Thursday, November 8, 2012

Beautiful mosques of Malabar

I was travel down North Kerala’s historic Malabar Coast to discover ancient mosques from Kasaragod to Kodungallur
Long before Islam burst into India through the northwest frontiers, Kerala’s Malabar Coast witnessed the spread of Islam not by the sword but with a smile. The region had ancient trade ties with Arabia and when the last Chera king Cheraman Perumal witnessed the splitting of the moon, a Muslim troop enroute to Ceylon explained that it was one of the miracles of the Prophet. According to legend, Cheraman embraced Islam, divided his empire among various subsidiary rulers, made his nephew the Samuthri (Zamorin) of Calicut and set sail for Mecca. He landed at Shahr, where he changed his name to Tajuddin and eventually died at Zaphar, marked by a tomb with an inscription noting his death. But before he died, he wrote letters in Malayalam advocating the spread of Islam among his people in Kerala. Several Arab religious leaders, including Malik Ibn Dinar and Sharaf Ibn Malik, sailed to Malabar to spread the message of Islam. Cheraman’s decree, historic mercantile ties with Arabia and the religious tolerance showed by the Zamorin of Calicut, the Chera king of Mahodayapuram and other rulers helped in the spread of Islam. However, Kerala’s artisans had no idea what a mosque should look like (the Indo-Saracenic style was yet to come) and built these early mosques in the local architectural style. Spread across Kasaragod to Kodungallor, these fascinating mosques of Malabar are excellent examples of religious tolerance and Hindu-Muslim unity.
Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid, Kodungallur
Built in 629 AD, the Cheraman Perumal mosque at Kodungallur is widely considered to be the first mosque in India. Though rebuilt and renovated over the years, which gives it a modern architectural façade, it does retain a bit of the original style in the interiors. Unlike other mosques, this one faces east, not Mecca in the west. A huge bronze lamp, a feature common in temples, continues to be kept lit inside. And in a time honoured practice, people belonging to all religions bring oil or contribute money to buy oil for the lamp on auspicious occasions. In an anteroom, there is a small mausoleum where Muslim priests light incense sticks, yet another Hindu practice not followed in other mosques. A few years back, the mosque also started Vidyarambham, the custom of initiating children into reading and writing. This is a shrine that has set a practice of intermingling religious rites over the years to come up with a unique Indian ethos. Syed Mohammed aged 85, has been doing baang (meuzzin’s call) since 73 years.
Malik Deenar Juma Masjid, Kasaragod 
One of the historic mosques believed to have been established by Malik Ibn Deenar on the Kerala coast, this holy shrine is located in the Muslim quarter of Thalangara. The original mosque was a small structure with thatched roofing and a floor of marble stones brought with him from Mecca. Later, it was replaced by a bigger, more elaborate structure like the palace of a local king, replete with conical roofs and gables. The same artisans who had built the palace constructed the new edifice using doors and marble stones from the original shrine. An extension was added later. Several tombs dominate the foreground as a walkway leads up to the mosque, which contains the grave of Malik Ibn Mohammed, one of the descendants of Muslim saint Malik Ibn Deenar. Historical details about its construction are also carved on the latticed woodwork in Arabic. Owing to the sanctity of the place and a school for Islamic studies, Kasaragod has become an important center of Islam on the west coast. The town is also famous for the hand-crafted Thalangara thoppi (skull cap), a beautifully embroidered accessory of Islamic identity.
Khizar Juma Masjid, Kasaragod
Tucked away in a plot barely visible through the narrow gate sandwiched between the rows of shops, the Khizar Juma Masjid off Station Road is a stunning mosque resembling a double-storeyed mansion. A narrow walkway leads to a sprawling structure with a row of arched windows, conical turrets, gabled roof and a slender spire to the right, which presents a beautiful sight. Located in the heart of town, Theruvath Mosque is another notable Muslim shrine. The annual Uroos, held to commemorate the arrival of Malik Ibn Dinar, attracts pilgrims from all over India.
Ichlangod Mosque
It is said 12 saints sailed to Kerala from the shores of Arabia to spread Islam. Hazrath Rafih Idnu Habeeb Malik Deenar came from Medina in Hejira 37 with his family and seven disciples – Umar, Haroon, Usman, Adbullah, Ali, Abdul and Rehman. They came in an ozhi (boat) up the river from the coast and settled here in a Hindu temple after the Namboodris were relocated to Kidoor. The Hazrath died at the age of 73 and later, his disciples were also laid to rest beside him. Though the mosque is believed to be 1200 years old, a newer structure was built in its place 30 years ago. The only proof of its antiquity is a brass ball with ancient Arabic inscriptions and a stepped pushkarni (temple pond). The Udayasthamana Uroos, a month-long celebration in March-April, is held once in five years. En-route you can also visit the Baba Fakir Wali Ullah Alarami mosque at Pachambla. The Uroos is held every two years and the weekly jumma(every Friday) is a big celebration with devotional songs that go on late into the night.
Kakkulangara mosque, Valapattanam 
The ancient capital of the Mooshika-vansham or Kolathri Kings of Ezhimala, Valapattanam was an important trading town on the banks of the Valapattanam River. The old mosque Kakkulangara Palli was built with laterite that was excavated from nearby, creating the picturesque green pond beside it. This mosque has one of the oldest existing minarets in Kerala and has the graves of Abubakr ibn Muhammad, grandson of the first Caliph Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (573–634 CE) and his companions who settled in Valapattanam to propagate Islam. There’s also a dargah of Ahmed Jalaluddin Bukhari close by.
Korome Mosque, Wayanad
A 400-year-old mosque, built in traditional Kerala style, with extensive woodcarvings. Originally built by the Nair community, the mosque is seen as an excellent example of communal amity. A newer structure was built 250 years ago under the leadership of Athilan Bappan. The annual Uroos festival in April, draws thousands from all communities. Such was its importance that janazas (funeral processions) would come to Korome from as far as Varampetta. It also enshrines the dargah of Syed Shihabuddin Imbich, a Muslim saint. Located 23 km from Mananthavady, Korome lies on the Kuttiyadi route and can be reached via Tharuvana, Vellamunda and Makkiyad.
Moideen Palli & Jumma Masjid, Kannur
Kannur was home to Kerala’s only Muslim dynasty, the Arakkal Ali Rajas. Once, a princess of the Kolathiri royal family was saved from drowning by Mammali, a Nair functionary who had embraced Islam. Subsequently expelled from the family, the king granted her land around Kannur, a small treasure and a palace called Arakkal Kettu. Remnants of the old palace and mosques remain in Arakkal Kettu, a large court next to the Moplah quarters of Thakkiavu. An ancient belfry within the compound is used to call the faithful to Arakkal Mosque. The original building that housed the offices of the Ali Rajas (later the office of the Collector of Malabar) is now a museum showcasing numerous royal artefacts. Moideen Palli, the roadside mosque at Ayikkara nearby is an excellent piece of craftmanship while the renovated Jumma Masjid in the backlanes of Arakkal Kettu has a beautiful old dargah of Sayyed Muhammed Moula Bukhari.
Odathil Palli, Thalassery
An unusual structure with Hindu-Buddhist style copper roofing, the 270-year-old shrine follows a mix of Hindu and Muslim architecture. It has neither a central dome nor minarets, instead there is a roof covered in copper sheets and wooden walls and pillars with intricate carvings. The mosque was built on a piece of land in the heart of Thalassery, donated by the rulers to a rich Arab merchant. Chowakkaran Moosa, a local trader of Thalassery, one of the earliest to source and supply spices from Malabar to the British, was later made in charge of the upkeep of Odathil Palli, counted among the oldest surviving mosques in Thalassery. The adjoining cemetry belongs to the Moosa family and CP Moosa, the great great grandson of the founder of the Moosa clan, runs the boutique homestay Ayisha Manzil in Thalassery.
Kunjali Marakkar Mosque, Vadakara
The Kunjali Marakkar mosque or Jumayat Palli at Vadakara is where Malabar’s brave admirals offered prayers. It houses the royal chair and sword used by them. The Marakkars, admirals of the Zamorins of Calicut are credited with organizing the first naval defence of the Indian coast. Originally marine merchants of Kozhikode, they left for Ponnani when the Portuguese came in 1498. After obtaining trading rights, the Portuguese pressurised the Zamorin to give them a trade monopoly and evict the Arabs, the traditional traders of spice. Rebuffed, the Portuguese negotiated a treaty with the Zamorin’s archenemy, the Raja of Kochi in 1503. Sensing the Portuguese superiority at sea, the Zamorin set about improving his navy and appointed Kutty Ahmed Ali to the task. Kutty Ali or Kunjali (derived from Kunnu Ali, meaning Junior Ali) eventually became the Admiral of the Zamorin’s fleet and was honoured with the title Marakkar, aftermarakalam the wooden boats used by Muslim traders to ply the seas. The old Marakkar house has been converted into a small museum and houses swords, cannon balls, daggers and other war relics. As tribute to the four Kunjali Marakkars and their great naval battles, the Indian Navy erected a memorial at Vadakara. Recognizing their contribution to naval defence, the Navy also christened its Naval Maritime academy in Mumbai as INS Kunjali.
Mishkal Palli, Kozhikode
Built in 1300 by a rich Arab businessman and ship owner named Nakhooda Mishkal, this five-storied structure is a historic landmark of the city. Originally a seven-tiered structure, the Mishkal Palli was once the tallest building in Kozhikode and the heart of the Muslim settlement at Kuttichira. On 3rd January 1510, in an attack by the Portuguese, the mosque was set on fire and the top floors were damaged. Later, when the Portuguese fort at Chaliyam was destroyed, the Zamorin handed over the rich haul of timber for the partial reconstruction of this grand edifice. Built in traditional Kerala style with extensive use of wood, the mosque has a laterite superstructure, Malabar roof tiles and Italian tiles paving the outer section. The building is supported on 24 solid pillars of carved wood and has 50 doors. Around 1300 devotees can be accommodated.
The mosque overlooks the Kuttichira tank, the focal point of the locality lined by old Koya houses dating back to over 200 years. Literally little pond, kutti-chira is spread over half an acre and is ironically one of the largest in Kozhikode! Old, weather-beaten laterite benches around the tank afford an inviting retreat to men who gather here for evening chats and feeding the fish. A local resident, Prof SM Mohammed Koya, has authored a book on Kuttichira, its ancient mosques and the history of the Koyas of Calicut.
Kuttichira Juma Masjid, Kozhikode
Believed to be over a thousand years old, the Juma Masjid has the largest floor area among mosques in Kerala and can accommodate 1,200 worshippers in the inner hall alone. This sprawling single-storeyed shrine has large doors on the four sides on the ground floor with an unusual circular extension. The upper portion of the walls are covered in wood panelling. The intricate woodwork on the ceiling is reminiscent of ornate temple carvings. Verses from the Holy Qu’ran are etched in Arabic on the partly wooden walls and ceiling rafters.
Muchundipalli, Kozhikode
Believed to have been constructed 1,100 years ago, this is the oldest mosque in the city. The building stands on a 1.5 m high plinth and has a semi-circular mihrab (prayer niche). The double-tiered roof has an ornamental gable, while the outer walls have elaborate beams supporting a coffered ceiling with delicate woodcarvings. Cornices and carved wooden pillars depict flowers like lotus and animals, akin to Hindu sculptural patterns. A 13th century stone slab inscribed in ancient Vattezhuthu (early Malayalam script), mentions that the property was donated to the mosque by a Zamorin. The slab has been installed on a wall inside the mosque. Two 14th and 15th century inscriptions within the mosque – in Arabic and Malayalam record the renovation efforts.
Valiya Juma Masjid, Ponnani
Islam has very strong roots in Ponnani, harking back to the times of the early Arab traders. Legend has it that the ponnu nanayam (gold coins) the Arab traders brought were exchanged for goods at this ancient seaport, hence the name Ponnani. Others allude the name to the Nila River as pon-vahini or ‘the river that carries gold’. It is said that a Hindu and a Muslim were caught in a storm while at sea and vowed to build a temple and a mosque if they survived. As events turned out, they landed safely at Ponnani. The Trikkavu temple and the Juma’t Palli (Juma Masjid) stand testimony to their promise. An important pilgrim centre and hub for Islamic culture and education, this mosque has given Ponnani the name, Mecca of the East. The 600-year-old big Juma Masjid was built for theologian Zainuddin Ibn Bin Ahmed around 1519-20 by a Hindu carpenter Ashari Thangal. The architect’s signature adorns the mosque’s beam while his tomb lies inside. Legend has it that during the construction of the mosque, the carpenter fell from the roof and died, hence was buried there. The construction of the entire mosque was done from a single teak tree.
To counter the oppressive rule of the Portuguese, Sheikh Zainuddin decided to create a place of learning for the youth and a Madrassa was built near the mosque along the lines of Al Ahsar in Cairo. Zainuddin’s Tahrid jihad (war poem) called for a united Nair-Moplah front and is thus unique. Like the practice in Chishti dargahs, the Zamorin used to send a ceremonial robe to the Ponnani leaders during the accession ceremony. According to William Logan’s Malabar Manual, over 400 students were learning the tenets of Islam here in 1887. Nearby a mausoleum honours the Malappuram martyrs of the Moplah rebellion whose deeds have been immortalized in Mapila ballads. The four-day festival (nercha) is held in March-April.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sayyid Hussain Ibn Alabi Jiffer Thangal ( Mamburam Thangal )

Mamburam Maqam (Shrine of Mamburam Thangal) Mamburam, Tirurangadi, Mamburam (in Abdu Rahiman Nagar village) is located 26 kms. east of Tirur and on the northern bank of Kadalundi river locally known as Panampuzha. The place is renowned for Makham i.e. shrine. This Makham was built over the grave of Sayyid Hussain Ibn Alabi Jiffer Thangal popularly known as Mamburam Thangal, reached Kerala from Thareem in Yemen two centuries ago.He staunchly opposed the social disparities of that time. History honours him not only as a spiritual leader of Malabar but also as a social reformer and freedom fighter. Mamburam Makham is undoubtedly today one of the busiest Muslim pilgrim centres in South India.
He died in the month of Shaban in the Hijira year 1169. It is an important pilgrim centre for Mulsims. TheMamburam Nercha, held in memory of Mamburam Thangal near this tomb, takes place once in a year in the month of Muharram, lasting for a week, will have religious speeches and sessions of prayers. A mass food distribution will mark the finale of the Urus. Huge Number of people are expected to get free food from Mamburam Maqam (shrine)

To Reach Mamburam

By Road : Mamburam is just 2 K.Ms away from the N.H 17,V.K.Padi. And 40 Kilo Meters from nearest city, Kozhikode
By Rail : Nearest major railway station is Tirur(10 K.Ms away) and nearest railway station is Parappanangadi (6 K.Ms away)
By Air : Mamburam is just 16 K.Ms away from the Calicut Airport.

Shaikh ‘Umar al-Qahiri- Know as Sadaqatullah Appa (சதகதுல்லாஹ் அப்பா)

The zealous missionary and elegant Sufi poet, Shaikh ‘Umar b. ‘Abdu-l Qadir al-Qahiri, popularly known as ‘Umar Waliyullah (உமர் வலியுல்லாஹ்) in the Arwi region, was a reputed scholar and a devout Sufi. His grandmother was a daughter of the renowned Arwi Saint,Shaikh Sadaqatu-Llah b. Sulaiman al-Qahiri, known more commonly as Sadaqatullah Appa (சதகதுல்லாஹ் அப்பா).

His Education

He mastered the Arabic language and was well versed in theology [aqidah], jurisprudence [fiqh] and spirituality [tasawwuf]. He attained his early education and was initiated into theQadiri path by the venerable Shaikh Muhammad al-Nuski, popularly known as Pal-Kudi Appa(பால்-குடி அப்பா). He was also initiated into the Qadiri path and anointed as deputy [khalifa] by the sage and saint from Hadramawt, Sayyid Jifri Tangal.

His Travels

He journeyed extensively to spread the message of Islam. He also went to perform Hajj and Ziyarah of Habib al-Mustafa, Allah bless him and give him peace, in Madinatu-l Munawwarah. Here he met the scholar and saint, Sayyid Muhsin al-Mukaibali. In his company, he witnessed unveilings and experienced spiritual openings. After five years in the city of the beloved Prophet - first as teacher then as principal of an institution there - he returned back to his birthplace in South India, Kayalpatnam.
His return back home marked the start of another crucial phase of his spiritual development and wayfaring. One day, while leading the congregational prayer at the Makhdum Mosque in Kayalpatnam, he heard the call from the pole of the age [Qutbu-z Zaman], Sayyid Muhammad Bukhari Tangal of Cannore, Kerala. He duly set off in search of his final spiritual master, who embraced him with open arms and initiated him into the Qadiri path and appointed him as his inheritor and a spiritual guide in his own right. Following this, Sayyid Muhammad Bukhari Tangal made a ceremonial visit to Kayalpatnam where he was warmly welcomed at the seashore by the people of the town who humbly gave bai’ah to him.
Following these momentous incidents, on the instructions of his Spiritual Master, he went to the Dutch East Indies in 1177 AH. He established a number of madrasas (known as Pesantharan) in the jungles of Aceh Daru-s Salam and other parts of Sumatra (present day Indonesia). Whilst there, he met many mystics resulting in much mutual benefit. He ended up spending fourteen years in missionary activities in the region. This intense period of continued meditation, spiritual practices and deep prayers resulted in spiritual openings beyond description. Allah bestowed upon him Divine Grace [tawfiq] and exhibited many miraculous exploits [karamat] at his hands, including curing people of their illnesses.

His Writings

On return to India from the Far East, he began composing spiritual odes [qasa'id] of utmost elegance on mystical themes. Twelve of his stupendous compositions have been collated in two anthologies, Nuru-l ‘Aynayn and Mukhammas Dhukhru-l Ma’ad. The most acclaimed of his works is Qasidatu-l Allafa-l Alif. The amazing lines of this poem speak of the importance of loving the holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), necessity of the spiritual path, perils of earthly life, amongst others.
The beauty of this 31-couplet composition lies in the fact that each of the 29 couplets between the opening and closing verses begin with a letter from the Arabic alphabet in order. In everyline, the starting letter is repeated between ten to fifteen times. Another literary feature of this masterpiece is that, sets of words (two words), identifical in form (both having the same letters in the same order), are skilfully used in the same verse with differing meanings to convey highly advanced Sufi thoughts.
Several commentaries have been written on this ode. The most comprehensive being ‘Awarifu-l Ma’arif by Shaikh ‘Abdu-r Rahman al-Naqshbandi which was last published by Ibrahim Kutty of Tanur, Kerala, in 1975. The renowed scholar of Abiramam, Shaikh ‘Abdu-l Qadir has also written a concise commentary. Another poem of his that begins with the words, Ilahi kam tubaqqini [O my God, for how long are you going to keep me alive!] is regularly recited in the Arwi region with much fervour and devotion.
Some of his poetic compositions include:
  • Ghara’ibu-n Nizam
  • Hidayatu-l Aghniya
  • Bahru-s Sirr
  • Sirru-sh Shaikh
  • Shikayatu-l Gharam ila Hamimi-l Maram
  • Tariqu-l Wasl
  • Mubaya ‘atush Shaikh
  • Basharatu-Llah
  • Kanzu-l Jinan
  • Malil ‘Ubaidi ma Yasha’u Yudabbir
  • Nizamu-l Mada’ih

His Characteristics

His state of being was such that he was regularly found in spiritual trance and absorption. Nevertheless, he never failed to fulfill his obligatory duties.  He drew a large number of followers to the Qadiri path by virtue of his knowledge, piety and exemplary character. He firmly believed that loving the holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was the pre-requisite to climbing the spiritual ladder and keeping oneself off aberrations.

His Passing

After a life spent in worshipful devotion and service to humanity, he left the earthly realm on 14th Dhu-l Qa’da 1216 A.H / 1804 A.D. Shaikh ‘Abdu-r Rahman of Kayalpatnam has composed an eulogy [marthiyyah] of 94 lines on him. His life and works have also been discussed by Sayyid Muhammad ‘Abdu-l Qadir in the manaqib entitled, Tal’atu-l Qamar fi Mawlidi-sh shaikhi ‘Umar.
May Allah be well pleased with Shaikh ‘Umar al-Qahiri, sanctify his secret and illuminate his resting abode. May He forgive us and bless us all for his sake.

Arusiyyatul Qadiriyyah( Twareeqath)

The ‘Arūsiyyah branch of the Qādiriyyah path (Arabic: الطريقة العروسية القادرية Aṭ-Ṭarīqatu l-‘Arūsiyyatu l-Qādiriyyah) of Islamic spirituality (Arabic: تصوّف Tasawwuf, syn. Sufism) is a Sūfi way that is followed in South India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and other parts of the world.
The ‘Arūsi way originated and took shape during the early part of the 18th century under the watchful gaze of scholars and savants from the Arwi region (modern-day South India and Sri Lanka). They inherited the mantle of the Qādiri path from Indian and Arab spiritual guides [1]
This branch of the Qādiri path derives its name from the 19th century renewer of the Islamic faith (مجدد Mujaddid) from the Arwi region, Shaikh Sayyid Muḥammad b. Aḥmad Lebbai, who is known by the Arabic and Tamil epithets Imāmu l-‘Arūs(Arabic: إمام العروس) and Māppillai Lebbai ‘Ālim (Tamil: மாப்பிள்ளை லெப்பை ஆலிம்) respectively[1].
The present spiritual guide (Arabic: مرشد Murshid) of the order is Shaikh (Dr) Taikā Shu’aib b. Aḥmad ‘Abd al-Qādir aṣ-Ṣiddīqī[2]. His son, Taikā Naṣir b. Taikā Shu’aib aṣ-Ṣiddīqī, is the appointed deputy and successor-in-waiting (Arabic: خليفةkhalīfah).



The spiritual masters of the ‘Arūsi way have written substantially on the principles and propriety of the spiritual way. Shaikh (Dr) Taikā Shu’aib has summarized them as the “Fundamentals of the Way” in the covenant that one takes when the oath of allegiance (Arabic: بيعة Bai’ah) is uttered:
  • to perform with excellence all that God has mandated
  • to abstain with contentment all that God has prohibited
  • to beseech swiftly for God’s forgiveness when transgressions (mistakes, wrongs, or sins) occur; however minor or major
  • to recite consistently the stipulated litany of the order (Arabic: ورد الطريقWirdu ṭ-Ṭarīq) and other prescribed recitals


The daily private litany of the order comprises of the following 3 recitals [3] that must be recited the stipulated minimum number of times every waking day:
لا إله إلا الله ١٠٠
Lā ilāha illa-llāh (100 times)
"There is no god (worthy of worship) except Allah"
محمد رسول الله ١
[Sayyidunā] Muḥammadu r-Rasūlu l-lāh [ṣalla-llāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam] (1 time)
"[Our liege-lord] Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allah [upon him be blessings and peace]"
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ عَدَدَ مَافِي عِلْمِ الله صَلاَةً دَآئِمَةً بِدَوَامِ مُلْكِ الله ١٠
Allāhumma ṣalli wa sallim wa bārik ‘alā Sayyidinā Muḥammadin wa Ālihi wa Ṣahbihi adada mā fī ‘ilmi l-lāhi ṣalātan dā’imatan bi dawāmi Mulki l-lāh (10 times)
"O Allah, shower benedictions, peace and blessings upon our liege-lord Muḥammad, his family and companions, in the number that is in Thy Knowledge such that the benedictions may continue forever eternal as Thy Kingdom."
It is desirable to begin the litany with the following recitals [2]:
أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
A’ūdhu billāhi min ash-shaitāni r-rajīm
"I seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the accursed"
  • The Basmala (Arabic: بسملة):
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm
"In the name of Allah, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate"
  • The Divine Longing
Ilāhi anta maqsūdī, wa riḍāka maṭlūbī
"My Lord, You are my Aspiration; Your Divine Pleasure is my Ardent Desire"
There is no designated time of the day in which one must perform the litany although the optimum times will be:
  • During the last third of the night after the recommended Tahajjud prayer (Arabic: صلات التهجد Ṣalātu t-Tahajjud)
  • After the obligatory sunrise prayer (Arabic: صلات الفجر Ṣalātu l-Fajr)
  • After the obligatory night prayer (Arabic: صلات العشاء Ṣalātu l-‘Ishā’) before retiring to bed
In addition to the above litany, it is recommended to regularly recite the devotional ode (Arabic: قصيدة Qaṣīdah), Shajaratun Fātiriyyah wa Silsilatun Qādiriyyah [3]wherein the intercession of the Masters of the 'Arusi way is sought to attain one's spiritual aspirations.


One of the characteristics of the ‘Arūsi way is the public gatherings of remembrance (Arabic: مجالس الذكر Majālisa dh-Dhikr) where the liturgical work, “Ratib Jalaliyya” (Arabic: راتبة جلالية , Rātibatun Jalāliyyah), is recited in congregation. The work was compiled by Shaikh Sayyid Muḥammad b. Aḥmad Lebbai. Traditionally, the gatherings are held on Thursday and Sunday evenings after sunset to commemorate Friday and Monday nights respectively. This is in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar where the day commences after sunset.


The initiatic chain (Arabic: سلسلة Silsilah) of the ‘Arūsi branch of the Qādiri path is as follows:
  • The Lord of Truth and Sustainer of the Worlds, ALLAH
  • The Arch-Angel and Truthful Spirit, Jibrā’īl | Jibrīl (English: Gabriel)
  • Al-Ḥabīb Al-Muṣtafā Abu-l Qāsim Muḥammad b. ‘Abdullāh b. ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib
  • Imām Abū Turāb ‘Alī b. Abū Ṭālib b. ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib al-Murtaḍā
  • Imām Abū ‘Abdillah Ḥusain b. ‘Alī as-Sibt ash-Shahīd
  • Imām Abu-l Ḥasan ‘Alī b. Ḥusain Zain al-‘Ābdīn al-Asgharī
  • Imām Abū Ja’far Muḥammad b. ‘Alī al-Bāqir
  • Imām Abū ‘Abdillah Ja’far b. Muḥammad aṣ-Ṣādiq
  • Imām Abū Ibrāhīm Mūsā b. Ja’far al-Kāẓim
  • Imām Abu-l Ḥasan ‘Alī b. Mūsā ar-Riḍā
  • Shaikh Abū Mahfūz Ma’rūf b. Fīrūz al-Karkhī
  • Shaikh Abu-l Ḥasan Sarī as-Saqatī b. al-Mughallis
  • Shaikh Abu-l Qāsim al-Junaid b. Muḥammad al-Khazzāz al-Baghdādī
  • Shaikh Abū Bakr ‘Abdullāh Dulāf b. Jahdar ash-Shiblī
  • Shaikh Abu-l Faḍl ‘Abd al-Wāḥid al-Yamanī at-Tamīmī
  • Shaikh Abu-l Faraj | Faraḥ Yūsuf ath-Thāwī aṭ-Ṭarsūsī | Ṭartūsī
  • Shaikh Abu-l Ḥasan ‘Ali b. Muḥammad al-Qurashī al-Hankarī | Hakkarī
  • Shaikh Abū Sa’īd al-Mubārak b. ‘Alī al-Makhzūmī | Mukharrimī
  • Shaikh Abū Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Qādir b. Jangī Dost Mūsā al-Jīlānī
  • Shaikh Abū Bakr ‘Abd ar-Razzāq b. ‘Abd al-Qādir al- Jīlānī
  • Shaikh Abū Ṣāliḥ Naṣr b. ‘Abd ar-Razzāq al- Jīlānī
  • Shaikh Abū Naṣr Muḥammad b. Naṣr al- Jīlānī
  • Shaikh Aḥmad Safwān
  • Shaikh Sayyid ‘Alī
  • Shaikh Sayyid Mūsā
  • Shaikh Aḥmad al-Ḥalabī
  • Shaikh (Langotbandh Baba) Bahā ad-Dīn al-Ansārī
  • Shaikh Muḥammad Sharīf al-Qādirī
  • Shaikh Shams ad-Dīn al-Qādirī
  • Shaikh Salāh ad-Dīn b. Jum’a
  • Shaikh Sayyid Aḥmad Ḥusain Bukhārī
  • Shaikh Sayyid Ismā’īl Ḥusain Bukhārī
  • Shaikh Sayyid Muḥammad Bukhārī
  • Shaikh Sayyid Muḥammad Bukhārī Tangal (Tamil: கண்ணணூா் புகாரி தங்கல் Kannanūr Bukhāri Tangal)
  • Shaikh ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Qāhirī (Tamil: கீழக்கரை உமா் வளியுல்லா Kīlakkarai ‘Umar Waliyullāh)
  • Shaikh (Taikā Ṣāḥib) ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Kirkarī (Tamil: கீழக்கரை தைகா ஸாஹிப் Kīlakkarai Taikā Ṣāḥib)
  • Shaikh (Imām al-‘Arūs) Sayyid Muḥammad b. Aḥmad Lebbai (Tamil: மாப்பிள்ளை லெப்பை ஆலிம் Māppillai Lebbai ‘Ālim)
  • Shaikh (Ṣāḥib al-Jalwah) Shah al-Ḥamīd b. Sayyid Muḥammad (Tamil: ஜல்வத் நாயகம் Jalwat Nāyagam)
  • Shaikh Aḥmad ‘Abd al-Qādir b. Shah al-Ḥamīd (Tamil: பெரிய ஷைகு நாயகம் Periya Shaikh Nāyagam)
  • Shaikh (Dr) Taikā Shu’aib b. Aḥmad ‘Abd al-Qādir (Tamil: ஷைகு நாயகம் Shaikh Nāyagam)
  • Shaikh Taikā Naṣir b. Taikā Shu’aib (Tamil: கலீபா நாயகம் Khalīfa Nāyagam)


  1. a b Shu’ayb, Thaika. Arabic, Arwi and Persian in Sarandib and Tamil Nadu. Madras: Imāmul 'Arūs Trust, 1993.
  2. a b Aniff-Doray, S. Opening Towards Understanding the Best of Religions.A.S.Noordeen, 1999. ISBN: 983-065-060-X
  3. a b Shu’ayb, Thaika. Al Munjiyat. Kilakkarai: Arusiyya Taikka, 2008.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Great Saint Sayyed Moula Muhammad Bukhary Thangal (QS)

His Holiness Bukhary Thangal was born in 1144 A. H. (1731 AD) in a beautiful Island called ANDROTH in the Indian Ocean of the Western Coast of Kerala. His real name was seyyid Muhammad. His father was Seyyid Ahmed a descendant of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Rasool Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam). 

He belonged to the famous clan of the house of Bukhary. After an illustrious service in the cause of Education, Spiritual knowledge and Social Service, His Holiness departed from this world at the age of 63 in 1207 AH (1792 AD) and is enshrined in Cannore[Kannur City] Kerala. His Holiness travellewd to various parts of India propageting Religion and morality to the people of various faiths, and especially to the Muslim. 

A deputy of Bukhar Thangal His Holiness Abdul Quadhir Valiyullah, a missionary in those parts is enshrined in Malacca and is the Maternal Grand Father of His Holiness Seyyid Muhammad Ma'apilli Lebbai Alim well-known as Imamul Aroos, founder of Aroosiyyathul Quadhiriyyah World Sufistic Order in South East Asia, including Sri Lanka and India (1232- 1316 AH/1816 - 1898 AD). 
Imamul Araqs served in Sri Lanka throughout the 19th century and was instrumental in erecting and refurbishing more than 355 Thakkiyas in Sri Lanka, most of them at his own expenses. He introduced a novel method of imparting the religion on short-term and long-term basis. While writing detailed books on Arabic Language on long-term basis he was the first to translate into Arabic-Tamil (Arwi), these religious books as a short-term method for beginners, and starting Arabic Colleges. Among them, Madrasathul Bari at Galbokke Weligama was the first Arabic College established in Sri Lanka (1884 AD.1302 AH) after the Portuguese onslaught.
The foundation for the Maradana Mosque was laid by Allama Imamul Aroos Ma'apillai Alim in 1840 AD/1256. Further, it has to be taken into consideration that, among the Mosques in the City of Colombo i.e. Bukhary Thaika - Forbes Lane, Devatagaha Mosque - Cinnamon Gardens, Magnamus Suadha Thaika - Old Moor Street, Layards Broadway Thakkiya, The Thakkiya just behind R. Premadasa Stadium, Kalandhar Sahib Thakkiya behind Kaleel's Nursing Home Maradana, Masjid Muhiyyaddeen (Mina Mosque) Dematagoda, Katakkalamarathady Thakkiya, Clifton Lane and The Temple Road Thakkiya were built under the aegis of Imamul Aroos Ma'apillai Kebbai Alim. 

His two illustrious Sons Al Quthub Seyyid Abdul Quadhir popularly known as Khalwath Nayagam and Al Quthub Sheikh Shahul Hameed well known as Jalwath Nayagam greatly contributed to the Spiritual and Social welfare to the people of Sri Lanka and Managed the Thakkiyas/Madrases and Mosques established by their father. His Grand Son His Holiness Thaika Ahmad Abdul Quadhir Valiyullah, very popularly known as Periya Sheikh Nayagam followed their footsteps and was instrumental in further constructing Thakkiyas in remote areas of Sri Lanka, which is continued to be followed by his Son Al Haj as Sheikh Afdhalul Ulama Moulavi Fazi, Aroosi Dr. Thaika Shu'aib Alim B.A. Hons. M.A. PhD. D.Litt (Jalali). 
Bukhary Thangal was very bold, emphatic and at the same time very eloquvant and gentle in imparting the Spiritual thoughts in the minds of the people with his strong exhortation. It is said that more than 400,000 people have entered the right path upon his preaching based on the Holy Qur'an and the teachings of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. Bukhary Thangal held severe divine powers since his childhood. He exposed such powers on various occasions. 

Bukhary Thaika was established by Imamul Aroos in memory of his Holy Saint with the unstinted support and co-operation extended by his disciple Marhoom Muhammad Haniffa Ibnu Wappu Marikkar Khaleefathul Bukhary, popularly known as Haniffa Bass at Forbes Lane Maradana Colombo 10 in the year 1881 (1299 - m AH) to serve the noble cause started by Bukhary Thagal for the past 122 years. 

Special ceremonies are being conducted on the 3rd day of Shawwal (Day after Eid ul Fitr) each year in commemoration of His Holiness Bukhary Thangal.
The 216th year commemoration which will be held on a grand scale on Sunday 5th January 2003 under the distinguished patronage of His Holiness Al Haj As Sheikh Thaika Ahmad Nasir Alim (Jalali) Son of His Holiness Al Haj As Sheikh Afdhalul Ulama Dr. Thaika Shu'aib Alim the sixth deputy of Bukhary Thangal and the present head of Aroosiyyathul Quadhiriyyah World Sufistic Order at the Ratheeb Hall of Al Masjidul Bukhary Thaika, No. 25, Forbes Lane, Maradana Colombo 10. The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation will air live broadcast from 10.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. 

The great adventures of the famous warrior Hyder Ali of Mysore was checked by the faiths of Bukhary Thangal. Devastation and panics of the war let loose the Western part of India was averted by the efforts of Bukhary Thangal, in the 18th century. Hyder Ali was fascinated by the Spiritual Supremacy and charm of Bukhary Thangal and became his devoted disciple. He pledged under the hands of Bukhary Thangal that he would conduct no more expansionist war. 
The whole world is aware of the Statesmanship and bravery of the great Tippu Sulthan who was the first freedom fighter in the Indian soil and fought bravely and fiercely to woost the British Imperialists from India. Tippu Sulthan even became his deputy in the Spiritual field. 
Another great Saint of Tamil Na'adu His Holiness Umar Valiyullah of Kayalpattanam (1162 - 1216 AH/1748 - 1801 AD) went to dense forest of Indonesia known as ATCHE Island on the command of his Spiritual Master Bukhary Thangal, stayed there for 14 years amid too much hardship, among the Tribals, Nomads, Pegans and brought about 11 Million people into the right path. The religious schools and colleges established by Umar Valiyullah are still serving in the Malayan Archipelago on the basis of the Arabic curriculum started by him. They are still in existence. 

Imam al Aroos was the third deputy and spiritual successor to Bukhary Thangal and was the greatest spiritual figure after the devastation of Portuguese.
It has to be noted with great concern when there was a dire need of a place of worship for the Muslims of Colombo, the leading Muslims of that era found a place a place in the heart of the City of Colombo i.e. Maradana (now known as Maradana Mosque) and invited the most respected Saint at that time Sadaquathullah Appa, (Sadaqthullahil Qahiri.RA)the father-in-law of this luminary and the second deputy of Bukhary Thangal, who could not accede to this request and directed him to attend. 

Shaikhuna (Dr.)Taika Shu'aib Alim Jalali

The Lineage of Shaikhuna:

01. Syeduna Abu Bakr Siddeeq (rali)
02. Syeduna Abdur Rahman (rali)
03. Syeduna Raythan (rali)
04. Syeduna Murrath (rali) 
05. Syeduna Kilab (rali) 
06. Syeduna Qusaiyyu (rali) 
07. Syeduna Abdu Munaf (rali) 
08. Syeduna Hashim (rali) 
09. Syeduna Abdul Azeez (rali) 
10. Syeduna Shaykh Hassan (rali) 
11. Syeduna Muhammad al Khilji (rali)
(He migrated to Kayalpattinam from Madina via Egypt in A. H. 262/875 A. D. Another group from this clan later established an Empire in Delhi). 
12. Syeduna Muhammad Khilr (rali) 
13. Syeduna Shaykh Shihabuddeen (rali) 
14. Syeduna Shaykh Ahmad (rali) 
15. Syeduna Shaykh Muhammad (rali) 
16. Syeduna Shaykh Ahmad (rali) 
17. Syeduna Shaykh Ali Naina (rali) 
18. Syeduna Shaykh Alaauddeen (rali) 
19. Syeduna Shaykh Sadaq Maraicar (rali)
(He was the Khalifa of Nagore Shahul Hameed Wali and one of his 404 fakirs. He was the one who boarded the ship manned by the Portugese Governor Manoel de Souza (ruled 1515-1536 A.D.) who was the successor of Alfonso Albuquerque and pushed him down into the sea; and de Souza died by drowning. This happened on the 3rd of Ramadan 943 A.H/1536 AD. He was the grand father of Saint Sadaqathullah Appa) 
20. Shaykh Ahmad Wali (rali) 
21. Shaykh Abdul Kadir Ibrahim Wali (rali) 
22. Shaykh Thaika Ahmad Sadaqah(rali)
(He is the maternal grandson of Saint Sadaqathullah Appa
23. Shaykh Meeran Wali (rali) 
24. Shaykh Thaika Shaykh Ahmad (Vellai Ahmad Wali) (rali) 
25. Shaykh Thaika Sayyid Muhammad (Imamul Aroos) (rali) 
26. Shaykh Thaika Shahul Hameed Wali (Jalwath Nayagam) (rali) 
27. Shaykh Thaika Ahmad Abdul Qadir (Shaykhu Nayagam) (rali) 
28. Shaykh Dr. Thaika Shuaib Alim