Examining the historicity of Cheraman legend


On April 3 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted

According to oral tradition, Cheraman Perumal was the Chera King & a contemporary of the Holy Prophet.Cheraman Perumal went to Arabia and embraced Islam after meeting the Holy Prophet at Mecca.The mosque has an ancient oil lamp that is always kept burning and believed to be over a thousand years old.1

The Cheraman Juma mosque of Kodungallur now hosts a newly sculpted inscription which reads the mosque was constructed in 629 CE. If true, this tale confers upon Cheraman Juma Masjid a unique distinction of being the World’s third  oldest mosque after Mecca and Medina.  Below, we examine the historicity of these claims

Ceraman Juma Masjid of Kodungallur.Allegedly constructed in 629 CE

Sources of the “oral” history

The “oral tradition” of Cheraman is encountered in an Arabic document written in Malabar called Qissat Shakarwati Farmad. The legend can be…

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