Islam is said to have been practiced in Spain as early as the year 709. At this time, Spain was still non-existent and the area was the Iberian Peninsula. It was not until 711 that Islam stamped its authority in the area. This was as a result of the need to stamp out the despotic rule of King Roderick who violated the peoples’ rights with reckless abandon. Tariq Ibn Ziyad successfully led the Muslim armies and concurred the area. In a time span of seven years, the Muslims had gained total control of the area and they ruled some parts of this the area for seven hundred years. After these years, Islam began to weaken. By the year 950, Muslims formed one of the strongest and most stable societies under the rule of the able Umayyad Caliphate in the area of Al-Andalus. Out of a population of over eight million at the time, only one million was not Muslim. As a result of the stability, Cordoba as the capital of this region was sought after by Muslims and other Europeans in search of education. The downfall of Muslim rule began when the ruling caliphate disintegrated in the year 1000 to form several but weakened states that were known as Taifa. The disunity in these small states made them susceptible to attacks by Kingdoms of Christian background. The Taifas fell apart under the attack of the Christian Kingdoms until only one, the Granada was left by 1240. Granada was able to resist attacks as it was protected by mountains that made it difficult to conquer by the Christian factions. However, the disunity in the Muslim faction finally led to the concur of Granada as the Christian faction worked together tirelessly until they took over Granada in 1491 by forcing Sultan Muhammad the Muslim Leader append his signature on the treaty that required him to cede control to the Christian kingdom then.(lostislamhistory.com). After the conquest, the Christians made Islam illegal in Granada in 1502 and became very harsh to Muslims. The intolerance led to a mass exodus of Muslims to the Northern parts of Africa. Those who remained could not express their faith in Islam. The exodus continued till in the 1600 when almost all Muslims had left Granada as a direct consequence of the religious bigotry. Those who remained behind were forced to join the Catholic Church but it was just for safety. They still secretly practiced Islam.It was not until 1960 when Islam began to re-establish itself in Spain. Most of the Muslims in Spain from that time to 1970 were immigrants from Morocco who desired to get into France and other countries further north. They were discouraged by the strict immigration rules of these countries and decided to settle down in Spain. Islam sprouted once again. Other migrants of Muslim orientation who settled in Spain included those from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. These groups came to Spain either as businesspersons or learners. The number was slightly boosted by refugees from Iran in 1979. The influx of immigrant Muslims into Spain together with the previous History of Islam is believed to have encourage many Spaniards to convert to Islam. They easily identified with it from the ancient times. (Mathew, 2009). Islam began to take route again in Spain leading to its legal recognition by the Government in 1992. By 1992, the percentage of Spanish Muslim converts was nearly equal to the number of immigrant Muslims in Spain. Apart from the rich historical legacy of Islam in Spain, Islam also significantly influenced the culture of the Spanish people. Current
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