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|Regions with significant populations|
|Tamil Nadu, Kerala|
|Tamil, Malayalam, Urdu|
Rowther or Ravuthar is a Muslim community from the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Together with the Kayalar, Lebbai and Maraikayar communities, they constitute the Tamil Muslims, an Islamic community spread across South India. Rowthers follow the Hanafi school of Fiqh. In Tamil Nadu, the non-muslims often refer to muslims as tulukkar - a term offensive to the Muslims - probably derived from turukkiyar, meaning Turkish, owing to their Turkic ancestry and history. They are descendants of a group of Muslim soldiers, a mixture of Arabian and Turkic horse-traders and Rajputs of North India who came to South India in the 12th century as a part of the Turkic armies.
After the fall of Chola dynasty, the newly formed Later Pandyan Empire in Tamil country under Kulasekara Pandyan invited the Seljuk Turks from the fractions of Hanafi (known as Rowther in South India) for trade relations in 1279 C.E.. The largest armada of Turkic traders and missionaries settled in Tharangambadi (Nagapattinam), Karaikal, Muthupet, Koothanallur, Podakkudi and Athikkadai. Rowthers settled in that area expanding into an Islamic community of almost one million. These new settlements were now added to the Rowther community.
- Papers in Anthropology, Volume 18, Issue 2[full citation needed]