The western Islamic world (northwest Africa); distinguished from the Mashriq, or eastern Islamic world (the Middle East). Literally, ""the time and place of the sunset--the west."" For its Arab conquerors, the region was the ""island of the west"" (jazirat al maghrib), the land between the ""sea of sand"" (the Sahara) and the Mediterranean Sea. Traditionally includes Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Tripolitania (in Libya); more recently some sources have treated Mauritania as part of the region. Also transliterated as Maghreb.