Muslims ruled over Spain from 712 AD to 1492 AD for 780 years, yet today there are hardly any Muslims in Spain, though every aspect of Spanish life has a touch of Islam. Spanish language has many Arabic words, its music has an Arabic tone, its culture has more Arabic influence than the European, and proper nouns in Spanish often have the Arabic prefix al. From 1492, when the last bastion of Muslim political strength Grenada fell, the Muslims of Spain were on the decline and its culmination took place after 120 years when the last batch of Muslim die-hards left Spain in 1612. From that year, Islam vanished from the Spanish horizons.
A particular noteworthy point is that during this period of Islamic decline from Spain, the entire civilised world was ruled by Muslims. The Ottoman Turks had conquered Constantinople in 1553, and were ruling the entire Balkan Peninsula, Egypt was ruled by the powerful Mamiukes, Persia was at its political pinnacle under the Abbasi rulers, and India was ruled by the Moghals. Still Islam vanished from Spain and none of these great Muslim armies did anything to protect the Muslims of Spain.
In this lecture, Sheikh Sa’eed Ali illustrates the striking similarity between the condition that existed some five centuries ago, which led to the fast decline of Islam in Spain, and the condition that exists now in all islamic countries. Allah alerts us to the importance of studying history and find out what happened to the people of the past.
“Have they not travelled through the earth and seen what was the end of those who were before them? And verily, the home of the Hereafter is the best for those who fear Allah and obey Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds). Do you not then understand?” [12:109]