**The Conquest of Iberia**
Prior to the Abbasid Dynasty’s rise to power over the Islamic world in the year 750 A.D., Kushite Arabians under the Umayyad Dynasty joined forces with African Moors (Berbers) in 711 A.D. to conquer the Iberian Peninsula .
“Spain imbibed in a few generations the name and manners of the Arabs. This need not be surprising for in Spain was the basic blood of the Cushite, that ran in the Moor and the Cushite Arabian…” (Houston 1926)
Thus fulfilling Biblical prophecy in Genesis 17:20, that the descendants of Ishmael would multiply exceedingly and become a great nation.
In 755 CE, a member of the deposed Umayyad ruling family fled to the Iberian peninsula, where in 756 CE, he established an Islamic emirate independent of the Abbasid khalifate, known as “al Andalus”.
The hostilities between the Umayyads and the Persian backed Abbasids (Latif 2019, p.3) were so great that, the Muslims of al Andalus did not make the annual pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca, the ancestral home of the Umayyads, for fear of falling into the hands of the Abbasids, until the 11th century, at which time non-Arabian rulers took control of al Andalus.
However, even while under the rulership of African Islamic empires, al Andalus remained independent of the the Abbasids and isolated from the outside Islamic world.
**The Jews of al Andalus**
For centuries prior to the conquest of the Kushite Arabians and Moors, Israelites had inhabited the Iberian peninsula and northern Africa.
According to Dr. Rudolph R. Windsor, both Iberian and Moroccan Jews played instrumental roles in the eighth century invasion, most notably General Tarif, of the tribe of Simeon.
Soon after the Jews, Kushite Arabians, and African Moors had established a foot hold in Iberia, they were joined there by a great number of Jews from other parts of the Islamic world, who were encouraged to develop their own religious communal life.
The Jews of al Andalus formed institutions based on their ancestral traditions, including the election of a king from the tribe of Judah.
Jews made major contributions to the accomplishments of al Andalus. However, some have been misidentified as Muslims due to their taking on Arabic names and writing almost exclusively in Arabic.
Europe traditionally maintained that the Jews of Spain and Portugal were certainly black, metaphorically and literally.
A 17th century world traveler wrote, “‘Tis also a vulgar Error that the Jews are all black; for this is only true of the Portuguese Jews. . .”.
The term Sephardi refers to the Jews who inhabited the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, and who were later expelled by the Spanish and the Portuguese. They are distinct from Ashkenazi Jews, and are not the Sepharad mentioned in the Book of Obadiah (1:20).
“A Sephardic Portuguese Jew from Bordeaux and an Ashkenazi German Jew from Metz appear to be two entirely different beings.” (Entine 2007)
**The Legacy of al -Andalus**
The impact that al Andalus had on science, medicine, law, architecture, the arts, etc., is felt across the world today.
(Narrated by Imam Abdullah Hakim Quick)
According to the chronicles of the Song Dynasty (China), Andalusians had visited the Americas by the 13th century.
The following map by a Chinese scholar, shows the probable route 12th – 13th century Andalusians took to the Americas, and landing point near modern day Venezuela.
Moorish Architecture in Spain.
“Eight centuries long Jew and Moor toiled side by side.” (Krauskopf, 1887)
**Expulsion from Iberia**
Despite their achievements, the Jews and Muslims of al Andalus were defeated by the Christian Spaniards. Under the Spanish Inquisition which followed, the unfortunate Israelites were persecuted and eventually expelled from Spain.
In 1492, all professed Jews were expelled from Spain, as were all professed Muslims in 1502.
In a period of one hundred thirty-nine (139) years, three million (3,000,000) Muslims and Jews were expelled from Spain.
The Jews coerced into becoming Christians were referred to as “Conversos”. Forcefully converted Muslims were referred to as “Moriscos”.
Those who resisted both expulsion and forced conversion to Christianity were enslaved on the island of Hispaniola (Haiti).
Much of the history of al Andalus was intentionally destroyed through the burning of 1,000,000 – 2,000,000 Hebrew and Arabic books.
More than books were burned. The term “agreeable holocaust” was used to describe the terror, violence and murder committed against the Jews and Muslims of al Andalus, by the Catholic Church and the people and monarchies of Portugal and Spain.
As prophesied, the descendants of Ishmael dwelt in the presence of all their brethren, their hand was against every man, and every man’s hand was against them.
The description of Ishmael’s and his posterity’s character as, “a wild man or wild ass of a man”, is not meant as an insult.
“The “wild ass”, to whom Ishmael is here compared is described in the book of Job as a wild, independent and haughty animal living in the wilderness . . . His wild and proud appearance indicates unsubdued power and perfect independence.” (Arnold 1866, pp. 22-3)