The Great Mosque of Cordoba in Spain remains a testament to the authenticity of Islamic civilization (Getty Images)

In the spring of 2009, former Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni oversaw a sudden natural accident. A sedition that prompted his senior staff to justify the incident. A suspicious enthusiastic crowd that ensnared some of the toughest former resistance to normalization.

Edward Said's name was used to mislead, had it not been for patriotic voices denouncing the hack. I saved prose from what was published. The flood of January 2011 blew up the absurdities of pre-revolution, except for the carefully prepared files, which then disappear as usual and are folded.

After the "Al-Aqsa Flood", October 7, 2023, I searched for that file and found the translation of a rare story by Ivo Andrić and a study entitled: "Muslim Captives in Western Europe during the Late Middle Ages" by the Dutch orientalist Peter Schoord van Koeningsfeld.

Dr. Köningsfeld was Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology at Leiden University, and founded the Department of Islamic Theology at the Faculty of Theology, to teach Islamic jurisprudence, doctrines and currents of thought, and the relationship of Muslims with European countries.

The Netherlands has early experience in Arabic studies at Leiden University, since the end of the sixteenth century, when the first chair of Arabic studies was established. In June 2006 I was invited to his house.

From Rotterdam I take the train to Leiden, where my friend Amr Riad is waiting for me, at the time he had a master's degree from the Faculty of Religions and Arts, and is about to finish his doctoral thesis on Sheikh Muhammad Rashid Rida's vision of the West and Christianity, through Al-Manar magazine. I interviewed researchers Mohamed Ghaly and Mahmoud al-Saifi, along with Dr. Köningsfeld.

I didn't read anything by Dr. Peter Schoord van Kunningsfeld, even his name I forgot it, and I only remembered Van from him. I told him that most Dutch people were called Van. Is he like Muhammad in the Arab world? He explained that "Van" is not a name, but rather resembles the lineage in Arabic, such as saying: "So-and-so is Egyptian, Moroccan or Janaini." He laughed and said some Arabs called him "Dr. Van." I also called him "Dr. Fan."

From the train station to his home, the Dutch "professor" drove his car, accompanied by four Egyptians. At home, he prepared tea for me and the researchers he supervises, and his wife, the Iraqi painter Afifa Luaibi, was not there. At her exhibition in Cairo, November 2021, she told me about the death of Dr.

Islamic-Christian conflict

The unpublished study of Koningsfeld (1943 – July 28, 2021) places us in the heart of the Middle Ages, revealing an aspect of the Islamic-Christian conflict, both sides of it: the soft intellectual and the harsh military that ended with the expulsion of Muslims from Andalusia in 1492, after which the processes of Christianization and religious and ethnic cleansing began.

Before the exit, the observer would not have ignored boiling on the one hand, and decay on the other; civilizational collapse does not occur suddenly, nor is it undermined by a single battle.

The issue of the return of prisoners imposed jurisprudence on the consequences of their presence in captivity in terms of the lineage of their children, as well as inheritance. Since the eleventh century, Christian rulers in Italy and the neighbouring countries of Andalusia have seen captives as slaves rather than killed.

In the early fourteenth century, Christian rulers seized territory of "Muslim Spain" and, for practical reasons, granted Muslim minorities protection and religious freedom. This behavior did not satisfy the Church, which, at the Council of Vienna in 1311, agreed to prohibit all Islamic rituals, such as the call to prayer. After 1492, the remaining Muslims were called "unconverted heretics" and forced into mass Christianization.

With the exception of the history of slavery, the "cultural history" of Muslim slaves in Europe seems unknown, "not yet sufficiently studied." Jurists, for example, discussed the issues of forced separation of spouses, is the wife of a prisoner entitled to file for divorce? Is it permissible to marry a slave and a slave contracted by their Christian owner? What is the ruling on a couple returning to Dar al-Islam with a son?

Muslim captives, before they were taken to slave markets, were freed by redemption or exchange with Christian captives, to be rescued "from the bondage of infidelity."

Slavery and slavery around the Mediterranean was "an important social and economic phenomenon allowed and sanctioned by both Islam and Christianity." The international slave trade was founded on common interests, "of both Muslim and Christian parties... Under international law at the time, it was peaceful in nature."

The institution of slavery produced an "international trade movement for the transfer of slaves" between Africa and Europe, and Spain was a transit country. The sources of slaves were wars and maritime piracy, and "the rulers would grant pirate ships, in exchange for a sum of money, a license allowing them to sell the spoils of captives in the ports of attachment as slaves."

Introduction of the jaw function

Dr. Fan first put me in front of the term "jaw." A job created for a merchant, or an international relations holder who can redeem prisoners on his commercial trips, writing a contract for the redemption of "certain prisoners from Christian countries in exchange for a specific amount of money."

Andalusian authors appended documents from contracts of redemption to their books. One of the articles of the redemption contracts is that the redemption retains the agreed amount if the redemption escapes, as witnessed by other Muslim prisoners. A clause may be added to the increase of a sum of money, on top of the reward of redemption, due to additional costs, such as a excise payment imposed by the Romans.

In Europe, the institution "Alfaqueque", which means "dismantling in Arabic", was established, and "the Fakkun were often Jews who took responsibility for accompanying the captives to Muslim lands."

On the return, the jawers accompany Christian prisoners to Christian countries, where the stay of Muslim prisoners has sparked a jurisprudential debate about the fairness of their testimonies.

Ibn Rushd addressed the case of a prisoner who said he was redeemed with less than the money he had collected to free him.

Prisoner Certificate

Ibn Rushd saw that the testimony of this prisoner is proven by the testimonies of prisoners who were with him, and he accepted these testimonies, saying: "Residence outside the Islamic lands as affecting the integrity of the witness in the eyes of the opponent, was in fact called for by necessity, and therefore it cannot invalidate the value of the testimony."

In 1303, a Muslim judge authorized two captives to take zakat from Muslims in the Valencian kingdom under the King of Aragon.

The slave redeemed himself by teaching his master a special art. One of the masters freed a slave who taught him to dye silk "unknown in Christian lands." The slave may write to his family to tell them where he is and the amount required. Some families have made a child a mortgage, until the father collects the required amount of money. A jurisprudential issue was raised about the hostage son, in the event that the father died before collecting the amount of money to free him, "it was required that he be freed from his father's property before dividing the inheritance."

The Moroccan geographer Hassan al-Wazzan was captured by Sicilian pirates on his return from Egypt in 1519 with a study of his African travels.

The pirates realized the value of the hunt and took it to Rome. The pirates gave the precious gift to Pope Leo X, who "triumphed over the Muslim world," named John Leon, began to learn Italian, and wrote his book "Description of Africa".

The story of Leon the African is famous, and the most famous are the captives who copied Arabic manuscripts, in medicine and philosophy, and he used to seal the manuscripts with supplications hoping for their salvation. A scribe from Barcelona wrote in 1166: "Release his captivity and have mercy on those who say amen when they read it." A scribe from Toledo wrote in 1227: "God has set him free."

The transcribed Muslim captives played "an intermediary role in the dissemination of Arabic science and philosophy in the Christian world," as the study of Islam and the Arabic language was one of the prerequisites for "the formation of missionaries by communicating the teachings of the Bible to those who were called pagans."

It is reported that a Muslim slave scholar denied the divinity of Christ and the three persons in front of the Catalan theologian Raymonds Lawlos, mocked the Prophet Muhammad, and the slave slapped him. The "helpless Muslim world" regretted Raymonds' teaching Arabic and Islamic law, tried to kill his master, and was imprisoned and died of strangulation. In his autobiography, the Catalan theologian listed "this human tragedy".

The return of authentic Islamic identity to Europe

Jews were not allowed to own Christian slaves. The children of Muslim slaves are victorious immediately after birth, while the Christianization of slaves was "the result of the weight of social pressure", to improve the conditions of slavery, or to be free from it. Some continued to conceal his Islam, and some of the Knights Templar even denied "believing in Christ." Köningsfeld ends his studies with an important vision of the present:

"The Christianization of these Muslim minorities is one of the most important factors that explain the success of today's revivalist Islamic movements in the West, where Islam is being rediscovered as an authentic and lost identity. This concerns not only the so-called "Islamic awakening" among a Hispanic Muslim minority, especially in Andalusia, but also "black Muslims" in the United States. It doesn't matter whether these minorities descend directly... From a Muslim ancestor. What is important is that these Muslim minorities find in Islam an element of inspiration so that they see in it the restoration of the glory of a defeated culture and identity, especially since the pressure on and fight against Islam in the West was a historical reality."

The previous sharp ending of an article that needs an ending that eases historical tensions that are currently converging with waves and aftershocks. I will choose another end with some irony and irony, a fifteenth-century dialogue, which Köningsfeld quoted from the book "The Questioner's Treatise and the Respondent and the Picnic of the Writer" by Muhammad al-Ansari al-Andalusi, who was a prisoner in Castile and wrote responses to Christian grievances on Islam.

The art of debating between enlightened mind and blind imitation

For example, after a lecture at the University of Salamanca, he went out with the preacher and the priest of the king's confession through the grand church on his way to his dwelling, and the following conversation took place: "When we reached the center of the church, I saw pictures of wood painted with well-crafted types of "colors", which he imagined to the beholder that she was talking to. So I asked them about it and told them what is known, the market of the ignorant exposed to them and lured to the bishop, and I said, standing in the image of Jesus crucified on the wood of crucifixion, his hands nailed and blood dripping from them:

  • Who is this poor guy?
  • He said to me: Or what do you know?
  • I said, "No!
  • He said: This is 'Eesa ibn Maryam.
  • I said, "What is this case?"
  • He said, "Or do you not know that the Jews crucified him?"
  • I said, "I don't know about it!"
  • He said: It was from his story such and such.
  • I said, "Isn't this who you claim to be God?"
  • He said: yes!
  • I said, "If a God is crucified by the Jews and does not triumph for himself?"

He knew that I was ignoring his words, and he said: The story of Christ is hidden and mysterious so that Muslims and many Christians do not care about it for its accuracy and invisibility, except for those who supported with divine support such as our scholars, but your eyes Muslims are clear and negligible, and we have singled out God - the Almighty - with this hidden secret and we have taken it as a covenant that our commoners believe in tradition not science.

  • I said: If only your scholars were like your commoners if the farmer wished for them, and how could your commoners understand what is impossible for minds and the exquisite of the reasonable and movable, but where is that for your scholars as well as your commoners?
  • He said: If you have wisdom in that, do you think it is right?
  • I said: If reason accepted it and was supported by transportation, I believed it, and if it was your right in everything you claim, we hit the ground with it! – – He said: The wisdom in crucifying Christ and joining him in the womb of his mother Mary is that Adam – peace be upon him – when he violated God's command to eat from the tree, he and all his descendants from the prophets and others necessitated fire, and that they were in the fire all because of the guilt of their father until Christ was crucified and his blood was shed, so then he broke the locks of the fire and drove them out of it.

When he wanted him from crucifixion, he fell into Mary's womb and coalesced in her and became a human being with a body like all other human beings and endured the suffering of crucifixion and murder to save us from the fire with his wisdom and bounty, as it was not in the divine wisdom to punish Adam for his sin, because he was a slave and his status was deceitful in relation to the status of his master and master, so his wisdom required that he take revenge on a god like him, so he took the body as mentioned and endured the crucifixion of the Jews and humiliated them to bring out the elite created by the prophets from hell.

He did this and willed it thanks to his mercy and compassion, for he is the perfect "man" on the body side, and the perfect "God" in spirit. The author said: When my ears were filled with infidel reproaches that are impossible in mind and quotation, I laughed in wonder.

  • He said, "What did you laugh at?"
  • I said, "I didn't think that ignorance would reach you so much that it is not permissible for bestiality!"