CHERAMAN JUMA MOSQUE
The Cheraman Juma Mosque is a mosque in Methala, Kodungallur Taluk, Thrissur District in the Indian state of Kerala. Built in 629 AD, it is the first mosque in India. It was built by Malik Deenar, an Arab propagator of Islam. It is believed that this mosque was first renovated and reconstructed in the 11th century AD. Many non-Muslims conduct initiation ceremonies to the world of letters of their children here.
India’s first mosque, the Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kodungallur, Kerala, has remained a source of fascination as well as an active place of worship for well over a thousand years. Built during Prophet Muhammad’s lifetime, this landmark building is among the most important of India’s historic, architecturally stunning mosques.
Since ancient times, trade relations between Arabia and India were active. Even before Islam had been established in Arabia, Arab traders visited the Malabar region, which was a major link between the ports of India and Southeast Asia.
With the advent of Islam, the Arab merchants became carriers of the new religion and they propagated it wherever they went. One of the myths around the mosque is that Cheraman Perumal, the Chera king, went to Arabia, embraced Islam and changed his name to Tajuddin. He spent some time there, and died while returning in Dhufar, Oman.
From there he had sent letters with Malik Ibn Dinar to his relatives in Kerala, asking them to be courteous to the latter. See search of Burnell.
In the 7th Century, a group of Arabs led by Malik Bin Deenar and Malik bin Habib arrived in Thrissur District constructed a Masjid at Kodungalloor, naming it after their contemporary Cheraman Perumal.
The mosque has an ancient oil lamp which always burns and which is believed to be more than a thousand years old. People of all religions bring oil for the lamp as offering. Like most, this mosque allows entry for non-Muslims.
The then president of India Abdul Kalam is among the notable visitors to this mosque.
In April 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a gold-plated replica of the Cheraman Juma Masjid to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Cheraman Perumal, the reigning King of Kerala, with Kodungallur as its capital, once experienced an unusual dream of the new moon being split into two halves at the horizon. His Court astrologers could not give him a satisfactory explanation. Later when a group of Arab traders on their way to Ceylon met the Perumal, he mentioned about his dream. They explained that this could probably be the miracle Prophet performed at Arabia (Holy Qur’an-54:1-5).
It is believed that the mosque was first renovated or reconstructed sometime in the 11th Century AD and later again 300 years ago. The last renovation was done in 1974 when, as a result of increase in the population of the believers, an extension was constructed demolishing the front part of the mosque. The ancient part of the mosque including the sanctum sanctorum was left untouched and is still preserved. Another extension was made in 1994 to accommodate the ever increasing number of believers. When yet another extension to the mosque was needed in 2001 it was decided to reconstruct this in the model of the old mosque.
Today, the mosque also houses a museum for those interested in learning more about its history. It even displays replicas to show how the mosque’s architecture has evolved over time.
The Cheraman Juma Masjid stands not too far from yet another landmark structure – the St Thomas Church of Palayoor, built in 52 CE and considered to be one of India’s first churches. Just 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from the city of Kochi, it’s a treasure trove of history and a must-visit for anyone seeking to understand the country’s rich religious heritage.
Video by Tripdayz