Chekannur Maulavi

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Chekannur P. K. Mohammed Abdul Hassan Maulavi
Born 1936
Edappal, Malappuram, Kerala, India
Disappeared July 29, 1993 (aged 57)
Status Missing for 24 years and 18 days
Residence Malabar
Occupation Muslim scholar
Era Modern era
Known for Rational interpretation of Quran and Sunnath
Movement Islam (Quran and Hadith collection except Abu Hurairah whom he believe is corrupted)

Chekannur Maulavi (born Chekannur P. K. Mohammed Abul Hassan Maulavi on 1936, disappeared July 29, 1993) was a progressive Islamic cleric who lived in Edappal, in the Malappuram district of Kerala, India. He was noted for his controversial and unconventional interpretation of Islam based on Quran.[1][2] He disappeared on 29 July 1993 under mysterious circumstances and is now widely believed to be dead.


The son of Abdullakutty and Fathima, Moulavi was born in 1936 and studied Islamic theology and Arabic at Baqiyathu Sallihath in Vellor, and at Vazhakkad Darul Ulloom. Although he became a religious teacher at the age of 24, his "incompatible" progressive views caused him to leave three teaching assignments in Arabic colleges in Kerala. He began thereafter to spread his own revolutionary ideals,[3] in which he directly based his interpretation of Islam on Quran, paying little attention to conventional wisdom or Hadith. He believed and argued that Quran alone was true and the Hadith could not be taken for granted as many of them were written to malign the prophet himself. He strongly rejected the hadiths narrated by Abu Hurairah (who is the most prolific among the narrators of hadith) which he claimed were corrupt. His controversial teachings — especially and subjects such as Muslim Personal Law, women's rights and the proper methods for praying — drew considerable attention and, from religious orthodoxy and extremist fringe groups, disapproval. He has authored eighteen books including an incomplete Malayalam translation of the Quran. His followers have founded the Khur'aan Sunnath Society to spread his thoughts and ideas.

Disappearance and investigation[edit]

Chekannur Moulavi was last seen on 29 July 1993 when, according to his wife Howah Umma, he left his home to deliver a speech on the invitation of two unidentified people in a vehicle that did not have a number plate. Following a complaint by his wife and uncle Salim Haji, an investigation was launched that also drew considerable public attention, leading to a reward of Rs 3 lakh being offered by police for information related to the case. The CBI took over the case in 1996, and in 2000 arrested two members of the ultra orthodox Muslim sect, which is linked to Sheikh Aboobacker Ahmad, under suspicion of murder.[4] By 2005, those accused of the murder numbered 10. The case was hampered by the disappearance of a number of witnesses, whose property was seized when they fled abroad rather than appear to testify in 2008.[5]

Moulavi's wife Hawa Umma had filed a petition seeking to arraign Kanthapuram Aboobacker Musaliyar also as an accused in the murder case through her lawyer Advocate S.K.Premraj and the same was allowed.[4] The Kerala High Court set aside the order, which was challenged in the Supreme Court. Though elaborate arguments were advanced by Advocate S.K.Premraj before the Supreme Court, Kanthapuram who was defended by the legal stalwart Harish Salve ultimately won the legal battle.[citation needed]

The CBI special court in Kochi on September 30, 2010 sentenced V. V. Hamsa, the first accused in the murder of Chekannur Maulavi, to undergo double life imprisonment and a fine of Rs. one lakh. Stating that the Maulavi case was a rarest of rare case, the prosecution had demanded death sentence. Pronouncing the verdict, Special court judge S. Vijaykumar said, of the fine amount, Rs. 50,000 should be given to Maulavi's wife. Hamsa had been found guilty by the court on September 29, while remaining 8 accused were acquitted.

‘In the present day world of personal grudge, religious rivalries and physical violence, criminals seek to achieve a stage of being wiser than our criminal law. That cannot be allowed at any rate in a developed criminal legal system as ours’, the court had observed on September 29.

The court found that after killing Maulavi, his dead body was disposed off in some mysterious manner so as never to be recovered.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

His life and disappearance are the subject of a documentary, Ore Oru Chekannur, for which filming began in 2009.[7]


External links[edit]