A script called Arabi Malayalam developed as a result of the Arab settlements in Kerala. The script used was Arabic but additional letters were added to enable the pronunciation of local words. The grammar was that of Malayalam and some words were used from Arabic and Persian as well.

It produced great literal works highly acclaimed for their poetic and philosophic fervor. Most of the woks were related to Islamic sciences and hymns. But there were novels and poetries as well. Moinkutty Vaidyar is considered the greatest poet. The novel “Zainaba” is the first ever written novel in Malayalam (and not Induleka as supposed by some).

Arabi Malayalam was used actively in writing letters, maintaining accounts and even in publishing newspapers. in 1901, a newspaper called Salahul Ikhwan was published from Tirur by a man called Saidalikutty.

Dr. Kamal Pasha, the head of History at the PSMO College at Tirurangadi, told me about an advertisement in the same paper that aroused his interest. He noticed an ad that said ‘for those interested in going for Hajj via train, contact . . . ‘

A preliminary study showed that railroads were prevalent in Hijaz until the fall of Ottoman Caliphate. It was the ruthless European agents who destroyed the rail paths using guerilla warfare tactics. They used to dress up like the native Bedouins and bomb the rails.