The Spanish Christians policy to split the ranks of Muslims
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On May 21, 1403 AD, Henry III of the region of Castile in Spain, as part of the Christian policy to split the ranks of Muslims, who were advancing into southwestern Europe and still controlled southern Spain, sent Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo as ambassador to Samarqand to the court of Amir Timur to discuss the possibility of an alliance against the Ottoman Empire. Clavijo, who travelled through the Byzantine capital Constantinople to Armenia, Iran, and finally Central Asia, was granted a long-sought audience by Timur in a great orchard with a palace therein, which he calls the paradise garden of Iranian tradition. He gives a detailed description of court life including trained elephants and the tent-pavilions of jewel-and pearl-encrusted silks.
The Castilian embassy spent several months in Samarqand, during which time Clavijo attended celebrations for Timur's recent victory at Ankara in July 1402, over the Ottoman sultan, Bayezid I, who was captured and brought to Central Asia as captive, much to the relief of the Christians of Europe. Although the fearsome Timur did not sign any treaty with the Christians, the vast majority of his victims were the millions of fellow Muslims his armies slaughtered from Eurasia to West Asia and from Iran to the Subcontinent.