The Literary Legacy of Shi‘ism in al-Andalus

John Andrew Morrow

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, USA

As a result of their animosity towards the Household of the Prophet, the Umayyads, the ‘Abbasids, the Almoravids, the Almohads, and other minor dynasties attempted to eradicate Shi‘ism from their midst. Besides physically exterminating those who adhered to the Shi‘ite faith, the Yazidi Sunnis strived to remove any trace of it by destroying mimbars and mosques, raising entire cities to the ground in their anti-Shi‘ite scorched earth policy, burning thousands upon thousands of Shi‘ite books, and re-writing history. Considering the relentless campaign against the Islam of Ahl al-Bayt, it is a miracle that any signs of Shi‘ism have even survived in the Maghrib and al-Andalus. Although people plan, says the Qur’an, God plans better (3:54). Besides the physical evidence of Shi‘ites past, the Shi‘ite Muslims of the Maghrib and al-Andalus left us glimpses of their literary legacy in the form of Arabic and Spanish manuscripts.