(Last Updated on : 29-01-2013)
Tamil Islamic Literature refers to the various literary works on the Islam religion that were composed by Tamil Muslim poets from the Tamil
country. When the Islamic religion spread across Tamil Nadu
, numerous Muslims lived like the native Tamils. They learnt and studied Tamil literary and grammatical works and were properly educated. The Muslim Tamil people composed various poetic and literary works that were related to their religion. A few of the important works in Tamil Islamic literature can be mentioned as Nayakarpuranam, Nakurppuranam, Mukaiytinpuranam and Cirappuranam.
The Muslim poets created several exciting works in each one of the literary genres found in Tamil literature
namely, kalampakam, antati, parani, ula
, tutu, catakam
, pillaittamil and vannam. Moreover, the poets of Islamic religion wrote almost all kinds of literary compositions for their sacred religion, similar to those literary and poetic works that had been composed for Vaisnavism, Shaivism
. These poets also composed various philosophical and rhythmical verses which can be compared to the poems of Tayumanavar and Arunakirinatar (Arunagirinathar) respectively.
The Muslim poets from the Tamil country composed some fascinating prose works during the twentieth century. The poets liberally used and implemented certain Arabic terms and words in their compositions of prose or poetry in Tamil language
, in order to explain various ideas, concepts and principles pertaining to the sacred Islamic religion. These were also utilised in certain non-religious literary works as well such as short stories and essays. This was done to elaborately narrate the conversation that takes place in a typical Tamil Muslim family, as well as to vividly describe anything that was related to their traditions, customs, rituals and manners.
However, in general, very minute difference is evident when the style and pattern of composition of the Muslim authors and poets are compared with that of the other Tamil poets and scholars. Most of the literary and poetic works composed by these writers were in actuality, written in an emotional, smooth flowing and beautiful style of composition.
Literary Works on Islam
One of the most important works in Tamil Islamic literature comprises of Cirappuranam or Seerapuranam written by the Tamil Muslim poet Umaru Pulavar. The literary work narrates the history of Prophet Mohammed Nabi and the works consists of 5,027 poems in Tamil language. Other literary works include Nanmanimalai and Kunankuti Natar Patirruppattantati which were composed by the poet saint Kunankuti Mastan. Poet Sheik Abdul Kadar Nayinar Labbai was a linguist and created one kalampakam, two talapuranams
, and an antati on Mecca city.
The Muslim poet Ibrahim composed in various types of literary genre, including antati, pillaittamil, kalampakam and tiruppukal. The works were rich with ideas and principles of Islamic religion. Ibrahim composed a total of fourteen poetical works. Vannak Kajnciyap Pulavar composed the work of Mokitinpuranam which describes the tale of an enlightened soul who stayed at the Nakur Mosque. Poet Muhammad Hussain constructed an ethical work in kural venpa, entitled Penputtimalai, aimed for women. Panaikkulam Abdul Majid, a twentieth century poet and scholar, composed the Tamil Nattu Islamiyap Pulavarkal and the Kavippuncolai, Ilakkiyappunka.
The most significant work in Tamil Islamic literature of this century is perhaps the work of Nencil Nirainta Napimani, which depicts the life of Prophet Muhammad and his gospel in Tamil language. The work contains minimal admixture of foreign loan words and comprises of kannikal verses that is rhythmic poems of two lines. The work is well known for its smooth flowing and lucid composition style that enthrals and captivates the minds of the readers. The scholarship of the author Cirajpak Kavirayar in Tamil and his enthusiasm for composing an exciting work are revealed in each one of the poems in the work.