The Oldest Mosque in India

Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kodungallur located in Kerala, in the southern part of India, is believed to have been built by Malik bin Dinar in CE629 and is considered to be the oldest mosque in the Indian Sub-continent.

A Chera king, Cheraman Perumal of Kodungallure, went to Makkah and embraced Islam, and took Muslim name, Thajudeen. He died while returning.

Several Islamic scholars, led by Malik Ibn-Dinar, who accompanied the king, continued their journey back to India with an introductory letter by the king, reached ‘Musiris’ (Kodungallur, the Chera capital) and handed over the letter to the reigning king, who treated the guests with all respect and extended facilities to establish their faith in the land. Later, in CE629, with the help of the king, they built the first mosque at Kodungallur called as Juma Masjid. The original mosque has undergone extensive repairs, but traces of the original construction are seen in the plinth, the columns and the roof, which are in the old traditional styles of Hindu temples. When Ibn-Dinar left for Arabia, his nephew Habib bin Malik took over.

The mosque is believed to have been renovated in the 11th and 18th centuries CE. In 1974 also, an extension was built.

On 29 July 2006, A P J Abdul Kalam became the first president of the country to visit the masjid. The mosque, which keeps drawing visitors from all over the globe, is also know for upholding secular values. A large number of non-Muslim pilgrims regularly visit the mosque and its committee membership was open for Hindus. Many of the traditional Hindu items like lamps and architecture style are preserved, till date.

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