How Tariq Bin Ziad strategize battles and achieved victory?


Gibriltar is an area south of spain that is under the British jurisdiction. Its name comes from the Arabic name "Jabal Tariq" and was named after the famous Muslim general Tariq ibn Ziyad, who conquered the Iberian peninsula in 711 A,D. At the time Tariq ibn Ziyad, a 75-year old man, was one of the greatest Muslim generals who served under the North African governor Musa ibn Nusayr. A former Christian who converted to Islam, Musa believed that his armies should not advance until he was sure that people under his dominion were comfortable living under his command. Tariq Ibn Ziyad and 7,000 soldiers arrived in the Iberian peninsula on April 11, 711 near the area today known as Gibriltar. Upon his arrival he requested reinforcements from Musa Ibn Nusayr, who in turn sent an additional 5,000 soldiers. According to legend, Tariq Ibn Ziyad burned his ships to further motivate his soldiers to either conquer or die in honor. This, however, seems to be inconsistent with Tariq's previous strategies and is only found in Western sources.

The Visigoth king, Roderic, gathered an army of 100,000 soldiers. He was so sure of his victory that it was said that he brought mules carrying ropes to tie the captured Muslim soldiers and bounty. The two armies met in July 19, 711 at the Guadalete River near the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula. The Muslims were badly outnumbered and lasted eight days. At the end of the battle, 3,000 Muslim soldiers died and King Roderic fled the battle. Before the battle, Tariq gave a speech which portrayed his valiance, determination and ideology regarding the life after death. In this speech he also mentioned his desire to kill King Roderic with his own hands. After his influential speech, Tariq and his army with their white turbans and spears in their hands proceeded towards the battlefield. When Tariq reached the battlefield he saw his ambition and aimed his arrow towards him and killed him. He had now fulfilled his long felt desire and gained victory for the Muslims. It is said in the confusion that followed the defeated Christian soldiers fled for their lives, the body of King Roderic had also disappeared. The Muslims had a zear for knowledge, they were advanced in architecure and were masters in science.

TARIQ BIN ZIAD VOL. 1

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When Tariq had been informed of the approach of the enemy, he rose in the midst of his companions and, after having glorified God in the highest, he spoke to his soldiers thus: "Oh my warriors, whither would you flee? Behind you is the sea, before you, the enemy. You have left now only the hope of your courage and your constancy. Remember that in this country you are more unfortunate than the orphan seated at the table of the avaricious master. Your enemy is before you, protected by an innumerable army; he has man in abundance, but you, as your only aid, have your own swords, and, as your only vhance for life, such chance as you can snatch from the hands of your enemy. If the absolute want to which you are reduced is prolonged ever so little, if you delay to seize immediate success, your good fortune will vanish, and your enemies, whom your very presence has filled with fear, will take courage. Put far from you the disgrace from which you flee in dreams, and attack this monarch who has left his strongly fortified city to meet you. Here is a splendid opportunity to defeat him, if you will consent to expose yourselves free to death. Do not believe that I desire to incite you to face dangers which I shall refuse to share with you. In the attack I myself will be in the fore, where the chance of life is always least".

"Remember that if you suffer a few moments in patience, you will afterward enjoy supreme delight. Do not imagine that your fate can be seperated from mine, and rest assured that if you fall, I shall perish with you, or avenge you. You have heard that in this country there are a large number of ravishingly beautiful Greek maidens, their graceful forms are draped in sumptuous gowns on which gleam pearls, coral, and purest gold, and they live in the palaces of royal kings. The Commander of True Believers, Alwalid, son of Abdalmelik, has chosen you for this attack from among all his Arab warriors, and he promises that you shall become his comrades and shall hold the rank of kings in this country. Such is his confidence in your intrepidity. The one fruit which he desires to obtain from you rbravery is that the woed of God shall be exalted in this country, and that the true religion shall be established here. The spoils will belong to yourselves. Remember that I place myself in the front of this glorious charge which I exhort you to make. At the moment when when the two armies meet hand to hand, you will see me, never doubt it, seeking out this Roderick, tyrant of his people, challenging him to combat, if God is willing. If I perish after this, I will have had at least the satisfaction of delivering you, and you will easily find among you an expereinced hero, to whom you can confidently give the task of directing you. But should I fall before I reach to Roderick, redouble your ardor, force yourselves to the attack and achieve the conquest of this country, in depriving him of life. With him dead, his soldiers will no longer defy you."

Tariq proceeded to conquer nearby cities including Seville, Jaen, and Cordoba. Alarmed that Tariq is moving too quickly, Musa ibn Nusayr entered the Iberian peninsula in the following year with 18,000 soldiers and first proceeded to quell a rebellion in Seville, then proceeded westward and conquered Mareda and Lisbon. Tariq and Musa met at Toledo. Together they proceeded eastward and conquered the remaining cities in the eastern side of the Iberian peninsula up to Barcelona. In a little over three years, the Muslim forces conquered much of the Biscay bay. The Kingdom of Austerias was formed in this area, which was later to become the basis of the kingdoms of Leon and Castile. The Calph Al-Walid, first wanting order to be established in the Iberian peninsula before confronting the French, recalled both Musa and Tariq and called an end to their campaign. The Visigoths, who found themselves in a matter of little over three years, being governed by Muslims were content with their conquerors as they were given favorable terms in terms of taxation, religious freedom, and economic fairness. There were no uprising against the Muslim presence since then.


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