Prepared by  :  Rasheed  Hudawi  Elamkulam                                      Lecturer,  Islahul Uloom Arabic College,Tanur 



This paper deals with the “contribution of Islahul Uloom Arabic College of Tanur in the socio-educational fields of Kerala”. I believe and wish that the very same paper also has its own importance while it is questioning and correcting simultaneously our general historical perception on the socio-religious reformation of Kerala so far. Islahul Uloom had its great and splendid tradition of education and social intervention. It was a developed and systematic form of a Dars system which was started (As per the available documents) by Muhammed Abdullah Al Hadrami in 1403 AC and in 806 according to the Hijri calendar, and named as Masjidu Sahilil Birkathil Kubra in Arabic by the then Ulemas and Valiya Kulangara Palli in Malayalam. The age of This Dars system extends a century long before that of Masjid of Ponnani. And later, Many brilliant spiritual leaders leaded the system and intervened in the social issues also. Like Umer Qazi of Veliyankode, Avukkoya Musliyar, Yusuf al Fadfari, Abdu Rahman Naqshabandi and et al..  So, As per the available historical documents in the ancient manuscripts library of Islahul Uloom, which was inherited from the library of Valiya Kulangara Palli many Ulemas from all parts of the world, including Begdad, Hadar Maut of Yemen and Eygipt, has come to Tanur in search of knowledge from this Masjid.


History of Islahul Uloom

The glory of Dars in Valiya Kulangara palli remained until the Malabar rebellion was started. The repercussion of Malabar rebellion exerted its severe pressure directly and specially to the Dars of Tanur. For, it was on the top of waliya Kulangara Palli that Muhimmathul Mu-mineen, one of the most renowned anti-colonial literature had been written, by Aminummantakath Pareekkutty Musliyar, who was the then Mudarris (Teacher) of Masjid.

Naturally, in 1921the British government confiscated Muhimmath, and Pareekkutty Musliyar was exiled to Makkah. In this context, after three years of negligence due to the hullabaloo of Malabar rebellion, the people of Tanur gathered together and decided to summon a reformer for Dars who should be able to resettle the situation. And later, it was not a counsel of despair but a deliberate planning of the people along with their prominent personalities  of  Tanur that they summoned Pangil Ahmed Kutty Musliyar, who was a great scholar and altruistic social activist among the then Ulemas. Answering this request, Ahmed Kutty Musliyar came to Tanur after consulting to a Sayyed, Shee Shaikh Jamilullaily of of Kottakkal whose family is known as Panambuzhakkal Tangals, and earning his wishes.

As his first attempt, Pangil Ahmed Kutty Musliyar organized a serious meeting in the Waliya Kulangara Masjid and in 1924 Oct. 24, an organization called Asasul Islam Sabha was established aiming the security of Dars and its maintenance and the Dars was named as Islahul Uloom Madrassa.. Pangil Ahmed Kutty Musliyar was elected as the Mudarris and Manager of this institution. In 1926, in a meeting of Asasul Islam Sabha, presided over by Sayyed Abdurahman Mullakkoya Tangal of waliya Maliyekkal, Puthiyangadi, it was undoubtedly decided that the Islahul Uloom Madrassa should be improved up to an institutionalized system of quality education as big as Baqiyaat Swalihaat of Vellore in Tamil Nadu and systematic as well. But the only and major challenge was to rise the fund from among the people and to canvass them as there was no any pre-model of this kind of institution in Kerala.

As Pangil Ahmed Kutty Musliyar was a firebrand speaker and the people used to appeal to his socio-religious and spiritual rhetoric, the committee preferred him and requested himself to be out to raise the funds to realize the institution. Determined in the path of god, he undertook the mission wholeheartedly to get an institutionalized quality educational system realized for the Muslims of Kerala, as he had a dream of the upliftment of his own community, especially they have been downtrodden by the ruthless hands of colonialism without getting any quarter since four centuries. It is noteworthy that three big public conferences were successfully held at Tanur within three years. In 1926 a public conference was held presided over by Mullakkoya Tangal. In 1927, another public conference was also held at Tanur itself and the president was the then Hazrat of Baqiyaat Swalihat,  Ziya uddin Hazrath. In 1928, from the two conferences, Asasul Islam Sabha earned the capital money to get a building built as they wished and the building works were started. Surprisingly, a the third public conference was held on the founding base of the building, presided over by Sayyid Attakkoya Tangal, who was the president of Maunatul Islam Sabha of Ponnani. This conference was a historical event as 3000 people had gathered as for a Jamboree answering the call of Asasul Islam Sabha for a revolution.

The construction works were completed in 1931. Within these three years, Islahul Uloom had earned many properties including purchased and endowed (Waqf properties) ones. The tiles of roof were donated by Sultana Aisha Beevi of Arakkal dynasty in Kannur, and Naizam of Hyderabad is said to have imparted in this big project with his own dues. The total properties reached to an extent of 56 serial numbers.

The structure of Building was also the replica of that Baqiyat Swalihaat of Vellore, with an area of 102 meters, and the four walls of the building were built around a pool (hawz) at the centre of the building. It is wonderful to know that the total expense of the building was 40,000 (forty thousands) rupees. The building contained a special room for medical purposes and also the inner bathrooms. The pure water facilities were also available inner the building itself.   Asasul Islam Sabha sought after the well versed scholars to be appointed in the newly built institution and they found three scholars. They were A.P. Alawikkutty Musliyar, Walakkulam Muhammed Musliyar, and Niramarutur Beeran Kutty Musliyar.


Let me tell you some notable historical points as far as Islahul Uloom is concerned. From that you will be able to get a sketch about the remaining history of reformations carried out by Islahul Uloom so far:


v In 1940 an epidemic disease cholera spreaded in many parts of Tanur and it affected severely the admission of students.

v Many orphans whose parents were killed in the Malabar rebellion and due to the Cholera, were rehabilitated by Islahul Uloom under the leadership of Sayyid Abdu rahman Bafaqi Tangal and an orphenage was established and run by the manager K.P. Usman Sahib.


v In 1943 Pangil Ahmed Kutty Musliyar left Tanur due to some disturbances made by some pugnacious people who stood for their own vested interests.

v In 1950 Pathi Abdul Qader Musliyar was appointed as the manager of Valiya Kulangara Palli, Islahul Uloom, and the Orphenage.

v In 1950s, Many Waqf  properties were lost and later acquired by the other people, and the building of Islahul Uloom began to get damaged.

v Given this weakened situation, Islahul Uloom was handed over to Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulema in 1954.

v In 1957 K.V. Muhammed Musliyar of Koottanad assumed as Mudarris and manager of Islahul Uloom Arabic College and a newly updated curriculum came in to force under his leadership.

v In 1958, Shamsul Ulema Ek. Aboobakkar Musliyar assumed as Mudarris and manager and the college scaled new heights. It was in the time EK. Aboobakkar Musliyar that many lost endowment properties were taken up by Islahul Uloom under his own leadership. He wandered alone throughout many places to meet directly the land holders to inspire them to give back the leased and endowed lands. He rearranged the conditions made for leased lands and tried his best to enhance the small amounts to reasonable rates of the time. Moreover, on the available information he completed a maximum documentation about the income source of the college, which is helpful to secure the properties of Islahul Uloom  in Waqf, lease and other sources.    

v In 1959 Oct.30.the College was registered in Samastha Kerala Jam-iyyathul Ulama under the leadership of E.K. Aboobakker Musliyar.

v  In the beginning of 1960, the lack of pure water affected the new admission of the students and coincidently, Ek. Aboobakkar Musliyar left the college in 1963 due to some personal reasons. In this time, an Arabic- Malayalam publication named as Al Burhan had been published from Islahul Uloom under the leadership of KV. Muhammed Musliyar of Koottanad.

v In 1971, C.H. Aydaroos Musliyar was appointed as Manager. He made a plan to take over all expenses of a student who could pass the 7th standard of the primary studies. But, this plan did not work due to the deplorable hygienic condition of Tanur. Clearly, the question of the lack of pure water was remaining unsolved. Moreover, the students were confronted by the question of their immunity as many diseases like Elephantiasis and Filariasis were spreading over the locality that time. Naturally, the shortage of student turned out to be the main challenge of Islahul Uloom and its management.

v In this time, M.M Basheer Musliyar prepared a Plan to make Islahul Uloom a Junior College of Jamia Nooriyya Arabic College of Pattikkad. But it also did not work due to the above mentioned reasons.

v In this time many programmes were planned to recover the lost glory of Islahul Uloom. But all faced its natural and imperative failure.

v in 1986 C.M. Abdussamad Faizy, the current principal of the college, was appointed as Mudarris in the same building. For, the whole system of college had shrinked to be called as a Dars and the lion’s part of the building remained using for nothing.   

v Later, to maintain the tradition of an excellent system of education, as a counsel of despair, it was instructed to set up a primary madrassa system in the very same building.

v Unfortunately, this was the condition of Islahul Uloom until 1996.

v In 1996, by the immense blessing of God almighty, Islahul Uloom wake up to a splendid dawn of innovation that it was affiliated to Darul Huda Islamic Academy, which was later upgraded to an Islamic University.

v In all these activities, a person who should be never forgotten is C.M. Muhammed Faizy, the father current principal of the college, and is said to have played prominent rules in the innovative activities of Islahul Uloom. He worked as the mastermind of many plans but never desired to be in front of the workers, and hated to be exposed to the people.


Now, I invite your attention to some of social and educational interventions that Islahul Uloom did with passage of time. As the saying of historians goes “history is nothing but the biography of great men”, the history of Islahul Uloom in the early times is the biography of Pangil Ahmad Kutty Musliyar. The methodology he received to raise the fund and to canvass the people is absolutely relevant even in these times. In the third annual general body of Islahul Uloom in 1928, the 1st resolution says that:

From the wage of importing and exporting each and every goods baggage in the railway station of Tanur, 1 rupee should be requested to be donated to Islahul Uloom, and from the exporting wage of every thousand coconuts 1 paisa should be asked to be donated to Islahul Uloom.”

The third resolution says that:every fisher man of Tanur should be requested to receive an alms box corresponding to the number of the fishing nets owned by him.”                                                                    

The main sources to receive the fund were fixed as lands, fishermen folk, exporting and importing wages, the alms boxes in the homes and the magnanimity of rich men of different places. The waqf properties situated in many localities like Tanur, Tanalur, Moonniyoor, Omachppuzha, Manalippuzha, Vengara, Panangattur, Kodinhi, Thiruthi, Pantharangadi and Chemmad. In a report presented in the annual meeting of 1963, the management of Islahul Uloom had gone to Myanmar, Sri lanka, Singapore, Mumbai and Kolar of Karnataka as part of the fund raising.    

Anyway, in the early times, a whopping amount was collected for the maintenance of Islahul Uloom to get the dream of an educational revolution realized. It is also notable that, it was in the time of  poverty, there was no any kind positive discrimination or such affirmative actions and the people did not enjoyed the shadow of power, that they lavishly spent all these amounts and properties for the sake of god.

The vision-based educational view of Pangil Ahmed Kutty Musliyar can be understood from the 21st resolution of the annual meeting in 1928 as it says: This meeting requests to the Samastha Kerala Jam-iyyathu Ulama :

Firstly, Checking the curriculum of all Nizamiyya madrassas and update the curriculum of Islahul Uloom accordingly.

 Secondly, to set up an examination board as per the new curriculum, and to provide the deserved certificates to everyone who passes the examinations.

The relevance of secular and religious educations was strictly studied applied by Pangil Ahmed Kutty Musliyar. This could be known from 27th resolution of the same annual meeting. It says:

This meeting request to the Taluk Board of Ponnani to sanction and provide a night-time study centre for the students of Islahul Uloom as it is necessary to learn them the languages like Arabi, Urdu and English.”

The intervention of Islahul Uloom and Pangil Ahmed Kutty Musliyar did not limited to the mere educational initiatives. But he, throughout his life remained concerned about the social condition of Kerala Muslims. In 1928, he requested to the ponnani Taluk Board to appoint the Arabic Munshi-s in the Mappila managed schools, to reconstruct the bridge in the Tanur town and to purify the Canoli Channel to make the transportation easier, and many other things.

Nowadays, the graduates of Islahul Uloom are playing their most prominent rules in the socio- educational streams of Kerala. It is a big pride of Islahul Uloom that its graduates are pursuing their Post Graduates, Mphill, and working PHd Scholars in different universities all over India, such like Aligarh Muslim University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Jawahar Lal Nerhu University, English and Foreign languages University and etc.


Finally, the innovation and social reformation performed by Islahul Uloom Arabic College are yet to be studied properly. And the study of that information and innovation refers to the study of an adventurous, altruistic, and a visionary Pangil Ahmed Kutty Musliyar and the scholars who followed him.   







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