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04 April 2012

Panakkad family to figure in history of Syeds

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By T P Nijish

Malappuram: In a move to highlight the role of Syed families in the social development of India, Syed Faris Alatas, a professor of Singapore National University, is working on a book on the family which has a large presence in the Arab world.

Sayed Mohamadhali Shihab Thangal
As part of his research, he visited the Kodappanakal House, the ancestral house of late Panakkad Syed Muhammed Ali Shihab Thangal on Monday. Faris who also belong to the Syed (Hadrahmi) family in Singapore met Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal and Syed Basheerali Shihab Thangal, both sons of the late leader. He said the Syed families have played key role in Malabar's development. Currently he is working on a research paper on the role of Islamism and Sufism in societal and Islamic reform. While talking about the family's role in a secular society, he said Shariah should remain a private affair in a secularist democratic country.

"Shariah should not be mingled with the state laws. By being neutral in a secular community, we can avoid conflicts between Shariah and state laws," he said.

He said his book will include detailed information on Syed families in Malabar and other parts of South India.

Faris is also impressed with Sufism in India and said that it is more open as it lays stress on spirituality more than Shariah. The professor has already published nine books on Muslim reforms. The professor had also visited Jifri House, the house Mampuram Thangals, in the district on Sunday.

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

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