|Cherman Perumal Mosque, Kodungaloor, destinationsdiary.com|
|1400 year old Cheraman Juma masjid..www.indiatvnews.com|
|Cheraman Perumal Mosque, old picture. varnam.nationalinterest.in|
The following are the amazing facts of this historical mosque:
01. Considered to be India's oldest mosque -1,400-year-old; our country's first and oldest mosque.
02. An amazing fact is it is the world's second oldest Juma mosque, where the Juma (Friday) prayers have been held for the last 1375 years, since the days of Prophet Mohammed (570-634 A.D.).
03. Islam arrived in India, particularly, on the coastal Malabar long before the invasion of Muslim rulers from the NW regions who established their rule In Delhi and later in other parts of India.
04. Arab traders who were main traders in spices and other items for export, had close rapport with the local Hindu rulers -Zamorins (local parlance: Samudris) trades with the local rulers.
05. Christians and Jews were also living in some other parts of Kerala in the Musuris region and for centuries there existed a perfect harmony among them. It was in this region Apostle St. Thomas arrived in 52 AD and established seven and half churches.
07. Cheraman Perumal (Cheraman Perumal Bhaskara Ravi Varma) , the Hindu ruler, who took keen interest in Islam, went to Mecca, where he was fortunate to have met Prophet Mohamed. After this great event, he at last embraced Islam. On his return journey, he died midway at Dhufar in Oman and Malik Bin Dinar, an Arab and a good wisher of the ruler and a few others, upon reaching Kodungallur, with permission from the expired ruler's successor (they carried letter from the diseased king) built the mosque.
08. Malik Ibn Dinar, was also a "sahaba" or a companion of the Prophet. He was the mosque's first Ghazi and nephew Habib Bin Malik took over the management of the mosque when Dinar took the Haj trip to Mecca.
09. Malik Dinar was one of the 13 followers of Prophet Mohammad who reached the ancient port of Musuris on the spice route in Malabar in 629 A.D.
10. The mosque is named after the the Chera ruler in recognition of the help extended by the ruler's family. hence the name: Cheraman Juma masjid.
11. This mosque, designed and constructed based on Hindu architecture, has a unique feature that is not found in other mosques. While other mosques world over face the direction of Mecca, but this one faces East. Because it was built originally as a Hindu shrine,
12. The mosque was first renovated in the 11th Century AD, and later in 1974, according to Mr. Sayed, a member of the historical mosque committee. In 1996 and in 2003 renovation took place without disturbing the heritage parts including the sanctum. However. the minarets and a dome are modern-day additions and On June 29, 2011 at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crores, major renovation was done.
13. The Cherman Perumal Mosque retained its facade as a typical Kerala structure for 1355 years . Unfortunately in 1984, the local Muslim Jamaat, which took up the renovation work and wanted the new building built like an Islamic shrine with minarets. Consequently the front part that was built in Kerala type of architecture, was replaced with minarets, etc.
14. The mosque has an oil lamp that has been continuously burning for more than 1000 years without any break whatsoever. Open to non Muslims, people bring oil as an offering.
|Cheraman Juma masjid. theislamshow webly.com|
|Cheraman Juma masjid. kerala. an oil lamp, 6yes.net|
15. The mosque has two tombs - that of Bin Dinar and his sister inside the mosque, where preachers light incense sticks, yet another Hindu tradition.
16. Blending of local culture is confirmed by the presence of a traditional Kerala - style lamp hanging from the ceiling. This lamp also has inscriptions in old Malayalam script Vattezhuthu. Sometimes, it may even pass off as a Hindu temple. The mosque has a pond or water tank, as one will find in many Hindu temples.
17. A fascinating aspect of this unique place is, Hindus, fairly understanding the sanctity of this place of worship, bring their young kids for Vidhyarambam (very first initiation of learning alphabet, etc) on the mosque premises. Indeed a rare thing one would rarely find in other parts of India.
18. The mosque has a museum that has centuries old artifacts. Brass donation box that is more than three centuries old is an interesting piece of exhibit.