Mohammed Ali Thottoly
Since I landed in Oman, Salalah had been at the top of the places I planned to visit. It continued to beckon me and people and pictures attested that it is very much like Kerala, one of the southern states of India, where I belong. The long weekend in December was enough to make a quick visit. Just before our trip, in one of the working days in the college, my colleague in ELC Mr. Waqas Ahmed had a casual talk with me. He asked whether I had any idea about the tomb of Thajudheen in Salalah. I said I didn’t have any. He was surprised to hear that from me because Mr. Thajudheen was formerly known as Cheraman Perumal who ruled the central part of Kerala. Since then my anxiety doubled and I added this to the highlights in Salalah. While driving down some of the roads in Salalah, I felt as if I was driving in my village. There were several things in common. I am not going to any more details about it since it will require another exhaustive article on Salalah. I will get back to what I began with: the Cheraman Perumal episode. It became my point of curiosity in Salalah because there I find a powerful link between Oman and India. I tried to explore how the Kerala king Cheraman’s tomb happened to be in the Omani soil. To cut a long story short, I hope the following lines will cater to the anxious readers of history. I obtained these details from an Arabic poster stuck near the tomb.
Cheraman Perumal was a celebrated Indian king who ruled the central part of the present Indian state of Kerala while Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was at the height of his fame. In the 6th year of the Hijra calendar, he happened to witness a miraculous sight: he saw the Moon being split into two. The two halves then moved to both sides. He started thinking about this unusual event and started enquiring about it. He sent his army to various corners of his territory. They came back stating that they were met with a group of Arab merchants who had recently reached the Malabar shore. The soldiers reported that the Arab traders certified to the veracity of the incident. They described that it was an incident which really took place and was one of the miracles of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The king invited them to his court. They came to the court of the king and once again explained the story. Cheraman Perumal ardently wished to meet this prophet. He prepared himself for the journey and reached Madina. In the presence of the prophet he became a Muslim and changed his name as Aboobaker Thajudheen. He spent some days with the Prophet(PBUH). In the meantime one King of Yemen invited him to his country. He accompanied the Yemeni king and married a Yemeni woman. Aboobaker Thajudheen then moved to one Southern province of Oman which is presently known as Al-Haseela and stayed there for some time. In the days that followed he fell ill. He prayed to Allah not to let him go back to his kingdom and grant him death. Allah offered him death in Al-Haseela, Salalah. The people of the village buried him in the same place. If you are the travelling type, I recommend you add Salalah to your itinerary for its picturesque nature, wonderful people and abundance of historical destinations. You would not regret your tour. _____________________________________________________________________________________