GRANADA – The Grand Mosque of Granada in Spain is hosting iftar dinners during Ramadan in which people are served with dates and Moroccan Harira soup.
“We broke Sunday’s fast with milk and dates, while Harira soup was served after Taraweeh prayer,” the mosque’s Secretary-General, Zacarias Lopez Rejon, told Anadolu Agency on May 27.
Rejon informed that the mosque was constructed in 1988 by Granada’s Muslim community when his father converted to Islam.
“We had difficulties in construction of the mosque. The process took a long time because of financial and political reasons. Finally, the mosque was inaugurated for worship in 2003,” Rejon said.
The Iberian Peninsula where Spain is located was a Muslim country for nine centuries between the 8th and the 17th centuries.
According to genetic and historic studies, the majority of the Muslim population of Iberia was formed of native Iberians beside Muslim minorities of Amazigh, Arabs, and Goths.
The indigenous practice of Islam in Spain had faded into obscurity only by the 19th century. Nevertheless, throughout modern history, there has always been a constant presence of Muslims in Spain, many of which were former slaves known as ‘moros cortados’ freed in the early 18th century.
Spain’s geographical proximity to North Africa and its colonial presence in Amazigh lands by occupying the Canary Islands of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean made the continuous presence of Muslims in Spain possible in modern times as well.
As of 2016, Spain had 1,919,141 Muslims out of a total population of 46,438,422, or slightly above 4%, of the total population.
This Muslim community includes 804,017 Spanish citizens forming 42% of the total Muslim population. About 277,409 of which were naturalized Moroccan citizens, 430,990 descendants of naturalized citizens, 64,334 Ceuta and Melilla Moroccan Muslims, and 23,624 were Spaniard converts from Catholic Christianity.