Sunday, 5 May 2019

The Jewel of the World /Questions Answers

by Philip K. Hitti
1. Give an account of the early career of Abd-al-Rahman I, his dramatic escape and his adventures in Africa.
Abd-al-Rahman was a young man of twenty. He was a striking young man. He was tall, lean and had sharp aquiline features. He had red hair. He was a youth of matchless strength and ability. One day, he was chased by his enemies. He jumped into the river and swam to safety. His enemies could not catch him. He was friendless and helpless. After bearing many hardships, he reached North Africa. His maternal uncles were Berbers. They gave him refuge.
2. How did Abd-al-Rahman deal with the governor appointed by the Abbasid caliph to contest his rule?
Abd-al-Rahman proved himself a strong rival. He gave a befitting response to Abbasid caliph who was against his rule. He cut off the head of his governor. He preserved the head in salt and camphor and covered it in a black flag. He presented this head as a gift to the caliph.
3. What did the Abbasid caliph say on receiving the head of his governor?
The Abbasid caliph was quite terrified when he received the head of his governor. His fervent rejoinder was,”Thanks be to Allah for having placed the sea between us and such a foe!” This remark of the caliph showed that he was at heart very much afraid of Abd-al-Rahman.
4. What did Abd-al-Rahman do to make himself strong and to beautify his capital?
Abd-al-Rahman developed a well-disciplined, high trained army of forty thousand or more Berbers. He won their loyality by giving them generous pay. He beautified the cities of his kingdom. He built an aqueduct for the supply of pure water. He built for himself a glorious palace named al-Zahra. He introduced many exotic plants. He also set up the great Mosque of Cordova.
5. Give an account of the all-round progress made by the Arabs under Abd-al-Rahman III.
The Arabs under Abd-al-Rahman III made matchless progress in every field of life. The capital city of Cordova became the most cultured city in Europe. It had seventy libraries, many book shops, paved streets, mosques and palaces. It got international fame. Spain became wealthy and prosperous. It progressed in leather industry, wool and silk fabrics, glassware and brass work, pottery,etc. The Spanish Arabs also promoted agriculture and industry.
6. What did Al-Hakam do to promote learning and scholarship in his kingdom?
Al-Hakam was himself a scholar and patronized learning. He was lover of books. He was generous to scholars. He established twenty-seven free schools in the capital mosque. Students from Spain, Europe, Africa and Asia used to come here to seek knowledge. He also set up a big library with forty thousand books. He invited professors from the East and gave them generous salaries.

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