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Karguzari (Report) on Islam in Al-Andalus (Spain + Portugal + Gibraltar)

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abu mohammed, Abdullah1, Maripat
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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 30th March 2016 12:29

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

I have travelled to Spain many times previously but this was my first trip to Portugal, just returned on Monday the 28th of March 2016, here is a short synopsis on Al-Andalus.

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 30th March 2016 12:39

Part 1: Gibraltar

In order for this thread to be sequential our journey begins at Gibraltar. Although this Island is British, roughly quarter of the population is Andalusian (i.e. trace their roots to Spain + Portugal) so possibly descendants of Muslims. As it stands in 2016 there are roughly 1000+ Muslim families who live/work on this Island. I say work because Gibraltar is very expensive so most Muslims work here but live in Spain (which is significantly) cheaper.

This is the location where Tariq Ibn Ziyad (died 1320) stood up and burned his boats and as a result Islam entered Europe.

Firstly, issues with the names. The Spanish have always called (and still do) it montaña de Tariq and the Arabs call it Jabal Ṭāriq (جبل طارق) while the British use the latnised name Gibraltar.

Europa Point Lighthouse

The most significant tourist destination is the Europa Tower and this was the lighthouse built around 1841 by the Masons of Gibraltar.  This point signified the start of Europe to incoming ships coming from Africa i.e. it lies (almost) on the border of Africa and Europe.

Before this lighthouse ships used to use the light coming from the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe which is shown below.  This used to be a Mosque which was broken up and converted to a Church.

Today the old Mosque doesn't exist! BUT in front of the new Mosque there is a building (see next picture) and I am not sure if it is the old Mosque of Gibraltar which used to serve as a lighthouse.

Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque

This Mosque was built by Saudees in 1997 and has huge signs and homage to King Fahd (of course). Nice clean expensive Mosque but nobody prays here because it is far from the Town (where Muslims live and work) so it is inconvenient for them to travel this far (on the other side of island to pray).

Gibraltar Airport:

Small Island so planes land on Tarmac while the traffic is closed :P

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