Inquisitions and Muslims Genocide in Andalusia

   By : Feras Nour Al-Halk

  Translated By : Bayan Taleb

Revised By : Magdy Abd AL-Shafy

The tragedy of Moslems in Spain is a witness to the Christian terrorism , those Christians in Spain used unprecedented methods of torture in compelling the Moslems to change their religion

Inquisitions and Muslims Genocide in Andalusia

Prepared by Firas Nour Al-Hakk

Administrator of the Koran and Sunna Scientific Miracles Encyclopedia website

Allah the exalted says in the Holy Quran what means : (By the heaven holding the big stars (1). And by the Promised Day (the Day of Resurrection) (2); And by the witnessing day (Friday), and by the witnessed day (3); Cursed were the people of the ditch (the story of the Boy and the King) (4). Fire supplied (abundantly) with fuel (5), When they sat by it (fire) (6), and they witnessed what they were doing against the believers (i.e. burning them) (7). They had nothing against them, except that they believed in Allah, the All-Mighty, worthy of all Praise! (8) Who, to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth! And Allah is Witness over everything (9). Verily, those who put into trial the believing men and believing women (by torturing them and burning them), and then do not turn in repentance, (to Allah), will have the torment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the burning Fire (10)). Buruj Chapter

Allah the exalted says in the Holy Quran what means: (How can there be a covenant with Allah and with His Messenger for the polytheists (disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) except those with whom you made a covenant near Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah)? So long, as they are true to you, stand you true to them. Verily, Allah loves the pious (7). How (can there be such a covenant with them) that when you are overpowered by them, they regard not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant with you? With (good words from) their mouths they please you, but their hearts are averse to you, and most of them are rebellious, disobedient to Allah (8). They have purchased with the verses of Allah a little gain, and they hindered men from His Way; evil indeed is that which they used to do (9). With regard to a believer, they respect not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant! It is they who are the transgressors (10)(. AL-Tauba Chapter. )

On the authority of Khabbab bin Al-Art may Allah be pleased with him said: We complained to Allah's Apostle (about our state) while he was leaning against his sheet cloak in the shade of the Ka'ba. We said, "Will you ask Allah to help us? Will you invoke Allah for us?" He said, "Among those who were before you a (believer) used to be seized and, a pit used to be dug for him and then he used to be placed in it. Then a saw used to be brought and put on his head which would be split into two halves. His flesh might be combed with iron combs and removed from his bones, yet, all that did not cause him to revert from his religion. By Allah! This religion (Islam) will be completed (and triumph) till a rider (traveler) goes from San'a' (the capital of Yemen) to Hadramout fearing nobody except Allah and the wolf lest it should trouble his sheep, but you are impatient." Narrated by Bukhar.

Granada, Muslims' last stronghold in Spain, fell in the year (897 A.H=1492 A.D); this was an  ominous sign  of the religious and social downfall of the Andalusia nation, and the dispersal of its intellectual and literary legacy. Muslims tragedy there was one of the worst tragedies in history; this period witnessed barbaric and brutal acts done by inquisitions to strip Spain of the traces of Islam and Muslims, and to annihilate their heritage that flourished in this country for about eight centuries.

Lots of Muslims in Andalusia immigrated to North Africa After the fall of their kingdom, saving their religion and freedom from the tyranny of Christians in Spain. Spain revertedto its old religion while the rest of Muslims were forced either to become Christians or leave the country. This intolerant Christian spirit led to the pursuit, oppression and terror of defenseless Muslims ending up in executing a nation and a religion over Spain's soil.

Inquisition counsel or the holy counsel, supported by the throne and church, was active committing flagrant abuses against Moors (Christians Muslims); dozens of resolutions were issued standing between these Muslims and their religion, language, habits, and culture. Cardinal Caminiti burnt tens of thousands of Islam and sharia books; in 22 Rabi' Awwal 917 Hijri/ 20 June 1511,  a royal decree was issued obligating all residents who became Christians to hand over all Arabic books they have, then royal orders and decrees followed preventing speaking Arabic and ended up in forcing Christianity on Muslims.  Because of their love for their land and the fear of poverty, lots of Muslims accepted Christianity as an escape, while others preferred to die to see the dear homeland becoming a cradle for disbelieve, many others escaped with their religion; various endings were written for one tragedy-It is the departure of Islam from Andalusia.


Fernando the fifth, king of Spain, died on (17 Thi Al-Hijja 921 H.A= 23 January 1516 A.D) and entrusted his grandson Charles the fifth with the task of protecting Catholicism, the church, and choosing conscientious inquisitors to work in a just and firm way in serving God, strengthening the catholic religion, and eradicating  the cult of Muhammad.

Fernando kept on torturing and oppressing Muslims left in Spain for about twenty years after the fall of Andalusia. His instrument was inquisitions that were established by a papal decree in (Ramadan 888 H.A= October 1483 A.D). He appointed "Tomas Di Turkimida" general inquisitor, and put a constitution for these new inquisitions and a number of regulations and resolutions.

Most of the worst ways of torture known in the Middle Ages were used in these inquisitions and thousands died under torture; these inquisitions rarely pronounced anyone innocent ; death and barbaric torture were the victims' destiny; some victims were even burned in a celebration attended by the king and bishops; people burnt were in multitude , sometimes tens of people, and Fernando the fifth adored attending  these celebrations and praised the bishops inquisitors each time such a celebration was organized. This counsel spread, since establishment, a feeling of fear and dread in people's hearts; some of these Moors escaped. Strangely ,The Catholic Church refused the belief of the rest despite their loyalty to the religion they were forced to embrace because it wasn’t convinced of the apparent Christianizing of Muslims but was aiming at annihilating them.

Charles V and the compulsory Christianization

Moors had a feeling of reassurance after the death of Fernando and felt the wind of hope again; they hoped that the era of Charles V would be better than his ancestor. The new king showed- in the beginning- some leniency and tolerance towards Muslims and Moors, the inquisitions were somewhat more moderate in pursuing them and stopped intruding on them in Aragon thanks to  efforts of the nobles and lords for whom Muslims worked in their estates. This moderate policy lasted only several years, and then the intolerant policy was back in the royal court and the church and had its triumph in issuing a decree in (16 Jamada Al-Aula 931 A.H= 12 March 1524 A.D) forcing Christianity on every Muslim, expelling who refuses to revert to Christianity out of Spain, Those who refused to  go out were to be slaves ; according to this decree , Moslems Mosques also became churches .

When the Moors saw this extremism of Spain, they asked for the help of Charles V, and sent a delegation to Madrid in order to explain their complaints; Charles V deputed a great court of deputies, bishops, leaders, and investigators headed by the general investigator to look into the Muslims complaint and decide whether Christianity that was forced on Muslims is correct and binding i.e. anyone opposing it must be sentenced to death.The court, after long debates, issued its resolution that Christianizing Muslims was correct without any fault because  these Moors rushed to accept it to avoid what was even worse, so they were free in accepting it.

On of the torturing means that were used by inquisitions was to cut the organs with sharp tools

As a result, a royal decree was issued forcing all Muslims who were forced to adopt Christianity to stay in Spain as Christians, and to Christianize all their children; if they renounced Christianity their properties  were  to be confiscated and they were  sentenced to death. The decree also ordered the authorities to transform all the  remaining mosques into churches immediately.

The destiny of these Muslims was to live in horrible days with the inquisitions' terror; lists of prohibition came successively containing strange things such as: prohibiting circumcision, prohibiting standing facing the kiblah, banning taking a bath, and forbidding wearing Arab clothes.

One of the torturing tools was combing the body with iron combs.

When Granada inquisition found some violations of these lists, it materialized its threat indeed and burned two dissenters in (Shawal 936 A.H/ May 1529 A.D) in a religious ceremony.

The decrees of this emperor were the worst on Muslims, and it didn't take long until revolution broke out in most of the areas inhabited by them in Saragossa, Valencia, and other areas. Muslims were determined to die for the sake of religion and freedom, but the Spanish possessed weapons and ammunition so they were able to suppress these local revolutions except for Valencia that contained great numbers of Muslims, about 27 thousand families; they could not subside  them because their city was on the sea and connected with Muslims in Morocco.

Muslims in Valencia showed fierce resistance to Christianizing decrees; huge numbers of them took shelter in (Bni Wazer) suburb which made the government send a big force with cannons against them and made the Muslims finally surrender and submit; the emperor sent them safety declaration provided that they convert to Christianity, and the penalty of slavery was modified to the fine; Andalusians kept their right to wear their traditional clothes by paying the emperor a huge sum of money.

The appeasement policy of Charles V was an attempt to calm things down in southern Andalusia so that he can turn to the disturbance in Germany and Holland after Martin Luther and his religious treatise to reform the church and the spread of Protestantism appeared. He needed to focus all his attention and the inquisitions' attention to the "heretics" in north Europe. Besides, for the inquisitions to do their job, this means that all andalusians should be burnt because the church knew that their conversion to Christianity was worthless. In addition, most of the andalusian farmers were working for the nobles or the church and their interest was in keeping those farmers and not killing them.

Emperor Charles V, when issuing his decree of Christianizing Muslims, promised to make them equal with Christians in rights and duties, but this equality was never realized. Those who turned into Christianity felt that they were still under suspicion and oppression; lots of taxes, that Christians didn’t pay, were imposed on them, and life became harder and harder for them until they became like slaves. When authorities felt that the Moors intended to immigrate, a decree was issued in the year (948 A.H, 1514 A.D) preventing them from changing their houses or going to Valencia which was their favorite destination. Then another decree came preventing them from emigrating from these coastal cities except with a royal authorization in exchange for heavy fees. Inquisition watched over the emigration activity and suppressed it fiercely.

This severity didn’t prevent the emperor from showing moderation from time to time; in (950 A.H, 1543 A.D) he issued an amnesty for some Christianized Muslims fulfilling the wish of Toledo archbishop, and allowed them to marry their sons and daughters to pure Christians and that the dowries they paid for the treasury won't be confiscated because of the sins they committed.

Thus, the Spanish policy -during the reign of emperor Charles V (922 A.H, 1516 A.D until 963 A.H, 1555 A.D)- varied towards the Moors from severity to some aspects of leniency; but these Muslims were exhausted, chased and killed, the church inquisitions found them a favorite field for their intolerance and terrorism.


Andalusia's nation was, during this sad martyrdom that was forced on it, trying everything to keep its religion and tradition; the Moors, even though they entered Christianity, were secretly attached to Islam, and lots of them were practicing the Islamic rites secretly and kept their Arabic language. But the Spanish policy realized the importance of the language in supporting the national spirit, that's why Emperor Charles V issued in (932 A.H, 1526 A.D) the first law prohibiting Moors from speaking Arabic. This law was not strictly applied because Moors paid him (100) thousand Ducat to allow them to speak Arabic. Then Emperor Philip II issued in (964 A.H, 1566 A.D) a new law prohibiting speaking Arabic and was strictly carried out; Guarani was enforced as a language for speaking and dealings. Moors found in Guarani an outlet for their reflections and literature; they wrote this language secretly in the Arabic letters which led through time to the invention of a new language "Alkhamiado" which is Spanish alteration of the word "A'ajami (foreign)". This language remained a buried secret for two centuries and they were able to keep their Islamic faith; some scholars wrote in this language books explaining what a Muslim should do and belief to keep his Islam; they also explained the Koran in it and the autobiography of the prophet peace be upon him. One of the most famous writers in this language was a scholar called "Aberalo boy"; he wrote books interpreting the Holy Koran and summarizing the Sunna; of the most famous poets was Muhammad Rabdan who composed lots of poems and religious songs. This is how the Moors protected themselves by the "caution" principle and resisted the Christianizing attempts and their missionary, education, and terrorism ways did not succeed in the full Christianizing of these Moors , so the decision of expel came after all these failures.

The Moors attempts to have external effective support from the Ottoman State or the Mamluk State in Egypt failed despite the raiding and piracy attacks done by ottomans, Algerians, and Andalusians on the Spanish shores and ships, and despite supporting the Moors rebels.

Inquisitions continued fighting these Muslims all during the sixteenth century which indicated that the deep-rooted influence of Islam in the hearts remained despite the horrible ordeals and the passage of time. It might be useful to mention that a Spanish man called "Bidia" headed to Makka to do hajj in (1222 A.H, 1807 A.D) i.e. after 329 years of starting the inquisitions.

One of the torture ways used by inquisitions' monks was to burn their victims alive and roast them like cattle

One of the torture ways used by inquisitions' monks was to burn their victims alive and roast them like cattle. Four centuries After the fall of Andalusia, Napoleon sent his military expedition to Spain and issued a decree in 1808 A.D canceling the inquisitions in the Spanish kingdom.

Let's hear this story told by one of the French army officers who entered Spain after the French revolution. Colonel Limutski- one of the French military expedition officers in Spain- wrote: "in 1809, I was military attaché in the French army fighting is Spain; my squad was among the squads that occupied (Madrid). Napoleon had issued a decree in 1808 canceling inquisitions in the Spanish kingdom, but it wasn’t carried out because of the current state and the political mess.

A certain class of  monks leaders of the canceled inquisition insisted on torturing each French they caught in revenge for the decree and to cast terror in the French hearts so that they leave the country to the monks.

While I was walking at night down one of Madrid's streets that wasn't so crowded, two gunmen attacked me and wanted to kill me, so I defended my self fiercely. The thing that saved me from getting killed was the coming of one of our army brigade whose task was to roam the city. They were a group of cavalrymen carrying lamps and spending the night keeping order, the two murderers ran away as soon as they saw the group. It was clear from their clothes that they were of the inquisitions soldiers, so I hastened to (Marshal Slut) Madrid's martial governor and told him the story. He said that those evils are definitely responsible for the killings of our soldiers every night; they must be punished and the Emperor's decree of canceling their inquisitions must be carried out. He ordered me to take one thousand soldiers and four cannons to attack the inquisitions monastery to catch those devils monks.

Jesuits fired at us and we entered by force; he continues saying: "I ordered my soldiers to capture all the priests and their soldier guards in order to bring them before a court-martial. We then started looking around the halls, rocking chairs, Persian carpets, pictures, and large offices. The floors of these rooms were made of polished waxed wood, a nice fragrance filled the rooms and made the whole court similar to the one in the majestic palaces  inhabited be kings who spent their lives in luxury and entertainment. We later knew that these fragrances came from candles put in front of the monks' pictures. Those candles apparently were mixed with rose water"

Prophet Mohummed said " Among those who were before you a (believer) used to    be  seized and, a pit used to be dug for him and then he used to be placed in it. Then a saw used to be brought and put on his head which would be split into two halves"

    "Our efforts were almost in vain trying to find the torturing rooms; we checked the monastery and all its corridors and cellars yet found nothing referring to the inquisitions. So we decided to leave the monastery while feeling desperate. The monks were- during the inspection- swearing and assuring the falsehood of all what was said about  their monastery ; their leader started to confirm his innocence and the innocence of his followers with a low voice lowering his head and almost in tears. I ordered the soldiers to get ready to leave the monastery, but lieutenant "De Lul" asked me to wait saying: may the colonel allow me to tell him that our mission is not done yet?!! I said: we've searched the whole monastery and didn't discover any thing suspicious, so what do you want lieutenant?!... He said: I want to inspect the floor of these rooms; my heart is misgiving something ; there must be some  secret beneath it. "       

    The soldiers started to break the door with the stocks of their rifles; the monks faces turned yellow.

The door opened and we saw a stair leading down, so I quickly took a big candle that's about a meter long and was lighting the picture of one of the inquisitions former heads.  When I started to descend, a Jesuit monk put his hand on my shoulder intrusively and said: son, don't hold this candle with your hand that is stained with fighting blood, it is a holy candle.

I told him: your candle stained with innocents' blood is not worthy to be touched by my hand; we will see who is the filthy and the bloodthirsty murderer, you or I.

I descended the stairs followed by all the officers and soldiers with their swords unsheathed. When we reached the end of the stairs, we arrived to a big scary hall which was the courtroom and in the middle there was a pillar made of marble with a huge iron ring and chains attached to it to shackle the indicted.

In front of this pillar, there was a terrace where the head of the inquisition and the judges would sit on to judge innocents. Then we went to the rooms of torture and the rooms of shredding the human bodies, these rooms extended over a big space under the floor.

I saw in these rooms things that irritated me and made me feel disgusted and tremblly for the rest of my life.On of the torturing means that were used by inquisitions was to cut the organs with sharp tools.We saw small rooms in the size of the human body, some were vertical and some horizontal; the prisoner in the vertical room would remain standing on his feet during his imprisonment until he dies, and the prisoner in the horizontal room would lie in it until he dies. The corpses would stay in these tight prisons until they decay and the flesh falls of the bone and get eaten by worms. To discharge the stinky odors emitted from the corpses, they opened a small window to the open space.

On of the torturing means that were used by inquisitions was to cut the organs with sharp tools

We found in these rooms skeletons which were still in chains. Prisoners were men and women whose ages ranging from 14 to 70; we were able to save some of them alive; we broke their shackles while they were at the point of death. Some of them went crazy because of the heavy torture; all the prisoners were naked, our soldiers had to take off their clothes in order to cover some of the prisoners.

We took the prisoners out into light gradually so that they don't lose their sight; they were crying out of joy kissing the soldiers' hands and feet for saving them from the horrible torture and bringing them back to life; it was a heartbreaking scene.

We moved then to other rooms and saw bloodcurdling things; we found horrific tools used in torture, some were for breaking the bones and crushing the human body, they started with crushing the bones of the legs then the chest, head, and hands gradually until the whole body is smashed; from the other side of the machine, the smashed bones would come out, and blood mixed with minced meat, that’s what they did to the poor innocent prisoners. Then we found a box in the size of the human head, the head of the person whom they want to torture would be put in this box after shackling his hands and legs so that he can't move; on the top of the box, there is a hole dripping drops of cold water on the head of the poor prisoner regularly, a drop each minute; many prisoners went crazy because of this kind of torture, and the tortured stays on this condition until he dies.

Another torturing tool is a casket with sharp knives fastened to it.

The beautiful lady casket, young men are thrown into it then it closes on them

They would threw the tortured young man in this casket then close its door with its knives and daggers, when it closes, it tears the body of the tortured to pieces.

We also found tools looking like hooks; these hooks would be thrust into the tongue of the tortured then pulled out with the tongue so that it gets cut piece after piece; there were also hooks that would be thrust into the breasts of women and pulled out violently until the breasts are cut off or severed by knives.

We found whips made of thorny iron that were used to hit the tortured naked prisoners until their bones get fragmented and their flesh dispersed.The news reached Madrid and thousands rushed to see the torturing tools; they griped the head of Jesuits and put him in the machine that breaks the bones, his bones were crushed and smashed; then they took his secretary and gave him away to the beautiful lady and closed its door, he was torn inside it. They took out the two corpses and did the same to the whole gang and monks. In half an hour, the public finished the lives of thirteen monks then started to plunder the monastery (1).

                                                       A picture of the beautiful lady casket in which the young                                                                                                  man was thrown into .

Main source: free encyclopedia site

(1) Intolerance and tolerance between Christianity and Islam, by Sheik Muhammad Al-Ghazali.

Sources of the study

Muhammad Abd Allah Anan- Andalusia End and Moors History- Khanji library- Cairo, fourth edition 1408 A.H = 1987 A.D.

•Adel Saeid Bashtawi - Moors of Andalusia- Cairo, first edition 1403A.H = 1983A.D.

•Leonard Patrick Harvey- Moors political, social, and cultural history. (A study in a book entitled: Arab Civilization in Andalusia, supervised by Dr.Salma Al-Khadra'a Al-Jemi). Arab Unity Studies Center- Beirut, first edition 1419-1998.

•Nabeal Abd AL-Haee Radwan – Ottoman Efforts to Save and Restore Andalusia- university student library- Makka, first edition 1408A.H = 1988.

Here, the monks looked at us anxiously, so I allowed the officer to inspect and he ordered the soldiers to lift the fine carpets off the floors then ordered them to abundantly pour water on the floor of each room separately. We were watching the water, and in one of the rooms, the water disappeared into the floor. Officer "De Lul" clapped his hands with joy and said here is the door, look! We looked and the door was uncovered , it was part of the room's floor opened in a cunning way with a small ring put near the leg of the monastery's head desk.