By Yasmin Khan
This oldest Masjid which is famous in the world as ,”Cheraman Perumal Masjid” is located in Kodungallur, Kerala which is situated 35 kilometers north of Kochi/Cochin,the largest city in Kerala.
This Masjid was constructed by Sahaba(The Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and who were merchants and were having trade relations with Kerala even before the inception of Islam.
This historical Masjid was built in Kodungallur, Kerala, India during the Madani period of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and is considered as the oldest Masjid in India and South Asia and one of the oldest Masjid in the world.
It was built by the famous pious, philanthropic and wise ruler of Kerala, the Maharaja Chereman Perumal.
Maharaja Chereman Perumal, who was very pious person saw in his dream that the moon is splitting into two halves.
He called all the leading astrologers from Kerala and India to interpret his dream and they gave their own interpretations but the great Maharaja of Kerala was not convinced.
Then one of the leading Arab merchant from Madina, Hejaz Muqaddas by name Habib ibn Malik along with his wife by name Khumairiat Beevi who had embraced Islam at the hands of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and became his campanions in Madinah Munawwarah.
Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asked his companions Habib ibn Malik and his wife Khumairiat Beevi to travel to Kodungallur, Kerala to meet Maharaja Chereman Perumal, the pious and righteous ruler of Kerala and invite him to meet him in Madinah Munawwarah.
Habib ibn Malik and his wife Khumairiat Beevi, who have witnessed themselves in Madinah Munawwarah the splitting the moon (Shaqqul Qamar) into two halves.
When they met Maharaja Chereman Perumal in Kodungallur, the capital city of Kerala during that period, Maharaja Chereman Perumal asked them about the interpretation of his dream in which the moon was split into two halves.
They replied to the Maharaja of Kerala that moment he saw the moon splitting into two halves was the moment Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) splitting the moon into two halves.
Maharaja Chereman Perumal accepted their interpretation of his dream and also accepted the invitation from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to meet him in Madinah Munawwarah, Hijaz Muqaddas.
Maharaja Chereman Perumal abdicated his throne and traveled to Madinah Munawwarah by sea.
After meeting the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in Madinah Munawwarah, he embraced Islam at the hands of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and became Muslim.
After this historical event he left Madinah Munawwarah to Kodungallur, Kerala by sea and reached Dhaffar region of Oman.
In Dhaffar he became ill and during his short stay in Dhaffar, he send many letters to very important rulers and administrators of India inviting them to embrace Islam.
But he departed to heaven during the Madani period of Holy Prophet and have buried in Dhaffar (Oman).
Habib ibn Malik, the Companion of the Holy Prophet(SAW) the close friend of Maharaja Chereman Perumal constructed the Chereman Perumal Masjid in Kodungallur, Kerala, India on the orders of Maharaja Chereman Perumal and he named it Chereman Perumal Masjid.
Habib ibn Malik and his wife stayed in Kodungallur, Kerala and preached Islam in Kerala.
Habib ibn Malik and his wife Khumairiat Beevi lived and died in Kodungallur, Kerala and were buried adjoined to Chereman Perumal Masjid in Kodungallur, Kerala India.