Leaders of Renaissance in Kerala -Vakkom Abdul Khader Moulavi (1873-1932)

1. Vakkom Abdul Khadir Moulavi was born in 1873 at Vakkom in Thiruvananthapuram district of erstwhile Travancore.

2 He was a social reformer, teacher, prolific writer, Muslim scholar, journalist, freedom fighter and newspaper proprietor.

3. He emphasized the religious and socioeconomic aspects much more than the ritualistic aspects of religion.

4. He also campaigned for the need for modern education, the education of women, and the elimination of potentially bad customs among the Muslim community.

5. Vakkom Abdul Khadir Moulavi is considered one of greatest reformers in the Kerala Muslim community, and is sometimes referred to as the “father of Muslim renaissance”.

6. He founded All Travancore Muslim Mahajanasabha and Chirayinkil Taluk Muslim Samagam and worked as the chairman of the Muslim Board of the Government of Travancore.

7. Vakkom Maulavi was instrumental in the establishment of “Muslim Aikya Sangham”, a united Muslim forum for all the Muslims of the Travancore, Cochin and Malabar regions.

8. He was the founder and publisher of the newspaper Swadeshabhimani (1905) which was started publication from Anchuthengu, a British colony.

9. The first editor of Swadeshabhimani was C.P.Govinda Pillai. Later Ramakrishna Pillai became its editor (1906). In July 1907, the newspaper office was moved to Thiruvananthapuram.

10. Swadeshabhimani was banned and confiscated by the Government of
Travancore on 26th September 1910 due to its criticisms against the government and the Diwan of Travancore, P. Rajagopalachari.

11. After the Independence of India, the first ministry of Kerala headed by EMS Namboothirippad returned the press to Moulavi’s family and son Abdul Khadar.

12. Moulavi started journals in Arabi-Malayalam and in Malayalam which played a pivotal role in Muslim renaissance in Kerala. ‘The Muslim’ was launched in January 1906 and was followed by ‘Al-Islam’(1918) and ‘Deepika’(1931). Through these publications, he tried to teach the Muslim community about the basic tenets of Islam.

13. Vakkom Maulavi passed away on 23rd August 1932.