Friday, 14 November 2014

The oldest Cheraman Juma Masjid (1400 years old) in Kodungallur, Kerala


1400 year old Cheraman Juma Masjid.  beautifulmosque.com
 Islam arrived in India particularly on the Malabar coast long ago before the Delhi Muslim rulers, owing to frequent visits of Arab traders who had a monopoly in spice trades with the local rulers.
Prior to that,  the local people and the Muslims had been living in perfect communal harmony for centuries respecting each other's customs and religious practices.

Considered to be India's oldest mosque, the 1,400-year-old Cheraman  Juma  Masjid at  Methala  in Kodungalloor taluk, near Thrissur, Kerala was renovated on  June 29,2011 at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crores. It is world's second oldest mosque.
The Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kodungallur, believed to be the country's first and oldest mosque ever in recorded  history,  had to be restored to its original form. Its management committee was giving final touches to a renovation project  according to Masjid president P. A. Mohammed Sayed.

 The 1400-year-old  historical mosque was reconstructed many times to accommodate the increasing number of believers. “The Cheraman Juma Masjid is a cultural monument and it should be preserved it in its original form,” said Mr. Sayed.
The mosque is believed to have been constructed in 629 AD by Malik Bin Dinar, a contemporary of Cheraman Perumal.

Legend has it that Cheraman Perumal, the Hindu ruler went to Mecca, met Prophet Mohammed, and at last embraced Islam. Perumal fell ill on the way back from Mecca. Malik Bin Dinar and a few others reached Kodungallur and showed the rulers, the letters written by Perumal about his new religious experience. 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 management of the historical mosque.

Cheraman Juma masjid.  theislamshow webly.com
The mosque was first renovated in the 11th Century AD, and later in 1974, Mr. Sayed said. “An extension was added after demolishing the front portion of the old mosque during renovation. The ancient part of the mosque, including the sanctum Sanctorum, was left untouched.” It was renovated later in 1996, and in 2003, by adding extensions to accommodate more devotees, he said.
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Many non-Muslims conduct initiation ceremonies  here before sending their children to school. The mosque has an ancient oil lamp that always burns continuously  and is believed to be more than a thousand years old. People of all religions bring oil for the lamp as offering.  Like most mosques in Kerala, this mosque allows  Non-Muslims for prayer.