Mudéjar ( // , also US: /--,- -/ , Spanish: [muˈðexaɾ] , Portuguese: [muˈðɛʒaɾ] ; Catalan : mudèjar [muˈðɛʒəɾ] ; Arabic : مدجن, romanized: mudajjan, lit. 'tamed; domesticated') refers to the group of Muslims who remained in Iberia in the late medieval period despite the Christian reconquest. It is also a term for Mudejar art, which was much influenced by Islamic art, but largely produced by Christian craftsmen for Christian patrons.
Mudéjar was originally the term used for Moors or Muslims of Al-Andalus who remained in Iberia after the Christian Reconquista but were not initially forcibly converted to Christianity or forcibly exiled. The word Mudéjar references several historical interpretations and cultural borrowings. It was a medieval Castilian borrowing of the Arabic word Mudajjanمدجن, meaning "tamed", referring to Muslims who submitted to the rule of Christian kings. The term likely originated as a taunt, as the word was usually applied to domesticated animals such as poultry. The term Mudéjar also can be translated from Arabic as "one permitted to remain", which references Christians allowing Muslims to remain in Christian Iberia. Another term with the same meaning, ahl al-dajn ("people who stay on"), was used by Muslim writers, notably al-Wansharisi in his work Kitab al-Mi'yar. Mudéjars in Iberia lived under a protected tributary status known as dajn which references ahl al-dajn. This protected status suggested subjugation at the hands of Christian rulers as the word dajn resembled haywanāt dājina which meant "tame animals". Their protected status was enforced by the fueros or local charters which dictated Christians laws. Muslims of other regions outside of the Iberian Peninsula disapproved of the Mudéjar subjugated status and their willingness to live with non-Muslims.
Mudéjar was used in contrast to both Muslims in Muslim-ruled areas (for example, Muslims of Granada before 1492) and Moriscos, who were forcibly converted and may or may not have continued to secretly practice Islam.
The Treaty of Granada (1491) protected religious and cultural freedoms for Muslims in the imminent transition from the Emirate of Granada to a Province of Castile. After the fall of the last Islamic kingdom in the Battle of Granada in January 1492, Mudéjars, unlike the Jews who were expelled that same year, kept a protected religious status, although there were Catholic efforts to convert them. However, over the next several decades this religious freedom deteriorated. Islam was outlawed in Portugal by 1497, –1614.the Crown of Castile by 1502, and the Crown of Aragon by 1526, forcing the Mudéjars to convert or in some cases leave the country. Following the forced conversion, they then faced suspicions that they were not truly converted but remained crypto-Muslims, and were known as Moriscos. The Moriscos, too, were eventually expelled, in 1609
The Muslim population in Castile originally immigrated from Toledo, Seville and other Andalusi territories. They were not original to the land in Castile. Muslim immigration into Castile was sponsored settlement by the Kingdom of Castile. It is hypothesized that the slow-growing Christian population demonstrated a need to bring more people into Castile. Primary documents written by Castilians in the 13th century indicate that Muslims were able to maintain some agency under Christian rule. The Mudéjars were able to maintain their religion, their laws, and had their own judges. The Mudéjars in Castile spoke the Romance languages and dialects as their Christian neighbors.
Like the Mudéjars in Castile, Aragonese and Catalan Mudéjars also spoke the Romance languages of their Christian counterparts. However, unlike the Mudéjars in Castile, there were Muslim villages in Aragon and, to a lesser extent, in south-western Catalonia which populated the land before the Christian reconquests, setting up a history of Muslim cultivation and population of the land. Besides the large Muslim populations in Granada and Valencia, the Aragonese Muslim peasants were the most well-established Muslim community in the region, while in Catalonia Muslim authoctonous presence was limited only to the Low Ebro and Low Segre areas. Aragonese and Catalan Muslims were under the jurisdiction of the Christian Crown and were designated a special status. This status applied to the Mudéjar cultivators, the exarici, and this status made them subservient to their Christian superiors because by law; they were required to cultivate the land of royal estates. However, this status was also beneficial as the law suggested that this land be passed down through Muslim family members. Despite their expulsion at the end of the Morisco period, the Mudéjars in Aragon left evidence of their style in architecture,while in Catalonia only some reminiscences of this can be appreciated in some Gothic churches and cathedrals in some shires of Lleida.
Lleida/Lérida in Catalonia was, besides Tortosa, the only major Catalan town to have a Muslim quarter, at which its numerous Muslim population of Andalusi origins, was organized as a community (Aljama or Al-Jama'ah), even though there were also Muslims living outside the quarter. Its Muslim population descended from the population that did not leave Madinat Larida when it was taken over from the Moors by the counts of Urgell and Barcelona. The autochthonous Muslim community, largely composed of a mix of skilled artisans, laborers, and peasants, although progressively diminishing throughout the Middle Ages by emigration to the neighbouring Kingdom of Aragon, to the nearby increasingly powerful and numerous Aljamas of Aitona and Serós, and to Islamic countries (Al-Hijrah) as well as by increasing conversions to Christianity, was nevertheless also being reinforced by immigration of Navarrese and Aragonese Muslims (Mudéjares) and by intermittent arrivals of Valencian, Granadan, and North African origin, these being mostly slaves or former slaves. The quarter and its Aljama or community enjoyed a special status within the social reality of the city, with its own elites: Alfaquins, Cadís and Sabasales (Al-Fuqaha', Al-Qudat and Ashab As-Salat, that is, Islamic scholars, Islamic Judges and Imams respectively); Escrivans (Scrives); Alamins (Al-'Amin), or officials that represented the Aljama before the king (in case of the royal Aljamas) or the feudal lords (in case of the rural manor Aljamas), etc. The Morería had its Mosque (Al-Masjid), its baths (Al-Hammam), its cemetery (Al-Maqbara, in the outskirts of the city), its Halal butchery, its market or Assoc (As-Suq) and its bakery. The Aljama suffered a period of decadence throughout the late Middle Ages, leading to its progressive reduction in numbers and privileges, up to the forced conversions of the late medieval period, and finally its total expulsion from the city during the early modern period.
In the 13th century, the Aragonese Christians conquered Valencia. Unlike in Aragon and in Catalonia, the Mudéjar population in Valencia vastly outnumbered Christians in the area. In Valencia, the majority of communities were peasant, Arabic-speaking and Muslim. Although there was a disparity between Christians and Muslims, it is important to note that a Christian king ruled over Valencia, and not a sultan or an imam and this shaped the experience of Mudéjars in this region. An effect of Christian rule were the outbreaks of rioting against Mudéjars in Valencia. Mudéjar communities were frequently attacked by Christian rioters, despite being protected by the Crown. Violence against Mudéjars in Valencia was common.
The Reconquista was the period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula of about 780 years between the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711 and the fall of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada to the expanding Christian kingdoms in 1492.
The term "Moors" refers primarily to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors initially were the indigenous Maghrebine Berbers. The name was later also applied to Arabs.
Moriscos were former Muslims and their descendants whom the Roman Catholic church and the Spanish Crown obliged, under threat of death, to convert to Christianity after Spain outlawed the open practice of Islam by its sizeable Muslim population in the early 16th century.
Andalusian Arabic, also known as Andalusi Arabic, was a variety or varieties of the Arabic language spoken in Al-Andalus, the regions of the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim rule from the 9th century to the 17th century. It became an extinct language in Iberia after the expulsion of the Moriscos, which took place over a century after the Conquest of Granada by Christian Spain. Once widely spoken in Iberia, the expulsions and persecutions of Arabic speakers caused an abrupt end to the language's use on the peninsula. Its use continued to some degree in Africa after the expulsion although Andalusi speakers were rapidly assimilated by the Moroccan, Tunisian and Egyptian communities to which they fled.
Aljamiado or Aljamía texts are manuscripts that use the Arabic script for transcribing European languages, especially Romance languages such as Mozarabic, Portuguese, Spanish or Ladino, and Bosnian with its Arebica script.
Spaniards, or Spanish people, are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to Spain. Within Spain, there are a number of National and regional ethnic identities that reflect the country's complex history and diverse cultures, including a number of different languages, among which Spanish is the majority language and the only one that is official throughout the whole country.
Mudéjar refers to a style of ornamentation and decoration in Spain from about the 12th Century and that incorporated as decorative motifs some constructive and stylistic techniques brought or developed by Muslims in Al-Andalus.
This is a timeline of notable events during the period of Muslim presence in Iberia, starting with the Umayyad conquest in the 8th century.
The Kingdom of Valencia, located in the eastern shore of the Iberian Peninsula, was one of the component realms of the Crown of Aragon. When the Crown of Aragon merged by dynastic union with the Crown of Castile to form the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Valencia became a component realm of the Spanish monarchy.
The Revolt of the Brotherhoods was a revolt by artisan guilds (Germanies) against the government of King Charles V in the Kingdom of Valencia, part of the Crown of Aragon. It took place from 1519–1523, with most of the fighting occurring during 1521. The Valencian revolt inspired a related revolt in the island of Majorca, also part of Aragon, which lasted from 1521–1523.
The Emirate of Granada, also known as the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, was an emirate established in 1230 by Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar. After Prince Idris left Iberia to take the Almohad Caliphate leadership, the ambitious Ibn al-Ahmar established the last Muslim dynasty on the Iberian peninsula, the Nasrids. The Nasrid emirs were responsible for building part of the Alhambra palace complex. By 1250, the Emirate was the last part of the Iberian peninsula held by the Muslims. It roughly corresponded to the modern Spanish provinces of Granada, Almería, and Málaga. Andalusian Arabic was the mother tongue of the majority of the population. For two more centuries, the region enjoyed considerable cultural and economic prosperity.
The Expulsion of the Moriscos was decreed by King Philip III of Spain on April 9, 1609. The Moriscos were descendants of Spain's Muslim population that had converted to Christianity by coercion or by royal decree in the early 16th century. Since the Spanish were fighting wars in the Americas, feeling threatened by the Turks raiding along the Spanish coast and by two Morisco revolts in the century since Islam was outlawed in Spain, it seems the expulsions were a reaction to an internal problem of the stretched Spanish Empire. Between 1609 through 1614, the Crown systematically expelled Moriscos through a number of decrees affecting Spain's various kingdoms, meeting varying levels of success.
Valencians are the native people of the Valencian Community, in eastern Spain. Legally, Valencians are the inhabitants of the community. Since 2006, the Valencian people is officially recognised in the Valencian Statute of Autonomy as a "historical nation" "within the unity of the Spanish nation". The official languages of Valencia are Valencian and Spanish.
The Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1499–1501) was a series of uprisings by the Muslim population of the Kingdom of Granada, Crown of Castile against their Catholic rulers. They began in 1499 in the city of Granada in response to mass forced conversions of the Muslim population to the Catholic faith, which were perceived as violations of the 1491 Treaty of Granada. The uprising in the city quickly died down, but it was followed by more serious revolts in the nearby mountainous area of the Alpujarras. The Catholic forces, on some occasions led personally by King Ferdinand, succeeded in suppressing the revolts and inflicted severe punishment on the Muslim population.
The Oran fatwa was a responsum fatwa, or an Islamic legal opinion, issued in 1504 to address the crisis that occurred when Muslims in the Crown of Castile were forced to convert to Christianity in 1500–1502. The fatwa sets out detailed relaxations of the sharia requirements, allowing the Muslims to conform outwardly to Christianity and perform acts that are ordinarily forbidden in Islamic law, when necessary to survive. It includes relaxed instructions for fulfilling the ritual prayers, the ritual charity, and the ritual ablution, and recommendations when obliged to violate Islamic law, such as worshipping as Christians, committing blasphemy, and consuming pork and wine.
The Young Man of Arévalo was a Morisco crypto-Muslim author from Arévalo, Castile who was the most productive known Islamic author in Spain during the period after the forced conversion of Muslims there. He traveled widely across Spain to visit crypto-Muslim communities and wrote several works about Islam which includes accounts from his travels. His real identity and dates of birth and death are unknown, but most of his travels took place in the first half of the sixteenth century.
The forced conversions of Muslims in Spain were enacted through a series of edicts outlawing Islam in the lands of the Spanish Monarchy. This effort was overseen by three Spanish kingdoms during the early 16th century: the Crown of Castile in 1500–1502, followed by Navarre in 1515–1516, and lastly the Crown of Aragon in 1523–1526.
The Mudéjar revolt of 1264–1266 was a rebellion by the Muslim populations (Mudéjares) in the Lower Andalusia and Murcia regions of the Crown of Castile. The rebellion was in response to Castile's policy of relocating Muslim populations from these regions and was partially instigated by Muhammad I of Granada. The rebels were aided by the independent Emirate of Granada, while the Castilians were allied with Aragon. Early in the uprising, the rebels managed to capture Murcia and Jerez, as well as several smaller towns, but were eventually defeated by the royal forces. Subsequently, Castile expelled the Muslim populations of the reconquered territories and encouraged Christians from elsewhere to settle their lands. Granada became a vassal of Castile and paid an annual tribute.
A conquest of Murcia took place in 1265–66 when James I of Aragon conquered the Muslim-held Taifa of Murcia on behalf of his ally Alfonso X of Castile. Previously, Murcia was a semi-independent vassal of Castile, but it renounced its allegiance during the Mudéjar revolt of 1264–1266. Aragon entered the war in Castile's side after Castile's Queen Violant—who was James' daughter—wrote a letter asking for her father's help. After initial negotiations with his nobles, James marched from Valencia at the end of October 1265. Subsequently, Aragonese troops took multiple Murcian towns and defeated a reinforcement column sent by the Emirate of Granada. The siege of the city of Murcia started in January 1266, ending in its surrender on 31 January and James' entrance to the city on 3 February. After the conquest, Murcia was returned to Castile and lost its semi-independent status. Subsequently, its Muslim population was moved to suburbs as Castile brought Christian settlers to populate the region.
The Siege of Almería was an unsuccessful attempt by Aragon to capture the city of Almería from the Emirate of Granada in 1309. The city defenders repelled multiple assaults, and by the end of December James II of Aragon, who personally led the siege, asked for a truce and subsequently withdrew from Granadan territory.