|Eastern roof casement of Juma Masjid, Thazhathangady, Kottayam, |
Islam religion is widely practiced in Kerala and the Muslim population is concentrated in the Northern part called Malabar. Particularly Mallapuram and Kannur districts have major concentration of Muslims. Because of Kerala's trade association with Arab merchants for numerous centuries, only through them Islam came to Kerala. Kerala is the only Indian state that has some of the oldest mosques in India. As a matter of fact, Kerala was introduced to Islam long before the arrival of Muslim raiders from NW of India through Khyber pass, now in Pakistan.
|Juma Masjid (1510), Ponnani, in Malappuram district, Kerala .en.wikipedia.org|
Juma Masjid in Ponnani, in Malappuram district, Kerala was built in the year 1510 by Zainudhin Makhdum, a Muslim spiritual leader. The Masjid recognized as the ''Makkah of Kerala Muslims'' was once a center of Islamic education for the Muslim community in Kerala. As per the records of William (a historian) Logan in Malabar Manual, Juma masjid was built in 925 Hijrah.
The architect of this mosque - Ashaari, was a Hindu and a good friend of Makhdum and he designed this historical mosque blending Kerala architecture. Hence the building has a lot of wood. The architect became a Muslim and changed his name to Asari Thangal later. The mosque has the tombs of both Makhdum and the Ashaari in the same place. The main attraction here is an antique 500 year-old lamp under which many students learned the Islamic tenets. This old lamp is kept in the middle of the historical mosque. It was set by Zainuddin Makhdoom II. The entrance to the mosque has Koranic inscriptions.
Zainuddin Makhdoom (Zainuddin Ibn Bin Ahmed) wrote his famous book ''Tuhfatul Mujahideen'', a historical account of Malabar.
Ponnani Juma Masjid, Pazhayangadi Mosque, Cheraman Juma Masjid, Beemapally Mosque, etc. are a few among the many Muslim pilgrim centers in Kerala.
Juma Masjid at Thazhathangadi: On the banks of the Meenachil River in Kottayam, Kerala, S. India is an ancient and historical mosque and is believed to be 1000 years old. Considered one of the oldest mosques in India, it was built long before the arrival of Muslims from NW part of the Indian subcontinent and the Europeans. It implies that Islam has been in Kerala for more than 1000 years and this old mosque is steeped in history and would have served as a spiritual place for the locals as well merchants from the Arab countries in the past. The mosque contains a lot of wood work. It has a square inner courtyard, an beautifully carved wooden gabled roof, a traditional bathing area and eye-catching latticed windows reminiscent of a Hindu temple or a king's palace.
|Juma Masjid.Thazhathangadi,Kottayam, Kerala|