Online Encyclopedia

MOPLAH (Malayalam mappila)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 813 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MOPLAH (Malayalam mappila), a fanatical Mahommedan sect found in Malabar. The Moplahs, who number upwards of a million, are believed to be descended from Arab immigrants, who landed on the western coast of India in the 3rd century after the Hegira. They are remarkable for the fanaticism displayed in successive attacks upon the Hindus, and they have several times resisted British troops. A regiment of the Indian army was recruited among them, but the experiment proved a failure, and the Moplah Rifles were disbanded in April 1907.
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Additional information and Comments

The real meaning of 'moplah' is husband. It is also pronounced 'mappillai' and the meaning is husband in Tamil and Malayalam. Middle Eastern immigrants like the Arabs and Syrians became the husbands (mappillais or moplahs) of local girls. Local girls were willing to marry these immigrants to escape from the cruelty of caste regulations.
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