Haiti’s small but growing Muslim Community contributes positively to the country’s development.
Haiti is the poorest in North America, with a per capita GDP of $671. Haiti is experiencing rapid population growth, which is happening faster than the country can keep up to provide for its current population. In January 2010, Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake, the biggest natural disaster in the country’s history. Haiti has had a long history of slavery, revolution, deforestation, corruption, debt, and violence – all factors that have led to its lack of infrastructure, political instability, and poverty.
History of Islam in Haiti by Bilal Hoxa
Islam returned to Haiti in 1986; the reason why we use the word return is that our African ancestors who were enslaved and ended up building this beautiful Haitian nation came from countries in Africa Majority Muslims like Guinea, Gambia, Benin Republic, Senegal, some of the key figures who started the Haitian revolution was Muslim people like Duty Bookman, Makandal We believe that the oppressors and masters stripped them of their freedom as well as their Islam and forced them into the master’s religion. Therefore, we believe our ancestors were Muslims, and Islam returned to Haiti. Alhamdulillah 1986 Islam will return to Haiti through Imam Ali, a Haitian Canadian who was a pastor. He used to be a taxi driver and met a Pakistani Muslim man while driving his taxi in Canada. The man gave him Dawah he accepted Islam in 1985 a year later, he decided to return to Haiti to start inviting people to his new faith, Islam he called all his fellow pastors to Islam, but they rejected his invitation some of them would even tell him that he is already rich in Canada, that’s why he left Christianity, they went on to say they still have responsibilities and families to feed, therefore; they can’t just pack up and leave their church for any other religion, but Imam Ali continued to call people in his close circle to the religion of peace. He assembled a tent in his mother’s yard as a Musallah, and by the gate, he wrote, “Lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāhu Muḥammadur Rasulullah” [There is no deity deserving of worship except God].
In 1994, there were some soldiers the United Nations sent to Haiti for peacekeeping; among them there were some Muslim Pakistani soldiers; while driving in Port-au-Prince, they saw the writing (Lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāhu Muḥammadur Rasulullah) they came out of their vehicle and wondered if there could be any Muslim in the area by chance. They knocked at the gate they were welcomed by Imam Ali, who talked to them as brothers these brothers were so touched by the story of Islam in Haiti too. They started raising funds to start a proper construction of a masjid. so they built the first Masjid in Haiti, Masjid Al Fatiha, in Delmas 18 Port-au-Prince. In the same year, 1994, there were also Bangladeshi soldiers in the country who also came for the same mission as the Pakistani soldiers; they also contributed funds and built 3 mosques in Haiti, two in Port-au-Prince, one in Cap- Haitien.
From 2010 to 2022
The Muslim community in Haiti increasing from an estimated of 5000 to 12000
The number of the Masajid and community is increasing from 6 Mosques to 18 Mosques, below are the places where Mosques were built and their year.
- Masjid Shaheed in Miragoane built in 2017.
- Madinah orphanage 50 orphans Muslin living there.
- Madinah Academy has 200 students from preschool to grade 10.
- Aicha School In Miragaone was built in 2022 number of students 100 from grade 1 to grade 6
- Miragoane: Darul Uloom Haiti was built in 2010,
- Miragoane: Madrassah Tunahan was built in 2021.
- Petit Goave Masjid Suha built in 2018
- Leogane Masjid Abubakr Built 2022
- Les Cayes Masjid Omar Wajid built in 2022.
- Masjid Al Ghazali in Pignon built in 2021
- Al Ghazali Secondary school number of students 100 from grade 6 to grade 8
- Masjid Wassila in Pignon built in 2022
- Masjid Bookman Cap Haitian built in 2014
- Masjid Palmari built in 2022
- Masjid Al Mutakkbir in Jeremie built 2010
- Masjid Al Munawa in Gonaive built in 2009
- Masjid Shafak In Marchand Dessalines built 2012.