Muslims in Spain

   1. Political History

   - CONQUEST: In 711 A. C. Muslims invaded the Iberian Peninsula and defeated Roderic at the Battle of Guadalete. Muslim leaders, Tarik and Muza, conquered the peninsula, except a mountainous strip in the North where Christians reorganized and other area in the Pyrenees.
   The rest of Spain was called Al- Andalus and was a dependent province of the Caliphate of Damascus.

   - The Emirate of Cordoba: The Umayyad prince who got to escape from the Abbasids was Abdur Rahman I. He came running up Ceuta and then went to Spain proclaimed himself emir that is he became politically independent of the caliph. He reunited land and achieved to contain the Christian kings of the North.

   - The Caliphate of Cordoba. Abdur Rahman III assumed the title of "chief of the believers” or caliph, that is, political and religious leader. Thus Al- Andalus achieved full independence. It is a time of major political, cultural and military splendor.

   - ALMANZOR: In the tenth century, Almanzor, minister of the Caliph Hisham II stood up. He conducted continuous military expeditions through the Christian territory: Zamora was devastated and suffered looting. He also fought against Barcelona, León and took control of Santiago de Compostela. But he died after the battle of Calatañazor where it is said that "Almanzor lost the drum." The caliphate disappeared in 1031.

   2. Answers if these facts refer to the conquest, to the emirate, to the caliphate or to Almanzor:

They conquered the peninsula in 711

Minister of Caliph Hisham II

Abdur Rahman III

Abdur Rahman I

Tarik and Muza arrived


He fought in Barcelona and León

It became politically independent

    3. Decadence

   After the collapse of the Caliphate of Córdoba, a period of anarchy which facilitated the Christian advance came.

   - TAIFA kingdom: The cities became independent and formed in small states called “Taifa Kingdoms “that means faction (See the upper map) . There were twenty six kingdoms divided into three groups: Slavs, Berbers and Arabs. These divisions were used by the Christian kingdoms of northern Spain and were conquering a great part of their land.

   - THE AFRICAN INVASION: Various people from Africa as the almoravids and the Almohads that invaded Al- Andalus and reunified some of the Taifa kingdoms for a time, but the Christian kings won over the Almohads in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212. Then the Muslims lost the Guadalquivir valley and their dominions were reduced to the kingdom of Granada.

   - THE KINGDOM OF GRANADA: After the conquests of Ferdinand III (Córdoba, Jaen and Seville) and James I (Valencia and Baleares), Muslims retained only the kingdom of Granada. But it was conquered by the Catholic Kings in 1492. Boabdil, the last king of Granada, gave them the keys to the city. Thus the Muslim power in Spain ends.

   4. Indicate if these facts refer to the Taifa kingdoms, to the African invasions or to the Granada kingdom:

Batlle of Las Navas de Tolosa

It means faction

It existed until 1492

The Last King was Boabdil

There were twenty six kingdoms

The Almoravids arrived

It was conquered by the Catholic Kings

The Almohads arrived

The cities were independent

    5. Islamization

   It is the process by which a part of the Iberian Peninsula assimilates the Arab culture, which also influences the Christian states. We can distinguish:

   - POPULATION: There were several social classes and races:
   + The previous population formed by the Visigoths and Hispano-romans constituted the 90% of the total population. The Mozarabics were Christians and the muladís were converted to Islam.
   + The Arabs were very few but the most influential.
   + The Berbers were the great mass of invading combatants.
   + The coexistence between Christians and Muslims was peaceful in many periods of the reconquest . See the upper picture the "Libro de los Juegos" of Alfonso X the Wise where a Christian gentleman and a Muslim warrior play a match.

   - THE ECONOMY: Al- Andalus was considered the privileged land of the Islamic world.
   + In agriculture they cultivated wheat, olives, grapes, garden crops, fruit trees, rice and sugarcane.
   + Regarding the mining, they made use of the iron, silver, gold, mercury, lead and tin.
   + Regarding the industry, they stood out in textillery, ceramics, glasswork, leather and metalwork.
   + The trade flourished splendidly with Syria, Egypt, Byzantium and other countries.

   - DEVELOPMENT OF KNOWLEDGE had the protection of emirs and caliphs.
   + Education is given in mosques and consisted of reading and writing the Koran.
   + They also cultivated poetry, history, philosophy and science.

   6. Indicate if these sentences refer to the population, to the economy or to the knowledge:

Visigoths and Hispano-romans abounded

They cultivated wheat, olive and vine

The emirs and caliphs protected it

They made use of gold and silver mines

The Mozarabicd were Christians

They cultivated poetry and history

The Arabs were very influential

Al- Andalus was privileged land

They taught in mosques

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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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