The Perumal and the pickle

Posted by Maddy Labels:

Kodungaloor was the capital of the kings of Kerala, and in 622-628 A.D. (Hijra 1 to 7) the ruler was a great savant, Cheraman Perumal. In those days, the senior most of the rulers of Kerala was called the Cheraman Perumal. So starts one story about his oft repeated conversion to Islam. Though there is no evidence that this Cheraman Perumal converted to Islam, it is a well worn myth which Varnam had taken up previously.

This proved to be a particularly difficult story to research. The Mohammedan sites were emphatic in concurrence, the Malayali researchers resolute in pointing out the conflicting facts. As before, I say that it is a tragedy that the people of Kerala never committed history (properly & factually) in writing. Even though printing originated on the Calico cloth that came from Calicut in Malabar, we continued to hack away on the leafy scrolls that were never the best when it comes to long term storage (Much of the Zamorin’s Granthavari has been lost, only a small portion remains at the Vallathol library and I read recently about the tragedy of the Chirakkal scrolls in Muarali’s nice book ‘Kovilakongalum Kottarangalum’). As usual, the various languages and scripts in so small an area meant that the text that survived is not uniformly understood or translated by people. The people evolved, the culture changed – molding the influences from the peoples of the western and eastern world, the languages a mix of Arabic, Tamil, Sanskrit and Malayalam, with the translations to English sometimes hurried and suspect. It has always been so and when you delve deep into history, you find that everything is based on a combination of myth, folklore, exaggeration and little fact. To find that little fact amongst all this is not easy and many a time you end up exactly where the writer intended, on the wrong path. I fear that I may do exactly the same. The various versions & myths behind this story come from disputed sources, like the Gundert translation of the Keralolpathi, the Malabar manual by Logan, the Travancore manual, various Arabic writers and today’s search engine Google.

It started at the time the last of the Cheras ruled Kerala – a time when a lot of trade transpired between the south Indian Kingdoms and the West. A time when small ships plied between the ports of Muziris and the ports in Arabia, a time when pepper-the black gold, other spices, precious stones, muslin cloth, teak wood for houses and boats and the fine dyes from the Malabar moved on these ships to Arab ports, Egypt and ancient Europe in return for gold, pearls.

Sometime between 620-850 AD - A Cheran King while wandering (ulathifying) on his balcony with his queen (Now I find it hard to believe that part – Older Nalu or Ettu kettu houses did not have a terrace or balcony) saw the moon being split into two and later being rejoined (Another version says he had a dream). He was mystified and consulted his astrologers who apparently confirmed the occurrence of such an event.

A few months later, a group of three Arabs led by Sheikh Seijuddin, trying to reach Adam’s peak in Ceylon, landed in Muziris and were talking about their new religion and the Prophet Mohammed. Later upon hearing that the moon splitting was a wonder wrought by Mohammed, the king gets curious and decides to go to Mecca himself.

Accordingly he abdicates his throne, divides his kingdom into 34 ‘amshas’ stretching between Kanyakumari and Gokarnam, amongst his nephews (It was a matrilineal society) and boards a ship to Mecca. The king upon reaching there meets the Prophet, and accepts the new religion and the new title Tauje Ul Herid. He continues to live there for five (or 12 according to other accounts) years, marries the sister of the King of Jeddah (named Rahabieth or Gomariah), but then decides to return upon instructions from the prophet to spread his new religion in Malabar. The return voyage was very distressing and the Perumal falls sick (or drowns in a tempest) and dies. How he died is also a matter of contention, with two contradicting accounts - illness or in a tempest at sea.

The body is buried in Zafer - Yemen (other accounts state Salalah Oman) and is a revered tomb today. Before he dies, he writes a letter to his family in Malabar that they should provide the holders of this letter, help in the construction of the first mosque on Indian shores. New accounts state that his tomb is at Salalah Oman and not Zafer Yemen. A third account states that he died in Dhufar Yemen. Now Zafer is inland, north of Aden, so it is quite plausible. Dhufar & Salalah are pretty much the same area, slightly north of Yemen and in Oman, so they are a possibility too. Apparently the ‘Makkatupoya Perumal’s tomb is close to Job’s (Nabi Ayoub) tomb, though nobody seems to have a clear idea..

Malik Bin Dinar, the Prophet Mohammed’s chosen follower (from a group of 13) and his extended family arrive later at Cranganore, to propagate the new religion armed with the Perumal’s letter, following which the Cheraman mosque is commissioned.

The mosque (Picture shows the old building)– The Cheraman Juma Masjid at Methala - Kodungallur, stands to this day and has recently been modernized (Apparently it was previously a Buddhist Vihar, then the Arathali temple – To me it looks like a traditional Nalukettu in Kerala – not a temple construction, it seemed more like a converted house). It has another unique specialty. Mosques all over the world face the direction of Makkah, but this particular one faces east, as it was built originally as a Hindu shrine, all of which face the east. More important is the fact that it is the world’s second oldest Juma mosque, where the Juma (Friday) prayers have been held for the last 1375 years, since the days of Prophet Mohammed (570-634 A.D.). The first Juma mosque in the world is the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, which is also his memorial tomb

Unlike any other mosques in India, the Cheraman mosque from 621 AD uses a traditional brass oil lamp, mostly found in Hindu temples. The pulpit from where the chief priest gives Friday sermons is made of rosewood with carvings similar to those in temples. The architecture also resembles Hindu temple style. There are two tombs, that of Bin Dinar and his sister inside the mosque, where Muslim priests light incense sticks, yet another Hindu practice.

For some reason the Perumal is called ‘Chakravarthi Farmas’ (if scholars could pronounce and commit to text a complicated title like Chakravarthi, and if the name was subsequently changed to Tajudeen, why was the name Farmas used?) in the Arabic writings relating to this story and they also state that during his stay in Mecca is renamed as Tajudeen. Abu Saeed Al Quidri a follower and companion of the prophet records that King Farmas presented a bottle (More correctly it would have been a ‘Bharani’ or a small brown colored glazed earthen pot) of pickle to Prophet Mohammed that contained amongst other vegetables, Ginger. This was tasted by all there including the said Abu Saeed who promptly recorded the act and story for posterity. Very curious indeed – we had, in my opinion, only mango pickles (whole tender mango pickles) in old times, vegetable pickles did not exist – so how did ginger come into the pickles?? After much thought, I have concluded that he took the long lasting ‘Injipuli’ (concoction of ginger & molasses) in the jar. Man! That would have tasted odd to the uninitiated.

Yet another twist is the mention of a document in the British Library which names the King of Cranganore (Muziris - Kodungallur) as Shakruti. (The shelf mark is IO ISLAMIC 2807 and the section mentioned is on pages 81 verso – 104 verso (inclusive). It is entitled “Qissat Shakruti Firmad” which, according to the catalogue (Loth 1044), is “A fabulous account of the first settlement of the Muhammadans in Malabar, under King Shakruti (Cranganore), a contemporary of Muhammad, who was converted to Islam bythe miracle of the division of the the moon.”

The topic rested in the annals of history and has been re-quoted wrongly now and then, sometimes with a hint of skepticism by some, till more recent historians like Sreedhara Menon challenged accounts. The names and timelines did not match and in the arguments that followed, some concluded that there were two Perumals involved -one who built the mosque and one who died in Arabia. Encyclopedia Britannica concurs that it was indeed the 9th century when the Perumal visited Mecca. Logan and others however doubt that it was a Perumal, they believe that it was a Zamorin and hence the name Abdullah Sameeri (Samuri). The Perumal tombstone at Zepher states that he arrived there in 212AH (829AD) signifying that he was not a Perumal of Muhammed’s time, but much later. By the way to complicate matters further, it appears that Bauddha meant Mohammedan and thus accounts of one of the Perumal’s becoming a Buddhist could have meant Bauddhist or Mohammedan. Some Islamic scholars say that the Cheraman Buddhist vihar was originally constructed by Pallibana Perumal, a convert either to Buddism or to Islam in the seventh century A.D. And finally a Kasargode mosque document (discovered by archeologist GS Khwaja) in ancient Arabic, records Perumal’s converted name as Abdullah Sameri and not Tajuddin with the time line as 22 Hijra (642-43AD).

Sreedhara Menon the historian feels that history got blurred in this case where a Chera King of the first dynasty converted to Bhuddism. He feels that a local chieftain of Malabar (a Zamorin perhaps) traveled to Mecca and was in no way a King. The Second Chera Dynasty began with the Perumal, Kulashekhara Alwar, in 800 AD and the dynasty lasted till 1102 AD. The question is: how could the last Perumal, who died in 1102 AD, have given up his kingdom and leave to meet the Prophet Mohammad (569 – 632) in Jeddah? Obviously there is a misunderstanding here. Dr Hussein Randathani is a scholar who researched the story - According to him the story goes as follows

In the seventeenth year of Hijrah (638 A.D.) Uthman (644-656 AD), the third khalifa is said to have sent a party under Mughira b. Shu’ba, a companion of Prophet Muhammad to India. When the party reached at Calicut, the Zamorin extended them a warm reception. The King himself was attracted to Islam and became a Musalman. It is said that the Zamorin accepted the name “Abdu Rahman and went to Makkah where he presented a robe of honor to Ka’ba . On his return to Malabar, he died at Zafar (Yemen) where his grave still exists with the name Abdu Rahman Samiri.

Then comes another complication – Some state that the Perumal lived at Perumathura near Trivandrum after conversion to Islam. Mahodayapura or Cranganore was by the way, the capital of the Cheras! Raja Valiyathampuram of Kodungallur also corroborates the well repeated myth, though, in an interview.

The story thus takes many twists and turns from the balcony to the splitting of the moon and to the trip to Makkah or Medina, to meeting the prophet. While the persons and the dates are shrouded in a veil of confusion, the one less disputed fact that remains was that a person of high standing reached Makkah after conversion and shared a jar of ginger pickle with some dignitaries.

An intriguing question – if this is a myth, why did the following generations of Zamorin’s support its spread? Was it for the sake of trade, solidarity with the Mappilas and Arabs and in the larger interest of profit and prosperity? I think so. A very interesting blog to read for further details is CKR’s blog ‘ A tale of two conversions’.

See new article on this topic
Cheraman Perumal and the Myths


  1. Calicut Heritage Forum

    A very erudite summary of all the positions reg the Perumal myth, without taking sides. The core issue to me is : what was the motive for the conversion? The motive could have been conviction if it had happened during the Prophet's time but if it happened much later in 11th or 12th century, we have to look for other reasons. One possibility is that it could have been as part of an Islamic conversion wave. Much more research is called for.
    Incidentally, Kodungalloor was a flourishing port and manufacturing centre during the 10th and 11th centuries. I came across recently a document from the Geniza collection preserved in a Cairo synagogue. It is a letter from a Tunisian Jew dated 1149. Abraham Yiju, the letter writer had a bronze factory in Kodungalloor employing Kerala craftsmen manufacturing vessels for the European market, according to designs supplied by Egyptian traders. The raw material in the shape of broken and out of fashion vessels came all the way from Spain and Yemen!
    Let us hope new research in Pattanam (the excavations have already brought out fascinating new evidence of a prosperous Kodungalloor and its environs) and sources like the Geniza papers will recreate the history of Kodungalloor and in the process, the true story of Cherman's conversion.

  1. Maddy

    Thanks CKR.

    I think that the conversion is at all it happened was for trade solidarity.

    Reg Abraham Ben Yiju - it has been my pet project for the last 6 months. A blog is on the way and his factory was actually in Mangalore.

    Has Dr Shajan come up with some new things on Muziris?

  1. Calicut Heritage Forum

    I have no proof, but my hunch is that the factory could have been in Nadavarambu, not far from Kodungalloor, which is still a centre for bronze and brassware. Mangalore appears to be too far away from Kodungalloor. Look forward to your blog on this.

  1. deepdowne

    Well studied! Well written! Thanks!

  1. Nikhil Narayanan

    Temples facing east:
    Have heard that Madayi Kaav Temple in Kannur district faces west because the people who got the "devi pratishta" came via the sea.
    I have been there long back,but do not recollect if it is true.
    Just a food for thought.


  1. CKMadhusudan

    There is a saying in Eranad, ‘Penchollu ketta Perumale Makkathu poyi thoppi ettala’. How did this saying come into being? There a story behind it.
    The Beloved Queen (Thamburatti) of Cheraman Perumal had an illicit connection with one Pandi who had come from Pandinadu. This was known to one of the Nair commanders of Cheraman. Once, the commander happened to witness the nocturnal escapades of the queen. For fear of this Nair revealing the affair to the King, Thamburatti exerted her nuptial influence over the King to sent the Nair to gallows. The unfair sentence of an honest commander sparked off a coup in the Kingdom. Vikkaran the popular commander took to arms in revolt against the unfair execution. By the time Cheraman knew about his folly, it was too late. The only option left was to abscond. Through land his escape would only end up in capture. Arabs who had anchored in the port to trade Athar, promised help, on condition that Perumal converts to Islam. Life is more precious than faith, for some. Cheraman belonged to that category of people, who thought life more precious, accepted the new faith. It is believed that after paying obeisance to Valayanadu Kavil Amma he left the shore from Kappachalu, near Beypore, along with his unfaithful wife and a daughter.
    I cannot vouch the historical accuracy of the story. But I feel it more probable. If actually Cheraman had converted out of his true faith in Islam, definitely he would see to it that his entire Kingdom is proselytized. But on the other hand we find him leave for Mecca immediately thereafter, i.e. after conversion. What was the pressing need to leave the land, where he held total suzerainty? One cannot say that Perumal studied Arabic to understand the contents of Qur’an in any depth. But the Arabs, the shrewd traders they were, would leave no stone unturned to spread their religion and to enhance the prospect of their business. Anyway, it is unlikely that the King would leave his infidel subjects unconverted to follow the religion of the idol-worshippers.
    Forced conversions are as old as Semitic religion. We can always play the safe card of a secularist lest we are branded or blemished as communal. Kerala needs an unblemished research into all aspects of the history tainted by the Marxist ideologists. Malabar suffered the most, be it the Tippus conquest and conversions that ensued or the Mappila revolt.
    Hope that further research in this topic will throw more light into the tale of Perumal’s conversion.

  1. Maddy

    Thanks Nikhil, deepdowne and CKM.

    I think your question has been answered by CKM.
    Deepdowne - you have an interesting site - the Bombay photos show the real squalor of the trade. but then in such places even standing space is sufficient for any trade!!
    CKM - Originally I had a para with this story but deleted it. I had seen it at somebody's family website. Thinking that it was a bit outlandish, i did not include it.Anyway i am happy you provided it. - it lends completeness..

    In historic times, many people converted at the lower end of the caste strata due to personal needs of equality which was promised in other religions like Islam, Christianity etc. However there have been many cases where a popular figure did it as a sacrifice, especially if one of the wandering mendicants help ward off or cure a sickness, save a loved one etc. It could have been some such reason as well! But as you can imagine without any kind of documents, it is proving difficult.

    I used to feel the last few months that the only first sources left are the Genizh documents. But having seen some of them, i find them to be purely trade documents. the other sources are unheralded Greek, roman or Chinese documents. In the Genizah it is specifically stated that one of the safest harbors in the 1000AD times was Quilon.

  1. Maddy

    Nikhil - I saw that CKM was talking about a Beypore temple. The Madayi is where Malik Dinar built an ancient mosque right? the temple is the main Kolathiri temple.

    It seems to be an interesting temple where the prasadam is cooked chicken!!

    like u said food for thought!

  1. Anonymous

    I was driving down NH17 last Sunday and I think I passed this mosque. It's been renovated and is now a standard concrete kerala mosque. however the shape remains.

  1. Anonymous

    Somehow I find your writings contradicted with the confession of Raja Valiyathampuram of Kodungallur in Central Kerala who claimed is a descendant of King Cheraman Perumal. The King's real name was Cheraman Bhaskara Ravi Perumal the last Emperor of Perumal Family..

  1. Maddy

    Thanks Eye for India - yes, u are right. It looks very different from that historic picture, these days after the renovation.

    Anonymous - yes u are right. What I have presented are the various myths and apparent conclusions. Since no proof exists the contradictions will remain.

  1. n

    I've put some of my observations about this story at my blog

  1. drsabu

    Hi Maddi
    ....The body is buried in Zafer - Yemen (other accounts state Salalah Oman) and is a revered tomb today..
    some authours claim the perumal is burried in Shahr al Mukalla.
    Now Ash Shihr and Al Mukalla are two provinces along the coast of Hadramut region of Yemen;often they are mentioned together- al Shihr wa al-Mukallā (akin to J&K or Bosnia & herzegovina).Al mukalla is the capital of Hadramaut

    Zafar(Dhafar)-the ancient capital of Sheba and Thu Redan,is quite interior,but as you have said is a possiblity.

    But consider salalah,the largest town in Ẓufār (Dhofar)region in Oman, which is adjacent to the Hadramaut region of yemen.hence, the tomb in salalah could possibly be Cheraman Perumal's.We are yet to hear of a similar tomb from al Shihr wa al-Mukallā the main contender.
    Notice the identical arabic spellings of both the places;the only difference is in pronunciation
    ظفار Ẓufār/Dhofar(Oman)
    ظفار Zafār/Dhafar(Yemen)

    In one version King tajuddin is said to have married from the royal family in Jeddah.There are places named mukalla and Salalah in Jeddah!!!!!So is there any possibility of finding Perumal's tomb somehwere in suburbs of Jeddah??
    Dr sabu

  1. Maddy

    thanks drsabu..
    yes, it is indeed a bit of confusion here. Jeddah could also be a strong possibility.

  1. RAFI

    not cheraman perumal, but 'palli bana perumal' converted to islam was tajuddin. cheraman is 2nd king converted 2 islam, named a.rahman al samiri lived in hijra 2nd c. for details call +91974

  1. RAFI

    not cheraman perumal, but 'palli bana perumal' converted to islam was tajuddin. cheraman is 2nd king converted 2 islam, named a.rahman al samiri lived in hijra 2nd c. for details call +91974

  1. Maddy

    thanks rafi for your comment. this topic is beset with a lot of conjecture and no single one is still right, unfortunately..

  1. chendrn

    cheraman perumal is the early tamilking who had lineage to the earstwhile pandyan dynasty who was brought to kerala to takeover the reign.Perumal is the comman name in tamilnadu next only to Murugan.

  1. Roshan PM

    Informative post, appreciate your efforts behind this

  1. Rajeev Kesava Pillai

    above 1500 tamilians visit anually at kodungaloor trikulasekharapuran temple ...and doing rituals see more visit face book page of manoj ravidran niraksharan..i am posting a link hereതൃക്കുലശേഖരപുരം ക്ഷേത്രം.

    തമിഴ്‌നാട്ടിലെ ചിദംബരത്ത് നിന്ന് ആരംഭിക്കുന്ന ‘ചേരമാൻ പെരുമാൾ ഗുരുപൂജ ഉത്സവം‘ അവസാനിക്കുന്നത് കൊടുങ്ങല്ലൂരിലെ TKS പുരത്തുള്ള അതിപുരാതനമായ ഈ ശ്രീകൃഷ്ണ ക്ഷേത്രത്തിലാണ്.

    ലേബൽ:‌- ചേരമാൻ പെരുമാൾ ആരാണെന്ന് മാത്രം ചോദിക്കരുത് എല്ലാ കൊല്ലവും കർക്കിടകത്തിലെ ചോതി നാളിലാണ് ഈ ഉത്സവം നടക്കുന്നത്. ഈ ദിവത്തിന്റെ തലേന്നും പിന്നേന്നുമായി 3 ദിവസമായാണ് ഇത് തമിഴ് മക്കൾ കൊണ്ടാടുന്നത്. മൂന്ന് തലമുറകൾ, കഴിഞ്ഞ 79 കൊല്ലമായി ഇത് നടത്തിപ്പോരുന്നു. ഇക്കൊല്ലമാണ് എനിക്ക് കാണാൻ ഭാഗ്യമുണ്ടായത്. ‘ജീവനുള്ള കാലത്തോളം നടത്തിക്കൊണ്ടുപോകും, പക്ഷെ അടുത്ത തലമുറ പിൻ‌തുടരുമോ എന്നുറപ്പില്ല‘ എന്നാണ് 1500 പേരോളം വരുന്ന സംഘത്തിന്റെ തലൈവർ പറഞ്ഞത്. നമ്മുടെ മാദ്ധ്യമങ്ങൾക്കൊന്നും നമ്മുടെയൊരു പഴയ രാജാവിന്റെ പേരിൽ നടക്കുന്ന ഈ ഉത്സവം ഒരു വാർത്തയാക്കാൻ സമയമില്ല എന്നതാണ് വേദനിപ്പിക്കുന്നത്.

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    The Kerala historians want to delink themselves from mainland India and want to project as if they belong to Middle East. Well nobody disputes with them. But in order to substantiate their claim they falsify the history of other parts the two most important issues being Adhi Sankaracharya driving Buddhists out of Kerala and St.Thoma Cana and Mylapore both of which are the most ridiculous part of Indian history. If Adi Sankara's date is taken as 788AD why no reference in Cheraman Perumal Nayanar or his successor Kulasekhara Alwar. The matrilineal system is an influence of Jaffna in fourteenth century AD. It was not even prevalent among Uchangi Pandiyas. It came into history in Malnad area only from fourteenth century AD the notable one being Uthama Nambhi's travails in search of Lord Ranganatha. The period from fifth century AD to thirteenth century AD is the most confusing part of Kerala history. After Senguttuvan probably a branch of Chera kings under the pressure of Kadambas/Gangas/Velirs would have traversed through Palani Hills and established themselves at Karuvur. As per inscriptional evidences Kulasekhara Varma was contemporary of Varaguna I the great and ruled Karuvur. There is little iota of influence of Kerala as such in his hymns. The Ay kings established themselves at Venad and one of the kings Kokandan Ravi established Ghatika at Kandalur. It is still doubtful if Kokandan Ravi would have been an Ay king since the name KOKANDAN RAVI resembles Chera line of Ravivarmans whose another branch was Paluvettaraiyars Kandan Maran/Kandan Amudan/Kalandhaka Kandan etc., As per Tamil sources the term Namboothiri as separate sect is never available up to thirteenth century AD. similarly Adi Sankara is never referred in Tamil inscriptions but in Chola inscriptions study of Prabhakaran Mimamsa and Shareerika Mimamsam otherwise known as Bhagavath Padeeyam was extensively encouraged. Another notable omission by Kerala historians is that why did Cholas encourage large scale settlement of Malayalee Brahmins in Trichy district in area known as Mazhapadi? Why did Kerala princes also shifted to Tamilnadu. The notable one was Vellan Kumaran the trusted general of Rajaditya who became ascetic after Takkolam war and as Chaturana Punditha established Kalmukha mutt at Tiruvottriyur. The Cholas actively encouraged only Kalamukha sect though Saiva temples are under Saivagamas and not Kalamukha. Their Guru was Chaturana Punditha successively with SIVAN as title. There has been excessive interaction between Kodumbalur Velirs/Cholas emperors with Gokali mutt of Karnataka. It has been recorded by Nemichandra Famous Jain scholar of eleventh century AD that he belonged to illustrious Brahmin family of Kanchipuram who was brought to Karnataka by Gandaraditya the Cholas king. There was uniform social set up in south of PATHINENBHOOMIYAR/VALANGAI/IDANGAI GROUPS/AIHOLE AINOORUVAR. Scholars even now has not analysed why Cholas extensively went for Tamilisation though accepted the general social set up and how Tamil became mercantile language of South India. While Chalukyas and Cholas patronized
    Kalamukha sect why did they go for war since the mercantile groups alone provided materials. Advaita and Smartha tradition is part of Vijayanagar legacy and not earlier. It is silly to accept that Adi Sankara brought Namboothiris driving out Buddhists. During the imperial age from sixth century AD TO thirteenth century AD while northern and Deccan kings patronized Buddhism/Jainism along with Tantric Saivism ITV was only in Tamilnadu Saivism and Vaidhnavism flourished and where is the question of Adi Sankara driving Buddhists. As per inscriptions of Sri Varadarajaswami Temple Bhagavatham was identified with Advaita and Sattara Sri Vaishnavas were the true Advaitins who discarded three identification of Brahmins Sacred thread Shika and Kamandal with water. Hence Kerala historians should openly discard history of mainland India

  1. Anonymous

    A previous name of Salalah was Zafar (Dhofar). The tomb said to be the kings, is near the coast. Zafar in Yemen is about 150kms from the coast. A sea voyage would suggest Salalah.

  1. Anjnani

    The Islamic version which does not fit into the history of the 63 Nayanmars (Saiva Saints). Cheraman Perumal, also known as Perumaakothaiyar and Kalarittu Arivaar was a Saintly Chera king who ruled from Kodungallur and an ardent devotee of the Lord Mahadeva of Thiruvanchikalam just 3 kms from Kodungallur. Researchers and experts conclude that there is no truth in this story since Prophet lived from 570 to 631 CE and Cheraman Perumal who was a contemporary of Saint Sundarar, who lived later than Saint Thirugnana Sambandar and Saint Thirunavukkarasar, who are contemporaries and dated to have lived in Prophet Mohammed's time. Saint Sundarar and his friend Saint Chraman Perumal are dated to have lived in the later part of 7th century and early part of 8th century CE. How do we know this? Saint Sundarar sang 'Thiruthondar Thokai' in which he describes the lives, achievements and miracles of Saiva saints who lived before him, which includes Saint Thirgnana Sambandar and Saint Thirunavukkkarasar. If he sang about these two saints who lived at the time of the Prophet, he must have lived later than them which means his friend Cheraman Perumal must have lived later than the Prophet Mohammed. The veracity of this story has to be verified.

  1. Maddy

    Thanks Anjnani,
    I am working on an article covering this angle, will post ASAP

  1. Bagavathi V.

    Nice article sir...I am sure that KazhaRRaRivaar nayanar was a different Cheraman perumal.. Cheraman perumaan is a common name of Chera kings..A detailed historic research should be followed..I am looking forward to yet another worthy article from you sir..Best wishes..

  1. Maddy

    thanks Bagavathi,
    i am working on a revision and will post soon, keep checking and thanks for the comment.