Creating Your Site

Joomla! is all about allowing you to create a site that matches your vision. The possibilities are limitless; this sample site will just get you started.

There are a few things you should know to get you started.

First, every Joomla! site has two parts the Site (which is what your site visitors see) and the Administrator (which is where you will want to do a lot of the site management). You need to log in to the Administrator separately. There is a link to the administrator on the top menu. 

You can edit articles in the Site by clicking on the edit icon. You can create a new article by clicking on the Create Article link in the top menu.  

To do other things, like edit the contact form, edit the modules or change the site name you need to log in to the administrator. 

Some quick tips for working in the Administrator:

  • Change site name and tag line: Go to the Extensions, Template Manager and on the Styles tab click on Your Basic Template.
  • To edit the Header Module: Go to Extensions, Module Manager and click on Header Module.
  • To edit the Side Module: Go to Extensions, Module Manager and click on Side Module.
  • To edit the Contact Form: Go to Components, Contacts. Click on Your Name. 


Once you have your basic site you may want to install your own template (that controls the overall design of your site) and then, perhaps additional extensions. 

There is a lot of help available for Joomla!. You can visit the Joomla! forums and the Joomla! documentation site to get started. 

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The earliest reference to the Mosque is contained in an illustration of the first Fort of the Portuguese which was built in 1518 (see map above). This illustration has been reproduced by Mr. R.L. Brohier in his “Historical Series” – No 1, and appears on the front of the book. The existence of Mosques in Ceylon, during this period, appears from a description found on this illustration in Colombo. It is said that when “a flotilla of eight Portuguese sailing vessels anchored in the Bay (Colombo) on November 15, 1505, the Commander of the expedition saw, beyond a rummage of masts and spars of smaller shipping and off the shore marred by a crescent of sand, clusters of huts hidden by foliage, some cadjan godowns and two limewashed Mosques.”

Until the Portuguese arrived, in 1505, the sea-board trade was mainly in the hands of the Arabs, some of whom who had settled in Colombo, Kalutara, Beruwela, Galle, Matara, and Hambantota along the western shoreline. Soon after their arrival, the Portuguese obtained permission from the Sinhalese King to establish a trading post in Colombo. After some years the new Governor of the Portuguese settlement in Goa (India), Diogo Lopez de Siqueyra, sent Lopo de Brito to take up position as Captain of Colombo (1518-1521) with a number of workmen to build a stronger Fort in Colombo, not just to strengthen their position against the Sinhalese but also to put down the competition in trade created by the Moors.

King Vijaya Bahu who was not opposed to the Portuguese establishing a trading post, was alarmed at their effrontery in trying to dominate the sea-board by building a Fort. He, therefore, launched an attack on the Portuguese in 1520. Thosugh the Portuguese garrison was small their superior arms and training kept the King at bay and he was ultimately compelled to withdraw.. De Queyroz says, “The King himself abandoned the camp despairing of success against the Portuguese, and our people on the following day, again, burnt the town (Colombo) along with the two large Mosques built by the former Moor’s who had lived there.”

The continued friction between the Sinhalese and the Portuguese, and, the latters inability to compete with the Moor’s in trade in the interior parts of the Island made their position in Colombo rather precarious. Hence, when Vasco da Gama came to India (second Viceroy in 1524) he had orders from the King of Portugal to dismantle the Fort of Colombo, leaving only a factory there. The Fort was, therefore, razed to the ground and the garrison and artillery were moved to Goa in India. This was an occasion of great joy for the Moors, who, in gratitude to Almighty Allah, re-built a small Mosque in Colombo.

Father S.G. Perera has recorded that,”The population of the town was largely Muslim and there was a Mosque together with a Muslim cemetery and a Court of Justice to settle disputes according to Muslim Law.”

There is also a strong tradition to show that the new Mosque was built on the identical spot where the demolished ones stood thus implying that the present day Colombo Grand Mosque must have a history of more than 450 years today (2002).

In later years the Portuguese found that it was to their advantage, commercially, to tolerate the Moors and hence they began to enjoy a considerable amount of freedom. In spite of definite instructions from the Portuguese Provincial Council in Goa and the Roman Catholic dignitaries against employing Moors by the Christians, many Moors were still appointed as Vidane’s (Headmen) etc. by the local Portuguese.

In his,”ceylon: The Portuguese Era”, Dr Paul E Pieris states that even in Colombo there was a Moorish tailor named Belala, who, by 1625 had resided for thirty years and had also amassed great wealth. On the occasion of the marriage of his daughter to another Moor, the wedding procession paraded through the city at night and several Portuguese had also decorated and illuminated their houses and also joined in the procession. One of the influential Portuguese residents had even sent one of his African slaves to slaughter the cattle according to Islamic Shariah rites for the marriage feast.

This brief description is more than sufficient to prove the existence of a flourishing Muslim community where this old Mosque played a significant part in their social, cultural, and religious requirements.

DUTCH PERIOD 1658-1796

This flourishing era for the Moors of Colombo was not destined to last for long. The Dutch, who captured Colombo in 1658, were not prepared to tolerate the Moors for two main reasons. First, because they were of an alien faith, and next, because the Dutch were solely intent on earning as much wealth as they could and hence would not tolerate any rival or competition in their trade, unlike the Portuguese. Thus many oppressive laws were passed against the Moors preventing them from residing within the limits of Colombo and other towns and also preventing them from acquiring land and property within these towns. The Moors were thus compelled to keep away from the town and concentrate on their trade with the indigenous people of the interior.

In the 17th and 18th Century, both Ceylon and Indonesia (Batavia) were ruled by the Dutch United East India Company. At the zenith of their power, the Dutch East India Company, besides bringing mercenary soldiers to Ceylon had also sent many of the Indonesian nobility into exile here, especially those people whom they considered a threat to their poltical activities. Many of these exiles belonged to the ruling classes in Indonesia and they were also those who objected, both, spiritually and physically, to the growing power of the Company.

Kings,Princes, Chiefs and other Nobles who became a nuisance or hindrance to the Company were sent to Ceylon with their families from Indonesia as political exiles. A list of state exiles contains the names of 176 persons belonging to 23 families. Among the 23 heads of these families was Raja Gosman of Oesman (King of Goa in South Celebes) together with his Minister Hooloo Balangkaya, who had arrived in Ceylon in 1790 or earlier and had lived in Moor Street, Colombo.