Shamsudheen Palath, a 45-year-old Salafi preacher, has recently changed his name as he thought Palath was not more Islamic than his father's name, the name of his native village in Kozhikode.
He's the unofficial spokesperson of the outfit, known as 'extreme Salafis.' The outfit is suspected to have played a major part in radicalizing Muslims.
He believes that watching films is haram, and refuses to be photographed, never trims his beard and asks Muslims not to participate in festivals of non-Muslims. Signifies the transformation that has occurred in Kerala, once the driving force in the Muslim community of reformation in the state.
They are not unapologetic about many things in Islam. We don't have any difficulty in maintaining Islam even if society frowns at it," says Shamsudheen.
"We do not participate in festivals like Onam and Christmas because they have the components of shirk (polytheism). You may say that Onam is a harvest festival but at the center, there's a Hindu myth.
Shamsudheen denies though he is not perturbed in recognizing they may have already been ideologically determined by teachings just like his, his outfit has anything regarding the lost youth of Malabar.
"There is nothing wrong for a true Muslim to feel comfortable in a Muslim ambiance than in the company of nonbelievers," he says.