Islam in Spain: The Rise and Fall of Al-Andalus

By LQM13
  • 711

    Invasion of Iberian Peninsula

    Muslim forces enter the Iberian Peninsula, per the request of one side of a civil war in Visigothic Spain.
  • Jul 19, 711

    Battle of Guadalete

    Although outnumbered by the Visigoth troops led by Roderic, Tariq Ibn Ziyad's Muslim forces come up from North Africa defeat the defenders of Spain. They then move north relatively unhindered, and through the next few years take over multiple regions of the peninsula.
  • 718

    Rule Established in the Iberian Peninsula

    Iberia is named Al-Andalus, and Umayyad rule is appointed by the Damascus caliph. Muslim rule is generally accepted by the Spaniards, and many would go on to become converts of Islam. Pelayo, an exile of the Battle of Guadalete, forms the Kingdom of Asturias in the far north.
  • 722

    Battle of Covadonga

    Battle of Covadonga
    Córdoba's Umayyad forces drive Pelayo and his 300 men into the mountains. In turn, he routes the Muslims, inspires locals to take up arms, and has the advantage of defense against a frontal attack. The Muslim defeat is hailed by some as the first major event of the Reconquista.
  • Oct 10, 732

    Battle of Poitiers

    Battle of Poitiers
    Charles Martel‘s Frankish and Burgundian forces defeat the Umayyad Army. Traditionally hailed as a major victory in European history, their battle was against Al-Ghafiqi’s contingent, including 70 Muslim civilian families. In Arabic, the battle’s location is referred to as “The Plain of the Martyrs.”
  • Aug 15, 778

    Battle of Roncesvalles

    Basque Christian tribes of the Pyrenees Mountains suddenly attack and defeat Charlemagne's Frankish army as they are withdrawing from Iberia, killing Commander Roland in the battle. However, the minor struggle is romanticized as a major battle between Muslims and Christians.
  • May 25, 1085

    Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo

    Alfonso VI takes complete control over Muslim Toledo. His sudden acquisition alarms the rulers of other petty kingdoms, bringing to light how their disunity becomes the strength of northern Christian states.
  • Oct 23, 1086

    Battle of Zallaqa

    Battle of Zallaqa
    Three petty kings enlist the help of North African Almoravid leader Yusuf Ibn Tashufin to fight the Christian forces, their combined armies reaching 30,000 soldiers. They then went on to defeat the army of Alfonso VI of Castile, leaving only 100 knights alive.
    Later, Ibn Tashufin would go on to include Al-Andalus in the Amazigh (Berber) Almoravid Empire.
  • 1149

    Almohads replace Almoravid rule in Al-Andalus

  • Jul 18, 1195

    Battle of Alarcos

    After King Alfonso VIII of Castile's attack on Seville, Almohad ruler Abu Yusuf Ya’qub al-Mansur leads an expedition of retaliation against the Christians. His forces, including his own troops, local opposition, and a small Christian calvary, outnumber and overwhelm Alfonso's forces. The battle weakens the Kingdom of Castile for some time.
  • Jul 16, 1212

    Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa

    The Almohads went on to conquer key cities in the region, prompting Pope Innocent III to call for a crusade in Iberia. Alfonso VIII and his Christian rivals join forces against the Muslims, taking them off guard in battle. The Muslim defeat, al-Uqab (“the great tragedy”), is wrought with significant casualties and leaves Andalusi cities vulnerable throughout the 13th century.
  • Oct 30, 1340

    Battle of the Rio Salado

    In an effort to reclaim lost southern territories, Nasrid ruler Yusuf I of Granada and Marinid ruler Abu al-Hasan Ali from North Africa combine forces to combat King Alfonso XI of Castile and King Afonso IV. The Christian forces defeat the Marinids, who then return to North Africa.
  • 1469

    Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon Marry

    Their marriage institutes the extension of the Catholic faith through Iberia
  • 1478

    The Spanish Inquisition is Established

    The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition is established by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile.
  • Period: 1482 to 1491

    Granada War

    The Catholic Monarchs pursue the land and people of the last Muslim domain of Spain, Granada, in the effort to establish Catholicism.
  • Nov 25, 1491

    Treaty of Granada

    A treaty between Abu Abd Allah (Boabdil), the leader of Granada, and the Catholic Monarchs is signed and ratified. Jews & Muslims are initially allowed to continue practicing.
  • Jan 2, 1492

    Fall of Granada

    The Catholic Monarchs take over the Kingdom of Granada (or Gharna-Tah in Arabic). The twenty-third Nasrid ruler, Boabdil, delivered the city into the enemy's hands to end the city’s siege, sojourning into the Alpujarras with his people.
  • Mar 31, 1492

    Alhambra Decree

    The Joint Catholic Rulers order all Jews out of the kingdom by July 31 of that year.
  • Aug 3, 1492

    Christopher Columbus Sets Sail

  • 1502

    Islam is made illegal in Spain

    Cardinal Jimenez de Cisneros install policies that increasingly pressure Granada‘s Muslim (Mudejar) population to convert to Christianity. As new Christians, they were called Moriscos.

    To accelerate conversion, the Hapsburg ruler of Spain, Philip II, introduces laws prohibiting the practice of Islam and its customs. Many Moriscos continue to secretly practice Islam.
  • Period: 1568 to 1571

    Revolt of the Alpujarras

    Under Ibn Humeya, the Muslims (Moriscos) launch a guerrilla war against the Spanish Authorities, in the southern-located Alpujarra Mountains. The Castilian troops suppress the revolt.
  • Edict of Expulsion

    Due to continued conflicts between Christians and Moriscos, King Philip III signs an edict to expel all Muslims from Spain.
  • Expulsion is "Completed"

    Whether by conversion or expulsion, Spain finishes the removal of all Moriscos and Marranos (Muslims and Jews).