Andalusia When It Was...
By Maryam Noor Beig
Al-Andalus, which means, "to become green at the end of the summer" is referred to the territory occupied by the Muslim empire in Southern Spain, which refer to the cities of Almeria, Malaga, Cadiz, Huelva, Seville, Cordoba, Jaen and Granada. 1 This civilization spanned the eighth to the fifteenth century. In 711, Arabs crossed the Straight of Gibraltar (derived from 'Gabal Al-Tariq': 'Mountain of Tariq') and established control over much of the Iberian Peninsula. 2 Of the Arab conquest, Muslims called the area of the Iberian Peninsula they occupied, "Al-Andalus." This land called Al-Andalus, hence often called "Andalusia" had at one point included Portugal, Southern France, and the Balearic Islands. Within 3 years, in 714, Muslims had occupied almost all the peninsula. Muslims crossed to Sicily and established control there for 130 years, until Muslim rule fell in 1091 to the Normans. Muslims also established rule in parts of France, but they were soon defeated by Charles Martel in 756, in which remains today one of the greatest victories for Christian Europe for bringing a halt to Islam's expansion. The Muslims who arrived and settled in Andalus were called "Moors," ('dark') a corrupt and negative term referring to the people who came from Morocco. They themselves, however, did not use the term to refer to themselves. Continue reading at: http://www.hispanicmuslims.com/andalusia/andalusia.html