Maldives Minicoy Mahl Dhivehi

History of Maldives - Tareek

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The fall of Malé 1720-1759
National Centre of Linguistics and Historical Research,
Malé, Maldives
First printing 1981, second printing 1993
translated by
Maldives Culture editors with assistance from Majid Abdul-Wahhab
16 November 2005
minor corrections 17 November 2005

Disintegration under Ibrahim Iskandar II, 1720-1750

The king's name was Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar, known in Dhivehi language as Siri Rannavaloaka Maharadun. He was 13 years six months and five days old, and had reached puberty. His highness was very intelligent and seemed to be generous, kind and merciful to people. He listened to the scholars and took care to follow the path of the sharia and to establish correct religious practice

'During the sixteenth century (1500-1600), the muslim aristocracy of commerce had retreated from Malabar due to the Portuguese advent. Their transoceanic trade was always disrupted by Portuguese piracy.

During the eighteenth century (1700-1800), the medieval merchants of Malabar were driven to the wall and completely destroyed. The continuous contact of the European companies with Malabar had linked the subsistence economy of the Malabar folk with the world market and exposed them to the vagaries of that market.

The pass system introduced by the Portuguese (and later adopted in varying forms by the Dutch and British in Malabar) was one of the causes of the retreat and decline of the trade of the muslim aristocracy. This system was not only the introduction of a taxation on sea-going vessels but it was also a curious device of compulsion to trade only at the particular ports permitted by the issuing authority in specific commodities... The pass system was in fact a commercial weapon of considerable significance.

This intervention closed a long historical period of medieval trade in Malabar, hitherto enjoyed by the moslem community in particular.

History of the Tellichery Factory 1683-1794
K.K.N. Kurup 1985

The Mamanga festival
It is called the great magham (magha, tenth asterism) festival to distinguish it from the annual magham festival.

The Mamanga occurs only once in twelve years between 12 February and 11 March when Jupiter joins Leo and the full moon in or about the asterism Magham.

The festival at Tirunavayi had peculiar features and seems to have absorbed some ancient sacrificial feast.

The Zamorin of Calicut stood on a platform surrounded by armed men. The Valavanad Nayars who had been selected for death on the occasion were decked out in flowers and smeared with ashes and then sent to the attack and killed. In the festival of 1683, eighteen men were killed on one day and others on successive days.

In 1741, the Zamorin excused himself from paying a 11,000 pound debt he owed to the English company on the ground of the great expense he would be put to some months later by the Mamanga festival.

Note by A. Galletti in Memorandum on the Administration of the Malabar Coast by Julius Valentijn 1743

In 1745, the Zamorin and his heir apparent sought military help from the French at Mahe' and the British at Tellichery to attack an estimated 500 moslems entrenched in the mosque at Tirurangadi. The moslems threatened to massacre Christians around Tirurangadi.

Eight thousand Nayars attacked, but after two battles the Nayars retired beaten.

In February 1746, the new Zamorin requested British aid and received a mild response. The Zamorin's artillery commander, a renegade Englishman named Platt, was assassinated by moslems after he met with the Zamorin to discuss an artillery attack on the Tirurangadi mosque. That was the end of the Zamorin's Tirurangadi campaign.

Islamic Society on the South Asian Frontier - the Mappilas of Malabar 1498-1922
Stephen Dale 1980

But after about a year, he began to shy away from such things, and became involved in pleasure activities. He stopped listening to the scholars and began avoiding them. He listened to nasty uneducated people, letting them get close to him as he became more hostile to the scholars and spent money on evil things.

For three years, the king wasted money and then on 3 November 1725, he awoke from the sleep of irresponsibility and abandoned his games of pleasure. He became closer to the scholars again and distanced himself from ignorant people. He began to pray five times a day and spent money correctly. Ibrahim Iskandhar no longer favoured any faction apart from the scholars, and he decided to go to haj.

The year Iskandhar came to power, the house belonging to Fenfushi Ismail Doshimeyna Vazir was burnt down before midnight on 16 July 1722. It was rebuilt and improved, but after the repairs were finished, it caught fire again and food and other goods in the outbuildings were destroyed.

Three or four months before the fire, the king's wife Aishath Kabafan gave birth to a baby girl named Aminath Rani Kabafan.

At this point, Hassan Tajudeen ceased keeping the records. They were now kept by a honourable man who wrote:
In September 1722, a baby daughter was born to the king. Her name was Fatmath Rani Kabafan.

Hassan Tajudeen died in the sixth year of this king's reign on the night of Thursday 27 February 1727. In the same year in April, Moosa Nasirudeen Fandiyaru Kaleyfan died. After this came the death of the treasurer's son, Kateeb Mohamed Alim. He was a student of Hassan Tajudeen and he died in Sri Lanka in November.

A scholar called Mulee Mohamed, a student of Abdul Hakeem, died on November 1727.

Mohamed Kateeb died in Mecca on Friday 22 July 1718 (date given in numerals and words in Dhivehi as 23 Shauban 1130AH).

Hassan Tajudeen died after his son was made the judge. He was called Qazi Mohamed Shamsudeen and he became judge in March 1727 when he was 35 years old. In the same year in June, Tajudeen's other son Ahmed Muhiyudeen was given the position of Kateeb. He was fourteen years old.

Now the king visited the north on a royal tour, embarking from Malé on Saturday 7 June 1727. He returned to Malé in the month of haj, and married the daughter of Ali Kateeb, a son of the Devadhoo king's elder sister.

Dhiyamigili Bandarain's Aishath Kabafan passed away in February 1728. She was 17 years old.

In October 1727, the king's wife Aishath Kabafan gave birth to a baby girl named Mariyam Kabafan and in the same year the king married Hawa Manikfan the daughter of Fenfushi Ismail Vazir. After about two years they were divorced and the king prepared for a royal tour of the south. He left on Tuesday 1 August 1730 and returned to Malé after about three months. A few days later in November, the king's paternal brother Ali Fashana Kilegefan went on a royal tour.

That year, the islands of the Maldives were badly shaken by an earthquake. It was so severe that in some islands the roofs of houses fell to the ground. People were very frightened. Then on a night in February 1731 there was a fire in Henveiru ward in Malé.

At the end of August 1730, Naib Mohamed the son of Hussein Afeefudeen was exiled. Three years and three months later, he was recalled to Malé and given the magistrate's position again with full honours. The same year, Learned Kateeb Takurufan, the son of Devadhoo Ismail, died. He was also a student of Hassan Tajudeen. The position of Kateeb was given to Ali, the son of the elder sister of the Devadhoo king. He held the position during the time of the Devadhoo king but a new monarch had exiled Ali after the Devadhoo king's death.

When Ibrahim Iskandhar became king, the chief treasurer was Abu Bakuru who had previously been the financial advisor to the king's mother. In March 1722, at the beginning of this king's reign, Abu Bakuru died. The office of treasurer was not given to anyone for a long time. Without proper administration and control, the government's property was neglected. Consequently a person called Haji Ahmed was appointed as chief treasurer. He was the son of Sheikh Salim and grandson of Mulee Kadam Ahmed Danna. Haji Ahmed died the same year and Thimarafushi Eesa Hirihamadi Kaleygefan became treasurer. In the reign of the Dhiyamigili king, he had been in charge of the servants. He also died that the same year.

Mohamed Manikfan, the son of Hussein Velana Manikfan, and a junior vazir, Mulak Manikfan, were exiled after allegations that, in alliance with others, they had performed black magic against the king and the now deceased treasurer Haji Ahmed. The person who did the black magic was put to death after admitting his guilt. Mulak Manikfan was flogged and died aboard a vessel on the way to Mulak island. It was believed that Mulak Manikfan could not use black magic without the help of someone else and for this reason Mohamed Manikfan was exiled to Maalhos island.

After these incidents, the king married a beautiful young girl called Aishath who was the daughter of a slave of the king's wife, Aishath Kabafan. The girl's father was Ali from Noomaraa island. She became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy named Ali on Thursday 10 July 1732. The boy passed away two weeks later.

On 22 August, the government secretary Isdhoo Mafaiy Takurufan died, and in September 1733, Aishath Kabafan, the daughter of Thakandhoo Hakura Takurufan, gave birth to a boy called Mohamed. In November, Vilifushi Ali Takurufan was brought back from exile and given the government secretary's portfolio.

The public works minister Thakandhoo Hassan Hakura Takurufan died in January 1734 and Hassan Manik, king Muzhirudheen's paternal brother, was given that portfolio in June.

Aishath Kabafan, the daughter of Thakandhoo Hassan Hakura Takurufan, gave birth to a baby girl in October 1734. She was named Sanfa Randi Kabafan. That year during the haj month, big coins were minted by the king. Since the coins were heavier than before, the order was given that they were equal to four of the old coins.

On a night in September 1735, a massive fire broke out on the edge of Galolhu ward in Malé. It came very close to the palace.

Aminath Manikfan the daughter of Thakandhoo Hassan Hakura Takurufan, died in May 1736. She was the wife of the king's brother Ali Fashana Kilegefan and after she died, he married her younger sister Mariyam Kabafan. In December 1736, the king's wife Aishath Kabafan gave birth to a girl who was also called Aishath Kabafan.

On the night of 11 February 1737, a comet appeared which was about a metre long. It gradually rose high in the sky and could no longer be seen soon after the sighting of the new moon for the following month.

In 1737, the king married a young girl named Hawa from among his entourage, and a house for her was built next to the palace of the king's elder sister, Aishath Kabafan. The king stayed in the new house too, no longer visiting any of his other wives. Aishath Kabafan, the daughter of Thakandhoo Hassan Hakura Manikfan, was taken ill so the king's sister went to her palace and looked after her. The lady passed away in July 1737, leaving five daughters and a son. The night before she died, a house in Henveiru ward burnt down.

That same month, Ibrahim Manikfan the son of Vilifushi Ali Vazir died of injuries he received at the hands of Mohamed the son of Ali Khazin and the grandson of Naib Donkaloa. Ali Takurufan died just over a month later. He was a very wealthy man but would not give anything to anyone.

During 1737, things became quite expensive: 12,000 cowrie shells fetched 12 kilograms of rice, or 10 kilograms of sugar. A laari was worth 4 coconuts, or 12 pieces of dried fish.

In April 1739, Moosa the son of Huvadhoo Maabandeyri Vazir Mohamed, was given the government secretary portfolio. In June, Fenfushi Haji Ismail Dhoshimeyna Vazir passed away. He had held his ministry for over thirty-five years, receiving his portfolio from the Dhiyamigili king on the first day of that king's reign.

Ali Kateeb died in September and Mohamed Naib Takurufan took his place. He was the son of Hussein Afeefudeen who was the younger brother of Hassan Tajudeen.

In March 1741, Addu Ibrahim Daharada Takurufan passed away. He had been a minister for 18 years. That same year in July, Hasan Hakura Manikfan, king Muzhirudeen's paternal brother, died.

On Wednesday 28 June 1741, a very strong wind blew from the west for about an hour and 112 coconut palms were uprooted in Malé. By the middle of July, the clerics' bench and the security guards' gate had been rebuilt and renovated.

In the same year, on Wednesday 12 July 1741, a fire broke out in Henveiru ward and caused serious destruction. The Ah-thaarafin mosque and the Dholhidhaan mosque (now the site of the Nasandhura hotel) were destroyed along with everything standing between them. On the southern side of the road, some places were burnt as well.

In July, Vahaka Takurufan was given the position of treasurer and in the same month Ali Takurufan the son of the martyr Addu Kuda Mohamed Vazir, was appointed as the defence minister. Mohamed Manikfan the son of Hussein Velana Manikfan, was made rear admiral. Mohamed Takurufan, also a son of Addu Kuda Mohamed, was appointed minister of health. Hassan Manikfan, the son of Addu Ibrahim Dhahara Vazir was given the post of chief treasurer.

Mohamed the king's son, was circumcised on Saturday 20 July 1743 when his age was ten years and one month.

Map of south india and laccadives, by Bowen 1747
Map of South India and Laccadives, Bowen 1747
Names are sometimes followed by letters D (Dutch), F (French), and/or E (English)
David Rumsey collection

In September 1743, a ship belonging to Baseeru Mohamed from Chittagong was wrecked on Malés Lonu Ziyaraiy Kolhu reef. In October, Amina Kabafan the king's eldest daughter, married a son of Addu Ali Takurufan. In February 1744, a heavily laden ship owned by Dheenaamaarun was wrecked, and many salvaged goods were claimed by the government.

During the January/February period that year, a comet appeared in the west. By the middle of February, the comet was visible in the east for two to three days, then it disappeared. In March, the king's mother Aminath Kabaidi Kilegefan passed away at the age of about fifty-five years, and she was buried in the tomb compound of the Dhiyamigili king beside his grave.

In September 1744, a baby girl was born to the king's paternal brother Ali Fashana Kilegefan and Mariyam Manikfan, the daughter of Thakandhoo Hassan Hakura Manikfan. The newborn girl was breast-fed by another Mariyam, the daughter of Mulee Ismail. This same Mariyam also breast-fed the king's son Mohamed. Hence Ali Fashana Kilegefan's daughter is the 'milk sister' of Mohamed, the son of king Ibrahim.

At dawn on Wednesday 30 March 1746, Hussein Afeefudeen passed away. He had lived in this world for 65 years and held the magistrate's position for 42 years. In Maldives, the educated people were the students of Hassan Tajudeen.

Hussein Afeefudeen had been the most learned of these students. Many books were written by this man. The most important were the Thanveerulgloob Maulood, the Muiraj Maulood, and the Badheeul-anvar Maulood. From among the students of Afeefudeen, his son Kateeb Mohamed Muhibudeen Manikfan and his uncle's son Kateeb Ahmed Muhiyudeen Manikfan were the two best scholars at their time.

Other students of Afeefudeen were Addu Gan Mohamed Naib Takurufan, Kalhaidhoo Sheikh Hassan Kaleygefan, Thinadhoo Sheikh Ismail Kaleygefan, Sheikh Ibrahim Takurufan the son of Addu Mohamed Naib Takurufan, Maradhoo Sheikh Ibrahim Kaleygefan, and Sheikh Ahmed Kaleygefan the son of the maternal brother of the mother of Hassan Tajudeen. Himithee Naib Takurufan was also a student of Hassan Tajudeen.

On Friday 12 August 1746, a feast was held to celebrate a recital (probably of the Koran) by the king's son Mohamed Manikfan. In March 1747, Kateeb Mohamed Muhibudeen was made the government magistrate and given power to conduct trials and pass sentences. He was 41 years old.

In January 1748, the treasurer Vahaka Takurufan passed away. Two nights after this, Bodu Ali Vazir died. In May, a member of the palace guard disappeared. He was Yoosuf, the son of Utheem Hussein. In October in the same year, the king's son Mohamed was taken out to sea for the first time and went to Vihamanaafushi island, across to Hulhule' and then back to Malé.

On 25 December 1749, Addu Mohamed Takurufan was made vazir. Bodu Galu Fadih Takurufan was made government secretary. Mohamed Takurufan the son of Devadhoo Ali Kateeb was made second in command of the armed forces. Maandhoo Kuda Bandeyri Mohamed Takurufan became the treasurer.

On 24 February 1750, the king passed away. He was 43 years old and had reigned for 39 years, two and a half months.

Destruction of Malé in the reign of Mohamed Imadudeen III, 1750-57
In February 1750, the dead king's younger brother Ali Fashana Kilegefan ascended the throne. He was given the title Sultan Mukaram Mohamed Imadudeen. In the Dhivehi language, his name was Siri Navarana Keeriti Audana Katiri Bawana Maharadun.

At that time, the judge was Mohamed Shamsudeen Fandiyaru Kaleygefan, the son of Hassan Tajudeen. This judge's brother Kateeb Ahmed Muhiyudeen was married to king Ibrahim's daughter Fathmath Rani Kilegefan. Despite the new king on the throne, these two brothers wanted control for themselves and they allied themselves with some foreigners against the king. They claimed the Islamic religion was disintegrating in Maldives and their king was doing everything that God had forbidden. Their claims were written in a letter sent to the Cannanore Ali Raja but they received no response.

The judge wrote another letter saying: 'The people of Malé are undisciplined. They do not guard the island properly at night and security is lax. If you came now, I will take responsibility for the capture and control of the country. At night, when the islanders are asleep, you will be able to land on the island.'

The Kolattiri kingdom and the Ali Raja of Cannanore
Ali Raja contributed not a little to the flourishing condition of the kingdom by means of his vessels which conveyed away the products of the land and brought back all kinds of saleable return-freight.

This Mahomaden in course of time became by these means so rich and powerful in relation to his kings and superiors, that in latter years he has always played the chief part in the different disturbances and dissensions with which this kingdom has had constantly to struggle.

The constant quarrels between the kings, and their intrigues with our competitors began from the very outset, and Ali Raja made such good use of these quarrels that he gradually strengthened himself in his bazaar, and threw up various works around it.

These quarrels ran so high about the year 1718 that the trade of the Dutch company at Cannanore came entirely to a standstill owing to an irrenconcilable embitterment between the Nayars of Kollastri and the Moors, the people of the Ali Raja, an account of the murder of a Moorish priest.

There was open conflict in 1721, and a general attack on the Moors who suffered most. The Kollatiri were aided by the British and the Ali Raja was helped by the Dutch at Cannanore. The English hoped that if the bazaar of Ali Raja was taken, it would be handed over to them. Nayars attacked the bazaar but were beaten back.

In 1723, the Ali Raja agreed to pay a large sum to the Kollatiri and there was a short peace, but skirmishing continued, with the Ali Raja doing better as time went on. Fighting stopped when the Canara invaded Kollatiri in 1732. The Kollatiri were defeated and surrendered to Canara.

The Canarese attempted to remove the Ali Raja and his followers and fighting continued until 1745 when a new agreement was signed. The intrigues of the Ali Raja, as well as the princes of Collastry, now with the Marathas, then with the English and then with the French continued to go on as before.

During 1750-51, the French at Mahe' assisted the Kollatiri against the Canarese, and in 1753 Dutch mediation prevented further fighting between the Kollatiri and Ali Raja.

In 1754 the Dutch, Kollatiri and Ali Rajah signed new pepper contracts, which were kept until 1758-59 when Ali Raja defaulted.

The Dutch complained that Ali Rajah was continually intriguing with our competitors and created with the aid of the English, divsions among the princes of Collastry and even began to lord it over the kingdom and engaged in all kinds of mischief.

The arrogance of the Ali Raja reached such a point that he collected revenues belonging to the princes and set a golden knob on his mosque in the bazaar on purpose to show his contempt for the worship of the heathens. Offended by the knob, Kollatiri and English attacked Ali Raja and beseiged him in his bazaar near Cannanore. They failed due to lack of money and the Kollatiri prince fled to Travancore while peace was offered to Ali Raja who now lorded over the country quite openly and had lost all fear of the Dutch company and the princes of the country.

In 1763, the Nabob took the Canarese capital and Ali Raja capitalised on the situation to further his control in the kingdom of the Kollatiri.

The Kollatiri prince returned from Travancore with an exclusive pepper contract from the British, but the Nabob invaded in 1766 and Ali Raja took administratice control of Kollatiri lands. Ten years later, in 1776, the Nabob returned the lands to the Kollatiri because Ali Raja was not paying tribute.

This Ali Raja died in October 1778.

The Dutch describe him as a very cruel character and a great spendthrift who could not keep money. He had come to the throne in 1742 as a youth and was hostile to the Dutch company who refused him sailing passes in 1745.

In 1750, the Ali Raja asked the company to renew their friendship with him, and the company agreed in return for a cardamom contract.

In 1752, Ali Rajah agreed to remain neutral in disputes between the English and the Kollatiri, but by 1753 the Kollatiri lay an interdict on all estates of the Ali Rajah.

This dispute was settled by the Dutch, and in 1755 they signed a new pepper and cardamom contract with Ali Rajah. He did not honour the contracts and only dealt with the Dutch when he needed supplies or ammunition.

Notes from Memorandum on the administration of the coast of Malabar
Adriaan Moens 1781
Ali Raja sent a fast ship and two cargo vessels to Maldives loaded with war materials and Malabar fighters. They entered Maldives at Faadhippolhu (Lhaviyani) atoll and anchored near Aligalu island. The three boats waited there and at the time of the ninth hourglass during the night of Monday 18 December 1752, they moved into the unlocked Malé harbour.

The islanders were unaware of what was happening and remained asleep. The Malabar men landed their long ship on the island and entered the inner palace where the guards were also asleep. Firing their guns, the Malabaris and killed and captured people as the king fled to Mafannu palace. The vazir and armed forces were sent in and they chased the invaders out of the inner palace.

One of the Malabaris lit a fire at the house called Nabath Khan. It was the will of holy Allah that this fire turned half of Malé island into ash, including everything in the inner palace, the gates and houses.

The king asked for peace and the Malabaris said that if the king met with them, they would agree to stop fighting. The king and his brother Mohamed the son of king Ibrahim were cunningly tricked and held on one of the cargo ships. When other Maldivians offered to join their king, the Malabaris permitted them aboard and held them too. They were Vazir Mohamed Manikfan, the son of Vazir Hura Hussein Dahara Kaleyfan, and his son Hussein Manikfan and Vazir Mohamed Velana Takurufan. From among the king's servants came Muruba Mohamed Kaleygefaan. All these people went on board the Malabar ship and sailed away. The king had ruled for two years and ten months.

The Malabaris who remained in Malé used sneaky tricks to intimidate and harass the islanders. The chief judge was Mohamed Shamsudeen, the son of Hassan Tajudeen. This judge was supported as the leader by the Malabaris and they pledged allegiance to him.

Later, he and his paternal brother Ahmed Muhiyudeen Kateeb Manikfan were tied up, beaten and tortured. That happened in February 1753. No one knows what happened to the two noblemen after that. It was said they were dumped in the sea. May Holy God bless them; they were good men.

The day they were tortured, an Arab named Yahuya was hung on a tree on a sand-spit on Malés western side and killed with gun-fire. From that time on, the area was called Yahuya sand-spit. In the same way, a Maldivian was killed on the east side of the island.

Naib Kateeb Mohamed Muhibudeen was made the judge after these events. He was a son of Hussein Afeefudeen, the paternal brother of Hassan Tajudeen. After becoming judge, he left for Cannanore to meet the Ali Raja. Malabaris continued to harass and beat the Malé population and acted in perverted ways. People were outraged by this behaviour but they were increasingly scared, shocked and confused by what was happening.

Supporters of the kidnapped king got together in Malé. They were Hassan Manikfan the son of Mohamed Manikfan, and Badeyri Hassan Hirihamaadhi Kaleygefan, an instructor in the use of the lance. Others were Hussein Gada Hamadi Manikfan the son of Nolhivaranfaru Handeygirin Kaleygefan, Meyna Bandeyri Fadiaiy Takurufan and his paternal brother Umar Manik. In all, two hundred and six brave people and their followers discussed how they would recapture the monarchy from the Malabaris.

At the nine o'clock on the night of Saturday 7 April 1753, the Malabaris in Veyodoshu palace were sitting on the benches, awaiting the 3 a.m. munaja prayer. It was called, and an associate of the Malabaris was persuaded by the Maldivians to open the Veyodoshu palace gate. They fought and killed the Malabaris there, and other Malabaris elsewhere on the island were hunted down, captured and then killed and thrown into the sea. As the surviving Malabaris escaped in a teak ship, Maldivians took control of Maldives. Holy God had provided support and success.

All the gentry and other people of the island came forward with 20,000 laari for Hassan Manikfan, but he said, 'I do not want to accept a single laari. Until we have news of our king, let us pray for his safety and respect his wishes. If you all agree, let us distribute the laari equally among the militia. They agreed and the money was handed out. Aminath Kabafan the daughter of king Ibrahim became the leader and she ruled Maldives with Hassan Manikfan. Everyone assented to this.

Two Maldivians were killed the night Hassan Manikfan captured the monarchy from the Malabaris. Seykutee Haji died after his hand was cut by a sword and the other man died after one of the enemy fired a hand-held gun.

Hoping to re-establish his power, the Ali Raja of Cannanore sent men in two cargo ships. Their leader was Hussein Manikfan the son of Vazir Mohamed Famuladheyri Manikfan, who had accompanied the king to Cannanore. When these ships approached Malé they found the Malabar flag raised on fort and well-dressed people standing along the wall. The two ships entered Malé harbour, which was locked after they passed through, and the people on board were captured and tied up. Some were killed and others arrested. Hussein Manikfan was one of the captives. Thus did the men on the ships face the judgment of Holy God.

The chief judge, on his way to meet Ali Raja in Cannanore, was in Maalhosmadulu atoll when news came that the Malé people had re-taken their island. He returned to Malé.

Aminath Kabafan did not enjoy ruling, she later resigned from the throne and went to Addu with her husband Ali Manikfan.

Aminath Rani Kilegefan was made the leader after Aminath Kabafan resigned. Aminath Rani Kilegefan was the daugther if the king kidnapped by the Malabaris , .

There are two stories explaining why Aminath Kabafan went to Addu:
It is written in Dhivehi that those who disapproved of Hassan Manikfan attempted to humiliate him, and she went to Addu to get away from these problems. In Arabic, it is recorded that she went to Addu because of trouble with a French trader Monsieur Le Termellier about a debt owed to him.

The rise of Ghazi Hassan Ranabandeyri Manikfan
Of all the gentlemen in Malé, there was no one to compare in courage, talent, intelligence and interpersonal skills with Hassan Manikfan the son of Vazir Mohamed Manikfan and grandson of Vazir Hura Hussein Daharada Kaleyfan. After reciting the prayers to Muhammad and others, he was put in charge of Maldives' military forces. While all this was happening, Aminath Kabafan went to Addu with Ali Manikfan the son of Mohamed Bodu Doshimeyna Takurufan and grandson of Addu Kudabandeyri Takurufan.

While they were living in Hithadhoo island on Addu , they were told by travellers from Malé that people were planning to trap them. Believing this, the couple prepared three ships and sailed for Minicoy. One ship was wrecked on Huvadhu atoll. As they passed Malé, news of their voyage reached the capital and two ships were prepared and loaded with weapons of war. Orders were given to find the couple and bring them to Malé.

Hussein Manikfan, the brother of Hassan who recaptured Malé, and Umar Manik were made the captains of the two Malé ships and they met their prey near Kelaa island channel in the far north. The fleeing couple's ship was fired on and a Minicoy man was killed. The royal lady and the ship were captured and brought back to Malé. She and her husband were sent to Fenfushi island in September 1754.

During the year, a very thick smoke appeared. The smoke was so thick that the warmth of the sun was gone, even though the sun itself looked like a ball of fire. The dark horizon shocked travellers. Within three days, the smoke began to thin out, but it continued for 40 days.

The other ship that had set out from Addu was able to reach Minicoy and join Ali Raja. The vessel belonged to Ahmed Takurufan, the son of Ali Manikfan's uncle. With the support of Ali Raja, they fought several wars against Maldives until Ahmed Takurufan was beheaded at the orders of his supposed ally.

The same month the couple were exiled to Fenfushi, Ali Raja sent two large vessels and three other ships that entered the north and moored at Dhonakulhi island on northern Thiladhunmathi (Haa Alifu) atoll. His men occupied the island and from there they sent men to other islands to kill, burn and pillage people's property. These harsh and unbearable conditions forced the unfortunate inhabitants to collect all their belongings and leave their islands. They lost almost everything.

When news of this invasion arrived in Malé, a war fleet was prepared and Hassan Manikfan the son of Vazir Mohamed Manikfan was made the leader and given the title Ranabandeyri Manikfan. The Malabaris at Dhonakulhi were living in a fort they used as a raiding base. Hassan attacked their fort in a direct confrontation, destroying it and killing more than one hundred people. Many more were slaughtered as Hassan's men hunted them down.

After fighting in this manner, it was appropriate that Hassan be called a holy warrior. He became Ghazi Hassan Ranabandeyri Manikfan. Holy God's mercy, justice and grace supported Hassan and returned to us our country and its people and their homes. For all this, 'Praise to Allah, Lord of the universe, and peace and prayers be upon his final Prophet.'

Ghazi Hassan returned to Malé with his fleet and acted swiftly. Two ships were prepared and loaded with men, food and water. They were sent off to attempt the rescue of the kidnapped former king and his brother Mohamed Manikfan the son of king Ibrahim. At the time, the captured monarch was being kept in a Cannanore-controlled island called Kavarandhoo (Kavaratti) in the Laccadives north of Maldives. King Ibrahim's son Mohamed Manikfan was held in Androth island.

laccadives map 1976
Laccadives including Minicoy, from the CIA Indian Ocean Atlas 1976

The two Maldivian ships sailed to these islands. However, in Androth the navigator was arrested and confessed their whole plan to the islanders. He was from Minicoy, and had been given the navigator's position after making many promises of secrecy to the Maldivians. He broke his promises and the islanders nearly captured the ship. Two Arabs were aboard; one was called Khamees, the other was Ali-yu ibn Daud. Ali-yu was held and tied up. Although there were some crewmen still in the island, the boat left in a hurry.

Events moved in a similar fashion for the other Malé ship that sailed to Kavarandhoo island, and the Maldivians were unable to rescue their king. After the two ships returned empty-handed, the crewmen left behind on Androth also managed to return to Malé.

This country had suffered a disaster so severe that all valuable property was gone and there was nothing left to pay people for work. Amidst this shocking state state of affairs, it was the will of Holy God that a lump of ambergris weighing 153kg was washed onto the beach of Maalhos island on Maalhosmadulu atoll.

Alliance with the Pondicherry French
Ghazi Hassan Ranabandeyri Manikfan discussed an idea with the Malé gentry to hire Frenchmen and bring them to Malé. It was agreed, and a junior Maldivian vazir was sent to see Monsieur Dupleix who was in charge of the French at Pondicherry.

In February 1755, Cannanore Ali Raja sent a teak ship, another large sailing ship, a sloop , and cargo vessels to invade Malé, but when they arrived in early March they found the Malé people alert and aggressive, and the invaders could not land. Some of the vessels went to Dhoonidhoo island and some to Dhoonidhoo reef. They anchored and discussed their next move.

Meanwhile the junior vazir returned from Pondicherry with three sailships, a sloop and the Frenchman. Monsieur Le Termellier was the commander of these four vessels. Formerly, he was known in Maldives as a Christian trader. When the French arrived, they fought with the Malabaris, firing at their ships and capturing one. The Malabar sloop was hit by gunfire and burnt along with its crew, so the invaders retreated back to Dhonakulhi island on Thilandunmathi (Haa Alifu) atoll with their remaining vessels.

The Maldivians at Malé now declared war and prepared many ships for battle, loading them with weapons, food, and water. Accompanied by the small French force, commander Hassan Ranabandeyri Manikfan sailed with his ships to Dhonakulhi. Guns were fired at the Malabaris and some were killed. Their new fort was destroyed and the survivors sailed off and returned to Malabar. After a campaign lasting only ten days, Ghazi Hassan Ranabandeyri Manikfan returned to Malé with the French and Maldivians. Allah is merciful. It was the will of God that all Maldivians were rescued from disaster and no Maldivian was hurt.

After the successful campaign, Ghazi Hassan Ranabandeyri Manikfan and the gentry and ministers approached Monsieur Le Termellier and said, 'These Malabaris will cause us trouble and harm if you withdraw your help and friendship. If it be the will of Holy God, all Maldivians desire your help and support to return the kidnapped king and the royal son to this country.'

'We will stay for four years,' Termellier replied, 'if your excellency grants permission. Our flag will be raised on Naney bastion in Henveiru ward where we will station a commander, two officers and twenty-five soldiers; altogether twenty-eight people who your excellency must maintain and pay in rice and wages.'

Ghazi Hassan accepted the offer and gave permission for the payment of rice and wages, on the condition that if any of the soldiers or officers were found to behave in an unacceptable way or cause insult, they could be arrested and detained without complaint from their fellow countrymen. Provided this promise was made in writing, the Ghazi said he would honourt the agreement.

The French replied that since they would be receiving rice and wages, doing anything insulting would be ridiculous. If anything like that happened, they said they would have no complaints about the consequences. They agreed to accept the Ghazi's decisions in these matters, acknowledged the agreement in writing and presented the document to Ghazi Hassan.

At Naney bastion, twenty-five soldiers were stationed with their weapons, along with two officers and a captain. Their flag was raised on 30 May 1755, and Termellier and his ships left for Pondicherry. He reported to his rulers what had happened and soon after he returned in a ship loaded with merchandise. When he landed, he met the Ghazi and traded, and then he landed new men to replace those who had died.

After Termellier departed, another group of French people arrived in a trading ship. The captain was called Musferu. They landed and began to trade and became close friends with the French soldiers who were stationed here. Later, a disagreement arose between some Malé people and these new arrivals. Parties to the dispute included the captain of the trading ship. As the dispute was taking place, Ghazi Hassan appeared. One of the French chiefs was holding a pistol in his hand and he fired at the Ghazi. Standing beside him was Mohamed Mureed Takurufan, a relative of the Ghazi. Mureedh ran into the group and grabbed the fellow who fired the pistol and tied him up. A force of militia was sent to summon the twenty-five soldiers and their three officers, along with Musferu the captain of the trading ship, to the gate of the Veyodoshu palace where they were formally arrested and jailed. Their guns, long swords, javelins and other weapons were collected and stored in the upper floor of the Veyodoshi palace.

Fifteen days after this incident, Monsieur Le Termellier sailed past Malé in light winds and entered the atoll through Guraidhoo channel. While he was there, news of his arrival reached Malé and ships were sent to row his vessel into Malé harbour. He had come again with trading goods. Previously when he landed, Termellier had been greeted with an audience from Ghazi Hassan. Termellier tried again and again to meet with the Ghazi. He became upset and visited the Malé gentry to ask for permission to do business and began to trade. Although Ghazi Hassan ignored him, he continued to make requests for an audience.

Termellier visited the gentry continuously, begging for an audience with the ruler, until he was nearly ready to leave and suddenly he received permission to see the Ghazi. The leaders of the French and Maldivians were summoned by the king to untangle the misunderstandings and confusions that had occurred. The financial accounts were checked and payments calculated for the work done by the French and wages of the twenty-five soldiers and their three officers. The Frenchmen also checked the calculations and the amount was agreed.

The ambergris mentioned earlier, that washed up on Maalhos island weighing 153kg, was priced at the suggestion of the French at 10 rupees per thoala (one thoala = .01kg). The total cash price of the ambergris was calculated and the money owed to the French subtracted, which left 22,000 rupees owing to the Maldive government. This was recorded on the register of Maldives and the ambergris was taken away. Thus the matter was finalised and having completed their task, all the French left happily. Maldivians had no more trouble with their enemies.

Afterwards, Termellier continued trading with Malé and he died there during the reign of king Ghiyarudeen. He was buried at Lonuziyaaraiy Kolhu and his grave was made in stone in the Christian style.

God's mercy provided Ghazi Hassan with success. Everything had been his idea, and was achieved with divine help. It was decided to send presents and a letter to the Cannanore Ali Raja, begging for the release of king Mukaram Mohamed Imadudeen and Mohamed Manikfan the son of king Ibrahim Iskander. But this approach failed. Later, the Ali Raja sent the two prisoners to Minicoy island in April 1757. The king was taken ill there and died in June. He had reigned in peace for 2 years 10 months and 24 days, and was held hostage for 4 years 7 months and 24 days.

After his death, Mohamed Manikfan the son of king Iskander, and the others who had accompanied the prisoners to Minicoy, were all taken back to Cannanore. Another Mohamed Manikfan, along with Mohamed Shah Bandar Velana Takurufan and Mohamed Famuladeyri Manikfan escaped from Cannanore to Nair's island. Mohamed Shah Bandhar Velana Takurufan died there. As the two remaining princes were leaving the island, Mohamed Manikfan was kidnapped by a group of people from Cannanore. He became sick in Cannanore and died. Muruba Mohamed Kaleygefaan also died in Cannanore but Mohamed Manikfan the son of king Iskander escaped and went to Hindustan.

In June 1758 ex-king Hassan the son of king Ali passed away. He had been dethroned by Bodu Kilegefan and exiled to Hithadhoo on Addu atoll. Later, he was exiled with Bodu Kilegefan. The details of these events have already been explained in a previous section.

For a short time the throne was managed by Aminath Rani Kilegefan as the queen, and Ghazi Hassan Ranabandeyri Manikfan as the leader. A rumour swept the island that Hussein Gadahamaidi Manikfan and a group of supporters were about to take over the throne and seize Hassan Ranabandeyri Manikfan and exile him from the island.

Based on this rumour, property belonging to Hussein and his wife was confiscated and they were exiled. Hussein Gadahamaidi Manikfan was married to Fathmath Rani Kilegefan the daughter of king Ibrahim. Other people who were believed to have supported the couple were also exiled to different islands. Two years and six months later, the couple were brought back to Malé and very honourably treated. Ghazi Hassan was selected for the kingship soon after they returned.

Seven years and one month had passed with Ghazi Hassan directing everything after the Malabaris took the king away, and discontent was increasing in the island. Some people saw the threat of danger, so the gentry, ministers, scholars and military personnel, all agreed unanimously that Ghazi Hassan Ranabandeyri Manikfan should be made the king. This nobleman's father was Mohamed Famuladeyri Manikfan the son of Hura Hussein Daharada Takurufan. His mother was Aminath Manikfan the daughter of Mulee Mohamed Kateeb Takurufan.

The ghazi was staying at Muleege house, so the Maldivian scholars, aristocracy, ministers and people of the island met him there. They informed Ghazi Hassan of their decision and when he accepted their request, they and others from the island went to the royal palace to chop and remove the milkweed and make a pathway by clearing away some of the burnt and collapsed stones. The spot where the royal north house once stood was weeded and cleared, and covered with white sand. A chair was placed there as the new royal throne. On Thursday 6 December 1759, the men asked Ghazi Hassan to accompany them into the palace where they recited prayers to Muhammad and the deceased. They sat Ghazi Hassan Ranabandeyri Manikfan on the chair and he was made king.

Part 1 | Part 2 | | Part 3  |

Other translations from Tareek:
From Ali to Iskandar, 1558-1687
Regents, Usurpers and Judges, 1687-1721


Maldives Culture is an independent internet magazine of Maldive cultural issues.
Editors and translators: Michael O'Shea and Fareesha Abdulla, Australia
We invite contributions from Maldivians and others interested in Maldives.