Islam in Malta

Islam in Malta


The Mosque in Paola was founded in 1978, located on Corradino hill. The Mosque is called the Islamic Centre of Paola, where the Muslim community in Malta practice their religion.

From Byzantine to Muslim rule 870 to 1090

Fields Aerial Viewingmalta.com
Islam was introduced by the North African Aglabids after arriving from Sicily in 870. The North Africans established residence in Mdina, the Capital of Malta at the time. While in Malta the Muslims introduced irrigation techniques such as the water-wheel or “Sienja” in maltese, all of which helped Malta’s agriculture to be more fertile. They also brought with them sweet pastries, spices, new crops like citrus, figs, almonds and the cotton plant. The landscape of terraced fields is also an influence of Arabic methods as well as the traditional stone walls or “Hitan tas-Sejjieh”. The Muslims tolerated the Christian Maltese population in Malta.

Maltese Arabic surnames

The mark of arabic words is proof in the Maltese Language, in the names of places in Malta and Gozo for example Xewkija, Mdina, Marsa, Mqabba, Ghajnsielem and many more. Maltese Surnames have been derived from arabic such as Borg, Cassar, Chetchuti, Farrugia, Fenech, Micallef, Mifsud, Zammit and many more. These surnames all came from many years of historical and linguistic backgrounds from various ethnic groups.

Semitic language

Under the Norman Rule, the Arabs remained in Malta and so arabic was the common language at the time. In 1224, Muslims left Malta but the arabic language had developed into what is now the Maltese Language. In Maltese Randan means Lent, coming from the arabic word Ramadan the Islamic month of fasting. God in Maltese is Alla. Xewkija from the arabic word thorn and many other words.

Maryam al Batool school

Mariam Batool school
Next to the Mosque in Paola, there is Maryam al Batool school. The Arabic Community runs the Muslim school and follows the Maltese National Minimum Curriculum, preparing students for the national exams. The school provides an education system of Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary levels.

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