2017-03-05 14:35



The Islamic invasion positively affected many areas of life in Spain, such as culture, education, religion, economics, science, society and family. Al-Andalus, as the Muslims called Spain, had acquired the central position among other civilizations of the ancient world since the conquest of Cordoba by the Umayyad dynasty (Chejne, 1974). In particular, the Muslims created about two thousand public baths and mosques for different social groups and implemented some schools for poor children in Cordoba. Although some Spanish regions opposed the Muslim ruling, industry and trade were considerably advanced by the Umayyads (Harvey, 1990). Spanish libraries contained more than 400,000 books and the streets of Cordoba were illuminated, unlike such European capitals as Paris and London. As Hillenbrand (1999) puts it, “Cordoba in its prime had no peer in Europe for the amenities of civilized life. Its houses were bountifully supplied with hot and cold running water, its streets were lit at night” (p.175). Different religious groups, such as Christians, Muslims and Jews, successfully interacted with each other. According to Ghazanfar (2004), “There existed no separation between science, wisdom, and faith; nor was East separated from the West, nor the Muslim from the Jew or the Christian” (p.2). Such religious tolerance can be explained by the fact that the Muslims did not act as oppressors, but, instead, they tried to improve the living conditions of all social classes in Spain. As a result, Christians and Jews occupied the leading positions during the Muslim ruling (Hopfe, 1998).