The Beginning Of The Al Bushra Jihad

After his designation as General of the Muslim armies, Ibn Jawhar headed back to Cadiar on the 22nd of December 1568, where his home and lands were. It was the decree of Allah that Captain Herrera of the Spanish Army was travelling with forty cavalrymen[1] from Garnata to Adra and decided to stop in Cadiar to rest. Ibn Jawhar spotted Herrera and his men and began a hasty ambush by persuading “each householder who had a cavelryman billeted[2] on him to murder that man during the night, (ibid, 56).” The Spanish troops were thoroughly inebriated after a night of drinking and, more likely than not, did not resist and were eliminated without a fight. The spark had been lit and the first battle of the jihad had occurred.

It has to be remembered that tensions had begun to rise in Al Bushra and the inhabitants had been close to beginning fighting on Holy Thursday[3] 1568 and also in September 1568 as well, (ibid, 57). In the end, 23rd December, 1568 was the date set by Emir Ibn Ummaya’s shura and he decided to send messengers to:

a)      Every corner of the Al Bushra mountains

b)      Al Meria valley, (whose inhabitants had previously promised to rise when the Muslims of Al Bushra rose up)

c)      Granada and the surrounding countryside to survey morale of the Muslims and to see their commitment to participating in fighting the Christians.

Faraj Ibn Faraj,[4] Emir Ibn Ummaya’s deputy, gathered together an elite team of 150 mujahideen and created a shura to decide on how to proceed with utilizing the resources at hand which were 6000 willing and able men, (albeit not armed as well as the Spaniards). Phase 1 seemed as it was proceeding as planned as Spanish Galleys were out to sea and all Christians were focused on Christmas. However, heavy snowfall occurred over the Sierra Nevada, (which is the mountain pass that leads to Garnata from Al Bushra), which led to many of the Muslim divisions that were meant to cross into the Al Bayyazin district in Garnata being impeded and had to turn back. However, Ibn Faraj, not knowing of this development, and undeterred, resolved to cross over to Garnata in any case with his 150 mujahideen. Faraj’s men reached Al Bayyazin, they ran through the streets, inciting the Muslims to join in the jihad against the Christians and fight to liberate Garnata for Islam, (while apparently also claiming, that help from the Maghrib and the Uthmanis would come as well, insha’Allāh), and Allāh (سبحانه و تعلى) said:

فَقَاتِلْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لاَ تُكَلَّفُ إِلاَّ نَفْسَكَ وَحَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَكُفَّ بَأْسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَاللَّهُ أَشَدُّ بَأْساً وَأَشَدُّ تَنكِيلاً

Then fight in the cause of Allāh, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you), it may be that Allāh will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers. And Allāh is Stronger in might and Stronger in punishing.[5]

The Muslim that rose up in Al Bayyazin went around churches destroying graven images/idols within them, as Marmol says:

“…They hacked venerable Images to pieces…(Carvajal, 95)”

After the arrival of Faraj Ibn Faraj, two of the Muslim leaders in Al Bayyazin, Al Thagari and Monfarrij, began the second part of phase 1, which was to attack the Al Hamra’. Both they and fifty of their best men went to the Al Hamra,’ “…taking with them seventeen great scaling ladders…(Mendoza, 60),” in order to assault the fortress. However, as reinforcements did not arrive from Al Bushra as planned, the assault was cancelled. Only with the help of reinforcement would the assault be able to be executed and be successful.

Moreover, the Muslims of the surrounding villages of Garnata did not join Muslim forces since the Muslims of Al Bayyzin had not  heard artillery fire, which was the agreed signal of the start of the offensive, (ibid). The operation had gone from bad to worse and Ibn Faraj realized the Muslims were too scared to rise up against the Christians, (much like how we Muslims are around the world when speaking about challenging the might of America or Europe). Shaykh Abdullah Azzam said once:

“However, men, as they make their accounts, often disregard the superpower which directs the universe, and to which all matters return:

وَلِلّهِ غَيْبُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُ الأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ

To Allāh belongs the unseen of the heavens and the earth and to him goes back every affair [for decision].[6]

So worship Him, and put your trust in Him.

وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

And your Lord is not unaware of what you do[7]

They overlook, as they make their human and wordly considerations, the statement of Allāh, the Exalted:

أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِكَافٍ عَبْدَهُ

isnt Allāh enough for his servant?[8] Ofcourse [He is]!

وَيُخَوِّفُونَكَ بِالَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ

And they try to frighten you with others beside Him!Like the ‘superpowers

وَيُخَوِّفُونَكَ بِالَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ

And they try to frighten you with others beside Him! And he who Allāh causes to stray, no one can guide’[9]

وَمَن يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّضِلٍّ أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِعَزِيزٍ ذِي انتِقَامٍ

And for he who Allāh guides no one can lead astray, Isnt Allāh exalted in power, lord of retribution?[10]

Without a doubt!

The people disregard this issue and you will only hear Muslims repeating:

“How can such and such thing happen when America isn’t happy about it? And how did such and such action succeed when Russia is angry?”

It is as if-and Allāh is high above what they think, greatly exalted [is He]–America and Russia have become Allāhs next to Allāh, the Exalted.

Why? Because Allāh cannot be beaten, cannot be defeated. His powers cannot be lowered. And this is what has been forgotten by the superpowers and those who revolve around the superpowers to the extent that it has been forgotten by many good Muslims.”[11]

Ibn Faraj rode off with his men, frustrated with the hesitation of the Muslims of Al Bayyazin, and rode out of Garnata to a house close to the Wadi Shaneeli, (River Genil), called Dar Al Hoot. He awaited reinforcements from Al Bushra, and when they did not arrive, he rode back to Al Bushra.

However, that is not to say that the Ibn Faraj’s incursion was not successful, as they succeeded in terrorizing the enemy. Imagine! 150 men scaring the Spanish King and his army! The very Spain that was a superpower in its own right during the end of the 16th century with its monopoly over central and south American gold! Sound familiar? Indeed it does. We need only look back a few years to 1988, to the waning years of the Jihad of Afghanistan when twenty or so people decided that the momentum of jihad garnered in Afghanistan should be harnessed to liberate all lands under overt kufr occupation, (e.g. places such as Andalus), or under covert control by puppets of the kuffaar. Moreover from the efforts of those twenty or so people, and by the will of Allāh (سبحانه و تعلى), it took nineteen believing and righteous men to shake the world and terrify the kafir world order to its knees. Diego Hurtado Mendoza described the scene in Garnata thus:

“The slightest suspicions set off full scale alarms, everybody ran hither and thither and then ran back to their homes…Laughter went. People were worried, hurried, afraid and uncertain. No one any longer trusted anyone else, no one felt safe any more, anywhere…houses were emptied, shops shut, trade stopped. People started to go to work at irregular hours…(ibid, 65).”

Allāh (سبحانه و تعلى) says:

تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدْوَّ اللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَءَاخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللَّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ

Strike terror into the [hearts of the] enemy of Allāh and your enemy, and others besides them, whom you may not know but whom Allāh does know[12]

Once again I ask: Does this sound familiar? It should. After 9/11, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health released a report on depression and drug abuse after 9/11 in America, (emphasis is mine):

“Survey respondents reported post-attack rates of depression and PTSD that were approximately twice the baseline levels previously documented in a 1999 benchmark national study. Some 9.7 percent had symptoms of depression, and 7.5 percent qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD compared to baseline levels of 4.9 percent for depression and 3.6 percent for PTSD.

In looking at rates of new substance use among respondents, the researchers found that, of respondents who did not use these substances during the week before September 11, 3.3 percent started smoking cigarettes after September 11; 19.3 percent started drinking alcohol; and 2.5 percent began using marijuana. Overall, the percentages of respondents who smoked, consumed alcohol, and used marijuana increased 9.7 percent, 24.6 percent, and 3.2 percent, respectively, after the attacks.

Almost 29 percent of respondents reported that they were smoking more cigarettes and/or marijuana and/or drinking more alcohol. Among those who were already using these substances before September 11, 41.2 percent smoked more cigarettes and 41.7 percent drank more alcohol after the attacks. Among smokers, 8.2 percent smoked at least one additional pack of cigarettes a week; 20.8 percent of drinkers had at least one additional drink a day.

‘The survey results are significant for the sheer numbers of people revealed to be affected by the disaster, the scope of the problem on a citywide scale, and challenges to the delivery of services,’ says Dr. Vlahov. He estimates that of the approximately 911,000 people in the area of New York under study, 67,000 had PTSD and approximately 87,000 had depression at the time of the study. Likewise, he estimates that 265,000 people increased their use of any of the substances in question:

  • 89,000 smoked more cigarettes,
  • 226,000 consumed more alcohol, and
  • 29,000 used more marijuana. (Medicinenet.com).”

Also included in the report is that a sizeable number of people had symptoms of panic attacks during or soon after 9/11, lost their personal possession due to 9/11 and/or lost their jobs due to the attacks.

Back in Garnata, in response to the Muslim raids, Christian reinforcements started streaming in from around Garnata and its surroundings. The Marquess of Mondejar orchestrated the efforts, evacuating those Christians in villages where he though the mujahideen would attack first while setting up a defensive perimeter around Garnata. In addition, he sent Don Diego de Quesada with a company of infantry and one of cavalry to secure the bridge at Tablate, (this bridge was on the main road that linked Al Bushra with Garnata and so was a strategic asset that needed to be secured). The bridge was 7 KM west of Lanjaron.

Garnata Map

Finally Muslim reinforcements had begun to make their way towards Garnata. It had been decided that the reinforcements should be split into two divisions, where one division would head towards the strategic town of Orgiva, while the other would attempt to link up with Ibn Faraj. The group sent to Orgiva was 2000 men strong that were divided into 20 batallions, (or banderas), of 100 men each, capable of sustaining independent combat operations in the event of a siege. The siege began unsuccessfully and the mujahideen tried to mount upon the walls of the city and to attempt to use a battering ram, but due to the extensive fortification and preparation of the Christian defenders, the siege ground to a halt. The mujahideen called out to the Christians of the city to surrender. In fact, they ordered the Vicar of Poqueira, (a priest in Muslim possession), to call upon the Christians to surrender in exchange for the mujahideen sparing their lives. The vicar was also told to say that if those of the city that wished to become Muslim, accepted Islam, “they would be able to retain their property and pass it on to their descendents, (ibid, 67).” The siege continued without any decrease in intensity.

The second group marched towards Garnata and intended to link up with Ibn Faraj, went past Lanjaron and got to Durcal, where a heavy presence of the Marquess of Mondejar’s troops was present. Seeing the odds, they regressed to the village of Laujar  with Ibn Ummaya, (who had earlied rode out from his home territory of Valor on his own towards Garnata to incite the people, but stopped due to the presence of Spanish troops), at the heart of the Al Bushra mountains. Seeing that the rebellion didn’t accomplish its objectives and that the blitzkrieg strategy of taking over Garnata overnight did not happen, the Muslims tried a different approach by setting up an emirate based from Laujar where Sharia would be implemented and where command and control of troops could be based at. At Laujar they held a ceremony for all the people of the village and all areas around where Ibn Ummaya celebrated his selection as emir and reiterated his selection of General of the Muslim Army, (Ibn Jawhar), and his deputy, Faraj Ibn Faraj. Ibn Ummaya was already married and took three additional wives as to cement the political and tribal alliances between the Muslims of Al Bushra.[13]

After the formalization of the rule of the Emir, there are reportedly increasingly frequent killing and torturing of Christians by Muslims living in conquered Christian areas. There are also reports of Churchs being looted and defaced. However due to the nature and source of these reports, (i.e. Christian sources), they necessarily have to be doubted at first glance yet, these incidents are entirely possible and probably did happen. What would you do if you were able to get back at your tormentors, (i.e. the Christians), and were now in the majority? Isn’t it realistic to say that you might at the very least be tempted to torture and torment your former tormentors?

In any case, Ibn Ummaya passed a decree that “neither man nor woman was to be killed without cause, and no child under ten years of age, (ibid, 69).” In the meantime, Ibn Ummaya, sent his brother Abdullah Ibn Ummaya to Uruj Ali Pasha[14], the Uthmani governor of Jaza’ir [Algiers] to relay word of Ibn Ummaya’s selection as the Emir of the Muslims of Al Bushra and soon, Insha’Allāh, Garnata as well. He also requested aid from Uruj to sustain the newly founded Emirate and to give Bayah to the Uthmani khalifa, Salim II. Uruj promised a variety of items and sent Abdullah off to Istanbul to meet with the khalifa and his ministers. Back in Garnata, the villages of Al Meria that hadn’t declared their allegiance with the Islamic Emirate of Garnata, now did so.

In order to dislodge Spanish troops from the Tablate Bridge Emir Ibn Ummaya assembled approximately 3500 troops to dislodge the Spanish, (Ibid, 74). However, these troops were “…armed with arqubuses or crossbows but some only had slings or bows and arrows, (Ibid).” The subsequent intense attack forced Don Deigo de Quesada to retreat from the bridge north to Durcal. Upon hearing of this disaster, the Marquess of Mondejar raised troops to mount a counter offensive and end the siege at Orgiva. He appointed his son, the Count of Tendilla, as his deputy to administer Garnata and the Al Hamra’ in his absence. The Marquess set out for Orgiva on Febuary 3rd with a force of eight hundred infantry and 200 cavalry along with a large number of conscripts, (ibid, 73). The Marquess stopped in Padul to wait for other conscripts that were converging upon his forces from all over the Spanish province of Andalusia. However, at the hearing of firing at Durcal, it was understood the Muslims forces were assaulting Spanish troops, (Don Diego de Quesada’s forces that had just retreated from Tablate). On detecting the approach of the Marquess, Ibn Ummaya wisely lifted the assault and melted away into the mountains. The Marquess decided that he would push the offensive from Durcal and not retreat back to Padul and certainly reinforcements that had just arrived, helped him immensely.

After the arrival of reinforcements on the 6th of February 1569, the Marquess had 1800 infantry forces and 290 Cavalry troops.  Prior to the arrival of these troops, on January 11th 1569, the Marquess was able to dislodge Muslim forces from Tablate Bridge and the mujahideen once again retreated and melted away into the mountains. A critical mistake was committed by the mujahideen at the Tablate Bridge as they did not destroy the bridge completely and the Marquess’s men were able to march across into the Al Bushra mountains. If the bridge had been destroyed it would have delayed Spanish troops further and would have made them take a much longer route, (which would have resulted in them being fatigued, short of supplies and thus becoming easy targets for ambushes along their path). In Orgiva, the Marquess’s forces were successful in dislodging the mujahideen, wherein had the Marquess come any later, “…the place would inevitably have fallen, so short was it of food and water, so exhausted had its defenders become, (Ibid, 75).”

Ibn Ummaya and the mujahideen retreated to Poqueira, (next to the Poquiera river) where the Marquess, newly reinforced with even more infantry and cavalry, continued his pursuit. Due to the over eagerness of the Marquess, the Muslims, with their 4000 troops, had set up a planned ambush at a mountain pass in Poqueira. They arranged themselves in a classic formation where the center was weak and the sides were stacked with troops, (as to trap the opponent between the flanks). They camouflaged their right wing behind a hill, (which consisted of 1500 crossbow and Arquebusier men). A secondary ambush had been kept further down stream to increase losses on retreating Christian forces after the first ambush and/or to attack Spanish forces in case the first ambush was not effective. On the side of the Marquess, he brought with him 2000 infantry and three hundred cavalry. However, the biggest threat to his troops was that the narrow roads leading to Poquiera made them march single file, (albeit protected by Arquebusier men), made them an ideal target for ambush, (especially if Muslim forces had gained superiority of the higher ground). As the marquess began marching towards the river, he was enveloped from all sides by the mujahideen, (knowing full well that Spanish troops were exhausted from the long march). However, a division under Don Francisco de Mendoza’s, (one of the Marquesse’s sons), command managed to attain the higher ground and were able to lay down suppressing fire on the mujahideen below. The mujahideen regressed further into the Al Bushra mountains towards Lubien after losing 600 of their brothers. The kuffaar suffered 700 dead and a great many wounded, (ibid, 77). In any case, the mujahideen tormented the Marquess by killing one of the notables of Garnata, Alonso Portocarrero.

In the end, the Marquess occupied Poqueira and his troops thoroughly sacked the city, carrying away large amounts of spoils, while taking Muslim women and children as slaves. As is the norm in guerilla warfare, Ibn Ummaya and his troops organized an ambush for the Spanish at the well fortified and advantageous Juviles Pass with reinforcements. It must be duly noted that Andalusi warfare, even in its zenith, was not moulded around the European model of massive cavalry charges and frontal assaults. Rather skirmishes, hit and run attacks and ambushes, (what we now recognize as ‘guerilla warfare’), were a large part of the strategy of Muslim armies in the peninsula from as early as the 13th Cenuty CE. In fact Don Juan Manuel, (son of Infante Don Manuel), who had fought against the Muslims in Andalus himself, wrote in his 14th century military arts book, ‘Libro de los Estados’:

“The warfare of the Moors [Muslims] is not the same as that of the Christians. In war they can fight at close quarters, or skirmish amongst their orchards, or attack in raids [cabalgadas] or ‘hit and run’ [correduras] assaults against the communications and “rear areas” of their enemies, or they fight in single combat. In fact [their warfare] is very fragmented [varied] in one way or another, (Nicolle, 599).”

So no one should even think about airing the doubts that guerilla warfare is foreign to Muslims or that it is something exotic imported from the strategems of Communists like Mao Tse Tung, (and his theories on mobile/maneuver warfare), or Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. In fact even if we go back to the time of the Prophet (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), we find that warfare before the opening of Makka, was almost exclusively hit and run raids and small unit combat, (barring major engagements such as Uhud and Badr). Moreover, in the beginning, Muslims were always numerically and technologically inferior to mushrikeen of Makka, (barring the innovation of the trench, provided by Salman Al Farsi (رضي الله عنه), used during the Battle of the Khandak), but yet the jihad continued, unlike today. I would even go as far as to say, that Guerilla warfare, especially against the enemy we are fighting today, is  the most ‘Islamic’ warfare that is possible. By ‘Islamic’ I mean, that due to the great discrepancy in numbers between us and the enemy, and their technological edge, we do not even have a chance to fool ourselves with the notion that ‘we,’ by our human will and means can win the war, while forgetting that if Allāh wills victory for you, He will give it. This delusion happens when we are superior in number, (as was the case at Uhud), and we become arrogant and boastful and started assuming that victory is assured when clearly it is not. This is a type of warfare, and a type of war, that one can only engage in when they give up their desires and false notions, and have complete and utter tawakkul on Allāh.

In general, Muslims should not be scared of numerical superiority of the enemy as not only do we have as Islamic examples to shatter this myth, but also of contemporary examples. For one, the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro was started by twenty men fighting from the Sierra Maestra mountains against the American backed Batista government! Imagine that! In America’s own backyard, and even with the naval base at Guantanamo, the Americans could not stop what a mere twenty men started! In the Chinese revolution, Mao Tse Tung lost more than 93,000 men of his 100,000 man force during the ‘long march’ while being pursued by a larger and better equipped American backed nationalist Kuomintang army, but yet, as we all know, Mao was able to defeat the nationalist forces. I could go on and on, but it is odd that the kuffaar, with their false man made ideologies, (or for that matter, lack of ideology), are not afraid to fight against large odds, then how is that the Ahl Al Qibla, (Muslims), and the ummah of the Seal of the Prophets, (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) and the people of tawheed, are afraid? If we die, we get shahaada, (if Allāh wills), and if we win, then we establish Islam in the land and gain ghaneema.

It is truly absurd that today if we were to simply count the size of the three major ‘Muslim’ armies of the world, (Egypt, Saudi and Pakistan), by including their active personnel, reserves and paramilitary forces, (based on 2006 figures), you would arrive at 2,792,500 troops![15] I have not even included those who are eligible to be part of the army or the mujahideen! With more than 3 million troops, (not counting mujahideen that are not part of national armies), the Ummah cannot fight an ant like occupation of Afghanistan, which at its most is around 100,000 troops? Or free Iraq from occupation by a likewise Lilliputian NATO/American occupation force? Or the land of the first Qibla (Palestine)? Ask yourselves, especially the critics of the mujahideen, if this situation makes sense to you? Are your rulers really worried about ‘hikmah’ in dealing with jihad and freeing Muslim lands or are they in reality what we have been saying they are for years, traitors? What good is an army that keeps bleeding our economies dry, keeps tyrannies alive, forbids jihad, and most farcically, cannot win a single war against the kuffaar? Knowing what you know now, and the unbelievable treachery of these rulers, how can you still support the rulers of our lands?

Back in Garnata, due to indiscipline and their rage at losing their women, children and wealth to the Christians, the mujahideen did not hold their position, and instead charged towards the Christians, leaving their position of strategic advantage, unraveling the ambush. 800 mujahideen descended upon the Christian camp during the lunch time meal break which resulted in heavy Muslims losses with only injuries for the Christians, (Mendoza, 79). We need to pause here and reflect the mistakes made during this rushed assault:

  1. If the Muslims were disciplined, (in training and temperament), they might have achieved slightly more success.
  2. This lack of judgement and training led to the loss of Muslim lives that could have been avoided and did not accomplish the objective of freeing Muslim captives and killing and/or capturing the Spanish forces.

Bad news was in the air as Ibn Jawhar, Ibn Ummaya’s General, had apparently sent a letter to the Marquess asking for peace terms. In other words, he was circumventing his Emir and was offering to surrender the Muslim army. Allāh (سبحانه و تعلى), says:

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِى الاٌّمْرِ مِنْكُمْ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِى شَىْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ ذلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلاً

O ye who believe! Obey Allāh, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allāh and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allāh and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.[16]

And the Prophet (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) said:

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه عن نبي صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم:

من أطاعني فقد أطاع الله، ومن يعصني فقد عصى الله.
ومن يطع الامير فقد أطاعني، ومن يعص الامير فقد عصاني

Abu Hureira (رضي الله عنه) narrated that he heard the Prophet (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) saying: He who obeys me, obeys Allāh; and he who disobeys me, disobeys Allāh. He who obeys a Muslim ruler, obeys me; and he who disobeys a Muslim ruler, disobeys me[17]

And:

عن عرفجة رضي الله عنه قال: سمعت رسول الله (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) يقول:

إنّه ستكون هنات و هنات، فمن أراد أن يفرق أمر هذه الأمّة وهي جميع فاضربوه بالسيف كائنا من كان

Arfajah (رضي الله عنه) narrated: I heard the Messenger (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) saying: “Commotions will erupt in the near future. If anyone tries to disrupt the affairs of this Ummah while they are united, you should strike him with the sword whoever may he be[18].

Lets be clear, this obedience is only in righteousness, So if ‘Wali Al Amr[19] Abdullah Al Saud or any other ‘fulan[20]’ Al Saud, Musharraf, Zardari, Bouteflika, Karzai or Maliki, says for you to join the army and kill Muslims or not go to jihad, then clearly that is not obedience in righteousness. As the Prophet (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) said:

إِنَّمَا الطَّاعَةُ فِي الْمَعْرُوف

Obedience is only in righteousness[21]

To clarify the point, Ibn Kathir states in the Tafsir of Surah Al Nisa, verse 59:

[The Ayah] was revealed about `Abdullah bin Hudhafah bin Qays bin `Adi, who the Messenger of Allāh sent on a military expedition.” This statement was collected by the Group, with the exception of Ibn Majah At-Tirmidhi said, [it was]”Hasan, Gharib”. Imam Ahmad recorded that:

Ali said, “The Messenger of Allāh sent a troop under the command of a man from Al-Ansar. When they left, he became angry with them for some reason and said to them, `Has not the Messenger of Allāh commanded you to obey me’ They said, `Yes.’ He said, `Collect some wood,’ and then he started a fire with the wood, saying, `I command you to enter the fire.’ The people almost entered the fire, but a young man among them said, `You only ran away from the Fire to Allāh’s Messenger. Therefore, do not rush until you go back to Allāh’s Messenger, and if he commands you to enter it, then enter it.’ When they went back to Allāh’s Messenger, they told him what had happened, and the Messenger said:

لَوْ دَخَلْتُمُوهَا مَا خَرَجْتُمْ مِنْهَا أَبَدًا، إِنَّمَا الطَّاعَةُ فِي الْمَعْرُوف

Had you entered it, you would never have departed from it. Obedience is only in righteousness[22]This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs.

Abu Dawud recorded that:

Abdullah bin `Umar said that the Messenger of Allāh said:

السَّمْعُ وَالطَّاعَةُ عَلَى الْمَرْءِ الْمُسْلِمِ فِيمَا أَحَبَّ وَكَرِهَ، مَا لَمْ يُؤْمَرْ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ، فَإِذَا أُمِرَ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ فَلَا سَمْعَ وَلَا طَاعَة

The Muslim is required to hear and obey in that which he likes and dislikes, unless he was commanded to sin. When he is commanded with sin, then there is no hearing or obeying[23]

Imam Ibn Kathir provides one more hadith to clarify the issue:

`Ubadah bin As-Samit said, “We gave our pledge to Allāh’s Messenger to hear and obey (our leaders), while active and otherwise, in times of ease and times of difficulty, even if we were deprived of our due shares, and to not dispute this matter (leadership) with its rightful people.”

The Prophet said:

إِلَّا أَنْ تَرَوْا كُفْرًا بَوَاحًا، عِنْدَكُمْ فِيهِ مِنَ اللهِ بُرْهَان

Except when you witness clear Kufr about which you have clear proof from Allāh[24]

Word was relayed to Ibn Ummaya from his spies of Ibn Jawhar’s letter and from that point, Ibn Jawhar went into hiding due to his treachery and fear for his life. This episode illustrates a concept we are in desperate need of learning in today’s world. It has to be recalled, that Ibn Jawhar was the man that made that stirring speech in 1567 that began the jihad. It was Ibn Jawhar who was the catalyst who organized and launched the jihad and was the General of the Muslim armies, (and at that, he had fought bravely as well). However, it is this same man that created fitna amongst the Muslims and was the first to disobey his Emir. On the surface, you might understand this, but now try to apply this to today’s groups and movements. We have sadly moved into the era of the cult of personality where we worship and follow the leader of that group instead of Allāh. Muslims had been emphatically supporting Hamas when they were actively fighting the Jews and even gave them the benefit of the doubt when they participated in democratic elections in the West Bank and Gaza, (albeit democratic elections have a proven track record of failure for Islamic parties such as the fiasco with the FIS, Front Islamique de Salvation, in Algeria in 1991 and the brutal and ongoing crackdown on the Ikhwan Al Muslimeen, Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt). However, after the promises of implementing Shariah and continuing the jihad against the Jews, neither of the two materialized and people still clung onto these groups and their leaders, (even after guidance was provided to them and considerable time had passed). Hamas even started adhering to UN resolutions, negotiating with Russia and holding talks with the international community. In fact, they killed members of Jaish Al Islam to free the kafir, Alan Johnston. Then finally the death knell came as they announced they had no intention of applying Shariah in their territories.

However, unlike Ibn Ummaya and the Muslims of Garnata, we still hold on to these symbols, (and that is all they are), of the jihad and mujahideen that were. The same principal applies when talking about people such Ahmed Shah Masood or Abdul Rasool Sayyaaf. Both were mujahids during the Afghan Jihad but when the decisive fight was made apparent where were they? Sayaaf works for the government and apparently thinks it is more important to be part of the Loya Jirga, (which he is a member of), than activating his old funding and logistics networks that would help in the fight against the Hubal of this era, America and its NATO allies. What about Masood? Even Shaykh Abdullah Azzam praises him in his books as a mujahid,[25] but we all know him and his Northern Alliance were a continuous nuisance prior to 9/11 for the Taliban and were outright treacherous after 9/11 when they colluded with the Americans. Masood, prior to his assassination by the two brothers from the Maghrib, (one of whom’s wife is in custody of the authorities in Belgium at the time of this writing), went around EU countries asking for aid and openly offering to team up with the kuffaar to kill and defeat the Taliban. There was nothing lower he could have done than that, and his lackeys did not do much better as they inflicted massacre upon massacre alongside their American masters at Pul e Charki, Qila Jhangi and elsewhere. Were they heroes in the past? Yes. Are they traitors now? Yes. Should we follow them? No. This applies to the current righteous leaders of the jihad such as Shaykh Usama and Shaykh Ayman. If they were to stray as Masood and company have, (May Allāh save us and them from that), then we would advise them to reform themselves, and if they do not, we do not follow them and push them aside because jihad is fee sabeelAllāh, (in the path of Allāh), not fee sabeelUsama, (in the path or for the sake of Shaykh Usama bin Laden), or sabeelalqaeda, (in the path of or for the sake of Al Qa’eda). As the Prophet (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) says:

وعن أبي موسى الأشعري (رضي الله عنه)؛ أنّ رجلا أعرابيّا أتي النّبيّ  صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال:يا رسول الله! الرّجل يقاتل للمغنم، و الرّجل يقاتل لويذكر، والرّجل يقاتل  ليرى مكانه؛ ومن في سبيل الله؟ فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:

من قاتل لتكون كلمة الله أعلى؛ فهو في سبيل الله 26

A bedouin came to the Prophet (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) and said: “O Messenger of Allāh! One man fights for booty, another fights to win fame, and the third fights for showing off. Which of them is fighting in the Cause of Allāh [fee sabilAllāh]?” The Messenger of Allāh (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) said:

He who fights so that Word of Allāh [Islam] remains superior, is the one who fights in the Cause of Allāh [fee sabilAllāh].’

The Marquess continued his march towards Juviles and found very little resistance and took possession of it while sacking the village and taking the Muslim men, women and children as slaves, (except those that helped and collaborated with the Spanish). The greed of the Spanish was phenomenal and in their quest for spoils, they started molesting a Muslim woman to see if she had any money on her. When some Muslim men saw this they rushed to defend her and the Spanish drew their swords in response. It was a massacre where, in the end, hardly “any of the male Moors [Muslims] were left alive, a large number of their women were dead too…(ibid, 81).” However, as precarious as the situation was, two of Ibn Ummaya’s general collected 1500 troops to launch a counter offensive to recapture Tablate Bridge, knowing full well that due to the position and size of the Christian lines, the bridge constitute the rear end of the Christian army. If the mujahideen were able to capture the bridge, they would be able to cut the supplies of the Christians, resulting, potentially, in the defeat of the Christians. Due to the low numbers guarding the bridge, the mujahideen were able to retake the bridge without resistance. However, they held on to it briefly as, when they heard of the large Christian force coming to retake the bridge, they melted away into the mountains. This is vaguely familiar to the current tactics employed by the Taliban today.

Christian operations continued and they continually pushed deeper into the Al Bushra area and were achieving success agains the mujahideen. After one such operation, Deigo de La Gasca, the commander of the Adhra [Adra] garrison, got word that the recently conquered town of Turon was hiding mujahideen amongst them. De la Gasca checked the town and found nothing out of the ordinary, but nevertheless, he went back again to check where in a Muslim man appeared from one of the houses. He told De la Gasca that he had a letter for him. As Deigo opened the letter, this brave Muslim assassinated De la Gasca and wounded two of his soldiers before achieving shahada.

Spanish forces had successfully retaken the key towns of Poqueira, Juviles and Paterna which were key towns that were on the main path to Garnata. Losses incurred on Muslim forces and civilians were heavy and some local Muslim commanders were killed during this phase of the campaign. To cut their losses the mujahideen and Muslim civilians decided to move further uphill to avoid and fortify their positions to protect against Spanish forces. On the other hand, it was a good idea, but it put Muslim positions out of attacking range of the Spanish, in that the mujahideen were no longer able to attack Christian forces. However, as is true today in the jihad against crusader forces, as quickly as the Marquess of Mondejar took over Muslim strongholds, the jihad spread elsewhere in places where there previously was no support for the jihad or mujahideen in places such as Sierra de los Guajeras, the Lecrin Valley and Al Munakkab, (Almunecar). In other words, the Spanish had crushed the revolt in the mountains, but the flame of jihad had now flared outside the mountains and towards the coastline from the west in Al Munakkab to the west in Almeria.

The people of the three areas mentioned previously rose up with 3000 men armed with Arquebuses, crossbows, lances, short spears, slings and whatever else they could fashion a weapon out of. 1500 of these men were military age while the rest were slightly older and perhaps even shuyukh, (i.e. 60 years or older)! The men elected two peaks and fortified their positions and elected as their leaders, Marcos Al Zamar and Giron, (ibid, 90). Spanish forces, alarmed at the growing rising of Muslims, sent their forces to these areas to crush the rebellion. In the meanwhile, many mujahideen and ordinary Muslims began surrendering to the Spanish, (perhaps appreciating their chances of victory against a vastly numerically superior Spanish army), after a series of brutal assaults, hoping for a pardon, (but they were mistaken, and death was their end). Especially during the Sierra de Los Guarjeras, the Spanish army adopted a ‘take no prisoners’ strategy, where the left trails of dead bodies of men, women and children in their wake. In fact, “the Marquess ordered that no one was to be spared, whatever their sex or age. The pillage was terrible, and so was the killing, especially of the women, (ibid, 96).” Mendoza continues by saying about the Muslims of The Waljar mountains, (Sierra de Los Guejares):

“They rushed forward to meet death on our swords, as if to die well were now the most important thing they had left in the world, (ibid).”

Allāhu Akbar! Inspite of their weakness they never gave up fighting and revived the Sunnah and the examples of the Sahaba[27]in the land of Garnata where the Spanish had tried tirelessly, (without success), to eradicate Islam for almost half a century.

The plunder and pillage of Spanish forces continued wherever they conquered and it was said of the Marquess of Mondejar’s men that they,

“…were ruffians who maintained themselves by robbery and spent their energies bartering, increasing or holding onto what they had plundered: libertines with little shame and less honor, (ibid, 103).”

Moreover, it was also said of that that,

“that they were unwilling to serve unless they heard the chink of cash: robbery was their wages, greed their spur, (Ibid, 107).”

The Muslims that had retreated from Guajaras to the mountains, descended eastwards to Ohanez, (which is located on the south western skirt of the Al Bushra Mountains, just north-west of Almeria and north of the Sierra de Gador), and had elected a new captain who was named Tahali.[28] All what they could salvage from their homes was placed in this stronghold, along with children and women, guarded by a 1000 man garrison. It was decided that here was a place that the Muslims would take a stand. The Marquess of Velez was dispatched to crush the Muslims at Ohanez, (as the Marquess of Mondejar was still occupied in Sierra de Guajaras), and he engaged the Muslims with ferocity. In the end after countless women and men killed, and the shahada of their commander, Tahali, the death toll stood at 200, (ibid, 105). Those who did not surrender, retreated once again, up the mountains.

The Spanish forces, sensing victory moved towards Valor, Ibn Ummaya’s stronghold. They surrounded the town and blocked all exits. Then another whole scale slaughter proceeded of the inhabitants of the town while Spanish troops plundered and took slaves. When the Spanish were done, they carried off 800 captives back towards Orgiva, (where these troops had been conscripted from and lived). On their march, Ibn Saba, (Ibn Ummaya’s commander for the area), appeared with 300 men at the rear end of the Spanish forces, (which was quite small), offering them safe passage if they release the Muslim captives. Little did they know, Ibn Saba was cunning and he had planted 200 men under the command of ‘Al Partel’ further up the path to ambush the rear guard from the flank in a classic L-Shaped ambush, (which has been taught to armies for decades now):

Lshape

The rear guard was trapped and the vanguard, knowing full well what was occurring behind them, marched on as fast as they could. The Muslims inflicted a great slaughter upon the kuffaar killing and/or beheading 760 of the 800 men of the army, while a mere 40 men survived this humiliation! In fact, the mujahideen did not even lose one man in this ambush and their women were recovered from the Christians, (ibid, 109)! After this glorious victory, Emir Ibn Ummaya solidified his control over the lands under him by organizing his armies by putting all his “…troops ino squadrons; grouped his squadrons into companies; appointed captains;[29] ordained that such and such men and no others should be permitted to raise banderas [or battalions], each one of which he put under the charge of a colonel, (ibid, 112).” He proceeded to divide up the lands into administrative districts called Taha’s, (perhaps Mendoza meant Ta’ifa?), which were under a governor. The governor was responsible for organizing his district’s defence. He created a force to be his personal bodyguard consisting of 400 Arquebusiermen, (i.e. riflemen). They even had their own banner which was simply a red banner, (reminiscent of the Al-Hamra’ and the legacy of Muslim rule in Garnata). In spite of the ongoing operations by the Spanish, Ibn Ummaya solidified his rule in Valor and Poquiera, (returning after the previous operations). Cleverly, prior to Spanish combat operations in the area, the Muslims had stored food and supplies in secret hidden locations. Ibn Ummaya also implemented Islamic taxes such as the Ushr, (tenth of the produce), and the khumus, (5th of spoils from jihad). Deigo Hurtado Mendoza testifies to this when he says the, “taxes which his people granted him for the maintenance of the kingdom were tenth of the fruits of their labours and fifth of the booty taken in war, (ibid, 113).” In light of these developments, the focus of the mujahideen and Ibn Ummaya shifted upon Almeria for a variety of reasons. Primarily, due to the fact that Almeria was a coastal city, with a large Muslim population and a vital part of Muslim strategy as a port to receive supplies and troops from Algiers. Secondly it was also important due to its fertility and bountiful produce. Around this time, Ibn Jawhar attempted to escape from Spain towards the Maghrib, but he died on natural causes on the way to the Maghrib.

The jihad spread further north towards Wadi Ash, (Guadix), Basta, (Baza), and the Al Mansura Valley, (almanzora), inspite of the efforts of the Spanish army to quell it. The Spanish General in charge of this area, Marquess of Velez, decided that the best way to take Wadi Ash was to take out the key La Ravaha pass that led from the Al Bushra Mountains north towards Wadi Ash. He sent one of the men under him to take a 400 man detachment to secure Wadi Ash. However in their haste and arrogance, they did not bother to reconnoiter and soon found themselves surrounded from above and below the path they tread on. Fourty mujahideen above them open fired with their Arquebuses while those on the path below flanked the Spanish army with 100 men, (ibid, 133). All in all, 140 mujahideen decimated a 400 man Spanish patrol leaving few survivors, which even in our times, is a successful operation.

In light of these losses, Don John of Austria,[30] (who we will hear more of later on), replaced the humiliated Marquess of Velez from his command with Francisco de Molina as new overall commander of Spanish forces. In the meantime, the Muslims of the Sierra de Bentomiz, (just north of Velez-Malaga/Balsh Malaqa where the ruins of the old fort used by the Muslims still stands today), and the villages surrounding Balsh Malaqa in the west joined the jihad. They packed up their belongings and went uphill, garrisoning at the city of Frigiliana la Vieja, (old Frigiliana). They selected as their leader, Gomel, (Jamal?), who had created his shura at the same time. All of them, including Gomel, came under the authority of Ibn Al Wakil, (Benalguazil), who was a commander of Ibn Ummaya’s. Arevalo de Suazo, a Spanish commander, upon receiving intelligence of mujahideen activity in Frigiliana, set out towards the village not so much to attack it, (since he did not have the troops at that point to do so), but merely as a show of force to intimidate the Muslims there. Instead his troops were ambushed and routed from the area in disgrace.

As fighting continued to rage in Frigiliana, Arevalo de Suazo sent word to Don John about their reversals, and Don John assembled a massive force to siege and retake Frigliana. He mustered 1000 seasoned infantry along with 1500 marines, (this complimented the 3000 troops raised by Arevalo from Balsh, Malaqa, and the surrounding area). In all, they had 5500 troops complimented by battalions that had been hastily called back from Italy[31] in light of the alarming situation in Garnata. These troops proceeded to Frigiliana where they began a massive assault from all sides of the Muslim fortification. After fierce resistance, the Muslims realized they were outnumbered and about 2000 of them decided to flee further uphill, (which was most of the Muslims at Frigiliana). Subsequently, the Spanish gained control over Frigiliana and the Muslim losses were substantial as some 1500 Muslims were killed inside the fortifications, most of them being old men. This happened due to the fact that all the older men of Frigiliana had agreed amongst themselves “…to stay in the fort and fight to the death so as to give the young and able bodied a chance to escape [and continue the fight], (ibid, 147).” 1300 Muslim women and children were also killed, (ibid, 146). Christian losses numbered more than 300 dead and more than 600 wounded. Muslim commanders escaped from the area and headed back to Valor where Emir Ibn Ummaya reconstituted, (i.e. made up for their losses by providing them men), their divisions and ordered them to return to Frigiliana to retake the fortifications there.

The word of the Spanish victories at Frigliana had spread as far west as Runda, (Ronda), and had dampened the morale of Muslims there, but yet sporadically Muslims in villages across Garnata saw the brutality of the Spanish and the bravery of the mujahideen and joined the jihad. The forces of the Mujahideen continued to grow with the influx of foreign mujahideen flocking to the banner of the mujahideen in Al Bushra. Many of them were Turkish military commanders highly experienced in the mountain and guerilla warfare while others were Muslims from the Maghrib whom had heard the cries of their oppressed Muslim brethren in the occupied land of Andalus. Some of these mujahideen bought weapons with them while others were armed with weapons taken as Ghaneema, (or spoils), from the Spanish. In addition, there were many ‘hispanified’ Muslims within the Spanish army that Ibn Ummaya could plants spies within their ranks. There is evidence of this presence, when one looks at the Spanish army in places such as its colony in Wahran, (Oran). After the conquest of Wahran in 1509, the Spanish were not able to recruit Spaniards to come to Wahran to join the army there. Facing a dire crisis in Wahran, Spain had to relax its usual forbiddance of Muslims joining the Spanish army, “…and they [Muslims] were recruited to join the defense force there [Wahran], (Kamen, 2004, 343).” Therefore it is likely that with continental Spain, there were also people that lied about their Muslim ancestry and joined the army.

Furthermore, women, children, Christians and even slaves in every town where the Spanish were, formed an informant network to provide informal intelligence on Spanish troops movements and sizes. They would also sell supplies, food, clothing, arms and ammunition to the mujahideen, (Mendoza, 165). With these reinforcements, Ibn Ummaya decided to use them in a massive ambush on Spanish forces on the town of Berja where the Marquess of Velez was camping with his forces. Ibn Ummaya had with him troops from all over Garnata and 400 Turks and Berbers, (ibid, 151), for this operation, totaling three thousand Arquebusiers and crossbowmen and approximately 2000 longbowmen. The mujahideen marched into the village, only to find it empty, and before they could react, the ambusher became the ambushee. They were betrayed by a spy in their camp. The Spanish inflicted a heavy blow on the mujahideen, with approximately 600 casualties, causing them to retreat back into the mountains.


[1] horsemen

[2] During the European Middle Ages, warfare was still based on feudal design and most soldiers were conscripts from the lands of the captain or noble that led them. In other words, they were forced to fight. Moreover, as they moved along territory, the people of those territories were expected to provide food to the soldiers and allow troops to billet in their homes, which meant to stay in their homes as long as they required, (some countries and territories had drafted time limits for billeting of troops as the Spanish had done in the Treaty of Garnata in 1491).

[3] The Thursday before Easter

[4] He was from the highly influential tribe of Banu Siraj who were influential in Andalus and especially in Garnata during the Muslim period

[5] Surah Al Nisa, verse 84

[6] Surah Hud, Verse 123

[7] Ibid

[8] Surah Zumar, Verse 36

[9] Ibid

[10] Surah Zumar, Verse 37

[11] Al Sahab, “Knowledge Is For Acting Upon,” released in 2006.

[12] Surah Anfal, Verse 60

[13] One of his new wives lived with him, the other was from Wadi Al Mansur, while the last was from Tavernas. However, due to Ibn Ummaya’s first father in law and his brothers in law from the original marriage did not give bayah to him, it is reported that he killed them and divorced his first wife, (Mendoza, 68).

[14] Uluj Ali was born as Giovanni Dionigi Galeni in Italy. On 29 April 1536, Giovanni was captured by Ali Ahmed, one of the captains of Khayr Al Din Pasha, and was forced to serve as a galley slave. After several years, he converted to Islam and joined the corsairs. He was a very able mariner and soon rose in the ranks. Further success soon enabled him to become the captain and owner of a galley, and he gained a reputation as one of the boldest ‘Ra’ees’ in the Maghrib

[15] Pakistan forces tally at 1,449,000, while Egypt is 1,109,000 and Saudi is 234,500. The figures for Pakistan and Saudi are based on figured from 2006 in respective reports for both countries by the Center for Strategic and international Studies. Egpytian figures are based on a study by Tel Aviv University. In fact, if were to take the major Muslim militaries of the world, (Pakistan, Saudi, Egypt, Bangaldesh, Syria, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Iraq, Jordan, Afghanistan, Kazhakistan, Yemen, Uzbekistan and Tunisia) we would arrive at a total in excess of 6,893,889 troops, (without mentioning the trillions of dollars worth of military hardware these armies possess respectively).

[16] Surah Al Nisa, verse 59

[17] Bukhari 2957 and Muslim 1835

[18] Sahih Muslim. Hadith #: 1852

[19] Literally “Guardian of the affairs”, usually meaning the ruler of the people

[20] Arabic word meaning ‘etcetera’ or as we say in ‘xyz’ to describe something generically or without giving its name

[21] Sahih Muslim. Kitab Al Imarah, Hadith #: 1840. Also in Sahih Bukhari, Hadith #: 7257. Also in Musnad Ahmed

[22] Sahih Muslim. Kitab Al Imarah, Hadith #: 1840. Also in Sahih Bukhari, Hadith #: 7257. Also in Musnad Ahmed

[23] Sahih Muslim. Kitab Al Imarah, Hadith #: 1839. Also in Sahih Bukhari, Hadith #: 7144

[24] Sahih Muslim. Kitab Al Imarah, Hadith #: 1709. Also in Sahih Bukhari, Ahadith #: 7055, 7056

[25] Look in Shaykh Abdullah Azzam’s book, ‘Join the Caravan,’ on p. 14, where he says that Masood is “the most brilliant commander in Afghanistan”

[26] Sahih Muslim, Hadith #: 1904 and Sahih Bukhari, Hadith #: 2810

[27] Companions of the Prophet (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم)

[28] His name comes from the root verb, هَالَ which means to terrify or to horrify. So his name actually means the terrifier

[29] commanders

[30] He became a military leader in the service of his half-brother, Philip II of Spain and is best known for his naval victory at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. In April 1569 Philip appointed Don John commander-in-chief over the feuding marquises, with Quijada his chief adviser. In Garnata, Don John built his forces with care, learning about logistics and drill and dealing with jealous local authorities. Requeséns and Santa Cruz patrolled the coast with their galleys, limiting aid and reinforcements from the Maghrib. In December Don John unexpectedly took the field with a large and well-supplied army. First clearing rebels from near Garnata, he then marched east through Wadi Ash, where veteran troops from Italy joined him, bringing his numbers to 12,000 men. In late January he assaulted the rebel stronghold of Galera. Fighting was long and hard and causalties heavy. When Galera fell, Don Juan had it leveled and salt ploughed into its soil. Its surviving inhabitants were sold into slavery.

The example of Galera and Don John’s relentless advance began to intimidate other Muslim villages, which soon began to surrender to Don John’s superior forces. Through 1570 the revolt gradually sputtered out as its leaders quarreled, while the Uthmanis and their naval mujahids turned to the invasion of the Venetian colony of Cyprus.

[31] At this point, Spain was in control of Italy by controlling the cities of Milan, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, and the State of Presidi. Indirectly they controlled Italy by dominance of the rulers of Tuscany, Genoa, and other minor states of northern Italy). All these powers were granted to Spain as a result of the Peace treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis  in 1559 between Elizabeth I of England, Henry II of France and Philip II of Spain.

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