Patterns of Affliction Among Mappila Muslims of Malappuram, Kerala
Each and every community has its own way of understanding on health and illness; it varies from Culture to culture.
According to the Mappila Muslims of Malappuram, the state of pain, distress and misery is understood as an affliction to their
health. They believe that most of the afflictions are due to the Jinn/ Shaitanic Possession. So they prefer religious healers than
the other systems of medicine for their treatments. Thangals are the endogamous community in Kerala, of Yemeni heritage
who claim direct descent from the Prophet Mohammed’s family. Because of their sacrosanct status, many Thangals works as
religious healers in Northern Kerala. Using the case of one Thangal healer as illustration of the many religious healers in
Kerala who engage in the healing practices, I illustrate the patterns of afflictions among Mappila Muslims of Malappuram.
Based on the analysis of this Thangal’s healing practice in the local context of Northern Kerala, I further discuss about the
modes of treatment which they are providing to them.
Key words- Affliction, Religious healing, Faith, Mappila Muslims and Jinn/Shaitanic possession