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  • תמונת הסופר/תYoav Levin

The Influence of the Andalusi Muashah on the Troubadour Poetry

עודכן: 8 בדצמ׳ 2021

An Excerpt frpm "On the Origin of European Gynocentrism and its Symbolism"


Under the leadership of Tariq Bin Ziyad, Muslim conquerors entered Andalusia in 92 AH, where Islam had widely spread. Called Mosarabic (Mosaic meaning Jewish + Arabic), during eight centuries in Andalusia, Muslims with the help of Jews established a civilization that reached the highest degree of development and prosperity in many intellectual, literary, artistic, ar­chitectural and scientific fields. This development remarked the special feature of Arabs which gave the basis both for Jewish (in the first place) as well as Christian Europe, therefore exceeding the glorious history of the west as it is mentioned in Ziegried Honke’s valuable book (The Sun of the Arabs shining on the West). Throughout history, followers of the convergence be­tween Arab and European civilizations will find that it all types of arts such as literature. However, the devastating effect were the values of gynocentrism which was later perfected in Europe in its classical social form and later flipped into feminism and full-fledged misandry which in itself originated in the Judeo-Christian cycles.

In that sense, the appearance of the Trou­badour in Southern France was heavily influenced by the Andalusi Muashah. It was William the IX, the first troubadour and grandfather of Eleanor of Aquitaine, that has adopted the Arab Muslim (as well as the secular Jewish) love poetry as he visited and lived in Spain and brought it from the Iberian Peninsula over the Pyrenees back to France. The points of influence between these two genres were already and will be furthermore highlighted in this paper by presenting even more materials and specifically in the sub-discussion on the different approaches in which the Andalusi Muashah and the Andalusi Zajal were transmitted from Andalusia to the European com­munities in Spain and Southern France. Further, the powerful influence of Arabs on these poets will be highlighted through presenting the mediators that transmitted both of the Andalusi Muashah and Zajal to the European community in Spain and southern France where such patterns of poetry have emerged.


This discourse elaborates on the establishment of AL Muwashah in Andalusia alongside with the circumstances that influenced it. It also shows that the two main mediators in spreading the art, the culture and the values were the Jewish communities as well as (not only powerful) WOMEN. It also hints at the differences that arise between it and the traditional Arab Poetry that I've already touched in previous essays. The discourse further elaborates on how the Anadalusi environment helped with the prevalence of such genre that it became a major tool for singing and music in all fun and entertainment sessions. It is therefore crucial to understand the crucial influence of Arab poetry not only on the troubadour's courtly love, their gynocentric art and values, but also its contribution to European music as a derivative of courtly love, and especially the modern pop culture which is the medium through which gynocentrism, feminism and misandry have historically spread all over the world and continue in doing this in those very days.


3.1 - Linguistically: The word Troubadour in the language of the Franco-Provencals, the language of people in southern France in the Middle Ages, is derived from the act Trobar, which means to “find and invent” (Maysoum 149). The word Troubadour is used as a present participle that means a cre­ative man, one who thinks, finds, and innovates. While the word “Tobar” has been developed in the modern French lan­guage to be Troubadour, the word Truver in the Provençal language shows a precise meaning that is not limited to any other. Unlike Tobar, Trophy is found in its absolute, unre­stricted general meaning (Maysoum 149-150). And the word “Troubare” (“Troubare”) means “Trouble” in Latin.

As for those who believe that the Truvador is of an Arab origin, they indicate that Tropar and Tropadur are derived from the act (Tariba)(Gib, 138-139), in the sense that they are shak­en and confused with joy or sorrow, or from the verb (Tarab), by tightening the words in the sense of sung. However, Trava­dor might be derived from the verb (beating) in the sense of playing music, and then added to the Spanish section (R) in line with the rules of their language in the sources of acts. For example, they said (Cruiser) or (Trooper) (Maysoum 149-150).

As the influence of the Arabs and Muslims on the troubadours as we have seen through various previous discourses is striking and profound, a third option arises namely that even the word troubadour itself bears a linguistic syncretism which gave birth to it. A type of such syncretism would reflect in a way the wider cultural syncretism in the Mosarabic Spain were Jews, Muslims and Christians did not only flourish but where both Jews and Muslims have had their golden ages in the Christian Iberian Peninsula. Thus the language itself bears witness to such dynamics.

As one of the main influence on the troubadour's courtly love was the Sufi school of mystical Islam especially that of Rumi as discussed in the previous discourse, the syncretism is given more credibility as one of the main characteristic of the Sufis are the singing and dancing Dervishes which is the Muslim expression of the ecstatic spiritual joy which joined the more practical attitude of the west or better said the more distant and guarded European attitude vs. the more "warm" attitude of the East. This more distant and guarded attitude vs the "warm" one can be easily even seen today between the two cultures.

3.1. Semantically

Troubadour is a term referring to “a group of poets who are singing in their mother tongue languages with love in a man­ner in which the lover is the subject and the poet expresses his authority over it despite his survival in the circle of sen­sory spinning” (Al-Bakar and Al-Sheikh 1996). Here we must add that among many other characteristics as we have discussed the topic in details in other essay a further feature includes the beloved as an unattainable love often related to infidelity meaning the object of desire is inaccessible including the wide range of problems it causes.

The other terms are related to the sub category that included the mobile singer (Jongleur) or (Joglar). Mobile singers, who make fun of their creative energies in the service of the poets of the Troubadour, spread their sung poems through roam­ing. While these Jongleur or Joglar as a part of the most lower nobility used to earn their living from their songs, as we have seen in the German example of the troubadour, the Minnesingers while still being part of the lower nobility but from a higher status and as standing opposed to the Joglars or Jongleur, they did not expect being paid for their service. Their mission is similar to the mission of the Apostle, who transmits the message between the Troubadour lover and the beloved lady of that age. This apostle descends mostly from the middle or poor social classes.


The Troubadour poetry has appeared in in the south of France between 1101-1292. The first Troubadourian poet was William the IX (1071 - 1127), Duke of Aquitaine, and the last of Troubadourian poet was (Gerot Ricci Narbonne 1245-1292)


Before arguing this relationship, it is necessary to begin with Al-Muashahat in terms of its concept, weights and parts, fol­lowed by the weights and the parts of the Troubadour poetry.

5.1. First: Andalusi Muashahat

The Andalusi Muashah is a new poetic art that came from Andalusia, and it had never proceeded by anyone in the East or the West. It was like a revolution in the sense of the tradi­tional Arabic poem. Ibn Sana, the king of Al-Muashah, said, “The words are organized on a specific basis with different kavafs”(Ibn Sana al-Malik 608 AH). Based on Dr. Mustafa Awad al-Karim, the concept of the art of illustrating is “the coloration of colors in systems, where the first appeared in Andalusia but differed from oth­er colors of the systems by its adherence to certain rules in terms of the encroachment and sometimes out on the out­skirts of Hebron, of the weight of presentations, and using the language rolling and close contact singing” (Kareem 1959).

5.1.1. Parts of the Andalusi Muashah

The first part of the Andalusi Muashah is the insider. It is composed from two parts to eight. The second part is the role, which consists of a set of different fringes in its caf­tan for rhyme inscribed, locksmith and graduate. The third is the lock, a series of frames that follow the role, and they are often similar to the builder in terms of construction and adequacy. Al-Kharja is the fifth part. It is the last lock in the Muashah. The fifth part is Al-Samat, which is one part in the role. The branch is the sixth part. It is the one part in the Insect or the lock or the cornea. House is the last part where the role is called the lock (Ibn Sana al-Malik).

5.1.2. Weights of Al-Muashah

The structure of poetry in Almushah differs from that of the traditional Arabic poem, because of its special structure. Ibn Malik Saud divided al-Muashah into two parts:

1. The ones that follows the weights of Arab poetry

2. The ones that deviated from the weights of Arab poetry

On the other hand, Dr. Mustafa Awad al-Karim divides the weights of Al-Muashah into five sections:

1. What was the weight of a traditional poetry?

2. What I took out of the cell weight word or movement.

3. If more than one weight is involved.

4. What is not a weight of hearing when it is read, and cannot be weighed except by compositions?

5.2. Second: The Poem of the Poets of the Tropadur

1- The poem consists of six or seven pieces.

2- Each piece consists of two parts. The first is what is known as the branch which has three lines and more, ending with identical rhymes. The second is the lock, which is consistent with its rhyme, in each cut, and con­sists of two or two parts.

3- Final lock: the last syllable in the poem, which is called the output.

This dramatic structure of the Troubadour is closely linked to the structure of the Andalusi mausoleums. As it can be seen, there is a great similarity between the Muashah and the Troubadour poems in terms of weight, building, and parts (Kareem 1959).


The sources of the troubadours are fourfold in their nature: there is a) the Arab Muslim influence; b) the Sufi (Rumi) influence; c) the Manichaean Bogomil – Cathar influence; d) the Jewish influence; c. In the book we are going to discuss all of them in length and detail. The views and the theories in which the researchers relied to explain the sources of this poetry were often cherry picked and selectively misinterpreted missing to understand the wider context of religious as well as cultural cross-pollination that I deeply and profoundly explored, investigated and explained in my research. Despite the myths, neither individuals nor religions that they build exist and grow in a vacuum but always through such joint cross-fertilization. An example for such cherry picking and selectively research and interpretation was Jacques Hau­sa who by commenting on the general provisions and laws on which the theory of love was based on the poets of the Tropadur said that the “saints” or the “The origins of this poetry” are derived from the Manichaean sects of Asia Minor. It is partly true but completely lacking to understand other aspects. The other opinion identified the Arabic origins of this poetry and that its theory is derived from the Andalusi and Azgal (plural of transliterated word Zajal) dialects while also managed to miss the Sufi and Rumi connection, even within the Arabic influence - not to speak from other aspects. The Italian researchers, for instance, who were most Europeans, maintained the medieval cultural heritage of the Arab-Islamic origin of the Provencal poetry, which is another source of Italian poetry (Maysoum 1981). In his book, The Origins of Rhymed Poetry, Giamaria Barbieri explained how Arabic poetry was spread in Spain, southern France and Italy (Maysoum 169). In the eighteenth century, “this theory became a Muslim reality. It has caught the attention of scholars to follow the journey of Arabic po­etry and its development from the Orient to Andalusia, and to the south of France and the countries of Europe (May­soum 169). Among these scholars was the Spanish monk, Juan Andres.

This view did not raise any opposition until the middle of the nineteenth century, where some Orientalists and stu­dents of the jurisprudence of romantic languages falsely and deluded by European nationalism incorrectly turned this view on the grounds of the lack of evidence in writing, prov­ing the friction between Provence and Spain disregarding not only musical structure but theological, conceptual and thematic influences. This position is a reactionary attitude backward dictated by the growing national feeling, which included the people of Europe, but does not reach the strength of steadfastness before the theory of influences. This is confirmed by Gustav Grenbaum, who points out that the transfer of models of Arabic poetry from Andalusia to the south of France is “the natural evolution of historical events, especially since we know that Count Guil­laume IX, who participated in the Crusades in the Orient, was deeply influenced by the characteristics of Arabic po­etry, We also know that Marca Pro and Pierredy Uvarney, two influential poets of the new style, traveled to Spain and proved to be influenced by Andalusi influences. According to Juan Andres, Provencal poetry “belongs more to the Arabs than to Greece and Latin” (Maysoum 170). The professors had no knowledge of these two literatures, while Arab poetry was their closest source. Andres determined that the rules of apostasy proved by Spain, And the methods of formulating and organizing modern poetry, are taken from the Arabs, es­pecially from the Provincial (Balnthia 575)

Abdellah Maysoum points out to the researcher Julien Ribeira who studied this poetry and came out with results that clearly supported the subordination of the Troubadour poetry to the Andalusi and Andalusi women in particular (Maysoum 171) which was widen to the subjugation to all women. Breigolt, who studied the opinions of those who sup­port this opinion and his opponents, stresses that there is no evidence of literary activity in Christian Europe before the twelfth century AD, which is related to the art of the Trou­badour. In contrast, there is evidence of the activity of Anda­lusi poetry that has spread in Europe since the tenth century. Breigolt says, “in our present day, in particular, our knowl­edge of literature and its influence in the neighboring coun­tries has increased to such an extent that we are no longer allowed to remain silent about this fact, without acknowl­edging our failure” (Maysoum 171).


The Andalusi Muashah has transmitted to Spain and south­ern France as thus,

1. The spread of Andalusi Arabic music in the south of France before the advent of the Troubadour, where the Andalusi folk song “towards the neighboring Europe­an markets in the north burst into a logical natural rush supported by the winds and conditions, supported by historical events and facts and supported by the various fixed links between Andalusia and southern France in particular.” There is a great tendency of Christians to Arab songs and dances, and since the songs and dances are the link between nations that is easy to be understood and tasted, it was opening a path of singing poetry, which is inher­ent to music at that time (Maysoum 181).

In fact, Andalusi Arabic singing spread in the south of France even before the first poet of the Troubadour, namely William the IX, Duke of Aquitaine and Grandfather of Eleanor, appeared, specifically "by the Andalusi singer, the mobile singer, and by the same professional Truppadores who accepted the culture of Arabs and Islam in Spain (Maysoum 182). There is a confirmation of the role of Andalusi women singers in the transfer of this poetry by singing, where he mentions Almqri in the breath of Ibn Hayyan al-Qur­tubi. Anyway, after the fall of Barbashter in the hands of the Spaniards, who lived with Ibn Hayyan in 456 AH/1064 AD and the families of enemies and thousands of people of this city, one of the wealthy Muslims hired a Jewish merchant to mediate in the re­demption of his captive daughter in Qomas (one of the leaders of this campaign). When the Jew entered at this leader and found him in rapture, he listened to a large group of Muslim jurists beating their sticks and sing­ing in Arabic.

The Jewish merchant ordered him the jewels and gifts but he refused the offers, describing Al Jawari with the qualities of ingenuity, wit and beauty, claiming that he has more precious than the world and what is in it. Then one of the Al-Jawari calls her name, and he says, “Oh, let him call his accent, take your instrument of Oud and sing. The value of the story was shared by the father of Guillaume VIII in this invasion, “How much of a singer kept by Guillaume VIII after selling it to others in the market, and giving it to others (Abbassa 23). Strengthening his argument about the power of women he even indicated that “captive woman may turn into a wife, whose influence affects the man she has chosen or loved, espe­cially if she is superior to culture and civilization (which also turn the concept captivity as it was already known in Rome and In Judaism to absurdity meaning that actually the wife chooses the "glorious victim" who will be subjugated to her.

In the second chapter of the of the book there is a detailed discussion dedicated exactly to this third source of troubadour influence namely the Jewish heritage and connection however it shows that women participating in the spread of gynocentric ideals started already before the troubadour and the courtly love era that is with Arab Muslim influence followed by European Jews living in the Mosarabic Spain. It is also an evidence that European gynocentrism was influenced by the Eastern one, both Jewish as well as Muslim, before taken to extremity and molded into misandry and feminism in Christian Europe but once again that gynocentrism was an early part of Muslim religion and culture too. Moreover, Muslim singers knew the Muashah and Azjal from An­dalusia. This art spread through Christian Europe, es­pecially in the south of France, among the people of the language, and Andalusia was the ideal place of civilization and prosperity in addition to their men­tal vocabulary of Arabic words which was known for each richness as much as even Maimonides used Arabic to express his theological concepts as he found Hebrew as being in fact insufficient for that purpose.

2. The second mediator in the transfer of Al-muashah and songs is Jungleer or singer mobile. In the second chapter I'm expanding on this topic and showing that this can be traced back to the Talmudic BADHANIM whereas the Jewish minstrels and Troubadours played here a vital and crucial role in spreading this art and those values. All Jungler shares “in two or two conditions are necessary for each of them, each of the Jungler must be able to travel, and also be a singer playing music and popular tunes. Fur­thermore, the Jungler should have additional talents, such as poetry systems, sorcery, acrobatics and others” (Maysoum 183).

What distinguishes the Jungler is the journey that is car­ried out by wandering people, asking for the satisfaction and admiration of the masses, and may be the singer who travels more is more influential than others, where people listen to his songs and echo them even if they do not have enough knowledge of language, because of the charm of the attrac­tive music (Maysoum 184). The Andalusi Jews experiences their own Golden age (exactly as the Arabs) had a crucial cultur­al role as coming from Andalusia and heading to northern Spain, southern France and the rest of Europe. Additionally, "the Anda­lusi Jews played also an important role in spreading the Andalusi songs, literature, and sciences of Arabs. They accepted the profession of the Jungleer. The north of Spain used them with Muslims musicians and singers (Maysoum 184-85).

After the conquest of Almoravids (attackers) in Andalu­sia in 479 AH/1086 CE, the Jews migrated to the north - in­cluding scientists, writers and translators - and they went to many countries, especially in the south of France, where they were received by Jewish communities' settlement before them in Andalusia. Most of those Jews were Arab-Roman linguists. The professors were able to benefit from them and therefore gained a huge amount of the Andalusi knowledge (Maysoum 185).

The third mediator, through which the Andalusi poets ar­rived, is the poets of the Troubadour themselves. The songs of those from the first beginning till the last confirm clearly “the reluctance of its authors on Spain in its Christian and Islamic sections in military invasions, family visits or cul­tural trips (Maysoum 185). It was known about Guillaume IX the imam of the Troubadour that he “resided in Sham for military reasons, and returned to his homeland in southern France, he says poetry in the Arab-oriental style, and then lived in Spain for military reasons and family monthly, and returned to his homeland again, Andalusi “and the other po­ets of the Troubadour have lived different periods in Spain, and “ all of them were starting in their art on the basis of the tradition of Andalusi Arab model, which gave birth to the rumor of the ninth clouds (Balnthia 573).

The journey of the Troubadour to Spain did not stop, as this journey was usually followed by a Provencal poet who wanted to deepen his understanding of his art. Even the poet of the last Troubadour, Gerot Riquieri of Narbonne, found an example of his predecessors’ the tenth known as the world for his great interest in translating the Arab Islamic culture and transferring it to Christian Spain. This poet lived under the protection of Alfonso and when Alfonso died in 1284, this poet went to the Muslim princes in Andalusia asking to be cared for like a foreign student requesting material assistance to complete his studies before returning to his country to publish the information and to appear in the Provencal society as a creative artist (May­soum 187).


Published by Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD and under CC4 license (, I have built upon and widened the topic based on my own research. As a part of the research the is and will be included in my book "On the Origins of European Gynocentrism and its Symbolism".

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