"A great place, but bestof all is the greatteaching. Fantasticarabic lessons, and agood way to meetinteresting people." - Jon Atkinson
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Andalus is a grassroots community based initiative with a unique approach to meeting the needs and aspirations of Scottish Muslims; with emphasis on maintaining cultural and faith based values, and at the same time being fully participant in the wider society, promoting understanding and integration between communities of different faiths and cultures.

Our vision is to create the first Beacon Institute and Community Hub in Scotland. This will serve the culture and faith related educational and spiritual needs of children and adults, along with social and recreational activities. We are working towards breaking barriers and community integration by promoting understanding and sharing the rich and diverse Muslim cultural tradition while embracing our Scottish roots.

We aim to focus on traditional arts and crafts, music and sports, specialised courses and workshops on faith, health, culture and contemporary issues, advice and counselling sensitive to peoples cultural needs and values, a social hub comprising of a restaurant / cafeteria based on traditional designs, a holistic nursery / early years programme, bookshop and library facilities with diverse resources.

Our current work includes an imaginative Arabic playgroup for pre-school children, an educational mother and toddlers group, Arabic language and Qur'anic recitation classes for over 200 adults and children, a creative arts and crafts project, Calligraphy workshops and a youth character development project based on sports called the Rihla.

Andalus is the first establishment and institute of its kind in Scotland that illustrates how expressions of faith and culture can effectively promote social inclusion, community cohesion and integration. Where many issues of society today revolve around difference and barriers to co-operation the primary achievement of Andalus has been enabling non-Muslims and Muslims to experience Andalus as a welcoming space where they can explore, learn and contribute in a non-threatening and collaborative way. Educational, faith related and spiritual needs are provided through social and recreational activities, this holistic approach recognising the importance of interconnected aspects of individuals' and family lives: educational, spiritual, physical and cultural.

Andalus works in partnership and supports organisations with similar ethos that have begun serving the community in recent years and is seeing that through these efforts and the continued co-operation of similarly minded groups a centralised hub for the whole community is emerging that serves needs of Muslims though the promotion of equality, acceptance and welcoming.  

Andalus is the Arabic name given to the Iberian Peninsula, which is now known as Spain and Portugal. During the Muslim era, Andalus became well known for being a centre of learning where people of different faiths and countries came to learn. It was also a period of religious tolerance and harmony where Muslims, Jews and Christians co-existed peacefully and advanced the spiritual and intellectual growth of their communities.

Our motto is the same motto that was placed above the entrance to the major universities of Andalusia during the Muslim era:

“The World is held by Four Pillars:
The Wisdom of the Learned,
The Justice of the Great,
The Prayers of the Righteous,
And the Valour of the Brave.”

Andalus upholds this motto and seeks to continue the work that is guided by this historical period. Education, inclusion, faith and confidence are all promoted through multiple projects. Andalus' flexible nature successfully brings people and families together to promote within themselves and to the wider community the principles of tolerance and acceptance.

Andalus' work has been based out of a large three story building in the West End of Glasgow in Scotland since 2009. This building has enabled a further aspect of the organisation to evolve; that of creating a prophetic based community hub. Here, the many individual projects and activities of the organisation are centralised, this use of space further contributing to community development and cohesion. The building accommodates activities such as archery and fencing in its downstairs recreational area, educational facilities within many classroom style rooms on the second floor, meditation room and informal meeting spaces in an Andalusian style setting. Friday prayers in the prayer hall and plans to open a roof top garden and Café in the future. Acquisition of this building has importantly meant that long-term sustainability of projects and wider community partnerships are ensured.

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