Looking Back At A Painful Moment In Muslim History: The Fall Of Grenada On January 2nd, 1492

Today marks the fall of the capital of Al-Andalus “Grenada,” spelled in Arabic as “Ghirnata-غرناطة,” to the Spanish conquest in 1492. It marks 532 years post the downfall of the greatest Muslim empire that ever existed. Today also recalls the time the East has been defined as “East,” and the West as “West,” a division that’s now taken as the way the world has always been, when in fact it’s not.

Capitulation of Grenada, an 1882 painting by the Spanish Francisco Pradilla Ortiz, resembles the gap between Muslims and Catholics that took place during the 14th and 15th centuries. In the painting, the Arabs, also wrongly referred to as “moors,” are depicted in dark colors, inferior in size, and broken at a crossroad with the Spanish Catholic King and Queen raising their heads high while the Al Hambra Palace remains in the horizon.

Back in 711, Muslims entered Al-Andalus, which was divided between Visigoths and Pagans, who surrendered to the Muslims without much bloodshed. This area flourished for eight centuries, excelling in all fields from architectural genius embodied in Cordoba Mosque and Al Hambra Palace to dictating to the West the principles of Greek philosophy through the translations and writings of Ibn Rushd.

The Catholic conquerors’ plan was to fight “paganism” in Al-Andalus and spread Christianity. Unaware that both Muslims and Christians worship the same God and belong to the Ibrahimic religions, they embarked on decades of war with the claim that Muslims are pagans who need to be converted to Christianity. To say religious fundamentalism and misunderstanding have shaped the history of Islam since the 15th century is an understatement.

Via Al Nahar

After eight months of war, the Emir signed off a surrender. The last Muslim ruler of Al-Andalus spent the remaining part of his life in exile in Morocco. This war resulted in the murder and enslavement of over 100,000 Muslims and displacement of 200,000 others. The Catholic Monarchs also passed a decree expelling all Jews or forcing them to convert or die. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish people were displaced after coexisting with Muslims for centuries under Muslim rule.

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