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    'Thangals' are the various Muslim communities of Yemeni Arab origin found scattered and isolated in the state of Kerala, India.[1] They migrated to Kerala during the 17th century to expand their business, and propagated Islam as they are Muslims,[2] and do not belong to the Mappila Muslim community of Kerala. In Malayalam, thangal is an honorific Muslim title almost equivalent to the Arabic term Sayyid (Arabic: سيد‎) which is given to males believed as descendants of Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, who were the sons of his daughter Fatima Zahra and son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib. It has two basic divisions called Ba-Hassan and Ba-Alawi.Shatiri(shattari) residing at vaduthala,alleppy district' Al Aidrosi, Al mattari, Al-Jamallulaily(BaJamalullayl), Mashhoor[3], Shihab, Al-Jifri, Al-Fakhi(Bafakhy), Al-Saqqaf(BaSaggaf), Al-Bukhari, Al-Haboothy(BaHabooth) are considered as important Sayyid families (Qhabeelas). Thangals residing in Panakkad, Malappuram district are often regarded as the most powerful and influential Thangals of Kerala. The Thangal of Panakkad is the supreme leader of the Sunni faction of Muslims of Kerala and hence plays an important role in local politics. The famous Sayyid ancestry Mashhoor is another well known thangals Qabeela residing in Vadakara, Kozhikode district. Mashhoor Qabeela of vadakara is famous in sufi Tariqa which is the spiritual path of Islam..[1]

Some scholars consider Thangal as a community among Muslims of Kerala.[2] The thangal families are numerous in Kerala, all receive recognition, but only a few are regarded as saints. Thangal families have many gradations of status on social and economic scale. Influential of the thangals generally come from prominent business families. They usually exercise their influence through commerce and politics.[1]

Major thangal families in north Kerala.

  • Tharamal family (Mambram)[1]
    • Sayyid Jifri Thangal (mid-1700s)
    • Hassan Jifri Thangal (mid-1700s)
    • Syed Alavi Thangal (1749 - 1843)
    • Syed Fazl Thangal
  • Pukkoya family (Panakkad)[1]
    • Sayyid Ali Thangal
    • Sayyid Husain ibn Muhlar (1812-1882)
    • P. M. S. A. Pukkoya Thangal (d. 1975)
    • Shihab Thangal (1936 - 2009)

Major Qabeelas among Thangal family as follows:-


It has two basic divisions called

    • Ba-Hassan
    • Ba-Alawi
  • Other Popular qabeelas are as follows:-
    • Shatiri(shattari)
    • Al Aidrosi
    • Al mattari
    • Al-Jamallulaily(BaJamalullayl)
    • Mashhoor[3]
    • Shihab
    • Al-Jifri
    • Al-Fakhi(Bafakhy)
    • Al-Saqqaf(BaSaggaf)
    • Al-Bukhari
    • Al-Haboothy(BaHabooth)


  1. ^ a b c d e Miller, Roland E., Mappila Muslim Culture. New York, State University of New York Press, 2015. pp. 268-271.
  2. ^ Kunhali, V. "Muslim Communities in Kerala to 1798" PhD Dissertation Aligarh Muslim University (1986) [1]
  3. ^ Miller, Roland E., Mappila Muslim Culture. New York, State University of New York Press, 2015. pp. 268-271.