When someone comes to know that you are engaged in a work, which is, in no way, relevant to your character and taste, the person will humourously pose you the popular idiomatic question, 'Hey, is there an analogy between Abdul Kadher and Ammavasai (New moon)?. The question literally states that a Muslim has nothing to do with Amavasya, the new moon day, on which Hindus observe a fast and offer food to their departed ancestors. However, it metaphorically means a general contrast between the person and his career. But, before another idiomatic expression “Is there an analogy between a Madrasa Ravuthar and Mariamman? “ emerging in Tamil, the historical fact of a Muslim poet's piety for Mariamman should come to light.
The poet, whose name was 'Madrasa Ravuthar' son of Jamal Ravuthar from Ambarampalayam in Pollachi, composed songs on the Sulakkal Mariamman, a popular deity whose shrine is in the village Sulakkal on Pollachi-Coimbatore road. Ravuthar's verses, which admire the Goddess, are written in the poetic forms Ammanai, Kummi and Sindhu and they came out in book form at the Pollachi Gopala Vilasa Printers in 1909 and 1919.
Coimbatoreans of the bygone era are sure to have enjoyed the 'Kummi', a dance with clapping of hands to time and singing in many temple festivals. And Ravuthar's song on Goddess Mariamman, performed in a Kummi dance, praises the Sulakkal Mariamman as 'Paranjothi' (Light divine), who provides everyone a wealth of ornaments.
However, Coimbatore, a peaceful town, where Hindus and Muslims once lived in harmony, experienced a bitter communal discord in the late 1990s after their respective religions were politicised for the selfish goals of certain political parties.
In a bad political scenario today, where the enmity between Hindus and Muslims is fueled day by day, it is surprising that certain historical documents like stone inscriptions and copper plates of antiquity throw new light on the harmony between the people of two faiths.
The books Erodu Maavatta Kalvettukkal (Volume 1) and Muthusamy Konar's Kongunadu (1934) ,inform that Kannakula Vellalar of Erode, a clan of the Hindu Kongu Vellalar community, worship a Muslim as their family deity by naming Him 'Ravuthanasamy'. The members of Kannakulam also say that the Muslim had provided a priceless help to their clan's founder and rescued him from a danger long ago. Interestingly, they also christen their children as 'Ravuthanasamy' and 'Ravuthamma' dropping a hint at their admiration for Islam.
It is no surprise that caste tags accompany people's names as 'Maranna Gounder' or 'Kalimuthu Gounder'. But, the Kannakula Vellalar even name themselves as 'Thulukanna Gounder', displaying their devotion for ' Thulukannasamy' - their another Muslim deity !
Compiled by: B Meenakshi Sundaram
Source: Thamizhaga Islamiya Varalatru Aavanangal -
Pulavar Se. Rasu and
Ku. Jamal Muhammed