ISLAM and MUSLIMS IN COLOMBIA

    

       General Information

National name             : República de Colombia

Land area                     : 401,042 sq mi (1,038,699 sq km); total area: 439,736 sq mi (1,138,910 sq km)

Population (2007 est.)  : 44,227,550

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Santafé de Bogotá, 7,594,000 (metro. area), 7,185,889 (city proper)

Other large cities      : Cali, 2,283,200; Medellín, 1,957,800; Barranquilla, 1,330,400; Cartagena, 901,500

Monetary unit           : Colombian Peso

Language                  : Spanish

Ethnicity/race           : mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%

Religion                    : Roman Catholic 90%, Muslims  0.20%

Literacy rate            : 92.8% (2004 est.)

Economic summary : GDP/PPP (2006 est.): $374.4 billion; per capita $8,600. Real growth rate: 6.8%. Inflation: 4.3%.

  Little is known about the various Indian tribes who inhabited Colombia before the Spanish arrived. In 1510 Spaniards founded Darien, the first permanent European settlement on the American mainland. In 1538 they established the colony of New Granada, the area's name until 1861.

  After a 14-year struggle, during which time Simón Bolívar's Venezuelan troops won the battle of Boyacá in Colombia on Aug. 7, 1819, independence was attained in 1824. Bolívar united Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador in the Republic of Greater Colombia (1819–1830), but he lost Venezuela and Ecuador to separatists. In 1861 the country was called the United States of New Granada; in 1863 it became the United States of Colombia; and in 1885, it was named the Republic of Colombia. In 1899 a brutal civil war broke out, the War of a Thousand Days, that lasted until 1902.

Islamic History and Muslims

   The statistics for Islam in Colombia estimate a total Muslim population of 85,908, representing 0.2 percent of the population.But Muslim leaders claim that there are more Muslim than  85,908.  There are a number of Islamic organizations in Colombia, including Islamic centers in San Andrés, Bogotá, Guajira, Nariño, and Santa Marta. There are also primary and secondary Islamic schools in Bogotá and Maicao. Maicao plays host to the continent's second largest mosque, the Mosque of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab.
  Over the past few years, Islam and the Arab-Muslim world seem to have entered even more poignantly into the Colombian imagination, gaining a presence in political discourse and strongly influencing popular culture. It should be noted that most Arab immigrants to Colombia came during the first half of the XXth century and were Christian Maronites mainly from Lebanon. The Arab diaspora in Colombia refers to the influences of Islam in the Republic of Colombia. Islam was first introduced into the country during the War of Independence of Gran Colombia (on nowadays Colombian territory) and with an important migrating wave of migration originating in c. 1880 and decreasing until c. 1930. Most of the Middle Easters came from Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.
  Most of the Syrian-Lebanese established in the Caribbean Region of Colombia in the towns of Santa Marta, Lorica, Fundación, Aracataca, Ayapel, Calamar, Ciénaga, Cereté, Montería and Barranquilla near the basin of the Magdalena River. It later expanded to other cities and by 1945 there were Middle Easters moving inland like Ocaña, Cúcuta, Barrancabermeja, Ibagué, Girardot, Honda, Tunja, Villavicencio, Pereira, Soatá, Neiva, Buga, Chaparral and Chinácota. The four major hubs of middle easter population were present in Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bogotá and Cali. The number of immigrants entering the country vary from 5,000 to 10,000 in 1945. Some of these immigrants were Christian-Lebanese and others were adept to Islam.
  Another smaller wave of immigrants came later from the Middle East in the 1940s this time establishing in the town of Maicao, La Guajira in northern Colombia. This immigrants were mostly Muslim and were attracted by the thriving commerce of the town which was benefiting from the neighboring Venezuelan oil bonanza and the usual contraband of goods that flowed through the Guajira Peninsula.

  According to Br. Hassan Jumaa from Maicao, I don't think that in Colombia now exists about 85.000 Muslims, but here there should be more than this number of persons from Arab origin, because in Maicao where the Muslim Arab community is the major than other cities, about 3000 Arab Muslims, majority are Lebanese, ( including children, sons, women and men) and all of them are new immigrants, some of them their fathers came to Colombia after 1940. 

  The first Muslims had come to Colombia between 1880-1910 ,as I know, but the majority of them left to practice their Islam religion, may be because they didn't have solid faith, and because the official religion in Colombia the Catholic till 1991,they year in which a new law was issued, to allow the freedom of religious concepts and practice.

  But may be before in 16th century some Spanish Muslims came with first colonies, to America. Because some buildings of Arabic or Islamic style existed in Colombia.

  The first Masjid in Colombia was 1979 approximately. Before I came to Maicao, and at 1995 started the building of the new Masjid (Omar Ibn Alkhattaab).

  The Colombo-Arabic School was built in 1986 and started officially at 1987, as a primary school, and after 3 year approximately, was elevated to to teach bachelorize secondary, and now the average of students is about 500 students from Preschool, (3 years age) till bachelorize (11th). Islamic religion and Arabic language are given to students.

  It is the unique official school in Colombia that give to students Arabic and Islam religion to the students (obligatory to Arabs and to Colombian students (from non Arab origin).

  The Arab Islamic community here works in commerce, because Maicao city depends only on commerce. Also they will attend to Islamic Congress of Latin America Islamic Centers in Venezuela.

The Mosque in San Andres

Mezquita Estambul

 

  Masjid Al-Naim       

  Mosque Maicao  

 

    Islamic School in Maicao      

            

New Muslim Stories

FATIMA GOMEZ

Assalamu alaikum

  How did I embrace Islam? well, after I graduate from high school. I went to America to study English, I stayed in my aunt's house, she married an American. I was "catholic", I must say not practicing. My aunt's husband is Christian, we used to go to the church every Sunday morning. I had been interested in Muslims and middle east culture since long time ago but I didn't have enough knowledge about Islam.  I started researching and looking for information in the internet and I met Muslim brothers that help me to get some info. Casually in the house I was living in, I found the translation of Quran into English!!!! it seems maybe my aunt's husband read it sometime ago, I have understood the translation of Qur'an might had over there maybe 20 years and no one read it before. It was a real miracle from Allah Subhana wa ta ala to put for there in that moment the translation of his Holly Book.

  I started reading and honestly I was just in Suratul Baqarah (chapter number 2) and I was just in shock for one single thing. Is a very big sin to mention Allah has son and Jesus indeed is not the son of God but is the messenger, and like this I read along in the whole translation of Qur'an. Then not even knowing if Allah listen to me or not, not knowing what to do, I asked God to guide me and if it was true that Jesus wasn't His son then, let me believe in Islam. I was looking for spiritual life, that's why I was assisting with my aunt and her husband to the church I was feeling really bad inside my heart, alone, life were very superficial, I needed to feel God. when I started reading the translation of Qur'an. I didn't know it was that, because the book says explanation of the holly Qur'an, then I knew that Qur'an only is in Arabic the others are just its explanation in other languages holly is his word in Arabic and now that I am learning from  Qur'an I understand why! my heart really feels touched when it listens to  Qur'an even if my mind don't understand the meaning, my heart does.

After making that Duaa to God it was eastern time (Christian celebration where they remember when Jesus was "crucified" yea right...!)  and I went as usually to the church and my ears were for first time opened to listen what the priest was talking about, something absolutely crazy that had no sense at all. That day I really realized Allah existed in real and he listened to me and he opened my heart and my ears and my eyes and my sense to accept and embrace Islam. Then it came the other huge step... how to convert to Islam? how to be Muslim? what being Muslim implies? all these questions I looked in brothers and sisters.. embracing Islam was the easiest thing is accept with the heart and mention Shahada, my heart was already convinced from that day.

  Then the Salah and the modest Muslim woman should had, I must confess that all Islam involved me I felt so much love so much in peace, so close to Allah I only wanted to be a good Muslim!!!I knew that even if I could not live as Muslim I was not able to be Christian in my heart was the seed of Tawheed. But Allah made everything easy for me, step by step, my shame came back to my heart. I wasn't feeling like wear naked clothes I started getting modest Alhamdulillah and the Salah. I learned it step by step in Arabic, and the meaning in Spanish, I used to pray reading from the paper I put the in floor! now that I remember it was very funny!!! but it was a beautiful experience because when someone accepts Islam with love for ALLAH everything is easy and wonderful.

   I must confess is a real battle against the society, the family the friends. After my parents knew it the almost went crazy,,, just to not mention my aunts husband!!! I came back home with a whole world against to me but Allah gave me strength. I think that I didn't know what strength means until I had to face them but Allah kept giving me SABR ( patience) and iman and love for Islam, I was learning Qur'an the short suras, I was reading more about Islam.

   After one year I decided to put Hijab Allah opened the doors for me and I faced everything, my mother cried for one month, in the university everyone made fun of me cause never before a girl  wore Hijab in the university, everyone was surprised and in spite of laughs insults and everything I was smiling to everyone proud to wear my crown (scarf) I didn't have clothes I had only one scarf and 3 pants and 3 shirts, Allah provided me I don't even know how, but after sometimes I had scarf's and clothes to wear.... like Allah there is no one and nothing in this life... just to remember those first 3 years I smile and feel happy, I went through a serial of stages until finally I got established, people were used to see me, I knew how to perform Salah.

   I was helping other new sisters in Barranquilla, my family didn't care anymore they got tired of fight and I think that they started noticing the good things ISLAM brought to my life. It was absolutely forbidden to talk about Islam to my sister or try to give them Dawah but I think I tried to give it indirectly with my behavior. Three of my old friends got pregnant before getting married, my mom was just listening to her friends complaining about her daughters and I was at home early, taking care of my studies, always reading or doing something productive or at least sleeping but at home not outside not parties, no alcohol, that made her feel the benefits of ISLAM but unfortunately still not Muslim.

  Anyways, then Allah opened my doors after 4 years to get married and come to Dubai here. I am very happy. I go to Qur'an classes, Arabic classes, wear Abaya and Niqab, eat halal food, and have Muslims friends that teach me more things.  Subhanallah I think that Allah gave me a big gift when he sent me my husband. Life will always have obstacles and proofs but if someone has Allah in his life, there is nothing that cannot be overcome. Alhamdulillah for everything I wish all Muslims keep straight and tight to their religion and I wish the same to myself. May Allah help us always to be good Muslims and give the best from each other.
 

  Islamic Centers and Organizations

Organization Name Address Phone-Fax-Email-Web General Information
Centro Islamico de Bogota - Mesquita Centro Islamico de Bogota - Mesquita Masjid = Carrera 9 No. 13 - 12 of. 603/609, Bogota, Cundinamarca 57 1, COLOMBIA 57 1-2826448

 

Oraciones de Yumma (Jumua'ah Prayer)
Asociación Centro Islamico de Colombia Asociación Centro Islamico de Colombia
Carrera 9 No. 13 - 12 of. 603 - 609,
Bogota D.E., Cundinamarca , COLOMBIA
091-2826448
zoraida2002@hotmail.com

 

 
Islamic Association of Bogota Islamic Association of Bogota
Carrera 9A No. 11- 65 piso 4,
Bogota, , COLOMBIA
577 2276
gvivasu@col1.telecom.com.co
Mosque
Comunidad Islamica Latino americana - Ceislam Comunidad Islamica Latinoamericana - Ceislam
Carrera 87Bis No. 91-43 Barrio La Serena,
Bogota D.E., Cundinamarca , COLOMBIA
57 1 -4904277
aminah_lourido@hotmail.com
http://groups.msn.com/Comunidad IslamicaLatinoamericana
Informacion sobre el Islam, conferencias, seminarios para colegios y universidades
Islamic Center of Colombia Islamic Center of Colombia
Avenida Las Americas, Islas San Andres,
Bogota, , COLOMBIA
98-112-6269
98-112-3534
Mosque
Centro Cultural Islamico Centro Cultural Islamico
Dirección. Calle 36 # 28 B 10,
Bogota D.E., Cundinamarca , COLOMBIA
571-3350366 / 335030
571-2696754
director@centroculturalislamico.com 
Daily prayers, Islamic library, conferences for schools, colleges and universities, seminars, art expositions, as well as arabic and calligraphy.
Islamic Center of Colombia Islamic Center of Colombia
Avenida Las Americas, Islas San Andres,
Bogota, , COLOMBIA
98-112-6269
98-112-3534
 
Mezquita de Bogota Mezquita de Bogota
Carrera 9A No. 11 - 65 Piso 4,
Bogota, D.C 000, COLOMBIA
57-3152318120
mezquitabogota@gmail.com 
islambogota@yahoo.com 
www.mezquitabogota.tk 
We can answer to your questions in English, Arabic and Turkish.  We make the Friday prayer and after it, we talk about islam; any person is allowed to come and listen to it. Besides, we offer arabic lessons and the celebration of the two Eids.
Mezquita Estambul Mezquita Estambul
Calle 45 A No.14-81,
Bogota D.E., Colombia , COLOMBIA

4872012 - 3167437989
mezquita_estambul@yahoo.com  http://www.galeon.com/islamcolombia
Salat, reuniones con no musulmanes y centros educativos. Difusión del Islam por internet etc.
Musulmanes Colombianos Musulmanes Colombianos
Bogota D.E., Colombia , Colombia
islamcolombia@msn.com
www.msnusers.com/islamcolombia
Foro de los Musulmanes Colombianos Nuestro objetivo es difundir el Islam e integrar a los musulmanes Colombianos.
Centro Islamico de Maicao Centro Islamico de Maicao
Kra. 9 Entre Calles 11 y 12,
Maicao, Guajira , COLOMBIA
575 726 1083
575 726 6983
colomboarabe87@hotmail.com 
Islamic center with a school / library and mosque.
Asociación Benefica Islamica Asociación Benefica Islamica
Calle 12 No 05-67,
Maicao, Guajira , COLOMBIA

575-7261083-7261050
eljeaid@hotmail.com
 
المدرسة العربية الكولومبية- دار الأرقم المدرسة العربية الكولومبية- دار الأرقم
Calle 12 con Kra 7,
Maicao, , COLOMBIA
5757267050
5757268963
colomboarabe87@hotmail.com 
A School for the Islamic Comunity in Maicao
Centro islamico de Popayan Centro islamico de Popayan
kra 23 # 7-41,
Popayan, Colombia 09999, COLOMBIA
092-8389670
092-8225304
centroislampopayan@yahoo.com
miercoles, escuela, estudio aquida, sabado, estudio shariah, estudio fiq, viernes, jumua, lunes.
CENTRO ISLAMICO DE CUCUTA CENTRO ISLAMICO DE CUCUTA
calle 11 No. 6-60 Apt.201,
Cucuta, Norte de Santander , COLOMBIA
577-5717943
5833935
cucutacenter@hotmail.com
 
 
الجمعية الخيرية الأسلامية في بيدوبار الجمعية الخيرية الأسلامية في بيدوبار
Calle 16B Nro 7-66,
Valledupar, Cesar , COLOMBIA
57-55744958
57 55 8013 52
lubnani5@arabi.com
Here in valledupar we need more imformation about islam and all the activities muslims in the world do.
Asociación Centro Cultural Islámico Asociación Centro Cultural Islámico
CRA 44 NRO 84-181,
Barranquilla, Atlantico , COLOMBIA
mezquitadebarranquilla@yahoo.com

khkhta@hotmail.com

 

Is a small sunni mosque located in the north of the city of Barranquilla, Colombia. The name of the mosque is Othman Ibn Affan.
Centro Cultural Islamico de Cali Centro Cultural Islamico de Cali
Calle 38 E # 3 -63,
Cali, Colombia 0101, COLOMBIA
57-2-5572682
57-2-5572682
youssef@droservicio.com
 
Centro Cultural Islamico de Pereira / Masjid Al-Naim Centro Cultural Islamico de Pereira / Masjid Al-Naim
Cra 21 # 21-96 La Pradera Dosquebradas,
Pereira, RISRALDA , COLOMBIA

00-57 3166948674
00-57- 3433021
dawdhh@msn.com
http://islampereira.blogspot.com/
Masjid and Dawah center.

 

Centro Islamico de Pasto Centro Islamico de Pasto
Carrera 24 No. 16-66 piso 4,
Pasto, Nariño , COLOMBIA
nefiahmuslim@hotmail.com

 

 
Centro Islámico de Santa Marta Centro Islámico de Santa Marta
Calle 15 # 21-75,
Santa Marta, Magdalena , COLOMBIA
575-4213390

 

Small sunni mosque located in the city of Santa Marta in the north coast of Colombia.
COMUNIDAD ISLAMICA DE COLOMBIA COMUNIDAD ISLAMICA DE COLOMBIA
CALLE 28 # 73- 36,
Medellin, COLOMBIA , COLOMBIA
57 4 2386989
57 4 2384262
abdulhaq43@hotmail.com
RESOS, LECTURAS DELL CORAN. REUNIONES
Comunidad Islámica de Colombia Comunidad Islámica de Colombia
Av.Simón Bolivar # 40 A-18 Barrio Rockefeller,
Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca A.A: 736, Buenaventu, COLOMBIA
057-22404454
munirvalencia@yahoo.com
Islamic services, teaching, Suplication, Children class,
Islamic Center Islamic Center
Bailey Boat 1b-127,
Colombia, , COLOMBIA
811-22070
811-23534
 
Islamic center of San Andres Island Islamic center of San Andres Island
Bailey boat-1B-127,
San Andres Y Providencia, San andres y providencia , COLOMBIA
57-8-5128959 - 51237
57-8-5123776                        masjedalnur@hotmail.com
religious and cultural activities, conferences about islam, memorizing curan, sharia and other activities
Medellin islamico medellinislamico
calle 92 # 71-45,
Medellin, Antioquia , COLOMBIA
312-8412561 y 257-55
medellinislamico8274@hotmail.com 
somos una entidad de musulmanes de Medelli´n dedicados a la difución del Islam, por medio de lecturas,conferencias en escuelas y colegios, expociciones de arte islámico .
Mezquita Abu Bark Mezquita Abu Bark
La Boquilla, Sector Marlinda Calle 2da. No. 10-09, Cartagena, Bolivar , COLOMBIA
islam_cartagena@yahoo.com
http://www.geocities.com/islam_cartagena
 
Asociacion benefica islamica Asociacion benefica islamica
campohermoso,
Bucaramanga, Santander 9-7, COLOMBIA

 

7-6525482
7-6525482
buobaida33@hotmail.com
 
     

 

 

Muslim Owned Business

Organization Name Address Phone-Fax-Email-Web General Information
Al Qadar Al Qadar
Transversal 29 32-21,
Barrancabermeja, Santander 00000, COLOMBIA

7-6229486
6214189
heknow@hotmail.com
 
       

http://www.msnusers.com/islamcolombia/musulmanescolombianos.msnw     

References
Islam in Colombia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Colombia , May, 2008).
Info please ( http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108140.html , May, 2008).
World Religions Statistics ( http://www.adherents.com/adhloc/Wh_74.html , May, 2008).
Islam Finder ( http://www.islamicfinder.org/cityPrayerNew.php?country=colombia , May, 2008).
Anonymous, Documents from Representatives of Islamic Organizations in Colombia, June 2008.