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Friday, May 31, 2024

Cultural shifts results in surging wave of spanish conversions to Islam

From pandemic introspection to newfound identity and belonging, Spain witnesses a surge in conversions to Islam, embracing a new faith.

In recent years, Spain has witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of Spaniards converting to Islam. This phenomenon, observed particularly on Fridays, has been welcomed by the Spanish Muslim community and has made a significant impact on the country’s religious landscape. 

Gateway to Conversion

Every Friday, the Grand Mosque of Granada witnesses the transformative moment when Spanish individuals embrace Islam by reciting the Shahada—the Islamic declaration of faith. This act symbolises their commitment to a new spiritual path and marks the beginning of a profound personal journey.

Read More: El Rocío Pilgrimage: A Sacred Journey of Faith and Cultural Celebration in Spain

Post-Pandemic Awakening

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spain has witnessed a remarkable upsurge in the number of Spaniards embracing Islam, marking a significant shift in the country’s religious landscape. The prolonged periods of lockdown, social isolation, and the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic have compelled individuals to embark on a journey of introspection, seeking solace, community, and purpose. These unprecedented times have prompted many to question their existing belief systems and explore alternative spiritual paths. Islam, with its emphasis on community, social justice, and personal transformation, has emerged as a beacon of hope for those seeking a deeper connection and a renewed sense of meaning in their lives. The pandemic’s impact has thus acted as a catalyst, propelling a growing number of Spaniards towards the Islamic faith.

Embracing Identity

Umar del Pozo, the President of the Spanish Islamic Society Association and Granada Great Mosque Foundation, wholeheartedly embraces the growing trend of Spaniards converting to Islam and expresses genuine delight in this transformative journey. As the number of converts continues to rise, it brings immeasurable joy and pride to the Muslim community in Spain. Beyond the communal satisfaction, the act of conversion also offers a profound personal transformation for the individuals involved. Embracing Islam allows them to discover a new sense of identity, providing a spiritual anchor and a deep sense of belonging within a supportive and inclusive community. This newfound connection to Islam grants them a unique perspective and opens doors to cultural enrichment, fostering a rich tapestry of diversity within Spanish society.

Muslim Community in Spain 

According to official records, the Muslim population in Spain has multiplied tenfold over the past three decades, surpassing 2.5 million individuals. Non-official estimates suggest that the number of Muslims in the country may be closer to 3 million. Within this diverse community, 40 percent are Spanish converts, while the remaining 60 percent are immigrants, primarily from Morocco. However, other nationalities such as Pakistani and Senegalese also contribute to the vibrant Muslim presence in cities like Barcelona, Valencia, and Logrono.

Spaniards and Their Third-Generation Children

In Granada alone, approximately 36,000 Muslims reside in the city and its surrounding districts. Among them are 3,700 Spaniards who have chosen Islam as their faith, with their descendants constituting the third generation of Spanish-born Muslims. This statistic exemplifies the enduring impact of the conversion trend, illustrating its sustainability and potential for further growth in the years to come.

Read More: Walking through Spain’s Islamic history

The growing number of conversions to Islam among Spaniards highlights the nation’s evolving religious landscape. Amidst the challenges of the pandemic, individuals have sought solace and meaning by embracing this faith. As Spain continues to embrace diversity, the presence of Spanish-born Muslims contributes to the multicultural tapestry of the country, fostering a sense of unity and understanding.