Mappila - Religion

Islam was introduced to Kerala in the seventh and eighth centuries by Sunni Arabs. Islam in all probability spread to Peninsular India from Kerala. Arabs came through Kerala for the purchase of pepper and slaves. Kerala was also a very convenient rest stop for merchants passing east and west through the Indian Ocean. These Muslim merchants established a harmonious relationship and introduced Islam to the people. The Mappila were ready psychologically for new changes Because of previous political and economic setbacks. Most Mappila today enrich their lives by prayers and Quranic readings. Mullahs (religious clergymen) are paid by families to visit and conduct special prayers or chant the Quran. Mappila attend a mosque for religious holidays and sometimes to listen to a preacher. Islam preaches that life is under one Lord and his command is one; but this idea has become perhaps less important for the Mappila as they struggle through life. Mappila culture is changing, with modern education and communist concepts playing a major role. The mullahs now can rely only on special occasions such as Ramadan for an opportunity to sermonize and strengthen the people's faith.

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