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The Pusalan are a Muslim community found in the state of Kerala in India. They are also known as Putiya Islam, and are the traditional fishermen of the Malabar Coast.[1]


The Kerala Muslim people are converted from different caste and sub caste (mukkuva, Thiyya, dalit, etc.) of Hindu religion of kerala. The Pusalan(this word is not commonly used) are [Muslim] converts from the Hindu- mukhuvan, dheevaran [mukkuvan and dheevaran still fishermen caste of Hindu], and for this reason are also known as Puthiya Islam or new converts into the fold of Islam in the Malayalam language.[2] The followers of prophet Muhammed named malik ibnu deenar came to kodungallur, kasargode and other coastal region of kerala in 7th century. The fishermen community of Hindu and the Hindu people of coastal region of kerala especially of Malabar are firstly converted in Islam. At that time they were called puthiya Islam but still they are called puthya Islam. The exact circumstances of their conversion is unknown, but it is said to have occurred in the early 7th Century. Kodungallur juma masjid and kasargode malikbnu deenar masjid established by malik bnu deenar and his group are very famous. These historical evidence are seen in kodungallur beach and kasargode beach. The Mukhuvan of southern Kerala remain Hindu, or have converted to Catholicism, while the Pusalan are concentrated in the north of the state. They are traditionally marine fishermen. Most of them are still involved in fishing.So their living standard is not better than others. They are educationally and econamically backward in the society.B ut They keep Islamic idendity and morality in their life. They are found mainly in the districts of Kasargode, Cannore, Trissur, Kozhikode and Mallapuram. They speak Malayalam and follow the Shafi`i sub-sect of Sunni Islam.[3]

Present circumstances[edit]

The Pusalan are a community of sea fishermen, and go out in the Arabian Sea. Their boats are owned collectively by a lineage, and each individual is entitled to a share of the profits. The catches are sold by the Pusalar to other communities, and very rarely are involved in selling their catch.[4]

The Pusalan are distinct from other Mapillas groups, in that they follow patrilineal descent, while other groups follow matrilineal descent. They are strictly endogamous, and marry close kin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marginal Muslim Communities in India edited by M.K.A Siddiqui pages 501-514
  2. ^ Ameerudheen, TP. "Do Muslims in Kerala follow the caste system? Murder of Dalit Christian groom ignites debate". Scroll.in. Retrieved 17 June 2018. 
  3. ^ Marginal Muslim Communities in India edited by M.K.A Siddiqui pages 501-514
  4. ^ Marginal Muslim Communities in India edited by M.K.A Siddiqui pages 501-514