Various writings on historical topics

Almeida: Dining table of King Solomon? مائدة سليمان


During researching the etymology of various place names in the Iberian penninsula, that have Arabic names, I came across the town of Almeida. This town seems to derive its name from the Arabic word المائدة meaning "the dining table". It is said that it was a relic claimed by Iberian Christians to be the dining table of King Solomon. In this article, I try to collect all historical references on this mysterious relic dining table.

Biography: Ibn Al-Baytar إبن البيطار


Abu Muhammad Dia' al-Din Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Al-Baytar al-Maliqial-Andalusi أبو محمد ضياء الدين عبد الله بن أحمد بن البيطار المالقي الأندلسي. (b. 575 A.H./1179 C.E. d. 646 A.H./1248 C.E.). He was a famed physician, herbalist, pharmacist, and botanist.

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Walid al-Tartushi أبو بكر محمد بن الوليد الطرطوشي


Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Walid ibn Khalaf al-Tartushi أبو بكر محمد بن الوليد بن خلف الطرطوشي (b. 451 A.H./1059 C.E. - d. 520 A.H/1127 C.E.) was a famous jurist originally from Tortosa طرطوشة, in Muslim Spain.

Biography: Abu al-Walid Sulaiman ibn Khalaf al-Baji أبو الوليد سليمان بن خلف الباجي


One of famous Andalusian figure in Muslim Spain is Abu al-Walid Sulaiman ibn Khalaf ibn Saad ibn Ayub al-Tujaibi al-Maliki al-Baji أبو الوليد سليمان بن خلف بن سعد بن أيوب التجيبي الأندلسي الباجي الفقيه المالكي (b. 403 A.H. - d. 474 A.H.). This is a collection of sources on him.

The Veiled Prophet of Khorasan المقنع الخراساني


Back in 1985, I visited St. Louis, Missouri. There was an annual fair by the name: VP Fair, or the 'Veiled Prophet Fair'. Although this is a fun fair with little historical roots, there is indeed history behind it, because the Veiled Prophet was a true historical figure.

Note: If you are looking for al-Muqanna al-Kindi the poet المقنع الكندي الشاعر please check our page on him.

Biography: Ice de Gebir: Castillian Spanish Faqih and author الفقيه عيسى بن جابر الشقوبي الأندلسي


The Mudejars of Spain were Muslims living in Christian dominated areas, retaining some degree of religious freedom. In Castille, they had more freedom and autonomy than in Arragon.

They were however losing their language very fast, and hence most of them did not speak Arabic anymore, let alone read it.

There arose the need for the Mudejars to develop religious works in Castillian.

One such person from Segovia شقوبية was Ice de Gebir (الفقيه عيسى بن جابر الشاذلي الشقوبي), a Spanish Andalusian jurist, who wrote his works in Castillian. His name is spelled differently in different sources, for example: 'Isâ b. Jâbir is the closest to the Arabic that can be. Other spellings are Isa, Iça, Içe, Yça, Yza, and Ysa. His father's name can be spelled as Gebir, Jabir, or Yábir. The Gidelli seems to be a variation of ash-Shadhili.

List of Arabic and Spanish names for Iberian cities and places أسماء المدن و الأماكن في الأندلس


When reading history, it is interesting to know where exactly the places mentioned are today. If one is reading history in a language that no longer exists in the region studied, then the task is much harder.

One such case is the Arabic names for towns and cities in the Iberian peninsula, in what is now Spain and Portugal. For eight centuries, this area was under Arab rule, and known by the name al-Andalus الأندلس. Many chronicles and history books have been written by the Arab speaking inhabitants of Iberia.

In this article, I try to provide a list of Arabic and Spanish names of the towns and cities, so it is easy to cross reference those for anyone who is studying the region and its history.

Etymology and Meaning of Trafalgar


Cape Trafalgar is a point in the south west shore of the Iberian penninsula, north of Gibraltar. This is the place where the famous battle of Cape Trafalgar happened in October of 1805, and Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated the combined fleet of France and Spain, assuming supremacy of the seas for Britian for a century.Various sources spell it as:


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