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. Muslims arrived in India during the life of Prophet Muhammad, establishing mosques and organizing missionary endeavours in the seventh century C.E. Those efforts proved successful, rooting Islam firmly into Indian life. Arabs had had a presence in India before the birth of Muhammad. That probably facilitated making inroads for Islam, since Arab traders established in India who converted to Islam already had a base of operations established. Kerala had a long history of relations with Arabia from the time of Solomon. Arabs traded with Kerala for gold, ivory, monkeys and peacocks. Arab merchants came to Kerala from Egypt long before the Romans. The main port was Alexandria and Kodungallore for Egyptians and Keralites. Ancient references to black pepper, swords from India and teak in Arab poetry indicate trade connection to Kerala. It took around 30 to 40 days for Arabs to make the journey to Kerala. Kerala Muslims have always believed that their origins go back to 7th century AD when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) preached the religion.
Islam arrived in South Asia long before Muslim invasions of India; the first influence came during the early seventh century with Arab traders. Arab traders visited the Malabar region, linking them with the ports of South East Asia, even before Islam established in Arabia. With the advent of Islam, Arabs became a prominent cultural force. Arab merchants and traders became the carriers of the new religion and they propagated it wherever they went. Malik Bin Deenar built the first Indian mosque in Kodungallur in 612 C.E., at the behest of Cheraman Perumal, during the life time of Prophet Muhammad (c. 571–632) Malik Bin Deenar established the first mosque in the Indian subcontinent in 629 C.E. Islamic scholars consider the mosque the second in the world to offer Jumma Prayer after the mosque in Medina. Malik Bin Deenar’s missionary team built ten additional mosques along the Malabar coast, including Kollam, Chaliyam, Pantalayini Kollam/Quilandi, Madayi/Pazhayangadi, Srikandhapuram, Dharmadom, Kasaragode,Mangalore, and Barkur. Reportedly, they built the mosques at Chombal, Kottayam, Poovar and Thengapattanam during that period.
Muslim Organizations There are about 8 million Muslims in Kerala and the experts and almost everybody are attached to any Muslim organization.After Kunjali Marakkar and Samuthiri parted company Muslim influence declined. Theekkodi. After her time the family broke up. Thakkala. Even before this period they had settlements in Perumathura. Kerala's only Muslim kingdom was Kannanore's Arakkal family. Kozocodu. social. The last ruler was Ali Raja Mariumma Beevi Thangal. During the time of Hyderali and Tippu Sultan there was a revival amongst Muslims of Malabar. Poovar and Thiruvankottu in southern Travancore. Kerala is full of competing Muslim religious. Historians disagree as to the time period of Arakkal rulers. Thengapattanam. Many organizations were formed during the turn of the last century when community leaders realized that the community was lagging behind in social and economic front. One of the last kings Arakkal Abdu Rahiman Ali Raja (1881 -1946) was active in helping his subjects. The Arakkal king signed a treaty with Hyderali. During the time the second Marakkar Muslims spread from port areas to hiiilsides of Valapattanam. Ponnani. During the reign of the four marakkars played significant role in trade. Muslim influence reached its peak at the time of Kunjali Marakkar (4th). Samathuri followed up with his own treaty with Hyder. and political organizations that are very active in the state. It was launched in 1924 by Kerala Muslim Aikya Sangham. Kerala has long history of Muslim organizations.2 During the time of the Samuthiries the Muslims of Malabar played major role in the local army and fleet as well as ambassadors to Arabia and China. From there many migrated to Palakkadu. Some of the prominent Muslim organizations are: Samastha Kerala Jam’eyyat ul-Ulama : Popularly known as “Samastha” is the largest Muslim organization of Kerala. This . Kakkadu. It was during the time of Samuthiris that the title of 'Marakkar' was created. Pandalayani. Some claim that ancient coins date the Arakkal rulers to the 8th century.
’ It runs an excellent system of Madrasa education throughout Kerala and a few outside the state as well. a prominent daily newspaper in Malayalam. prayer. The Tablighi Jamaat (Outreach Society): became active after the 1940s as a movement. Mujahid group was one of the first Muslim organization to encourage education of girls.M. Seethi sahib was the leader of Congress but by 1934 he was in Muslim League camp. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind: JIH’s Kerala unit is the most active unit of the organization established in 1941 by Syed Abul Ala Maududi. It has been highly critical of the kind of activities that occur in and around Sufi shrines and remains a minor. Mujahid movement runs a number off madrasas and Arabic Colleges. Since winning a seat in 1934. Abdul Nasser Madani’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).g. Solidarity Youth Movement. Prabodhanam. Girls Islamic Organisation. Sangham leader K. primarily among the ulema (religious leaders). He brought with him many of his supporters to the ML. Muslim League never indulged in communal politics in Kerala and even though it championed the cause of Muslims but always positioned itself as a secular party. a missionary spirit. Kerala Nadwathul Mujahideen: This organization also find its origin in Kerala Muslim Aikya Sangham. a weekly magazine among others. JIH runs a number of organizations in the state.Students Islamic Organisation. Political Front of India. IUML also has its origin in Aikya Sangham. Jamaat publishes Madhyamam. and attention to orthodoxy. stressing personal renewal.3 organization represents the traditional ulema of Kerala who are fiercely opposed to the so-called ‘Wahabi ideology. if respected. Political conservatism of Muslim League has led to the establishment of new groups e. force in the training of the ulema. Jamaat also has a very active women’s cell in the state. Seethi Sahib was the founder leader of Muslim League in Kerala. Muslim League has firmly established itself in Kerala politics. A number of new Muslim organizations have come up recently showing the restlessness among the Muslim youth. . It was officially formed in 1950 and is affiliated to the All India Ahl-e-Hadith.
dynastic claims. Arab Turkish rivalries. tribal differences or something else of similar nature. Darul-Uloom Deoband has the most influential Islamic seminary in India. It is well known that Western powers sought to aggravate and accentuate all the differences they could find and make use of among the Muslims over whom they ruled whether it was Sunnism and Shi‘ism. Salafi and other smaller sects. Hindutva groups are very active here and making inroads in Kerala society. A globalized Islamophobia is also affecting the thousand years old inter-community relations in Kerala and Muslims here are feeling the heat. Sufi. . is becoming united into a single economic if not political block. A majority of Muslims in India declare either Sunni Deobandi or Sunni Barelwi allegiance. considered second only to Egypt's AlAzhar in its global influence.4 Though these organizations are bitterly competitive but always come together for the benefit of the community on issues affecting the Muslims. that cradle of modern nationalism. although some declare allegiance to Shia. Any talk of obstacles to Islamic unity cannot disregard a realistic appraisal of the very powerful interests which wish to prevent such a unity that is often depicted in the West as the rising danger of a so-called "fundamentalist" Islam at the very moment when Europe.
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