Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungallur is considered as the oldest mosque in India and the second oldest mosque in the world to offer Jumuah prayers. The mosque is believed to build by Malik Bin Deenar and Malik bin Habib and a group of Arabs in 629 AD. The mosque has been constructed during the era of Mohammed and it is believed that the bodies of the followers are buried here. The mosque is facing towards eastern side when compared with the other mosques in Kerala which face the western side.
There is an ancient oil lamp that is always burning in the mosque and is believed to be more than 1000 years old and people from all religions bring oil as an offering. This is one of the rare mosques in Kerala that allow people from all religion to enter the mosque. "Vidhyarambham” of Hindu children are done at this Masjid which shows the secular credentials of this place and Masjid.
History of the Cheraman Juma Masjid Mosque, Kodungallur
Cheraman Perumal who was ruling Kodungallur saw a dream one night that the moon was split into two and he was feeling restless as the palace astrologers could not give a convincing reply. Muslim businessmen who had come to Kodungallur for business were able to convince the King with a reply and they stated that at the same time when Prophet showed the Divayaalbuthum to sacred people, the King was able to witness it in a dream.
The Perumal decided to embrace Islam religion at that same moment and he divided the ruling to his followers. The Perumal went to Mecca and saw the prophet and spend considerable time with him. He decided to return back home but he fell ill at Bufar on his return journey.
His condition became worse and Perumal wrote letters to the rulers in Kodungallur and gave it to the people with him and after his death, they reached here and gave the letters to the rulers and the rulers allowed the construction of Mosque.
Malik Bin Deenar and Malik bin Habib build the Cheraman Juma Masjid with this permission. It is believed that the tomb inside the Cheraman Juma Masjid is that of Malik bin Habib and his wife. Malik Bin Deenar went across Kerala spreading Islam and building mosques.
The architecture of the Cheraman Juma Masjid
The mosque follows the architectural style of the Hindus and is built using brass and there are carvings in the place where the Imam recites the Friday prayer or Jumuah and this is build in the rosewood pulpit. The mosque contains white marble that is believed to have been bought from Makah.
Nearest Religious attractions to Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungallur
- The site where St. Thomas landed in 52 AD: just five kilometers away from the mosque.
- Famous Bhagavathy temple: just two kilometers away.
- Mahadeva temple and the old palaces of the Chera kings: 250 yards away.
The Welfare activities undertaken by Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungallur
The Masjid has been extending various welfare schemes to people irrespective of their religious beliefs and the scheme has extended to its jurisdiction area. The scheme has been not limited to extension of financial help to poor people to build homes, to pay medical bills, to help in the marriage of daughters and so on.
Management committee of the Masjid
The mosque is managed by a Mahallu Committee and is elected as per the bylaws. The members should be adults and they are elected for a period of two years.
Cheraman Charitable Society
The Cheraman Charitable society will overlook the welfare activities and has registered office address as follows:
Kodungallur Cheraman Juma Masjid Mahallu committee, Cheraman Malik Nagar
Kodungallur, Thrissur District, Kerala-680644
The areas in which the welfare society functions are Methala, Lokmaleswaram, Eriad village areas and the areas under the Cheraman Juma Masjid.
The renovation works of the Masjid
There is a belief that the Masjid was renovated way back in 11 Ad and three hundred years ago. The Masjid was renovated as an extension in the year 1974 to accommodate the ever increasing devotees. The next extension was done in the year 1994 and 2001.In the year 2001, it was decided that the extension would be made in lines with the old Mosque style.
How to reach Cheraman Juma Masjid kodungallur
Nearby Railway station: Ernakulam (30 km) Thrissur (38 km) are the major railway stations close to Kodungallur town. Irinjalakuda railway station lies just 22 km and the other railway station that is close is the Aluva railway station.
Nearby Airport: Cochin International Airport (35 km). The airport has well connected services to major cities of India and has many international services also.
By Road: Kodungallur is well connected by NH17 and there are many Kerala government buses and private buses that ply through this town and is well connected with nearby places.
Local Tourism Information center: Kerala Tourism Information Center, Thrissur - Tel: + 91 487 2320800.
Tourist Information toll free number: 1-800-425-4747.