Lessons For Muslims From The Fall Of Spain
The book of Gibbon titled “The Decline and Fall of Roman Empire” speaks volumes for the rational researchers. Similarly, the history of the downfall of the Muslims, especially in Spain is an eye opener. The entire period of Omayyad Monarchy was from 640 A.D to 750 A.D. This dynasty started from Amir Mouwiyya and ended with Marwan Second. With his murder the fate of Omayyad dynasty laid tumbled, torn, tattered and tarnished.
It is a bitter fact that with the exception of two years period of Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz’s reign, all dynasties were the embodiments of brutality, cruelty and revelry, and immorality. These Kings were called caliphs which is absolutely un-Islamic. Uncouth rulers like Marwan bin Hakam, Abdul Malik, Suleiman, Hisham and Marwan Second were the semblance of shear barbarity.
The 92 years Omayyad kingdom was ended by the uprising of Abu Muslim Khurasani. The Abbasids raised the political slogan: “Revenge of the murder of Hussain.” Abu Abbas Saffah took over who was succeeded his brother Mansoor. He was so cruel and callous that he treacherously and mercilessly killed the benefactor and spearhead of revolution. The same atrocities were meted out by these rulers to the posterity of the Holy Prophet (PBH).
The Omayyads and the Abbasids left no stone unturned teasing, troubling and torturing the household of the Prophet (PBUH) as they all feared their spiritual influence, piety and popularity. After Mansoor, his son Mahdi succeeded him. Then Haroon-ur-Rashid, Mamoon-ur-Rashid, Amin-ur-Rashid, Motasim, Wasiq Billah, and Mutawakkil, Motazid ruled.
Their regimes were tyrannical regimes. During the time of Motazid, the provincial governors became independent and the Abbasid dynasty lost its power and became an easy prey to the Tartar hordes of Genghis Khan and then in 1258 A.D, his grandson Halaku laid siege to Baghdad and mercilessly massacred Muslims.
This all happened when the Muslims were divided on political and sectarian front. The enemies made a policy: “Divide and rule.”
Similar misfortune ended the five hundred years rule of the Muslims in Spain. In Spain, Abdur Rehman, a surviving grandson of Hisham of the Omayyad, founded a kingdom in 754 A.D. The early Muslim rulers with efficient administration, modesty, justice and wisdom made Spain the seat of learning. In the field of science and learning, savants and scholars such as Ibne Abd Rabbeh, Ibne Hazm, Ibne Abdil Barr, and Ibne Jubair won great fame. The University of Cordova was the internationally recognized academic centre, where students and scholars from Italy, France and Germany thronged to learn arts and sciences.
As was the wont of the corrupt debauches of the dynasties of Umayyads and Abbasids, the rulers of Muslim Spain also got involved in luxury and revelry which eventually wrought their ruin. The 500- year old kingdom was divided into petty local governments, and became an easy prey for the Christian knights of Castile and Leon. Abu Abdullah of Grenada was forced by King Ferdinand to surrender.
On 3rd January 1492, he was exiled to Africa. While leaving his state, he cast a gloomy look at the domes of Alhambra and could not restrain his tears. On seeing this pathetic sight, his brave mother uttered historical words which are a lash on the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of the rulers. She said:
“Weep not like women now for that domain,
Which like men thou hast failed to retain”.
Samuel Smiles on the sad saga of the fall and decline of the Moors from Spain comments:
“Poverty and want overtook the country which still dominates there”.
There is not a shred of doubt in it that when the Muslims took over Spain, they showed mercy, modesty, tolerance and compassion to the Christians according to the fraternal and humanistic norms of Islam. But, when the Christians conquered Muslim Spain, they did not show the clemency, mercy and love preached by Jesus Christ. They massacred the Muslims and demolished and desecrated their religious sanctuaries.
Alas; the Muslims have learnt no lesson from history. To date, they are divided into small states. The Arab Emirates have oil but are sunk deep into luxury. There are 57 Muslim countries but are the stooges of Imperialists. They are disunited and doomed.
What is the lesson to be learnt today?
The monarchies and dictatorships must be obliterated and democratic system be established. Our younger generation must remain aloof from fundamentalists and die hard clerics. They must support democratic governments and valiantly oppose dictators. Rationality, piety and parity are the keys to success. This is the lesson that we must learn from our history.
In the end I would suggest our youth to read a few authentic books of history on Muslim dynasties such as “The History of Arabs” by Philip Hitti, “Muqadama Ibne Khuldoon”, “History by Ibne Hisham”, “History by Jarir Tabari” and “History by al- Masudi.”