Will you give information about the present state of the Mosque of Qurtuba (Cordoba)? Are there any Muslims remaining from that time in Spain?

The Details of the Question
Will you give information about the present state of the Mosque of Qurtuba (Cordoba)? Are there any Muslims remaining from that time in Spain?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The Mosque of Qurtuba (Cordoba), which is by the river of Guadalquivir (Wadil-Kabir) passing through the middle of the city of Cordoba (Qurtuba), Spain, is one of the biggest and oldest mosques in the world.

The mosque, which was built by Abdurrahman I and started in 785, was completed in one year. When it was first built, it was 75 meters wide and 100 meters long. The sultans that came later enlarged the mosques with various additions. In 833, Abdurrahman II added a part to the east and west of the mosque, increasing the number of the parts to 11. In 961, Hakam II added 11 parts and 11 arches, increasing the length to 47.5 meters. These additions were made without deforming the first shape and style.

After these additions, the temple became a magnificent building with a length of 175 m and with a width of 134 m. There is a big wall with a height of 12.20 m around the mosque.  

The temple with the most columns in the world isthe Mosque of Qurtuba. 19 parallel ways consisting of columns intersect 36 alleys at right angles. Most of the 850 columns are made of granite and some of them are made of stone. Columns support the arches made of bricks and white stones.

The most beautiful parts ofthe Mosque of Qurtuba are its niche (mihrab) and pulpit (minbar). The mihrab is in the form of horseshoe. The columns that support the arch of the mihrab are magnificent.

The Arches ofthe Mosque of Qurtuba

The outer decorations of the mosque have been harmed a lot but the inner decorations are still dazzling. Another characteristic of the mosque is that its arches are double-tiered; this characteristic exists only in this mosque.

It is said that a congregation 100.000 people used to perform prayers at the same in this mosque.

The Mosque of Qurtuba was transformed into a cathedral when Fernando III captured the city in 1523. The Spanish king did not demolish the mosque completely but built a cathedral in the middle.

It can be useful to read the following article in order to get brief information about the present state of Islam in Spain:

The Revival of Islam in Spain

On November 10, 1992, the Islamic Commission of Spain was officially recognized in this country, which had expelled from Muslims and Jews and which introduced itself as a Catholic country for centuries. This meant a real cultural revolution. A strict, even bigoted, Catholic country recognized Islam for the first time and granted rights to the Muslims living in its own country.

They had to give this right because Spanish intellectuals had begun years ago to revive the memories of Andalusia and to mention the unjust persecution inflicted upon Muslims. As a matter of fact, under the influence of those intellectuals, San Carlos de la Rapita Municipality built a monument in 1990; and the following sentence was written on it:

"Between 15 June and 16 September 1610, 41.000 Spanish Muslims were expelled from Spain."

The number of the Muslims in Spain started to increase beginning from 1980s, with the increase of the Muslims coming from outside and the Spanish people accepting Islam. First, a mosque was built in Granada, where painful memories of the Islamic world are still kept. Not long after that, the cities of Sevilla (Ishbiliyya), Cordoba (Qurtuba), Malaga, Almeria and other cities followed. Spanish cities and towns began to have mosques.

Along with the increase of the Muslim population, slaughtering animals according to Islamic methods started. "Halal meat" chain stores were formed.

Later on, an Islamic University opened in the name of Ibn Rushd, who grew up in Andalusia and enlightened the West. Then, the Muslim Cultural Center in Madrid opened. In Costa del Sol, Marbella and Fuengirola, spectacular mosques were built.

According to Spanish official authorities, there are 600,000 people who formally declare that they are Muslims today in Spain. Those who conceal themselves due to various reasons are definitely not included this number. The two largest Muslim Federations in the country have about four hundred associations under their roofs.

The following is stated in the preamble to the law granting rights to Muslims in Spain: "The religion of Islam has a tradition of a few centuries old and a significant importance in the formation of the Spanish identity." Acting upon this, the rights and responsibilities of Muslims are listed one by one.

The worshipping places of Muslims are approved as inviolable and untouchable places. Certain sections are allocated for Muslims in cemeteries. The beliefs and lifestyles of Muslims based on the Quran and the Sunnah are guaranteed. The imams appointed by Muslim communities are included in the scope of social security. When Muslims are taken into military service, if they want, they are employed in missions that will not disrupt their worshipping.

The marriage of Muslims is accepted and recorded in front of two witnesses. Measures are taken in hospitals, barracks and prisons according to the religious needs of Muslims.

Like other religions, Muslims are guaranteed religious education and given religious education lessons in public schools. Religious education lessons are given by the teachers chosen by Muslim communities and their salaries are paid by the state.

Mosques and places used for religious needs of Muslims are exempted from tax.

Muslims who work for the state or in private enterprise are given permission for Friday prayers.

Muslims are officially allowed a holiday for eid al-fitr and eid al-adha. The tests and other duties that need to be done on those days are postponed to other days.

It is also stated in the law that it is necessary to have halal meat at schools, barracks and other public institutions and to observe the food needs of Muslims.

Today's Muslims in Spain, who obtained numerous rights, are regarded as a hope and a first step toward the revival of the Andalusian civilization lost by Spanish intellectuals.

The fact that these nice initiatives, which will be an example to other western countries, were started in a strict Catholic and very bigoted country like Spain indicates that the Andalusian spirit still lives in that land without losing its influence.

Four hundred years later, the beautiful land of Andalusia is waking up again with sounds of adhan. Sounds of adhan rise to the sky of Andalusia. After centuries, Islam is announcing itself once again in Spain, which was the cradle of the Andalusian civilization.

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