Sunday 20 January 2019

Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries: Saint Lucia

Today while going through the traffic source of my posts, I noticed Saint Lucia beside many other countries from which readers have accessed my posts. Frankly speaking I newer knew that there were any Muslims on this small Caribbean island. But the traffic source led me to find about life of Muslims there and I was happy to know theta there does exists a small Muslim community on the island. So I dedicate this post to that lone someone from Saint Lucia who has led me to write this post.

Since many may not knowing where this Saint Lucia is located, let me share its geographical location first. It  is a sovereign island country in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 617 km2 (238 square miles) and reported a population of 165,595 in the 2010 census. Its capital is Castries. [1]

There is a very small Muslim community in St Lucia, mainly made of  converts or locals, who are of African descent. There have also been some immigrants from the Middle East, South Asia and other Caribbean countries.  It was only in 1990s that Muslim presence was felt on this tiny island. Abdul Rabb is considered to be the first of having the presence of a Muslim felt on the Island. Sine he dressed differently from the locals, the locals would often inquire him of his being unique and he found this a God given opportunity to invite people to Islam. Due to good conduct of Muslims on the island, each month on an average 1-2 persons revert to Islam, mainly males. [2]

Thus by and by the Muslim community has started its presence felt on the island. There is no formal mosque in Saint Lucia, but there a few prayer rooms, called Musalla where Muslims get together for their prayers and other religious events. There are three Musalla in Castries the capital and one in Vieux Fort another town. 

The Muslims have registered Islam organization, which organize activities such as Eid Salah and Taraweh prayers during the month of Ramadan. At individual level, small groups arrange Islamic classes for children. 

While reading a post [2], I was amazed to find that students as far away as Pakistan and India are taking admission in Saint Lucia to study medicine and other branches of science. 

Majority of the Muslims are engaged in the construction industry either skilled as in masons, carpenters or semi skilled laborers. However, some Syrian Muslims run clothing and shoe stores, while others sell incense oils and perfumes. Those seeking Halal food can find at Y & J Cafe, Wiliam Peter Blvd. in island's capital Castries.[2]

Watch this beautiful video "Islam with a Caribbean Flavour" which shows the life of Muslim community in Saint Lucia and which also plead for donation for construction of first mosque on the island:

Author's Note: The data above has been collected from the references as given below. IF any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
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