Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Hola Espana...

I've been recently came back from a trip to Spain and France. I couldn't pretty much described how it was like, but Spain was a memory to keep. First was the driving part. Oh hell! I drove left-sided cars and yeah! It's really really damn confusing.

Each time you make a turn to a street, you have to becareful. Or else you might end up in the wrong direction!

Nevertheless, the memories of hardship and joy is a story that will forever be instilled in my heart. Sleeping in the car for few days and how terrible it is! Haha xD

How there is this one night in Granada that some bastards came to our car while we were sleeping and asked us to party! "Mi Amor! Fiesta! Fiesta!" which basically means, "My love! Party! Party!"

But turns out Granada was the best among all destination we've been in Spain. Oh the sheer beauty of that place is already incomparable to any other places I've been. There is this hill that overseas the whole of Granada and also the Palace of Al-Hambra which used to be a palace for a muslim kingdom.

On top of the hill, built a mosque....By the Saudi Arabia Kingdom. Oh how magnificent the mosque was with the marble floor and amazing architecture and crafts work.

Being in Spain, I saw and learned things. Ever since the Ummaiyid reign of the Muslim Caliphate, Spain was in the hands of the muslim world. Ruled for over 800 years, there are amazing work and architecture in Spain.

But you have to wonder when you're there! 800 years of the Muslims ruling, why are there only 2 mosque from their time? The mosque of Cordoba and the mosque of Toledo.

Strange isn't it?

A little history of Spain. At the year of 711, a muslim general known as Tariq Ibn Ziyat came to a piece of land from Maghreb which is now known as Morocco. That land has a steep hill which oversees the sea towards Maghreb. As he landed on the piece of land with his armada, he burned the ships and made the well-known speech to the Muslim world.

"Oh my warriors, whither would you flee? Behind you is the sea, before you, the enemy."

And hence, the conquest to conquer Espana began. That piece of Land is now known as Gibraltar which derived from the arabic word "Jabal Tariq" (The mountain of Tariq) after Tariq Ziyat.

Tariq Ziyat and his army conquered until the north of Spain and further conquest was done by his successors. From Gibraltar, to Barcelona, to Southern of France...

And soon, the Muslim Kingdom was established.

On the year 912, the Caliph Abd Rahman III moved his capital to Cordoba. There, he build a palace knows as the Medina Az-Zaharaa'. The palace itself was magnificent and beautiful. Sadly, that palace didn't last long. Turmoils between the muslim leaders leads to the vacancy of the palace and soon, people started looting things from Medina Az-zaharaa'. All that is left now is ruins. (So it is claimed by them)

The Cordoba mosque which now has been turned into Cathedral symbolizes the grand architecture of Islam. However, why build a Grand mosque is no one comes to the mosque? At that time, the muslim leaders were too succumbed to the pleasure of this world and Islam was neglected.

The christian monarchs saw this as an opportunity to rise and gradually push the Muslim kingdom further south.

At that point of time, the muslim kingdom was already torn apart and form 'Taifa'. It is an independent muslim government which does not have any relation to the caliphate. In the end, the only muslim kingdom was in Granada.

The reconquest of the christian monarchs to rule Spain took a century. In the year of 1492, the christians conquered Granada and expelled the Muslim Emirate. It was the same year Christopher Columbus discovered America.

When the Christian Monarchs took over Spain, they wanted to erase the very history of Islam but found that there are too many Grand architectures that just cannot be destroyed but to be valued. Today, there are only a dozen Islamic monuments left in Spain and sadly some of them were converted to cathedrals.

I learned a lot from the trip and I hope that one day, the glory of Islam would rise again. Amiin!