Monday 28 September 2020

Islam in Barbados

Barbados is a small island in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America and located in the western area of the North Atlantic and  east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea. Its capital and largest city is Bridgetown.

Islam came to this part of the world when a few Bengali silk merchants from the West Bengal region of British India came here in 1913 and settled down for business. Most of these Bengalis married local Barbadian women and started families in Bridgetown.  Today many well-known Barbadians are the grandchildren of these unions. The Bengali merchants were followed by Muslims from Gujarat, the Western part of British India in 1929.  In fact these Muslims had set out for Brazil to cut timber but ended up in Guyana and stayed there for a while.  In Guyana they learnt that there was money in coal trading with Barbados.  They visited Bridgetown a couple of times by boat and then decided to make Barbados their home.

A few immigrants from Guyana, Trinidad, South Asia, and the Middle East, as well as about 200 native-born persons, constitute the rest of the growing Muslim community, representing 1.50 percent of the population. By and by the Muslim population grew and as of today there are more than 4,000 Muslims living in Barbados. Although it has been many decades since the arrival of first Muslims, the number of Muslims has not significantly increased in the predominant Christian country. However, from the late sixties and early seventies a number of Afro-Barbadians have become Muslims.  This trend continues until today with many persons expressing an interest in Islam and some actually entering the fold. 

The first Muslim place of worship, Mosque (pictured below), was built at Kensington New Road, Bridgetown, in 1950.  The second was built in Sobers Lane in 1957. Today, in all there are three mosques, a musallah, an Islamic Academy, an Islamic institute, one Muslim school and various other Islamic organizations. The Mosque at Kensington New Road was expanded in the late 80’s and can accommodate over 600 worshippers.  Prayers are held there and in Sobers Lane five times a day, with special congregational prayers on Fridays just after midday.
Jumma Masjid – Kensington New Road, Bridgetown [Photo: Barbados Muslim Association]

The Muslim community of Barbados is well organized. Each Masjid has its own administrative committee and is independently registered. A representative of each Masjid sits on the Board of the Barbados Muslim Association (BMA).  In addition five (5) Muslims are selected to the Board at Annual General Meetings at which the entire Muslim community is invited to take part.  The B.M.A was formed to represent the Muslim Community of Barbados.  It has made representation to the Government of Barbados on a number of issues relating to Muslims.  These issues include the wearing of Hijab by Muslim women.  The Association, as a representative body of Muslims has been invited by Government to various functions. At one of the Independence celebrations, BMA was invited to say a prayer. One of the well known names is Mr. Suleiman Bulbulia, born and raised in Barbados, who is also the Secretary of the Barbados Muslim Association.

Today the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the first Muslims in Bridgetown are involved in all segments of society and make significant contributions to the development of Bridgetown and Barbados as a whole. Some are doctors, lawyers, engineers and public servants. Muslims enjoy their religious festivals like the Eids and the religious fervour is at peak during the month of Ramadan.
Muslims in Eid congregation [Photo]

There are media hypes showing concern about Islamophobia and trying to target the Muslims as agents of ISIS and other militant organization. But the Muslims of Barbados have stood united against any spread of militancy on the island and proving them to be peace lovers.

Barbados Association of Muslim Ladies is doing a wonderful job of introducing Islam and showing the Non Muslims how they can be and are part of the mainstream population. Watch the video below:
Disclaimer: 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.
Flag Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More