The name Al Andalus is derived from the historical fact that Al Andalus was once called Vandalus, meaning “the land of vandals”. It was named after the Vandals who were first settled here but later moved to other parts of Europe…
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In 711 AD, the Christian chief Julian went and appealed to the governor of North Africa Musa ibn Nusair for his assistance against the tyrannical rule of Roderick in Spain. The Moorish Umayyad army consisting of 7000 troops from North Africa under their Commander Tariq bin Ziyad crossed the state of Gibraltar and gained control over much parts of the Iberian Peninsula. Roderick was killed in the battle and his Visigoth army was defeated. It was the start of an eight year Islamic rule in that region. From the 8th- 15th centuries, various parts of the Iberian Peninsula majorly Southern Spain, Portugal and France were ruled by the Muslims; which were mostly Arab or Berber.
The Muslim empire in Spain was not under a single reign instead it was a series of different successions made by various Muslim rulers. From 711- 716, the military troops under their leader Tariq ibn Ziyad conquered the region. In 756, the Umayyad prince Abd ar Rahman.I establishes the Emirate of Cordoba. It was a blooming time of the Umayyad dynasty as well as for the Arab culture (BBC, 2009).
Later Abd ar Rahman.III took over. The reign of Umayyad dynasty in Spain lasted from 756- 929. Civil wars in 1009 and 1013 totally collapsed the Emirate of Cordoba. As result of this various small states came into being. These states known as the “ Taifas” were divided amongst Arabs, Berbs and Iberian Muslims. As they were weak in military power and thus asked the help of the North African warriors to help fight the Christian kings. From 1080- 1250 Almoravids and then Alhomads ruled. DECLINE In 1212, the Christian states united against the Alhomads . And till 1252 nearly all the Iberian Peninsula came under the three Christian states of Portugal, Aragon, and Castile. The reason of decline of the Muslim empire in Spain was not because the Christians were strong, but it was because the Muslim rulers were cutting each other’s throat and hence was becoming weaker. By the mid thirteenth century the Muslim rule in Spain was limited to a thin mountainous strip of land in the south. In 1230-40 Muhammed ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr founded a state centered around the city of Granada. Granada had a weak economy and had to face internal conflicts as well.Also the Muslims in North Africa at that time, went into decline and could no longer provide Granada their support (Islam & Islamic History, 2001). The Christian States of Castile, Aragon and Portugal united and grew stronger. In 1474, war started and one city after another came to the Christian artillery. In 1492, after an eight-month siege, Granada also became a part of Christian artillery. The Muslims in Spain finally lost all their in 1492.And by 1502, after 800 years the Christians gained power again and issued orders involving Muslims to convert to Christianity, otherwise imposing brutal limitations. The Muslim empire in Spain made various contributions in many fields. During Abd ar Rahman III reign, books from Baghdad (as it was the centre for research back then) were brought to this land. Libraries, hospitals, Research centers and centre of Islamic studies were established. Scholars, historians, poets and researchers were invited to the region to make their contributions in their respective fields. ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN SCIENCE Science is a very vast field. The Muslim scientists and scholars contributed a
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