Syed Muhammedali Shihab Tangal (1936 - 2009)

Thangal (meaning "Yourself", literally "Noble/Exalted Person") is a Malayalam honorific roughly equivalent to the more general term Sayyid/Sharif (descendant of Prophet Muhmmad) in wider Islamic culture. The term "thangal", the plural of "than", is a personal pronoun that is a high form for "you" or "thou". It is generally used for speaking to noble or exalted men (represents the highest form of address in Malayalam).[1]

Some scholars consider Thangal as a community among Muslims of Kerala.[2] The thangal families are numerous in Kerala, all receive recognition, but only a few are regarded as saints. Thangal families have many gradations of status on social and economic scale. Influential of the thangals generally come from prominent business families. They usually exercise their influence through commerce and politics.[1]

Major thangal families in north Kerala.

  • Tharamal family (Mambram)[1]
    • Sayyid Jifri Thangal (mid-1700s)
    • Hassan Jifri Thangal (mid-1700s)
    • Syed Alavi Thangal (1749 - 1843)
    • Syed Fazl Thangal


  1. ^ a b c d e Miller, Roland E., Mappila Muslim Culture. New York, State University of New York Press, 2015. pp. 268-271.
  2. ^ Kunhali, V. "Muslim Communities in Kerala to 1798" PhD Dissertation Aligarh Muslim University (1986) [1]
  3. ^ Miller, Roland E., Mappila Muslim Culture. New York, State University of New York Press, 2015. pp. 268-271.