Kerala is thought to be the place where Islam first reached in India. And unlike its arrival in north India, where Invading Islamic forces brought the religion, the young religion arrived here peacefully, directly from the middle east, as a result of Kerala’s long-existing trade and cultural relations with the middle east.
But there is a belief that Islam arrived here in 7th century, during the lifetime of Prophet Mohemmad. There is also a story that one of the Cheraman Perumals saw the moon split into two and he decided to undertake a journey to Mecca to see the prophet. It also says that from there, he sent Malik Bin Dinar, a religious preacher to profess and spread the religion in Kerala.
This myth finds mention in works such as Tuhfatul Mujahideen, though historians haven’t found any evidence to prove this story correct.
Among the scholar circles, a history enquirer, Abdulla Anjiyath has studied an inscription in a mosque in Madayi, Kannur and has argued that an inscription there has the year Hijara 5 written on it. How reliable is his observation? What would actually be the time of Islam’s arrival in Kerala? We asked Mahood Kooria, a renowned historian, and an author of several work on Muslim community in the Indian ocean reagion.
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