Timeline of the Muslim presence in the Iberian peninsula: Wikis


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This is a timeline of notable events in the Muslim presence in Iberia, which started with the Umayyad conquest in the 8th century.


Conquest (710–756)

The Umayyad Emirate of Córdoba (756–929)

The Umayyad Caliphate (929–1031)

Fragmentation of Iberia in the year 1031 AD

Political fragmentation (1031 - 1130)

  • 1031 - The Moorish Caliphate of Córdoba falls.
  • 1033 - The Taifa (independent Moorish kingdom) of Mértola becomes independent.
  • 1034 - The Leonese destroy a raiding force under Ismail ibn Abbad of Seville. Ismail ibn Abbad flees to Lisbon.
  • 1038 - Granadine armies under the vizier wage almost continuous war against their Muslim neighbours, primarily Seville.
  • 1040 - The Taifa of Silves becomes independent.
  • 1043 - Zaragoza and Toledo fight over the border city of Guadalajara. Toledo pays the Navarrese to raid into Zaragoza; similarly, Zaragoza pays the LeónCastilians to raid into Toledo. The Christian armies ravage the respective Muslim lands unchecked.
  • 1044 - Abbad III al-Mu'tamid, son of the Abbadid Emir of Seville Abbad II al-Mu'tadid, retakes Mértola, since 1033 an independent Taifa.
  • 1051 - Yusuf ibn Hud, the Banu Hud Emir of Lleida, is paying the Catalans to protect against his own family in Zaragoza.
  • 1053 - Emir Al-Mutadid of Seville drives Berbers from Arcos, Morón and Ronda.
  • 1054 - Battle of Atapuerca. The army of Ferdinand I of Castile defeats that of his brother García IV of Navarra, near Burgos). Several disaffected Navarrese knights join the Castilians before the battle and one of these men is believed to have killed Garcia. Garcia's son Sancho is proclaimed King on the field of battle and the war continues.
  • 1055 - Emir Al-Mutadid of Seville drives Berbers from Algeciras.
  • 1056 - The Almoravids (al-Murabitun) Dynasty begins its rise to power. This Berber dynasty who would rule North Africa and Islamic Iberia until 1147.
  • 1057 - Emir Al-Mutadid of Seville drives Almoravids from Carmona.
  • 1058- Emir Al-Muzaffar al-Aftas (Abu Bekr Muhammad al-Mudaffar - Modafar I of Badajoz, Aftid Dynasty) pays the Christians to leave Badajoz, but not before Ferdinand I of Castile-León takes Viseu.
  • 1060–1063 - Council (Ecumenical Synod) of Santiago de Compostela.
  • 1060 - The heretic Berghouata Berbers set up a Taifa in Ceuta, but are eventually crushed by the Almoravids.
  • 1062 - Ferdinand I of Castile and León invades Muslim Toledo with a large army. Emir Al-Mamun becomes a tributary of Castile. Ferdinand then invades Muslim Badajoz, and extracts tribute from Emir Al-Mutadid of Seville.
  • 1063 - Battle of Graus. During spring, Ramiro I of Aragon besieges Muslim Graus in Zaragozan territory. The Emir al-Muqtadir of Zaragoza leads his army north accompanied by a Castilian contingent under Prince Sancho (the future Sancho II). Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar later known as El Cid is probably in the Castilian contingent. The opposing armies meet and after a protracted struggle Ramiro I is killed and the Aragonese flee (8 May 1063). Pope Alexander II sends an international force to Spain under his standard bearer William of Montreuil. It includes Italian knights, Normans (Robert Crespin, Baron of Lower Normandy), Frenchmen (William, Count of Poitiers and Duke of Aquitaine), and Iberians (Bishop of Vic; Count Ermengol II of Urgel). At the start of July the expedition besieges Barbastro in the Muslim Kingdom of Lleida. The Emir of Lleida (the brother of Muktadir of Zaragoza) makes no attempt to relieve the siege and after 40 days the defenders are forced to surrender when a large stone falls from the walls and blocks the only water supply. 50,000 inhabitants are massacred or enslaved. Count Ermengol II of Urgel is left as governor on behalf of Sancho Ramirez of Aragon. Seville feels obliged to pay Christians tribute.
  • 1064 - Ferdinand I of León-Castile besieges Muslim Coimbra from 20 January 1064 until 9 July 1064. The Muslim governor who surrendered is allowed to leave with his family, but 5,000 inhabitants are taken captive, and all Muslims are forced out of Portuguese territory across the Mondego river.
  • 1065 - Civil War in Castile-León. In April Emir Al-Muqtadir of Zaragoza, aided by 500 Sevillian knights, besieges Barbastro. The governor, Count Ermengol II of Urgel, is killed in a sortie, and a few days later the city falls, whereupon the Iberian and French garrison is put to the sword, thus bringing an end to Pope Alexander II's prototype crusade. At around the same time Emir Al-Muqtadir breaks off relationships with Castile, and Ferdinand I leads a punitive expedition into Zaragoza - taking Alquezar - and then into Valencia. Despite him being a tributary of Castile, Emir Mamun of Toledo leads to force in support of his son-in-law Emir Abd al-Malik. Mamun subsequently dethrones Abd al-Malik and incorporates Valencia into the Kingdom of Toledo. Ferdinand falls dangerously ill and retires from the field. King Ferdinand dies in León on 28 December 1065, and his empire is divided between his three sons: Sancho II in Castile, Alfonso VI in León, and Garcia in Galicia.
  • 1066 - Joseph ibn Naghrela, son of the Jewish Vizier Samuel ibn Naghrela Ha-Nagid, invites Al-Mutasim of Almería to come and rule in Granada. The Zirids of Sanhaja defeat the attempt and instigate a pogrom of the Jews in Granada.
    • Joseph and other Jews in Granada are attacked and murdered; many escapees flee to the north. "More than 1,500 Jewish families, numbering 4,000 persons, fell in one day, December 30, 1066."[1]
  • 1067 - The Castilian army under Sancho II and the Alferez Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar – already known as El Cid by this time – besiege Zaragoza. The siege is lifted after Emir Al-Muqtadir pays a large ransom and promises tribute. War of the three Sanchos: Castile versus Aragon and Navarre. Aragon severely mauls the Castilians at Viana, however status quo is restored when the Zaragozan Vali of Huesca invades Aragon from the south.
  • 1068 - Alfonso VI of León leads a campaign against Badajoz, but withdraws when Emir Mamun ibn Dhi-I-Nun of Toledo intercedes. Badajoz becomes tributary to León. Later the Emir of Badajoz dies and his two sons dispute the succession.
  • 1069 - Alfonso VI of León overruns Badajoz early in the year. Seville takes Córdoba. The army consists of an advance guard of 300 horses and a main body of 1000.
  • 1071 - Battle of Pedroso (between Braga and the River Cávado) where Garcia II of Galicia suppresses the rebellion of his Portuguese subjects under Count Nuno Mendes, last count of Portugal of the Vímara Peres House. Count Nuno Mendes is killed and Garcia II of Galicia proclaims himself King of Portugal. Sometime after 18 January 1071 and before May, Garcia II of Galicia is captured by his brother Sancho II of Castile (It is unclear if Garcia was captured in open battle at Santarém or by trickery). Garcia purchases his release and retires to the court of his tributary Al-Mutamid of Seville. Galicia is divided between his brothers Sancho and Alfonso.
  • 1073 - The Emir of Granada rejects the Castilian demand for tribute, however, Abbad III al-Mu'tamid, the Emir of Seville offers to pay instead. Consequently a joint Muslim-Castilian force builds the fortress of Belillos, from which the garrison raid into Granada.
  • 1074 - Emir Al-Mutamid of Seville drives the Almoravids from Jaén.
  • 1075 - Toledo takes Córdoba from Seville with the help of Castilian troops.
  • 1076 - Emir Ahmad al-Muqtadir drives Slavs from Denia. Ferdinand I of León-Castile besieges Muslims and takes Coria in Badajoz. After the Emir of Toledo dies, Seville takes Córdoba back from his son al-Qadir.
  • 1078 - Ibn Ammar acquires Murcia nominally on behalf of Seville but in reality as his own. Seville takes Valencia from Toledo. As a result Al-Qadir of Toledo is forced from the city by a coup and his opponents acknowledge al-Mutawwakil of Badajoz as their new ruler. The Almoravids take Tangier. Ceuta hangs on as the last Zanata outpost because its fleet can supply it from sea.
  • 1079 - Battle of Cabra. Rodrigo Díaz, defeats the Emir Abd Allah of Granada, who was helped by the Castilian Count García Ordíñez.
  • Battle of Coria. Alfonso VI (already king of Castile and León) defeats the Muslim Emir of Badajoz, Al-Mutawwakkil. Al-Mutawwakkil renounces control of Toledo and al-Qadir is reinstated. A Leonese garrison is established at Zorita to the east of Toledo.
  • 1080 - Ibn Ammar forced to flee Murcia.
  • 1081 - El Cid, now a mercenary because he had been exiled by Alfonso IV of Castile, enters the service of the Moorish king of the northeast Spanish city of Zaragosa, al-Mu'tamin, and would remain there for his successor, al-Mu'tamin II.
  • 1082 - Battle of Almenar. Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, leading the army of Al-Mutamin of Zaragoza, defeats a combined army of the kings of Valencia (Al-Mundhir), Lleida (Al-Hayib), Aragón (Sancho Ramírez), and the Count of Barcelona (Berenguer Ramón II, who is captured). When Emir Al-Mutamid of Seville pays his tribute in debased coinage, Alfonso of León-Castile leads an expedition in Muslim territory.
  • 1083 - In June-July Almoravids take Ceuta - the last outpost of the Zanata - and put to death the ruler, al-Muizz ibn Suqut. Ships from Seville may have aided the attack. The same summer Alfonso of León-Castile reaches Tarifa overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar. Castile under Alfonso VI of Castile takes Madrid.
  • 1084 - The Muslim army of Zaragoza under El Cid defeats the Aragonese. In autumn the Castilians start a loose siege of Toledo.
  • 1085 - Christians take Salamanca.
  • 1086 - Several Muslim Emirs (namely Abbad III al-Mu'tamid) ask the Almoravid leader Yusuf ibn Tashfin for help against Alfonso VI of Castile. In this year Yusuf ibn Tashfin passed the straits to Algeciras and inflicted a severe defeat on the Christians at the Battle of az-Zallaqah (North of Badajoz). He was debarred from following up his victory by trouble in North Africa which he had to settle in person.
    • Raymond of Burgundy, son of William I, Count of Burgundy, comes to Iberia for the 1st time to fight against the Moors, bringing with him his younger cousin Henry of Burgundy, grandson of Robert I, Duke of Burgundy.
    • In spring the Castilians besiege Zaragoza, but the siege is called off when the Almoravids land in the south. In June the Almoravids advance guard of 500 men take possession of Algeciras. The remaining 12–20,000 soon follow. Castilians under Alvar Fañez install al-Qadir as Emir of Valencia.
    • Almoravids, rampage through parts of Iberia, especially Granada and Lucena. There are persecutions and massacres. The wealthier Jews flee to Christian-held Iberia.[citation needed]
    • The Christian advance obliges the Muslim kings of Granada, Seville and Badajoz to call to their aid the Almoravids.
    • Battle of az-Zallaqah: At Sagrajas (Friday 23 October 1086) north-east of Badajoz, the Almoravids (12,000 or 20,000 men) under Yusuf ibn Tashfin and Andalusians (including Kings of Seville, Granada, Málaga, and Badajoz) defeat a predominantly Leonese-Castilian army (possibly 50-60,000 men including Jews, Aragonese, Italian and French) under Alfonso VI of Castile. The Andalusians encamp separately from the Almoravids. The Christian vanguard (Alvar Fañez) surprise the Andalusian camp before dawn; the men of Seville (Al-Mutamid) hold firm but the remaining Andalusians are chased off by the Aragonese cavalry. The Christian main body then attacks the Almoravids, but are held by the Lamtuma, and then withdraw to their own camp in response to an outflanking move by ibn Tashufin. The Aragonese return to the field, do not like what they see, and start a withdraw which turns to a rout. The Andalusians rally, and the Muslims drive Alfonso to a small hill. Alfonso and 500 knights escape in the night to Toledo. Al-Mutamid proposes that the Christians are pursued and crushed, but Ibn Tashufin retires back to his African domains leaving only 3,000 troops to defend the east of Al-Andalus. Al-Mutamid and the Almoravid generals Sir ibn Abi Bakr and Dawud ibn Aisha are reported to have fought well during the battle.
  • 1087 - Alfonso VI of Castile takes the fortress of Aledo in the territory of Murcia, blocking the route from Seville and Granada to the eastern provinces.
  • 1088 - Yusuf ibn Tashfin arrives back in Algeciras (May-June) and is joined by al-Mutamid of Seville and Abd Allah of Granada, plus support from Almería and Murcia (but not the Emirs). The combined army besieges Aledo for 4 months, but Yusuf ibn Tashfin returns to Africa unsuccessful.
  • 1090 - Yusuf ibn Tashfin returns to the Peninsula for the third time, takes over the kingdoms of Granada and Málaga in September and is back in Africa by the end of the year. However, this time his nephew Sir ibn Abi Bakr is left to continue the conquest. Between 30 April 1090 and 8 May 1090, Christian troops enter Santarém, Lisbon and Sintra. These were recently ceded by the Al-Mutawwakil of Badajoz in return for protection from the Almoravids.
  • 1091 The Almoravids led by Muhammad ibn al-Hajj take Córdoba and the Guadalquivir valley early in the year, and then defeat a Castilian force under Alva Fañez who were attempting to aid Al-Mutamid of Seville. In September Seville surrenders without much of a fight to Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. Subsequently other Almoravids armies take Aledo and Almería. Ronda also falls and the Almoravid commander Garur executes al-Radi (the son al-Mutamid of Seville).
  • 1092 - With El Cid away in Zaragoza, the Valencians under the qadi Ibn Jahhaf and supported by a small Almoravid force, drive the Castilian garrison out and execute their Emir al-Qadir. Ibn Jahhaf promptly sets himself up at Emir and starts negotiating with both El Cid and the Almoravids.
  • 1093 - An Almoravid army (Abu Bakr ibn Ibrahiim) approaches Valencia but then retreats without striking a blow.
  • 1095 - The Almoravids take Santarém.
  • 1097 - El Cid defeats Almoravid (Ali ibn al-Hajj) at Bairen south of Valencia.
    • Almoravid (Muhammad ibn al-Hajj) defeat Castilians (Alfonso VI) at Consuegra. El Cid's son, Diego, is one of the dead.
    • Almoravid (Muhammad ibn Aisha) defeat Castilians (Alva Fañez) at Cuenca before ravaging the lands of Valencia.
    • Yusuf ibn Tashfin assumes the title of Amir al Muslimin (Prince of the Muslims).
  • 1099 - The Almoravids besiege El Cid's Valencia, where he dies on 10 July 1099.
  • 1100 Molina falls to the Reconquista and will remain in Christian hands thereafter
  • 1102- The followers of El Cid leave Valencia and the Muslims occupy the Peninsula as far as Zaragoza.
  • 1103 - Ali, the brother of the Almoravid governor of Granada, Muhammad ibn al-Hajj, is killed in battle with the Castilians near Talavera.
  • 1105 - The Almohads, founded by Ibn Tumart, began as a religious movement to rid Islam of impurities. Most specifically, the Almohads were opposed to anthropomorphisms which had slipped into Iberian Islam. Ibn Tumart's successor, Abd al-Mu'min, turned the movement against non-Muslims, specifically Jews and Christians. Sweeping across North Africa and into Muslim Iberia, the zealous Almohads initiate riots and persecutions of both Muslims and non-Muslims. In some towns Jews and Christians are given the choice of conversion, exile, or death.
  • 1106 - Yusuf ibn Tashfin dies and his son, Ali, takes over the Almoravid empire.
  • 1108 - The Almoravids under Tamim ibn Yusuf ibn Tashfin, the brother of the ruler; another general is Muhammad ibn Fatima, the grandson of Sir ibn Abi Bakr) take the small town of Uclés to the east of Toledo, but a ridge top fortress holds out. Alfonso VI of Castile sends a relieving army under Alvar Fañez. The Almoravids decisively beat the Castilians and many leaders are killed, including Sancho, Alfonso's only son (by Zaïda, a Muslim princess) and heir. Subsequently, the Almoravids pretend to withdraw then launch a successful surprise attack on the castle. As a result the Christians abandon Cuenca and Huete.
    • Almoravid (Tamim ibn Yusuf ibn Tashfin) storm Talavera on the Tagus to the west of Toledo. The country to the north and south of Toledo is ravaged and the city unsuccessfully besieged for a month. Alvar Fañez leads the defence. Emir Ali ibn Yusuf ibn Tashfin joined this year's Jihad but does not mention him in the actions.
  • 1110 - Al-Mustain of Zaragoza leads an expedition against the Christians, but is killed at Valtierra. His son, Imad al-Din, fails to establish his rule and the Almoravid (ibn al-Hajj) marches in (30 May 1110).
  • 1111 - Almoravids led by Sir ibn Abi Bakr occupy Lisbon and Santarém in the west. These cities were occupied by the Almoravids in 1094-95 this suggests a fluctuating border in Portugal.
  • 1112 - By this time the Aragonese have taken Huesca. Almoravid (ibn al-Hajj) raids into Aragonese territory and reaches the foothills of the Pyrenees.
  • 1114 - A major Almoravid expedition (ibn al-Hajj from Zaragoza and Ibn Aisha of Valencia) raids into Catalonia. The army ravages Christian territory but is ambushed on its return and both Almoravid generals are killed. The Catalans under Count Ramon Berengar III take over the Balearic Islands upon the death of Emir Mubashir ibn Sulayman of Majorca.
  • 1115 - The new Almoravid governor of Zaragoza, Abu Bakr ibn Ibrahim ibn Tifilwit, lays siege to Barcelona for 20 days. The Almoravids withdraw when Count Ramon Berengar III returns from Majorca. The Almoravid fleet takes the Balearic Islands. The Almoravid general and governor of Granada Mazdali ibn Tilankan dies in battle this year. He led expeditions against the Christians from 1111, so he might have led an expedition separate from those of Abu Bakr and the fleet. His son, Muhammad, governor of Córdoba, also dies in battle this year (against the Castilians), so it may have been the same expedition.
  • 1117 - Almoravids under Emir Ali ibn Yusuf himself take Coimbra, but abandon the city after a few days.
  • 1118 - Alfonso I of Aragon takes Saragossa from the Muslims. Settlers in the reconquered no-man's lands of Castile are granted fueros, special rights.
    • The Aragonese led Alfonso I the Battler seize Zaragoza and most of the central lands of the Ebro. The siege of Zaragoza lasts from 22 May 1118 to 18 December 1118. The garrison has 20 mangonels and is supported by a determined militia. As a result of a plea for help of 3 December the Almoravid governor of Valencia sends a relief force, but this is too small to help. Lleida only remains in Muslim hands because it is tributary to Barcelona.
    • Zaragoza falls to the Reconquista and will remain in Christian hands thereafter
  • 1120 - Alfonso I of Aragon decisively defeats an Almoravid army including many Andalusian volunteers at Cutanda in summer.
  • 1121 - The Aragonese take Calatayud. The Córdobans rebel against the Almoravids, and drive the governor and his troops from the city. The Emir Ali ibn Yusuf ibn Tashfin leads an army from Africa to suppress the rebellion. The Almoravids besiege the city, and persuade the Córdobans to lay down their arms.
  • 1122 -Aragonese take Daroca.
  • 1125 - In September, Alfonso I of Aragon sets out south with an army of 4,000 knights. He travels down the east coat, bypasses the cities and ravages the countryside. He reaches Guadix unopposed in December.
  • 1126 - The Almoravids deport Christians to Morocco.
    • Alfonso I of Aragon defeats the Almoravids at Arinzul near Lucena. After symbolically fishing at Motril on the south coast, Alfonso returns home undefeated.
  • 1129 - Alfonso I of Aragon defeats an Almoravid army led by Ali ibn Majjuz, the governor of Seville deep inside Valencian territory. This is probably at Cullera or Alcalá near Alcira.

Decline and submission to Christian rule (1130–1481)

Castile-Aragón conquers the kingdom of Granada (1481–1491)

Aftermath (1492–1616)

  • 2 January 1492 - The CatholicMonarchs, Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, take over Granada.
  • 1492-1507 - The remaining Moors who want to stay in Spain form an alliance with the towns of Abarán, Ulea, Eyes, and Ricote and request to become Catholicand abandon the Muslim religion. They request King Fernando to grant them permission to convert their mosques back to Christian churches. The king then appeals to the reigning Pope Julius II (nephew of Sixtus IV) to grant the aspirations of these new Christians. These former Moorish converts to Christianity will come to be known as the Moriscos.
  • 1496 - All Moors are expelled from Portugal.
  • 1502 - After various rebellions, the Moors are deemed in violation of their surrender terms and are forcibly expelled from Granada along with the Jews, who are widely perceived to have collaborated with the Moors against the Christians during Muslim rule. Muslims who convert rather than be expelled are known as moriscos, and Jews who convert as marranos.
  • 1516 - King Charles I, the grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella, rises to the throne of both Castile and Aragon. With the conquest of Granada and Iberian Navarre, the modern nation of Spain is formed.
  • 1519–1522 - Revolt of the Germanies of Kingdom of Valencia. In it, the rebels murder many Mudéjars and forcibly baptize and convert the rest. The rebels had been armed to take up coastal defense against the Barbary pirates, and saw the Muslims as both collaborators with the raiding overseas Muslims and competitors for jobs.
  • 1526 - After convening a council to examine the problem, King Charles I declares that the forced conversions of the Muslims of Valencia and Aragon were valid, because they could have chosen death rather than convert.
  • 1568 - Rebellion of the Alpujarras. After King Philip II introduces laws prohibiting Moorish culture, the remaining population of Moors who had nominally converted to Christianity in order to remain in Spain, then known as Moriscos, revolt under the leadership of Aben Humeya in Granada. The rebellion is suppressed, in 1571, by John of Austria, Philip II's half-brother, and the Moriscos are deported to different parts of the northern half of the Iberian peninsula.
  • 1609 - Expulsion of the Moriscos - King Philip III issues the Act of Expulsion for the entire remaining Moriscos population, claiming that they appealed to the Ottoman Empire for military intervention in Spain.[2] They are viewed by some as a fifth column trying to rebuild the Muslim occupation in the Peninsula.
  • 1616 - The last remaining Moriscos in the Iberian peninsula are expelled.


  1. ^ Granada by Richard Gottheil, Meyer Kayserling, Jewish Encyclopedia. 1906 ed.
  2. ^ Lynch, John (1969). Spain under the Habsburgs. (vol. 2). Oxford, England: Alden Mowbray Ltd.. pp. 42–51. 

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