Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The Revelations of the prophet and the Holy Qura'n
Revelations were still bestowed on Mohamad (PBUH), when he has forty years of age. He was given to meditation and night in Ramadan the angel Gabriel appeared before him on amount Hira.
Gabriel addressed him and said "Read"- Mohammad's (PBUH) hesitated. Three times the angel said "Read" I can not read" was Mohammad's (PBUH) reply (He was illiterate).
"Read in the name of thy Lord who created man out of a clot congealed blood Read and thy Lord is most bountiful. He who taught man the use of the pen and taught man that which he knew not' (Surah al-Alak (No. 96 verses 1-5).
Mohammad returned shivering to his wife, Khadija, and told her what had happened. She took his story to her cousin Waraqah Ibn-Nofal. He told her that it was the angel Gabriel whom Allah had sent to Moses had also come to Mohammad.
Through these revelations, Allah ordered the prophet (PBUH) to go forth boldly and proclaim the new religion. There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet.
The prophet started the call to Islam in secret. He began to win son converts.
Prophet Mohammad's Character of Privileges to the Monks of St. Catherine Monastery
In 628 C. E. Prophet Mohammad granted a character of Privileges to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai.
This is a message from Mohammad Ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my own followers defend them because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to Moslem's houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey. His prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that the hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige tem to fight. The Moslems are to fight for them.
If a female Christian is married to a Moslem, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Moslems) is to disobey the covenant till the last Day (end of the world)".
This charter of privileges has been honored and faithfully applied by Moslems through the centuries in all lands they ruled.
Name of the prophets
The Qur'an believes in all the prophets found in the Talmud (Old Testament) and the Bible (New Testament).
Biblical names Qur'an namesAron Harun
Abraham Ibrahim
Adam Adam
David Da'ud
Elijah Elias
Alvasa' Enoch Idris
Zhu-l-kiflEzra Uzair
Isaac Ishaq
Ishmael Ismail
Jacob Ya'qub
Jesus Isa
shu'aybJob Ayyub
John the Baptist
YahyaJonah Yunis
Joseph Yusef
LotMary Maryam
MusaNoah NuhSolomon Suleiman
Six Misconceptions About Islam
1- Misconception # 1 Moslems Worship A Different God
Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. Allah is the same God Worshiped by Moslems. Christians and Jews. The Jews call him Yahwah. In Islam, God is exalted, he was not born, nor did he give birth to anyone. He does not have associates, nor does he have human attributes.
2- Misconception # 2 Moslems Worship Mohammad
Moslems believe in all the prophets- Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus, Abraham, Isaac, Ismail, etc.. they also believe in all the "people of the Book". This includes Christians and Jews. Mohammad is the last messenger, but Moslems believe he is not divine and they do not worship him. They worship God. It is very wrong to call Moslems "Mohammedans".
3- Misconception & 3 Moslems do not believe in Jesus or any of the other prophets: Moslems respect and revere Jesus. They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers. The Quran confirms his virgin birth and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation.
4- Misconception # 4 Moslems are Violent Terrorists
Many groups have used Islam and a cover for their political activity, since our religion has "mass appeal". Islam dominates everyday life in some countries like no other religion. Islam literary means submission to God, and is derived from Salam meaning Peace. Nowhere Islam condone the killing of innocent people. When a Jewish gunman attacks people praying in the mosque, or a Catholic IRA guerilla sets off a bomb, or a Serbian Orthodox militiaman rapes and kills innocent people – these acts are not used to stereotype an entrie religion!
5- Misconception # 5 All Moslems are Arabs
Twenty percent (20%) of the World population is Moslems (1.2 billion people). Only 18% of these 1.2 billion are Arabs. The largest Moslem community lives in Indonesia. The breakdown of the Moslem populations is as follows:
25% in India
20% in Sub Saharan Africa
18% in the Arab World
17% in Southeast Asia
10% in the former Soviet Union & China
10% in Turkey, Iran & Afghanistan
There are 6 million Moslems in the USA, where it is the fastest growing religion
6- Misconception # 5 Moslems are a Barbaric backward people
Civilization first spread from Egypt to Greece. It was then carried by the Arabs (Moslems and Jews) to Europe through the conquest of Andalusia (Spain). Throughout the European dark ages. Arabia was a center for learning and culture. The Moslems excelled in Philosophy, chemistry, Mathematics, Optics, Medicine and Astronomy.
The early Islamic Period
A concise history
- Islamic history begins with the prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and his struggle in Mecca, his emigration to Medina (Yathrib), and his final return to Mecca and the acceptance of Islam as the new religion.
- This was followed by the death of Mohammad, and the choice of Abu Bakr as the first caliph (632- 634 A. D.). Here Islam began to spread to some of the neighnboring countries. Omar Ibn Al-Khattab then became caliph and it was during his reign (634- 644 A. D.) that most of the Islamic expansion took place- Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Egypt. His reign was followed by the caliphate of Osman who was killed by a rebel group. This was followed by the caliphate of Ali when the schism between the Islamic factors became even more pronounced. During he reign of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the position of Caliph was chosen by the elders. It was not handed down by birth-more like a Republic than a Monarchy.
- Next came the Ummayad dynasty whose founder, Mu'awiyah was a brilliant politician and statesman. He moved the capital from Mecca to Damascus and instituted a dynastic rule which lasted a hundred years. As with most monarchies, "the followers and caliphs", were of differing abilities in their governorship. During the Ummavad dynasty the expansion of Islam continued into North Africa and finally Spain.
- The Abbasid dynasty followed, after an insurrection and the battle of the River Zab. Abdelrahman I, from the Ummayad family, Swam away and fled to Spain (Andalusia). There he founded his own dynasty.
- The Abbasid were descendants of the uncle of the prophet. They moved the capital to Baghdad. During this period Islam reached its zenith in wealth and power and it truly became multinational, especially with the incorporation of Persia and Asia. This dynasty lasted 500 years (750- 1258 A. D.).
- The end came when Hulaga, a descendant of Jangis Khan, along with the Mongolian army, successfully attacked and sacked Baghdad.
- the end of the Islamic occupation of Spain came with the inquisition in 1492. Jews and Moslems were expelled from Spain.
The rightly guided caliphs
- The world caliph, or Calipha, means "he who follows" or successors.
- The rightly guided caliphs are:
1- Abu-Bakr El-Sedeek.
2- Omar Ibn Al-Khattab.
3- Osman (Othman) Ibn Afan.
4- Ali Ibn Abu-Talin.

Abu-Bakr El Sedeek (1st, Caliph)
632- 634 A. D.
- He was the prophet's most trusted friend and confidant. He was a merchant from the tribe or Quraish.
- He was the one who accompanied the prophet in his emigration (Hijra) from Mecca to Medina.
- The prophet had not named a successor when he died. Abu Bakr was elected by the elders of the Moslem community to succeed him.
- He gave a sermon at the death of the prophet and proclaimed that "those who worshipped Mohammad (PBUH), Mohammad is dead. Those who worship God, God lives forever".
- He is generally believed to have been mild mannered, diplomatic, modest and gentle.
- He could, in times of crises, display both firmness and dynamic energy.
- Many believe, he was the model example of a Moslem, and he determined to follow in every way the example of the prophet.
- Although Abu Bakr's reign was very brief (2 years), they were critical years in the continuation of the new religion. Some of the tribes, after the death of the prophet renounced Islam. There were also false prophets who claimed to have received divine messages. Through his able general, KHaled Ibn Al-Waleed, a series of conquests were initiated in Persia and the Levant to quell these rebellions.
- On the 12th August 643 A. D., Abu Bakr died. He was 63 years old. He died penniless and was buried next to the prophet in Medina.
Caliph Abu Bakr Speech
After giving praise and thanks to Allah (The one true God), Abu Bakr addressed the Moslems gathered at the prophet's mosque: "I have been given the authority over you, and I am not the best of you. If I do well, help me; and if I do wrong, set me right Sincere regard for truth is loyalty and disregard for truth is treachery".
The weak amongst you shall be strong with me until I have secured his rights, if God will; and the strong amongst you shall be weak with me until I have wrested from him the rights of others, if God will. Obey me so long as I obey God and His Messenger (Mohammad, PBUH). But if I disobey God and his messenger, you owe me no obedience. Arise for your prayer, God have mercy upon you".
Omar Ibn AL- Khattab634- 644 A. D. (2nd, Caliph)· He was the second caliph of Islam. His leadership lasted for 10 years.
· After the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), he was the most influential figure in Islamic history. He was responsible for the spread of Islam in its early years.
· His influence, in many ways, resembles the influence of Paul in the spread of Christianity.
· Physically, he was a giant of a man, with great stamina and strength.
· During his time that the 2 great empires, Persia and Byzantium were defeated.
· He was a simple man, with simple tastes. His clothes were often ragged and patched. Many times he would sleep under a tree and not in a tent. He represented the ascetic life that is so valued in Islam.
· He was famous for his strong will and direct impetuous and unambiguous character. He was preoccupied with being fair and that justice would prevail.
· His reigns was marked by his powerful, simple ascetic and puritan character. His era was considered to be the golden age of Islam.
· He was an excellent administrator, who insisted that no one be forcibly converted to Islam. His armies lived in garrison cities like Fustat.
· After the death of the prophet, Omar thrust the leadership Bakr thus avoiding a struggle for power.
· He was the first to assume the title of Amir Mu'minin "commander of the Faithful". He created a diwan which gave a stipend to all, based on merit and station, down to slaves and children.
· At the age of 58, he was assassinated by Abu Lu'lu'ah Firoz, A Persian man.
· It was Omar who insisted that the Islamic Calendar start with the year of the prophet's emigration (Hijra).
· On his death bed, Omar appointed a council, the Shura (advisors) to elect a new caliph, once again avoiding a power struggle.

Similarities between Paul, The Apostle & Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, The Second Caliph
· Both were vigorously opposed to the new religion (Christianity and Islam).
· Both were transformed to their new religion through a remarkable experience.
· Both were very instrumental in the spread of their religion. They were both the "secondary movers".
· Both met violent deaths- Paul at the hands of the Romans, and Omar at the hand of a Persian.
Osman Ibn Affan
644- 656 A. D. (3rd Caliph)· Osman was a wealthy merchant who belonged to the rich and powerful ummayad clan in Mecca.
· The prophet (PBUH) began to preach in Mecca in 615 A. D. five years Osman accepted Islam (620 A. D.), and he became the first convert of high social and economic standing.
At the death of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, the shura council of six statesmen, Osman as the next caliph. His election was a compromise when opposition to the more powerful candidates cancelled each other out.
· Osman followed the same general policies as his predecessor, but he had a less forceful personality.
· Osman was responsible for the gathering and compilation of the Qur'an, an before that the Qur'an existed in the form of various collections of sayings.
· In an effort to strengthen the central government Osman gave many of the provincial governorships to members of his family. This nepotism caused political unrest and revolt.
· Dissatisfaction with the tyranny of Ummayads led to a revolt against Osman. He was besieged and beheaded while reading the Qur'an.
· After his death the Moslem community suffered from religious and political strife.
Ali Ibn Abu Taleb· Ali was the fourth caliph, appointed after the assassination of Osman. He was a member of the Hashemites and cousin to the prophet (PBUH).
· He was the first child to convert to Islam at the age of thirteen. The prophet (PBUH) had asked "which of you sons of Abdel Mutalib will help me in our new religion?" The only on who responded was Ali who was then thirteen years old.
· The prophet (PBUH) then said "This is my brother, my executor and my successor among you". He had a special relationship with the prophet (PBUH) who referred to him ay least twice as "my brother" and three times as "my heir" (wasi).
· Ali became a renowned warrior during Islam's struggle for survival, often leading the army. He had an independent personality and was not given to the arts of social diplomacy or compromise.
· He married the prophet's daughter, Fatma, and it is from their two sons Hassan and Hussein that the "Sharifs", or progeny of the prophet (PBUH) descend. A third son, Mohsen, died in infancy. They also had a daughter, Zeinab.
· After Fatma died, Ali had another son by another wife. This son, Mohammad Ibn Hanifa, became the leader of a revolt against the Ummayads.
· Ali was elected Caliph at a time of political. He had to put down a rebellion led by the Companions Talhah and Al-Zubier in which A'isha, the prophet's (PBUH) wife took part. Ali defeated the rebels at the Battle of the Camel.
· Mu'awiyah, govern of Damascus, also made a bid for the caliphate. This led to the Battle of Siffin.
· Ali's troops had the upper hand in the battle, when Mu'awiyah's troops put the Qur'an on their bayonets.
· A truce was made and negotiations began to avoid further bloodshed. Mu'awiyah manipulated the negotiation with cunning and declared himself Caliph.
· Ali refused to surrender his authority and established himself at Kufah (Iraq). He was assassinated by a member of reble group (Kharijite).
· His
son, Hassan, succeeded his father as caliph, but was forced step down, after 6 months by Ma'awiyah.
· His second son, Hussein, was killed at the battle of Karbila 'by the forces of Mu'awiyah's son, Yazid.

· Ali's death led to schism in Islam and the formation of Shi'ism. The Shia belief is that Ali had exclusive right to the caliphate which was usurped from him. Ali's tomb is in Bajaf, Iraq, Ali laid down the rules of formal Arabic grammar. His sermons were collected in a book "Nahj Al-Ablagh" (The way of eloquence).

Major Islam Battles
1- Yarmouk (August 636):
· The battle of Yarmouk, fought in what is now Jordan, next to the Sea of Galilee, was probably the most important and decisive battle fought between the Byzantine forces and the emerging Islamic army.
· The army raised by Heraclius (Byzantine Emperor) and commanded by Theodorus in the early months of 636 was the largest that the Byzantine army had 240.000 soldiers and cavalry, while the Islamic army contained only 45.000 soldiers and cavalry (a numerical superiority of 5: 1).
· Both Moslem generals immediately retreated to avoid a confrontation with the Byznatine army-Khaled Ibn Al-Walled evacuated Homs, while Abu Ubeida left Damascuc. All the Moslem forces concentrated to the South of the river Yarmouk.
· The two armies were poised and skirmishes occurred over a period of a few days. Then on 20th August, a strong sandstorm developed. The wind below away the tents and made visibility impossible.
· The Islamic army, led by Khaled Ibn Al-Waleed, outflanked the immobile Byzantine army, cut off its supply routes, and then attacked Theodorus was killed in the attack, and the army was slaughtered.
· Just before the battle, Khaled was relieved of his command by the new Caliph, Omar Ibn Al-Khttab. Khaled hid this from his soldiers until the battle was over.
· This battle is important since it dealt a crushing blow to the Byzantine empire and opened the way for the Moslem army to move into Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.
· It was also the first time the Islamic army had demonstrated advanced tactics in combat.
The Moslem Army· At first, the army was very primitive and considered of light infantry and light cavalry. In the early years, their main weapons were the lance and the bow and arrow. Swords were imported from India Persia. The cavalry rode horses and camels.
· As the army became more sophisticated, they used mangonels (manjaniq or catapults) and ballistas for hurling missiles, rams for battering down walls, and towers manned by soldiers for pushing up against walls.
· The commander used flags of different colors for communications, ordering attacks, retreats etc..
· The Moslem army preferred to flight in open plains, not in mountainous areas or valleys.
· Once the two armies faced each other, a series of combatants from each side challenged each other, one from each side. Although this had nothing to do with the outcome of the upcoming battle if had a psychological effect on the people. It was difficult to be optimistic if your best warriors were slain in front of your own eyes.
· Behind the army, the wives of the combatants would stand cheering them on.

How the Moslem army defeated their enemies
· It is indeed remarkable that the small and simple Moslem army could defeat the much stronger armies of two very powerful empires- the Roman (Byzantine) and the Persian Empires, and spread Islam from Arabia to Spain and China. How did they do it?
· Perhaps the strongest force was the force of faith. The Moslems believed in their cause and fought valiantly, sometimes at incredible odds.
· Initially the army was very simple and mobile. They used this to their advantage. They did not wear helmets or metal armor. They were quick o attack, quick to retreat.
They were simple and hardy people who lived off the desert and did not need large supply lines. The imperial army required along supply line that could easily be attacked.
· The Moslem army was made up of desert people who understood the terrain well. They were not bothered by the harsh, barren climate or sandstorms.
· They had able generals who learned the tactics of war quickly, such as:
- Khaled Ibn Al-Waleed.
- Amr Ibn Al-As.
- Tarek Ibn Zayad.
- Salla Al-Din (Saladin), (much later).
· The Persian and the Byzantine empires had oppressed the people for too long. When the Moslem army arrived, with its religious tolerance, the people readily joined it.
· References:
1- The Great Arab Conquests – by John Bagot Glubb.
2- The world of Islam- by Bernard Lewis.
Khaled Ibn El-Walled"Sword of God"
582- 643 A. D
· He was probably the most brilliant of all the Arab Generals. He commanded the armies very early at the beginning of the Islamic period.
· For many years he had fought on the side of the infidels (Al-Kafereen), and was responsible for the prophet's defeat at the battle of Uhud.
· When he became a Moslem and switched sides, the prophet called him the "Sword of God".
· His Victories against the Byzantine (eastern empire) the Persians were brilliant, and were the reason for the continuation of the Islamic conquests.
· he was a great strategist who effectively utilized the speed of the Arab armies and their light cavalry. The Roman and Persian soldiers, on the other hand, wore many layers of armor and were slow in their movements.
· He fought 10 major battles- and won all of them.
· At the battle of Yarmouk, he was relieved by the 2nd caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab of his command. He hid the news from his army, and after the victory, informed his soldiers. It would appear that this demotion was done by Omar because he feared Khaled's growing popularity.
· Khaled continued to flight in the Arab army, but more as a second commander.
Amr Ibn Al Aas
· He was of two outstanding military generals, who helped defeat the imperial armies at the beginning of Islam.
· He was a wealthy member of the Banu Sallim clan of the tribe of Quraish. Amr and Khaled Ibn Al-Waleed joined the ranks of Islam in 629 A. D.
· As the leader of one of the military forces sent to Palestine by the caliph Abu Bakr, he was responsible for the Moslem conquest of Palestine. He fought at the battle of Ajnadayn.
· At the battle Siffin 657 A. D., he sided with Mu'awiyah, governor of Syria, against Ali, the fourth Caliph of Islam. The forces of Mu'awiyah put the Quran on their bayonets, which stopped the fighting, and in the ensuing arbitration, Amr faithfully represented Mu'awiyah who became the new caliph.
· He has a commonly quoted saying "War is deception".
· He achieved lasting fame for his conquest of Egypt… a campaign that, according to some sources he undertook on his own initiative.
· After defeating a large Byzantine force at Heliopolis 640 A. D., Babylon (old Cairo) in 641 A. D., he entered the capital Alexandria in 642 A. D.
· A successful general, Amr was also a capable government administrator and an astute politician in Egypt, he organized the system of Taxation and the administration of justice.
· He founded the garrison city of Al-Fustat adjacent to the city of Babylon. The city grew to become Cairo.
· He founded the first mosque outside of Arabia, the Amr Ibn Al-Ass mosque in old Cairo.
· He died in 633, at the age of 63, in Fustat (Cairo).

661- 750 A. D.Ummayads · After the death of Ali Ibn Abu Talib, Mu'awiyeh became Caliph. He founded a dynasty which ruled for 90 years.
· The capital was moved from Mecca to Damascus, since Mu'awiyeh was the governor of Syria.
· There was much civil strife and many wars were fought both with Byzantine and Persian armies, but also with dissenting factions in Islam.
· Among the Ummayad rules there were extremes – one military leader Haggag Ibn Yousef was very cruel in putting down revolts in Iraq. On the other hand there was also the saintly and abstemious "Umar Ibn AbdelAziz".
· There were great military conquests which extended Islam into North Africa Spain and even parts of France.
· The Ummayad rule came to an end when revolution broke out in Khorasan incited by an Abbasid agitator named Abu Moslem.
· A new dynasty was founded by Abu Al-Safah, a dynasty of the uncle of the prophet. The battle of The River Zab left the Ummayads defeated.
* The Ummayad rulers were as follows:
0 Mu'awiyeh Ibn Abu-Sufyan 66- 683.
0 Yazid Ibn Mu'awiyeh 683
0 Marwan Ibn Al-Hakam 684- 685
0 AbdelMalik Ibn Marwan 685- 705
0 Al-Walid Ibn Abdel Malik 705- 715
0 Sulayman 715- 717
0 Umar Ibn Abdel Aziz 717- 720
0 Hisham Ibn Abdel Aziz 720- 743
0 Al-Walid II 743- 744
0 Yazid II 744
0 Ibrahim 744
0 Marwan 744- 750
The Abbasid Dynasty750- 1258 A. D.
· This is the second of the two great dynasties of the Moslem empire.
· With the excesses of the Ummayad dynasty, there was political unrest, leading to their overthrow. The Abbasids then took over. The name is derived from the uncle of the prophet Mohammad Al-Abbas of the Hashemite clan of the Queaish tribe in Mecca.
· Members of the Abu Al-Abbas clan worked to gain control of the empire. They received the support of the Shi'ite Arabs and Persians in Khorassan.
· Open revolt in 747 A.D., under the leadership of Abu Moslem El-Kohrassani led to the defeat of Marwan II, the last of the Ummayad caliphs, at the battle of the great Zab river, and to the proclamation of the first Abbasid caliph, Abu Al-Abbas Al-Saffah.
· Marwan's son Abdelrahman, I, was thrown in the river and swam away. He later traveled to Spain (Andalusia) where he founded an independent caliphate.
· The Abbasid caliphate moved eastward and a new capital was founded- Baghdad.
· Whereas the Ummayads had turned westwards to North Africa and Spain, the Abbasids turned eastwards to Afghanistan, India and China.
· Between 750 and 833 A. D. The Abbasids raised the prestige and power of the Islamic empire promoting commerce, industry, arts and sciences.
· Much of the funding came from the Abbasid provinces. This funding reached a peak at the time of the fifth caliph, Harun Al-Rashid (809 A.D.). he appears to have been described n the Arabian tales "one Thousand and One Nights".
· The peak of intellectual and cultural achievements came during the reign of caliph Al-Ma'mun (783- 833 A.D.), son of Harun Al-Rashid. He founded Bait Al-Hikma (House of Wisdom). This academy contained a library and an observatory. He encouraged the translation of Greek worked into Arabic.
· As the empire grew, it began to be fragmented. Thus North Africa, Egypt and Spain began to have their own caliphate and the Abbasids weakened. They also began to depend more heavily on the mercenaries- Berber, Slav and especially the Turks.
· The end of the Abbasid empire came when the Mongols, under the leadership of Hulaga, a descendant of Jengis Khan, sacked Baghdad.

The fatimids909- 1171 A.D.
· The Fatimids were the Ismaili dynasty which founded Cairo as its capital in 969 A.D. and which ruled an empire extending from Palestine to Tunisia.
· Their name "Fatimids" represents their claim to be descended from the prophet through his daughter Fatimah, and her husband Ali, the prophet's cousin.
· The Fatimids were Ismailis, who were in turn an offshoot of the Shi'ites.
· Ada'i (ptopagandist) of the Ismaili organization Abu Abdullah Hussayn, also called Al-Shii (the Shite) established the dynasty.
· He persuaded the ketama Berbers living in Tunisia to accept his chief, Ubayd Allah as their religious and political leader.
· Ubayd Allah then built himself a capital called Al-Mahdiyyah in Ifriqiya (Tunis) in 969 A.D.
· The general Jawhar Conquered Egypt in the name of the Fatimid ruler Al-Mu'zz li-din-Allah and founded Cairo (Al-Qahira, the Victorious). From Cairo, the empire grew to include Palestine and Syria.
· The time of the Fatimid rulers was a time of the flourishing of the arts.
· The Fatimids founded the renowned Al-Azhar University, today the oldest and most venerable in the Islamic world.
· One Fatimid ruler, Al-Hakim, was erratic if not insane. He had the church of the Holy sepulcher in Jerusalem destroyed. This was one of the events which led to the crusades.
· The Fatimid rule ended in the year 1171 A.D., when they were overthrown by Saladin and his uncle Shirkuh. This then started the Ayyubid Dynasty.

Timeline of the Fatimids
Proclamation of the first Fatimid Caliph, Ybayd Allah in Tunisia
916 Fatimids invade and conquer Sicily
953- 975 Reigon of Al-Muizz li-din Allah as Caliph
General Jawhar conquers Egypt for Al-Muizz- Cairo is founded.
996-1021 Reign of Caliph "Al-Hakim".
The establishment of Dar Al-IIm (House of learning) in Cairo.
1009 Al-Hakim orders destruction of Holy sepulcher church.
1099 Jerusalem is captured by crusaders from Fatimid garrison.
1169 Shirkuh arrives in Cairo, dies and is succeeded by Saladin.
1171 Saladin abolishes Fatimid dynasty.
Islamic SpainMay 711 A.D.- January 1492 A.D.
· The Moslems spent 781 years in Spain to many observed, their accomplishment were substantial.
· The Islamic architecture reached its greatest beauty in Andalusia. There were many artistic achievements during this time.
· The Moslem Arabs brought their civilization along with the Greek Civilization (translated into Arabic) to Spain, and hence to Europe.
· At the beginning of their occupation of Iberia (Spain), the Moslem Arabs showed religious tolerance that has never been matched. Moslems, Christians and Jews all lived as one community.
· This period ended with religious strife, and finally with the Spanish Inquisition. Moslems and Jews were forced out of Spain.
· Andalusia (Islamic Spain) was the center of culture and learning. The Moslem cities- Cordoba Seville and Granada – boasted libraries with 500.000 books written in Arabia. Unfortunately, during the inquisition many of these books were burnt.
· Many of the Moslem scholars came from analusia – Ibn Rushd (Averroes). Ibn Battuta, Al Zahrawi. Abbas Ibn Naseh, Ibn Farnas. Al Ghazal, Maimonides (Ibn Al-Marimoon), Al-Zarqali, Masslama Al-Majrifi.

Tarek Ibn Zeyad
· Tarek Ibn Zeyad is the general who led the Moslem Conquest of Spain Tarek was of Berber origin.
· Musa Ibn Nusays, the Arab conqueror of Morocco, left Tarek to govern Tangier. Spain was undergoing civil war and was under Witiza, the Visigoth rule.
· The son of Witiza appealed to the Moslems for help. In May 711 A.D. Tarek landed on Gihralter (Jabal Tarek – in Arabic mountain of Tarek) with an army of 7.000 men, mostly Berbers. Syrians and Yemenis.
· After Tarek set foot in Spain, he ordered the burning of all the boast that they had used to cross the sea. Then he gave his famous speech: "The sea in behind you, the enemy is in front of you".
· In July 711 A.D., he defeated the force of the Visigoth usurper king Roderick and marched on Toledo, the capital of Spain, and occupied that city. He also conquered Cordoba, which became the Moslem capital of Andalusia- in Arabic garden).
· Musa himself arrived in Spain with about 180.000 more Arab troops in 712 A.D.
· Within the next few years the two generals occupied more than two-thirds of the Iberian Peninsula.
History of Islamic SpainMay 711 A.D. – January 1492 A.D.
The Moslems spent 781 years in Spain, that era can be divided into 6 periods.
(i) The conquest.
(ii) The independent Emirate.
(iii) The Ta'ifas.
(iv) The Almoravids.
(v) The Almohads.
(vi) Granada.
Some terms in Moslem Spanish History should be remembered.
Spanish Name Arabic Origin or Explanation
Toledo Tulaytu
Seville Ishbiliya
El Cid El Sayed (the master)
Almoravids Al-Murabiteen (the persistent ones)
Almohads Al-Mowaheedin (those who believe in one
Mozarab most'areb (Arabic-speaking Christians) those who are like Arabs
Almeria Al-Meraya (the mirror)
Tortosa Turtushah (splatter of water)
Saragossa Saraqustah
Saladiyyun Baladi (of Arab origin)
Ta'ifas Tribal units
Al Andalus The Garden
Granada (City) Ghranada
Algeciras Al-Jazirah (the island)
Mulley Hacen Mawalaya Hassan
Boabdil Abu Abd Allah
Alhambra Al Hamra (the red)
Moriscos Arabs who became Christians

Moslem Spain
1- Conquest
· Musa Ibn Nusayr annexed all the western provinces (present day Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco)- the Maghrib- for the Ummayad dynasty in 705 A.D.
· The Visghths conquered most of Spain. After the death of King Witiza, this faction appealed to Musa of support against the usurper Roderick in 710 A.D.
· In May 711 A.D., Musa sent a Berber army headed by Tarek Ibn Zeyad across the straits of Gibraltar. In July 711 A.D., he was able to defeat Roderick.
· Tarek then marched on and captured Toledo (Tulaytulah). In the following year (712 A.D.), Musa that year, two-thirds of Spain lay in Moslem hands.
· Jews were no longer persecuted and all three religions lived in hamony. The taxes imposed by the Moslem rulers were far less than they had been under the Visigoths. The native population converted to Islam Musalimah and their children became Moslem-muwallads (mawalides).
· Moslem expansion came to a halt when the Moslem army led by Amir Abdelrahman Al-Ghafiqi was defeat by the Franks under Charles Marte in Tours, near Paris (732 A.D.).
II-Independent Emirate
· the dynasty of the Andalusian, Ummayads (756- 1031) marked the growth and perfection of the Moslem and Arabic civilization in Spain.
· This dynasty can be divided into 2major period- that of the independent Emirate (756- 929 A.D.) and that of the Caliphate (929- 1031 A.D.)
· During this period there were 3 important rulers- all named Abdelrahman (I, II and III).
· Abdelrahman I, was the organizer of the new Moslem state. He based his power on the Eastern aristocracy (Ummayads) and heaped upon it property and riches. He also had to contend with the intrigues of the Abbasids in the East and the amies of Charlemagne in the North. The Frankish advance halted when the Moslem army captured Barcelona (Barjelunah) in 801 A.D.
· Abdelrahman I was followed by Hisham (788- 796 A.D.) and Al-Hamam I (796- 822 A.D.).
· Abdelrahman II inaugurated an era of political, administrative and cultural regeneration. He also exchanged cordial relations and ambassadors with the Byzantine empire and the Frankish king Charles II.
· Abdelrahman II was able to restore order and recapture Saragossa, Merida and Seville.

III- Taifas (1009- 1031 A.D.)
· The central government became weak, and this was followed by the creation of numerous independent kingdoms that fought between themselves, called Ta'ifas.
· Seville (Ishbilyah) was under Arab rule, and it united southern Andalusia.
· This fragmentation facilitated the expansion of the Christian states. The latter imposed heavy taxes on the Moslem Ta'ifas which caused sharp friction between the Moslem authorities and their people.
· This period ended by the Castilians occupying Toledo (1085 A.D.).

IV- Al Moravids (Almurabiteen)
· The Moslem rulers asked for help and the Almoravid ruler, Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, came from the Maghrib with an army and defeated the Castillian army under Alfonso VI at Al-Zallaqah in 1086 A.D. His mission accomplished, he returned to the Maghrib.
· The in-fighting between the Ta'ifas continued and Ibn Tashufin returned and deposed the rulers of Granada, Malaga and Seville.
· El-Cid (El-Sayed)- Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar-resisted in Valencia-but it was finally captured (1110 A.D.) Valencia was recaptured by Alfonson VII and this marked the end of the Almoravides.

V- Almohads (Almowaheedin)
· * The Almohads crossed over from Africa. They sought to unite the Moslems and they compelled Christians and Jews to convert to Islam or emigrate.
· Al-Mansur defeated the king of Castille, Alfonso VII in the battle of Alarcos (Al-Iqab).
· Mohammad Ibn Al-Ahmar ruled in Granada from 1238- 1273 A.D., by accepting the sovereignty of Castillian kings.
· Granada became the only independent Moslem state in Christian Spain.

VI- Granada
· Mohammad Ibn Al-Ahamr founded the Nasrid dynasty which was to endure for two and a half centuries.
· Granada and the south of Spain with their secured boundaries, created a favourable climate for their people. During the region of Mohammad V (1354- 1391 A.D.). Moslem Spain reached its greatest splendor.
· This included some of the most learned men.
Al-Khatib (mathematics)
Ibn- Khatima (physician)
Ibn- Zamraq (poet)
· Finally, the armies of the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella marched on Granada which surrendered on January 2, 1492 A.D. During the Spanish inquisition Moslems and Jews were expelled from Spain.
· Some of the most noted Andalusian Scholars include:
Moses Maimondies (Philosopher physician)
Al-Drisi (geographer)
Al-Bakri (writer)
Al-Baytar (Botanist)
Al-Zarqali (Azarquiel)
· The Astrolab Astronomer who preceded Kepler in stating that the planet's orbit was ovoid, not circular.
Al-Majrifi (astronomy & mathematics)
Ibn-Rushd (Averroes) (philosophy)

· The Moslem Andalusians also gave the world great architectural designs palaces.

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