Andalusia: Reflections of Two Converts

Karim and Azhar had been friends since they converted to Islam a few years ago. They shared a passion for learning more about the history and culture of their new faith, especially in Spain, where Karim had settled. One day, Azhar came from Canada to visit Azhar and they decided to visit the Alhambra, the jewel of Andalusian Islamic art. They bought their tickets online and took a bus to Granada, eager to see the legendary palace and fortress.
As they entered the complex, they were awestruck by the sight of the majestic buildings and walls, adorned with intricate geometric patterns, colorful tiles, elegant arches, and Arabic inscriptions. They followed the signs to the Nasrid Palaces, the residence of the last Muslim rulers of Andalusia.
They walked through the Court of the Myrtles, where a long pool reflected the sky and the surrounding porticoes. They marveled at the Hall of the Ambassadors, where a stunning wooden dome represented the seven heavens of Islam.
"Wow, this place is amazing," Karim said, as he snapped some photos with his phone. "I can't believe it was built almost 700 years ago. It's so beautiful and peaceful."
"I know, right?" Azhar agreed, as he admired the carved plasterwork and stucco decorations. "It's like a dream. I feel so connected to the past and to the spirit of Islam."
They continued their tour, exploring the various rooms and halls that displayed the splendor and sophistication of the Nasrid dynasty. They learned about their history, politics, religion, and culture from the audio guides and information panels. They were impressed by their achievements in art, science, literature, and architecture. They were also touched by their tolerance and respect for other faiths and civilizations.
"I wonder how the people who lived here felt," Karim said, as they sat on a bench in one of the gardens. "What was their life like?"
"Well, from what I've read, they were very cultured and refined," Azhar said.
"They had libraries, schools, hospitals, gardens, fountains, and baths. They were also respectful and courteous to other religions and cultures. They had a rich artistic and scientific legacy."
"Really? Like what?" Karim asked.
"Well, for example, they developed advanced mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and architecture," Azhar said. "They also produced beautiful poetry, calligraphy, and ceramics. They were influenced by the classical Greek and Roman civilizations, as well as by the Byzantine, Persian, and North African cultures."
"That's impressive," Karim said. "So they were not just warriors, but also scholars and artists."
"Exactly," Azhar said. "They were proud of their identity and heritage, but also open to learning from others. They embodied the Islamic values of knowledge, wisdom, justice, and beauty."
"I wish more people knew about this side of Islam," Karim said. "It's so different from the stereotypes and prejudices that we face today."
"Me too," Azhar said. "That's why I think it's important to study and appreciate Andalusian Islamic art. It shows us a different perspective and a different possibility of coexistence and harmony."
"You're right," Karim said. "It's inspiring and uplifting. I'm glad we came here today."
"Me too," Azhar said. "Let's go see more of this amazing place."
Retour au blog