By Mevish Rauf

Spain. What goes through your mind when you think of Spain? For some it might be beaches, scenery and good weather – a perfect holiday destination. For others, like myself, that might be half of the story. If acquainted with the history of Spain you’d recall the 700 year old rule of the Moors in South Spain called Andalusia and how they shaped education, language and culture. That is all I knew. Although this prior knowledge did not surprise me much when our tour guide, Abu Bakr, told us the history of Andalusia, I was, however, completely mind-blown by the rest of the information.

In the Andalusian tour we explored three cities: We visited Al Cázar in Seville; cathedral, Calahorra tower and an Andalusian house in Córdoba; and the Alhambra palace in Granada. We also visited villages in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Granada. I learnt much from these places which has influenced my thinking.

From my personal reflections, the most wonderful part of the whole trip was the realisation that not only was Andalusia mighty but also how wonderful the people were. They were God fearing people who had a vision to change and better lives. They relied on God to help them accomplish what they did. They incorporated Islam in their daily lives as well as architectural designs. It was a reminder that it does not matter who you are and where you come from. But what matters most is how much you rely on God. This vision and reliance on God can help the Muslims of today to stand back on their feet and bring back the glory of our past.

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