The End of the Muslims of Arghun and the Germania Revolt

Across the seas from the oppressed Muslims of Andalus, Alfonso De Albuquerque, the Portuguese governor of India, continued his raids on Mughal India by conquering Goa in 1511. He dealt with the issue of Muslims in Goa by ordering “…the entire Muslim population slaughtered, (Benton, 117).” He followed this up with ambitiously sailing all the way to the Muslim Sultanante of Malaqa[1] in April 1511. During Albuquerque’s journey, the international Muslim trading community, especially Goan Muslims, in Malaqa urged the Sultan Mahmud of Malaqa of the grave threat of the Portuguese and surely retold the tales of horrors Albuquerque carried out upon the Muslims of Goa, (Basri  et al, 95). Mahmud listened and captured and/or killed the Portuguese present in his territory, (Ricklefs, 23).However, with the arrival of Albuquerque and his state of the art armada in April 1511, he quickly tore apart Malaqa by the end of August of the same year. By 1512, the Spanish were making inroads across the Atlantic by settling the area of modern day Panama.

The Uthmanis continued to consolidate their power over their domains by resoundingly defeating their Shia Safavid enemy at the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514 CE and taking full control of Egypt and Algeria in 1517 CE, thus providing the Uthmanis with bases closer to their European enemies and the Muslims of Andalus. Khayr Al Deen, the famous mujahid and ghazi who had been terrorizing Spanish kuffaar fleets in the Mediterranean with his own fleet, offered to give bayah to the Uthmani khalifa in 1519. Due to Khayr Al Deen’s precarious situation in fighing the Spanish in Algeria, the khalifa accepted his pledge and sent him 2000 Uthmani Janissary troops along with artillery, (Abun-Nasr, 150).  This now gave the Uthmanis enough territory to feasibly sustain operations against the Spanish navally, and perhaps even on land subsequently, as Algeria was very close to Spain. In fact the alarm bells in Europe must have been ringing when the Uthmanis had captured Belgrade (in present day Serbia) in 1521 CE, which would then put the Uthmanis at the gates of major European Christian powers such as the Habsburgs in Austria and even the Vatican in Rome. The Europeans were imagining a giant pincer movement aiming to not only retake Andalus, but to surround the Christian European nations and to strike at their heart: Rome.

Hernan Cortes, the famous conquistador and Spanish commander, moved his forces further through Central America searching for riches, (i.e. Spices and Gold,) and stumbled upon the Aztec Empire[2] in Mexico. He arrived pretending to be interested in trade and soon proceeded to use one city state to annihilate the other, (i.e. the case of his allying with the city state of Tlaxcala to annihilate Tenochtitlan). Cortes and his troops carried out their carnage from 1519-1521, leading to the conquest of Mexico and the eventual death of the Aztec civilzation[3]. With their conquest, the Spanish start extracting Silver and Gold from these territories and shipping it back to Spain, leading to the enrichment of Spain, and elevating it to ‘Superpower’ status. It allowed Spain to sway opinions and have a bigger say in European and even Christian affairs, by applying they newly acquired monetary and military influence.

As for Christian exploration, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, in the service of Spain, and his crew started their voyage on September 20, 1519 from Spain to find the Spice Islands, (Muluku). They travelled westwards around the southern tip of South America onwards towards the Philippines[4], (in the direction of the Muluku islands). Interestingly enough, as is indicated in the crew logs for Magellan’s journey, there was a native of the Muluku islands onboard Magellan’s ship, Enrique de Malacca. Magellan captured him and enslaved him after Portuguese forces sacked Malaqa in 1511. He was taken back to Portugal where he was forcibly baptized and took up the name ‘Enrique.’ He was used by Magellan as a translator and guide for the Spanish mission to the Muluku islands. Considering that the islands of the Malay archipelago, (which includes the Muluku[5] islands), were almost entirely composed of Muslim populations, it has to be assumed that Enrique was in fact a Muslim.

Magellan sighted Samar on March 17, 1521, on the next day, they reached the Philipino island of Homonhon. They reached the island of Limasawa on March 28, 1521 where the first Mass in the Philippines was celebrated on March 31, 1521. Magellan arrived at Cebu on April 7, 1521, befriending Rajah Humabon, (the Muslim ruler of the area) and converting his family and 700 other Cebuanos to Christianity. Subsequently, Rajah Humabon and his ally Datu Zula convinced Magellan to kill their enemy, Rajah Lapu-Lapu, on Mactan Island. Magellan had wished to convert Lapu-Lapu to Christianity, as he had Rajah Humabon, a proposal to which Lapu-Lapu was dismissive. On the morning of April 27, 1521, Magellan sailed to Mactan with an army of men. During the resulting Battle of Mactan against native forces led by Lapu-Lapu, Magellan was shot by a poisonous arrow and later surrounded and finished off with spears and other weapons.

The question is however, who was Lapu-Lapu? One Sulu oral history provides many interesting details about Lapu-Lapu. He was called Iliji Rajiki (rajiki – a minor raja), a Muslim Tausug[6], an expert in Silatan (Tausug martial art of swordsmanship), and a warrior of the Sultan of Sulu. Mactan was the seat of the Sultanate of Sulu and he was the Sultan’s representative ruler in the Visayas area. He was no Pagan or animist but was a Muslim, and thus, don’t be fooled by the lies of history books that gloss over this episode in history. They describe Magellan’s death as if he fell of a cliff or had a heart attack, when in reality he was killed by mujahideen wielding merely swords, against the technically sophisticated rifles that the Portuguese possessed. The mujahideen had rendered Spanish plans to conquer the Philippines ineffective, but the Spanish would be back once again fifty years later to conquer the Philippines.

However, Islam in Castile and Arghun continued to be eroded, but events took place in 1521, that may not have been intended to affect the Muslims of Arghun, but ended up being utilized by the Christian monarchs to convert the Muslims of Arghun by force.

During the 1520’s, a revolutionary Christian movement sprang up in Arghun called the Germania or ‘the brotherhood,’ (nowadays they would be seen as a movement for democracy), who were disgruntled with the oppression and inequity of the Valencian Noblity and attempted to gain equity by deposing these nobles. The Germania realized that the Mudajjan Muslims, who fought alongside their Valencian masters in order to defend their estates, were the main threat to the Germania as they worked for less than Christians, were more productive and skillful. As long as they were Mudajjan, Christian nobles would always prefer them to Christian laborers. During the Germania’s campaign, it was decided that not only would they raid and plunder Mudajjan areas, but would solve their problem once and for all by converting them to Christianity and ending their Mudajjan status. The process by which they would convert the conceivably large numbers of Muslims in Valencia was as follows: “a mob would arrive at a settlement of Muslims and call on them to convert—on the spot. Christenings might be affected on occasion by aspersion from a bucket filled from an irrigation ditch, although in other cases priests were found to carry out the baptisms, (Harvey, ‘2005,’ 93).” By Spring of 1522, the tide had turned against the Germania and they were on the defensive. Muslims that had undergone forced conversion, torture and even death at the hands of the Germania, expected to be treated with sympathy and understanding by their Valencian masters for their loyalty against the Germania. However they were mistaken, as Christians, those champions of freedom religion, argued the baptisms were valid because:

“The necessary element of free will had been present when the Muslims agreed to be baptized, it was held: after all they could, instead, have chosen to refuse—and so opted for death! (Ibid).”

Alfonse de Fonseca, the Archbishop of Toledo at the time, explained that postulating that ‘free will’ existed in matters of religion was:

“…recognizing freedom of conscience, forbidden by all the Cannons; baptism was an indissoluble marriage of the soul with God; the Church as a kindly mother embraces all, and does not willingly part with any; the Council of Trent insists on baptism at birth, and all children of baptized parents must be baptized and be coerced with penalties to lead a Christian life; it is a Protestant heresy to claim that faith must be free and voluntary…(Lea, ‘Moriscos of Spain,’ 294).”

With this twisted logic, Christian theologians said that the conversions were legal in terms of Canon Law. Ironically, Charles V, King of Spain, had promised the Muslims of Arghun in 1518 explicitly that he would not force his subjects to convert to Christianity. It seems that those that left in suspicion of the promise of the king did the right thing. On November 3, 1525 Charles wrote to the inquisitor general of Spain enclosing a papal brief which authorized Charles to rescind his promise to his Muslim subjects. Certainly King Charles, cognizant of the rising power of the Uthmanis, and their menacing advance towards the heart of Christendom, decided that he had no problem breaking his promise to his Muslim subjects, since Spains security was paramount, and if the Muslims were not forced to become Christians, (and practicing at that), they could possibly be used by the Uthmanis as a ‘fifth column’ which would allow the Uthmanis to invade mainland Spain. As we shall see, with the Uthmani victory in the Battle of Mohacs in August 29, 1526 and the subsequent conquest of southern Hungary, the Uthmanis continued inching closer and closer, and thus Spain’s fears were not unfounded.

In any event, an edict was issued on the 25th of November informing Muslims that they would now come under the jurisdiction of the inquisition, and that if they wanted to leave, they until January 26, 1526, (Harvey,’2005,’ 94). Once again the same farce, as had been constructed in Castile, and Muslims were told that they would first have to collect documentation at “…Sieteaguas on the Aragonese border with Cuenca, and the route to be followed then was across the whole breadth of inland Castile through Madrid and Valladolid until finally they reached the sea at La Coruna! (Ibid).” Those that did not make it to the embarkation point in time had all their possessions seized and they were to be enslaved. If they wanted to stay, and be free, they had to convert to Christianity. Some did manage to take this route and escape to North Africa through France, (Ibid). I have illustrated the path below, (with the following routing: Valencia-La Coruna-western French sea port-land journey to Marseille-Tunis):

ch.2, 5

The farce was almost a duplicate of the previous one 25 years ago, and there was no choice involved at all. It was nothing less than an egregious error to call this a choice between expulsion and conversion, when it was simply the forced conversion of the population of Arghun. The Muslims of Arghun, having heard the stories of the Muslims of Castile that had emigrated to Arghun, (to run away from forced conversions!), and their nightmare during the first phase of conversions in the early 1500’s, realized that the chance of escape was very little, if not impossible, and so decided to flex every beauracratic channel available to them to stop this edict from taking force. At first, sympathetic Christians were sent as envoys for the Muslims to the King to negotiate a settlement on their behalf. They failed and thus Muslims decided to send 12 fuquha to the King to negotiate directly and on January 6, 1526, (just before the deadline for conversion), they reached an agreement. The King promised Muslims to not put them under the jurisdiction of the inquisition for forty years, shelving anti-Muslim measures, (keeping houses open, closing baths on Fridays etc.), but they would accept baptism and become Christians. In return Muslims would pay during this forty year period a special tax, or if you will, a bribe to placate the King, while implicitely they were told they could continue theyre practice of Islam, (albeit privately), (Ibid, 98).

At the same time in Castile, the edict of Garnata was passed in December 7th,1526 listed out the desire of the Spanish King to eliminate the “..Arabic language, local dress and costume, jewelry, baths. Only midwives who were old Christians were to attend confinements, (Ibid, 106).” Here was the open and explicit attempt of the Spanish government to once again destroy Arabic as a language and to monitor and alter the lives of Muslims in Spain. What was worse for the Muslims was that the Office of the Inquisition were in charge of enforcing these demands and were prepared to use torture and intimidation if necessary. However, Muslims, as they would continue to do until their final expulsion from Spain in 1610, went to the King offering to pay higher taxes yearly as a way to persuade the King to not implement this edict. Needless to say, the Spanish considered the proposal and then rejected it.

This is not to say that Muslims took the order for conversion lying down as, in many parts, they rose up and fought the Spanish. They elected as their leader one Salim Al Mansur and fortified their position in the Sierra de Espadan mountains. They were ready for a fight till the death since these were not merely Arghuni Muslims, but Muslims that had fled from Navarre and Castile, just recently and realized the intentions of the Christians. As for the Arghuni Muslims, they too probably understood the severity of the situation, and knew there would be no negotiating this time around. One example of this is from the province of Castellon in the village of Almonacid fought from October 1525 until February 1526, when finally, the village was taken by an assault of Spanish forces, (Harvey, ‘2005,’ 100). In the village of Maria were hoping that the Fatimi, (i.e. the Mahdi), would come to save them riding on his green horse. They were disappointed and when he didn’t appear, they surrendered, (Ibid). The Spanish attempted to storm the mountains with 3000 troops but they failed in dislodging the Muslims and themselves were besieged in the village of Onda, (Ibid). The Christians had regrouped and in the interim the Pope in Rome had issued an edict that forgave all sins and excesses, (a culpa et a poena), on the part of the Christian soldiers. A new assault force was built consisting of 4,000 Spanish troops and 3,000 highly skilled German troops, (that had originally been intended for service in Italy), and they assaulted the Muslims in September 1526 with renewed viciousness and animality. Almost 5,000 Muslims were reported to have been killed at least, exclusively by the German troops. A few Muslims managed to escape and perhaps attempted to flee to the Maghrib.

Events began unfolding an ocean away in the land known now as Somalia, where the regional power, the Christian Kingdom of Ethiopia, had begun to attack the Muslim Sultanate of Adal, (which was formerly part of Ethiopia), located in Somalia, and mounted a raid on the city of Hubat in the early 1500’s. The Ethiopians took many Muslim women and children during their incursion as well. The mujahid, Ahmad Ibn Ibrahim ‘Al Ghazi[7],’ under the command of his Emir, Umar Al Din, like his brothers today, refused to be cowed down by the Ethiopians mushrikeen and decided to counter attack the Ethiopians and defeated the Ethiopians, free all the Muslim women and children held prisoner withouteven the loss of a single man. Imam Ahmad’s force regressed towards Harar, the capital of Sultan Abu Bakr’s Sultanate. The sultans, being weak and favorable to the Christians, feared meeting Imam Ahmad and his mujahideen and thus fled the capital wherein they encountered Imam Ahmed in battle. Sultan Abu Bakr’s troops one again fled and were allowed to flee by Imam Ibrahim, (as the ruling of the Baghi would be applied upon Sultan Abu Bakr, and thus when his forces were weakened, Imam Ahmad was not allowed to pursue and annihilate them as they retreated). Thus Imam Ahmad’s troops established themselves in Harar, but Sultan Abu Bakr, the obstinate rebel attacked Harar once again, causing Imam Ahmad’s men to retreat to Hubat once again. Unlike Imam Ahmad, Sultan Abu Bakr pursued Imam Ahmad and besieged them in Hubat leading  to the death of Emir Umar Al Din. A truce was struck between Imam Ahmad and Sultan Abu Bakr, but once again, (and repeatedly), he broke the agreement and killed many of Imam Ahmad’s men. This cycle of equitable truces offered to Sultan Abu Bakr continued, until finally the last attempt at peace failed and Sultan Abu Bakr attacked Imam Ahmad and his men for the third time, leading to Sultan Abu Bakrs death and defeat. Imam Ahmad finally cemented his hold of Harar and gave rulership of the lands to Umar Al Din’s brother, allowing Imam Ahmad more time to concentrate of jihad.

With the scenes of such victory against the lackeys of the Christians, the Muslims of the town of Adal refused to pay tribute payments to the Ethiopians, to which the Ethiopians decided to dispatch their troops to Adal to force them to pay. As was expected, by the will of Allāh (سبحانه و تعلى) Imam Ahmad and his men destroyed the Ethiopans on the field. Imam Ahmed had decided to fight further into Ethiopia to spread the deen and to once and for all end Ethiopian tyranny by launching a counter assault into Ethiopia in 1527. He rallied the various tribes of the area to wage jihad against the Ethiopian mushrikeen. It must remembered that this was jihad and not simply a tribal dispute as, “…although Somali clans — principally the Habar Magadle, Isse, (Dir), the Gadabursi Dir, and the Darood — played a strong role in the Imam’s conquest of Abyssinia, these clans went to war not so much as Somalis but as Muslims, (Laitin & Samatar, 12).” Imam Ahmad defeated the mushrikeen at the Battle of Shimbra Kure in 1529 with the help of Uthmani weapons sent by the khalifa. The jihad continued as the Ethiopans continued to resist. Eventually, as the Muslim forces of Imam Ahmad progressed further into Ethiopian territory, the Ethiopians asked for help from the Portuguese crusaders.

As for the Uthmanis, in their partial conquest of Hungary, they had set about to consolidate their hold over the country. However, the Austrian Habsburg king, Ferdinand I, (brother of King Charles V of Spain), claimed sovreignety over the parts of the Hungary that were not under Uthmani control. The Habsburgs decided to attack the Uthmanis in Hungary, with the Uthmanis resisting their attacks and in turn counter attacking the Austrians. The Uthmani khalifa, Sulayman ‘Al Kanuni,’after firmly defeating the Austrians, decided in 1529 to lauch a counter offensive and siege Vienna, the capital of Habsburg Austria. In the end the siege of Vienna failed for a variety reasons, namely that of the long distance between Vienna and Istanbul which stretched the logistics capacity of the Uthmani army beyond its limits and it was not able to sustain operations. Furthermore, due to the cold weather and disease, a lot of men were lost on the way to Vienna, most of those suriving were infantry not suited to siege operations. Some historians argue that Sulayman Al Kanuni’s objective was never to conquer Vienna but to simply ‘soften’ it for future operations when he could muster more men. Certainly, the failed siege of Vienna was a success in that it made Austria wary of any misadventures into Uthmani territories, thus making them stick within their boundaries. Sadly however, this siege indicated the end of Uthmani expansion into Western Europe, marking what, some historians say, was the long and gradual decline of the Uthmanis.

In any case, not to be deterred, the Uthmanis attacked Vienna again in 1532, with an army thought to be over 250,000 strong. The attack almost ended up successful and was only repulsed approximately 100 KM south of Vienna, at the fortress of Güns. This was topped by the Uthmanis wrestling control of Baghdad from the Safavids in 1534. As for the Spanish, they had now control over vast swathes of land in Central and North America and thus saw fit to establish the Viceroyalty of New Spain in 1535, which allowed the Spanish to establish a Spanish center of government in the ‘new world’ in Mexico city to administer their holdings in the area and to direct further expansion.

On the same note, the 1530’s were a period where there seems to be a temporary truce achieved between the Christians and Muslims in Andalus, wherein, the Christians would issue an edict or proclamation, Muslims, through “…bold and determined lobbying, were achieving some success in warding off the attentions of the advocates of an out and out campaign of conversion and assimilation. But bribes could not achieve permanent security, only temporary respites, (Ibid, 108).” However, being a minority population amongst majority population filled with hostile Christians, the Islam of the Moriscos was being eroded away gradually, in themselves and their children especially.

Furthermore, Muslims might have been forbidden to go to Dar Al Islam after the forced conversions, along with numerous restrictions on their travel, (such as leaving a security behind as to make sure the traveler would return), but they continued to clandestinely leave Spain to the Maghrib and elsewhere. They either left privately through local contacts or were taken by raiding Uthmani ships, (in the case of coastal cities), to safety in Dar Al Islam. Evidence of the routes they took is preserved in the copious archives still kept in countries like Spain, where a majority of the text written by the Andalusis in Ajami are preserved. Here is an example of one such itinerary that the Muslims of Andalus followed, (usually they would escape through France):

“Canfranc[8], Sarrances, Oloron[9], to Nay, to Tarbes[10], to Toulouse, to Gaillac, Villefranche, to the Rhone, to Lyons in France, to Belonia [Bologna][11], la Grasa, to Milan.

When you are four or five leagues from Milan, you will leave it on the right: you will pass behind the mountain so that you do not touch the land of the emperor: you will ask the road to Brescia, which is the first city of the Venetians. From there to Verona do not pass inside the city, for you will pay a real per person. There you will ask the road to Padua. There you will embark for Venice, from Venice to Valona or Durazzo or Alessio or Castelnuovo, the one of these ports that you find first.

Advice for the trip. At Jaca you will show your gold. If they ask you where you are going, (you will say) for debts, and that you want to retire to France: and in France that you are going to Santa Maria de Lorito.

In Lyons you will show your money, you will pay (a tax) of one piece out of forty of silver or gold. You will ask the way to Milan. From there on you will say that you are going to visit the lord San Marko [Marco] of Venice. You will embark in Padua on a river for Venice. You will pay half a real per head, and you will go to disembark at the square of San Marko. You will enter an inn, and before entering you will agree on a price for the room with bed. You will pay half a real per day. Do not eat anything in the inn, they will make you pay three times the value. You will go out to the square to buy what you need.

There those you will see with white turbans are Turks, those you will see with yellow ones are Jewish merchants of the Grand Turk [khalifa]. Of the former you will ask all you wish, for they will put you on your road. You will tell them that you have brothers in Salonika [Thessalonika] and that you wish to go there. You will pay a ducat per head for the passage. They will furnish you water and wood. You will put in provision for two weeks. You will buy stew and rice and oil and vinegar and olives and chickpeas or beans and fresh bread for eight days and biscuit at the rate of ten pounds per man, (Lincoln, 1939, 485).”

The Uthmani Mediterranean navy, under Khayr Al Din Pasha’s command, was continuously mounting ghazawaat on the southern shores of Italy and Greece. Seeing the alarming and continuing advance of the Uthmanis both in the north on the borders of Austria on land and to his south on the southern coast of Italy on sea, Pope Paull III decided to assemble the Christian kings and unite them to fight the Muslims. At the end of September 1538, the Battle of Preveza took place near the coast of Greece between the Uthmani naval fleet, under the command of the mujahid, Khayr Al Din, (or Khidhr Ibn Yaqub), and the Holy League, which was assembled by Pope Paul III, consisting of Venice, Spain, the Papal States[12], Genoa and the crusading Knights of Malta. The Holy League resoundingly lost the battle, losing 128 ships, (out of 302 ships[13]), and 3000 of their men taken prisoner. The mujahid, Khayr Al Din, continued his jihad against the kuffaar by then taking his naval forces back east to take over almost all Christian outposts in the Ionian and Agean seas, (i.e. of the coasts of Greece and Istanbul), thus completely securing the waters in the immediate and intermediate vicinity of the khilafa.

To add insult to injury, Venice, (after single handedly taking heavy losses), sued for peace with the Uthmanis and thus, in 1540, a peace agreement was signed between the Venetians and the Uthmanis where the Venetians would give up their Islands in the Greek waters and pay the Uthmanis a reparation for war costs of 300,000 Ducats of gold, in return for the Uthmanis ceasing military operations against the Venetians, their possessions and their ships. It was more than suitable revenge for Khayr Al Din’s defeat in 1535 at the hands of the Spanish, when they took Tunis away from Uthmani control[14]. Imagine it! Asking a Christian army to not only, give their lands to you, but also asking them to reimburse you for the money spent on fighting the war against them! This was what a real Muslim ruler used to do, but alas today we only have men, (who can’t really be called men), ruling us, who pay kafir countries to fight their wars against Muslims.

Elsewhere, in Ethiopia, the Portuguese finally arrived to reinforce the Christian Ethiopian forces in February 10, 1541, under the command of Cristovao de Gama, (Vasco De Gama’s younger son) with approximately 400 musketeers (riflemen). The introductions of rifles into the equation tilted the war in favor of the Portuguese and they won a series of inconclusive skimirshes with Imam Ahmad’s forces. Imam Ahmed realized this and received, according to Jeronimo Lobo who was a Portuguese Jesuit missionary, (who wrote an account of these events in the 17th century), 2000 musketeers and artillery from Muslims who volunteered from around the region, (quite few scholars say most of these men were from Yemen), and 900 men, especially chosen by the Uthmanis, (Lockhart, 201-217). A series of skirmishes resulted at the Battle of Bacente on February 1542 and The Battle of Jarte on April 1542 which resulted in resounding Portuguese victories. However, after the heavy casualties and defeats, Imam Ahmed and all his men redid their strategy to fight the Portuguese and received further Uthmani reinforcements. Furthermore Imam Ahmed, his men and their Emir had given bayah (pledge of allegiance), to the Uthmani khalifa, Sulayman Al Kanuni. On August 28th 1542, in the Battle of Wofla, the mujahideen defeated the Ethiopians and Portuguese, with Imam Ahmad capturing and beheading the crusader Cristavao de Gama. After keeping the Portuguese at bay for a year, the Muslims lost at the Battle of Wayna Daga on February 1543, where Imam Ahmed also attained shahada. This resulted in the tapering of the jihad and ending soon after, resulting in an overall Ethiopian victory.

In the Americas, the Spanish commander Francisco Pizzaro after venturing from the newly captured territory of Panama southwards towards Peru, discovered the lands of the Incan[15] Empire in 1526. He received permission to conquer it and make it Spanish territory and engaged in fighting against the Incans from 1532-1542, leading to the Spanish control and the declaration of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Some of the Incan leadership fled to the mountains and resisted till 1573, leading, effectively, to the end of the Incan civilization, as had happened to the Aztecs before them. For the Spanish, the conquest of the Aztecs and Incans brought together two areas that were rich in silver and gold and mines were constructed rapidly. The extraction and shipment to Spain during this period made Spain an economic powerhouse, and by proxy, a military and political powerhouse as well. To illustrate this point, I have provided a table that contains within the total imports of wealth, (i.e. gold/silver and other commodities), from the Americas to Spain from 1503-1660, (all figures are given in Ducats[16]):

Period Royal Imports (official government treasure) Private (individuals/explorers) Total
1503-1505 116,660 328,607 445,266[17]
1506-1510 256,625 722,859 979,484
1511-1515 375,882 1,058,782 1,434,664
1516-1520 312,261 879,575 1,191,836
1521-1525 42,183 118,821 161,004
1526-1530 326,485 919,640 1,246,124[18]
1531-1535 518,833 1,461,445 1,980,277[19]
1536-1540 1,621,062 3,104,408 4,725,470
1541-1545 909,346 5,035,460 5,944,806
1546-1550 1,911,206 4,699,247 6,610,453
1551-1555 4354208 7484429 11,838,637
1556-1560 1,882,195 7,716,604 9,598,798[20]
1561-1565 2,183,440 11,265,603 13,449,043
1566-1570 4,541,692 12,427,767 16,969,459
1571-1575 3,958,393 10,329,538 14,287,931
1576-1580 7,979,614 12,722,715 20,702,329
1581-1585 9,060,725 26,188,810 35,249,534[21]
1586-1590 9,651,855 18,947,302 28,599,157
1591-1595 12028018 30193817 42,221,835
1596-1600 13169182 28145019 41,314,201
1601-1605 7823863 21460131 29,283,994
1606-1610 10259615 27426634 37,686,248[22]
1611-1615 8655506 20778239 29,433,745
1616-1620 5217346 30917606 36,134,952
1621-1625 5869387 26543427 32,412,814
1626-1630 5542561 24402871 29,945,432
1631-1635 5680589 14852435 20,533,025[23]
1636-1640 5629564 13947959 19,577,522[24]
1641-1645 5723394 10944169 16,516,563[25]
1646-1650 1998135 12126521 14,124,656
1651-1655 2686654 6065867 8,752,520[26]
1656-1660 727829 3305510 4,033,339
Total 1503-1660 140,863,304[27] 396,521,815[28] 537,385,119[29]

(Source: “Imperial Spain: 1469-1716,” p.175 by J.H. Elliott)

To begin, these figures are delineated between royal and private imports for a reason. Originally, the Spanish Crown had decided that all mines and commodities discovered in the Americas would be the property of the Crown. However, due to the danger and expense required by individuals to discover and exploit these mines, the Crown compromised and allowed those who had found these mines to have ownership over them, as long as they gave a fifth of their yield to the Spanish government, (Elliott, 174). As can be discerned from these figures, there was a huge spike in wealth inflows to Spain from the Americas from 1551-1610/1620. This correlates with the defeat of the Inca’s and the consolidation of Spanish power over the area known as Central America today. Moreover the huge spike in imports that began after 1560 was due to “…a new method…for the refining of silver by an amalgam of Mercury…(ibid, 174).” It is estimated that between 1503 to 1660, approximately 16,000,000 kilograms of silver arrived in Spain, (enough to triple the silver resources of all of Europe!), and 185,000 kilograms of gold which increased the gold supplies of Europe by one-fifth, (ibid). Some estimates say the value of the Silver shipped during this period was close to 1.5 trillion USD by 1990 standards.

In 1558, another development comes to light regarding the settlement of these newfound territories of Spain. Apparently, Spaniards were loath to settle in the Rio De Plata area of the Viceroyalty of Peru. In an attempt to attract settlers, the Spanish government “…explicitly lifted the normal ban on foreigners, Jews and Muslims [to settle there], (Kamen, 2004, 132).” This revelation might be brushed aside as simply a proclamation of the Spanish government that might prove the existence of Muslim in 16th century South America. Nonetheless, it is backed by isolated appearances of Muslims in it, in the form of names in the registries of the Inquisition in South America, accounts from locals and European explorers.

Staying in the Americas, it must also be mentioned that Muslims came along with the exploring armies of Spain into the Americas. The best known case of this is that of the Muslims slave, ‘Estavan Dorantes,’ or as he was also known, Mustafa Al Zemmouri. He hailed from the town of Azemmour, which is a coastal town in Morocco. After the Portuguese conquest of that city in 1508, the Mustafa was taken as a slave and sold to a Spanish nobleman, Andrés Dorantes de Carranza. With him, Mustafa went to Cuba and Florida during a 1527 expedition of the new Spanish territories, in the capacity of not just a slave, but a commander. After the expedition was beset with problems, the four surviving members of the crew, including Mustafa, tried to sail for the Spanish stronghold of Mexico to seek aid. However, they did not make it and spent four years enslaved by the Ananarivo people of the Louisiana Gulf Islands. They eventually escaped, into the American heartland, contacting other Native American tribes along the way. It remains to be speculated if he ever gave dawah to the natives of the area or that if he manifested his Islam openly while he was in the Americas. They got as far as present day Arizona, and through the Sonoran Desert to the region of Sinaloa in New Spain (present day Mexico), where they met up with the forces of  the legendary conquistador,  Hernan de Cortes. In 1539, Mustafa was one of the four who would accompany the Spanish monk, Marcos de Niza as a guide in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola[30]. However, the others were struck ill and Estevanico continued alone, opening up what is now New Mexico and Arizona. He was killed at the village, of the Zuni tribe, of Hawikuh (in present day New Mexico).

However, on a slightly more positive note, Turgut Ra’ees sailed and raided the Italian island of Sardinia and the Spanish coast in May of 1550, as was customary throughout the year. Under the Admiralship of Piri Ra’ees, (or Haji Muhiuddeen Piri Ibn Hadi Muhammad), the Uthmanis led a intense series of naval operations from 1547-1552 which captured, (and in some cases recaptured), territories that were under Portuguese control such as Muscat, Aden, the islands of Kish and Hormuz, Qatar Peninsula and the Island of Bahrain. In June to August of 1551, the combined Uthmani fleets of Sinanudeen Yusuf Pasha, Turgut Ra’ees and Salih Ra’ees captured Tarabulus [Tripoli] from the Crusader Knights of St. John, (who had received it as a gift from the Spanish in 1523). In 1552 Salih Ra’ees and Turgut Ra’ees landed their men on the shores of the Italian cities of Lazio and Tuscany and assaulted them. Salih Ra’ees then proceeded to rain destruction on the kuffaar by sailing his ships to Mallorca[31] and proceeding to assault it too and capturing it. Upon hearing that the Saa’di ruler of Morocco, Muhammad Al Shaikh[32] was making moves to enlarge his alliance with Spain against the Uthmanis, Salih Al Ra’ees was depatched in 1553 to preemptively capture Morocco, (before it would turn into a staging base for Spanish expansion into the Islamic Maghrib). They managed to kill the Sa’adi king, Muhammad Al Sheikh in 1557. Furthermore, Shah Tahmasp, the ruler of the Safavid Shias, sued for peace after devastating wars with the Uthmanis, and signed the Peace of Amasya in 1555 which conclusively settle the Uthmani khilafa’s eastern borders with the Safavids and ended hostilities between the two—for the time being. This allowed the Uthmanis to now focus on the growing European Christian expansion being carried out under the leadership of Spain and Portugal in the Mediteranean, Indian and Pacific oceans. Conversely, the Safavids took their eyes of their western borders and looked eastwards, where Humayun, the Mughal Emperor in exile who had stayed for more than ten years in the Safavid Shia royal court, now returned to recapture Delhi in 1555 with the aid of Safavid reinforcements. The Shias had tried to convert Humayun to become Shia, and it is questionable if they were truly successful in these attempts, (as reportedly he converted superficially to obtain aid from the Safavids and later recanted). In any event, Shah Tahmasp’s condition to Humayun was that, when and if Humayun takes Kandahar, it was to become Safavid territory, in exchange for the military assistance they were providing Humayun. Humayan obliged. It can be speculated that the Safavids now freed from their wars with the Uthmanis look eastwards to expand their political and cultural influence and try to pull Mughal India into a state of alliance with them, and even into their sphere of influence. Perhaps this was the earliest example of the doctrine of strategic depth[33] being put into practice! On the European continent, Spain and France signed the treaty of the Peace of Cateau Cambresis ending years of hostilities in the Italian war of 1551-1559, undertaken by France, England and Spain. This now freed up Spain’s hand temporarily to devote itself to fighting the war in the Indian Ocean against the Uthmanis.

In May of 1560, under the leadership of Piyale Pasha, the Uthmani navy dealt a devastating blow to Christian navies, when it defeated the Christian coalition of the Holy League in a matter of hours at the Battle of Jerba, (off the coast of Tunisia), making them lose more than half their ships and tens of thousands dead on the Christian side. In 1565 the Muslim Sultan of Aceh[34], A’la Uddeen Riayat Shah Al Kahar[35], gave bayah to the Uthmani Khalifa, Sulayman Al Kanuni, and requested aid to be sent to help Aceh defend itself from Portuguese aggression. Help was dispatached in the form of a 22 ship squadron under the command of Admiral Kurtoğlu Khidr Ra’ees, containing men military equipment and supplies, in 1568. The ships arrived in 1569 and informed the kafir Portuguese fleet in the area that Aceh was now a part of the Uthmani Khilafa and any attack against it, would count as an attack against the khilafa. The Portuguese wisely stopped patrolling the area and left the vicinity of Aceh completely.

The Spanish pushed further through North America and conquered the present day US state of Florida in 1565. The territories under their control were now close to being equal to the Uthmani khilafa. However, I would stress, that in terms of wealth the Spanish were generating much more than their Uthmani counterparts. However, at the same time, as will be seen later, the Spanish were spending so much on their military machine and constant inter-european warfare, not to mention their wars against the Uthmanis, that they surprisingly would soon be bankrupt.

It must be understood, that during the previous twenty years, there was a flurry on naval activity on the Uthmani side with consistent ghazwas on European coasts to obtain ghaneema and slaves while keeping their kafir enemies at bay. At the same time, the same can be said about the Europeans force as well, (especially Portugal and Spain), and thus these engagements should not be seen as isolated engagements but rathers a series of enagements in a global war between the forces of Islam and Christianty at the time.

In Andalus, seeing the resounding Uthmani victory at Preveza and the disgraceful defeat dealt to the Spanish naval contingent by Khayr Al Din, a last ditch call for help was made by the Muslims of Andalus to the Uthmanis in 1541, to the Khalifa Sulayman Al Kanuni. The Muslims urged the khalifa to send Khayr Al Deen,[36] the famous Uthmani naval ghazi, who was the nemisis of Christian navies in the Mediterranean and beyond. They wrote:

“The whole community joins to present this, our petition to our Sultan, may he ever be victorious. Let him come to our aid and send that mujahid, Khayr Al Din Pasha from Algiers, the man best fitted to bring us victory, feared as he is by the infidel [kuffaar], (Harvey, 2005, 336).”

One again, sadly, this plea too fell on deaf ears, and nobody came to the aid of the Muslims of Andalus, (either because of apathy, or preoccupation with Europeans elsewhere and the Safavid Shia threat). Just as a note it was true that the Uthmanis, the only defender of all the Muslims of the world at the time, were indeed preoccupied in Europe as their campaigns against Austria continued unabated upto 1543, wherein the Austrian Habsburg ruler Ferdinand I officially recognized Uthmani rule of Hungary in 1547, and thus ended hostilities with the Uthmanis. Nevertheless, in 1563 Turgut Ra’ees landed at the shores of Garnata and captured coastal settlements in the area like Al Munakkab [Almuñécar], along with 4,000 prisoners. He later landed at Malaqa as well, giving hope to the Muslims of the area.

In the Philippines, the Spanish got closer to dominating the Pacific. On February 13, 1565, Spanish commander Miguel López de Legazpi’s troops arrived in the Philippine, on the shores of Cebu, thus expanding their empire further in Islamic territory. After a brief struggle with hostile local tribesman, (most likely Muslim). Their ships drifted to the coast of Bohol on March 16, 1565 where they befriended with Datu Sikatuna and Rajah Sigala; López de Legazpi made a blood compact with the local Muslim chieftain, Datu[37] Sikatuna, as a sign of friendship between the two peoples. There, the Spaniards obtained spices and gold after convincing the natives that they were not Portuguese. In other words, the Legazpi fooled the Datu’s to believe that Spain was there only to trade and not conquer them.

Using the same tactics that Hernando Cortes used to good effect in beating the Aztecs, Legazpi garnered local allies, such as Datu Sikatuna, and went off to eliminate other Muslim rulers of the area during 1565-1567. In 1567, Spainish and Mexican soldiers and labors arrived in the newly secured territory of Cebu to establish a city and to build the port of Fuerza de San Pedro. This port was to become one the main trading posts with Mexico, but also the place where the Spanish would fortify themselves, akin to the Green Zone in Baghdad, in the event of the mujahideen operations in the area. The port allowed the Spanish to send spices and other commodities from the area to Mexico city, where they would then be transshipped to Spain, allowing for a south chain of supply and the acceleration of Spanish wealth accumulation. By 1569, the Spanish were exploring north of Cebu and establishing settlements along the way. They also converted the local pagan inhabitants to Roman Catholics. They didn’t have any luck with converting Muslims though. Aside from baptizing the pagan natives of the area and giving them Christian names, the Islands also lost its former name and from then on was known as Filipinas in honor of King Philip II. In May 1570, the Spaniards arrived in Manila and were shocked at the enormity of the harbor. There they once again struck an alliance with the local chieftain Rajah Sulayman III and pretended to not be belligerent. A week or so later, the Spaniards attacked Rajah Sulayman and his forces and defeated them. As a result the Spanish conquered Manila and its surrounding areas. Legazpi, a shrewd student of history, did not discard the local Muslims rulers, (the same was done with the Incas and Aztecs), but formed a peace treaty with the defeated local rulers: Rajah Sulayman, Rajah Matanda and Rajah Lakan Dula. Moreover, just as was done agains the Aztecs and Incas, the Spanish allowed the local rulers to establish a city council to administer Manila and its territories under the Spanish Crown, therein creating an illusion of independence and defiance on the part of the Muslim rulers, while maintaining true Spanish control over the area. In fact, they were no longer Muslims either, as apparently they converted to Christianity after their defeat. It is, however, possible that the Sultans accepted Christianity as a formality and not in actuality.

López de Legazpi finally established a permanent settlement in Manila on June 24, 1571, and he also ordered the construction of the walled city of Intramuros[38], (to serve as a Garrison against attack by local Muslims sultans). He proclaimed the town as the island’s capital and permanent seat of the Spanish colonial government in the western Pacific Ocean. Moreover, with Spain’s ownership of Manila harbor, naval trade between the capital of New Spain, Mexico city, and it flourished with the start of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon service, which transported not only goods, but also people in both directions. The naval trade flourished till 1815. In 1574, Raja Sulayman and Rajah Lakan Dula tried to revolt against the Spanish due to the excesses their forces committed, but to no avail.

Legazpi recruited missionaries to convert the Muslims and pagans of the islands to Catholicism. Those who opposed his rule were tortured and executed, while those who supported him were awarded with encomiendas[39].

In Spain however, the sad state of affairs of the Muslims continued and the excesses of the Inquisition continued without respite. Additionally, another development that occurred by the middle of the 16th Century CE, was that any one that had Muslims ancestors, (even if they had well and truly apostate to Christianity now), his children were barred from entry into “…Colleges and Universities, to benefices in many Cathedral churches, to most of the Religious and all Military Orders, to positions in the Inquisition and even in some places to municipal offices, (Lea, ‘2001,’ 197).” Why was this so important? As Lea rightly states:

“In a land where a career in ecclesiastical or secular office was the ambition of almost every one who had even a smattering of education, the barrier thus erected was a severe infliction on the more intelligent and influential Moriscos, (ibid, 198-199).”

This should be read carefully by those who love the system and ‘justice’ in their kafir countries of residence, especially in the west. It has already begun in America in numerous ways, where American citizens who are Muslim and worked for the Secret Service or the FBI are fired for obscure and concocted reasons, which are no more than simply an admission that being Muslim by name is enough to suspect your integrity! Or that wearing Arabic is a national security threat. Or that speaking in Arabic or any other foreign language is tantamount to legal conspiracy and attempts at planning terrorist acts. Or that praying five times a day, an obligation of this deen, is a sign of extremism. Do you people not see! You cannot be part of their ‘millah!’ Another example of this is found in Israel, which boasts arrogantly that it is a ‘bastion of democracy’ in a sea of tyrannies. Then how is it that Israeli Arabs that are part of the political system, have their parties routinely banned? Or how is that, as was the case almost ten years ago, that an Arab was nominated for Minister of Defense, but his nomination was removed for ‘security reasons.’ Mind you, he was not a Hamas supporter and probably would not have winked twice when killing Muslims, but just being a Muslim was enough for him to have his nomination rescinded!?

However, it was the youth of the Ummah who were tireless in their zeal of Islam and made it incumbent upon themselves to extirpate themselves from their predicament or die fighting. They understood that Jihad on Allāh’s path is successful in all outcomes, whether it is victory and achievement of the objective or shahada and achieving the pleasure of Allāh (سبحانه و تعلى). Thus began what was to become the Al Bushra Jihad.

[1] At the height of its power, the Sultanate encompassed most of modern day Peninsular Malaysia, the site of modern day Singapore and a great portion of eastern Sumatra. The Sultanate also included the Malay settlements of Phuket, Pattani and Satun in modern day Thailand, where our brothers are fighting against the oppression of the mushrik Bhuddists. It was also the center of Islam in the eastern sphere, where imams and ustadhs came to discuss matters of the deen. Muslim da’ees, (callers to Islam) were also sent by the Sultan to spread Islam to other communities in the Malay Archipelago, such as in Java, Borneo, and the Philippines.

[2] A powerful pagan empire that used to be based in Modern day Mexico. It was abundant in Gold and had a proud warrior tradition ruling over the area from 1325-1521, until the Spanish arrival.

[3] Truth be told, the Spanish did not eradicate the Aztecs all at once. They maintained the Aztec system of governance by installing severely weakened rulers, much like the forefathers of the current rulers of the Muslim world, such as severely weakened emperors, such as Cuitláhuac, before eventually instaling puppet rulers, such as Andrés de Tapia Motelchiuh

[4] The area of present day Philippines was dominated by the Muslim Sultanates of Sulu and Maguindanao, wherein almost all of the Philippines from the south in Mindanao to the north by Manila was under Muslim control. In fact Islam had been in the Philippines from the 11th or 12th Century.

[5] The name from the island comes apparently from the Arabic: ‘Jazirat Al Muluk’, which means ‘Island of many kings’

[6] The Tausūg or Suluk people are an ethnic group of the Philippines and Malaysia. The Tausūg are part of the wider Moro ethnic group, (Muslims), who constitute the sixth largest Filipino ethnic group. They originally had an independent state known as the Sulu Sultanate, which once exercised sovereignty over the present day provinces of Basilan, Palawan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and the eastern part of the Malaysian state of Sabah (formerly North Borneo).

[7] In fact, as described in Futuh Al Habash , Imam Ahmad lived during Sultan Abu Bakr’s, (the previous ruler) time, as he was displeased with the corruption that was tolerated and violations of the Shariah by the Sultan himself and his soldiers in the land and the lax attitude towards relations and trade with the mushrik Christians. As a result, the Imam left his city of Harar, 30 km northwest to Hubat with a number of men to escape the woeful state of affairs in Harar. They chose a certain Umar Al Din as their Emir in Hubat.

[8] City within Spain on the Aragon-France border

[9]A town in South west France near the border of Spain. They moved westwards to disguise their intentions

[10] They then moved eastwards through Nay and Tarbes

[11] While entering into Italy, they executed another subterfuge by shooting further east, then turning back north west towards Milan.

[12] The Papal States comprised of those territories over which the Pope was the ruler in a civil sense before 1870. This governing power is commonly called the temporal power of the Pope, as opposed to his spiritual authority over Catholics.

[13] 55 of the Ships were provided by Venice and 49 by Spain. These were the two largest Christian naval contributers to the battle, and subsequently after their loss, the ones hurt the most.

[14] Not to worry, the Uthmanis got back Tunis in 1574.

[15] The Inca began as a tribe in the Cuzco area, where the legendary first Sapa Inca, Manco Capac founded the Kingdom of Cuzco around 1200. Under the leadership of the descendants of Manco Capac, the Inca state grew to absorb other Andean communities. In 1442, the Incas began a far-reaching expansion under the command of Pachacutec, whose name literally means earth-shaker. He formed the Inca Empire.

[16] Which equaled to 375 Murabits/Maravedis

[17] Due to the author of the source rounding up the source numbers, while still using totals that were not arrived at by using the rounded off numbers, resulted in minor errors. In this case, the sum of both private and Royal treasure is, according the numbers given, 445,267

[18] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 1,246,125

[19] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 1,980,278

[20] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 9,598,799

[21] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 35,249,535

[22] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 37,686,249

[23] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 20,533,024

[24] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 19,577,523

[25] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 16,667,563

[26] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 8,752,521

[27] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 141,014,308

[28] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 396,521,817

[29] See note 17. Total should be according the numbers given, 537,385,118

[30] These are the Seven Cities of Gold existing only in a myth that originated around the year 1150 when the Muslims conquered Mérida, Spain. According to the legend, seven bishops fled the city, not only to save their own lives but also to prevent the Muslims from obtaining sacred religious relics. Years later, a rumor circulated that in a far away land—a place unknown to the people of that time—the seven bishops had founded the cities of Cíbola and Quivira. The legend says that these cities grew very rich, mainly from gold and precious stones. This idea fueled many expeditions in search of the mythical cities during the following centuries. Eventually, the legend behind these cities grew to such an extent that no one spoke solely of Quivira and Cíbola, but instead of seven magnificent cities made of gold, one for each of the seven bishops who had left Mérida.

[31] One of the Balearic islands off the east coast of Spain

[32] Mawlay Mohammed Al Sheikh Al Sharif  Al Hassani Al Drawi Al Tagmadert

[33] Strategic depth is a term in military literature that refers, broadly speaking, to the distances between the front lines or battle sectors and the combatants’ industrial core areas, capital cities, heartlands, and other key centers of population or military production.The key questions any military commander must ask when dealing with strategic depth are: How vulnerable are these assets to a quick, preemptive attack or to a methodical offensive? Conversely, can a country withdraw into its own territory, absorb an initial thrust, and allow the subsequent offensive to culminate short of its goal and far from its source of power? In this context it might have been supposed by the Safavids that India could serve as their strategic depth, in that, in the scenario of an Uthmani attack from the west, the Safavids could retreat east to their Mughal allies who would then aid them and allow them to reorganize and mount a counteroffensive against the Uthmanis.

[34] The Sultanate of Aceh was a sultanate centered in the modern area of Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, which was a major regional power in the 16th and 17th centuries, before experiencing a long period of decline. Its capital was Kutaraja, the present Banda Aceh. At its peak it was a formidable enemy of the Portuguese-controlled Malaqa, both on the Malayan Peninsula, as they attempted to control the trade through the Strait of Malaqa and the regional exports of pepper and tin with fluctuating success. In addition to its considerable military strength, the court of Aceh became a noted center of Islamic scholarship and trade. Aceh saw itself continuing the dawah work of Malaqa after it was conquered by the Roman Catholic Portuguese. It became a center of Islamic scholarship, where the Qur’an and other Islamic texts were translated into Malay. Its notable scholars included Hamzah Pansuri, Shamsuddin of Pasai, Abdul Rauf of Singkil, and the Indian Nuruddin Al Raniri.

[35] Third sultan of Aceh, and was one of the sultanate’s strongest warriors. He succeeded his brother Salahuddeen in 1537 or 1539 in a royal coup. His campaigns began with the Batak people, who lived to the south of Aceh, whom he attacked in 1539 when their ruler refused to embrace Islam.

[36] He was an Uthmani admiral and naval ghazi who served in the Uthmani navy and in the Maghrib. He was also known as Barbarossa from Baba Aruj, his brother’s name, after Aruj was killed by the Spanish in Tunisia, coincidentally also “Red Beard” to Europeans. Barbaros Hayrettin (خير الدين Khair ad Din) Pasha in Turkish. His original name in Turkish was Hızır bin Yakup, from the Arabic Khidhr ‘ibn Ya’qub.

Khair al Deen (Khairuddeen Abdul Rahmān) was one of four brothers: Ishaq, ‘Aruj, Ilias and Khidr, who were born in the 1470’s. The four brothers initially worked as sailors, and naval mujahids in the Mediterranean to counteract the piracy of the crusader forces of the Knights of St. John of the Island of Rhodes. Ilias was killed during a trading expedition, and ‘Aruj was captured and imprisoned in Rhodes to be sold as a slave. ‘Aruj later escaped from captivity, and went to Italy and from there to Egypt. There he managed to get an audience with the Sultan Qansuh al-Ghawri, who was preparing a fleet of ships to send to India. He gave him a ship, which ‘Aruj manned with sailors and started attacking the islands of the Mediterranean that are controlled by Christians, from their base in Alexandria. Around 1505 ‘Aruj managed to seize three more ships and made the island of Djerba his base, thus moving his operations to the Western Mediterranean. His fame increased when between 1504 and 1510 he transported Muslim Ahl Dajn from Spain to the Maghrib. He was now known as Baba Aruj, meaning Father Aruj, for his fatherly care of Muslims in need, in Spain and France. In 1516, Aruj captured Algiers, then Tlemcen, causing Abu Hammu Musa III to flee. The best protection against Spain for Algiers and the Maghrib was joining The Uthmani Empire, Spain’s main rival. For this he had to relinquish his title of Sultan of Algiers to the Uthamnis. Befitting his name of Baba Aruj, he did this and stepped down. In response, the Uthmanis appointed him governor of Algiers, Chief Sea Governor of the Western Mediteranean, and promised to support him. In 1518′ Aruj was killed in a battle with the Spaniards, attempting to retake Tlemcen. He died at the age of 55, and Khair ad Din took his place, his name (Barbarossa) and his mission.

Khair ad Din defeated the Spanish army that tried to capture Algiers in 1529. In 1531, he captured Tunisia, causing the Hafsid king al-Hasan Ibn Muhammad al-Hafsi to flee. In 1533 Khair ad Din was made Admiral-in-Chief by the Uthmani Sultan. In 1535, al-Hasan asked the Spaniards for assistance, and Charles V prepared a campaign and recaptured Tunisia in that year. In 1538, the fleet of Charles V was defeated at the Battle of Preveza by Khair ad Din, securing the eastern Mediterranean for the Turks for 33 years.

[37] Datu or datto is the title for ancient tribal chieftains and monarchs in the Philippines. Together with sultan and rajah, they are also titles of royalty and currently used in Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines and Indonesia. These titles are the equivalent of European dukes and marquesses. The word datu was derived from two Malay words: dato’ or datok, which are royal titles of the Malays. In the traditional structure of Filipino Muslim societies, sultans were the highest authority followed by the datus, with their rule being sanctioned by the Qur’an. The Datu provided aid in emergencies and advocacy in disputes with other communities, through the agamat, or shura. In the Islamic period, they led raids on other villages. They may demand revenge (maratabat) for the death of a follower or upon injury to his honor. Datus continued to act as the community leaders in Muslim societies in Mindanao and administered the Sharia through the agama. The support of the datu was essential for government programs in Muslim communities.

[38] Which means ‘Amongst the Moors’ or amongst the Muslims

[39] The encomienda system is a trusteeship labor system that was employed by the Spanish crown during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. The purpose of the encomienda was to meet the needs of the colonies’ early mining economy. Essentially, the encomienda was a legal system enforced by the crown, which lasted from the 16th century to the 17th century. The crown granted a number of conquistadores and soldiers a specified number of natives of whom they were to take responsibility for. The receiver of the grant was to instruct the natives in the Spanish language and in the Catholic faith. In return, they could exact tribute from the natives in the form of gold, labor, or any way possible (such as in corn, wheat or chickens). In other words not only did the Spanish brainwash and convert you to Christianity, but they also had the right to take your supplies and wealth while they were at it.


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