Spiritual Alienation and Political Activism: The Ġurabā’ in al-Andalus During the Sixth/Twelfth Century 1
This chapter explores the extent to which Almohad ideology, with its combination of spiritual alienation from non-Almohad society and of political activism, was something new in Western Islam or part of a deeper and more extended state of mind found among different groups and individuals. Almoravid mosques were purified and their decoration destroyed or hidden under the more severe and puritan style of Almohad decoration, the aim of which was to go back to the simplicity of the mosques in the times of the Prophet. The Almohad caliphs ruled the Islamic West and al-Andalus during the sixth/twelfth century and the first half of the seventh/thirteenth century. The Almohads presented themselves as the restorers of the original ideals and values of the Prophet's community against all the innovations and distortions brought about by the centuries that had led Muslims astray from the Prophetic message.