The term “Arabization” was formed as a result of coexistence between Arabs and other nations throughout history, under the Arab-Islamic rule, which represented an incubator for various social components and intellectual currents during past historical periods, as it became a convention, a school, and a science in the investigation and study of Arabic language sciences, and it became a method There is a group of researchers in the West who believe in coexistence between nations and dialogue among civilizations.
Spanish history has met with Arab history over a period of 8 centuries in what is known as the history of Andalusia, and Al Jazeera Net tried to know the reality of Spanish Arabization and surveyed the views of some Spanish Arabists to explore that unique experience of acculturation in the Iberian Peninsula. Read also Hayy Bin Yaqzan and Robinson Crusoe.. Controversy over Islamic influence on the literature of the Western Enlightenment Anthropologist Charles Hirschkind: The Andalusian past should not be placed in the museum, but rather it should be used to confront the problems of the present Musta’ribah Castignon: translation is creativity Federico Corrente.. The departure of the Spanish Arabist who reconciled his culture with the heritage of the language of the Dhad
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Spain and Portugal witnessed the longest Arab and Islamic presence on their lands (711-1495 AD), and this had a tremendous impact on the cultural, political and social levels, and Arabic studies began in Spain somewhat later than their counterparts in European countries.
It should be noted that Arabization appeared during the flourishing of Arab civilization in Andalusia, in the period (1100-1500 AD), which was known as the era of European Arabization; Where many Europeans have come to learn Arabic and its literature, Arabist and academic Jose Miguel Puerta – professor of art history at the University of Granada – says, “In Spain, we apply the concept of Arabization to the studies that were completed on Arab and Andalusian culture after the fall of Andalusia, which began in the mid-18th century AD by the Lebanese scholar, the Maronite priest residing in Madrid, Michael Al-Ghaziri (1710-1791 AD), and a group of Spanish scholars.
While the Spanish Arabist Pedro Martinez (1933 AD) believes that “Spain would not have entered the civilizational history without the eight centuries that it lived under the shadow of Islam, and it was the emitter of light and culture to the neighboring European countries at that time floundering in the darkness of ignorance, illiteracy and backwardness.” Ignatius Ferrando Frutos – Spanish Arabist and academic at the University of Cadiz – comments, “Europe was closed and somewhat backward, not accepting what came from abroad except with great difficulty. When Islam arrived in Europe, the idea of tolerance and coexistence between religions and cultures spread.”
Arab Islamic tributaries
Regarding the contributions of Arabs and Muslims in Andalusia, Arabist Miguel Puerta sees – in his speech to Al Jazeera Net – “that Islam brought about an important change in Europe’s transition from medieval closure to renaissance and modernity.”
Meanwhile, Arabist and academic Ignatius Gutierrez – Professor of Arabic Language, Literature and Contemporary History in the Islamic World at Autonoma University in Madrid – says, “The arrival of Arab-Islamic civilization in southern Europe represented a refreshing air for a culture that was stagnant and did not produce anything new, living in the darkness of fossilization and lack of intellectual growth.”
Gutierrez added, while speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, “However, historians, and a number of orientalists themselves, did not acknowledge this credit for well-known ideological reasons, or because they simply neglected the Arab-Islamic tributaries and their founding role in the birth and expansion of the European Renaissance movement.”
It is noteworthy that the Spanish “associative” school was concerned with Arab-Islamic culture in general. Arabist Ignatius Ferrando Frutos says in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, “The Spanish Arabist school was able to delve into Andalusian scientific literature (astronomy and mathematics, for example) and highlight its importance in transferring knowledge from East to West.”
Verando adds that the Arabists were interested in “Andalusian poetry, and had it not been for some of the Arabists who devoted themselves to studying the Divan of Ibn Qazman Al-Qurtubi, the Spanish and Western educated public would not have been able to read and taste the words of this genius Andalusian poet.”
Arabist Miguel Puerta points out that “among the contributions of Spanish Arabization are the studies of Asin Platius, in which he linked Spanish mysticism and Islamic mysticism, and the impact of the message of forgiveness by al-Ma’arri and the message of the minions and whirlwinds of Ibn Shahid in the “Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri.
Arabist Ignatius Gutierrez explains that European societies have become accustomed to “dealing with it (the Arabic language) from superficial, simplistic intellectual grounds, a mentality that often leads to underestimating it and promoting preconceived ideas that have no basis in truth.”
Arabist and academic Jose Miguel Puerta answers – in an interview with Al Jazeera Net – about the extent of the influence of Spanish Arabists on European thinkers, and has Spain become a source of inspiration in the era of Arabization for most European thinkers? He says, “We can go back to the beginning of the European Renaissance in the 15th century AD, when European thinkers relied on the works of Arab and Andalusian philosophers and scientists, such as Ibn Bajja, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Zuhr, and Ibn Tufail to develop their theories of psychology, sensory perception and aesthetics.”
The second stage for the Arabization movement is the most important in the history of Spanish Arabization, in terms of the emergence of a moderate Arabizing movement towards the Arab and Islamic heritage.
The Arabist Ignatius Gutierrez explains, “Spanish Arabization witnessed a number of stages, not just two, but the Christian clergy were dominant over the majority of them, due to the theologians’ control over the course of culture, science and teaching centuries ago.”
He added, “However, this phenomenon began to change during the stage that began to crystallize in the second quarter of the last century and led to the “secularization” of Spanish Arabization and the devotion to purely scientific topics that were not colored by intellectual or political matters.”
While Professor Ignatius Verando asserts that “some Arabists in some stages of the Arabist movement were focused on knowing the “other” as an invading enemy in order to combat it and eliminate its cultural, intellectual and religious effects on the Iberian Peninsula.”
Many researchers believe that the Spanish Orientalists – since the days of Pedro Alfonso in the 15th century – were proactive in dealing with the Arab-Islamic issue fairly, and this distinguished them from their European colleagues. In the field of Arabic language studies, the figure of the Spanish Arabist Federico Corenti (1940-2020 AD), is one of the important references for contemporary Spanish Arabization.
Arabist Ignatius Gutierrez explains that “after the second half of the twentieth century, the Arabist movement moved towards more fair and neutral positions on Islamism, and turned to purely scientific studies devoid of politicized purposes, as was the case with European pro-colonial Orientalism during the nineteenth century AD.”
He continues, “Although Spanish Arabization rode the colonial wave during that period, it was not characterized by the ideological bias that characterized part of the European Orientalist institution.”
Between extremism and moderation
Some names of Spanish Arabists were included within extremist groups. On the other hand, there were objective Arabists in their dealings with Arab-Islamic issues and Andalusian literary phenomena. In this regard, Professor Carmen Ruiz Bravo – from the Autonomous University of Madrid – says, “There was objective Spanish Arabization, as there were Arabists studying heritage The Arab-Islamic within a moral framework, they respect others, and within a framework of scientific knowledge, they search for objectivity and realism, and there are other people who work in the field of arabization for the purposes of counter-supremacy and racism.
Although the church and the state deliberately obliterated everything related to the Islamic heritage, this did not prevent a number of enlightened Spanish thinkers from learning the Arabic language and learning about Islamic civilization in Spanish schools. In turn, the Spanish orientalist Santíth Abrent asserts that Islam played a key role in the history of Spain and the formation of its culture, but Spain was a bridge through which sciences and knowledge crossed from the Islamic East to the European West to reformulate it and turn it into scientific principles.
Professor Ignatius Ferrando believes that “the second Arabist current produced and continues to produce clearer and more accurate studies and research than the first Arabist movement, which saw Islam and the Arabic language as just a tool used by the Spaniards to express their authentic Spanish culture.”
For his part, Professor Puerta reviewed the most prominent names that contributed to the Spanish Arabization movement, saying, “Spanish Arabization arose under the auspices of the Royal Academy of History and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, which were founded in the mid-18th century AD, but we must mention that the effects of Islam are evident in the history of Spanish literature since The 16th century, for the most important Spanish writers such as Cervantes, the mystics Saint Teresa, Saint Juan de la Cruz, and others.
He continues, “Spanish Arabization has two different sides, the first of which views the Andalusian past as an integral part of Spanish history and as a component of the Spanish identity, and the second of which sees the Andalusian past as a foreign and occupying element that distanced Spain from its European origins and negatively affected Spain’s backwardness in its European environment.”
A renewed concept of Arabization
The waves of Spanish Arabization continued even after the fall of Andalusia and the establishment of ethnic and cognitive cleansing operations against Arabs and Muslims, through the courts and offices of the Inquisition in Spain.
Where differing visions about what the Spanish Arabists about Arab culture in general. On this, Professor Ignatius Ferrando asserts that “in general, yes, I am satisfied with Spanish Arabization because of the tireless work and interest in Arab culture in it, and in recent years the number of Arabists has increased significantly.”
However, Ferrando said, “However, I am fully aware of a major problem that hinders the progress of the Arabization movement in Spain, despite its great achievements, which we can call moving away from the Arabic linguistic component, and relying on sources and references written in Spanish or other European languages such as English, French and German.”
However, Arabist Miguel Puerta has another opinion. He says, “I am generally satisfied with Spanish Arabization at the present time because there are some generations of Arabists active in various fields of Arab, Andalusian and Islamic studies in universities and research institutes.” And he continues, “even the movement of translation from Arabic into Spanish continues, despite the fact that major publishing houses are still conservative about the wonderful modern Arabic literary production.”
He adds – to Al Jazeera Net – “I think that what is lacking in the current Spanish Arabization is to secure unified projects supported by the academic authorities, coordination with the academic and cultural circles of the Arab countries, and the expansion of the base of young people who speak the language of Dhad, which was the language of their land for 8 centuries and is now a living and important language in the world.” “.
Some researchers say that the Spanish Arabization school has a role in preserving the enormous wealth that the Arabs provided in Andalusia during the 8 centuries, the period of Arab rule in Spain.
On the other hand, Professor Ignatius Gutierrez expresses his opposition, saying, “No, I think – by virtue of our competence – that we have not fulfilled our duty with regard to establishing an objective image of the Arab Islamic civilization and combating lies and distorted stereotypes spread about it, even in the field of Andalusian studies, which is the field that we thought was “the monopoly of We”.
He continues, “It was necessary for us to move forward in the process of exhuming and transferring manuscripts and singling out in-depth studies for exceptional references, which would help us in understanding the Andalusian nature.”
Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, Guterres was surprised, saying, “We find ourselves absent from the current media and information discourse, and we do not participate in the “hot” dialogues, discussions and social concerns because we focus on our narrow, elitist studies or our limited-minded university concerns.
“The spirit of the new age requires us to take bolder, impulsive and committed positions in order to make room for a renewed concept of Arabization,” he added. In turn, Professor Carmen Ruiz Bravo – in her speech to Al Jazeera Net – stresses what Professor Pedro Martinez Montabez said about Andalusia – in his book “Andalusia.. Significance and Symbolism” – “that Andalusia ended as a historical reality, true, and then turned into a symbol that must be contemplated.” It includes Arabs and Spaniards together.