Debating the Difference: Khuṭbah Practice Among the Mappila Muslims of Kerala, India

  • Hashim T Thadathil Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology, Pondicherry University


Abstract: This paper focuses on the Islamic practice of khuṭbah and the historical trajectory of its articulations in Malabar, revealing a multiplicity of interpretations of Islamic theology and its practices. The paper, apart from giving a glimpse of the history of khuṭbah, demonstrates the varied representations of it and brings the various contesting views on its practice to the light. In addition, it also attempts to show the ‘true’ representation of Islamic ideals according to each Islamic school of thoughts as well as the reasons why they claim themselves to be the ‘true’ Muslims. While the plurality of opinions among the Mappila Muslims in Malabar may be attributed to the nature of Qur’an and Hadiths, it is the active efforts of each of these groups to interpret these texts differently that requires special consideration/mention. To bring out diverse dimensions to the topic, I have taken recourse to documentary sources as well as oral representations obtained during the study.

Keywords: khuṭbah, Mappila Muslims, Malabar, Kerala, Muslim religious groups, discursive tradition, vernacular khuṭbah