Moses Maimonides was born in Cordoba Spain on March 30 1135 (Britannica 2006). Spain at this time was being ruled by a Mohammedan sect named the Moravides. The Moravides were particularly tolerant of other cultures and religions. They allowed the Christians and Jews to live and practice regularly in Cordoba. This was not how all of the Mohammedans were. This allowed Moses Maimonides to be born into a practicing Jewish family in Spain. He was born son of Maimon, hence his Greek name Maimonides. Not much is known or was recorded about his early life in Spain. We can safely assume that early in his life he was well educated. It can also be assumed, however, that his life was filled with the knowledge and stress of the many wars between the Mohammedans and the Christians and between the different Mohammedan sects.
In 1148 the Almohades took over Cordoba. The ruler at the time, Ibn Tamurt, was not very tollerent of other religions.
He gave Christians and Jews the option to either convert or to die. Many Jews pleaded to let them leave and go live somewhere else but he would not allow it. As a result of this many Jews sneaked out of Cordoba, some converted, and others died. About o month later Ibn Tamurt died. His son began to allow Jews back into Cordoba allowing them to live there as Jews. He feared his fathers death was from his fathers treatment of the Jewish people. Many Jews did not move back because they did not trust what was going on (Felshin 1956).
We don't really know whether Moses Maimonides' family converted for a time to escape death or if they fled immediately. Different scholars think different answers to this situation, but none truly know the answer. We...