Tuhfat Al Mujahidhin Translated from Arabic with annotations by S Muhammad Husayn Nainar
TUHFAT AL MUJAHIDHIN
This Arab tradition in the sixteenth century had made significant contributions to the knowledge system through reputed scholars and creative writers in theology, poetry, art and religion from different regions.
Kerala is one such region where the Makhdum family made its landmark by projecting a theoretical and pragmatic approach to counter the European adventurers against Islam and its followers.
Shaykh Zainuddin Makhdum the Junior, and the first Keralite historian gives an ideological interpretation to the long struggle against Portuguese expansion and its programme of effecting colonial settlements.
His major historical work, Tuhfat al-Mujahidln (Glory to the Victory of Martyrs) written mainly after 1583 AD deals with the chronological, political and military accounts of the Zamorins of Calicut and their naval commandants, the &unjalis, in their fight against the Portuguese.
The introduction by the author sets forth the reasons which compelled him to write this historical work.
It is mainly to stir the Muslims into a. jihad against the Portuguese who oppressed the Muslims and natives of Malabar.
In the first chapter, he traces the merits of jihad giving verses of the Qur’an.
The second chapter gives an account of the emergence of the Muslim community in Malabar. In the third, the author narrates the customs and manners of the indigenous people. After these three chapters, he gives a detailed account of the Portuguese advent in 1498 AD till 1583 AD.
Such details lead us to the life and conditions of the Muslims in Kerala. Before the arrival of the Portuguese, the Muslims enjoyed respect and prosperity in this region.
The Portuguese arrival spelled the end of their trade superiority and monopoly in coastal trade.
As a community, they also lost their vigour for martial activities including jihad. Subsequently the Portuguese influence became dominant.