Saturday 7 December 2019

Muslims in Non Muslim Countries: Nicaragua

Republic of Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American isthmus with a population of 6,545,502 (2019). Of this a very marginal number of 1,200 to 1,500 are Muslims (according to 2007 statistics released by the U.S. Department of State). This small number of Muslims is mostly Sunnis who are resident aliens or naturalized citizens from Palestine, Libya, and Iran or natural-born Nicaraguan citizens.

Muslims immigration started in the 19th century, majority of whom were the Palestinian Arabs. Another influx of Palestinians entered Nicaragua with the decline of the Ottoman Empire after Word War I. Thereafter in 1960s and 1990s. Many of these were immigrants returning to Nicaragua who had since become more aware of their Muslim heritage from exposure in North America or Palestine. These immigrants also possessed a stronger Islamic identity than previous groups, enabling an Islamic reawakening by the community.
Masjid in Managua, Nicaragua [Photo]

In 1999, the first masjid (mosque) was constructed in the country on a parcel of land measuring three thousand meters in the San Juan district (Ciudad Jardin) with a capacity for nearly one thousand people.

The Islamic Cultural Center in Managua serves as the primary center for Muslims in the capital city. For Friday prayers, Muslims from Granada, Masaya, Leon, and Chinandega also travel to the Managua center. Muslims living in Granada, Masaya, and Leon have established smaller prayer centers in the homes of prominent local Muslims.

In addition to the Sunni Muslims, a small number of Shi'ite Muslim is also present in the country who mostly came after the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Praying inside the Managua Mosque  [Photo]

How is life of Muslims in Nicaragua? Well I tried to find answer from the available information on the net but did not find any useful data. However, in one account, I came across a mention of a death of a Palestinian Muslim married to a Catholic wife. The account states that the man lived in house adorned with statues as if one is standing in church. They also found out that his wife and three children never embraced Islam. However a miracle happened there at the funeral. 
A group of Muslims had gone their for his last rituals. The group comforted the grown up children with mention of the greatness of Allah and the principles of Islam, some points about the Prophet Issa (Jesus, peace be upon him), and tried to give them a little of what they had missed of an Islamic upbringing. As they were listening, the oldest brother removed the cross from his neck and at once accepted Islam and said the Shahada (declaration of faith), followed by his brother, and together they invited their sister to do the same, which she did. The Mother, listening to this conversation, became upset by what was happening and left the house. Later they all offered the noon prayers with the newly reverted children of the deceased.
After the burial, the brothers from San Francisco stayed awhile and provided further Islamic information for the family. The family cleared their house of idols and crosses and made their big house into the 'Mosque of Chinandega'. It was then that the mother, who was deeply touched by her husband's funeral also accepted Islam before the brothers departed!  
Please read on the details at reference [3] for yet another account of reversion
Those reading it and if Muslims from Nicaragua, are requested to add more about life of Muslims in Nicaragua in our comment box.

Author's Note: The data for this post 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.

To know more about life of Muslims in other non Muslim countries, please visit our page: Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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