Islam in Mauritius
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|Islam by country|
Muslims constitute over 17.3% of Mauritius population. Muslims of Mauritius are of Indian descent; however, there is a growing number of creole converts to Islam. The vernacular language is Urdu/Hindi.
Approximately 95 percent are Sunni Muslims, having an understanding of the Urdu language. Within the Muslim community, there are three distinct ethnic groups that exist, notably the Memons and the Surtees (who are rich merchants who came from Kutch and Surat province of Gujarat in India), then the "Hindi Calcattias" who came to Mauritius as indentured labourer from Bihar. Humeirah, a novel by Sabah Carrim, is a story about the Memons and the Hindi Calcattias, set on Mauritius.
Other languages include Bhojpuri, Gujarati, and Tamil. Among the Shia minority, some have their origins in different parts of South Asia, while others are adherents of the Shia Ismaili sect from East Africa. The majority of Shias are Ithna 'ashariyah with a small Ismaili sect. There is also an Ahmadi minority.
The first purpose-built mosque in Mauritius is the Camp des Lascars Mosque in around 1805. It is now officially known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jummah Mosque in Port Louis was built in the 1850s and is described in the Ministry of Tourism's guide as one of the most beautiful religious buildings in Mauritius . There are many smaller mosques in the towns and villages. The highest concentration of Muslims is found in the capital Port Louis, predominantly in the Plaine Verte, Ward IV, Valle Pitot and Camp Yoloff neighborhood.
The Islamic Authority recognized by the Government is Jummah Mosque Port Louis.
- "Resident population by religion and sex" (PDF). Statistics Mauritius. p. 68. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- Constitution of Mauritius, First Schedule, section 31(2)
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.
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