The ‘Arabic word tariq (pronounced tareeq) means track or path. The Rock of Gibraltar became “Jabal Tariq” or The Mountain of the Path, for the path of Islaam into the Iberian Peninsula. The theory is that the Muslims would not dare name the mountain after a person, but rather in honour of their religion.
Prior to the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by Tariq, small incursions and recces were conducted by Tarif bin Malik Nakli, who reported that Spain was ripe for the picking. According to Tito Vallejo in his article in the Gibraltar Chronicle, when Tariq landed in Gibraltar in 711, the Rock was named Jabal Al Fath and the town Madinat Al Fath, which mean the Mountain of Victory and the City of Victory respectively.