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ISLAM AND AL-ANDALUS 
Víctor Marín Navarro 
http://labrujuladeltiempo.wordpress.com 
@VictorMarinNav
THE MIDDLE AGES 
The Middle Ages is a historical period that began with the 
fall of the Roman empire in the 5th century and ended with 
the start of the Modern Age in the 15th century 
The fall of the Roman Empire led to the fragmentation of its 
territory: 
● The Eastern Roman Empire, which became known as the Byzantine 
Empire, experienced a Golden Age in the 6th century under Emperor 
Justinian 
● The Western Roman Empire was occupied by the Germanic peoples. They 
established several kingdoms, such as the Visigoths in Hispania
The Early Medieval Civilisations 
In the 7th century, a new 
religion called Islam 
appeared in Arabia. It 
quickly expanded to the 
Mediterranean coast and 
then into Asia and Africa. A 
new Muslim civilisation 
developed. 
From this moment, the 
Christians of the West 
(feudal Europe) and the 
East (the Byzantine Empire) 
shared the former territory 
of the Roman Empire with 
the Muslims. Together they 
represented the great 
civilisations of the Middle 
Ages.
The Beginning of Islam 
Islam first appeared on the Arabian 
Peninsula 
The Arabs who lived there worked in 
agriculture and livestock farming, and 
traded with camel caravans 
They believed in many gods. Their 
main religious centre was Mecca, 
where they made pilgrimages
The Beginning of Islam 
Muhammad was born in Mecca in 
570. He was a very religious man. 
Legend says that the archangel 
Gabriel appeared to him and told him 
that he was the new prophet of Allah 
(“God” in Arabic). 
Muhammad began preaching a new 
religion based on submission to God: 
Islam. The people of Mecca did not 
believe Muhammad and he was 
persecuted.
The Hijra 
In 622, Muhammad escaped from 
Mecca. He went to the city of Medina. 
This is known as the Hijra (“flight” in 
Arabic). It marks the beginning of the 
Muslim era and the Islamic calendar. 
Muhammad converted the people of 
Medina to Islam. When he died in 
632, the majority of Arabs had 
become Muslims (followers of Islam)
Islam 
The Koran is the sacred book of 
Islam. It contains the ideas that Allah 
revealed to Muhammad. 
As Islam is a monotheistic religion, 
Muslims believe that Allah is the only 
God and that is all-powerful. They 
believe that Allah sent the Prophet 
Muhammad to preach the code of 
conduct that all men should live by. 
In Islam, there are preachers 
(imams), who preach the word of 
Allah.
The Islamic Code of Conduct 
The main ideas of Islam 
are: 
● Allah is all-powerful and the caliphs 
represented him on Earth. They controlled 
politics and religion 
● Muslims cannot represent Allah or 
Muhammad in images 
● Muslims must engage in religious 
struggles called “jihad” 
● Allah is the owner of all goods and 
property. Muslims are required to help 
each other, to give money to to beggars 
and to lend money without interest. 
● Judges, or qadis, should apply justice as it 
is described in the Koran
The Islamic Code of Conduct 
● Believe in a single God 
● Pray five times in a day 
● Fast during the month of 
Ramadan 
● Give money to the needy 
● Make pilgrimage to Mecca at 
least once in a lifetime 
● Islam doesn’t allow drinking 
alcohol, eating pork, gambling or 
betting, dressing immodestly 
● Poligamy is allowed
A mosque 
Mosques are places of worship and 
learning. They are a place for 
believers to meet. Muslims go to 
mosques to pray under the direction 
of an imam. 
Main parts of a mosque: 
● Courtyard: open space 
surrounded by columns or pillars 
● Ablution fountain: for washing 
and purification 
● Minaret: tower used for the call 
to prayer 
● Prayer room 
● Mihrab: niche in the qibla wall to 
show the direction of Mecca 
● Mimbar: the pulpit where the 
imam delivers sermons
The expansion of Islam 
The Umayyad Caliphate of 
Damascus 
● From 661 to 750 
● The empire was ruled from 
Damascus (Syria) by caliphs from 
the Umayyad family 
● The Muslims conquered a vast 
territory from the Iberian Peninsula to 
North Africa and the Indus River 
● The caliphs held absolute power but 
they delegated duties to the vizier 
(prime minister) and the emir 
(governor)
The expansion of Islam 
The Abbasid Caliphate of 
Bagdad 
● From 750 to 11th century 
● The Abbasids of Baghdad took 
control from the Umayyads of 
Damascus 
● The Abbasids lost control of parts of 
their territory, such as al-Andalus, 
which achieved political and religious 
independence
Islam on the Iberian Peninsula: al-Andalus 
At the beginning of the 8th century, the 
Muslims conquered the Iberian Peninsula. 
The majority of the conquerors were North 
African called Berbers, led by an Arab 
minority. They were managed by Tariq 
and Muza. 
They crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and 
defeated the Visigoths in the Battle of 
Guadalete (711). 
A few Visigoths and a very small part of 
the general population fled to the areas of 
Cantabria and Asturias, which were not 
conquered by the Muslims
The Independent Emirate 
Al-Andalus became in a province, or a 
dependent emirate of the Umayyad 
Caliphate. 
But when the Abbasids of Baghdad killed 
the last Umayyad caliph, the only survivor 
of the Umayyads, Abd al-Rahman I, took 
refuge in al-Andalus. In 756, he declared 
himself emir and gained independence 
from the Caliphate of Baghdad. 
The Independent Emirate experienced a 
period of economic and cultural 
development.
The Caliphate of Cordoba 
In 912, Abd al-Rahman III became 
emir. He governed very well. By 929 
he was powerful enough to declare 
religious independence and appoint 
himself caliph of al-Andalus. He had 
absolute power. 
The Caliphate of Cordoba was 
formed and a golden age began. 
There was stability within al-Andalus, 
economic development and cultural 
prosperity.
The Caliphate of Cordoba
Taifas 
From the year 1008, the Caliphate of 
Cordoba was no longer unified. Top 
civil servants, aristocrats and the 
army fought for power and al-Andalus 
was divided into 25 kingdoms, called 
taifas. 
Despite help from the North African 
Almoravid and Almohad armies, 
almost all of the taifas were 
conquered by the Christian kingdoms 
in the 13th century.
The Taifa of Granada 
The Taifa of Granada was the only taifa to 
survive, from 1232 to 1492. It included 
Almería, Granada, Málaga and a part of 
Cádiz. 
The extensive wealth and economic 
activity of the Taifa allowed it to pay taxes 
to the Christian kings. This ensured its 
survival until 1492. 
The Alhambra was built in Granada during 
the 14th and 15th centuries. It was the 
home of the Nasrid dynasty and it is the 
best-preserved medieval palace in the 
world.
The economy and society of al-Andalus 
In the Islamic world, the city was the 
centre of economic activity with markets 
(souqs) selling all types of products. 
Moreover, trade and artisan communities 
were very important. 
However, the majority of the population in 
al-Andalus worked in agriculture: 
● They developed irrigation through the 
use of waterwheels and ditches 
● They introduced new crops such as 
rice, citrus fruits and hemp
The economy and society of al-Andalus
The economy and society of al-Andalus 
In al-Andalus, society was made up 
of many cultures and religions. The 
Muslim population included: 
● Arabs. They had political and 
social power and could own land 
● Berbers. They were relatively 
poor people who worked as 
shepherds 
● Muladi. They were visigoths who 
had converted to Islam. Most of 
the population were in this 
group. 
There were also non-Muslim 
minorities, who paid higher taxes and 
had fewer rights: 
● Mozarabs. They were Visigoths 
who remained Christian. Many 
emigrated to Northern Christian 
kingdoms. 
● Jews. They worked as artisans, 
traders, doctors or scientists.
Islamic art and culture 
The Islamic civilisation was very 
important. 
● Islam encouraged learning a 
single language, Arabic 
● The Muslims introduced Arabic 
numerals 
● Important advances in the fields 
of medicine, philosophy, 
engineering, chemistry, 
mathematics and astronomy
Islamic art and culture 
● As it was forbidden to represent 
the sacred pictures, sculpture 
and paintings, the Muslims 
specialised in architecture and 
decorative art 
● Islamic architecture used bricks 
● It included many arches and 
domes 
● The buildings were decorated 
using marble and mosaics 
● The most representative 
buildings from this period were 
mosques and palaces
Islam and al-Andalus

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Islam and al-Andalus

  • 1. ISLAM AND AL-ANDALUS Víctor Marín Navarro http://labrujuladeltiempo.wordpress.com @VictorMarinNav
  • 2. THE MIDDLE AGES The Middle Ages is a historical period that began with the fall of the Roman empire in the 5th century and ended with the start of the Modern Age in the 15th century The fall of the Roman Empire led to the fragmentation of its territory: ● The Eastern Roman Empire, which became known as the Byzantine Empire, experienced a Golden Age in the 6th century under Emperor Justinian ● The Western Roman Empire was occupied by the Germanic peoples. They established several kingdoms, such as the Visigoths in Hispania
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5. The Early Medieval Civilisations In the 7th century, a new religion called Islam appeared in Arabia. It quickly expanded to the Mediterranean coast and then into Asia and Africa. A new Muslim civilisation developed. From this moment, the Christians of the West (feudal Europe) and the East (the Byzantine Empire) shared the former territory of the Roman Empire with the Muslims. Together they represented the great civilisations of the Middle Ages.
  • 6. The Beginning of Islam Islam first appeared on the Arabian Peninsula The Arabs who lived there worked in agriculture and livestock farming, and traded with camel caravans They believed in many gods. Their main religious centre was Mecca, where they made pilgrimages
  • 7. The Beginning of Islam Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570. He was a very religious man. Legend says that the archangel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that he was the new prophet of Allah (“God” in Arabic). Muhammad began preaching a new religion based on submission to God: Islam. The people of Mecca did not believe Muhammad and he was persecuted.
  • 8. The Hijra In 622, Muhammad escaped from Mecca. He went to the city of Medina. This is known as the Hijra (“flight” in Arabic). It marks the beginning of the Muslim era and the Islamic calendar. Muhammad converted the people of Medina to Islam. When he died in 632, the majority of Arabs had become Muslims (followers of Islam)
  • 9. Islam The Koran is the sacred book of Islam. It contains the ideas that Allah revealed to Muhammad. As Islam is a monotheistic religion, Muslims believe that Allah is the only God and that is all-powerful. They believe that Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad to preach the code of conduct that all men should live by. In Islam, there are preachers (imams), who preach the word of Allah.
  • 10. The Islamic Code of Conduct The main ideas of Islam are: ● Allah is all-powerful and the caliphs represented him on Earth. They controlled politics and religion ● Muslims cannot represent Allah or Muhammad in images ● Muslims must engage in religious struggles called “jihad” ● Allah is the owner of all goods and property. Muslims are required to help each other, to give money to to beggars and to lend money without interest. ● Judges, or qadis, should apply justice as it is described in the Koran
  • 11. The Islamic Code of Conduct ● Believe in a single God ● Pray five times in a day ● Fast during the month of Ramadan ● Give money to the needy ● Make pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime ● Islam doesn’t allow drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling or betting, dressing immodestly ● Poligamy is allowed
  • 12. A mosque Mosques are places of worship and learning. They are a place for believers to meet. Muslims go to mosques to pray under the direction of an imam. Main parts of a mosque: ● Courtyard: open space surrounded by columns or pillars ● Ablution fountain: for washing and purification ● Minaret: tower used for the call to prayer ● Prayer room ● Mihrab: niche in the qibla wall to show the direction of Mecca ● Mimbar: the pulpit where the imam delivers sermons
  • 13.
  • 14. The expansion of Islam The Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus ● From 661 to 750 ● The empire was ruled from Damascus (Syria) by caliphs from the Umayyad family ● The Muslims conquered a vast territory from the Iberian Peninsula to North Africa and the Indus River ● The caliphs held absolute power but they delegated duties to the vizier (prime minister) and the emir (governor)
  • 15. The expansion of Islam The Abbasid Caliphate of Bagdad ● From 750 to 11th century ● The Abbasids of Baghdad took control from the Umayyads of Damascus ● The Abbasids lost control of parts of their territory, such as al-Andalus, which achieved political and religious independence
  • 16. Islam on the Iberian Peninsula: al-Andalus At the beginning of the 8th century, the Muslims conquered the Iberian Peninsula. The majority of the conquerors were North African called Berbers, led by an Arab minority. They were managed by Tariq and Muza. They crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and defeated the Visigoths in the Battle of Guadalete (711). A few Visigoths and a very small part of the general population fled to the areas of Cantabria and Asturias, which were not conquered by the Muslims
  • 17. The Independent Emirate Al-Andalus became in a province, or a dependent emirate of the Umayyad Caliphate. But when the Abbasids of Baghdad killed the last Umayyad caliph, the only survivor of the Umayyads, Abd al-Rahman I, took refuge in al-Andalus. In 756, he declared himself emir and gained independence from the Caliphate of Baghdad. The Independent Emirate experienced a period of economic and cultural development.
  • 18. The Caliphate of Cordoba In 912, Abd al-Rahman III became emir. He governed very well. By 929 he was powerful enough to declare religious independence and appoint himself caliph of al-Andalus. He had absolute power. The Caliphate of Cordoba was formed and a golden age began. There was stability within al-Andalus, economic development and cultural prosperity.
  • 19. The Caliphate of Cordoba
  • 20. Taifas From the year 1008, the Caliphate of Cordoba was no longer unified. Top civil servants, aristocrats and the army fought for power and al-Andalus was divided into 25 kingdoms, called taifas. Despite help from the North African Almoravid and Almohad armies, almost all of the taifas were conquered by the Christian kingdoms in the 13th century.
  • 21.
  • 22. The Taifa of Granada The Taifa of Granada was the only taifa to survive, from 1232 to 1492. It included Almería, Granada, Málaga and a part of Cádiz. The extensive wealth and economic activity of the Taifa allowed it to pay taxes to the Christian kings. This ensured its survival until 1492. The Alhambra was built in Granada during the 14th and 15th centuries. It was the home of the Nasrid dynasty and it is the best-preserved medieval palace in the world.
  • 23.
  • 24.
  • 25. The economy and society of al-Andalus In the Islamic world, the city was the centre of economic activity with markets (souqs) selling all types of products. Moreover, trade and artisan communities were very important. However, the majority of the population in al-Andalus worked in agriculture: ● They developed irrigation through the use of waterwheels and ditches ● They introduced new crops such as rice, citrus fruits and hemp
  • 26. The economy and society of al-Andalus
  • 27. The economy and society of al-Andalus In al-Andalus, society was made up of many cultures and religions. The Muslim population included: ● Arabs. They had political and social power and could own land ● Berbers. They were relatively poor people who worked as shepherds ● Muladi. They were visigoths who had converted to Islam. Most of the population were in this group. There were also non-Muslim minorities, who paid higher taxes and had fewer rights: ● Mozarabs. They were Visigoths who remained Christian. Many emigrated to Northern Christian kingdoms. ● Jews. They worked as artisans, traders, doctors or scientists.
  • 28. Islamic art and culture The Islamic civilisation was very important. ● Islam encouraged learning a single language, Arabic ● The Muslims introduced Arabic numerals ● Important advances in the fields of medicine, philosophy, engineering, chemistry, mathematics and astronomy
  • 29. Islamic art and culture ● As it was forbidden to represent the sacred pictures, sculpture and paintings, the Muslims specialised in architecture and decorative art ● Islamic architecture used bricks ● It included many arches and domes ● The buildings were decorated using marble and mosaics ● The most representative buildings from this period were mosques and palaces