Lesson video

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Hello and welcome back to History with me, Mrs. Badhan.

We'll be looking at our second lesson today out of our four part inquiry on the question who lived in the Crusader states? In our lesson today, we'll be tackling the question what was life like for a Muslim living under Frankish rule? For our lesson today, you will need a pen, a piece of paper and a calm and quiet environment.

If you haven't quite got those things, press pause now, go and get yourself ready and press play once you're ready to learn.

Great, let's make a start.

I wanted to start our lesson today by looking at the quote from historian and Professor Bernard Hamilton.

Who's written several pieces about the Crusaders.

He says the following "Once their rule had been established, "the Franks proved remarkably tolerant in their treatment "of the non Christian subjects.

"Muslims could be both patients and doctors, "Muslims could engage in any professional trade they wanted.

"Nor were they required to wear distinctive clothing "as Christian and Jews did under Muslim rule.

"The Franks allowed complete religious freedom "to all their subjects." I just want you to have a pause now and have a little think about what he's trying to say.

And what can we learn from him about the people of the Crusader states? Press pause now and then press play once you're ready to start again.


In short, Professor Hamilton is saying that the Crusader people who settled in the Crusader states which we know to be Franks treated Muslims with tolerance and respect.

He also mentions that life continued as normal.

And that actually for many Muslims, they had equal status in jobs that they took up.

He also says that everyone could practise their religion.

Throughout this lesson, we will be looking at how true this is, and whether what Professor Hamilton says is true to what was going on at the time.

With this in mind, let's just have a short rewind back to our last lesson to see what we already know and whether we agree with what Professor Hamilton has said so far.

Last lesson, we considered what the Crusader states were.

In this lesson we learned about the Crusades and how these people from Western Europe settled in the Crusader states and took with them their religion.

We also learn how many of them mix with the new communities, and how they distinguish themselves as different from the eastern Christians.

We also learned that society was made up of many different ethnic groups such as Armenians, Turks, Greeks and Arabs.

And that with them having as many different religions as they did They also had their own social structures.

So thinking about what Professor Hamilton has said, from our last lesson, it would indicate that actually, yes, the people were able to have an exercise some religious freedoms. So this lesson we will be looking at one of these groups in particular, the Muslims. During this time, muslims made up a large proportion of the Crusader states population.

So it only seems logical for them to be a group that we look at during our inquiry.

It will be down to you this lesson to determine whether you agree with what Professor Hamilton is saying regarding the experiences of the Muslims living in the Crusader states, or whether you believe that their experiences were different.

However, before we go any further, I want us to look at these three key words.

The first word I would like us to consider is the word Franks.

Now, this is a word we learned last lesson.

So I really just want to reiterate that the Franks were Christians who came over in the First Crusade.

And these people were the ones that settled and set up their home families and lives here.

The second word Crusaders will be used in the context of those who came with the other crusades, and those who did not settle in these lands.

In fact, they were very surprised at those who had and referred to them as poor lands, which was almost used as an insult as they believe that by these people mixing with the other people in this area, they had betrayed their faith.

So back to Professor Hamilton's argument.

We will now be looking throughout this lesson at whether we agree or disagree with his view that most Muslims were treated well and tolerated and respected under the rules of the Franks.

I would now like to introduce you to two Muslim men in particular from this time, who wrote much about their experiences with the Franks.

The first person I would like to introduce you to is Usamah Ibn Munqidh.

He was a mediaeval Muslim poet, author, knight and diplomat from the Banu Munqidh dynasty.

His life coincided with the rise of several mediaeval Muslim dynasties, the arrival of the First Crusade and the establishment of the Crusader states.

In modern times, he's remembered more for his books, which contain lengthy descriptions of the Crusaders whom he interacted with on many occasions, and some of whom he considered friends.

He talks about his time as both a traveller and a warrior, and he writes extensively about his experiences with the Christians.

Although some have looked at his work with caution, as he's been considered to have been writing with humour in order to make people laugh.

His writings are a good source of the time.

befriended many of the Franks and recorded these in his autobiography where many of his accounts with Frank's can be found.

We'll be looking at these in more detail in a moment.

The next man I would like to introduce you to is Ibn Taymiyyah.

He was a Sunni Muslim scholar, theologian, judge, and who some have argued was a philosopher.

Now a theologian is somebody who studies and talks and devotes their life to the study of God.

He is known for his diplomatic involvement with the Mongol ruler Ghazan Khan, and for his victorious achievement at the Battle of Marj al-Saffar, in 1303, which actually ended the Mongol invasion of the Levant.

Remember the Levant is what we now refer to as the Crusader states.

A complex figure even in his own times, and in the centuries that followed.

Ibn Taymiyyah has become one of the most influential mediaeval writers in contemporary Islam.

His particular interpretations of the Quran and the Sunnah and his rejection of some aspects of classical Islam and its tradition are believed to have had considerable influence on some conservative parts of the faith.

Ibn Taymiyyah has stood as a controversial character for his beliefs and how he viewed the people of his time.

Most notably the Crusaders.

Now whilst most Muslims at this time did not see the Crusaders launching a holy war, or their fight against the Crusaders as being holy, Ibn Taymiyyah has been considered to have seen this to have some religious elements.

Most people at this time had been constantly conquered by other groups of people.

So for them the Crusaders was simply a new group.

However, later in his writing, Taymiyyah began writing and giving speeches about the religious war against these people and against Muslims. As we should not forget the Mongols themselves were also Muslims. This aspect is what some Muslims would refer to as Jihad.

Taymiyyah was very much waging his war to defend the Islamic faith through his pen and words, rather than what the term Jihad has been more modernly associated with in our society.

Unfortunately, a small group of Muslims have used his writing in the wrong context, and therefore his writings have been misinterpreted to seem rather extreme.

It was actually quite normal for this time for some Muslims to feel angered by the Crusaders, and other rulers that also conquered them during this period, as did many other religious groups feel this way towards these people too.

Taymiyyah's expression of how he felt about this through his writings, and his speeches would have been considered a defence against Islam, and in this sense, could be considered a Jihad, a holy war.

The next slides will show you both primary and secondary sources.

Just a reminder, primary sources are pieces of evidence from the time and secondary sources are things that have been produced after the period.

These sources are from Usamah Ibn Munqidh, and from Ibn Taymiyyah themselves, as well as historians who have written about the Crusader states.

They explain the Muslim experiences under Frankish rule.

I would like you to sort these bits of evidence into the following categories, good experiences, bad experiences, and both good and bad elements to their experiences.

You can now work through the following slides and sort which categories do you think they fit into.

Great, you can pause here now and ensure you've made your decisions on which category these fall into and that you're happy with these decisions.

Press pause to check that you're happy with your answers, and then press play once you're ready to go through them together.

Now, the first source was from Munqidh himself in his autobiography.

And it said, "when one comes to recount cases regarding the Franks, "he sees them as animals possessing the virtues of courage, "and fighting but nothing else." Now, this source would suggest that actually this was a bad experience, because although they did have courage, and they were courageous when fighting, actually he described them as being animals.

Which is not a very positive way of describing the Franks.

The second source came from historian Lamey, and it read "the impact and repercussions "of the First Crusade unleash brutal and harsh conditions "on Muslims. "Just as no other crusade was as victorious as this one.

"So too the Islamic world felt its effects more profoundly "than any other crusading campaign." Now, the words brutal and harsh conditions on Muslims would suggest that these were bad experiences for the Muslims. The next source came from Munqidh himself again from his autobiography, and it read "among the Franks, "there are some who have become acclimatised "and frequent to the company of Muslims. "They're much better than those recently arrived "from their lands." Now this word acclimatised would almost suggest that they have become normalised and they have grown used to the Franks That's what the word acclimatised would suggest.

So from this, we can see that this was a good experience that they had become used to the Franks.

And actually they were spending frequent company with them.

The next source was from Munqidh himself again, and it read "A Frankish knight "who had become my close friend said to me, "'my brother, I'm leaving for my homeland "'and I want you to send with me your 14 year old son, "'he will come to our country "'where he can learn wisdom and chivalry.

"'When he returns, he will be a wise man.

'" "These words would never come out of the head "of a sensible man.

"But if my son were to be taken captive in war, "it could not bring him worse misfortune "than carrying him into the hands of the Franks." Now this particular source demonstrated both good and bad elements to their experience because it does highlight to us that the Franks and the Muslims had become close friends and they had formed close friendships.

However, there are clear undertones here, where Munqidh says that these words would never come out of the head of a sensible man.

Suggesting that he doesn't think too highly of his friend.

So this demonstrates both good and bad elements.

Now the next source by Riley Smith, a historian read, "They pay tribute to Frank military skill "but often laced the compliment "with descriptions and stories "that highlighted the barbaric and backward mannerisms "of the Frank." and this would demonstrate the bad experiences.

Because they described them as barbaric and having backward mannerisms and that doesn't really show that they are mixing and that they are respecting and tolerating one another.

This next source again is from Lamey, a historian who quotes the words of Al-Beiruni.

"They devoured the flesh of the Muslim men "and children were grilled and eaten." This definitely shows us the bad experiences and how they are being spoken about having eaten other human beings and they seem barbaric and this would confirm the previous source of Riley Smith that we've just looked at.

This does not portray the Franks in a positive light at all.

Now, this last source, again is from Ibn Taymiyyah.

And he says, "they did not spare children and women "within Solomon's Temple about 10,000 were beheaded." Now, this suggests a bad experience, as it really highlights the violence that the Franks showed at this time.

So now we have more of an idea how Muslims and their ideas differed on their experiences in the Crusader states.

Let's find out a little bit more about this and why this may have been the case.

I would like you to read through the comprehension information, and then complete the comprehension questions independently.

You can press pause now, and then press play and resume the video, once you're ready to go through your answers together.

Let's see if the experiences that we've just heard match up to the experiences of all Muslims living throughout the Crusader states.

Press pause now and we'll join each other again soon.

So your comprehension questions were as follows.

Is it true to assume that all of the Crusader states were mainly Muslim? Were the Franks and Muslims always at war with one another? What things show that Muslims live relatively peacefully under Frankish rule? And your challenge question was to look at the question, Why might some Muslims have not accepted Frankish rule? Question one, is it true to assume that all of the Crusader states were mainly Muslim? An acceptable answer? No, it's not correct to assume this.

To extend your answer you could have put, it'd be wrong to assume that the Crusader states were mainly Muslim as prior to their arrival, these states had large Christian communities.

We should not forget that Jesus died in Jerusalem and had converted many to the faith.

Remember, these are just guidelines and if you haven't put something identical to this, that's okay.

Question number two, Were the Franks and Muslims always at war with one another? An acceptable answer.

No, they were not always at war with one another.

To extend that further, you could have put the Franks and Muslims were not always at war with one another.

At times, they even went to war as allies together against common enemies.

The word allies meaning friends, friendship.

Question number three, what things show that Muslims live relatively peacefully under Frankish rule? Acceptable answer.

Muslims lived peacefully under the Franks as they were able to continue their faith and practises as they had before.

For a good answer.

The Muslims had a relatively peaceful life under Frankish rule which showed them tolerance and respect.

For example, they were able to pray in the same way, attend mosque and enjoy religious freedom.

They will also be able to mix with the Franks and form relationships with them.

The challenge question, Why might some Muslims have not accepted Frankish rule? Acceptable answer: Some Muslims may have not accepted Frankish rule due to the fact that they will have a different faith and had invaded their lands.

A good answer: Some Muslims may have not accepted Frankish rule, as they may have resented the fact that outsiders had taken over their lands.

However, it would be wrong to assume that this war was against religion, and that it was some sort of jihad, a holy war.

Super, now you have a deeper understanding of how Muslims felt living through this period under Frankish rule.

Can you now complete the last challenge of this lesson.

Which is to make a list of the Muslim positive experiences and their negative experiences based on all the information you've learned this lesson, you can press pause here, and then play once you've jotted down all of your ideas.

Fantastic, guys.

Some of the things you could have put for the positive experiences may have been that they experienced religious freedom they could practise their religion publicly, and they had equal job status.

However, some of the negative experiences for Muslims living under Frankish rule, you may have put things like: many were killed according to some sources.

And according to some primary documents from the time, some Muslims were treated brutally.

We've learned quite a lot of information today.

So I would like you to now pause and think about all the things that you've learned throughout this lesson.

What have you learned about Muslims living under Frankish rule? Please try to think of at least three different things that they experienced.

Press pause now, and then you can press play once you're ready and feeling confident.

So the things I really want you to take away from the lesson are the following experiences of the Muslims. The first thing is that Muslims did not see the First Crusade as a holy war, as their lands had been occupied frequently before this, rather they just saw this as another set of invaders invading their land and coming to take over.

Secondly, for the most part, Muslims and the Franks did get along, their communities were mixing, and often cultures were coming together.

And at times, we see intermarriage occurring between the Franks and the Muslims. Thirdly, the Muslims could practise their religion freely.

Now, we did hear about some of the mosques being converted into Christian places of worship.

But it's worth noting here that although the Latin churches were built, and the various Latin religious orders soon were established, neither the Orthodox churches nor the synagogues or mosques were destroyed, and the people that were living in the Crusader kingdoms were free to follow the religion of their choice.

And lastly, only the minority of Muslims did not accept the Frankish rule.

And with this in mind, we can now start to think about, if the minority did not get on with Frankish rule, what were they going to do about this? And this is where lesson three will start.

And we will begin by looking at this and the rise of Saladin, the Muslim leader, and how he was able to take back control of the Crusader states.

Thank you so much for taking part in lesson two.

Looking at the question who lived in the Crusader states? I think we've learned a lot today about the Muslim experiences throughout the Crusader states and perhaps even challenged some of our views of what the Muslim experiences were.

So thinking back to Professor Hamilton at the beginning of our lesson.

Actually, I think we can agree with part of what he was saying that Muslims on the whole were experiencing religious tolerance and respect I would really love to see some of your work from today.

So if you'd like to, please ask your parent or carer to share your work on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, tagging @OakNational and #LearnwithOak.

Thank you and I really look forward to seeing you in lesson three.