Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 224 pages of information about Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031).
[1] Al Makkari, ii., App. 28.  Author quoted by De Gayangos:  The Moslems in the eleventh century “began to drink wine and commit all manner of excesses.  The rulers of Andalus thought of nothing else than purchasing singing-women and slaves, listening to their music, and passing the time in revelry and mirth.”

    [2] Kor. v. 93—­“Surely wine, lots, and images are an
    abomination of the work of Satan ... avoid them.”

    [3] Al Makkari, ii. p. 171.

    [4] Cardonne, i. p. 252.

    [5] Al Makkari, i. p. 108; ii. p. 171.

    [6] Yonge, “Moors in Spain,” p. 71.

    [7] Sale, Koran, Introduc., p. 122. (Chandos Classics.)

    [8] Al Makkari, ii. p. 109.  In 678 Yezid, son of Muawiyah, was
    objected to as a drunkard, a lover of music, and a wearer of
    silk.  See Ockley, p. 358. (Chandos Classics.)

    [9] Al Makkari, i. p. 236.

    [10] Ibid., p. 241.

    [11] Akbar Madjmoua.  Dozy, ii. p. 272.

    [12] Al Malckari, 1. 149.

    [13] Hamim, a Berber, in 936.  He was crucified by the faquis. 
    Conde, i. 420.

There is good reason to suppose that all this relaxation of the more unreasonable prohibitions of the Koran was due to contact with a civilised and Christian nation, partly in subjection to the Arabs, and partly growing up independently side by side with them.  But in nothing was this shewn more clearly than in the social enfranchisement of the Moslem women, whom it is the very essence of Mohammed’s teaching to regard rather as the goods and chattels than as the equals of man; and also in the introduction among the Moslems of a more Christian conception of the sacred word—­Love.

Consequently we become accustomed to the strange spectacle—­strange among a Mohammedan people—­of women making a mark in the society of men, and being regarded as intellectually and socially their equals.  Thus we hear of an Arabian Sappho, Muatammud ibn Abbad Volada, daughter of Almustakfi Billah;[1] of Aysha, daughter of Ahmad of Cordova—­“the purest, loveliest, and most learned maiden of her day;"[2] of Mozna, the slave and private secretary of Abdurrahman III.[3]

Again, contrary to the invariable practice elsewhere, women were admitted into the mosques in Spain.  This was forbidden by Mohammedan law,[4] the women being obliged to perform their devotions at home; “if,” says Sale, “they visit the mosques, it must be when the men are not there; for the Moslems are of opinion that their presence inspires a different kind of devotion from that which is requisite in a place dedicated to the service of God.”  Sale also quotes from the letter of a Moor, censuring the Roman Catholic manner of performing the mass, for the reason, among others, that women were there.  If the evidence of ballads be accepted, we shall find the Moorish ladies appearing at festivities and dances.[5] At tournaments they looked on, their bright smiles heartening the knights on to do brave deeds, and their fair hands giving the successful champion the meed of victorious valour.[6] Their position, in fact, as Prescott remarks, became assimilated to that of Christian ladies.

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