The major festivals observed by the Muslims of Kerala, as elsewhere in the world, are Bakrid (Idul Azha) and Ramzan (Idul Fitr). The former is called by the Kerala Muslims Valiya Perunnal and the latter Cheriya perunnal.
The Bakrid commemorates Ibrahim’s (Abhraham) offering of his only son as a sacrifice in obedience to God’s command. The Muslims enjoy hearty feasts on Bakrid day. The rich may sacrifice a he goat or a bullock and distribute it among Frieds, relatives and the poor. The famous Haj is performed after the celebration of Idul Azha.
Idul-Fitr, of late known by the misnomer 'Ramadan'
is one of the two festivals of Islam. Ramadan is
the ninth month of the lunar year. During this
month the Muslims observe fast, giving up all
kinds of food and drink during day time, and spend
the major part of the night in devotion and
prayer. Purification of the body and soul is the
main aim of this observance.
Recently in certain parts of Kerala new practices
in connection with the celebration of this
festival have been introduced. One of the novel
features of the Id celebration is to invite
members of the sister communities to participate
in such functions.
Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam, was born on the
20th of April, 571 AD. Muslims all over the world
celebrate the birth of the Prophet in various
ways. In Kerala the practice of large scale
celebration of the Prophet's birthday is of recent
origin. Reading what is commonly known as the
Maulood' which is a short biography of the Prophet
written both in verse and prose in the Arabic
language has been the common ritual of the day. Of
late in Kerala, there has developed another
practice connected with the Milady Sheriff. Night
lectures are organized during the first twelve
days of the month when Muslim Ulemas through their
discourses enlighten the people on the various
aspects of the life of the Prophet. Thus through
the celebrations connected with the Milady
Sheriff, the Muslim masses get an opportunity to
be enlightened on the life and teachings of the
The celebration of the Milady Sheriff in certain
parts of the State, for instance Ponnani, is
marked by busy activity connected with large scale
feeding of the poor. Here in the Muslim Centre,
one finds that the town is active during the whole
night, busily engaged in the charitable work of
supplying food to the poor.
Muharram is another festival celebrated by Muslims on the 10th day of Muharram the forbidden month, which marks the beginning of the Hijra year.
Cheraman Juma Masjid,
The first mosque in India. Situated in Methala,
Kodungalloor, hardly 20 kilometer from the
Irinjalakuda railway station.Legend says King
Cheraman Perumal of Kodungallor left for Mecca,
embraced Islam, accepted the name Thajudee,
married the sister of the then King of Jeddah.
Before his death Thajuddeen handed over to the
King of Jeddah several letters addressed to Kerala
Kings seeking their help to propagate Islam. The
Jiddah king came to Kerala and met the then king
of Kodungalloor who helped the former convert
Arathali temple into a Juma Masjid. This mosque
was designed and constructed based on Hindu art
and architecture.he first mosque in India.
It was built in 629 A.D. and resembles a temple in
appearance. It is situated in Kodungaloor.
Ottapalam Juma Masjid
Mortal remains of Uthman Auliya, a revered man in
Muslim Community here, is entombed here. Prayers
are held in this mosque on Fridays. Annual
festival is held in January-February. During the
festival a grand processions bringing
ceremoniously various articles such as rice,
coconut, etc to the mosque as offerings is held.
Next day, a grand feast is held for the poor.
The Jama-at mosque is important for Kerala’s
Muslims. The annual Nercha festival of the mosque
is celebrated for four days in April.
Adjoining the mosque is a mausoleum of the
Malappuram Shaheeds whose brave exploits have been
immortalised in Mappilla Ballads.
Pazhayangadi Mosque, K o
n d o t t i
On the way to Malappuram, 18 km east of Manjeri,
is Kondotti a prominent pilgrim centre for
Muslims. The Valia Nercha festival at the 500 year
old Pazhayangadi Mosque, celebrated for three
days in February-march, draw large number of