A clan from Yemen and history of Malabar
There was one family in Malabar whose socio-religious standing the British authorities feared the most for its potential to inspire and mobilise the natives, especially Muslims, against the colonial rulers. It was the descendants of this family, including the most influential member of it, Syed Fazl Thangal, that the authorities furtively extradited to Arabia in March 1852 and ensured that they never returned to the coast of Malabar.
Who was this Syed Fazl Thangal? How and why he and his family including his famous father, Syed Alawi Thangal, a member of the Ba Alawi clan from Hadhramaut in Yemen, who arrived in Malabar in February 1768 and settled at Mamburam in Malappuram district, to be later known as the Mamburam Thangal, was an important figure in the history of Malabar and its anti-colonial engagements?
A book ‘Mappila Leader in Exile—a political biography of Syed Fazl Thangal’ authored by K.K. Muhammad Abdul Sathar, history professor and head of the History Department, PSMO College Tirurangadi in Malappuram, attempts to give an answer to theses questions while also throwing some light on the socio-political environment of the region during the colonial times.