Jihad and Civilization, Part 2 (The Battle of Tours)
19 Dec, 2006
The Battle of Tours (also known as the Battle of Poitiers) is
considered as one of the most important episodes of history.
Before discussing its ramifications, one ought to probe into the
causes that precipitated the bloody event in 732 A.D.
Its major cause is Jihad, a clever contrivance of Islam, whose stated purpose is to establish on man the rule of Allah, "the Almighty, the Creator and the Perfect."
In fact, this device has been invented as a pretext to destroy all those who do not believe in Allah and Muhammad. More accurately, this is a stratagem for setting up Muhammad as the holiest of holies because a person such as a Jew, a Christian or a deist is treated as an infidel despite being an adherent of God. This fact reveals the true color of this doctrine. When looked at carefully, it transpires that Jihad is an insult to God, who is depicted as "the Almighty, the Creator and the Perfect." Thus, being Absolute, He needs no help from anyone to install Him as the Supreme, but the device projects God as dependent on man for establishing His glory; it is blasphemous by its very nature. If "God, the Creator" really wanted to be believed in, and worshipped by man, He would have created him as His "Obedient Servant".
The Jihad that disgraces the dignity of God and acts as the most heinous tool of destruction against innocent and the helpless, cannot be a holy principle.
Since Jihad is anti-divine by its nature, it has got to be the tool of Prophethood, which enables a man (the Prophet) to pursue his personal interests in Divine clothing. The doctrine of Prophethood, in fact, is the apex of dominance--urge, which goads a person to seek maximum power through force, frivolity and feigning. Jihad uses all these methods to secure personal supremacy of Muhammad because it legitimizes violence by inspiring belief in the myth of paradise and encourages deception to win battles.
The Prophet Muhammad was an orphan without any paternal inheritance, yet he rose to be the ruler of Arabia and founder of the Arab Empire. It shows the magnitude of his dominance-urge, which he executed masterfully:
He prepared a plan of personal power and holiness in which God (Allah) acts as his factotum. Islam insists that:
a. To be a believer, the confession of Muhammad's Prophethood is the most essential element of faith be-cause belief in Allah alone counts for nothing. Thus a Jew, a Christian or a deist is an infidel, and shall go to hell.
b. A person is not Muslim unless he treats the Prophet as the Model of Behavior and imitates Muhammad's way of life in all details. As he was an Arab, his non-Arab follower has to live as a cultural satellite of Arabia.
This is the reason that the Prophet bestowed very high reverence on his motherland and its institutions. For example, a Muslim, no matter where he comes from, is obliged to prostrate, at least five times a day toward Mecca, Muhammad's birthplace; he must not defecate facing this City; even after death, his body must be buried facing Mecca to qualify for Divine mercy,
The net result of this Arab-worship is that the non-Arab Muslims, especially from India and Africa, have more reverence for Arabia and less for their own countries. This is the attitude that has made them (non-Arab Muslims) the spiritual slaves of Muhammad's motherland at the expense of their own.
This is what makes Islam a complex plan of Arab Imperialism, although packed in an alluring box of internationalism. Stated simply, it means that higher the stature of a nation, the greater the prestige of its leader and cultural institutions. Again, greatness is achieved by might and not meekness irrespective of how moral, mellifluent or mesmerizing it may look. Only a mighty nation is the fountain of mirth, majesty and marvel. Thus, for making the Arabs a powerful nation, the Prophet turned them into a fighting force by prescribing Imperialism as the goal of their existence and appointed JEHAD as the fundamental doctrine for achieving it.
This statement is not based on fantasy but hadiths i.e., the sayings of the Prophet, which actually gladdened, guided and goaded the Arabs to stake their lives in bloody battles to secure secular ascendancy and paradisiac hopes. See the truth for yourself:
1. About the Jews, the Prophet said: "The Hour will not be established until you (the Arabs) fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say 'O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.'"
2. About the Turks, the Prophet said: "One of the portents of the Hour is that you will fight with people wearing shoes made of hair; and one of the portents of the Hour is that you will fight with broadfaced people whose face will look like shields coated with leather."
(Sahih Al-Bokhari, Vol. IV: 178)
Again, the Prophet said about the Turks: "The hour will not be established until you fight with the Turks; people with small eyes, red faces, and flat noses. Their faces will look like shields coated with leather. The Hour will not be established till you fight with people whose shoes are made of hair."
(SahihAl-Bokhari, Vol. IV: 179)
3. About Khosrau (Iran) and Caesar (Constantinople), the Prophet said: "Khosrau will be ruined, and there will be no Khosrau after him, and Caesar will surely be ruined and there will be no Caesar after him and you (the Arabs) will spend their treasures in Allah's cause." He said, "War is deceit."
(Sahih Al-Bokhari, Vol. IV: 267)
Before I explain these hadiths, I ought to add that the Prophet Muhammad was not only a preacher but also a warrior. A hadith states that, when the Battle of Badr took place: "The Prophet was clad in his armor at that time. He went out saying to me (the narrator, Ibn Abbas): their multitude will be put to flight and they will show their backs. Nay but the Hour is their appointed time (for their full recompense) and the Hour will be more bitter than their worldly failure."
(Sahih Al-Bokhari, Vol.IV: 164)
1. The Prophet was a warrior because he participated in battles wearing armor.
2. He actually led his armies with the sole purpose of winning battles because he believed that "war is de-ceit", and therefore he might resort to any tactic, which would produce the desired result. Yet he called him-self the "Mercy of Allah to entire mankind," which ought to include unbelievers as well, but it does not. On the contrary, it seeks their annihilation.
3. To make his people most zealous warriors, he not only trained them militarily but also brainwashed them with the doctrine of Jehad, which preached destruction of unbelievers in the name of Allah as the greatest virtue against all principles of morality. Its purpose was to make his followers indifferent to the appeal of conscience.
From the hadiths quoted above, it is evident that the Prophet had a keen desire to create an Arab Empire. So he expressed it as the will of God that the Arabs must build a huge empire to gain the pleasure of Allah. What a shrewd plan of Imperialism it was! To give it the Divine authority, he stated as a predestined fact that the Hour would not come until the Arab had smashed up the Jews and the Turks as well as the Iranian and Roman (Byzantine) Empires. This is exactly what happened, enabling the Arabs to set up within twenty years of the Prophet's death an empire, which was larger than the Roman Empire that had required centuries to build.
The Prophet's imperial designs, of course, extended to both the East and the West, but as I am about to describe the Battle of Tours, it is desirable to concentrate on the Arabian thrust toward Europe.
Every invader, irrespective of his religion, is a predator, and his acts of brutality rank highly immoral, and thus pave his way toward hell but it is quite different in the case of a Muslim: his savagery is counted as an act of propriety, purity and probity by Allah, who guarantees to wipe off all the sins of a Muslim warrior (Mujahid): it is this strange Divine approval, which enables him to enter paradise inhabited by most beautiful virgins and boys.
Broadly speaking, a hadith (saying) of the Prophet Muhammad is a command to a Muslim. As we have seen, the already quoted hadiths clearly advocate decimation of the Jews, the Iranians, the Turks and the Romans. The Iranians were one of the first victims of Islam, and despite freeing themselves from the political hegemony of the Arabs, they carry the cultural and spiritual yoke of Arabia even in modern times.
To implement the message of the hadith that command subjugation of the Turks, Qutaybah, in 715 eventually conquered Kashghar (Chinese Turkestan) and is supposed to have even reached China proper. However, tradition bestows this honor on Nasr bin Sayyar, who between 738 and 740 reconquered these territories. In fact, the Apostolic mission was completed in 751 when the Arabs occupied al-Shash (Tashkand), and thus completed their supremacy in Central Asia. The Mongoloid people of these areas had adopted Buddhism, and Buddhist monasteries had sprung up in Bokhara, Bulkh and Samarkand. Since Islam is the only true religion of Allah, (according to the Arabian philosophy), they destroyed all vestiges of the Buddhist worship-centers to perpetuate their own creed for eternity.
However, the hadith requiring destruction of Constantinople must be interpreted in the context of the whole of Christianity because this City was the political Capital of this faith. Thus it is necessary to refer to the events that led to the Battle of Tours:
The first Arabian civil war, which ended with the assassination of All, brought Muawiyah to power. He was not only a tough soldier and a tactful politician but also a shrewd ruler. Realising the delicate state of his domestic affairs, he resorted to political expediency, and through the truce of 658 agreed to pay an annual tribute to the Emperor Constance II. However, Muawiyah, a zealous Muslim, could not ignore the hadith commanding conquest of Constantinople. Thus the truce meant no more than a stratagem. As the circumstances changed, he started hostilities against Caesar. Twice did his armies reach the capital of Christendom but without achieving the desired goal i.e. its capitulation, which had to wait until the arrival of the Ottoman Turks, centuries later. However, the Arab raids were not for fun; they assumed the form of razzias i.e., predatory raids, which were regularly conducted every summer according to the precedent set by the Prophet for his followers.
These incursions were fierce, fanatic and fatalistic. As early as A.H. 34(655), a fleet of Muawiyah scored victory over the navy led by the Emperor Constance II. This engagement which took place at Phoenix (modern Pinike) on the Lycian coast, is considered the first great naval success of Islam. This event is known as Dhu-al-Sawari in the Arab chronicles.
A Muslim reader may face a sudden volley of puzzlement to realise that the military campaign of A.H. 49 (669), which actually succeeded in reaching the high triple wall of Constantinople, was led by Munwiyah's son, Yazid, the crown prince, who stands so maligned in the world of Islam for killing Hussain (the grandson of Muhammad) and his family-members that even Devil envies him in notoriety.
Yet he was the commander of the faithful, who obeyed his orders enthusiastically in search of booty through menace, murder and mutilation. One wonders, how Allah will open the doors of paradise for the crusaders under the direction of Yazid!
May be I should also add that Yazid fought with such a fervor, fortitude and ferocity that he earned the title of "Fateh-al-Arab" (Hero of the Arabs). An attempt to conquer the Byzantine capital was itself an act of extraordinary courage. As his sword flashed, pushing the Christians backward, the battlefield rang with the slogans of "Allah-O--Akbar" and "Fateh-Al-Arab"; equally, his opponents showered similar praises on their own commander when he demonstrated his dare, defiance and dragonism inflicting devastation on the Arab invaders. According to the purifying merits of Jehad, Yazid was a Mujahid (holy soldier of Islam) dedicated to establishing its splendor, superiority and supremacy through the process of pillage, plunder and perdition.
In the campaign was also legendary hero Ayub al-Ansari, once the standard bearer of the Prophet. He was one of the few faithful, who had heard the Prophet predict fall of Caesar at the hands of the Arabs. His repeated recital of the hadith filled his fellow crusaders with an unusual zeal to humiliate the infidels by gathering maximum booty from them. Many were impelled to earn martyrdom, which is the guarantee of the greater prize of paradise that puts to shame the reward of pillage. Abu Ayub, a Companion of the Prophet, whose presence stamped Yazid's contingent with sanctity and honor, died as a valiant crusader during the siege of Constantinople. So sacred was the spot of his burial that it became a shrine even for the Christian Greeks, who traveled long distances to pray for rains and obtain celestial blessings. Centuries later, when in 1453, the Turks laid siege to Constantinople, some soldiers discovered the morning sun shower its rays on a tomb with uncommon profusion. It could not be the burial place of anyone but Abu Ayub. Since this discovery ranked as a miracle, a mosque was built on the site to honor his holiness; thus it rose to become the shrine of three nations - the Arabs, the Greeks and the Turks.
Since Abu Ayub had participated in the battles of Badr and Uhud in the company of the Prophet, his tomb was to serve as a heavenly inspiration for the Turks to carry out their military campaigns in the east and west for establishing a Turkish Empire to please Allah. May be they experienced similar moods of piety in relation to their European subjects as the Europeans did when, centuries later, they carried 'White man's Burden" in their Asian colonies: a wolf is proud of any pretense to maim, murder and mutilate, no matter how paltry, puerile and precarious it may be.
The mosque of Abu Ayub became the proud and pious choice of the Turkish sultans for holding "martial inaugurations" which carried divine succor for crumbling, humbling and jumbling the non-Muslims.
Since the campaign led by Yazid was attended by Abu Ayub, who had been a "friend and follower of All", glorifies it considerably, one is inclined to reconsider the status of Yazid, who was raiding the center of Christianity to uphold reverence of the Prophet's word. Though the campaign failed to execute the expectations of the hadith, it cleverly interpreted Constantinople as the entire Christendom, thus sowing the seeds of the Battle of Tours, which sought to threaten the followers of Jesus with perpetual humiliation.
Islam entered Europe via Africa when Musa Ibn Nusir came to hold the Arabian territories directly under the Caliph in Damascus. His father was one of the Christian captives, who had fallen in the hands of Khalid bin walid, the famous Arab general.
In Africa, the Arabs came in contact with another racial group, the Berbers, who once belonged to the Semitic stock. Though they had embraced Christianity, they were not Romanised, and mentally stood closer to their distant Arab cousins owing to their nomadic and semi-nomadic way of life. Their ethnic tendencies were aroused by the Islamic principle of Jehad, which promised rewards of wealth, women and wine through aggressive wars waged for "the glory of Allah"! They readily accepted Islam and became clients of their Arab masters. Their ferocity and fighting skills made a considerable contribution to the Arab Imperial expansion.
The conquest by Musa of the North African coast, as far as the Atlantic, prepared the way for the Arab advance into Europe. A freedman of Berber origin, called Tariq Ibn Ziyad, was appointed by Musa as his lieutenant. In 711, he crossed into Spain with an army of 7,000 men, mostly of Berber origin but had no commission to conquer Spain. It was purely a marauding expedition for seeking booty. He landed near a mount, which history immortalized after his name as the Jabal-Al-Tariq, later corrupted as Gibraltar.
On July 19, 711, when he met the armies of King Roderick at the mouth of the Barbate River, his forces had been supplemented to 12,000. Though Roderick had 25,000 soldiers at his command, their superiority of numbers was not good enough to compensate for their inferiority of spirit: he had deposed his predecessor, the son of Witiza, and thus, was looked upon as a usurper, having no legitimate authority to rule. In those days, it was a sin for a Christian to obey the laws of such monarchs. Again, robbing non-Muslims was an act of great piety for the followers of Islam. The Berber invaders dazed by the expectations of untold plunder, which also promised entry into paradise, in case of fiasco, were emboldened beyond measure and felt crazy for a battle. Defeat of the half-hearted Visigothic army was made sure by the political enemies of the King headed by Bishop Oppas, a brother of Witiza. Nobody knows what happened to Roderick, who seems to have vanished into thin air.
The marauding expedition of Tariq succeeded in occupying half of Spain within one year. It glorified the name of Tariq, the freedman; he had achieved this historical brilliance with an army of Berbers who had begun to envy the Arabian splendor, superiority and supremacy. Jealousy of Musa, the Arab governor, was aroused by the phenomenal success of Tariq. He raised an army of 10,000 pure Arabs with a view to dimming the Berber's shine of arms and hurried to Spain in June 712. Here one can see an element of racial jealousy, which explodes the myth of Islamic brotherhood. It also demonstrates that the Arab military excursions had nothing to do with the glory of Allah: they were rooted in the lust of loot and imperialism, and Allah's name was used as a means to make the viciousness of misdeed and murders look as righteousness of pious and proud actions.
The true color of this campaign emerged with full intensity when Musa met Tariq in Toledo. Charging him with insubordination for not halting in the early stages of the expedition as ordered, he spanked and reviled Tariq publicly and then scourged him mercilessly and finally put him in chains as an ignominious prisoner to magnify his guilt. Having humbled his lieutenant, Musa proceeded to complete the conquest of Spain for decorating himself with the laurels of the triumph. What is really amazing is that, after all this disgrace, Tariq still served such an arrogant and egoistic master in his campaign. Obviously, Tariq's misconduct was a stunt, otherwise he could not have been trusted,
At this point one ought to note the irony of fate: during autumn of the same year, the Caliph al-Walid summoned Musa to appear before him in distant Damascus. He had been charged with the same offense as Tariq - exceeding his authority by invading a foreign country without the consent of his superior i.e. the Caliph.
Lust for power overrides all considerations. The Caliph, whose dominions Musa had extended, forgot all his services to demonstrate who held the real power and thus privileged to decide the matters of peace and war. With a view to expressing the size of his benefits to the Imperial cause, Musa took with him a huge train of spoils, which included four hundred Gothic nobles fully dressed in gold coronets and girdles; a sign of the Divine blessings, the train also included thirty thousand most delicate European women, whose beauty was more radiant than the jewelry they wore; among them were also handsome young boys of exquisite white and pink hues destined to embellish the male seraglios of the Caliph and other Muslim notables. Nobody knows the exact size of the treasures that Musa carried with him to appease and please his master but they were certainly enormous and had been bestowed by Allah upon His servants, the Muslims, as a sign of mercy, which was an act of extreme misery to those who had been robbed, ravaged and ruined. Well, then this is what Jehad is all about.
As the train of spoils entered Tiberias (Palestine), Musa received a secret message from Suleman, the brother and heir-apparent, that as Al Walid, the Caliph, was seriously ill, he must delay his entry into the Capital. It was Suleman's ploy to claim the glory of victory and booty for his own reign, but it did not materialize because Al Walid recovered temporarily. Having heard the tales of extravagant plunder, crowned with fabulous luster of female and male beauties, the Caliph relented and received Musa favorably. The magnificent Ummayad Mosque was decorated where he was rewarded with Imperial praises and courtesies.
Among the numerous gifts that Musa presented to his master, was a superb table (maidah) whose craftsmanship went back to the reign of Solomon, the Wise. This superb Jewish ruler, who enjoyed the pleasures of 300 wives and 700 concubines, was extravagant enough to adorn every inch of the table with the most precious diamonds and rubies that he could lay his hands on. Solomon was a great poet whose imagination was enriched, not only by sagacity but also erotic lavishness, which called for a huge harem of intoxicating beauties gathered from his own subjects, Egypt and many other lands. Thus he was also a lover of arts and its underlying mysteries. The said table was more conspicuous for its craftsmanship than the glitter, gloss and glow of its gorgeous stones.
According to the legend, this unusual table had been removed from Jerusalem to Rome by Romans, who were eventually deprived of it by the Goths. Inspired by the splendors of Solomon, every Gothic King vied with others during his reign to embellish it further with grace, gaiety and grandeur to carve his name in the annals of aesthetics. When Musa plundered this table, it was kept in the cathedral at Toledo; the Bishop had 'borrowed' it from the Lord for his personal use. Obviously, it was a sin for the Bishop because the Lord does not hold accountable his own representative for their misdeeds.
From the stories of the marvel, mystery and majesty, surrounding the Jewish table, it appears that its different parts could be detached and reassembled easily without any harm to its appearance and dignity. It is said that Tariq, having been bewitched by it, removed one of its legs and then dramatically produced it when the table was being presented to the Caliph. He obviously wanted to draw royal attention to his own person.
Though Musa's magic worked on A1 Walid, it had exactly the opposite effect on Suleman, who succeeded him. He brought him before a partial judge, who found him guilty of vanity and falsehood. Musa was whipped publicly; stood a whole day in the blazing sun before the palace gate until he begged for exile to Mecca as a pilgrim. He was granted this request but his entire property was confiscated. History has noted that this conqueror of Africa and Spain lived as a beggar in Wadi-al-Qura, a remote village of al-Hijaz.
Musa, destined to be a mendicant, was a zealous Muslim and planned to carry out the hadith, which demanded subjugation of Constantinople. His designs are known to history; he thought of Spain as the first step to bring Europe in the fold of Arab Imperialism. In fact, he had planned to cross the Pyrenees with the intention of entering France and Italy to establish the Islamic rule there. What goaded him more fervently was his desire to preach the Koranic tenets from the pulpit of the Vatican. Once the Arabian grip had been tightened on these Christian lands, he would love to conquer Germany and then gradually proceed to Constantinople to realise the full blessings of the prophetic hadith.
The dream that Musa failed to materialize, did not die with him because it was not personal to him; it emanated from a hadith, which commanded destruction of Constantinople, the Christian seat of power. In 717 or 718, al-Hurr Abd-al-Rahman al Thaqafi took up this sacred cause.
Behind this sanctity of purpose lay the lust of plunder provoked by the riches of French convents and churches. Thus, al-Hurr started the raids that were continued by his successor al-Samah Ibn-Malik al-Khawlani. In 720, his luck ran out at Toulouse, the seat of Duke Eudes of Aquitaine where he was offered effective resistances by the French fighters. Here al-Samah died.
Now we are nearing the moments of the Battle of Tours, known as the Bataille de Poitiers in France. This city had become the spiritual pulpit of France owing to the body of Saint Martin, which lay buried there. Ordinary Christians, who preferred the paradisiac blessings to the worldly comforts, saved every penny to make votive offerings at the shrine. Though the offerors' flesh had been made lean by starvation, the guardians of the shrine enjoyed layers of corpulence without suffering any qualms of conscience. The popularity of Saint Martin had lent a good deal of prestige to the local churches and convents, which boasted of gold plate and costly goblets as the results of pious offerings.
The year 732 is a landmark in European history because this is when Abd-el-Rahman Ibn-Abduallah al-Ghafiqi, successor of al-Samah, as Amir over Spain, advanced through the Western Pyrenees. In fact, this is the year that also marks the first centennial of the Prophet's death. During these 100 years, the Arabs had succeeded in establishing an empire which was greater than that of Rome at its zenith. It extended 'from the Bay of Biscay to the Indus, and the confines of China and from the Aral Sea to the lower cataracts of the Nile". Still, the Prophet's command concerning Constantinople had not been fulfilled: the expected victory at Tours was to lead to the realization of this holy aim.
As flowers attract bees, an infidel's wealth entices a Muslim to declare Jehad against him to plunder it. Saint Martin might help the French to secure comforts of paradise in the world-to-come but, in this life, his wealth-gathering tomb coaxed all the discomforts of the Islamic sword, which flashed in search of booty.
Though the Battle of Tours is one of the decisive events of history, its exact location has not been established. Some historians believe that it was fought at Mussais-la-Bataille, six miles south west of Chatellerault. Others think that it was not one but a series of running engagements ending near Poitiers in the defeat of Abdur Rahman, the Chief of Cordoba (Spain).
However, there is no doubt that the major engagement of the Battle took place between Tours and Poitiers. The French had given no cause for the Battle: its excuse was determined by Allah, who had laid on the Muslims to suppress, slaughter and seduce non-Muslims until they accept Islam or surrender and pay tribute to acknowledge their inferiority. Tours attracted this predatory expedition from Spain because it was a Christian spiritual center, also ebullient with worldly treasures. Obviously, Jehad was the most suitable action which could guarantee submission of the infidels through plunder and carnage.
The hitherto victorious Arab onslaught was in for a rude shock. The invaders were met by Charles, whose valor, tenacity and martial wisdom earned him the famous surname Martel i.e. hammer; he smashed the Islamic dream in the West. He was not the King of France but the Mayor of the palace at the Merovingian Court; owing to the authority he wielded, he was considered as the de facto ruler.
Provinces of Gaul (France) were ruled by the descendants of Clovis, who was known for his military prowess, but they did not possess their ancestral qualities. However, all was not lost. Among the French chiefs was one Eudes, the Duke of Aquitaine. He was bold enough to usurp king's authority in the southern provinces of Gaul. To acknowledge him as a Christian hero, the Goths, the Saxons and the Franks, united under his standard to fight the Islamic aggressors from Spain. To start with, he proved a successful leader: he repelled the first invasion of the Saracens (Arabs) led by Samah, lieutenant of the Caliph. In this engagement at Toulouse, Samah lost his life and army.
To the Arabs, the Christian victory was unthinkable because it brought shame on the faith that had been incredibly victorious so far; it also kindled the revengeful instincts of the Arabian occupants of Spain, who earnestly longed for an opportunity to put the Christian infidels in their place.
When a nation is destined to rise and prosper, it experiences an amplitude of heroes. That was the time when the Arab national star was racing toward its apogee. Abdur Rahman, who had been restored to his high position by the Caliph Hashim, led his military campaign, which was both punitive and predatory. His first task was to deal with Munuza, the rebellious Moorish Chief, who had become an ally of Eudes in return for his beautiful daughter. This expediency though later turned into a nuptial tie, was looked down upon by the French, who had a live sense of national honor. The Moorish chief was subdued and beheaded. His French widow was counted as an article of booty, and suffered the same fate as other pretty women of the vanquished nobility. She was sent as a present to the Caliph at Damascus, who like his predecessors, had become a connoisseur of pretty flesh and delicate manners.
Having dealt with Munuza, Abdur Rahman marched on and surprised the Eude's camp on the banks of the Garonne and heaped a shattering defeat on him; thereafter, he stormed Bordeaux, set its churches on fire and demolished people's homes mercilessly. The fate of the Christians was a picture of flaming hell. Historians have not been able to estimate the number of the slain, which is 'known only to God'. The inhuman devastation that the Saracens perpetrated in the countryside far excelled the Mafia-type vulgarity, brutality and savagery of modern times. These worshippers of the Most Merciful Allah proved to be the most merciless killers, whose atrocities surpassed the scenes of torture described in the books of the Old Testament. The romances of chivalry have, however, been created from these tales of abomination, which please and tease readers according to their aesthetic taste and psychological leanings.
Abdur Rahman came face to face with Charles Martel at the junction of the Clain and the Vienne between Tours and Poitiers. Charles, the illegitimate son of the elder Pepin seems to be one general, who had studied not only the military tactics of the Arabs but was also aware of their psychology, and the factors that motivated it. He knew that the Muslim zealots fought for booty; they called it Jehad, the most sacred fighting, because all their moral outrages were reckoned as acts of piety by Allah, who, instead of punishing them with hell-fire rewards them with the luxuries of paradise. Considering the unusual nature of the Islamic ethics, which treats vice as virtue in the guise of Jehad - a process fully committed to robbing and murdering non--Muslims, Charles adopted a very shrewd policy to beat the Muslims with their own stick.
Though half of his country had begun to suffer from domination of the Saracens, he betrayed no symptoms of panic associated with haste and fear. Historians have not paid proper respect to Charles's tactful delayed preparations for the Battle. Judging by his military genius, it is not difficult to conclude that it was all intentional on his part: he wanted the Saracens to plunder as much as they could. This pillage had the in-built cover of protection for two reasons: firstly, he wanted their greed for booty to reach the point of saturation so that they had no further desire of looting and secondly, he planned to make them immobile under the burden of their plunder.
Added to the military genius of Charles was his personal courage and zeal of patriotism. The series of engagements called the Battle of Tours, lasted for seven days. During the first six days, the Saracens held the upper hand but, on the last day, the fortunes of the combatants were reversed. There was Edes along with his men to avenge his honor; voluntary German allies of Charles displayed their proverbial fighting skills and the chivalrous thrust of Charles and his Frenchmen, whose country's destruction had made them wild, became oblivious of the word: retreat. The Saracens started losing ground, yet their retaliatory pugnacity showed no abatement; their cries of 'Allah-O-Akbar' (God is Great), which still radiated their usual terror and tenacity, could have routed the European forces, but the Lord Jehova seemed to have come to the aid of his Christian worshippers. As evening was about to spread its murky net, Abdur Rahman received a fatal blow and the Saracens became leaderless. There appeared a disorder in their rank, but they did not take to a cowardly flight. The black curtain of night acted as a barrier between the deadly foes.
Strange as it may seem, now the same spirit of Jehad rose to shatter solidarity of the Muslim combatants, which had acted as their uniting force. In fact, the wisdom of Charles that he had displayed with regard to satiating the plundering greed of Allah's soldiers, asserted itself in the form of Christian victory that was to seal the Arab fate in Europe and save civilization from infinite regression.
Members of the invading armies were not purely Arabs: they had an equal number of Berbers, who claimed Arab descent, perhaps out of inferiority complex but were equally African nomads having distant racial ties with Arabia. The Berbers were paid lip sympathy by the Arabs for their fortitude, fearlessness and fighting skills. They had accepted Islam owing to the doctrine of Jehad, which served them well to alleviate their poverty and also give them a say in administrative affairs of the government. Thus, the real relationship between the Arabs and the Berbers was waging Jehad for booty. Though this process was completely horrendous, it disguised its ugliness as the command of Allah and thus declared the sour as sweet, blight as blessing and bleak as bright.
The Muslims had gathered a lot of booty before Abdur Rahman was slain in the battlefield. This enormous loot was affecting them on two counts: firstly, it had become cumbersome to their mobility, and secondly, they had got what they wanted. Why enter further clashes? It is only a hungry wolf which searches for a lamb; and the satiated one has no such need.
Having lost their leader, the Saracens were in a critical position. It was not possible to elect instantly a military commander of AbdurRahman's stature to win the field; unending dissension was bound to be fatal not only to their lives but also their looted possessions. While gaining plunder is Jihad, losing it is contempt of Jihad. So, the Saracens decided to retreat under cover of darkness leaving the glory of the Battle of Tours to Charles Martel.
It is an irony of history that Jihad, the sacred vehicle of plunder, which gave Islam a tremendous boost through booty gained in the Battle of Badr, turned out to be the biggest hurdle to the expansion of Islam in the West owing to the massive pillage in France which they earnestly tried to protect at the expense of the sacred spirit of fighting. It reveals the true nature of Jihad. Lesson of the Battle of Tours proved so terrifying that the Arabs never resumed the conquest of France again.
What is the significance of the Battle of Tours?
1. It was a brilliant victory of the Christians over the Muslims, whose rule came to be confined to Spain. This victory gave the Christian powers a measure of self-confidence and also established that the West would form the spiritual domain of Christ, and not Muhammad's. Not only that, the Christians would eventually carry on Crusades for four centuries to stem the tide of Islam. It could not have been possible without the consciousness engendered by the Battle of Tours.
2. The sense of unity that the European Christians gained over centuries, is owed to their anti-Islamic attitudes, and a study of the Crusades testifies to this fact.
3. The more important aspect of this Battle is cultural, which is better understood when we examine the history of Muslim Spain:
Of course, there was religious tolerance but not to the extent that it has been claimed. The Jews, who supported the Muslim rule, did well, but it was usually difficult for the Christians to secure high positions in the governmental hierarchy.
The Arab culture had deformed the European way of life in Spain. The Christian men had to be circumcised like the Muslims in the interest of national hygiene. The sacred Christian doctrine of monogamy was violated by the Christians themselves. They set up vast harems and also practiced pederasty on a large scale in the Arabian fashion. There was no dearth of Christian women, who observed purdah; the number of Christian converts to Islam were steadily rising all the time. In fact, people of Muslim Spain felt proud of emulating their Arab masters; thus, in manners and dress, they became more Asians and less Europeans.
It is not usually appreciated that the Western civilization is mostly an offshoot of the manners and etiquette that were developed in the French court. All European courts eagerly imitated them. This is what created Western culture.
Had Charles Martel lost to the Saracens, there would have been no French Court, and no Western Civilization. Instead, Europe would have become a cultural satellite of Arabia like all Muslim nations.
Here, I ought to add that what Rome or Constantinople offered and propagated was not the Western civilization in its modern sense. These two centers were custodians of the Middle Eastern tradition as handed to them in the form of Christianity. The Western civilization is represented by the spirit and elegance of the Magna Carta and the French Revolution: they both are indebted to the French Court for their initial development. Had the French lost the battle of Tours to the Saracens, there would have been no French Court with its chivalrous traditions, which lifted the status of the European women, lending color, taste and beauty to culture. This is the foundation of the Western aesthetics, fine arts and equality of sexes.
3. Finally, I should applaud the Arabic arts and sciences as they prevailed in Spain and Sicily. They were certainly much higher than what the Europeans practiced but they suffered from a serious disability: they were severely restricted by the puritanical faith imposed by the Koran, which treats woman as a sexual toy and forbids indulgence in fine arts such as painting, drama, music, dance and statuary. Still worse, the Islamic politics, as now, was dominated by the vehemence of faith, and the power of mind was not allowed to solve difficult situations. Everything had to be done the way the Prophet did centuries earlier. This fundamentalism acted as the bane of the Islamic cultural and scientific advancement, and the Muslim society became regressive all over the world.
The Muslim world is benefiting from the Western scientific advances, though cursing the West at the same time to lighten the burden of inferiority complex.
Had the Muslims won the Battle of Tours, entire Europe would have gradually become a part of the Arab political and cultural dominions. Exactly the same conditions of ignorance, backwardness and intolerance would have prevailed in Europe as they do in the Islamic world today; the modern scientific revolution and international social enlightenment by way of human rights and civil liberties, could not have come into existence; civilization would have become regressive and stood at the same level as it did 1400 years ago during the time of the Prophet Muhammad.
those who can imagine the socio-political conditions of the early 8th century Europe, will know that I have not resorted to exaggeration in analyzing the historical significance of the battle of Tours.
I salute the memory of Charles Martel and his brave French and German combatants, who paid a huge tribute of blood and bones to save and promote human civilization.