Hyderali Shihab Thangal managed to bridge differences between League and Samastha


Tributes poured in for Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal, 74, the Kerala State President of the Indian Union Muslim League who passed away on Sunday.

The leadership of  IUML in Kerala is intertwined with the Kodapannakkal family of Thangals at Panakkad in Malappuram district. The family at Panakkad has been an integral part of Malabar's history, cutting across political and religious affiliations.

The Kodapannakkal family became the most important link in the political and religious spheres after P M S A Pookoya Thangal had become the leader of the Muslim League and Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama, a top body of Islamic scholars.

After Pookoya Thangal, his son Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal was the only leader to head both the Muslim League and Samastha simultaneously. Another rarity was that he had been the leader of the Sunni Yuvajana Sangham, the youth wing of Samastha, and the State president of the Muslim League.

Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal had been the chief patron of several institutions under Samastha, but was never an office-bearer of the organisation. His brother Umarali Shihad Thangal was a tall leader of Samastha.

Hyderali Shihab Thangal had served as the Chairman of Kerala Wakf Board, but was not active in Muslim League politics.

After the death of Pookoya Thangal, Syed Muhammedali Shihab Thangal took an active part in politics, while Umarali Shihab Thangal shouldered several religious responsibilities. With their passing away, both the responsibilities came to Hyderali Shihab Thangal.

Hyderali Shihab Thangal had taken the initiative for finding a consensus when it was alleged that the League and Samastha lacked a common stand on issues. Hyderali Shihab Thangal was able to bring in a consensus — and put an end to the allegations — with a single meeting he had chaired at Panakkad.

Hyderali Shihab Thangal was close to Samastha even from his student days. He was the founding president of Samastha Sunni Students' Federation (SSF). He later became the State President of SSF.

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