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  • The famous author of Fat'h Ul Mueen, the Arabic text book on Shafi'i school of Fiqh or Islamic jurisprudence. It was taught in some of the most renowned Islamic Universities such as Al Azhar, Egypt. Shiekh Ali Ahmed Al Ma’abari was the first to move from the Kayalpattanam area to the Kochangadi in Cochin around the 15th century. His relocation was meant to provide religious education to the many Moplahs in Cochin. Accompanied by brother Sheikh Ibrahim Ibn Ahmed Maabari, they settled down in Kochi. Zainuddin 1 was born to Ali Ahmed around 1465. His full name was Shieh Zainudin ibn Ali Ahmad Al Ma'bari or better known as the Makhdum Thangal 1, Abuyahya or as Zainuddin 1. Zainuddin 1 was brought up by uncle Ibrahim after his father died. They soon moved to Ponnani where Zainuddin mastered the education basics and then moved to Calicut for further studies under Quadi Abubakker Fakhruddin. Later he travelled to Mecca where he continued his education for 7 years. After this his next natural destination was the Al Ahsar University in Egypt. The master finally returned after spending another 5 years there. His first observation after return was the oppressive atmosphere created by the Portuguese settlers. To counter that in an organized way, he decided to create a place of learning for the youth and that was how the Juma mosque and the open Madrassa attached to it in the lines of Al Ahsar Cairo were first created. The people of Ponnani gave him the honorable title Makhdum. Zheikh Zainuddin Makhdum thence became a revered teacher of Malabar and his weapon to the youth was learning. He brought in the 'vilakkiruthal' ceremony to honor the best students who were interested in higher studies. The Vilakkathirikkuka ceremony is when the most learned student or students sit next to the brass lamp in the Juma Masjid and next to the Makhdum himself. Such a chosen person is called Musaliyar. As the Portuguese attacks increased Zainuddin worked with the Zamorin in ensuring that there was a united Nair - Moplah response towards them even as a few Moplah traders were happily working purely for profit with the Portuguese traders. The Tahrid jihad war poem was written by him around this period exhorting Moplahs to align themselves with the Zamorin's forces. It was unique in the sense that it was not a religious jihad, but a call for united confrontation towards the Portuguese oppressors. It is believed that Zainuddin 2 also used these verses in his Tuhfat Al Mujahideen which of course obtained much better coverage in later times. A history reader should therefore note that the first record of the times was actually provided by Zainuddin 1 in Tahrid many years before the Tuhfat was written. These were the writings that prodded the Marakkars forward in their fight against the Portuguese. Zainiddun 1 died in 1522, aged 57 and lies buried in the Juma Masjid at Ponnani.

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