Sacred Character, Sanctified Resources and Circulated Karamats: Tracing the Hadrami Networks of Malabar

Sacred Character, Sanctified Resources and Circulated Karamats: Tracing the Hadrami Networks of Malabar by Muhammed Faris Kallayi  

Despite having intense maritime interactions since centuries, unlike Hyderabad, Hollad, Indonesia and Africa, Malabar has not been placed adequately in the debates over wider Hadrami networks in the Indian Ocean world. Hardly any book has been published exclusively on the Hadramis of Malabar, Southwest India. Dr. Abdul Jaleel P.K.M’s lecture ‘Networking Sacred Resources and Channelling Sufi Rituals: Malabar in Hadrami Networks of the Indian Ocean’ held at CH Mohammed Chair Hall, University of Calicut, Kerala, India, between 3:00pm-6:00pm, Monday 23 October, 2017 explored this understudies area.


The talk was held as a part of the ‘Interaction with a scholar’ series, a joint initiative of CH Mohammed Koya Chair for Studies on Developing Societies and Mappila Heritage Library, both housed at University of Calicut, Kerala, aimed at the introduction of genuine research in various fields including but not limited to Mappila Muslims of Malabar. The event was opened by the welcome address by Mr. Abdul Latheef P.K., director, CH Mohammed Koya Chair for Studies on Developing Societies. Dr. Naser, Director of Research, University of Calicut made a felicitation address.

In his talk, Jaleel P.K.M. explored the nuances of expansion of Hadrami networks and Sufism and the permeation of its litany Ratib al-Haddad into Mappila devotionalism. He problematised the least usage of the sacred resources of Hadramis in the available literature and argued that the sanctified resources were one of the crucial aspects determined their successful prospects in strange host locations of the Indian Ocean and elsewhere. He tried to trace the historical settlement of Hadrami immigrants and the permeation of their Sufi ritual incantation into Mappila devotionalism in Malabar. Parsing the Ratib al-Haddad, litany of the Alawi Sufi order and a religious ritual that prevails throughout the Malabar region, he insists that the wider popularization of the Ratio was a complex religious project brought forth by Alawi writings, Sufi activism and settlement of Hadramis as local religious leaders facilitated by the popular legitimacy constructed through their sacred resources. He endorsed that the Hadrami diaspora has to be particularly studied to delineate the sociocultural influence of Hadrami community in the Indian Ocean.

Muhammed Faris Kallayi is currently graduate student at the Department of Aqeeda and Philosophy, Darul Huda Islamic University, Chemmad, Kerala and associate editor at Thelitcham Monthly (