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. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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    Maybe the Aztecs or Chichimecs end up embracing a rigorist strain of Islam and become the Mesoamerican Almohads/Almoravids?
     
  2. GoulashComrade Huey Newton's Edgier Twin

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    CHICHIMECA CALIPHATE

    Screenshot_20190412-043152.jpg

    CHICHIMECA CALIPHATE

    (or would that be Chichimecca)​
     
  3. KidCabralista Cape Verde's Unofficial Wikipedia Meister

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    God, I love this thread.
     
  4. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    OTONTECUHTLI IS 100TH NAME OF ALLAH FARTHEST MOSQUE WAS TEOTIHUACAN THUS ALLAH REVEALED TO MUHAMMAD IXLAN AL-XALTUCANI

    I find fun things sometimes. Then I use them!

    Reading about this period in Mesoamerican history is always a trip because of how much is speculative and how little we know. But it seems, broadly, that the Valley of Mexico experienced a steady stream of Nahuatl-speaking nomads migrating in as of roughly 1000 AD (let's not even get into the alleged Toltecs; they're an entirely different kettle of fish), whom the Mexica broadly referred to as "Chichimeca" in the same sense that we might throw around the term "barbarian." But it also seems like Nahuatl wasn't always the primary language in the Valley.

    One of the interesting questions I'm grappling with - because there is no definitive answer - is who actually the "original" inhabitants of the Valley of Mexico were, e.g. whether the Otomi predate the Nahua or if it's something else. Basically it goes back to the old question, "Who built Teotihuacan and who lived there?" The Mexica claim it was the Totonacs and the Totonacs agree, but the actual population makeup was probably multi-ethnic with an Otomi element as its largest chunk, and there's some hints that Otomi elements were involved in the ethnogenesis of a number of allegedly Nahua groups in the Valley later on - e.g. the Acolhua ruling class probably being Otomi, the Tepanecs slotting Otontecuhtli in as the patron of their city, et cetera. It also seems that Oto-Manguean languages were pretty well-established in the area, while Nahuatl was a more recent arrival from the north. I'm choosing to fudge things a little while going with the hypothesis that there was a substantial Otomi element at this time that stands to lose ground to Nahua groups migrating in and settling around Lake Texcoco, but which is not yet as marginalized and persecuted as was the case under our pals the Mexica.

    There'll likely be some syncretism and some not-syncretism. It's sort of like how even today, you can go to Mexico and find lots and lots of Roman Catholics who nevertheless preserve some aspects of ancient Mesoamerican religion - e.g. Santa Muerte just being literally a version of Mictecacihuatl or Mictlantecuhtli.

    On the surface, the Andalusians think of Quetzalcoatl as "the good god," in part because he seems to be both ubiquitous and more benign than some of the really scary gods in the pantheon (Lookin' at you, Tlaloc!), but they also tend to have some interest in Otontecuhtli-Xiuhtecuhtli-Huehueteotl, especially as it pertains to the Otomi. In particular, the Otomi worship two main gods: Zana, the moon goddess and queen of the world, and the Old Father, who is probably a form of the incredibly ancient conceptual deity that forms the nexus of the deity whom the Mexica called Huehueteotl (his name literally means "Old Old God," and he does indeed seem to be one of the very oldest Mesoamerican gods) and who also seems to be Otontecuhtli ("Lord of the Otomi"). Apparently the Otomi conceived of the Old Father as a purifying figure who is associated with cooked food, emerging culture and nocturnal spaces. Basically it's likely that there'll be some Sufi or another who starts screaming about how Otontecuhtli was God all along.

    Chichimeca practices might be a bit different, but it's far from unheard of for nomadic groups to jump with both feet into a new religion. (Kharijite Chichimecas....)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  5. Threadmarks: ACT VII Part VI: The Monster of Qisqayyah

    Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    Excerpt: First Contact: Muslim Explorers in the Farthest West and the Sudan - Salaheddine Altunisi, Falconbird Press, AD 1999


    6
    The First Monster

    While word had begun to filter back to Isbili about the religious practices of the indigenous people of the Algarves, by and large, efforts there were not led by organized government programs, but by individuals with at best sponsorships.

    The gap in technical sophistication between Andalusia and Maghrib on one side and the Farthest West on the other was vast - but not insurmountable. While peoples like the Maya and Nahua did not have steel or metal weapons, they were skilled archers, and even flint-tipped arrows could kill if they struck home. But there was also the issue of skepticism. Andalusian religious personages had been hearing news of contacts with "polytheists" from the Sudan for years without issuing blanket jihad against them.

    On a broad spectrum, Western Islamic reaction to human sacrifice was inconsistent and had more to do with the actions taken on opportunity than on broad ideological or religious dogma. For instance, on Ajinit in the Kaledats, there are reports that native Island Berbers were killed when it was alleged that they had thrown children off a cliff and into the sea as part of a ritual for the summer solstice. By contrast, explorers deep in the Sudan would occasionally come back with tall tales about sacrifice and cannibalism, most of which went ignored (and none of which have been substantiated by history.) Most often, these sorts of tales were spun for the sake of sensationalism, or as a means of asserting the superiority of the Muslim over the "uncivilized" peoples they met.

    There is ample evidence that the complex societies of the Algarves - at least the Nahua and the Maya - did engage in human sacrifice. However, many took these stories as tall tales for some time. Even those who believed them tended to err on the side of jurists like Al-Hafiz of Anaza: Muslims were obliged to fight against those indigenous peoples who attempted to do them harm, but to deal fairly with those who did not. Most Muslims who visited the Farthest West did so with the expectation of trade, at least with the complex civilizations of Kuwunah and Anawak.

    Sojourns in the Farthest West, however, were hardly idyllic, and Muslim visitors were involved in no shortage of bloody incidents beyond the incalculable death toll caused by the diseases they brought and spread. The first of these atrocities is, famously, the conquest of Qisqayyah.

    When Al-Mustakshif first discovered the island in 1348, Qisqayyah was divided into roughly seven[1] chiefdoms, each ruled by a kashika.[2] The largest and most powerful of these chiefdoms was Mawana,[3] the main one on the island. At the time Al-Mustakshif arrived, this chiefdom was allied with the chiefdom of Kaishkimu,[4] taking up the southeastern jut of the island, through the marriage of the Mawana kashika Maniquatesh[5] to Samani, daughter of the Kaishkimu kashika Aymaku.

    Al-Mustakshif's stop there had involved some basic trade contacts with the northernmost of the native people - the island was largely ruled by the Taino people, but minorities such as the Ciguayo people were present as well. He attempted to establish a trading post called Makzan al-Jamal at the northwesternmost chiefdom, apparently called Marien. However, the explorers evidently began to squabble with the natives. Relations broke down when one of Al-Mustakshif's crew kidnapped three native women to take as concubines. The Taino responded by attacking the collection of half-finished outbuildings, destroying them and killing several of Al-Mustakshif's crew. Al-Mustakshif himself took an arrow to the shoulder but survived, and he and his crew fled the island and returned home after watering at a smaller island to the north.

    Success on the island began in 1351, when two ships arrived from Makzan al-Husayn carrying supplies and interpreters. These crews, led by Abu Bakr ibn Mutarrif al-Anzi, landed in a shallow harbour and made contact with kashika Maniquatesh of the Mawana. This contact went more smoothly, and the trading post of Makzan as-Salih was established, though it would not prove to be a permanent location.

    The island of Qisqayyah grows progressively more humid the further inland you go, with arid zones in the south-central region. The "sweet spot" for Andalusi explorers was seen as the mouth of the Wadi al-Hisad,[6] where the Taino grew plots of qasabi. When a storm damaged Makzan as-Salih in 1352, Al-Anzi - by then assigned by the trade governor in the Kaledats to oversee trade with the Taino - simply moved the settlement to the mouth of the Hisad, re-establishing it as the Makzan al-Hisad. The successor to this settlement - Hisadah - is today the second-oldest Muslim-founded settlement in the Farthest West.[7]

    A new group of settlers from the east arrived in 1355 - several dozen families, mostly poor people from the cities who had come in search of gold, guarded by roughly 250 Sanhaja kishafa and their horses, some of them bringing wives and children. This group was led by Mahmud ibn Asafu and consisted mainly of defectors from the Blue Army. At the time, it was typical of the Asmarids of the Maghreb to pay off members of the Blue Army with the promise of work guarding trade ships, and many kishafa in this period were former Blue Army men looking for money in a world where their traditional camel trade routes were ailing. Mahmud and his men arrived with a large chunk of money behind them, with promises that they would be able to make a profit trading gold.

    Relations with the Taino had largely been peaceful to that point, with Al-Anzi making a point to try and befriend Maniquatesh. Trade between the two sides had been reasonably brisk, with the Muslims steadily collecting gold artifacts at a smaller scale. However, some in the Makzan insisted that more gold was to be found, and occasional scuffled with the natives cost the lives of a few traders, leading some to argue that the alliance with the Mawana and the Kaishkimu was not being honoured.

    By 1356, a power struggle had begun between Mahmud and Al-Anzi. The kishafa outnumbered the initial block of Andalusian settlers and had force of arms on their side. Mahmud felt the quantity of gold they had received from the Taino was not sufficient to pay his men to be there, nor worth leaving the Maghreb for. The feud came to a head in 1357, when Mahmud - against Al-Anzi's wishes - gathered most of the Berbers and went to Maniquatesh themselves. It's clear that his intent was to try and get more gold out of the Taino, but with no objective account of the meeting extant, it's been left to interpretation: Mahmud apologists claim he tried to ask Maniquatesh where gold could be found, while the more typical view is that he threatened Maniquatesh with violence if he did not provide the kishafa with gold.

    An infuriated Maniquatesh provided the Berbers with gold and sent them on their way. However, that night, the Tainos attacked the fort at Makzan al-Hisad and attempted to kill the kishafa group. The attack saw about 30 people at the Makzan left dead. The Berbers retaliated swiftly, massacring hundreds of Taino and capturing Maniquatesh's wife Samani, whom Mahmud declared to be his concubine. Mahmud justified his retaliation later in a letter to the trade governor in the Kaledats, which has survived in large part. In it, he claims that "the mushrikin violate their covenant with the Muslims, they make war upon us and conspire to strike down and slaughter those who know God, and what we have done to them is only what is appropriate."

    A state of open war blossomed between the Taino and the small group of transplanted Sanhaja. While the Taino had the advantage of numbers and locality, however, disease was beginning to affect them, and the Sanhaja had the advantage of horses and superior weapons. They also had the advantage of increasing numbers of Al-Anzi's supporters on their side, many of them having lost family in the attack on the Makzan. Al-Anzi himself was ultimately killed in early 1357, apparently in another Taino attack.

    The kidnapping of Samani infuriated her father, the kashika of Kaishkimu, and brought two entire chiefdoms into conflict with the Berbers. But the arrival of another 100 kishafa in 1357 bolstered Mahmud's forces, and he was able to solidify an alliance with Maniquatesh's rivals in the northern chiefdom of Magua. Over the next year, Mahmud and his northern allies brutalized the southern and southeastern Taino, notoriously capturing Maniquatesh himself and beheading him in front of hundreds of his people. Those Taino he captured were released but forced to collect gold and resources for Mahmud and his men, or to work on the sugar plantations which had sprung up on the island, and the women were often taken as concubines and slaves; those who disobeyed were brutally punished and often killed. Muslims in the Makzan, by contrast, were treated as a prestigious ruling class and given slaves from among the locals.

    The result of all of this was a foregone conclusion, leading to the establishment by 1358 of the so-called Emirate of Mawana on the southeastern part of the island, with Mahmud acknowledged as its tacit administrator; he acknowledged the Umayyad Caliph.

    The campaign on Qisqayyah is considered one of the more brutal and disgraceful examples of Muslim-and-native contact. Between 1351 and 1358, more than 100,000 Taino died, some by war, others by mistreatment and execution at the hands of the kishafa emirate. The land around the Makzan became a zone not unlike the illegal sugar plantations in the Mufajias, a grey area beyond the eye of the Caliph where unlawful sugar barons - and now gold barons - could ply their trade with a workforce of native tributaries.

    Most of the Taino eventually came to pay tribute to Mahmud, who required that native peoples provide him with gold, slaves and other riches on a regular basis. Failure to provide would result in beheadings of men and enslavement of wives and daughters.[8] In the north, those Taino who had allied with Mahmud were allowed to go on with their lives. In the short term, this would result in gold flowing from the hands of rapidly-diminishing Taino and into the hands of the subjugators; the gold trade would be short-lived, though, not outlasting the century.

    These factors and others would contribute to the rapid destruction of the native groups on Qisqayyah. In 1348, the island was likely home to as many as 600,000 people. By 1368, there would be less than 50,000 Taino left.[9]


    [1] When Columbus showed up, there were five cacicazgos on Hispaniola. Butterflies here have created seven. There are two chiefdoms where Jaragua would be, plus a small one way to the north which has a lot of Ciguayo people living under its thumb.
    [2] From the Taino kasike, which lies at the root of the Spanish cacique.
    [3] Maguana.
    [4] Higüey.
    [5] His name is Maniquatex, but the letter X tends to be commonly transliterated as "sh" in Andalusi Arabic.
    [6] Harvest River - the Ozama.
    [7] Santo Domingo is just too good a location to pass up compared to the rest of Hispaniola. It's got a natural deepwater harbor, a more agreeable subhumid climate and access to a river.
    [8] Some people are awful people. Mahmud al-Mawani is an awful person. The Andalusians and their mercenaries are not necessarily any better than the Spanish in some areas. The Tepanecs, Totonacs, Otomis and Maya, with their stone cities, webs of alliances and more complex social and military organizations, may be able to resist by force of arms. The Taino cannot.
    [9] No matter what, at least some native peoples in the Americas were in for a bad time at the hands of bad actors like Mahmud. The Andalusians and Maghrebis are neither saints nor angels. Some of them are evil men. Not all of them are - but there are examples. Mahmud is an example of what I (and I suspect most) would consider to be an evil man.


     
  6. KidCabralista Cape Verde's Unofficial Wikipedia Meister

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    Good update, if a sad one. Even if changed material conditions and a different Old World contacting culture have combined to make this TL's Crossing a considerably gentler one than our world's, men like Mahmud commiting atrocities is still inevitable to some degree.

    I hope some Sufis get their mystic butts over to the New World soon. If the Taino convert, they'll come under the strong worker protections of the Andalusi law courts at least in theory (likely not in practice, but the legal basis is an important start.)
     
  7. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Yeah one that take advantage of the andaluz are so far away to capture him...still he would have worked against the most radical aztec that weak taino
     
  8. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

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    The idea about Native slave soldiers forming their own “Mamluk” dynasties seems possible, especially in Central America. Also Arabic won’t wipe out the indigenous languages, rather it’ll be the language of religion and commerce in most Native societies. I can expect Nahua and other native languages to have some degree of Arabic influence like Malay/Javanese do, while at the same time still remaining lingua Franca, instead being written in Arabic script.
     
  9. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

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    It’s always that one weird cousin who comes and ruins everything (Almohads in OTL Andalusia).
    I can see Aztecs adopting Islam, swapping out their Gods for Allah, while keeping their battle get our. They’ll probably justify their expansion even more than OTL, which would be kind of scary. Instead of mass human sacrifices, expect mass sacrifices of animals (which the Andalusians are fine with, just don’t touch the cats).
     
  10. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

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    Holy shit Mahmuds an evil piece of shit, nearly up with Christopher Columbus.
     
  11. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    The sacrifice are goat/lamps/i think cow count for the Eid-el adha, or other sacrifice to feed the poor...seems the aztec poor will be well feed them...
     
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  12. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    Funnily enough, I'm working on a story post about Sufis and how Islam is beginning to wiggle its way into the Central Valley.

    Cramming Mesoamerican high religion into Islam is going to involve some very fast talking because of how important dualism (even within the same conceptual entity) is in Mesoamerican polytheism, whereas Islam explicitly has a concept of God as unitary and indivisible. A lot of Mesoamerican gods seem to come in pairs. For ex, the Otomi have the pairing of Zana, the Queen of the Night who represents both Moon and Earth and who has both feminine and masculine attributes, and the Old Father, who represents fire and the sun and also has aspects of both a young and an old god in his later guises as the Young Fire God who ages into the Old Old God. The Aztecs do the same thing a bit: Huitzilopochtli is paired up with the devouring moon, and another lunar aspect - Metztli, who may be cospecific with Zana - also has a masculine aspect. Even Quetzalcoatl has a bunch of different associations and a twin and all that.

    One thing that'll make for some interesting material is the different role fire plays. Islam tends to associate fire with the punishment of unbelievers, while Mesoamerican high religion tends to think of fire as more positive - the fire is the centre of the home, the new fire is lit every 52 years to renew the world, et cetera. I've had to do some reading on how Islam coped with swallowing Persia and its Zoroastrian population to actually fully understand how fire worship would be received.

    Honestly, just in this last week I've learned a lot of things that I never knew about Mesoamerican mythology and society. You can tell I'm getting obscure, too. I'd bet dollars to donuts I'm the first mention of Otontecuhtli in the entire history of this forum.



    Lailat al-Miraj is going to be really darn important in the west.
     
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  13. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Badly, maybe i'm too Sunni but for me just follow the five pillars and avoid those thing, if they need dualism they can force the evil side of shaitan as a dual 'eternal enemy'(when Shaitan is just a tempter unlike other zoroastrian influence in abrahamic religions), the fire is easy, reminder angel is made of 'holy/good fire' unlike the punishment fire. They could related them as the same fire as angel
     
  14. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

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    Exactly. In my home country of Bangladesh, during Eid-Ela Adha, large amounts of the butchered animals are often distributed amongst the communities, particularly to the lower classes. This might actually boost up conversion rate in islamized Native societies. Sounds like a win-win for everyone, more food, no human sacrifices, instead animal sacrifices.
    An Islamified Aztec society might be pretty interesting as they were pretty despised by their neighbors for their mass sacrifices. If they convert at a much earlier rate, it’ll change things up a lot.
     
  15. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    I can see Mahmud ibn Asafu being damned posthumously by native activists in the far future for his actions. How in the world do these people think gold exists in high abundance in the Furthest West?

    And I'll be the dissenting voice and say that you don't have to smash everything Mesoamerican into the Five Pillars of Islam. Maybe it's the folk in me, but I want to see something wild and syncretic arising from the mix of Andalusis and native gods. Javanese Islam had agricultural goddesses like Dewi Sri and ocean spirits like Nyai Loro Kirul, so some of the more naturalistic-ish deities like Tlaloc (or whatever stands for the rain god in Azcapotzalco) could be re-purposed into powerful spirits and/or jinns, created by Allah to watch over the water cycle.

    As for dualism, you can make Mesoamerican Islam place emphasis on natural balance: Light and Dark working and resisting, but dependent on each other for survival. Without the light of Day, there is no warmth and life. Without the cool of Night, there is no rest or respite. This can also be equated into other concepts like Allah and humanity, masculine and feminine roles, and even good and evil (though this is a bit of branching out there). You can make the case for an indivisible supreme being but a dualistic view of the creations. A Mesoamerican equivalent of Yin and Yang, added with Islamic theology and understanding can go some ways to reconcile local beliefs.

    For fire, that is a bit problematic since Islam usually equates fire with the Zoroastrian faith, but you could make it into a backwoods folk belief that fire - or at least controlled flame - can be beneficial and sacred to the family. Fire warms the hearth and provides light to study the Al-Quran, as well as casting shadows that cool the eyes and allow sleep. In this sense, fire (or its light) could be seen with enough importance that families would burn sacred papers with prayer inscriptions to 'continue the flame' and 'send thanks to the higher powers.'

    P.S: At this point in time, the animals that are both domesticated in Mesoamerica and are considered palatable to the Islamic faith are turkey, chickens, and ducks. In that sense, local Eid sacrifices will look a lot more avian than in Al-Andalus... unless the locals consider dogs halal. They were seen as food in pre-Columbus era. :evilsmile:
     
  16. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    Don't alot of sufis actually see the shaytan as not bad its either allah it testing him to bow to humans but he won't as allah is only one you should bow to. Or hes the greatest servent he been given the task of trying to challange humanity to see if they are worthy. Shaytan does not equate devil sufis take alot more apologist view of him.

    We also ignored the the obvious answer to all this fire, darkness, and smoke etc its the jinns muslim merely say your worshipping jinns and jinns are coming to this world. Jinns can be good or bad thus explaining the pantheon of gods being good and bad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  17. Orisha91 Well-Known Member

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    I concur. Redefining some of the local pantheon as Djinn seems easier.
     
  18. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    It also gives some reason not jihad the fuck out of america.

    Imagine the pop culture is meso-americans gods were jinns all the supernatural, horror etc films.
     
  19. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Sorry i'm too muslim to not allow that, Even indonesia knew they screwed with that
     
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  20. snassni2 Well-Known Member

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    Sometime in the future a cawani company called "Oujouba" (OTL M****l) will release movies about humans who use the jinns powers.
     
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