, and rounded up and carried off a large number of Muslims and Christians, ‘the former to freedom and the latter to captivity.’[225] Kheir Eddin Barbarossa, who played a large part in the transfer of Muslims to North Africa was aware of their conditions. Sometime before his death in 1543, he dictated his memoirs, a lengthy account of wars against the Christians in the western basin of the Mediterranean: the Gazavatname.[226] Early in his manuscript he gives a brief account of how Christians took advantage of Muslim weakness in Iberia to defeat the ‘true believers’ and destroy their society.[227] The Christian conquerors changed mosques into churches and forced Muslims to practice their religion secretly.[228] Only in hidden places could the faithful pray and teach their children to read the Qur’an.[229] He notes how the children of Hispano-Muslims were separated from their families and raised as Christians.[230]

In 1530, death was threatened on any Muslim found travelling without a permit in the region between the coast and the highway from Alicante to Barcelona, whilst Granada and Castilian Muslims were threatened with death for entering Valencia; a measure extended to those of Aragon in 1545; and repeated in 1563 and 1586.[231] More alarming was the policy of preventing Muslim women from marrying within their communities in order to keep the Islamic population from increasing.[232] Yet, the more persecution the more Christianity became abhorrent to the ‘new Christians.’[233] One law introduced on 25 May 1566 stipulated that the `Moors had to abandon the use of Arabic, change their costumes, that their doors must remain open every Friday and other feast days, and (of course) that their baths, public and private, will be torn down.’[234] Doors and windows were to be left open on Friday and Islamic feast days to watch in case they prayed.[235] The possession of books or papers in Arabic was almost conclusive proof of disobedience with severe repercussions.[236] On New Year’s Day of 1568, Cardinal Deza ordered the priests to take all children between three and fifteen and place them in schools where they should be taught Christian doctrine and Castilian.[237] Since drinking wine was a Spanish custom and a positive sign of conversion, its sale to the Muslims was approved.[238] So was the consumption of pork. Many Muslims, called the monfies (Exiles), resorted to banditry.[239] Their ranks were swelled by desperate men who were convicted of new crimes under new and ruinous laws, and peaceful cultivators of the soil, driven from their olives and their vines, also became robbers and assassins.[240] For most Muslims, though, there remained only one option: to rise against their oppressors.

The 1568-1571 Alpujaras Uprising

In Granada, Christmas of 1568-69 was celebrated as usual in the churches; the streets were patrolled by soldiers from the Alhambra, but men were anxious. Farax Aben Farax, the ‘Morisco’ leader, was of opinion that the time for action had now arrived. He left the city alone on the evening of Christmas Day.[241] He called for an uprising, but the appeal being answered only by an alarm bell ringing from the church of St. Salvador. He repeated the summons from the tower of Aceytuno, adding some parting words to the ‘Moriscos,’ whom he denounced as ‘dogs and cowards,’ before leaving the town.[242] No sooner he and his men were gathered at a safe place, the first Muslim leader of the uprising was elected. It was agreed that Hernando de Valor should reign, and that Aben Farax should serve him as Alguazil-in-Chief, or Constable of the Kingdom. The new emir was again proclaimed by his Arabic name of Muley Mahomet Aben Umeya, and received the fealty of his followers beneath the shadow of an olive-tree.[243]

This was the beginning of the uprising, a very timid and low scale action. Yet, suddenly, in the shortest time, it spread far and wide. Within a week the whole region was in arms, from the valley of Lecrin to the plain of Almeria, from the Vega of Granada to the shore of the Mediterranean. Village after village rose against its civil and religious authorities, either destroyed them or expelled them.[244] Suddenly, everywhere, the Muslims were proclaiming with cymbal and horn, and shouts of joy, that there was but one God, and that Mohammed was his Prophet.[245]

This was the beginning of the uprising, which began in 1568 and was to last until the Spring of 1571. It was going to turn into a mixture of bravery, betrayal, and slaughter of Christians in places, but principally of Muslims who were wantonly massacred regardless of age or gender.[246] Compared to the Spanish army, the Muslims would remain too few in numbers, and would fight under atrocious conditions, whilst their women and children, in winter in particular, would die of cold.[247] In battle, the Muslims were mostly unarmed; such as on January 16th, 1569, when they attacked a Christian military camp with stones, and were repulsed by arquebuses.[248] Alongside men, women fought desperately, endeavouring to stab the horses of the Christian cavaliers with knives, while those who had no other weapons gathered handfuls of dust to cast in the faces of the Christians and blind them.[249] The Muslims, however, received aid from Algiers, the small coastal town of Sorbas, near Almeira, held by them, received weapons, munitions and North African and Turkish volunteers.[250] The Algiers government of Uluch Ali, one of the best navy commanders, did not have sufficient means to carry out a large scale invasion, but his men could still reach the Spanish coast despite the Spanish coastal guard.[251] Muslim bravery and volunteers coming from North Africa were not enough to win the war, but they do explain why the uprising lasted until the Spring of 1571.[252] The Christian Spaniards, for their part, brought armed men from Italy and Germany to join with their army in a war that was to cost them 60,000 lives.[253] The Spanish authorities also reinforced their ranks by releasing from prison all kinds of criminals.[254]

As Muslim resentment grew, and as many more of them joined the uprising, the Christian response became fiercer. In no time, it degenerated into a pandemonium of massacres and pillage, especially as the Christians armies were followed by merchants and adventurers ready to buy on the spot whatever was brought in: goods, cattle, slaves; in fact many of the so called military movements were merely slave hunts.[255] Inoffensive peasants, who had never borne arms, were seized, carried to Granada and publicly sold as slaves in the markets of the city with the connivance of the authorities.[256] The Castilian officers, moreover, far from restraining the excesses of the soldiery, encouraged them in order to increase the ferocity and render reconciliation impossible till all the available booty could be secured.[257] Whipped up by the demagoguery of lower clergy and state officials, they executed ‘Morisco’ hostages and seized their property.[258] The massacres spared neither age nor sex.[259] An instance amongst many: altogether thirteen hundred prisoners, or whom a thousand were women, were massacred at the Castle of Jubiles early in 1569.[260] The women who survived were sent to Granada, sold at auction, and the proceeds handed to the royal officials.[261] Even the state did not regard the repression excessive once the army restored security in any place.[262] Every day was marked by acts of cruelty and treachery.[263] In the prison of Granada there had been confined, at the beginning of the troubles, upwards of a hundred of the principal ‘Morisco’ citizens, who had been arrested on various pretexts, but most of them really on account of suspected disaffection.[264] One night they were butchered in cold blood, and most atrocious manner by their guards, who then dumped their frightfully mutilated corpses on the pavement.[265]

The Christian troops made little distinctions between friends and foes. At Valor el Bajo, in early 1569, when the troops reached the village, the community leaders came out, exhibited their safeguard and asked what was required of them, for they would obey.[266] The commanders, Flores and Avila, and their troops, however, thought otherwise, and the Spaniards fell upon the friendly Muslims, killing about two hundred- all those who did not escape to the mountains, before proceeding to pillage and carry away the women and children.[267] During the conflict, in fact, the issue of women and children as victims of Christian excesses remained the dominant issue in Muslim minds and conscience. Both chroniclers of this uprising, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza[268] and Luis del Marmol y Carvajal,[269] insist continuously on this point, how due to their family attachments, Muslim fighters were particularly vulnerable to Christian reprisals against their women and children, and the sale of their women as slaves.[270] It was a weapon Christians made systematic use of.[271] Christian soldiers did not just seek to capture such women to sell as slaves, mass rape and slaughter were also very common currency.[272] Even when there was a lull in hostilities, bands of military brigands roamed everywhere without control, robbing houses, destroying property, and worst of all, ravishing women.[273]

Muslim resistance was reinforced by the arrival of a contingent of 4000 volunteers of Turks and North Africans coming to fight alongside the 25,000 or so insurgents in the Spring of 1570.[274]  But Spain was then the leading Christian power. The campaign to root out the ‘Moriscos’, fortunate enough to survive, from the province, to expropriate their property, and to scatter them among the larger population of Old Christians in other regions of Spain began under the command of Don Juan.[275] In the terrible conditions of mid winter, whole populations were condemned to trek through the long and difficult roads, many losing lives, and most losing limbs and the little they still kept. The Muslims of Almeira were transported en mass to Seville by sea; generally the inhabitants of a village were gathered in churches, then in columns, marched towards far destinations, in Estramadura, Castile, or even Galicia.[276] Earlier, the Christians had combed Grenada to seize the last of the Muslims, and to deport them towards the Spanish interior.[277] Tens of thousands were thus forced to leave their homeland.[278] Only a few loyal ‘New Christians’ (Muslims who had converted to Christianity) of high social standing were allowed to remain—Pedro Venegas, Goncalvo Zegri, Geronimo de Palacios. Even for them the criteria for remaining in Granada had its conditions: they had to fight against the ‘Moriscos,’ give high personal sacrifices for the crown, marry into Old Christian families, and show ‘prominent public behaviour in the manner of an Old Christian,’ which should mean amongst others indulging in the consumption of pork.[279] King Philip II (1556-1598) gave the bureaucracy the duty of expelling the ‘Moriscos,’ preventing their return, and repopulating the province with Old Christians.[280] In Galicia, Asturias, and the environs of Leon and Burgos, the agents of the repopulation council extolled the virtues of life in the south, promising immigrants the cattle and agricultural implements necessary to begin farming.[281] The Churchman, Gongalo de Yllescas, writing in 1572, uses these words:

Those Moriscos who had rebelled and had been taken in arms, were sold for slaves, so that there was not a town in Spain but was provided with some of them. Those who had not rebelled were removed from the kingdom of Granada, and were scattered over the cities and towns of the realm. Of these many died of change of climate in Castile, Toledo, and Estremadura; and of the rest we now see many begging in our streets or earning their bread miserably by their labour; and few of those who once were rich, but now live in poverty and vileness as they deserve.” [282]

After the region had been emptied through massacres, destruction and exile, there remained the last standing figures of Muslim resistance fighting to the last in the snow covered Alpuxarras. Ibn Abbo, the last Muslim commander, during the whole winter of 1570-1571, wandered amongst the crags of the Sierra Nevada, with a few hundred fugitives who remained attached to the cause and his fortunes.[283] Whenever he could he fought, and kept the fire of resistance alight. However, the Spaniards had found a traitor, Gonzalo Elxenis (Al-Zeniz), who enjoyed the confidence of Ibn Abbo. Al-Zeniz, who was given 100,000 maraverdis and promised amnesty by the Spaniards, in March 1571, assassinated Ibn Abbo.[284] When he and his companions had kissed the Spanish Duke’s hand, Al Zeniz laid at his feet the gun and scimitar of Ibn Abbo, saying that as he had been unable ‘to bring home the ox alive, he had like a good herdsman brought his hide.’[285] Ibn Abbo’s head, which had been severed from his body, was put in an iron cage, itself stuck on an iron spike over the archway of the Puerta del Rastro, or the gate of the shambles. An inscription told the passers-by,[286]

This is the head of the traitor Aben Aboo; let no man take it down under pain of death.” [287]

Between the death of Ibn Abbo and late 1571, the Spaniards finished Muslim resistance offering a price tag for any dead Muslim at 20 ducats.[288] Anyone above the age of twenty was put to death; rank, innocence, the helplessness of age, infirmity of disease, counted for nothing.[289] The Grand Commander, Requesens, by an organised system of wholesale butchery and devastation, by burning down villages, and smoking the people to death in the caves where they had sought refuge, ‘extinguished the last spark of open revolt.’[290]

The tracking of fugitive Muslims [Scott says] was as exciting than chase of wild beasts, pursued for fifty miles, the greater the enjoyment when the victims, vainly suppliant for mercy, were put to the sword or burned at the stake”. [291]

The Muslims were at last subdued, ‘at the cost of the honour, and with the loss of the future, of Christian Spain.’[292]

From the Inquisition to Expulsion

Throughout the period which elapsed from the fall of Granada (in 1492) until their final expulsion from Spain in 1609-1610, ‘the Moriscos’ were watched and denounced on the slightest suspicion. They were provoked to such a measure that some careless word would justify seizing them and throwing them in jail until the Inquisition could be notified to send and fetch them.[293] They were denounced by testimony gleaned from inquisitive neighbours called familiars; denounced for wearing the veil or for praying.[294] A Muslim, thus, lived in a perpetual atmosphere of anxiety, never knowing at what moment he might be put on trial for his life.[295] The Inquisition, however, targeted not the masses, but principally the spiritual leaders.[296] The famed Faqihs (experts in Islamic law) were the main target, but also rich Muslims who, once in the arms of the Inquisition, had all their wealth taken from them.[297] Trials were conducted in secret, the victim not even knowing who their accusers were. When a prisoner was arrested, Lea notes, he disappeared from human view

As though the earth had opened and swallowed him, his trial lasting two, three, or four years, during which his family knew not whether he were dead or alive until, in some public auto de fe, he reappeared and sentence was read.” [298]

On the accused was inflicted torture, forced conversions; imprisonment, beggary, ruin, being sent to the galleys, and life sentences were passed on many.[299] Victims were tortured to bring out misinformation,[300] and after that it was the stake.

In due time mounted familiars and notaries, with drums and trumpets and clarions and the standard of the Inquisition, move in procession through the streets, and at stated places a bell man rings a bell and the town crier proclaims:

Know all dwellers in this city that the Holy office of the Inquisition, for the glory and honour of God and the exaltation of our Holy Catholic Faith, will celebrate a public auto de fe at such a place on such a day.” [301]

In 1531, the Valencia tribunal had fifty-eight trials for heresy, with some 45 burnings in person, most of whom were Muslims.[302] An average of at least one Muslim was burnt alive every week, for twelve years, 1528-1540 in the city.[303] At the Seville auto de fe of September 24, 1559, two Muslim apostates were burnt; one had carried Muslims to ‘Barbary’ and the other had taken his wife and children there.[304] A letter to Philip II from the inquisitors of Saragossa, June 6, 1585, said that on that day five culprits were burnt.[305] Over the period 1549-1622, the Inquisition of Saragossa had burnt 1,817 men and 758 women.[306]

Muslims were burnt at the stake for pursuing the observance of their faith. Thus Hernando de Palma, a `Morisco,’ accused of teaching and conducting Muslim ceremonies, denied and overcame severe torture.[307] He eventually confessed that, for seven or eighth years, he had practised some Muslim rites without regarding them as contrary to the Catholic faith and was eventually burnt in the Toledo in 1606.[308]

Figure 9. Torture Methods of the Inquisition (Source)

Burning Muslims was only one means aimed at extinguishing the Muslim presence. The cardinal-archbishop of Toledo, the inquisitor in chief of the kingdom, ‘a man of great piety,’ proposed `to pass through the sword all Arabs non converted, including women and children.’[309] The Dominican Bleda was more radical, even towards the Muslim converts to Christianity, proposing that it would be easier for God to differentiate in the other world those who deserved hell and those who did not, Bleda proposing to behead all ‘Moors’ without an exception; a measure wholly supported by the clergy.[310] In order to extinguish the Muslim race, Garcia de Loaysa, Archbishop of Toledo, in 1598, proposed that the Muslims be prohibited from marriage.[311] Martin Salvatierra, Bishop of Segorbe, proposed the castration of Muslims.[312] In the 1560s King Philip II conversed privately Dr. Otadui, professor of theology in Alcala and subsequently Bishop of Avila, who in his reply told the king that `if any of the lords of the Moriscos cited the old Castilian proverb, “The more Moors the more profit” he should remember that there was an older and truer one-“The fewer enemies the better,” and he could combine the two into “The more dead Moors the more profit, for there will be fewer enemies,” which we are told pleased Philip greatly.[313]

Archbishop of Granada, Gurrero, returning from Trente in 1563, passed by Rome, and paid a visit to Pope Pie (Pius) IV. The Pope listened and praised the zeal of this preacher who told him that `the flock was only Christian by name.’[314] So the pope gave him a letter for King Philip II, remonstrating the king, that the scandal had lasted too long, and that it was time to rid the land of that `diabolical sect.’[315] The Inquisitors themselves described `the Moriscos as Moors who would always be Moors and, if the Inquisition did not convert them, it at least compelled them to sin with less publicity and thus diminished their evil example.’[316] In exchange with the king in December 1601, Archbishop Ribera quotes the Old Testament texts ordering the enemies of God to be slain without mercy and setting forth the duties of kings to extirpate them.[317] Don Juan de Ribera, Archbishop of Valencia, owed much of his reputation for piety to the fact that he had denounced to the Inquisition more than four thousand alleged ‘Moorish’ apostates.[318] The energy of Ribera was incessantly exerted for the ruin of these supposed heretics, either by exile or extermination.[319]

The Moriscos are obstinate, dogmatising heretics, and the only remedy is to drive them out of Spain: evils to be cured must be torn up by the roots, leaving no fragments to send up fresh shoots.” [320]

Muslims were accused of every crime: treason, murder, kidnapping, blasphemy, sacrilege, and for Ribera, even the destruction of the Armada was a divine judgment for the indulgence exhibited towards the enemies of the faith, and that the recent occurrences of earthquakes, tempests and comets was also attributed to the same cause.[321]  A letter from the king to Ribera confided `in the divine favour, he had resolved on the expulsion of this evil race.’[322]

And so were the Muslims removed from Spain in 1609-10. How many died, or reached North Africa, and other parts of the Ottoman Empire is unknown. No Muslim historian has touched the question. Lane Poole remarks that no less than three million `Moors’ were banished between the fall of Granada and the first decade of the 17th century.[323] Western historians, modern that is, the Frenchman Lapeyre, as an instance, from the 1950s to this day, in their daily re-writing of history, only put the figure at few thousand Muslims who were carried by boats from Spain to North Africa, safely put on the seashore, but ‘their intolerant, fanatical Muslim brethren of the Maghreb slaughtered them.’[324] Other modern historians go even further. Thus, one of them, Conrad is in agreement with many others, who

Answered those who condemn the expulsion in the name of tolerance that judging by the legitimacy or the opportunism of the operation in the name of principles foreign to the era, is a useless enterprise. [325]

By this, modern Western historians are telling us that the Muslims had to be expelled (in truth exterminated) because then, times were different. They also justify such an expulsion, again, as summed up by their leading authority, Lapeyre as follows:

The attacks on Muslims whether by religious or political figures were not alone. It was impossible to remain indifferent to such denunciations by ecclesiastic authorities who denounced the `Moors’ cold reaction towards Christianity, and their attachment to their old Muslim customs, denunciations which were in most cases justified. The dangers of Muslim violence, and intelligence with the enemy, which preoccupied the military were may be a little exaggerated, but the memories of the [Muslim] rebellion at Grenada, and the fact there were so many enemies facing the army justified such fears. [326]

One will counter this argument with the following: when the Muslim realm was threatened with extinction by the alliance of Christians and Mongols in the 1250s, and when their shared plan was to exterminate the Muslims (i.e one million Muslims slaughtered in Baghdad alone), and when both Christian and Mongol armies entered Damascus and other Syrian towns (1260), inflicting on them terrible woes,[327] the Muslims did not retaliate by mass extermination of the local Christian population. When the Mamluks crushed both Crusaders and Mongols (1260-1291), they did not embark on a programme of mass extermination of local Christians, which they could have easily done. Christians survived to this very day. Not the Muslims, though, who have been wiped out to the last wherever Christianity triumphed.

Yet, modern Western historians reach even further lower levels of indecency and lewdness, such as when the Frenchman Conrad refers to Perez, who sees that with the elimination of the Muslims, Spain has become `a nation like others in Christian Europe.’ `The Moors,’ inheritors of the Mudedjares `have refused to assimilate; they had to be expelled’.[328] Menendez Pidal in his Historia de Espana, concludes:

That after many centuries of forced neighbourhood with the Christians, this exotic race has never integrated into Spain, neither to its faith nor to its collective ideals, nor to its character, the Moors never assimilated and lived like a cancerous growth in the Spanish flesh. [329]

This author has two problems with a certain number of people. When he defends the Muslim cause and writes stuff such as this, or shows the suffering of Muslims, he is always criticised for writing such stuff. However, the same people who attack him never criticise these Western scholars and others who, by their mal-information, and by justifying the concept that the other, especially the Muslim today, just as the Jew in the past, is an inferior and nefarious subject, they justify and legitimise the worst towards these groups.

Where, indeed, one has a problem is not with his critics who ask and often demand that he should not write such stuff, for these critics are just morons. The problem is indeed with these `scholars’ of the lowest orders, who use their scholarly positions to make genocides acceptable, and even justifiable, and hence prepare the ground for something similar to happen again: the elimination of a minority on the ground of they spoiling the purity of the nation. It is with these modern interpretations of the past by the likes of Lapeyre, Conrad, and many others, generally non-Spaniards, that this author has problems with. There is, indeed, no problem with Spain, nor with what happened in the past: what happened in the past happened. No-one can change it. Furthermore, the Spain of today is by far the most welcoming land for Muslims. It is also mostly Spanish scholars, of the greatest calibre, the likes of Ribera, Juan Vernet, Millas Vallicrosa, Samso, Castro, Garcia Sanchez Expiracion, and many others, who have revived the Muslim heritage of the Iberian Peninsula, and are more passionate about such a Muslim heritage than Muslims themselves. Moreover, and sign of greatness of Spain, had the bloody train bombing incidents which hit Madrid in 2004 hit any other place, not many people would have reacted as the Spaniards did towards their Muslim guests: not initiating a single act of revenge against the Muslims. And this is why Spain still in the eyes of Muslims remains a great land, just as it once was.

Figure 10. The surrender of Granada in 1492 (Source)


-C.H. Bishko: The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, 1095-1492, in A History of the Crusades; vol. 3: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, ed., H.W. Hazard Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1975.

-T. Glick: Islamic and Christian Spain in the early Middle Ages, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1979.

-L.P. Harvey: Islamic Spain: 1250-1500; The University Of Chicago Press; Chicago; 1990.

-R. Hillenbrand: Granada; Dictionary of the Middle Ages; Joseph Strayer Editor in Chief; Charles Scribners’ Sons; New York; 1980 fwd; 651-3.

-N. Housley: Documents on the Later Crusades; 1274-1580; Macmillan Press Ltd; London; 1996.

-Diego Hurtado de Mendoza: Guerra de Grenada; Lisbon; 1627.

-W. Irving: The Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada; Geoffrey Crayon Edition; New York; 1850.

-W. Irving: The Alhambra; Sleepy Hollow Press; New York; 1982.

-T.B. Irving: Dates, Names and Places: The end of Islamic Spain; in  Revue d’Histoire Maghrebine; No 61-62; 1991; pp. 77-93.

-H. Kennedy: Muslim Spain and Portugal, Longman, London, 1996.

-S. Lane-Poole: The Moors in Spain; Fisher Unwin; London; 1888.

-H.C. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; Burt Franklin; New York; 1968 reprint.

-H. C. Lea: A History of the Inquisition of Spain, 4 vols; The Mac Millan Company, New York, 1907; vol 3.

-D.W. Lomax: The Reconquest of Spain, Longman, London, 1978.

-J.F. O’Callaghan: Reconquest and Crusades in Medieval Spain, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 2003.

-J.F. O’Callaghan: A History of Medieval Spain, Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1975.

-S.P. Scott: History of the Moorish Empire; The Lippincot Company; Philadelphia; 1904; 3 vols.

-D.M. Traboulay: Columbus and Las Casas; University Press of America, New York, London, 1994.

-R. De Zayas: Les Morisques et le Racisme d’Etat; la Difference; Paris; 1992.

Figures 11-12. (Left) Gardens of the Al-Hambra Palace, Granada, Spain, (Right) ‘Islamic Gardens and Landscapes’ book by D. Fairchild Ruggles (Source)


[1] Washington Irving: A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada; 2 vols, Philadelphia, 1829.

[2] N. Housley: The Later Crusades; Oxford University Press; 1992.

N. Housley: Documents on the Later Crusades; 1274-1580; Macmillan Press Ltd; London; 1996

[3] See also J. Muldoon: Popes; Lawyers and Infidels; The Church and Non Christian World; 1250-1550; Liverpool; 1979.

[4] Paris, 1966.

[5] Barcelona, 1908.

[6] Barcelona, 1951.

[7] 2nd ed., New York, 1965.

[8] E. A. Peers, Ramon Lull: a Biography (London, 1929), passim but especially pp. 316-341.

[9] Historia de la bula de Cruzada en España (Vitoria, 1958).

[10] D.W. Lomax: The Reconquest of Spain, Longman, London, 1978.

[11] J.F. O’Callaghan: A History of Medieval Spain, Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1975

J.F. O’Callaghan: Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 2003.

[12] A. Huici Miranda: Las Grandes batallas de la Reconquista durante las invasiones africanas; Madrid,


[13] C.H. Bishko: The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, 1095-1492; in A History of the Crusades; K.M. Setton ed; The University of Wisconsin Press; 1975; vol 3; pp. 396-456.

[14] A History of the Crusades; K.M. Setton ed; The University of Wisconsin Press; 1975; 5 vols.

[15] T.B. Irving: Dates, Names and Places: The end of Islamic Spain; in Revue d’Histoire Maghrebine; No 61-62; 1991; pp. 77-93.

[16] One of them is H.C. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain, Lea Brothers &Co, Philadelphia, 1901.

[17] H. C. Lea: A History of the Inquisition of Spain, 4 vols; The Mac Millan Company, New York, 1907; in 4 vols.

[18] S.P. Scott: History of the Moorish Empire; The Lippincot Company; Philadelphia; 1904; 3 vols.

[19] History; note 5.

[20] The preface also indicates that he wrote most of his History before 1898. Idem vii.

[21] Kearley, Timothy G., The Enigma of Samuel Parsons Scott (November 12, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

[22] W.H. Prescott, History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic (3 vols., Boston, 1838).

[23]  R.B. Merriman: The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and the New (4 vols., New York, 1918-1934).

[24] R. De Zayas: Les Morisques et le Racisme d’Etat; la Difference; Paris; 1992.

[25] H. Lapeyre: Geographie de l’Espagne Morisque; SEVPEN, 1959.

[26] In John Sweetman: The Oriental Obsession: Cambridge University Press, 1987; p. 120.

[27] W. Irving: Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada; A.L. Burt; New York; 1829; p. 8.

[28] For details on the rule of al-Mansur and the break up of the kingdom see S.P. Scott: History; op cit.

[29] S.P. Scott: History; vol 1; p. 453 fwd.

[30] C. Cahen: Orient et Occident au temps des Croisades, Aubier Montaigne, 1983; p. 21.

[31] John Glubb: A Short History of the Arab Peoples; Hodder and Stoughton, 1969; p. 190.

[32] B. Lewis: Cultures in Conflict; Oxford University Press; 1995; p. 19.

[33] R. Hillenbrand: Granada; Dictionary of the Middle Ages; Joseph Strayer Editor in Chief; Charles Scribners’ Sons; New York; 1980 fwd; pp. 651-3; at p. 652.

[34] S.P. Scott: History; op cit; vol III; p. 450.

[35] R. Hillenbrand: Granada; p. 653.

[36] W. Durant: The Age of Faith, Simon and Shuster, New York; 6th printing; 1950; pp. 314-5.

[37] R. Hillenbrand: Granada; op cit; at p. 653.

[38] For the best simplified history of Muslim Spain, and the fall of Granada, see S. Lane-Poole: The Moors in Spain; Fisher Unwin; London; 1888; see also H.C. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; Burt Franklin; New York; 1968 reprint.

[39] R. Hillenbrand: Granada; op cit; p. 651.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid; p. 652.

[43] T. Glick: Islamic and Christian Spain in the early Middle Ages, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1979; pp. 55-6.

[44] R. Hillenbrand: Granada; p. 652.

[45] See S. Lane-Poole: The Moors in Spain; Fisher Unwin; London; 1888;

H.C. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; Burt Franklin; New York; 1968 reprint.

[46] M. Florian: History of the Moors; tr., from Fr., by J.P. Claris; Harper and Brothers; New York; 1860; p. 121.

[47] R. Hillenbrand: Granada; op cit, p. 653.

[48] M. Florian: History of the Moors; op cit; p. 121.

[49] Ibid; p. 124.

[50] C.H. Bishko: The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest,1095-1492, in A History of the Crusades Vol. 3: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, ed. H.W. Hazard  Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1975, p. 440.

[51] Ibid.

[52] W. Irving: Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada; op cit; p. 7.

[53] Ibid; p. 9.

[54] Ibid.

[55] G. Sarton: Introduction to the History of Science; The Carnegie Institution; Washington; vol 2; p. 412.

[56] Ibid.

[57] T. Glick: Islamic and Christian Spain; op cit; p. 285.

[58] Ibid.

[59] For more on Al-Mazini, see:

Gabriel Ferrand: Le Tuhfat al-albab edite d’apres les MSS. 2167, 2168, 2170, de la Bibliotheque Nationale, et le MS. d’Alger (Journal Asiatique, vol. 207, 1-148, 193-304, 1925) Arabic text followed by an analysis, partial translation and notes; this is not yet the complete edition which we need, but it brings us much nearer to it (Isis, 11, 424).

Haji Khalifa: Lexicon (vol. 2, 222, no. 2548, 1837; vol. 4, 189, no. 8072, 1845; the author’s name is written differently in each note).

J. T. Reinaud: Geographie d’Aboulfeda (vol. 1, cxi-cxiii, 1848).

[60] G. Sarton: Introduction; op cit; 2; p. 412.

[61] Ibid; p. 300.

[62] G. Deverdun: Marakech; Editions Techniques Nord Africaines; Rabat; 1959; p. 261.

[63] R. Landau: Morocco: Elek Books Ltd, London 1967; p. 431.

[64] G. Sarton: Introduction; op cit; II; pp. 354-5.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Ibid.

[67] In 1255, in Padua, Italy, Bonacossa translated the Kulliyat (The Book of generalities (on medicine) of Ibn Rushd into Latin from Arabic in 1255.

[68] G. Sarton: Introduction II; op cit; pp. 354-5.

[69] R. Hillenbrand: Granada; op cit; p. 653.

[70] S.P. Scott: History of the Moorish Empire; op cit; vol III; p. 446.

[71] Ibid; p. 458.

[72] R. Hillenbrand: Granada; op cit; p. 653.

[73]  Sayid Amir ‘Ali:  A Short History of the Saracens, (569 at foot) in A. Shalaby: History of Muslim Education. Beirut: Dar al Kashaf, 1954, p. 28.

[74] R. Hillenbrand: Granada; op cit; p. 653.

[75] W. Durant: The Age of Faith; op cit; p. 316.

[76] Ibid.

[77] W. Irving: The Alhambra; 1832; 47.

[78] W. Durant: The Age of Faith; p. 316.

[79] S. Lane Poole: Moorish; op cit; 225.

[80] W. Durant: The Age of Faith; op cit; p. 316.

[81] Ibid.

[82] John Sweetman: The Oriental Obsession; op cit; pp. 217-8.

[83] Ibid.

[84] Ibid.

[85] W. Irving: The Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada; Geoffrey Crayon Edition; New York; 1850.

[86] W. Irving: The Spanish Papers; Riverside Edition; Philadelphia, 1868; pp. 519-20.

[87] W. Irving: Letters; vol ii; (1823-38); Edited by Ralph M. Aderman; Herbert. L. Kleinfield and Jennifer. S. Bank; Boston; 1979; p. 315.

[88] S.P. Scott: History; op cit; vol 2; p. 22.

[89] R. Hillenbrand: Granada; op cit; at p. 653.

[90] Ibid.

[91] Ibid.

[92] Ibid.

[93] E. Sordo: Moorish Spain; Elek Books, 1971; p. 212.

[94] Ibid; p. 213.

[95] E. Hyams: A History of Gardens; SM Quarto, 1971; p. 85.

[96] Ibid.

[97] Ibid.

[98] E. Sordo: Moorish Spain; op cit; p. 212.

[99] Ibid; p. 213.

[100] F.B. Artz: The Mind; op cit; p. 173.

[101] H. Terrasse: Gharnata; in Encyclopaedia of Islam; op cit; vol 2; p. 1019.

[102] R.B. Smith: Mohammed and Mohammedanism; London; Smith, Elder & co; London; 1876; p. 287.

[103] M. Florian: History of the Moors; op cit; p. 149.

[104] L.P. Harvey: Islamic Spain 1250-1500; The University of Chicago Press; p. 134.

[105] E. Lourie, Anatomy of Ambivalence, ‘Muslims under the Crown of Aragon in the Late Thirteenth Century’, in E. Lourie, Crusade and Colonisation, Muslims, Christians and Jews in Medieval Aragon, Variorum, Aldershot, 1990, p. 52.

[106] Ibid.

[107] Ibid.

[108] S.P. Scott: History of the Moorish Empire; op cit; Vol II; p. 225.

[109] H.C Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit; p. 190.

[110] Ibid, p. 9.

[111] Ibid, p. 10.

[112] Ibid; p. 15.

[113] C.H. Bishko: The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, op cit, p. 434.

[114] Ibid.

[115] Ibid.

[116] A. Ballesteros, “La Toma de Salé en tiempos de Alfonso el Sabio,” Al-Andalus, VIII (1943), 89-196; Ch. E. Dufourcq, “Un Projet castillan du XIIIe siècle: La ‘Croisade d’Afrique’,” Revue d’Histoire et de Civilisation du Maghreb, I (1966), 26-51.

[117] F.F. Armesto: Before Columbus MaCMillan Education; London, 1987; p. 131.

[118] A. Ballesteros, “La Toma de Salé en tiempos de Alfonso el Sabio,” Al-Andalus, VIII (1943), 89-196; Ch. E. Dufourcq: Un Projet Castillan du XIIIe siècle: La Croisade d’Afrique, Revue D’Histoire et de Civilisation du Maghreb, I (1966), 26-51.

[119] C.H. Bishko: The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, op cit, p. 435.

[120] Ibid.

[121] Nicolaus de Sancta Oliva, de Valence, et Sarrer de Tarragone; ACA (Arxtiu de la Corona de Aragon, Barcelona) Letras reales Jaime II 10 226 in H. Bresc: La Course Mediterraneene au Mirroir Sicilien (XII-XVem Siecle); in Politique et Societe en Sicile; XII-XV em siecle; Variorum; Aldershot; 1990, pp. 91-110; at p. 93. M.L. de Mas Latrie: Traites de paix, op cit; p. 237.

[122] Kervyn de Lettenhove, ed: Oeuvres de Froissart, XIV (Brussels, 1872), 151-53, 213; Jean Cabaret d’ Orville: La Chronique du Bon Duc Loys de Bourbon, ed. A.M. Chazaud, Paris, 1876, chap. Lxxii, pp. 218-20; L. Bellaguet, ed., Chronique du religieux de Saint-Denys, contenant le règne de Charles VI, de 1380 a 1422, I (Paris, 1839), 648, 650 (in the Documents  Inédits sur L’histoire de France).

[123] N. Housley: The Later Crusades; Oxford University Press; 1992; p. 390.

[124] Ibid, 306.

[125] S. Soucek:  Tunisia in the Kitab-I Bahriye of Piri Reis, Archivum Ottomanicum, vol 5, pp. 129-296; note 4; p. 151.

[126] Ibid.

[127] N. Barbour: Morocco; Thames and Hudson; 1965; p. 101.

[128] Ibid; p. 102.

[129] D. Stannard: American Holocaust; The Conquest of the New World; Oxford University Press; 1992; R. Garaudy:  Comment l’Homme devint Humainm; Editions J.A, 1978; W. Howitt: Colonisation and Christianity: Longman; London; 1838; etc.

[130] W. Howitt: Colonisation; pp. 174-5, notes how the capacity for Muslim led India as elsewhere to resist Western onslaught saved them from being extinct as the Indians in America were.

[131] R. Robertson: Introduction, in U. Bitterli: Cultures in Conflict; Polity Press; tr., from German; Cambridge; 1989; p. 5.

[132] W. Howitt: Colonization; op cit; R. Garaudy: Comment l’Homme; op cit. U. Bitterli: Cultures in Conflict; op cit; p. 33. W. Churchill: A Little Matter of Genocide; City Lights Books; San Francisco; 1997. D. E. Stannard: American Holocaust; op cit, 1992.

[133] F. Fernandez Armesto: Before Columbus; op cit; p.181-2.

[134] R. Garaudy: Comment l’Homme; op cit; p. 275.

[135] L. Valensi: Silence, Denegation, affabulation; Le Souvenir D’une Grande Defaite Dans la Culture Portuguaise in ANNALES Vol 46 (1991); pp. 3-24; at p. 7.

[136] C.H. Bishko: The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, op cit, p. 435.

[137] Ibid.

[138] See M. A. Ladero Quesada, Granada, historia de un país islámico, 1232-1571 (Madrid, 1969); and on Castilian frontier literature and attitude toward the Granadans, M. S. Carrasco Urgoiti, El Moro de Granada en la literatura del siglo XV al XVI (Madrid, 1956), pp. 19-46.

[139] C.H. Bishko: The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, op cit, p. 436.

[140] L.P. Harvey: Islamic Spain, op cit, 185 ff.

[141] Ibid, 187.

[142] Ibid.

[143] C.H. Bishko: The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, op cit p. 437.

[144] M. Florian: History of the Moors; op cit; p. 153.

[145] L.P. Harvey: Islamic Spain, op cit, p. 192.

[146] Huici Miranda: Las Grandes Batallas de la Reconquista, Madrid, 1956, pp. 331-387.

[147] M. Florian: History of the Moors; op cit; p. 155.

[148] L.P. Harvey: Islamic Spain, op cit, p. 206.

[149] Ibid.

[150] Ibid, p. 212-3.

[151] C.H. Bishko: The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, op cit, p. 444.

[152] Ibid.

[153] J.F. O’Callaghan: A History of Medieval Spain, Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1975; p. 540.

[154] Ibid.

[155] Ibid.

[156] M. Florian: History of the Moors; op cit; p. 178.

[157] L.P. Harvey: Islamic Spain, op cit, p. 243.

[158] Ibid.

[159] C.H. Bishko: The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, op cit, p. 446.

[160] Ibid.

[161] Ibid.

[162] J. Gofli Gaztambide: Historia de la Bula de la cruzada en Espana (Vitoria, 1958), pp. 647-9; in N. Housley: Documents on the Later Crusades; 1274-1580; Macmillan Press Ltd; London; 1996; pp. 138-9.

[163] M. Florian: History of the Moors; op cit; p. 180.

[164] Ibid.

[165] Ibid; pp. 182-3.

[166] J.F. O’Callaghan: Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain, op cit, p. 214.

[167] Ibid.

[168] Ibid, p. 213.

[169] Diego de Valera: Epistola 21, BAE 116: 27; Goni Gastambide: Historia, 380-94, 671-6; no 15.

[170] J. Read: The Moors in Spain and Portugal; Faber and Faber, London, 1974; p.211.

[171] M.L. de Mas Latrie: Traites de paix et de Commerce, et Documents Divers, Concernant les Relations des Chretiens avec les Arabes de l’Afrique Septentrionale au Moyen Age, Burt Franklin, New York, originally Published in Paris, 1866; p. 323.

[172] H. Terrasse: Islam d’Espagne; Librairie Plon; Paris; 1958; p. 243.

[173] R. Merriman: The Conquest of Grenada; from R. B. Merriman: The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New; New York; The Macmillan Company; Copyright; 1918; pp. 62-75; reprinted in The Islamic World and the West; Edited by A.R. Lewis; John Wiley and Sons, Inc; London; 1970; pp. 137-144; at p. 138.

[174] S. Lane-Poole: The Moors in Spain; op cit; p. 248.

[175] R. De Zayas: Les Morisques et le racisme d’Etat; la Difference; Paris; 1992; p. 182.

[176] J. Read: The Moors in Spain and Portugal, op cit; p. 212.

[177] Ibid; p. 196.

[178] S. Lane-Poole: The Moors in Spain; op cit; p. 246.

[179] Roger B. Merriman: The Conquest of Grenada; op cit; p.139.

[180] Ibid.

[181] H. Terrasse: Islam d’Espagne; Librairie Plon; Paris; 1958; p. 243.

[182] J. Read: The Moors in Spain and Portugal, p. 210.

[183] Ibid.

[184] Ibid, p. 213.

[185] Ibid; p. 323.

[186] Ibid.

[187] S. Lane-Poole: The Moors in Spain; op cit; p. 248.

[188] J. Read: The Moors; op cit; p. 215.

[189] R. De Zayas: Les Morisques et le racisme d’Etat; op cit; p. 184.

[190] L.P. Harvey: Islamic Spain: 1250-1500; The University Of Chicago Press; Chicago; 1990; p. 288.

[191] S. Lane-Poole: The Moors in Spain; op cit; p. 251.

[192] Ibid, 170-1.

[193] L.P. Harvey: Islamic Spain; p.  291.

[194] J. Read: The Moors; op cit; p. 215.

[195] Ibid.

[196] S. Lane-Poole: The Moors in Spain; op cit; p. 254.

[197] H.C Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; p. 17.

[198] T.B. Irving: Dates, names and places; p. 80.

[199] R. De Zayas: Les Morisques; op cit; p. 187.

[200] J. Read: The Moors in Spain and Portugal, p. 216.

[201] Ibid, p. 217.

[202] Ibid, p.219.

[203] Ibid.

[204] Luis del Marmol Carbajal, Rebelion y Castigo de los Moriscos de Granada (Bibliotheca de autores espanoles, Tom. XXI), pp. 146-50.

[205] Cited by Julio Caro Baroja in Los Moriscos del Reino de Granada, Istmo, Madrid, 1/1957, 2/1976, 3/1985, p. 41

[206] S.P. Scott: History, vol II, op cit. p. 228.

[207] Ibid.  p. 225.

[208] H.C Lea: The Moriscos of Spain, op cit. p. 175.

[209] L.P. Harvey: Islamic Spain 1250 to 1500, op cit, p. 325.

[210] Ch. E. Dufourcq, “Un Projet Castillan du XIIIe siècle: La ‘Croisade d’Afrique’,” Revue d’Histoire et de Civilisation du Maghreb, I (1966), 26-51. E. Kamar, ‘Projet de Ramon Lull: De Acquisitione Terrae Sanctae”, in Studia Orientalia Christiana: Collectanea no. 6 (Cairo, 1961), pp. 3-131 (text 103-31), at 108-13, 130; in N. Housley: Documents on the Later Crusades; 1274-1580; Macmillan Press Ltd; London; 1996; pp. 47-8. R.B. Merriman: The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and the New (4 vols., New York, 1918-1934), II chapters 16, 18.

[211] A.C. Hess: The Forgotten Frontier, pp. 136-7.

[212] Ibid, p. 137.

[213] Ibid, p. 136.

[214] J.T. Monroe: “A Curious Appeal,” pp. 281-303. Another effort in verse to involve the Ottomans has been published by Efdaleddin, “Bir Vesika-i Muellim,” pp. 201-22.

[215] H. Kamen: Spain: 1469-1714; Longman; London; 1983; p. 176.

[216] H.C. Lea: A History of the Inquisition in Spain, op cit; vol 3, p. 323.

[217] J. Read: The Moors in Spain and Portugal, op cit; p. 221.

[218] Mármol, Rebelión, pp. 157-9; Mendoza, Guerra, pp. 103-8.

[219] H.C. Lea: A History of the Inquisition; op cit; vol 3, p. 345.

[220] Ibid

[221] H.C. Lea: The Moriscos, op cit, pp. 62-7.

[222] Ibid, p. 83.

[223] M. Danvila Y Collado, La expulsion de los Moricos espanoles, Madrid, 1889, p. 99.

[224] R.B. Merriman: The Rise of the Spanish Empire; Macmillan; New York; 1925; vol 3; p. 296.

[225] Gomara: Cronica de los barbarrojas; in M.H.E., vi; p. 397. Danvilla Y Collado: Expulsion de los Moriscos Espanoles; p. 109.

[226] A. Gallotta, “Le Gazavat di Hayreddin Barbarossa,” Studi Magrebini, 3 (1970); pp. 79-160, at pp. 79-132.

[227] A.C. Hess: The Forgotten Frontier, op cit, p. 137.

[228] Ibid, p. 137-8.

[229] Ghazawat-I Hayreddin Pasa, British Museum., Or. No 2798 (Hayreddin, fols,). 29b_30b.

[230] Ibid.

[231] H.C. Lea: A History of the Inquisition of Spain, 4 vols; The Mac Millan Company, New York, 1907; vol 3; p. 377.

[232] Ghazawat-I Hayreddin Pasa, British Museum., Or. No 2798 (Hayreddin, fols.)  29b_30b.

[233] H.C Lea: The Moriscos of Spain, op cit. p. 148.

[234] Rodrigo de Zayas: Les Morisques et le racisme d’etat; Edt Les Voies du Sud; Paris, 1992; p. 230.

[235] T.B. Irving: Dates, Names and Places: The end of Islamic Spain; in  Revue d’Histoire Maghrebine; No 61-62; 1991; pp. 77-93; at p. 85.

[236] H.C Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit; p.131.

[237] Ibid; pp. 231-2.

[238] A.C. Hess: The Forgotten Frontier, op cit, p. 144.

[239] Caro Baroja, Los Moriscos, op cit, pp. 159-69.

[240] W. Stirling-Maxwell: Don John of Austria, in 2 vols, Longmans, London, 1883, vol 1; p 120.

[241] Ibid; p. 123.

[242] Ibid; p. 124.

[243] Ibid; p. 126.

[244] Ibid; p. 129.

[245] ibid.

[246] Luis del Marmol Carbajal: Rebelion y castigo de los Moriscos de Granada (Bibliotheca de autores espanoles, Tom. XXI).

[247] Luis del Marmol: Historia del rebellion y castigo de los moriscos del reyno de Granada; fol 113.r

[248] Note 2: in Marmol Carbajal; Rebelion; p.232.

[249] Luis del Marmol Carbajal: Rebelion y castigo, op cit, Tom. XXI); pp. 236; 239.

[250] R. De Zayas: Les Morisques; op cit; p. 235.

[251] Ibid.

[252] Ibid.

[253] H. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit; p. 308.

[254] Luis del Marmol: Historia del rebellion; op cit, fol 129r and v.

[255] H. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit, p. 239

[256] S.P. Scott: History; op cit; vol 3; p. 274.

[257] Ibid; p. 272.

[258] A.C. Hess: The Forgotten Frontier, op cit, p. 146.

[259] H. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit, p. 242.

[260] S.P. Scott: History; op cit; vol 3; p. 273.

[261] Mondejar: Note one: memoria, p. 47; in H. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit; p. 240.

[262] A.C. Hess: The Forgotten Frontier, op cit, p. 146.

[263] W. Stirling-Maxwell: Don John of Austria, op cit; p. 147.

[264] Ibid; p. 148.

[265] Ibid.

[266] H. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit; p. 245.

[267] W. Stirling-Maxwell: Don John of Austria, op cit; p. 149. H. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit; p. 245.

[268] Diego Hurtado de Mendoza: Guerra de Grenada; Lisbon; 1627.

[269] Luis del Marmol Carbajal: Rebelion y castigo de los Moriscos de Granada, op cit, Tom. XXI).

[270] Rodrigo de Zayas: Les Morisques; op cit; p. 202.

[271] Ibid

[272] Luis del Marmol: Historia del rebellion; op cit, fol 111v-112.r

[273] S.P. Scott: History; op cit; vol 3; p. 274.

[274] H. Kamen: Spain; op cit; p. 174.

[275] AGS, Cámara, de Castilla, L 2153, fols. 9-84, 18 February 1570 to 14 March 1570.

[276] R. De Zayas: Les Morisques op cit, p. 240.

[277] Ibid; p. 238.

[278] Bernard Vincent, “L’expulsion des Moriscos du royaume de Granada et leur repartition en Castille (1570—71),in Mélanges de la Casa de Velázquez, 6 (1970): 211-40.

[279] Archivi General de Simancas (AGS), Cámara de Castilla, L 2168, no fol. no., November 1572; L 2172, no fol. no., 16 March 1572.

[280] A.C. Hess: The Forgotten Frontier, op cit, p. 147.

[281] Ibid.

[282] Gonzalo de Yllescas: Historia pontifical y Catholica, lib. vi. 2 vols, fol., Madrid, 1613. Vol. ii. p. 754.

[283] W. Stirling-Maxwell: Don John of Austria, op cit; p. 282.

[284] S.P. Scott: History; op cit; vol 3; pp. 300-1.

[285] W. Stirling-Maxwell: Don John of Austria, op cit; p. 284.

[286] Ibid.

[287] Ibid; p. 285.

[288] A. Thomson: M.A. Rahim: Islam in al-Andalus, Taha Publishers, 1996, p. 204.

[289] S.P. Scott: History of the Moorish Empire; vol II, op cit; p. 297.

[290] S. Lane-Poole: The Moors in Spain; op cit; p. 278.

[291] S.P. Scott: History of the Moorish Empire; vol II, op cit; p. 298.

[292] S. Lane-Poole: The Moors in Spain; op cit; p. 278.

[293] H.C. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain, op cit, p. 106.

[294] T.B. Irving, Dates, Names and Places, op cit; p. 79.

[295] H.C. Lea: The Moriscos; op cit, p. 106.

[296] R de Zayas, Les Morisques, op cit. p. 126.

[297] Ibid.

[298] H.C Lea: The Moriscos; op cit, p. 111

[299] T.B. Irving, Dates; Names; and Places; op cit, p. 79.

[300] Ibid,

[301] H.C. Lea: A History of the Inquisition in Spain, op cit; p. 214.

[302] Ibid; p. 358

[303] A. Thomson, M.A. Rahim, Islam in al-Andalus, op cit; p. 187.

[304] H.C Lea: The Moriscos of Spain, op cit. p. 189.

[305] Ibid. p. 118.

[306] Les Morisques et leur temps, Table Ronde Internationale, 4-7 July 1981, Montpellier, CNRS, Paris, 1983.P. 527

[307] Henry Charles Lea: A History of the Inquisition; op cit; pp. 199-200.

[308] Ibid.

[309] G. Le Bon: La Civilisation des Arabes, Syracuse; 1884; pp. 205-6.

[310] Ibid.

[311] H.C Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit; p. 293.

[312] H. Kamen: Spain; op cit; p. 177.

[313] Pedraza: Historia ecclesiastica de Granada; Granada, 1638.fol.238-9.

[314] R de Zayas: Les Morisques; op cit; p. 229.

[315] Ibid.

[316] Archivo hist.nacional, Valencia, Leg.5, fol.185. 186 etc.

[317] H. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit; p. 308.

[318] S.P. Scott: History; op cit; vol 3; p. 311.

[319] Ibid.

[320] H. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; op cit; p. 308

[321] S.P. Scott: History; op cit; vol 3; p. 311.

[322] H. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; p. 316,

[323] S. Lane Poole: The Moors; op cit; p. 279.

[324] H. Lapeyre: Geographie de l’Espagne Morisque; SEVPEN, 1959; p. 155, who is today the most quoted `scholar’ of all specialists on Spain.

[325] H. Lapeyre: Geographie; p. 213 in P. Conrad, op cit; pp. 120-1.

[326] H. Lapeyre: Geographie; pp. 130-1.

[327] For good details on such episodes, consult Baron G. D’Ohsson: Histoire des Mongols, in four volumes; Les Freres Van Cleef; la Haye and Amsterdam; 1834; vol 3; or Ibn al-Furat: Tarikh al-Duwal wal Muluk of Ibn al-Furat; including the shorter version of it in U. and M.C. Lyons: Ayyubids, Mamluks and Crusaders, selection from the Tarikh al-Duwal wal Muluk of Ibn al-Furat; 2 vols, W. Heffer and Sons Ltd, Cambridge, 1971. 2 vols, W. Heffer and Sons Ltd, Cambridge, 1971.

[328] J. Perez: Chretiens; Juifs et Musulmans en espagne; Le mythe de la tolerance religieuse (VIII-XV e siecle); in Histoire, No 137; October 1990, in P. Conrad: Histoire de la Reconquista; Que Sais je? Presses Universitaire de France; Paris; 1998; p. 122.

[329] R.M. Pidal: Historia de Esapana dirigida por Ramon Menendez Pidal; vol 2; Madrid; 2nd edition; 1966; p. 41.

(Left) Gardens of the Al-Hambra Palace, Granada, Spain, (Right) ‘Islamic Gardens and Landscapes’ book by D. Fairchild Ruggles (Source)

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