கவனிக்க: இந்த மின்னூலைத் தனிப்பட்ட வாசிப்பு, உசாத்துணைத் தேவைகளுக்கு மட்டுமே பயன்படுத்தலாம். வேறு பயன்பாடுகளுக்கு ஆசிரியரின்/பதிப்புரிமையாளரின் அனுமதி பெறப்பட வேண்டும்.
இது கூகிள் எழுத்துணரியால் தானியக்கமாக உருவாக்கப்பட்ட கோப்பு. இந்த மின்னூல் மெய்ப்புப் பார்க்கப்படவில்லை.
இந்தப் படைப்பின் நூலகப் பக்கத்தினை பார்வையிட பின்வரும் இணைப்புக்குச் செல்லவும்: Some Aspect of Moorish Culture in Sri Lanka
SOME ASPECTS OF MOORISH CUILTUIRE IN
V− Prepared by
M, MAZZAHIM MOHIDEEN Associate Director, Marga institute
& Vice President - MCH
THE INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF ISLAMIC ARTS AND CULTURE
FARPRINT, 65, Prince's Gate, Colombo 2.
SOME ASPECTS OF MOORISH CULTURE IN SRI LANKA
It is often said that very little is known about the history and origin of the Ceylon Muslims. But this is not so to the student of research or ethnology. There is, however, vast material yet to be explored and research activity in this field is bound to yield rewarding results. In this paper I have of necessity to keep brevity in mind and am not quoting the various texts from which I have drawn, but they are available with me. The views expressed in this presentation are my own and do not in any way reflect the views of the organisation.
In Sri Lanka's population of nearly 15 million, 71% are Sinhalese, 18% Ceylon Tamils, 8% Ceylon Moors, the other 3% comprising the Malays, Burghers and others. In the 2nd century B. C. the trade with Ceylon was only in the hands of the Arabs, says T. W. Arnold in his ''The Treachery of Islam', page 367. He also says “At the beginning of the 7th century of Christian era the trade with China through Ceylon received a great impulse'. The Mahavamsa, the earliest known book on Ceylon History says that during the reign of Prince Vijaya's nephew (that is 2410 years ago) the capital of Ceylon was the resent day Anuradhapura which was divided into six sections, n each section of which lived the King's subjects belonging to articular caste. In one of these sections lived a race, people ho came from Yon which is the Sanskrit team for Arabic. tieger's translation of the Mahavamsa elaborates on this point. ccording to some British writers such as Sir Alexander John
stone, the Arabs came to Sri Lanka during the 8th century. They landed in Jaffna and settled also in Colombo, Beruwala, Galle and Trincomalee. A Dutch report refers to team as pirates who were mainly Asians who came from lindia and the Maldives. It is interesting to note that the Maldivian language has many words of Sinhala origin and that the Maldivians are adherents of Islam.
Sir Emerson Tennant, however, rejects both the British and Dutch views. He says: “The Persians and the Phoenicians were trading between China and Asia Minor, and when the rays of Islam came in they embraced that civilisation and they still stuck to their profession as traders and commercial men'. According to Tennant's theory, the Moor is as full-blooded a native of this country as any Sinhalese or Veddah since he has been here for the last 2,000 years. There is evidence to prove that pure Arabic stock-the pure Semitic type, Persian type-is still in this country. They can be easily recognised in many parts of the country-whether in Jaffna, Puttalam, Malwana, Galle or Trincomalee. The word “Moor' is of Spanish origin-“Mores”. The Portuguese having resisted the Moorish influence in their government and learnt from the Moors the art of navigation, came into the Indian Ocean and saw in Ceylon the Moors, their erstwhile conquerors.
The first Islamic contact came with the Arab traders during the seventh century A.D., not many years after the passing away of the Holy Prophet in 632. In the years that followed up to the arrival of the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century, the Muslim Arabs were a prominent force on the Eastern seas and in trade, and were in a position to establish settlements on any coast. A considerable settlement of Muslims flourished at several points on Sri Lanka's coastal belt at that time “without the backing of arms or coercion of any kind and with the ardent patronage of the Sinhalese Kings'. The new settlers were warmly welcomed by the rulers for the commercial
contacts they gained for them from abroad, and the religious tolerance that characterised Sinhala Buddhist society induced them to make Sri Lanka their home. The Arabs intermarried with the indigenous Sinhalese population. Ethnically they became a Tamil-speaking group because most of them first traded on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts where they adopted the Tamil language with a mixture of Arabic words. Islamic literature in Arabic Tamil produced in South India has had a profound influence on the socio-religious life of the Ceylon Muslim community, and in fact Islam in South India and Ceylon may broadly speaking be considered as forming a single cultural unit.
The Moorish contribution is characterised by the art of building towns, exploitation of material wealth (gemming in particular), methods of transportation (before roads were built) such as the use of two bulls and cart, expertise as practitioners of medicine, and enhancement of scientific knowledge of the time and the development of the social fabric of the community.
Some facts to establish their influence on the life of the people of this country are found in the Mahavamsa.
(i) The name of Mira Lebbe figures as the Minister of
King Vijaya Bahu V.
(ii) When Asoka the Great was building a palace, he ordered Persepolitan pillars. The Ruler of Ethiopia was also called the Lion of Judah and he had the Lion Flag as his emblem. It was the Lion of Persepolis which was adopted by Asoka the Great on his pillars.
(iii) Hugh Neville says in the “Taprobanion” of April 1886, page 106, that there is reference in the Mahawamsa to Vijaya Bahu giving preference to Mohammedan settlers called Marakkalayas (the traders who came in boats) and was himself the son of a Marakkala Woman.
Other factors worth mentioning are
Ibn Batuta who arrived in Ceylon in 1344 A.D. refers to his co-religionists in this country.
Many Muslim families carry Sinhalese ge names even today and many of their children are settled in
diga or binna marriages. The Buddhist “Galmaduwa’ shrine requires investi
gation and inquiry. The architectural design appears to be distinctly Arabic.
The Baobab tree in Mannar has been referred to as having been brought in by the Arabs. This has to
be during the period 900 to 1300 A.D.
Most of the geographical books on the Arabs start from the 9th and 10th century. The word “Ceylon was possibly derived from the Arabic word “Said' or Siad' and there is reference to “Zindam Baba' and “, “Maana”—Adam and Eve-in Adam’s Peak in Ceylon. This reference relates to the 9th century.
The word “Colombo” is of Abyssinian origin, derived from the word "Cullumbo" which means a colony.
According to Sir Emerson Tennant the Muslims have been in Sri Lanka since the 6th century, if not from the 1st century, establishing extensive mercantile relations between Persia, Arabia and the Island. The Muslims of Sri Lanka are sometimes even now referred to as Hambankarayan. In fact, it should be Sambankarayan. The Muslims went up to the South Sea Islands and there the boat was called sampan and the people who came in boats were called Sampankarayan. Several Sinhalese in the South coast have the name “Marakkalayage” as their ge name. At
that time everybody who went by boat derived that
The first recorded observation we have of Sri Lanka's cinnamon occurs in the records of the voyages of that famous Muslim travller, Ibn Batuta. He mentions the town of Kunakar (which is the modern Kurunegala). He states that Kunakar was the principal sultanate in this land and describes it as lying in a narrow valley and near a great lake called the Lake of the Rubies. Talking of Kurunegala, it is interesting to note that there was indeed a Muslim King-Vathimi or Vasthumini also known as Buvenaka Bahu II who ruled this land with Kurunegala as his capital. This Monarch was a son of King Buvenaka Bahu by his Moorish consort who was referred to as “Yon Bisava'.
Arab poets sang the glories of Serendib or Sangeldib (which meant “The Island of the Sangha') as referred to by the Geographer, Abul Fida, who has been immortalised in our times by the name of a mount on the Moon as MOUNT ABUL FIDA.
The History of Sri Lanka is replete with the influence of the form of medicine practised by the Arabs, that is the Unani treatment for ailments. The Persian Muslim physicians gifted o King Kirtie Sri Rajasinghe a Lion Flag and several Muslim hysicians were gifted land by the Sinhala kings and appointed is Royal Physicians.
Moorish culture in Sri Lanka is so vast and varied and as influenced music, architecture and poetry, thus enriching e heritage of our country. The violin, the guitar, the tabla and e tambourine are of Moorish (i.e. Arabian) origin. Due to the 'ohibitions of Islam, Islamic architecture lacked figurative rms. Consequently the followers of Islam created their very lique form of art with geometric and arabesque patterns. (eir floral designs even today acknowledge no parallel in any rt of the world. The building that houses the Department of tional Museums in Colombo built in 1887 bears mute testimony he skill and artistry of a well-known Muslim architect of the e, Waapchi Marikar who was entrusted by the colonial
government with the task of erecting a suitable edifice. It is reported that after the completion of the building, the Colonial Governor, Gregory, was so pleased with Waapchi Marikar's efforts that he granted his request that the building be closed to the public on Fridays, which edict is observed up to the present day.
Even in the preparation of certain foods and sweetmeats we find the Moorish influence; for instance such delicacies as buriyani, muscat, bibikkan, laveria, seenakku and wattallappam, among numerous others, which are of Moorish origin, not excluding the refreshing drink, sherbet. Even to this day, Muslims all over Sri Lanka sit together around a large sahan, six or five to a group, and have their meals in happy camaraderie. This eating together was introduced by the Holy Prophet of Islam in order to foster the concept of the Brotherhood of Man in the early years of his Mission in Arabia. Even the sarong we all sport is of Moorish origin and was costume fashioned for easy prostration curing prayers of the followers of Islam. The sarong was originally introduced by the Arabs to Persia, hence to India and to Sri Lanka. It is not out of context to mention that it was a Moor physician's love of nature that prompted him to take the initiative and induce the establishment of the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya in 1810. This is a fact recorded by Sir Alexander Johnstone in a despatch to his King in Britain.
From time immemorial and to this date Muslims in Sri Lanka are said to be traders. But this is no longer true. Ofcourse there are a few Muslims who are engaged in trade, but it is interesting to note that almost 80% of the Muslims are cultivators scattered in all the provinces of Sri Lanka.
Before I conclude I wish to dispose of a canard. There is a misconception that Muslims are rich. This impression is created by a mere handful of rich Muslims-around 31. The vast majority of Muslims, however, are like any other Sri Lankan-farmers, wages earners and so on. O
* Maram in Tamil is tree and Kulam is a vessel. Marak
kulam meant a wooden vessel.
பேராசிரியர் கலாநிதி ஆ. சதாசிவம் அவர்களின்
Mem’oir of Late Prof. A. Sathasivan