Saturday, May 30, 2009

FIRST MASJID IN INDIA -- ABOUT MALIK BIN DEENAR & CHERAMAN PERUMAL


The mosque is believed to have been established in 629 AD by Malik Bin Dinar, a contemporary of Cheraman Perumal.

Malik Bin Deenar

Malik bin Deenar or Malik Ibn Dinar was a Tabi‘in. He is famous for being the first to bring Islam to India.
In 644 AD, Malik bin Deenar and 12 of his trade associates landed in Kerala[1], and continued the trade between India and Arabia. Their way of trading however was distinctly different from that of earlier Arab traders and the populace was wooed to Islam.
The King of the time, Cheraman Perumal, came to know of the surprising trade practices of these Arabs and had them brought to his palace. On enquiry, Malik Bin Deenar and his comrades related the reason for their honest trade practices to be their recent conversion to Islam.
The king asked them to explain Islam. They discussed the tenets of Islam and talked about Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Salaam). The king then wanted to know if there was any proof that Muhammad was a prophet. The traders said Muhammad(Sallallahu Alayhi wa Salaam) had performed supernatural deeds, including the Shaqq Al Qamar or the splitting of the moon into two.
The King then summoned his Hindu Astrologers who consulted their almanacsArabia where it is chronicled that he met the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Salaam) and performed the famous Last Hajj with him. On his journey back, he was drowned in a tempest which destroyed his ship and his body came ashore at Salalah, Oman where his grave is a famous landmark today. and reported a similar phenomenon recorded by them. The King forthwith abdicated his throne and left with Malik Bin Deenar for

[edit] Mosque


Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid before it renovated and believed to be the first Masjid in India built in 629 AD by Malik Ibn Dinar.
A mosque was built at Kodungalloor by Malik Ibn Deenar around 629 AD. The mosque was provided by the Hindu population living in that place. A mosque at Madayi in Kannur District called the Malik Ibn Deenar Mosque is also believed to have been built by Malik Ibn Deenar. In addition to these two mosques, some other palaces were also granted by the local raja as places of worship for the Muslims. This explains the temple style of architecture for some of the earliest mosques in Kerala.

[edit] See also

  • Islam
  • Cheraman Perumal
  • Muhammad
  • Malik Dinar Mosque
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  • Malik Dinar Mosque is a historical mosque in Kasargode district of Keralasouth India. Over the years, Kasargod acquired the considerable importance as a centre of Islam on the west coast. It is the site of one of the mosques believed to have been founded by Malik Ibn Dinar. The mosque, Juma Masjid, which is one of the best kept and most attractive in the district, is located at Thalangara. It contains the grave of Malik Ibn Mohammed, one of the descendants of Malik Ibn Dinar and the place is sacred to Muslims. Another notable mosque, in Kasaragod is the Theruvath Mosque which is in the centre of the town. An important local celebration takes place every year in commemoration of the arrival of Malik Ibn Dinar. The Uroos attract pilgrims from all over India. state,
    Lots of people from different parts of India come here for mental relief.

  • Malik Bin Dinar Juma Masjid, Thazhathangadi, Kasargode, Kerala.
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Cheraman Perumal
Bhaskara Ravi Varma was a king of the ancient Tamil-speaking Chera Dynasty in the late eighth Century CE. He is said to have ruled from the seat of the Chera Dynasty; Karuvur Vanchi (modern Karur), on the Amaravati River over Kongu Nadu, the Koduntamizh (deviant Tamil) regions of Kuttanadu (Malabar), Venadu (later Travancore) and Tenpandinadu, the first two being north and south modern Kerala and the third in the extreme south of Tamil Nadu.
William Logan[1] reports that the Keralolpatti portrays Cheraman Perumal as a generic figurehead of the Chera Dynasty, along with a Chola Perumal and a Pandi Perumal. The Keralolpatti goes on emphatically to deny that Cheraman Perumal converted to Islam (sometimes conflated with Buddhism) and died while on pilgrimage, asserting that this was all done by a later king, one Banu Perumal - an assertion that Logan immediately questions.[citation needed]
The Malabar coast had conducted trade with the west since before the Greek and Roman periods and already played host to communities of Jews, Christians and Manicheans,[2] while the Jain and Buddhist doctrines from the North were also gaining sway. Logan observed that Muslim graves date the first nine mosques in Kerala to the late eighth century CE, which appears to synchronize with the historical Cheruman Perumal.[citation needed]
The traders described the Mujizaat (supernatural deeds) of the ProphetMuhammad, including the Shaqq Al Qamar or the Splitting of the moon into two. The legend alleges that the King Cheraman Perumal then abdicated his throne and left with Malik Bin Deenar for Arabia where it is purported that he met the Prophet Muhammad, accepted Islam and performed the famous Last Hajj with him. On his journey back, he was supposed to have drowned in a tempest which destroyed his ship and his body came ashore at Salalah, Oman where his grave is a famous landmark today.

Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid, believed to be the first Masjid in India
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Cheraman Perumal Mosque is said to have been established in 629 AD, during Prophet Muhammad's lifetime by his disciple, Malik-Ibn-Dinar. It is the the second oldest Mosque in the world to offer Jumu'ah prayers (for the last 1,380 years). The first mosque ever built in the world is in Saudi-Arabia; the Quba Mosque (Quba' Masjid or Masjid al-Quba) just outside Medina and so is considered to be the oldest.

Uniqueness

I reached here around 17:00 hours and you can just see the sun setting behind the mosque in this photograph. ie this Mosque faces east and is probably the only Mosque in Kerala that face east unlike other mosques which usually face west. Another peculiarity is that the mosque has an ancient oil lamp which always burns and is believed to be more than a thousand years old. People of all religions bring oil for the lamp as offering. This is one of the few mosques in Kerala which allow entry for people of other religions. Another unique feature is that 'Vidyarambham' a traditional Hindu ritual initiation ritual marking the start of a child's learning is held here every year

Architecture and Traditions

The mosque is built in the traditional Kerala architectural style, similar to Hindu temples. Similar to Hindu tradition, the mosque uses brass oil lamps. The Rosewood-pulpit, from where the priest recites the prayers, is covered with carvings similar to the ones seen in Hindu architecture. A block of white marble in the mosque is believed to have been brought from Mecca.

The Mosque had many renovations and reconstructions (11th and 18th centuries and recently in 1974,1994 and 2001). The ground floor of the shrine is left untouched and is still preserved. The front portion of the first floor has been replaced with minarets, while the posterior side of the first floor is still intact(see below)


Legend
The popular legend is that a Chera king, Cheramanperumal of Kodungallor left for Mecca, embraced Islam, and accepted the name Thajudeen. He married the sister of then King of Jeddah. On his return trip, accompanied by many Islamic religious leaders, led by Malik-ibn-Dinar, he fell sick and passed away. But he had given letters for the team to proceed to Kodungallur. The visitors came to Kerala and handed over the letter from Cheraman Perumal to the reigning king, who gave all the facilities and support to establish their faith in the land. The king also helped to build the first Mosque at Kodungallur, by converting Arathali temple into a Juma-Masjid. However, 'Kerala Vyasan Kunjukuttan Thampuran' is of the opinion that an old Buddha temple was handed over to the Muslims to establish a mosque here.
History
'Keralolpathi' portrays Cheraman Perumal as a generic figurehead of the Chera Dynasty, along with a Chola Perumal and Pandi Perumal. Cheraman Perumal Bhaskara Ravi Varma was a king of the ancient Tamil-speaking Chera dynasty in the eighth Century AD. Kodungallur may have been his ancient capital. It is possible that the kings in those days were all called 'Cheraman Perumal'. ('Cheranad' for Kerala and 'Raja Perumal' means 'godly king')
All the records are folk tales and stories, and it gives a somewhat blurred historical picture about the origins of the ruling dynasty. The surviving manuscripts, such as Keralolpathi, Keralamahatmyam, and Perumpadapu Grandavari, are collections of myths and legends. Some historians doubt the reliability of these manuscripts due to the many discrepancies in it.
'Keralolpathi' says that the last and the famous Perumal king Cheraman Perumal ruled Kerala for 36 years. He left for Mecca by ship with Muslims who arrived at Kodungalloor (Cranganore) port. Before leaving for Mecca, he divided his kingdom between his nephews and sons. But it goes on emphatically to deny that Cheraman Perumal converted to Islam (sometimes conflated with Buddhism) and died while on pilgrimage, asserting that this was all done by a later king, one Banu Perumal.
The 'Perumpadapu Grandavari' says the last Thavazhi of Perumpadapu Swaroopam came into existence on the Kaliyuga day shodashangamsurajyam. Cheraman Perumal divided the land in half, 17 amsha north of Neeleshwaram & 17 amsha south, totaling 34 amsha, and gave his powers to nephews and sons. Thirty-four rajyas between Kanyakumari (Cape Comerin, now in Tamilnadu state) and Gokarna (now in Karnataka state) were given to the 'Thampuran' who was the daughter of the last niece of Cheraman Perumal.
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THE HINDU Staff Reporter


AWAITING VVIP VISIT: The Cheraman Juma Masjid at Kodungallur near Thrissur.
THRISSUR: President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam will visit the Cheraman Juma Masjid at Kodungallur, near here, considered to be the first mosque in the subcontinent, on July 29.2005
According to the president of the Mosque Committee V. A. Ibrahim, the President has responded to an invitation sent by the committee two months ago.
``This is the first time that an Indian President is visiting the mosque. It is a historic occasion,'' Mr. Ibrahim says.
The President is expected to arrive at the mosque at 5.45 p.m. and spend 25 minutes there.
He will meet mosque committee officials, address the gathering and leave at 6.10 p.m.
The mosque is believed to have been established in 629 AD by Malik Bin Dinar, a contemporary of Cheraman Perumal.
Belief goes that Perumal had gone to Mecca, met Prophet Mohammed and embraced Islam. Perumal fell ill as he returned from Mecca.
Malik Bin Dinar and a few others reached Kodungallur and showed the rulers letters written by Perumal about his new religious experiences. Dinar and his associates were allowed to construct a mosque.
When Dinar, who was the chief priest (Ghazi) of the mosque, left for Arabia, his nephew Habib Bin Malik took over.
The mosque is believed to have been renovated in the 11th and 18th centuries AD. In 1974, an extension was built.
``The mosque has been visited by a galaxy of celebrities, including theologians from different parts of the world,'' says Mr. Ibrahim.
`Vidyarambham' (initiation into world of letters) ceremonies have been held in the mosque, Hindu style, in the past four years.


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