Cheraman Perumal was the last of the Chera
kings to rule Cheranad (ancient Kerala
). Trade with Arabs flourished during the Chera reign. Interaction with the Arabs brought Cheraman Perumal closer to Islam. According to legends, the king accepted a personal invitation from the Prophet himself. He went to Mecca and converted to Islam around the 7th century. He is reputed to be the first Indian to become a Muslim. He died on his way back. But his last wish was honored with the construction of one of the first places of worship in Islamic faith outside Arabia. This is the Cheraman Juma Masjid
, the first mosque in South Asia.