In the modern-era, as the Washington Post notes, Scandinavian countries have become known for their sometimes awkward embrace of migrants from the “Muslim world.” But the history behind that relationship goes back far further than many people might expect, as this post explores. Before sacking Seville, the Vikings sacked Cadiz, Lisbon and Medina Sidonia. This empire had contact with different cultures around the world, such as the Indians and Chinese in the east, and the Byzantines in the west, which led to the establishment of trade networks between Asia, Africa and Europe. Why Are These Viking Burial Clothes Inscribed with Arabic Script? Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The conversion of Vikings to Islam is a topic touched upon by the 16th century Muslim geographer, Amin Razi, who stated that: “… [The Vikings] highly valued pork. They have a church there.”. An engraved ring has suggested evidence of close contact between Viking Age Scandinavians and the Islamic world, more than a century after it was discovered. It is well-known among researchers that the Vikings, those Scandinavian warriors who roamed the seas between the 9th and 11th centuries, made contact with the Islamic world. The inscription on the ring was also written in Kufic, which was well renowned in the 8th to 10th centuries. Got something awesome to share with others? History has it that during the Islamic Golden Age (which is from 8 th century to 13 th century), one of the largest empires was established- Abbasid Caliphate. The Vikings & The Islamic World: Volume 2 (The Vikings and The Islamic World Series) eBook: Hussain, Farhat A.: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store Select Your Cookie Preferences We use cookies and similar tools to enhance your shopping experience, to provide our services, understand how customers use our services so we can make improvements, and display ads. Another major breakthrough came several years ago when researchers found a female tomb revealed at the historic trading center of Birka, Sweden. The ring could have been war spoil or a gift. According to Thomas S. Noonan’s book Supply-Side Sustainability, “Viking traders brought Abbasid silver coins in great quantities to Scandinavia; thousands have been found in Russia and the Baltic.” Noonan also highlights that it was a cache of dirhams (coins in Arabic) “that helped fuel the Viking Age.” He claims the dirham to be of such power that it was used as the common currency in Viking cities like York, England and Dublin, Ireland in the 10th and 12th centuries. Major international media outlets rushed to publish news of Larsson’s supposed discovery. In Seville, the Vikings looted and captured prisoners to be sold off as slaves. Loubna Khalkhali Mvslim Ethem Bukey The fourth Emir of Cordoba, Abd al-Rahman II, sent al-Gazal to the king of the ‘Majus’. Assia Loutfi The Volga Vikings appear as traders who set up a camp on the river banks. It is surely not the question if there was interaction between the Islamic World and the Vikings, it is just not clear if their relationship was purely for trade or if some of them converted to Islam. Historical sources tell us that a fleet of Viking ships raided the Carolingian Empire (800-888) after sailing along the coasts of Bay of Biscay in Northern Spain. February 14, 2018, 5:40 pm, by by Afifa Thabet The town is poorly off for goods and wealth… Women have the right to declare themselves divorced: they part with their husbands whenever they like.”, Other accounts, such as Al-Masudi’s Meadows of Gold, written in 943, and Al-Mukaddasi’s The Best Organization of Knowledge of the Regions, composed around 945, were briefer in their mentions of the Vikings, “but collectively they were all trailblazers in what was then the flourishing field of Islamic geography, a response to the thirst for knowledge about the vast Islamic world and the regions beyond it.”, Arab scholars of the time used the name Al-Madjus as a way to describe the Vikings as they perceived them. “Contacts between Vikings and Arabs/Muslims were both peaceful and violent. Built by the Moors, Algeciras is an Islamic society under Muslim rule. Bede's World . As the Vikings set about their business, they come across a mosque in which Muslims are praying. Bloody First Contact — When Vikings Clashed with Natives in the New World by Editor • 20 February, 2013 • 15 Comments Vikings settled in North America in the 10th and 11th Centuries. Other graves and caches of Viking treasure have yielded over 100,000 Islamic silver coins known as dirhams, jewelry bearing Islamic symbols, and bodies bearing DNA from Persia, suggesting intermarriage and immigration (voluntary or otherwise). Two weeks ago, Swedish researcher Annika Larsson of Upssala University announced that she had discovered a thousand year-old Viking textile with ‘Allah’ inscribed on its hem. This empire had contact with different cultures around the world, such as the Indians and Chinese in the east, and the Byzantines in the west, which led to the establishment of trade networks between Asia, Africa and Europe. The discovery was made by archaeologist Annika Larsson of Uppsala University. July 6, 2019, 10:11 am, by The 15,000 person Viking force reportedly held the city of Seville for about one month before being defeated by Abd al-Rahman II. In the journal Scanning, researchers recount how they used a scanning electron microscope to investigate the origins of the ring. The ring is made of silver alloy and colored glass with an inscription in Cufic Arabic. Scholars in Baghdad and other Muslim majority lands, as Ghazanfar discussed, had also given the Vikings a reputation of being “merchant warriors whose primary focus was on trades.” Hugh Kennedy, author of Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of Al-Andalus, wrote that Vikings are said to have converted to Islam and established settlements in southeast Seville, where they became well-known cheese traders. The Vikings had extensive contact with the Muslim world, as they traveled widely on their raids and expeditions. He also stated they are “the filthiest of all Allah’s creatures… They do not purify themselves after excreting or urinating or wash themselves when in a state of ritual impurity after coitus and do not even wash their hands after food.”, A century later, Al-Tartushi, a merchant from Cordoba, described a Danish market town. During the Islamic Golden Age, from the 8 th century to the 13 th century, the Abbasid Caliphate established one of the largest empires in history.. November 4, 2020, 2:20 pm, by “Almost in every subject taught in school, there exists a jump from the Greeks to the Renaissance, usually referred to as the ‘Dark Ages. We’ve known for a long time that the Vikings had rich interactions with the Islamic world, and this should have been just one more story in that larger saga, she said. “We know from other Viking tomb excavations that DNA analysis has shown some of the people buried in them originated from places like Persia, where Islam was very dominant.” Larsson added, however, “it is more likely these findings show that Viking age burial customs were influenced by Islamic ideas such as eternal life in paradise after death.”. With these early accounts of Vikings expeditions, it is very likely they had interactions with the Islamic world. The History channel’s original drama television series – Vikings – is one of my favorite programs. Information about their relationship has been found in Arabic written sources and through the discovery of Arabic artefacts in Scandinavia. The Andalusian diplomatic mission was led by the renowned poet, Al-Ghazali, who had earlier been sent as a diplomat from Umayyad Cordoba to the Byzantine Emperor Theophilus (829-842). in History. Following the Vikings’ retreat, Al-Rahman established a navy, the first of its kind in Al-Andalus, and sent diplomats to start peace talks with the Vikings. We’ve known for a long time that the Vikings had rich interactions with the Islamic world, and this should have been just one more story in that larger saga, she said. July 23, 2016, 5:24 pm. The tomb had a silver ring with the phrase “for Allah” inscribed on it. ( Log Out /  According to historian Jonathan Clements, the Vikings left the Muslim world alone after the 1041 expedition of Ingvar the Far-Travelled, who was defeated in the Caucasus. During the Islamic Golden Age, from the 8th century to the 13th century, the Abbasid Caliphate established one of the largest empires in history. I know that Vikings is based on some facts, but also fictional in … The ring is made of silver alloy and colored glass with an inscription in Cufic Arabic. Fadlan is famous for his meeting  with a “strange race” he called the “Rusiyyah,” now commonly known as Vikings. Since most of the contacts took place via trade, the relationship was mostly peaceful, but we also have accounts of Viking raids in the Caspian Sea which resemble accounts we have from Europe in a similar period,” says Prof Hraundal Jonsson. The Moorish poet and diplomate al-Gazal is one of the few Arabs who gave a description of what must be nowadays Scandinavia. More Arab writers who mentioned the Vikings in their works are Ibn Khoradadbeh and Ibn Fadlan. There is a period, as Salim T. S. Al-Hassani notes, of 1,000 years missing from Western educational systems. October 2, 2020, 2:44 pm, by The patterns woven with silk and silver thread spell the words “Allah” and “Ali,” the BBC notes. Anyone who slaughters an animal by way of sacrifice has a palisade (or pole) outside his house door and hangs the sacrificed animal there, whether it be ox or ram, he-goat or boar, so that people may know that he makes sacrifice in honor of his god. ‘Majus’ is another word for fireworshipers and in this instance the Vikings. Ancient texts tell of encounters between Viking Age Scandavia and the Islamic world, but material evidence supporting the interaction of these two civilizations is rare. Even though the woman in the grave was wearing traditional Scandinavian clothing, it is not possible to identify her ethnicity or religion. While the Vikings are perhaps best known for accumulating wealth by plunder, tribute, and conquest, they were also skilled and successful traders.The Vikings developed several trading centres both in Scandinavia and abroad as well as a series of long-distance trading routes during the Viking Age (c. 8th Century AD to 11th Century AD). They are tattooed from “fingernails to neck” with dark blue or dark green “tree patterns” and other “figures.” Ibn Fadlan added that all men are armed with an axe, sword and long knife. '” The amnesia, he continues, “affects the minds of present and future generations and distorts their attitudes and perceptions of the role of other cultures, particularly Muslim, in building the present civilization.” It should be noted, however, that both the Vikings and Muslims had interacted with civilizations and gained knowledge from these interactions. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. But the story struck a chord because it builds on accurate scholarship that shows that the Viking era included extensive contact with the Islamic world as well as other distant locales. November 1, 2017, 12:05 am, by Larsson has also found the names “Allah” and “Ali” on at least 10 of the nearly 100 pieces of fabric she examined, and they always appear together. Al-Tartushi relates: “They hold a festival where they assemble to honor their god and eat and drink. In an interview with the BBC, Larsson suggested that some of those in the Scandinavian graves were Muslim. But new evidence suggests these interactions were greater than previously thought. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. 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