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 MOORISH (ISLAMIC) CIVILIZATION

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Kawthar
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PostSubject: MOORISH (ISLAMIC) CIVILIZATION   Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:50 am

The Muslims of the Iberian Peninsula, who ruled Spain between 711 and 1492 C.E., are commonly known as the Moors. They called their land Andalus which in the early period of their history also included Portugal and southern France and in the last period only the Kingdom of Granada. The word Andalusia is derived from the Arabic word Al-Andalus which has several meanings. One of them is ‘to become green after a long summer or drought,’ and the history of the Iberian Peninsula over the ages attests to this phase when Muslims ruled Spain.

In the earliest setback in southern France, the Muslims were defeated at Tours-Poitiers (about two-thirds of the way to Paris) during the month of Ramadan in 732 CE. This place is known as 'The Pavement of the Martyrs' and in Muslim cronicles as Balaat ash-Shuhada'. Muslim control of Toulouse, Narbonne, Lyon and nearby territories varied from time to time, as some of the territories were lost, regained, and then lost. This went on until 975 C.E.

The word Moors is a corrupted word referring to the people who came from Morocco. The Christians of the Iberian Peninsula began to use this term exclusively for Muslims when the Muslims lost administrative control of northern parts of Spain and Portugal. Later, other words such as Moriscos and Mudejares were used for them beginning in the mid-thirteenth century.

When Muslims first arrived in Spain in 711 C.E., they constituted mainly Arabs and Berbers of North Africa. Within two decades a majority of the inhabitants of Andalus, especially most of the Unitarian Christians and the oppressed class, accepted Islam freely in recognition of the peace, security and the freedom of religion and expression under the Muslim rule. By 770 C.E. people of all races from North Africa and Arabia migrated to Andalusia (Spain and Portugal). They intermarried with various nationalities including the native Spanish-Muslim population, with the result that Spain became a fairly homogeneous country within a few generations. During the reign of Abdur-Rahman, the 'Falcon of Andalus' (755-788), they began the work of building an Islamic civilization similar to the one already flourishing in Damascus, Baghdad and its many regional centers. Within a century of their activity, they had developed a civilization far in advance of any in Europe. Their great contribution is commonly known as the Moorish Civilization

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