Ali Musliyar

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Āli Musliyār
Ali Musliyar.jpg
Āli Musliyār in 1922, at Coimbatore Prison
Born Erikkunnan Pālattu Mūlayil Āli
Nellikunnattu desom, Eranād taluk, Malabar district
Died 17 February 1922
Coimbatore Prison, Madras Presidency
Nationality British India
Occupation Chief Musliar at Tirurangādi Mosque (1907–1922)
Known for Leader of Māppila Uprising (1921–22)

Āli Musliyār (1861–1922) Malayalam: ആലി മുസ്ലിയാർ, Arabic: عالي مسليار), born Erikkunnan Pālattu Mūlayil Āli was one of the prominent sufi leaders of the 1921–22 Māppila Uprising in Madras Presidency, British India. He was a sufi of Qadiriyya Tariqah.[1]

Musliyār was an Masjid al-Haram educated Islamic scholar and religious leader who served as the Imam of Tirurangadi Mosque from 1907 until his eventual execution at Coimbatore Prison. He was also the leader of a prominent landless peasant-laborer organization and an active orator of the Khilafat Movement.

Early life and career in Mecca[edit]

Āli Musliyar was born in Nellikkunattu desom, Eranad taluk, Malabar district to Kunhimoitīn Molla and Kōtakkal Āmina. Kōtakkal Āmina was a member of the famous Maqdoom family of Ponnani, known for their religions scholarship.[2] Musliyar's grandfather, Mūsa, was one of several "Malappuram Martyrs". Ali Musliyar began his education studying the Qur'an, tajwīd and the Malayālam language with Kakkadammal Kunnukammu Molla. He was sent to Ponnani Darse for further studies in religion and philosophy, under the tutelage of Shiekh Zainuddin Maqdum I (Akhir), which he successfully completed after 10 years.

He then went to Haram, Makkah (Mecca) for further education. Throughout this period, he was guided by several famous scholars, including Sayyid Ahmed Sahni Dahlan, Shiekh Muhammed Hisbullahi Makki, and Sayyid Husain Habshi. After spending seven years in Mecca, he went on to serve as the Chief Qasi in Kavaratti, Laccadive Islands.

Musliyar in Malabar[edit]

In 1894, after learning of the slaying of his brother and several other family members, Musliyar returned to Malabar. He discovered that many of his relations and fellow students were lost during an 1896 riot. In 1907 he was appointed as the Chief Musliyar of the mosque at Tirurangadi, Eranad taluk.

The revolt of 1921–22 began following the police arrest of a number of Tenancy Association – Caliphate Movement – Indian National Congress leaders in August, 1921. Rumours that the British troops had destroyed the Mampuram Mosque led to large scale rioting throughout South Malabar against both wealthy Hindu landlords and the British.[3]

Although the British army troops were quick to take the upper hand in many towns, a number of rebels initiated guerilla operations, forcing the British to deploy additional military units and introduce "aggressive" patrolling. The revolt came to an end in February 1922. Ali Musliyar was among a dozen leaders who were tried and sentenced to death. He was subsequently hanged at the Coimbatore Prison on 17 February 1922.[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Histories of the Non-Co-operation and Khilafat Movements, PC Bamford, Deep Publications, 1925
  3. ^ Spencer C. Tucker Encyclopedia of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency: A New Era of Modern Warfare: A New Era of Modern Warfare ABC-CLIO, 2013
  4. ^ Spencer C. Tucker Encyclopedia of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency: A New Era of Modern Warfare: A New Era of Modern Warfare ABC-CLIO, 2013

External links[edit]

NY Times reports on the rebellion