இந்தப் பக்கத்தை தமிழில் வாசிக்க: அஞ்சுவண்ணம்
Anju Vannathar or Anjuvannam is said to be one of the symbols of Islamism. The expressions Anjuvannam Jama'ath are commonly used in Tamil Nadu. The term is said to have been derived from the word 'Anjuman'.
T. V. Sadhasiva Pandarathar considers the term Anjuvannam to have been derived from the Persian word Anjuman. The word Anjuman has several meanings including association, guild or group. S. M. Kamaal says the Arabian settlements in Tamil Nadu were altered through time as Anjuvannam in inscriptions. The oldest Islamic literary text found in Tamil Nadu is the Palsandha Maalai belonging to the 12th century AD. Though it is not available now, many poems from this text are quoted in another text Kalaviyal Karigai. S. Vaiyapuri Pillai, publisher of Kalaviyal Karigai notes the word Anjuvannam mentioned in quoted verses of Palsandha Maalai denotes the word Anjuman. For evidence he cites the usage of words like Kalupadhi, Allah.
Aalif Pulavar's Mihraaj Maalai, a literary text belonging to the 16th century AD uses the term 'Anjuvannam Islamavargal'. Historians V. Venkaiyya, T. A. Gopinath Rao, T. V. Sarkaar, T. V. Mahalingam, K. V. Ramesh, A. Subaraiyalu also hold the same opinion. Historian H. Hameem Mustafa researching the etymology of Anjuvannam elaborates this in his book, 'Tamil Islam Uruvaakamum ThiruKuran Tamil Vaasipum' (Formation of Tamil Islam and Tamil Reading of the Noble Quran) Hameem Mustafa finds no strong evidence for the term Anjuvannam referring to the Muslims being outside of the four (Hindu) varnas or to Muslims whose profession was weaving.
Abdur Raheem's Islamic Encyclopedia states that Anjuvannam denotes a Muslim settlement located a few miles away from Thondi (a town in Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu). It also states the researcher's opinion of Anjuvannam's location in Paasipatinam. K. A. Nilakanta Sastri in his book, The Pandyan Kingdom, says that the Muslim settlers of this region formed guilds called Anjuman and the Pandya kings of the time gave various concessions to them, including the power to punish lawbreakers amongst them. Subsequently, people of this region called Muslims as Anju Vannathar.
As per folklore, Anjuvannam represented the five pillars of Islam and the Muslims who followed these codes were called Anju Vannathar. Few Islamic scholars also consider this name to have been derived from the practice of praying five times a day. Currently, there are several mosques in Tamil Nadu with the name Anjuvannam Jama'ath Masjid.
Anjuvannam of Non-Muslims
Hameem Mustafa in one of his articles writes about the information shared by T. A. Gopinath Rao. Gopinath states that a copperplate inscription from Kottayam, published in 849 AD mentioned Christians as Anju Vannathar. Hameem Mustafa points out an article published in Sakthi Magazine in 1983 where the name Anjuvannam is included in the list of names such as Tamizhaga Nagarathaar (Naatukkottai Chettiyar) Pirivil Nanadesigar, Manigramathaar, Nagarathaar. With this, he speculates that Anjuvannam could be a type of trade guild. In some inscriptions, Anjuvannathar is termed as Aayirathu Ainuruvar, which Hameem Mustafa considers to be an extension of the headcount of trade guilds like yennaayiram, naalayiram. He also says that initially Anjuvannathar would have indicated a specific type of trade guild and later evolved into a term denoting Muslims.
Thoppil Mohamed Meeran has written a novel Anju Vannam Theru
- Islamiya Kalai Kalanjiyam - Abdur Raheem
- Anju Vannam Theru (Novel) - Thoppil Mohamed Meeran