Tuhfat al-Mujahidin: A Historical Epic of the Sixteenth Century, S Muhammad Husayn Nainar, Other Books, Pp 139, Rs 290.00
SHAYKH Zainuddin’s Tuhfat al-Mujahidi, a source book of European colonial history, was first written in the 16th century on the struggles, particularly of the Malabar Muslims, against the Portuguese colonisers’ encroachment in India and the rise of Malabar as a medieval naval force under the Zamorin ruler of Calicut.
An Arab family of Yemen came and settled down in Ponnani in South India and played a major role in the spread of Islam in India. Known as the Makhdums, they came to Kerala and made it a landmark by projecting a theoretical and pragmatic approach to counter the European adventurers who were against Islam and it followers. Shaykh Zainuddin Makhdum the junior, the first Keralite historian, gives an ideological interpretation of the long struggle against Portuguese expansion and programme in building colonial settlements. This major historical work, Tuhfal al-Mujahidin (Glory to the Victory of Martyrs) written nearly after AD 1583, deals with the political and military accounts of the Zamorins of Calicut and their naval commandants, the Kunjalis, in their fight against the Portuguese, who oppressed the Muslims and natives of Malabar.
The author traces the high points of jihad and extensively quotes from the Quran. Al-Daylami had written that the Prophet said, “Fighting in cause of Allah for one hour is greater in virtue than performing haj fifteen times.” Thus jihad against the non-believers – who can be either those dwelling in the land of the Muslims or those who invade Muslim territory – is a collective duty, that means if some among the Muslims discharge their responsibility, then the rest of them will be released from that duty. If nobody undertakes to do it, then the entire community is held responsible for committing the sin of negligence.
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