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The Moors

The Moors & their contribution to Society

The Moors are a group of North African population which conquered and ruled Spain and parts of Portugal for more than 700 years beginning in 711 AD and ending in 1492 AD. It appears from research that even before this period going back into antiquity, this North African tribe has been synonymous with Iberia. The word Ibero-Maurisian culture used by archaeologists and historians to describe a group of pre-historic people that populated Iberia would underline this linkage.

Not many people know that the Moors are Black Africans of Libyan, Moroccan, Nigerien, Nigerian and Senegalese origins. This is due to the deliberate misinformation produced by the Euro-American power establishment, which delights in obfuscating Africa’s contribution to the history of mankind, preferring instead to appropriate to itself the glorious attainment of Africans throughout history. By the strategic control of vocabulary, semantics, nomenclature and grammatical acrobatics the academic establishment of Euro-America & Europe perpetrates its mendacity.

Some say the origin of the people called the Moors can be traced to an African people known as the Garamante. This civilization stood along important trading routes in the Sahara and existed contemporaneously with other great African civilizations including Egypt of the pre-Christian era. Many explain that the Moors must be distinguished from the Berbers who were a mixed race people in North Africa resulting from the intermarriage between Caucasian Libyans and indigenous Africans. Black Africans had been called Maures ('dark') by the Greeks in antiquity and no distinction had been made between The Moorish tribes which would later invade Spain and their Black African kin. There was also to be an Arab component to these peoples and in order for this to be put in context, the racial composition of Arabia in antiquity must be understood. Much of the Arabian Peninsula had originally been populated by Blacks. The area was a colony of the kingdom of Kush. Southern Arabia, in particular, remained black for a considerable period as the Greeks themselves attest.

Agriculture

The Moors of Al Andalu (Spain) introduced advanced numerous crops and methods of soil productivity including irrigation, crop rotation and the use of manure. After harvesting, Moorish preservation and drying know-how meant that foods could endure and be edible for several years.

Universities

There were numerous schools and places of learning in Moorish Al-Andalus (Spain).

Beginning with the University of Cordoba, other great institutions were built in Seville, Valencia, Mallarga and Granada. Like the ancient Greeks under the Egyptians, several of the most prominent European Catholic scholars studied under the African Moors in their institutions in Spain. The Moors translated all great works they could lay their hands on from the ancients into Arabic. This included the knowledge of Egypt, Kush, India, China and the Greece. Western historians point to the Greek component of these documents and attempt to paint the Moors as merely borrowers of Greek intellectual culture. This ignores the fact that Greek knowledge comes directly from Ancient Egypt and that there is convincing evidence that the Moors already possessed similar knowledge of their own from their homelands.

But this was not only limited to higher education. The Moors promoted literacy and the advancement of the general population. Schools were everywhere, many of them free of charge.

Medicine

Again, far in advance of Western Europe, Moorish physicians were specially trained and highly regulated. They practiced surgery and cauterization and understood the importance of cleanliness in the operating environment.

Jose Pimienta Bey notes in Golden Age of the Moor (pg 211):

"Europeans offered no competition with Moorish advances in pathology, aetiology (study of diseases), therapeutics, surgery and pharmacology. Texts were written by Moorish physicians describing surgical technique and instruments that were used; doctors specialized in paediatrics, obstetrics, ophthalmology, and in the treatment of hernias and tumours. Imamuddin tells us that Moorish scientists were even importing monkey skeletons from Africa for use in dissection when conditions prevented the use of cadavers."

For the Andalusan Moor, scholarly endeavour was considered devine. The more one knew of one's self and one's World, the more one was supposed to know of one's Creator. The ancient Kemetic creed "Know Thyself" was very much the creed of Andalus..........Rulers such as the Caliph Abd al-Rahman III, spent almost one-third of the state's income on education. At a time when most Christian monarchs could not even write their own names, the Caliphs of Moorish Spain were often scholars.

The works of a number of Moorish savants were revered, translated and became required texts in the universities which later developed in Europe. These include Generalities on Medicine by Averroes, Solitary Regime by Avempace, Primus Canonis by Avicenna and Al-Tasrif, by Abulcasis, which became the predominant university medical text for Europe's physicians.

Science

It was the Moorish chemists such as Jabir who discovered nitric, nitro-muriatric and sulphuric acid. They were well versed in the science well before Europe.

Jose Pimienta-Bey notes the proximity of the founding dates of the major European universities to the translations of Moorish works by rulers such as Alfonso X of Spain. These centres of learning relied primarily on Moorish texts for centuries.

 

 

The following information was produced by and sent out via email by:

Black History Studies (www.blackhistorystudies.com

15 FASCINATING THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE MOORS!
NUMBER 1

The Spanish occupation by the Moors began in
711 AD when an African army, under their leader
Tariq ibn-Ziyad, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from northern Africa and invaded the Iberian peninsula
'Andalus' (Spain under the Visigoths).
 
NUMBER 2

Moors A European scholar sympathetic to the Spaniards remembered the conquest in this way:

[T]he reins of their (Moors) horses were as fire, their faces black as pitch, their eyes shone like burning candles, their horses were swift as leopards and the riders fiercer than a wolf in a sheepfold at night . . . The noble Goths [the German rulers of Spain to whom Roderick belonged] were broken in an hour, quicker than tongue can tell. Oh luckless Spain!

[i] Quoted in Edward Scobie, The Moors and Portugal's Global Expansion, in Golden Age of the Moor, ed Ivan Van Sertima, US, Transaction Publishers, 1992, p.336
Moor with Astrolabe
NUMBER 3

The Moors introduced new scientific techniques to Europe, such as an astrolabe, a device for measuring the position of the stars and planets. Scientific progress in Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Geography and Philosophy flourished in Moorish Spain.
BASIL DAVIDSON
NUMBER 4

Basil Davidson, one of the most noted historians recognized and declared that there were no lands at that time (the eighth century)
"more admired by its neighbours, or more comfortable to live in, than a rich African civilisation which took shape in Spain."
NUMBER 5
 
CORDOBA

At its height, Cordoba, the heart of Moorish territory in Spain, was the most modern city in Europe. The streets were well-paved, with raised sidewalks for pedestrians.
 
During the night, ten miles of streets were well illuminated by lamps. (This was hundreds of years before there was a paved street in Paris or a street lamp in London.)

Cordoba had 900 public baths - we are told that a poor Moor would go without bread rather than soap!

 
Cordoba
NUMBER 6

The Great Mosque of Córdoba
(La Mezquita)
is still one of the architectural wonders of the world in spite of later Spanish disfigurements. Its low scarlet and gold roof, supported by 1,000 columns of marble, jasper and porphyry, was lit by thousands of brass and silver lamps which burned perfumed oil.
   
NUMBER 7

Education was universal in Moorish Spain, available to all, while in Christian Europe ninety-nine percent of the population were illiterate, and even kings could neither read nor write.  

 

At that time, Europe had only two universities, the Moors had seventeen great universities! These were located in Almeria, Cordoba, Granada, Juen, Malaga, Seville and Toledo.   

MANUSCRIPTS
NUMBER 8
 
In the tenth and eleventh centuries, public libraries in Europe were non-existent, while Moorish Spain could boast of more than seventy, of which the one in Cordoba housed six hundred thousand manuscripts.
NUMBER 9
 
Over 4,000 Arabic words and Arabic-derived phrases have been absorbed into the Spanish language. Words beginning with "al," for example, are derived from Arabic.
 
Arabic words such as algebra, alcohol, chemistry, nadir, alkaline and cipher entered the language. Even words such as checkmate, influenza, typhoon, orange, and cable can be traced back to Arabic origins.
Moors Lute
NUMBER 10

The most significant Moorish musician was known as Ziryab (the Blackbird) who arrived in Spain in 822 AD. The Moors introduced earliest versions of several instruments, including the Lute or el oud, the guitar or kithara and the Lyre. Ziryab also changed the style of eating by breaking meals into separate courses beginning with soup and ending with desserts.
   
NUMBER 11
 
The Moors introduced paper to Europe and Arabic numerals, which replaced the Roman system.
NUMBER 12
 
The Moors introduced many new crops including the orange, lemon, peach, apricot, fig, sugar cane, dates, ginger and pomegranate as well as saffron, cotton, silk and rice which remain some of Spain's main products today.

Saffron for Sale
NUMBER 13
 
The Moorish rulers lived in sumptuous palaces, while the monarchs of Germany, France, and England dwelt in big barns, with no windows and no chimneys, and with only a hole in the roof for the exit of smoke.
 
One such Moorish palace 'Alhambra' (literally "the red one") in Granada is one of Spain's architectural masterpieces. Alhambra was the seat of Muslim rulers from the 13th century to the end of the 15th century. The Alhambra is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

ALHAMBRA  
  NUMBER 14

Compass

It was through Africa that the new knowledge of China, India, and Arabia reached Europe. The Moors brought the Compass from China into Europe.



NUMBER 15

The Moors ruled and occupied Lisbon (named "Lashbuna" by the Moors) and the rest of the country until well into the twelfth century. They were finally defeated and driven out by the forces of King Alfonso Henriques. The scene of this battle was the Castelo de Sao Jorge or the 'Castle of St. George.'

 

When the Moors Ruled Portugal- Photos from Research Trip
When the Moors Ruled Portugal- Photos from Research Trip

 

 Many thanks again to:

Black History Studies

(www.blackhistorystudies.com

for collating and enlightening the community with this information

 

More to follow

 

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