Obituary: Cherussery Zainudheen Musliyar

By Shafeeq Hudawi

Kozhikode: One of the foremost voices in Islamic jurisprudence in Kerala, Cherussery Zainudheen Musliyar, passed away yesterday morning after being taken ill four days ago. He was 78 years old.

Support TwoCircles

Musliyar, who was born in 1937 in Kondotty, Malappuram was better known as Zainul Ulema for his ‘shining knowledge’ and his views were seen as the last word whenever doubts occurred over religious matters. Under the guidance of the Musliyar, who served as the general secretary of the Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, thousands of students were educated in various Islamic educational institutions ranging from Dars (functionary of Samastha Kerala Islam Matha Vidhyabhyasa Board carried in mosques) to Darul Huda Islamic University.


“A great scholar with immense knowledge in Islamic rules and practices, Zainul Ulema was the man we all depended on to get the final solution if there was any contentious issue,” said Panakkad Syed Munavvarali Shihab Thangal, a young Sunni leader from Kerala.

“Cherussery Musliyar had a wonderful record of settling disputes, and many had come to him seeking his help to find a solution to problems ranging from religious raw to Familiar disputes,” he said.

“For anyone who came to him for a settlement in any issue, he would provide the verdict and no one objected to him. This shows how much of respect he had commanded among the other scholars in the state,” said Darul Huda Islamic University vice chancellor Dr. Bahawudheen Muhammed Nadwi in his condolence message.


“He was a man who had dedicated his entire life to the betterment of religion and society,” Nadwi added.
For his students, followers and scholars whom he educated, his void will be hard to fill. Musilyar was one of the most humble men that Kerala has ever seen and his photos circulated on social media speak volumes about the simplicity which he never compromised.

Musliyar had worked as Mudarris (religious teacher at Kodangad, Kondoty, Malappuram for eighteen years. He was a leading religious teacher at Chemmad Juma Masjid for several years before taking the charge of Darul Huda Islamic Academy, Chemmad, as Principal in 1994. He later became the pro-chancellor of the institute.

Born in Kondotty as the son of Cherussery Ahamed Musliyar in Qaziyarakam family, Zainudheen Musliar started his religious studies under his own father and O K Zainudheen Musliar, Malappuram.


He was a different scholar with an articulation of political and social thought which led to many reforms in Kerala’s Muslim community. The Sufi scholar with judicious vision guided generations of Sunnis to the upper standards of the society by providing them the potential of modern education. The scholar spent major chunk of his life at Darul Huda Islamic University.

The students at the Darul Huda Islamic University, Chemmad, said his loss was one of the hardest to take. “We will miss him a lot. No one possessed as much religious knowledge as Cherussery Usthad.

Even people from outside Kerala came to him for help. A deep sea of knowledge, an embodiment of humanity and simplicity, a constant seeker of the Almighty,” said head of department, Arabic, Mahatma Gandhi University Dr. Zubair Hudawi Chekanur.

Musliyar served as a fine leader and his administrative power was vital in the growth of the Islamic university, which is growing to the largest network of Islamic knowledge with several undergraduate colleges and off campuses in various parts of the country.

Being an active figure in one of the prominent religious organization in the state, he had also worked as the president of Samastha Kerala Sunni Education Board, the state president of Sunni Mahal Federation and Manager at Islahul Uloom Arabic College, Thanur.

Thousands from various strands of life paid their last respect to him at Darul Huda Islamic University for his body was put for public viewing. Cherussery was laid to rest at Darul Huda Islamic University compound.