Moonlight in a Jar: An Al-Andalus Timeline

Why a Canoe? why not a camel(even if don't know, they would have explain what is one) or the winged horse at least...
Here you go
Let's just say that some imams might get grouchy about their new subjects drawing art that portrays God as a huge water bird in an eastern flower heaven and Muhammad as a man with a canoe.
Will the americas lead to a renaissance of islamic art? As annoying imans cant hit them.
 
The most chilling thing I ever read in a TL is probably For All Time's treatment of Egypt, where the Soviets nuke the Aswan Dam and a giant wave of water comes flooding down the Nile at 100+ mph. 98% of Egypt is killed and the Palestinians fill the void left behind.
Well, that was originally a soc.history.what-if TL: not sure it could be written on AH.com today without accusations of being atrocity porn.
 
For all its significance to Mexico's identity, the Virgin of Guadalupe is a pretty conventional-by-European-standards depiction of Mary. There's also art depicting Mary as a mountain, though if you ask me the Virgin of Guadalupe's enduring popularity among Catholics of all stripes is at least somewhat due to looking very conventional, even if the story behind it is inseparable from Mexico's natives. Contrast with the somewhat... chilly reception Pachamama got among conservative churchgoers of the Current Year.

I think painted/sculpted art sometimes plays by different rules from architecture, because 1) architecture will naturally be constrained by what local architects know best and what materials they can use, and 2) it's possible for painting/sculpture to look "too pagan". Art can go in any direction in the short term, but over the scope of centuries it might be behind-the-scenes syncretism that wins out-- and there's plenty of scope for that. It can pop up in the materials, like pigments that don't have to be imported from Persia. Or it could be other features of composition, symbolism, etc.

Well, that was originally a soc.history.what-if TL: not sure it could be written on AH.com today without accusations of being atrocity porn.
Oh yeah... well, Decades of Darkness, then. Or The Napolead and similar "escalation until nuclear war" TLs.
 
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Here you go

Will the americas lead to a renaissance of islamic art? As annoying imans cant hit them.
Let's just say that there may be some Sufis wandering around drawing parallels between Maya and Islamic beliefs.

Notably, Kinich Ahau - a particular sun god - is associated with an eastern aquatic paradise and is sometimes depicted as either a chimeric sea bird or a man in a canoe. Now consider that Islam is coming by boat, with wondrous weapons the Maya can scarcely imagine.
 
Notably, Kinich Ahau - a particular sun god - is associated with an eastern aquatic paradise and is sometimes depicted as either a chimeric sea bird or a man in a canoe. Now consider that Islam is coming by boat, with wondrous weapons the Maya can scarcely imagine.
A distant figure associated with paradise and the seas, a possible conflation with a newer faith that can bring legitimacy to the rulers of the land, I kinda feel like stumbling back to discovering Land of Sweetness.

Before we know it, someone in Cawania or Arawak might conflate Muhammad with the semi-mythic Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl and create a new offshoot faith based on the syncretism, and maybe a future Maya leader might even invoke the figure and style himself the as both the descendant of the god and World-Conqueror of The Ages before plunging all of Mesoamerica into war and bring the seas unto his control aND-

-wait, the westerners are also here too. drat.
 
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A distant figure associated with paradise and the seas, a possible conflation with a newer faith that can bring legitimacy to the rulers of the land, I kinda feel like stumbling back to discovering Land of Sweetness.

Before we know it, someone in Cawania or Arawak might conflate Muhammad with the semi-mythic Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl and create a new offshoot faith based on the syncretism, and maybe a future Maya leader might even invoke the figure and style himself the as both the descendant of the god and World-Conqueror of The Ages before plunging all of Mesoamerica into war and bring the seas unto his control aND-

-wait, the westerners are also here too. drat.
Hmm, Indonesia style syncretic Islam or would there be more schisms for Islam? Imagine, an Islamic take of the Protestant Reformation. That would be both interesting and a complete headache to those involved. Heh, if that 's the case, Sunni Islam becomes the Orthodox analogue, Maliki Islam becomes the Catholic analogue and whatever develops in the New World becomes the Protestant analogue.
 
Hmm, Indonesia style syncretic Islam or would there be more schisms for Islam? Imagine, an Islamic take of the Protestant Reformation. That would be both interesting and a complete headache to those involved. Heh, if that 's the case, Sunni Islam becomes the Orthodox analogue, Maliki Islam becomes the Catholic analogue and whatever develops in the New World becomes the Protestant analogue.
Er... I was referring to this timeline and its more recent chapters regarding a lowly man who became a World-Conqueror. Fun-fact: he legitimized himself by claiming he is Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, returned.

But an Indonesia-style Islam is a very possible event for this Mesoamerica. Besides what you mentioned, there could also be some societies (Maya or otherwise) that - for lack of a better word - separates the religion of Islam from cultural customs, forming a Minangkabau-style system where religion and traditional laws/culture form two separate & distinct-ish systems, interacting and influencing each other over time. So a person ITTL may pray five times a day (Islam) but after that, bequeath all his property to his daughters instead of sons in an elaborate ceremony (customary tradition)*. And everyone is OK with this save for the Andalusis.

With traditional knowledge of bark paper + Andalusian paper-making and writing, we might see some pre-Islamic customs codified and preserved, akin to... something like the Adat Perpatih.


* I should know. My family is Minangkabau on one side. It's something to see syncretism, but another when you know your community is matrilineal.
 
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Well, the religious hardliner who does indeed treat the bible as computer code, or magic spells you have to say just right to get into heaven, [1] is hardly a rare type in Christianity. More literally, books with titles like "The Bible Code" sell pretty well.
Not to derail too much, but this always happens when the question of a Muslim Russia pops up. "Lol, no booze = no Islam in Russia" appears before any reasonable objection, even though it would be a relatively trivial change. Rather annoying when people treat religions as if they're computer code that the followers cannot disobey.
None of us is certified theologian to justify why alcohol is ok. Even if one person said "in miniscule amount", theres no guarantee that no one wouldnt take a mile for centimeter.

*snark mode on*
You really need to come up some convincing bs to justify it. Oh wait, the last time convincing bs appear its called "Muktazilah" & "Ahmadiyyah" . /s
Horrible stuff happened in history all the time. Luckily I think Planet of Hats is more than respectful enough to write about plausible, realistic atrocities and not "the muslim civilians were all beheaded by big chadly Christians, oh yeah, with hairy forearms..."
Whats with hairy forearms? Did ATL chicks digs that?
Agreed, with some reservations. A TL creator recently got banned, I think it was for having "mainstream Islam" be eradicated as a religion by a Mormon-theocracy America. In that case the unrealistically-successful (and just kinda... weird? Why go after 1b people like that?) nature of the deed implies wish-fulfillment lurking beneath. Having your atrocity be realistic is one way to avoid that. There's other ways too, like adjusting the tone of writing in a way that casts doubt on the heroism of the victors. The surest way is of course to just come out and say that you don't approve of bad things, and now that's been done I don't think it needs to be done again.
I know it may hurts you, but show me. I got spare Mind-Bleach in my hand.
But an Indonesia-style Islam
The problem with that, its can go worst than Minangkabau, i.e "giving "gift" to other entity like Queen of Sunda Sea" level.

Yup, pretty much heresy......
Gonna need heavy flamer for that.:kisskiss:
 
I know it may hurts you, but show me. I got spare Mind-Bleach in my hand.
I guess I remembered it as a little worse than it was, it wasn't a detailed post about killing one billion people or anything. It was a pretty offhand reference to a war against one million, because apparently that's all the Muslims left in the world after... John Wilkes Booth killed the Ottoman sultan, and triggered a collapse of both the Ottoman state and Islam as a world religion???

The problem with that, its can go worst than Minangkabau, i.e "giving "gift" to other entity like Queen of Sunda Sea" level.

Yup, pretty much heresy......
Gonna need heavy flamer for that.:kisskiss:
Would it instead be possible for the ocean to represent God, and not any other spirit? Essentially swapping out the heavens for something else that's similarly blue and enormous, and contrasting seaborne monotheism with the paganism of the land. But then again, mercy cannot be considered the sea's foremost virtue...
 
That's...That's not how Islam works.
I have really, really tried to avoid fallacious understandings of Islam in this TL, while also avoiding glorifying it excessively.

This TL's Muslims are more schismatic than OTL's even as they are more widespread and diverse. Islam is unquestionably Future Moonlightworld's dominant faith, but getting there will require it to flex to fit the lives of people it never truly touched in reality.
 
I have really, really tried to avoid fallacious understandings of Islam in this TL, while also avoiding glorifying it excessively.

This TL's Muslims are more schismatic than OTL's even as they are more widespread and diverse. Islam is unquestionably Future Moonlightworld's dominant faith, but getting there will require it to flex to fit the lives of people it never truly touched in reality.
You've done a great job!
 
ACT VIII Part XI: The Empire and the Blooming Sudan
Excerpt: 14: The Century That Changed Everything - Christian Saldmare, Dragon's Hill Press, AD 2002


Almost without realizing it, Abd ar-Rahman the Seafarer found himself in control of a substantial overseas empire in the wake of the War of Navarrese Succession.

The emergence of what historians refer to as the Hizamid Empire is traditionally dated to 1393, when Abd ar-Rahman refocused the summer jihad from Santiago to the future Cawania and made Algarvian land-grabbing acceptable. The Wilayah of Al-Quwaniyyah would form the centrepiece of a mixed network of settler wilayahs, tributary kingdoms and trading ports around the world.

By 1410, the Andalusian imperial network included the following:

* The Wilayah of Al-Quwaniyyah, mostly encompassing the eastern and northern coasts of the Cawanian peninsula and the inland tributary kingdom of Chichen Itza. This Wilayah would grow steadily.

* The tributary altepetls of the Otomi Alliance, centred on the city known as Dahnini and focused on trade with them and the Tepanecs. Disease had caused most of the resident altepetls to decline, resulting in several being depopulated as surviving citizens fled war and sickness. By 1400, Azcapotzalco itself had been abandoned, left ruined following a series of internal revolts and successive waves of illness. The territory fell under the control of the Otomi, who extended control over the important city of Cholula. By then the city had been mostly depopulated and the Great Pyramid there left empty. While many former altepetls were lost to time, Cholula survived as a key Otomi-Andalusi site, and the Great Pyramid itself largely still stands, though it was modified with the addition of a minaret and steadily stripped of pagan iconography as the Otomi and their Andalusi allies converted it into a mosque - in the process damaging and destroying priceless archaeological and historical artifacts such as altars, murals and frescoes. In general, the extreme depopulation of the region and the resulting economic crash saw Andalusi, Berber and Sudani merchants become key elements of the local economy, while Muslim advisors gained cachet in local politics and Muslim mercenaries supported allied Otomi rulers against their enemies. In effect the Otomi Alliance operated as a satellite of the Hizamids in this period as the natives struggled to overcome the impacts of disease and deprivation.

* The near-Andalusian islands: Liwaril, the Kaledats, the Mufajias and the Maghurins.

* The islands of the Bahr al-Luwlu, particularly the Wilayahs of Mawana and Al-Gattas, to which several smaller islands were subordinated primarily in name - for instance, the island of Shaymakah[1] was considered subordinated to Al-Gattas. While Mawana largely served as a sugar-growing colony, Al-Gattas was established deliberately as a farming settlement, centred on the makzan of Nasriyyah.[2] This settlement, built on a harbour on a direct line to Quwaniyyah and Anawak, provided access to areas of the southern interior where farmers could grow and sell Old World staples. Production of sugar and mara[3] eventually came to predominate. Al-Gattas would gradually assume primacy among the islands as the centre of Andalusi settlement activity, with Mawana treated more as a colony for kishafa to retire to.

* Andalusi-controlled areas around the mouth of the Wadi al-Baraa, subordinated to the Wilayah of al-Marayu. By this point, the people of Marayu had vanished, and much of the land around Makzan al-Husayn had fallen under the exploitation of Andalusi-run harvesting operations. The settlements here dealt mainly in pernambuco wood and dye, as well as in sugar plantations, and many utilized forced labour in their operations. Hostilities with the Tapajos downriver gradually abated as epidemic diseases took their toll, resulting in the burning of the Tapajo villages in 1409 by a party under Samir al-Mahzuzi.

* The fishing colony on Jazirat al-Barshil.[4] The Banks of Barshil[5] are one of the most fertile fishing grounds in the world, and the Andalusi explorer Mundhir ibn Halil al-Lishbuni first recorded its fertility in 1396, though sketchy evidence suggests that it was well-known to the settlers of the Maghurin Islands before then. Andalusi fishermen swiftly moved to exploit the fisheries, establishing the fishing village of Madinat al-Jadida - the New City - on the island's irregularly-shaped southeastern extremity.[6] The village on the Khalij al-Sayadin[7] remained small in the early going - as the coldest place Andalusis settled in the Early Crossing period, its bitter climate drove potential colonists away and resulted in significant hardship for those dwelling there. However, fishermen profited enormously there, returning home with vast catches of cod, haddock and swordfish.

* The various makzans along the coast of the West and South Sudan, forming a chain between Al-Maghrib and the various Swahili city-states.

* Purchased harbour-space makzans in Hindustan connecting the Swahili and Somali coasts to the farthest eastern extremity of Andalusian trade: The makzan of Al-Mubarak on Fursa Island.

The Andalusis also enjoyed the vassalage of the Asmarids of the Maghreb. While they reigned from Sale as independent kings, they had sworn fealty to the Umayyad Caliph by way of the hajib during the Blue Army crisis decades prior, and the two entities had become intertwined through cultural and economic ties. The Asmarids had extended a fledgling trade network of their own, controlling the island of Touam off the Algarves as well as a few trade posts in the Bight of Sudan and on southward.

While the trading post empire proved most attractive to merchants, the makzans set up in areas with few to no cities proved attractive to Andalusis looking to make a go of it as cash crop farmers. Marayu produced valuable pernambuco wood and dye; the outposts along the Bight of Sudan produced binu pepper; Al-Gattas produced a variety of crops, including qasabi and tomato; makzans in the southern Sudan dealt heavily in slaves while also acting as rest stops for pilgrims undertaking the Hajj. Virtually all of them produced sugar.

Through these outposts, Andalusi and Berber mechants, pilgrims and Sufis built networks of contacts with local peoples, particularly in the Sudan. These trade networks are largely responsible for the spread of Islam and the introduction of Mediterranean staple crops, particularly rice. Just as rice had led to an economic boom in the Dahab region, its introduction elsewhere in the Sudan brought political upheaval, war and centralization. The dual forces of Islam and rice reshaped just about everywhere the trade route touched.

Along the Zadazir,[8] rice led to the emergence of several small kinglets of the Kongo ethnic group. The resulting conflicts between these kingdoms would be won by a small but well-organized alliance of Muslim lords, who would go on to form the nascent NiKongo Emirate and establish a seat at the fledgling town of NsiKongo, not far from the river. The ensuing years would see this kingdom begin to adopt Maliki Islam, developing an Ajami script for the local languages and embracing architectural styles clearly influenced by those of Al-Andalus and the Maghreb. Warfare would continue over the next several years as the NsiKongo extended their authority over the neighbouring kinglets, with more than a few prisoners sold into slavery to avaricious Andalusi merchants.

Just as important as rice to the NiKongo and other Subsaharan polities, however, was the arrival of foodstuffs from the Gharb al-Aqsa. Qasabi in particular was rapidly embraced along the Dahab,[9] where it was cultivated alongside rice. The Simala Kingdom quickly adopted another key Algarvian crop alongside Qasabi: The Algarvian groundnut,[10] which began to rapidly replace indigenous forms of groundnut. Crops like the tomato, chilli, kawkaw and ouatali[11] would follow, but would prove highly amenable to the capricious and rain-reliant tropical clime of the Dahab region.

By the early 1400s, the Simala Kingdom was experiencing a vast boom in population and prosperity, leading to a wave of centralization and urbanization that would transform the area into a centre of civilization. Labu would evolve into a major hub of trade, while Andalusi-inspired irrigation and reservoir-building techniques would see more farming take place along the Dahab, leading to towns springing up, many of them in styles influenced by the Berbers. People of Serer and Wolof background would intermingle with Berber arrivals and northern traders, bringing cosmopolitan influence to the area.

The most consequential factor would be the evolution of an early money-trading system. While Islamic authorities traditionally forbade usury, the same was not true for certain classes of dhimmi, particularly Jews. It became common for traders bound for the Gharb al-Aqsa to deposit funds with Jewish moneyholders in Labu or Tekrur. These were primarily black Sudani Jews of what has become known as the Golahi community,[12] who claim descent from Berber Jews who fled Al-Jazair centuries before during the time of the Al-Mutahirin uprising. That claim has been contested, but what is indisputable is that traders sought out Jews in Tekrur to provide services Muslims could not.

The earliest known bank in the Muslim world was established in Labu in 1393, operated by a Golahi merchant named Ibrahim ben-Musa; others would follow. Eventually, local farmers and artisans also came to see these services as useful. Local religious authorities grumbled, but growing demand ensured that banking would become a staple the Simala lands - and that it would eventually spread.

These factors together would form the genesis of the Great Crossing, a process that would hit its stride under Abd ar-Rahman the Seafarer. The Great Crossing saw a vast interchange of ideas, bodies and materials across the Atlas Ocean. Westbound went Muslim crops, Andalusian and Berber people, technologies and government structures, Sudani slaves and epidemic diseases, while eastbound came Algarvian crops, raw materials, animals, land claims and - on a far smaller scale - diseases, primarily (and disputedly) what is known as the sinner's pox.[13] No part of the world was unimpacted by the Crossing, from societal and economic changes to vast community disruptions to mass die-offs due to war and disease. But the Crossing's bounty was most immediately transformative in the West Sudan, where it gave the Simala the tools they needed to catapult into a thriving, cosmopolitan kingdom capable of acting as a partner to Al-Andalus and the Maghreb.

The three regions - Andalusia, the Maghreb and the Dahab - would form a triad of prosperity, coming together with the Otomi in the Gharb al-Aqsa and Hindustan, the Somali Coast and Aceh in the east to form the poles of a blossoming global trade order.


[1] Jamaica.
[2] On the site of Santiago de Cuba.
[3] Coffee.
[4] Newfoundland. The island's name is actually derived from diffusion of the myth of Hy-Brasil from Irish sailors to Gallaecian and Santiagonian peasants to Mozarabic and Basque sailors. Basically in this timeline, Newfoundland is Brazil.
[5] The Grand Banks.
[6] This Moorish fishing village is located in Trepassey Bay, Newfoundland, Canada.
[7] The Bay of Ships - Trepassey Bay.
[8] The Congo River.
[9] We jump back to Senegambia!
[10] The peanut.
[11] Amaranth.
[12] The Exiles.
[13] Syphilis.

SUMMARY:
1393: The first bank is opened in Labu by a Golahi Jewish merchant.
1396: Andalusian explorers discover the island of Al-Barshil and the associated cod banks. A fishing village is rapidly established, despite bitter cold conditions.
1400-1410: Maliki Muslim rulers along the Zadazir, fuelled by trade and rice, gradually centralize into the NiKongo Emirate.
 
So, I guess it's pretty fair to say that the Andalusians are sort of behaving like the Dutch IOTL? They don't really prioritize settlement or force conversion upon the newfound peoples, ignoring Cawania for now, and they instead subsidize economic expeditions into foreign lands, importing the sweet, sweet fruits of the Gharb al-Aqsa, the tasty spices of the Indian nations and Nusantara and some slaves they picked up along the way (well, the Dutch weren't known for the latter, I guess). I can't wait for the Europeans to find Muslim Amerindian Emirates in Anawak and Brazil, the Northern one.

I can't say it often enough, amazing timeline.
 
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