The Fall of Muslim Spain
Compiled by: Syed Muhammad Bokreta
Date: Monday, 02 January, 1492.
Place: Granada, Spain.
Elapsed time – Day for Day: 520 years.
Main Historic Figures: King Abu Abdullah (Boabdil), King Ferdinand V, Queen Isabella.
Lessons to be learnt: "But after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed after lusts, soon then will they face destruction." Holy-Quran: 19-59.
The great victory of Muslim Ottoman Turks in Constantinople on the 29th of May, 1453 and the great impact it had on the world of Christianity led to a harsh reaction and an ever increased resurgence of the crusading spirit in Europe and prompted a determination in Spain to finally complete the reconquest by taking the last area of unconquered Muslim (Moorish) territory in the Iberian peninsula.
For the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, who had to fight for Isabella’s Castilian throne, also disputed by Juana and Alphonso V of Portugal, increased the will of the first ones to seize the opportunity to confirm their authority by being the national heroes of this victory.
King Ferdinand and Isabella gave their assent , those Muslims who wished to leave should do so , that they should go when and whither they wished , and they should be allowed to pass unhindered , the Muslims were to hand over all the Christians captives and above all those Christians who had up to that time become Muslims.
So Granada capitulated on the 02nd of January 1492 , when the keys of the Alhambra were handed by Abu Abdullah ( Boabdil) who was accompanied by some of his "knights" with the keys of the city in his hands , and according to European Historians he tried to dismount from his horse in order to kiss the king’s hand , but the king had not allowed it , the Moorish king kissed Ferdinand on the arm and gave him the keys , saying: " Take the keys of your city , for I and the "men" who are within , are your vassals."
As he left the city, Abu Abdullah paused to look back at the Alhambra palace; he burst into tears, his wise mother "Aycha" stood beside him and in such heart-stricken reply she said: "You may well weep like a woman, for what you could not defend like a man".
The spot whence Abu Abdullah took his sad farewell look at the city from he was banished for ever, bears this day the name of (in Spanish): "El ultimo sospiro del Moro" or "the last sigh of the Moor".
In the aftermath of this tragedy, the defeated Muslims well left to their fearful fate, but the growing influence of the zealous Cardinal Cisneros, Isabella’s confessor after 1492, gradually displaced that of the more tolerant Archbishop Talavera of Granada, her former confessor.
As a result of this turn, mass conversions more forced by the sword than voluntary and Inquisition courts followed, increased evangelization, properties and libraries burning and lack of tolerance led to a revolt in the Albaicin in 1501.
A year after, came a decision to impose on Muslims a choice between exile and conversion to Christianity, that was the sad fate of Muslims in Spain who neglected God’s commands and orders and were divided into small kingdoms , weakened by chronic infighting , treacherous double-dealing and internal decadence and fighting each other for worldly gains, they sought the help from mercenaries from amongst the Christians, therefore , ending nearly eight centuries of Muslim rule and closing one of the most turbulent and glorious chapters in Islamic History.