The 1970 Black Power movement in Trinidad gave rise to
a number of young Grenadians accepting Islam under the leadership of a
strong advocate named Muhammad Yusuf (May ALLAH be pleased with him).
He had a remarkable following by a dynamic group of young men and women
whose religious devotion left a very vivid impression on the minds of a large
segment of Grenadian society, many of whom were graduates of
prestigious institutions as the Grenada Boys' Secondary School (GBSS).
mode of dress was akin to middle eastern style Islamic apparel, the men in topees, long
jubbas and sheppard’s staff and the sisters in flowing, loose-fitting
chaddor with their heads properly covered. They could be seen walking
in groups in the main towns and villages engaged in Dawah activities.
Their recognition grew to the extent that in the early seventies they
were allocated business premises on the ground floor of what was known
as the former Town Hall building situated in the Market Square of the
capital, the Town of St. George. They excelled in leather craft, making
by hand - shoes, sandals, handbags etc with limited hand tools. The men were affectionately called “
Ahkee” (brother in Arabic) by many
who regularly came into contact with them.
During the early
period of the 70’s there was no structure from which Muslim activities could be
carried out. Jumuah salaat (Friday congregational prayer) would be conducted at the home of Brother
Abdul Rahim (May ALLAH be pleased with him) at Tempe in St. George’s.
Simultaneously, the Ismail Party (IP) was introduced into Grenada with
its Jumu’ah prayer carried on in Beaulieu, St. George’s. At some point
also the Trinidad headquarted, Islamic Missionaries Guild of the Caribbean and South America (IMG), was instrumental in renting the family house of Br. Muhammad Siddiqui at Fontenoy as well as provided an
Imam to deliver the Khutbah (Friday pray sermon) . In 1977 Sheik Fuzloo Rahaman
of San Fernando, Trinidad, (son of Hafiz Yacoob Ali) (May ALLAH be pleased with them both) instructed his sons (who were entrepreneurs in Grenada) to allocate
one-half of the top floor of the Bobby’s Tyre Mart building on Tyrrel
Street over the fire station. This location became known as the “Islamic
Centre” . A large sign with the name Islamic Centre was proudly displayed with visibility from the Carenage and throughout the surrounding hills. This facility
was utilized for Jumuah salaah, nightly Tarawih namaaz (prayer during Ramadan) and all other faith rituals and community purposes for the next eighteen (18) years.
In 1982 a candle lit meeting (a
blackout night in when electrical ’load shedding’ was the norm), was held amongst five brothers who
were determined to establish what is today known as the Grenada Islamic
Foundation (GIF). The GIF was founded by an Act of the Grenada
Parliament # 44 of 1994 and was proposed in Parliament on behalf of the
Muslims of Grenada by the then Honourable Member of Parliament, Dr.
Francis Alexis. In the 80’s the Muslim Students Association (MSA) was
founded at the St. George’s University School of Medicine under
the aegis of Br. M. K. Hosein . Br. M.K. was a Director of the IMG and a stalwart Dawah strategist whose work
within the Caribbean region was quite substantial and requires
documentation. It is worthy of note that the name Grenada Islamic
Foundation was proposed by Brother Omaar Al-Shareef.
growth of the Muslim community required larger premises therefore a
legal agreement was drafted to occupy and purchase the Panache building
at L’Anse Aux Epines in the developing south of the island. Due to
insufficient funds to complete the transaction, the acquisition of the
property was not realized after having the use of it for approximately
three glorious years. During this period the Al Shifa Free Medical
Clinic was established to serve all the people of Grenada and it was
successfully managed by Dr. Ateef Qureshi. Now confronted
with the stark reality of that loss and no place to go to, the Shura
consented to approach the Ministry of Sports for the rental of space
for Jumu’ah salaat which would be held at the Youth Centre in Grand
Anse for the next two years, thereabout.
It was in 1999 that an
eight thousand square feet parcel of land located close to the island’s Point
Saline International Airport was donated at Calliste in South St.
George on which the GIF built the first Masjid to be constructed in
Grenada. The passage of Hurricane Ivan left a heavy toll of destruction
on the southern part of Grenada in September of 2004. The roof of the
Masjid was severely damaged and the houses of many Muslim families were
either demolished or partially damaged. With assistance from the
Muslims of Trinidad, Barbados and the Islamic Development Bank
in Jeddah, SA, the GIF was able to provide foodstuff, some clothing and
shelter to many Muslim families and to our non-Muslim neighbours in
part. The Foundation had constructed seven (7) houses and had repaired
or assisted in the repair of many more. In is noteworthy that before
any of the churches or government agencies were able to mobilize food
and essential items, the Muslims were the first to bring aid in the
form of food and building material to the doorsteps of the non-Muslims
in the deep south of Grenada.
Alhamdulillah (All Praise is due to God), the Muslim
population in Grenada has grown to three hundred persons with mixed
African and East Indian ethnicities. Since the completion of
Masjid-Ul-Madina ten (10) years ago, the community has settled
comfortably and enjoys a remarkable level of stability and
sustainability . It is endowed with two Huffaaz of Qur’an and a
graduate from the Dar-ul-Uloom Institute in Central Trinidad. Madressa
classes are held every Monday to Friday from 4 - 7 PM with the number
of students at thirty-five (35). Two of its graduate students have gone
on for further Islamic studies in South Africa.
Karolia is our Imam and also the Principal of the Madressa.
ask our kind readers to remember our community in your duas, that our
Jamaah may succeed in disseminating the message of truth in Islam by
way of Al Qur’an and As Sunnah as exemplified by the messenger of
ALLAH, Muhammad (SAAS).
Contact the GIF via its address:
GRENADA ISLAMIC FOUNDATION
P.O. Box 786,
Calliste, St. George's
|President (Aamir) Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Bhaiyat - 1-473-420-1444; firstname.lastname@example.org
||General Secretary Br. Salim Fazl Rahaman - 1-473-444-1945/2279; email@example.com