Moonlight in a Jar: An Al-Andalus Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Planet of Hats, Aug 21, 2016.

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  1. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    I don't know if I'd say breakup. The Capets aren't really the Capets, since "Capet" refers specifically to Hugh; Henry is his younger brother but never had a catchy moniker, so the dynasty might end up known as something else. But even OTL, the early Capetians had almost no effective power. Hugh had a lot less land than most of his vassals and his authority didn't go very far, certainly not into the south of France, where the Ramnulfids of Aquitaine actually recognized the younger son of Charles of Lower Lorraine and gave him shelter. France here is somewhat more divided than it was OTL, and Henry doesn't have much authority to begin with. It's actually kind of startling to see just how much of this part of OTL French history is filled with the king's vassals fighting with him and each other nonstop over petty crap.

    We'll get into Zirid Ifriqiya shortly, but OTL the Zirids broke up around this time when the Hammadids split off and the Zawids got booted off to al-Andalus.

    As for the HRE, there are butterflies there based on the young Otto III not having the advice of Gerbert of Aurillac, who of course isn't around anymore to become Pope Sylvester II and Otto's man on the Papal seat. And there are butterflies in England based on the fact that Ethelred was actually in Normandy around this time, though the Ethelred butterflies are smaller and more in the nature of "Well he was there and maybe there were some minor differences and maybe the Normans do something different to him."
     
  2. mythmonster2 Well-Known Member

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    I want to thank you for providing the short timeline summaries at the end of each chapter. I'm not familiar at all with this era in France, leaving me somewhat lost with the update, but the summaries got the point across great.
     
  3. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    I figured it would be a good way to achieve clarity in what is in a lot of ways an obscure part of history.

    French history isn't quite my strongest discipline, but at this point the direct line of Charlemagne was petering out and the nobility were champing at the bit to replace the Carolingians instead of fighting over Lorraine constantly. But it's also a time when the monarchy of France had very little power.
     
  4. Threadmarks: ACT I Part XVI: Affairs in the Maghreb and Ifriqiya, 997-1002

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    Excerpt: Berber Dynasties of Ifriqiya and the Maghreb - Fayik Saadeddine, Falconbird Press, AD 1997


    The Late 10th and Early 11th Centuries
    The Maghrawa and the Zirids


    When Maghrawa cavalrymen shipped north into Iberia to fight alongside the Umayyad caliphate against the coup of the usurper Muhammad ibn Abi 'Amir in 996, their leader, Ziri ibn Atiya, was among them.

    Ziri, who was no appreciator of the Umayyad chamberlain al-Mughira but held the Caliph Hisham II with the respect due to the nominal protector of the faith, had served largely as the Umayyads' man in the Maghreb. But when he returned home to his seat of power in Fes in 997, he received unwelcome word that the city had been besieged and captured by the Banu Ifran.[1]

    Like the Maghrawa, the Banu Ifran were Zenata Berbers and had allied with Ziri's tribe in many matters in the past, but most of them were devout Kharijites known for their zeal in religious affairs. They held court at the city of Salé on the Atlantic coast, much to the consternation of the Barghawata tribe in the area, and from there sought to project their power across the Maghreb at a time when the region was still not really unified under any one dynasty. While Ziri's tribal group was the dominant one in the region, other tribal kinglets - like Yaddu of the Banu Ifran - contested the region with them.

    An irritated Ziri returned to Fes in 997 with a large army, among them a detachment of Andalusians sent over with the consent of Hisham. Over the course of three months, the Maghrawa waged a bloody war for the city. Ultimately they breached the gates and drove out the Banu Ifran by the sword. Yaddu was killed in the fighting, and Ziri had his head cut off and mounted on a stake above the city gate for all to see.

    The conflict with the Banu Ifran hardly ended there; pushing westward, again with explicit Caliphal backing, Ziri pressed his war against that tribe, overrunning the settlement of Tiflet before launching an attack on Salé in 998, resulting in a bloody clash outside the city as the Maghrawa army suffered from constant harrying raids from expert Ifranid cavalry as they tried to mass outside the walls.

    Nevertheless Ziri's men managed to inflict serious losses on the Ifranids, and ultimately turned the battle in his favour, exacting tribute from the Banu Ifran later that year. He went on to turn his attention to the remnants of the hated Idrisid dynasty, holed up in the fort of Tiaret years after their authority in the Maghreb had been broken by al-Hakam al-Mustansir in 974. Still under the protection of the Umayyads, he drove the Idrisids out of Tiaret and expanded his relative zone of control eastward to encompass Tlemcen.

    Battle wasn't Ziri's only concern. Sometime before his trip to Andalusia, he had begun building a city at Oudja in the Rif.[2] Some of the oldest buildings still standing in Oudja today date from about this time period, and a dedication stone has been found honouring Ziri.

    While the authority of the Maghrawa over the region was never really complete - tribal loyalties alone ensured Ziri would spend most of his days battling the likes of the Banu Ifran, the Barghawata and various tribes of the Sanhaja - the tribe continued to consolidate what hold it had, rounding into by far the most robustly-positioned group in the Maghreb at the time. This stood in contrast, though, to happenings in the east, in Ifriqiya.

    When the Fatimid Caliphate moved their capital to Egypt in 969, they had left Ifriqiya under the viceroyalty of the Zirid dynasty, in the hands of Buluggin ibn Ziri. When he passed in 985, he left control of the region to his son, al-Mansur.[3] His inheritance was divided to an extent, with control over the central Maghreb being entrusted by al-Mansur to his brother, Hammad. The Zirids couldn't press their old claims over Fes and Sijilmasa, those cities being lost to the Maghrawa, but they bent their will upon the Kutama Berbers in the central Maghreb between 986 and 989, consolidating their control on that stretch of the continent.

    Al-Mansur went on to do battle with some of the loose tribes of Zenata Berbers in the area. The Zenata and Sanhaja groups had been traditional rivals, and al-Mansur was able to push many of these tribesmen out of Zirid territory and into that controlled by the Maghrawa in name at least. The lands they once held were placed under Sanhaja governors, but much of the expance between Zirid and Maghrawid territory remained lawless and tribalized.

    The Zirids would face their own instability soon enough. Spurned in the division of Buluggin's realm was his brother, Zawi ibn Ziri, the uncle of al-Mansur. Recognized as a fine warrior from Cairo to Córdoba and with a large body of tribesmen under his purview, Zawi agitated within the Zirid realm, seeking to secure some sort of his brother's inheritance for himself.

    In 995, al-Mansur took ill with what seems to have been pneumonia,[4] holing up in his palace in Kairouan. Zawi took the opportunity to launch a sweeping revolt against his nephew. Records of the actual war are scarce owing to the low levels of literacy and organization in the region at the time, but the fighting raged until at least 998, when the Zirids successfully forced Zawi and his loyalists westward, with Zawi himself holding the reins of that exiled tribal group.

    Al-Mansur perished in 999, and Zawi appealed to his son Badis in the hopes of reconciling - perhaps in the hope of securing power for himself. Badis seems to have ignored these entreaties.

    Evidently seeing no future for himself and his tribe in Ifriqiya, Zawi sent appeal to Caliph Hisham II of Córdoba, swallowing his contempt for the old enemies of the Sanhaja and seeking the protection of a leader he rightly despised. However, Zawi's appeal, in 1000 or thereabouts, was rejected outright on the advice of the chamberlain al-Mughira, who advised Hisham that a rogue element like Zawi would cause nothing but trouble. Most of the Berbers employed by the Umayyads were Zenata, and Zawi was Sanhaja, creating the potential for enormous factional unrest between his tribe and the likes of Ziri ibn Atiya - and al-Mughira feared as well that importing an entire large tribe at once would cause even more unrest. Tribal Berbers often had trouble adapting to urban life in al-Andalus, and many did not even speak Arabic, much less adapt easily to living in cities.[5]

    Rejected by the Andalusians, and with Hisham at the time still in his thirties and unlikely to die any time soon, Zawi cast about for a place to bring his people. Ultimately he sent appeal to Ja'far al-Kalbi, the Emir of Sicily at the time. Ja'far, new to the throne and suffering from a shortage in manpower as Sicilian Muslims chose to pay a tax rather than contribute to the jihad as warriors, saw in Zawi an opportunity to bring a powerful force in on his side, and in 1002 he acceded to Zawi's wishes, permitting him to cross to Sicily.

    It's debatable whether Ja'far realized how dangerous an element he had just introduced to the island.[6]


    [1] The Maghrawa feuded with these guys OTL, too.
    [2] The coastal area east of the point of Tangier/Ceuta.
    [3] Not the same guy as the Almanzor of Iberia.
    [4] OTL, al-Mansur died in this year.
    [5] Even Almanzor was uneasy about bringing in Zawi; he put him off and put him off, and ultimately it was his son who allowed him to come in. Of course, OTL the Zawids settled in Elvira and became one of the most powerful and destabilizing influences in the area as the Taifa of Granada.
    [6] Someone in the comments wanted Kalbid Sicily butterflies. Here they are. Instead of al-Andalus getting the Zawids, Sicily gets them.


     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
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  5. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    You are planning on killing off the umayyad, but you are saving sicily so at least that is a consolation.
     
  6. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    Am I planning on killing off the Umayyads? At the moment they're in a better position than they were OTL - they're a bit weaker militarily but their neighbours are more divided, including France, and they have stability right now.

    I'd say stay tuned and see where I'm going with this.
     
  7. Zireael Well-Known Member

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    Why is his moniker Hispanicized?
     
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  8. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    Because my spellchecker doesn't include the word Mustansir. Gah.

    Fixed.
     
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  9. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    Im going to follow it till the end, it is pretty much stated in the first part they will fall, i will always support the umayyad due to history and they one of the few dynasties that can survive with weak leaders due to there legitimacy (including abbasid and fatimid) islamic monarchies simply can't last a few houndred years after there founding due to fact you always need strong leaders because laws and rights of crown dont exist, look at saladins dynasty. Unless your version of mamluks take over taifas will form and some will be conquered by the Berbers or Christians. Come on the abbasid survived through so much why can't the umayyad not survive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
  10. Threadmarks: ACT I Part XVII: The Death of Al-Mughira

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    Az-Zahrawi had returned to them just before the onset of the eve. The old physician had drawn the sheet up to the chin of the hajib and offered his quiet blessing and a cup of some soothing drink or another. It wasn't one Hayyan understood very well, but it seemed to put the old vizier at ease.

    The breeze drifted through the open window of the keep of Madinat az-Zahra to tug gently at the robes and the thinning blond hair of Hayyan's father, the Caliph Hisham. The younger man watched as his father bowed his head deeply over the bedridden al-Mughira. The aging vizier's face was drawn and pallid, his breathing slow and laboured with illness, though the smile he returned to Hisham twisted Hayyan's stomach into a knot of sympathy almost as readily as the sight of the tears beading down Hisham's cheeks.

    Finally, with a dreadful serenity, al-Mughira closed his eyes and breathed out a slow, shaky breath. His hands, folded atop the silk of the sheet, went still. They would not move again.

    At age fifteen, Hayyan ibn Hisham II had not yet known death in such a close way. Al-Mughira, he knew, had guided his father as a boy after the death of his father and Hayyan's grandfather. Even as dangerous men had circled his father, al-Mughira had resisted the siren call of conspiracy, remaining loyal to Hisham and working to shape him into the scholarly and wise man he was. He had treated the sons of Hisham, Hayyan among them, with respect - imparted upon them the greatest advice. Respect your blood. Be honourable.

    Swallowing a lump in his throat, Hayyan brushed back a strand of golden-blond hair from out of the pale blue of his eyes. He stepped forward to find a place beside his father. Thinking only of bringing him comfort, he reached for his hand, wordless.

    His fingers slid into the spaces between Hisham's. Squeezed. Received a squeeze in return. As if he could speak with a contact. Father, I am here for you.

    Another hand wove into his father's opposite. With a sniffle, Hayyan's younger brother took up stance to his father's left, clasping his hand tightly and fighting back his own emotions. Even at the age of thirteen, young Muhammad seemed to keep his poise better than Hayyan felt he was keeping his, though the tears stood in the striking ice blue of his eyes, so pale as to appear as endless as the sky.

    The eyes had earned him a nickname - al-Azraq, the Blue-Eyed. In truth, all the sons of Hisham were blue-eyed. Al-Azraq's were different, deep and clear, quick and expressive, and today wrought with pain at the loss of kin.

    The heavy click of the door latch interrupted the silent mourning. All sets of eyes in the room - Hisham's, Hayyan's, Muhammad's, az-Zahrawi's, the eyes of al-Mughira's wife and his son Mutarrif, a young man of perhaps twenty-one, cradling in his arms the delicately-carved ivory and jade pyxis his father had passed to him - turned towards the door as it swung open to reveal the fellow behind it, a tall man in his mid-twenties or so, broad-shouldered, stocky and dark-haired, his dark blue eyes focused towards the bed and his full lips pressed into a neutral line behind the curl of his heavy beard.

    "So it's true," murmured Abd ar-Rahman, eldest son of Hisham. "The hajib is gone."

    Hisham sniffed back tears as he nodded sadly to the younger man. "Gone to sleep in the arms of God, my son."

    With due gravity, Abd ar-Rahman bowed his head and closed his eyes. Hayyan forced himself not to say anything, just biting down to the inside of his cheek.

    He'd long learned to recognize how falsified his older brother's shows of emotion were - how the man who cared mostly for himself struggled to express empathy for other men, even his own blood. The whispers of the courtiers about Abd ar-Rahman had not escaped Hayyan's ears. They spoke of him in terms the younger brother had long ago realized himself: Arrogant, slothful, arbitrary, absent of compassion. A mean-spirited and unemotive man, undeserving of the favour in which their father held him.

    With his lips pressed together, Hayyan turned his gaze towards the still form upon the bed. A smile lingered on the dead lips of al-Mughira as he lay there in the bosom of God.

    Respect your blood. Be honourable.

    There were days Hayyan wished it were that easy with his older brother.

    For a moment, Hayyan's eyes locked with Muhammad's ungodly clear blue ones. He could see his younger brother biting his lip as well. A small sign, but enough to remind Hayyan that in that wish, he was not alone.


    ~


     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
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  11. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    Will you cover the female umayyad/ princess and what their role will be. Not trying to be racist but are Hisham and his children white/iberian or still arab ethnicity with a mix of features. I know they might not be important but you could just tell us what does a princess do? Because their society isn't feudal.
     
  12. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    The later Umayyads had a lot of Iberian features. Abd ar-Rahman III, al-Hakam II and Hisham II are all noted by history as being blond and fair-skinned, and the Umayyads tended to favour blonde concubines. They're still of an Arab lineage but their physical appearance has been influenced by their often taking native concubines - Hisham's mother, for example, was a Basque princess.

    In this universe, Abd ar-Rahman ibn Hisham is the son of Hisham and an Arabo-Andalusian wife, while Hayyan and al-Azraq are the sons of Buhayr/Urraca, the Princess of Navarre given to Hisham to wife. As for Hisham's daughters, they just might turn up.
     
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  13. mythmonster2 Well-Known Member

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    Looks like we've got a setup for conflict in the future with Abd ar-Rahman being like he is.
     
  14. Threadmarks: ACT I Part XVIII: Hisham II's Middle Years

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    Excerpt: The Palm of the Distant West Nurtured in the Soils of al-Andalus - Joseph ibn Abram al-Qadisi, AH 442 (AD 1059)*


    Now the passage of al-Mughira greatly troubled Hisham, and he mourned his uncle gravely and in private, and lamented the departure of the man who had been his closest advisor and friend for nigh-on thirty years.

    In his uncle's stead did Hisham choose as hajib Ahmad ibn Sa'id ibn Hazm,[1] whose family descended from the line of the Banu Umayya but in a branch more distant from Hisham. While Hisham placed trust in Ahmad, he did not share with him the richness and closeness that he had felt for al-Mughira, and he sought others as well for advice. Among those who had his ear most closely were his son, Abd ar-Rahman, of whom we shall speak momentarily, as well as the favourite boy of his harem, the Saqlabi who was called Ragad.

    As a boy this may have placed Hisham in some danger, for when he took the throne he was but a naive and trusting young lad, unready for the role, and yet to learn of the world. Now aged perhaps forty and three, he was a wiser man, though one still given to much time in prayer and scholasticism, and not prone to pressing the jihad aggressively.

    To this he entrusted Wadih, commander of the garrison of Madinat as-Salih, as well as his son Abd ar-Rahman, whom he favoured as his successor. Some time after the death of al-Mughira, Abd ar-Rahman led a party of some few thousand Andalusians and Berbers north and east, and into the marches of Catalunya, to the lands ruled by Ramon Borrell the Count of Barcelona. The raiders of Abd ar-Rahman came even within sight of the gates of Barshilunah, but turned back before laying siege to that city. The knights of Catalunya pursued the host to the border place of Taraghuna,[2] but were defeated, and Abd ar-Rahman returned home with some prisoners and golden takings.

    Now while this victory raised the standing of Abd ar-Rahman in the eyes of some, he was also a man of some mixed virtue. Some spoke of him as a man who cared little for those around him, and his manners were often cold and callous, and yet he served as well as the manager of his father's estates, and was a skilled manager of finances, and his eye for detail was said to be sharp. He stood by his father's side in many affairs, and some years after the passage of al-Mughira, on the 19th day of Dhu'l-Qa'dah in the 399th year,[3] he attended when the delegation al-Mu'izz ibn Ziri attended the great hall of Córdoba, bringing word that his father the lord of the Maghrawa, Ziri ibn Atiya, had perished.

    Hisham, receiving from al-Mu'izz the son of Ziri gifts and honours, as well as his submission, affirmed upon Ziri the protection of the Banu Umayya, and recognized him as the lord of the Maghreb. In the ensuing days, Abd ar-Rahman spent much time in conversation with the man, and the grains of a friendship were sown between them.

    Now the dalliances of Hisham with his concubine had produced four sons and some small number of daughters. The eldest of his children was Abd ar-Rahman, his son by his wife 'Asma, who bore him as well a daughter named A'isha. Second of his sons was Hayyan, and third was Muhammad, known as al-Azraq, both sired upon Buhayr the princess of Pamplona. His fourth son was al-Hakam, perhaps nine years old at the time of al-Mu'izz's visit, though he was a shy and retiring young man, and held no ambition to the caliphal power, and sought to spend his life in prayer.

    The middle sons of Hisham could not be spoken of in the same way, and as Hayyan came of age in the year 400, he demonstrated himself to be a man widely beloved at the court, and held in high respect by the old families and the
    Saqaliba alike, and even by some among the Berbers and the dhimmi for his pious and charitable nature. Though it was not said of him that he was the administrator Abd ar-Rahman was, Hayyan was known even as a young man for his skill with the blade, and for his humble demeanor, even as in his heart he harboured a resentment of Abd ar-Rahman for being so favoured by their father.

    Upon reaching his eighteenth year, and seeking to win the favour of his father, Hayyan the young prince struck out against the Galician, gathering with him some few thousand men and riding upon a pure white mare[4] as he marched north of Coimbra, and coming to the walls of the city called Porto. Though he could not breach the gate, he met the Count of Portugal in battle beyond the walls, and triumphed there, returning home with prisoners and prizes, and great honour to his name.

    Word of the success of his brother reached the ears of Abd ar-Rahman, and he went to the stairs of the Madinat az-Zahra to receive his brother, and compared the prisoners and prizes he had won from the lords of Catalunya. Upon realizing that Hayyan had returned home with more than his elder brother, Abd ar-Rahman was filled with bitterness, and veiled his feelings, saying to his brother, "With such talent upon the field, perhaps I shall have you marshal my forces, when the day comes!"

    "Perhaps so," said Hayyan to his brother, "but that day has not come yet."

    In silence were the two watched by the third son of Hisham, named Muhammad but so called by the laqab of al-Azraq, for though his brother Hayyan was also blue-eyed, so was al-Azraq known for his eyes of a blue so clear and pale as to appear as endless as the sky at the summer noon. The younger man is spoken of at the time as beautiful but affable and withdrawn, concerned often with his studies and often given to speaking with the dhimmi of their troubles. And yet it was said of him that his brilliance was uncommon to man, and his wit as quick as the flight of the swiftest swallow.

    Now a time of some peace settled across the north, broken only by the wedding of the kinglet of Viguera, Sancho II the son of Sancho,[5] to the daughter of the Count of Castile in 400, and by a bid in 402[6] by Ordono of Leon to send men to retake Zamora, only to be repelled for his efforts and forced to pay reparations. The chastened king groused beneath the weight of the caliphal power, but agreed to respect the agreement of peace signed by his father Ramiro, at least for now. It was about that time that Hisham, then reaching his fiftieth year, began to grow weary of the caliphal duties, and more and more chose to withdraw from the court, and spend time with the men of his harem, and in the company of Ragad, his favourite. His movements grew wearier, and his hair began to show the first signs of grey.

    Now Hisham still appeared to the people of the city at the due times, and was not perceived by them to be absent, but in truth the administration of the land fell more and more to Ahmad, and to Abd ar-Rahman. The relationship between the two men was not close, for while Ahmad was a man of duty and learning, if not passion, Abd ar-Rahman sought to secure his position, and he planned a larger summer raid for 403, to strike against the Galician and bring glory to his name. Again Hayyan rode along with him, and both were honoured by the people when the raid returned, even as the quiet rift remained between them.



    [1] The father of the OTL historian Ibn Hazm, who apparently played prominent bureaucratic roles in the court of Almanzor.
    [2] Thanks for the accurate transliteration, @snassni2.
    [3] July 15, 1009.
    [4] The Andalusis and Berbers favoured mares as warhorses because they were quieter than stallions. On another note, there might be a bit of myth-making going on here.
    [5] Yes, his name is Sancho Sanchez. Shut up.
    [6] 1012. We've averted the fitna as we know it, at least.

     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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  15. snassni2 Well-Known Member

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    It's called Taraghuna in arabic.
     
  16. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    You're magical.
     
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  17. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why didn't muslim rulers not create succession laws. Just wondering would the king of pampalona want his daughters sons on the throne of andalusia.
     
  18. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    It wouldn't be the first time. Abd ar-Rahman III was the grandson of the Basque infanta Onneca, daughter of King Fortun Garces, and Caliph Abdullah.
     
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  19. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    If pampalona wants to expand at the cost of other christian powers it would seem in their interests even though the umayyad are 'heretics' hell all the Christian powers will try and support one son for some gain.
     
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  20. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    The other thing to note about inheritance is that fiqh has extensive jurisprudence on inheritance. But you can't really divide up a Caliphate among your designated relatives - going right back to the Rashidun, Abu Bakr made the statement that it's forbidden for the Muslims to have two amirs, as that leads to fitna and deviation from the Sunnah. Islamic law has stuck to that, though there's obviously the matter of Caliphs of other schools of Islam existing. In theory the Caliph is chosen by the ummah, or by God in some schools of thought, but in practice, typically the Umayyad emirs and "caliphs" in Iberia chose someone of their direct line to succeed them as ruler, usually their son or sometimes a brother. Other times, popular sentiment pushed a relative into power. Really no one's going to hold power in Umayyad Spain without the entrenched interests at court at least agreeing to it.

    P.S.: If you want to get really particular, the Umayyads of Spain aren't a real Caliphate as Islamic law would have it - the rightful Caliphs at the time were the Abbasids. We'll see as we go along if the Iberians become schismatic in doctrine and jurisprudence as well as in name.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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