Unity, peace and brotherhood – paved the way
A place to praise for its excellency.A paradise filled with glorified souls. Apart from all a treasure bearing an ancient record in the history of Srilanka. Maradana, Beruwala one of the desired place of all natives and non-natives. The story continues from 9.20 A.D. whereas , the first mosque of Srilanka,Masjid al abraar being the witness.It is strongly believed that history of muslims in Srilanka started with the arrival of Arabs as merchants and accordingly the muslim settlements originated from Beruwala.
J.C.Vansandem in his book ‘Sunahar’ makes it an evident that the name ‘Beruwala’ may have evolved from ‘Be-Ruwala’ which means dropping or folding of the sails by Arab muslims who arrived by ship in the Bay.It sounds quite evident that muslims who has to perform their compulsory prayers(fives times a day)had to build a mosque with the hospitality given by sinhalese community.Infact,this is also the foundation for the sinhalese-muslims relationship that prevails in SriLanka.
The historical background of Beruwala along with Masjid-al-Abraar withstands many more places such as Al-Fasiyathul Nasriya( first ladies school),the ancient ketchimala mosque which are very close to each other by location.
One of the best example for the harmony among Sinhalese-Muslim community is the giving of ‘Kiduhu'(food) for Sinhalese people following the annual feast of ketchimala mosque.
The highlighting aspect of Beruwala is the Masjid-al-Abraar mosque with a fascinating structure and with an eye-catching view.The massive pond infront of the mosque gives it an extra beauty which is used by the devotees to wash themselves before performing the islamic rituals and prayers.This mosque has been reconstructed under three phases to meet the needs of time.
As masjid-al-Abraar is unique for its existence,Beruwala is unique for its culture,language,lifestyles and rituals e.t.c.Though, the people of Beruwala use tamil as the mode of speaking it can be easily distinguished among the people of other places due to its uniqueness.The ancient practices of Beruwala are yet under action.Such a practice is the wearing of a red cap by men for special events and functions.
Many consequent past activities had made us to focus our attention on the significance of Masjid-al-Abraar and Beruwala.The history signified and remembered Masjid-al-Abraar as one of the prestigious existence by launching two commemmorative stamps on 8th of June 2013 by the Postal Department.
The 1100th Anniversary Ceremony of Masjid-al-Abraar Grand Mosque on 29th of December 2020 will add up more values and for sure will be a proud moment in the history of Srilanka.
By Brother Ihlas Ashraf