Moonlight in a Jar: An Al-Andalus Timeline

So I'm still trying to set up some basic pages, but for those interested, Moonlight does have a wiki now:

https://miajwiki.miraheze.org/wiki/Main_Page
Thank you so much! I'll be happy to help with the wiki if need be.
----
Also, I want to ask some questions on the culture of Al-Andalus during the 1480s. Although your previous posts did provide a lot of insight on what it's like in the Hizamid/Asmarid Empire at the time, I wonder if there's a growth in external influences (aside from Sinophilia), from places like Africa, the Algarves, Christian Europe, or even Persia/Hindustan as the country is growing to become increasingly cosmopolitan.

For example, are there examples of something like West African music leaking into Al-Andalus by way of musicians, mystics, and griots? Perhaps European-styled theater could be possible with the acceptance of depicting secular matters of romance, tragedy, comedy, or political figures like Al-Muntasir in a dramatized manner (Of course, depictions of Muhammad and his companions would be banned, but it seems like OTL Renaissance theater and art was shying away from matters of religion anyways).
 
Thank you so much! I'll be happy to help with the wiki if need be.
----
Also, I want to ask some questions on the culture of Al-Andalus during the 1480s. Although your previous posts did provide a lot of insight on what it's like in the Hizamid/Asmarid Empire at the time, I wonder if there's a growth in external influences (aside from Sinophilia), from places like Africa, the Algarves, Christian Europe, or even Persia/Hindustan as the country is growing to become increasingly cosmopolitan.

For example, are there examples of something like West African music leaking into Al-Andalus by way of musicians, mystics, and griots? Perhaps European-styled theater could be possible with the acceptance of depicting secular matters of romance, tragedy, comedy, or political figures like Al-Muntasir in a dramatized manner (Of course, depictions of Muhammad and his companions would be banned, but it seems like OTL Renaissance theater and art was shying away from matters of religion anyways).
There is absolutely a cosmopolitanization that's taking place. It's becoming more common to walk through an Andalusian port city and encounter not only the locals, but more than a few Wolof merchants, Serer traders, Jewish businesspeople, Somali sailors, Amalfitan fortune-seekers, and even visitors from the Algarves. While Sinophilia is the most notable influence, there has been a gradual leaking-in of outside cultural elements - some elements of Algarvian fashion are being popularized by Muhammad Mahbat's visit, for instance, and the contact with India is resulting in some diffusion of architectural and culinary ideas. (Algarvian food is also having an influence; Andalusians love the chilli pepper.)

In some ways, the Al-Andalus of the 1480s is a lot more like the idealized version of Al-Andalus that sometimes gets held up in popular culture, though it remains a slave-trading state and is in no way what we'd consider a modern liberal country.
 
It's becoming more common to walk through an Andalusian port city and encounter not only the locals, but more than a few Wolof merchants, Serer traders, Jewish businesspeople, Somali sailors, Amalfitan fortune-seekers, and even visitors from the Algarves. While Sinophilia is the most notable influence, there has been a gradual leaking-in of outside cultural elements - some elements of Algarvian fashion are being popularized by Muhammad Mahbat's visit, for instance, and the contact with India is resulting in some diffusion of architectural and culinary ideas. (Algarvian food is also having an influence; Andalusians love the chilli pepper.)
Interesting that Indian and Algarvian food is an influence on Andalusi cuisine extremely early. The possibility of Andalusi curry and tacos is already making me hungry already :closedeyesmile:

Also, I do think that with visitors from the Algarves as well as scholars/traders well acquainted with Chinese or Indian languages, it's possible that there's going to be a massive resurgence in the translation movement either now or in the near future. After all, Ikal was one of many that is looking to teach Muslims the Maya language, and there could be more that are looking to teach in Otomi, Nahua, Purepecha, or Nanyu Arabic, which only increases the potential of the transfer of knowledge. The printing press is only going to accelerate this even further, since it's easier to disseminate millions of translated texts across all of Al-Andalus and in their libraries.

Overall, Al-Andalus has got to be extremely busy with the influx of scholars trying to translate texts from the entire globe.

is the official name of the bataid empire just 'empire of the romans' , or is it more like with the ottomans; 'sublime [DYNASTY NAME] state'
It's Al-Imbiraturiyyat ar-Rumaniyah / Basileía Rhōmaíōn / Imperium Romanum. The Roman Empire.
 
ACT IX Part II: Muhammad Mahbat's Impact
THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA, OFF SARDINIA

"Would you lay eyes on that," one of the crewmen said to the other in wonder.

The men from Genoa looked on from the deck of their swift galley at the sight of the flotilla passing by them. The escort ships were splendid, but expected - the typical galley out of Andalusia, armed to the teeth and far too hardened for the Genoese crew to knock over and make off with. They could tackle Moorish merchantmen or fat pilgrims on their way to or from the East, but fighting the Moorish navy would be another matter.

They were more surprised by the ship in the midst of the escort flock. A zepino[1] for sure, but draped in colourful fabric and painted with ornate colours and patterns of a type they'd never seen before. Even from a distance, they could make out men in colourful clothing milling about the deck.

They'd seen the ships of rich men before, but an oceangoing ship in those colours was unique - and with an escort of five ships, it must have been someone of high importance.

"Must be a pretty rich pilgrim," one of the other sailors mused as he leaned on the rail. Some of the men waved from a distance as the Genoese galley slid past the Moors, going in the opposite direction. It was, to be sure, an act of performative innocence - the typical nice-guy act they would pull when they got close enough to realize a target was too hard to actually raid.

The captain nodded with wonder, staring after the ship. "You know, I would wager my eyeteeth that this one came from the Far West somewhere. There are a lot of stories coming back about that place. Lot of men from Iberia hanging out in taverns and talking about the wealth of places over the sea."

"I'd heard about that," one of the men piped in. "Something about the Moors finding a land of gold and spices."

"Yeah, Alasca," another sailor chipped into the conversation. "I heard an Anglishman talking about it once."

"That so?"

"Aye. I hear that you can make a tidy profit as an Anglish sailor just by catching a fat Moor and his ship coming across the Ocean Sea. They've got things with them you can't even imagine. Spices you can't find anywhere else in the world except in the hold of a zepino from the Far West."

The captain scowled as he watched the flotilla bob on past. "They must be pretty rich if they can afford a fancy ship and a big escort like that."

The Genoese men fell silent, nursing growing sparks of greed as they watched the flotilla of Muhammad Mahbat pass them by and sail into the east.


~


MAHDIA, IFRIQIYA

"It's a pretty funny-looking tree," one tradesman said to the other.

"Aye, it is."

The two stood before a relatively small tree, but a curious one - one different from the date palms they'd see every day. This one sprouted from a circle of fresh earth, ringed by polished stones in dazzling white, each one carved neatly with calligraphics praising God and the Prophet. It had been planted a mere day before.

The planter had been someone unlike anyone they'd seen before - a man in florid colours, of a race they didn't recognize, arriving aboard a safina in garish patterns, calling himself Emir of a land they'd never heard of. And yet, he'd professed faith in the Prophet, even coming as it did in a curiously-accented Arabic.

He'd gone on his way before long - but not before planting a single palm in the public garden of Mahdia. This one.[2]

"I wonder if it'll sprout any dates."

"Who knows. He seemed excited to plant it, though."

The first tradesman shrugged. "Maybe palms are different wherever he comes from."

"I have heard it is so. He was from, where, he called it Anawak?"

"Yes, the Gharb al-Aqsa."

The second man's eyebrows came up sharply. "Must be pretty rich over there if he can carry a bunch of trees on his boat."

The first nodded. "Ah well. It'll be a lonely tree here, anyway."


~


ALEXANDRIA

"They've left port," reported the eunuch.

Hunched in his seat, Hasan ibn al-Hakam al-Bayadhi pored over the map that had been delivered to him. "He was an interesting man," he muttered, his mind connecting his visitor of the past week to new possibilities. "And did you notice that he was fluent in his faith? He knew God as any Muslim would. For all his odd accents and fashions, for all his insistence on planting a tree here, he was a Muslim."

And a rich one, he realized with increasing certainty. A powerful one.

He traced a finger over the map to circle the oddly-shaped landmass at its western edge. "We've known for a long time that the Banu Umayya and their people reached a new land. I had thought they had mostly found barbarians, but to see a Muslim Emir coming across the sea to us...."

"The westerners must be more powerful than they appear," mused the eunuch with widening eyes. "Their merchants are rich already. If they have shown the word of the Prophet to people like this Muhammad Mahbat--"

"--then they may be useful to us." Hasan looked up to the ceiling, scratching at his cheek with a crinkling of his nose.

"We need an advantage," he observed. "I don't care how much the descendants of Abbas yell at me. I have no intention of being a puppet of Greeks who translate the Quran."

The eunuch's face twisted in horror. "It's disgraceful, eminence!"

"Is it not?" Hasan nodded grimly before momentarily going silent.

"Muhammad Mahbat spoke Arabic," the lord of Egypt pointed out into the moment of dead air.

The ruler and the eunuch looked at each other in thought.


~


Excerpt: Blackpowder Empires: The Early Modern Age - Guigues Montpelhier, Epic Libropress, AD 1996

As much as historians strive to avoid the fallacy of attributing the course of history too heavily to individual "great men," it is not hyperbole to note that the hajj of Muhammad Mahbat was a seminal event in the history of the world, one which definitively marks the beginning of the Early Modern Period.

Muhammad Mahbat's itinerary took him on a grand tour of the Mediterranean en route to Mecca. His flotilla stopped in Sale, Isbili, Mahdia, Melita, Alexandria and Asqalan before transferring to land. Muhammad Mahbat went from there to Jerusalem, then traveled south to Mecca itself to complete the hajj. His return voyage followed the Sudani route, with stops at Aden, Warsheikh, Kilwa, Marsa ar-Raha, NsiKongo, and Ubinu before crossing the Atlantic and resupplying in Marayu and Malibu en route back to Anawak.

The consequences of his voyage range from the minor to the splendid. One of the less discussed elements was his decision to plant an Algarvian palm in Isbili, Mahdia, Melita, Alexandria and Asqalan as he traveled, an homage to the Umayyad leader Abd ar-Rahman I. Scholars believe that the spread of invasive but mostly harmless Algarvian palms in Ifriqiya and Shams[3] is traceable directly to the palms imported by Muhammad Mahbat.

The social and geopolitical consequences of his visit were more monumental. While knowledge of the existence of the Gharb al-Aqsa was widespread in the Islamic world at the time, most people had never seen an Algarvian before Muhammad Mahbat. His hajj was met with excitement in the places he visited, his ship greeted by huge crowds of curious onlookers interested in seeing the stranger from a faraway land. These visitors - and onlookers who encountered his flotilla at sea - included not just Muslims, but Christian traders from Genoa, Amalfi and Venice, who took away from Muhammad Mahbat's visit a particular impression of the Farthest West as a place of great wealth.

In Al-Andalus and Ifriqiya, Muhammad Mahbat's visit served to lend prestige to the Umayyad Caliphs by demonstrating that Andalusians could not only discover a new land, but bring its wealthy rulers into the faith. Nowhere was this prestige more keenly felt, however, than in Bayadhid Egypt.

With tensions with the Bataid Empire remaining high, Bayadhid strongman Hasan ibn al-Hakam was in search of allies to help preserve his realm. While he had put out feelers to the Snow Leopard Khan in Persia, the Irbisids were unlikely allies. The visit of Muhammad Mahbat was followed by the opening of diplomatic overtures by the Bayadhids to the Asmarids as the Egyptians began exploring the possibility of acknowledging the Umayyad Caliph, hoping to recruit a powerful ally with a mutual interest in thwarting Bataid control of the eastern Mediterranean.

For the Bataids, meanwhile, Muhammad Mahbat's journey was a blow to their prestige. The Bataid dynasty - of Patzinak extraction, steeped in both Arabic and Hellenic cultural norms - had been accused by Arab opponents of being "too Greek" in their ways. In Muhammad Mahbat, elites in the Bataid realm witnessed a visitor from a new world who spoke Arabic and worshipped as a Muslim did. He was seen by many as an example of properly representing Islam, and the notion of a new world of powerful Muslims over the ocean lent an air of legitimacy to the Umayyad Caliph that the Abbasids lacked (despite both Caliphs being effectively powerless puppets of their respective military rulers).

Bataid resentment of the Umayyad-following world only grew in the ensuing years. People conducting the hajj from Al-Andalus and Ifriqiya were subjected to increasing scrutiny and harassment in the wake of Muhammad Mahbat's journey, though in practice this occurred mainly on the Mediterranean route, with the Hashemite rulers of Mecca continuing to operate more or less autonomously in keeping Mecca universally accessible to all Muslims.

Tensions between the Asmarids and the Bataids, long simmering in the background, were placed on a slow but steady escalation, and Christian interest in the new world newly enkindled, all by Muhammad Mahbat's innocent passage - an example of one man changing the entire character of geopolitics with no intention of doing so.


~


MECCA

The journey had been long, exhausting and illuminating - but it had all come down to this place. The holy city. The site of the Masjid al-Haram itself. The destination he'd pursued all his life.

Muhammad Mahbat's eyes were alight with the sincerity of his faith. Finally, he would complete a duty no ruler of the Otomi before him could complete.

His entourage moved through the city, making their way towards their destination step by step. The beauty and history of the city astounded him beyond words. Everything seemed both old and new at the same time. He could feel his heart thudding in his chest as he gazed around at everything there was to see, then ahead, then down.

Down at the small creature that had walked casually out into his path.

Muhammad Mahbat blinked at the being. The being, small and white and mottled with a tortoiseshell pattern, blinked back, then approached and looked up at him expectantly.

"Cat," Muhammad Mahbat murmured in wonder, crouching before the feline.

The cat mewed at him, practically entreating him for something. A little flustered, Muhammad Mahbat held a hand out, and a servant passed him a scrap of meat - one the cat nipped down eagerly when he offered it up.

In spite of himself, the Emir smiled, unable to be anything but charmed. "If I did not know better, I would think that you have also come here to complete the journey. Is it so, cat?"

The cat just looked up at him.

Gathering the stray in his arms, Muhammad Mahbat rose to his feet and beamed. "Then you shall come with us," he proclaimed. "Come - let us go together!"


SUMMARY:
1483: Muhammad Mahbat reaches Mecca and completes the hajj, in the process amazing just about everyone in the Mediterranean, embarrassing the Abbasids and meeting a cat.

[1] The Italian form of safina.
[2] Muhammad Mahbat is planting examples of sabal pumos, the royal palmetto, in cities he visits. Just as Abd ar-Rahman I beheld a palm in ar-Rusafa, Muhammad Mahbat beholds a palm of the west wherever in the east he goes.
[3] The Levant.
 
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THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA, OFF SARDINIA

"Would you lay eyes on that," one of the crewmen said to the other in wonder.

The men from Genoa looked on from the deck of their swift galley at the sight of the flotilla passing by them. The escort ships were splendid, but expected - the typical galley out of Andalusia, armed to the teeth and far too hardened for the Genoese crew to knock over and make off with. They could tackle Moorish merchantmen or fat pilgrims on their way to or from the East, but fighting the Moorish navy would be another matter.

They were more surprised by the ship in the midst of the escort flock. A zepino[1] for sure, but draped in colourful fabric and painted with ornate colours and patterns of a type they'd never seen before. Even from a distance, they could make out men in colourful clothing milling about the deck.

They'd seen the ships of rich men before, but an oceangoing ship in those colours was unique - and with an escort of five ships, it must have been someone of high importance.

"Must be a pretty rich pilgrim," one of the other sailors mused as he leaned on the rail. Some of the men waved from a distance as the Genoese galley slid past the Moors, going in the opposite direction. It was, to be sure, an act of performative innocence - the typical nice-guy act they would pull when they got close enough to realize a target was too hard to actually raid.

The captain nodded with wonder, staring after the ship. "You know, I would wager my eyeteeth that this one came from the Far West somewhere. There are a lot of stories coming back about that place. Lot of men from Iberia hanging out in taverns and talking about the wealth of places over the sea."

"I'd heard about that," one of the men piped in. "Something about the Moors finding a land of gold and spices."

"Yeah, Alasca," another sailor chipped into the conversation. "I heard an Anglishman talking about it once."

"That so?"

"Aye. I hear that you can make a tidy profit as an Anglish sailor just by catching a fat Moor and his ship coming across the Ocean Sea. They've got things with them you can't even imagine. Spices you can't find anywhere else in the world except in the hold of a zepino from the Far West."

The captain scowled as he watched the flotilla bob on past. "They must be pretty rich if they can afford a fancy ship and a big escort like that."

The Genoese men fell silent, nursing growing sparks of greed as they watched the flotilla of Muhammad Mahbat pass them by and sail into the east.


~


MAHDIA, IFRIQIYA

"It's a pretty funny-looking tree," one tradesman said to the other.

"Aye, it is."

The two stood before a relatively small tree, but a curious one - one different from the date palms they'd see every day. This one sprouted from a circle of fresh earth, ringed by polished stones in dazzling white, each one carved neatly with calligraphics praising God and the Prophet. It had been planted a mere day before.

The planter had been someone unlike anyone they'd seen before - a man in florid colours, of a race they didn't recognize, arriving aboard a safina in garish patterns, calling himself Emir of a land they'd never heard of. And yet, he'd professed faith in the Prophet, even coming as it did in a curiously-accented Arabic.

He'd gone on his way before long - but not before planting a single palm in the public garden of Mahdia. This one.[2]

"I wonder if it'll sprout any dates."

"Who knows. He seemed excited to plant it, though."

The first tradesman shrugged. "Maybe palms are different wherever he comes from."

"I have heard it is so. He was from, where, he called it Anawak?"

"Yes, the Gharb al-Aqsa."

The second man's eyebrows came up sharply. "Must be pretty rich over there if he can carry a bunch of trees on his boat."

The first nodded. "Ah well. It'll be a lonely tree here, anyway."


~


ALEXANDRIA

"They've left port," reported the eunuch.

Hunched in his seat, Hasan ibn al-Hakam al-Bayadhi pored over the map that had been delivered to him. "He was an interesting man," he muttered, his mind connecting his visitor of the past week to new possibilities. "And did you notice that he was fluent in his faith? He knew God as any Muslim would. For all his odd accents and fashions, for all his insistence on planting a tree here, he was a Muslim."

And a rich one, he realized with increasing certainty. A powerful one.

He traced a finger over the map to circle the oddly-shaped landmass at its western edge. "We've known for a long time that the Banu Umayya and their people reached a new land. I had thought they had mostly found barbarians, but to see a Muslim Emir coming across the sea to us...."

"The westerners must be more powerful than they appear," mused the eunuch with widening eyes. "Their merchants are rich already. If they have shown the word of the Prophet to people like this Muhammad Mahbat--"

"--then they may be useful to us." Hasan looked up to the ceiling, scratching at his cheek with a crinkling of his nose.

"We need an advantage," he observed. "I don't care how much the descendants of Abbas yell at me. I have no intention of being a puppet of Greeks who translate the Quran."

The eunuch's face twisted in horror. "It's disgraceful, eminence!"

"Is it not?" Hasan nodded grimly before momentarily going silent.

"Muhammad Mahbat spoke Arabic," the lord of Egypt pointed out into the moment of dead air.

The ruler and the eunuch looked at each other in thought.


~


Excerpt: Blackpowder Empires: The Early Modern Age - Guigues Montpelhier, Epic Libropress, AD 1996

As much as historians strive to avoid the fallacy of attributing the course of history too heavily to individual "great men," it is not hyperbole to note that the hajj of Muhammad Mahbat was a seminal event in the history of the world, one which definitively marks the beginning of the Early Modern Period.

Muhammad Mahbat's itinerary took him on a grand tour of the Mediterranean en route to Mecca. His flotilla stopped in Sale, Isbili, Mahdia, Melita, Alexandria and Asqalan before transferring to land. Muhammad Mahbat went from there to Jerusalem, then traveled south to Mecca itself to complete the hajj. His return voyage followed the Sudani route, with stops at Aden, Warsheikh, Kilwa, Marsa ar-Raha, NsiKongo, and Ubinu before crossing the Atlantic and resupplying in Marayu and Malibu en route back to Anawak.

The consequences of his voyage range from the minor to the splendid. One of the less discussed elements was his decision to plant an Algarvian palm in Isbili, Mahdia, Melita, Alexandria and Asqalan as he traveled, an homage to the Umayyad leader Abd ar-Rahman I. Scholars believe that the spread of invasive but mostly harmless Algarvian palms in Ifriqiya and Shams[3] is traceable directly to the palms imported by Muhammad Mahbat.

The social and geopolitical consequences of his visit were more monumental. While knowledge of the existence of the Gharb al-Aqsa was widespread in the Islamic world at the time, most people had never seen an Algarvian before Muhammad Mahbat. His hajj was met with excitement in the places he visited, his ship greeted by huge crowds of curious onlookers interested in seeing the stranger from a faraway land. These visitors - and onlookers who encountered his flotilla at sea - included not just Muslims, but Christian traders from Genoa, Amalfi and Venice, who took away from Muhammad Mahbat's visit a particular impression of the Farthest West as a place of great wealth.

In Al-Andalus and Ifriqiya, Muhammad Mahbat's visit served to lend prestige to the Umayyad Caliphs by demonstrating that Andalusians could not only discover a new land, but bring its wealthy rulers into the faith. Nowhere was this prestige more keenly felt, however, than in Bayadhid Egypt.

With tensions with the Bataid Empire remaining high, Bataid strongman Hasan ibn al-Hakam was in search of allies to help preserve his realm. While he had put out feelers to the Snow Leopard Khan in Persia, the Irbisids were unlikely allies. The visit of Muhammad Mahbat was followed by the opening of diplomatic overtures by the Bayadhids to the Asmarids as the Egyptians began exploring the possibility of acknowledging the Umayyad Caliph, hoping to recruit a powerful ally with a mutual interest in thwarting Bataid control of the eastern Mediterranean.

For the Bataids, meanwhile, Muhammad Mahbat's journey was a blow to their prestige. The Bataid dynasty - of Patzinak extraction, steeped in both Arabic and Hellenic cultural norms - had been accused by Arab opponents of being "too Greek" in their ways. In Muhammad Mahbat, elites in the Bataid realm witnessed a visitor from a new world who spoke Arabic and worshipped as a Muslim did. He was seen by many as an example of properly representing Islam, and the notion of a new world of powerful Muslims over the ocean lent an air of legitimacy to the Umayyad Caliph that the Abbasids lacked (despite both Caliphs being effectively powerless puppets of their respective military rulers).

Bataid resentment of the Umayyad-following world only grew in the ensuing years. People conducting the hajj from Al-Andalus and Ifriqiya were subjected to increasing scrutiny and harassment in the wake of Muhammad Mahbat's journey, though in practice this occurred mainly on the Mediterranean route, with the Hashemite rulers of Mecca continuing to operate more or less autonomously in keeping Mecca universally accessible to all Muslims.

Tensions between the Asmarids and the Bataids, long simmering in the background, were placed on a slow but steady escalation, and Christian interest in the new world newly enkindled, all by Muhammad Mahbat's innocent passage - an example of one man changing the entire character of geopolitics with no intention of doing so.


~


MECCA

The journey had been long, exhausting and illuminating - but it had all come down to this place. The holy city. The site of the Masjid al-Haram itself. The destination he'd pursued all his life.

Muhammad Mahbat's eyes were alight with the sincerity of his faith. Finally, he would complete a duty no ruler of the Otomi before him could complete.

His entourage moved through the city, making their way towards their destination step by step. The beauty and history of the city astounded him beyond words. Everything seemed both old and new at the same time. He could feel his heart thudding in his chest as he gazed around at everything there was to see, then ahead, then down.

Down at the small creature that had walked casually out into his path.

Muhammad Mahbat blinked at the being. The being, small and white and mottled with a tortoiseshell pattern, blinked back, then approached and looked up at him expectantly.

"Cat," Muhammad Mahbat murmured in wonder, crouching before the feline.

The cat mewed at him, practically entreating him for something. A little flustered, Muhammad Mahbat held a hand out, and a servant passed him a scrap of meat - one the cat nipped down eagerly when he offered it up.

In spite of himself, the Emir smiled, unable to be anything but charmed. "If I did not know better, I would think that you have also come here to complete the journey. Is it so, cat?"

The cat just looked up at him.

Gathering the stray in his arms, Muhammad Mahbat rose to his feet and beamed. "Then you shall come with us," he proclaimed. "Come - let us go together!"





[1] The Italian form of safina.
[2] Muhammad Mahbat is planting examples of sabal pumos, the royal palmetto, in cities he visits. Just as Abd ar-Rahman I beheld a palm in ar-Rusafa, Muhammad Mahbat beholds a palm of the west wherever in the east he goes.
[3] The Levant.
what kind of consequences will planting algarvian palms in the old world?
 
Muhammad Mahbat's journey is definitely a lot more epic than Mansa Musa's journey was OTL. Who cares about gold when you get some serious PR like this!

His hajj changes everything about Afro-Eurasia, probably not just geopolitically but also culturally and economically as well. With his visit, he probably accelerated the exposure of New World goods and wealth to a larger population in the supercontinent than in OTL, being an active participant in the trade of goods like silver, gold, textiles, books, chocolate, vanilla, and etc. Also, people have said this before, including myself, but it's inevitable that Old World people are going to migrate to the Algarves after this, especially in Anawak, seeing it as a place of new opportunity and of immense wealth, from both Christendom and Dar al-Islam. It'll be interesting to see new peoples like Swahili, Arabs, Persians, or even Romans pop up in the New World (Romans...in the New World? It's absolutely wild).

While it would most likely cause an increase in colonization of the New World, it is also a source of opportunity for those in the Algarves. Native Algarvian culture is surviving or even flourishing without the complete cultural genocide of the Spanish and the continued survival of Algarvian states, blending those of the Old World with the customs of the new. These new immigrants can help bounce back the population of the Algarvians on top of possibly an increased agricultural productivity due to technology from the Agricultural Revolution and Old World animals. The merging of New and Old World populations is going to result in the Algarves that is going to be radically different, but still celebrates the distinct culture of the Algarves, a far cry of what happened in OTL.

Cats are also a huge plus. Perhaps there'll be some royal breeding program to make some new Algarvian breeds of cats?

With tensions with the Bataid Empire remaining high, Bataid strongman Hasan ibn al-Hakam was in search of allies to help preserve his realm.
Sorry to nitpick, but is that a typo?

For the Bataids, meanwhile, Muhammad Mahbat's journey was a blow to their prestige. The Bataid dynasty - of Patzinak extraction, steeped in both Arabic and Hellenic cultural norms - had been accused by Arab opponents of being "too Greek" in their ways. In Muhammad Mahbat, elites in the Bataid realm witnessed a visitor from a new world who spoke Arabic and worshipped as a Muslim did. He was seen by many as an example of properly representing Islam, and the notion of a new world of powerful Muslims over the ocean lent an air of legitimacy to the Umayyad Caliph that the Abbasids lacked (despite both Caliphs being effectively powerless puppets of their respective military rulers).

Bataid resentment of the Umayyad-following world only grew in the ensuing years. People conducting the hajj from Al-Andalus and Ifriqiya were subjected to increasing scrutiny and harassment in the wake of Muhammad Mahbat's journey, though in practice this occurred mainly on the Mediterranean route, with the Hashemite rulers of Mecca continuing to operate more or less autonomously in keeping Mecca universally accessible to all Muslims.

Tensions between the Asmarids and the Bataids, long simmering in the background, were placed on a slow but steady escalation, and Christian interest in the new world newly enkindled, all by Muhammad Mahbat's innocent passage - an example of one man changing the entire character of geopolitics with no intention of doing so.
Now this is probably the biggest thing to come out of the Hajj. Although the Bataids have control of Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities in all of Islam, the world of Moonlight in a Jar is not the same as the Ottomans enjoyed OTL. Sunni Islam is not united under a single universal Caliph but rather split in two, and the Umayyads are rapidly increasing in power, influence, and prestige while the Abbasids, the supposed rulers of the ummah, are withering.

The tensions have been brewing ever since the resurgence of the Roman Empire and the absorption of the Abbasids into their realm, assuming control over Eastern Islam. Now with Egypt definitely defecting to the Umayyads, it's only a matter of time before the Roman Empire declares war on Egypt, and most likely the Asmarid Empire in response to their call to arms. While the war with Egypt might not be enough to fully break the ties between Eastern and Western Islam, it's certainly the first step towards that path.
 
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Wondering if Malibu is in alt!Brazil in this timeline.

Also, the change to an African route brings more changes than just a West African route Mansa Musa took. Every costal part of Africa is visited and thus have stronger trade centuries ahead of otl...
 
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Wondering if Malibu is in alt!Brazil in this timeline.

Also, the change to an African route brings more changes than just a West African route Mansa Musa took. Every costal part of Africa is visited and thus have stronger trade centuries ahead of otl...
Malibu is in Tirunah (OTL Colombia) in MiaJ.

I agree that Africa is definitely far stronger in Moonlight than in OTL, especially in the coasts. Earlier trade links, integration of New World crops, connections with the Islamic world, and just the increase of globalization has made the continent far less reliant on the slave trade and more economically diversified, which would make the continent more resilient against European colonization in the coming centuries.
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I think this positive development isn't completely universal though. Only the coastal regions have really enjoyed this growth and overall prosperity, with the exception of the Hilalian states which had the benefits of Arab technology and statecraft. The inland regions will probably suffer a whole lot more as both Sunni and Shia slave raiders ravage the continent for pagan slaves at a more prolific rate. I think the source of these slaves might be less from West Africa, East Africa, and Kongo due to their rapid acceptance from Islam but increasingly from Central Africa or South Africa over time as they're still relatively pagan. These hunter-gatherers or small farming communities can't compete against raiders from organized states like the Hussenids or the Lolwe Empire.

Considering we're seeing the beginning of ethnoreligious chauvinism in this world, I wouldn't be surprised if the Sudani peoples in these states are going to slowly adopt this worldview from the Andalusi and weaponize it against the "uncivilized" and "pagan" societies in the edge of their states in order to justify their mass enslavement, which is going to be extremely horrific. The Spanish or the Portuguese were pretty bad in their ideology, but the Andalusi are no saints either.
 
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I wonder what MIAJ's version of colonial folktales look like or will look like
perhaps we could wind up with an anglish-alascan version of the headless horseman, or a brasilian rip van winkle
 
I wonder what MIAJ's version of colonial folktales look like or will look like
perhaps we could wind up with an anglish-alascan version of the headless horseman, or a brasilian rip van winkle
Those are very specific legends might be gone, but again Muslim mythos is based on Djinn, some might be invented or influenced by that
 
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