Mappila Muslims of Kerala--Text in the life and life in the text

Towards a complementary model

This article is based on the field study of ritual practice known as Kutheeratheeb prevalent among Kerala Muslims. Through the Kutheeratheeb performance, a Mappila seeks the help of God through the mediatory power of saints and it also results in the origin of a new layer of religious leadership known as Ustadh. Islam in Kerala for various historical reasons accommodates native culture for its dispersal and survival. Keeping a separate identity from the other Muslims in India, the Mappilas of Kerala follow their cultural traits drawn from the neighbourhood within the umbrella of Islam. The existing scholarly debate on Islam perceives two streams of practices within the religion, that is, "Textual" and "Lived Islam." More often than not, scholars have expressed their views on these two streams as if they are binary opposites. The present study looks at "textual" and "lived Islam" as integral parts of Muslim culture and both "complement" each other. This is due to icotypification of Islamic practices in Kerala.

Journal Performing Islam
Year 2013
Volume 1
Issue 2
Pages 227-246

Nadukkandiyil, Hashik (2013) Mappila Muslims of Kerala--Text in the life and life in the text: Towards a complementary model. In: Performing Islam, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 227-246. Available at


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