Antiquity is generating excellent feedback. Indeed
this is the type of debate that I was intending to generate.
Any debate has to be healthy, if properly managed.
follwing is the feedback I have received so far with my
responses, where appropriate. Where the respondent has
requested anonymity, I have referred to him/her as Anon.
Please click the links below to navigate.
Abdullah Waheed writes:
know you are busy, but I suddenly discovered something so
important that I thought I will let you know immediately.
It is regarding the antiquity document. ................................one
mistake: mentioning ARYA. Obviously he is referring to Aryans.
the word Aryan was coined in the 19th Century by German
Professor Max Mueller........
the Aryans, I may have to disagree slightly. The German
philosohers were looking for an identity with which to flatter
their sense of Nationalism. They stumbled into Zoroastrian
writings and thought that they were reading about their
own mythical ancestors. The Aryans, mythical or not, meant
"noble race" to the Germans as it did to the Zoroastrians.
Hence the word Aryan in the German-Nazi context. We must
remember that the Aryan concept was very much alive in the
home of Zoroastrianism long before and quite independent
of German Nationalism. That was why Reza Khan, later Reza
Shah Pahelavi changed the name of his country from Persia
to Iran (Iran means "of the Arya"). For just over 2500 years
until 1978 the emperors of Persia/ Iran carried the title
of "Shahenshah Arya Mehr" (King of Kings, Light of the Arya).
a Maldive context we see evidence of the word Arya going
way back beyond any German philosopher. The word in Divehi,
however, meant the same thing (noble) as it did to the Persians
and later the Nazis. Take for example the word ariyas
later shortened to aris. It meant and still means
noble presence. There are several islands that bore
derivatives of the term: Ariyadhoo, Eriyadhoo and Ari Atoll
also known as Ariyadu Atoll.
term also appears in a slightly altered form in classical
terminology. Hiriya meant much the same thing as
arya in classical Divehi. Consider for example Hiriyaadu
(an island name) and hiriyaafaathuraa meaning noble
feet as applied to the presence of the King. Those who coin
modern Maldive terminology seem to have adopted this term
and combined it with a term found in ibn Batuta's writings
to coin hiriyaa maalam (VIP Lounge or is it VVVVVIP
we may have to grant our anonymous friend (the translator
of Ahmed Shihabuddine's work) the benefit of the doubt.
Abdullah Waheed replies:
regarding Aryans, the information you give is basically
right. As mine was a hurried message I didn't go into all
I said that the germans coined the term, what I meant was
the coining of the word with its present day meaning. It
was of course derived from similar words in Zoroastrian
and Vedic literature. (This incidentally is how most new
words are coined.) We really don't know what those words
meant in the olden days. In the Rigveda (the oldest of the
so-called Indo-Aryan scriptures) the term was used to describe
the upper castes. At least this was what it meant to the
Hindu priests in medeval times. Of course the supporters
of the Aryan theory claim that it was apllied to a separate
race which came from abroad. But this is by no means proved.
the actual status of Aryans, we can safely state that this
concept was popularised by German Indologists. Till the
beginning of the 19th century the sitation was like this.
The word existed in 2000 year old scriptures written in
a dead language, which few could read and understand. Then
it existed in some arcaic titles (eg. the Iranian you mentioned).
Few understood the meaning of these (almost like the Dhivehi
Koli names of Maldivian Sultans.). Then the Germans came
and told these guys, "you see, you all belong to this great
race." In the height of European colonial power this was
sweet music to the Asians. The rest is history. The point
here is, till the Indologists came nobody was talking about
Aryans migrating to places. Actually, the particualr Aryans
that the vedas were talking about (upper caste), would rather
drop dead than cross the sea to the Maldives.
course I am also all for giving the benefit of doubt. There
is a narrow possibility that some group with a caste name
Arya came and settled in Ari atoll, and the memory lived.
But on the other hand, there seems to be zero possibility
of Shihabuddine hearing or reading about an Aryan migration
in the academic circles during his time. Any way, let us
give the benefit of doubt and try to develop a discussion.
Abdullah Waheed writes:
is a bit of information on the origin of the word Aryan
by eminent Indian historian Dr. Dinesh Agrawal. Of course
we can't believe all what he says, since he is a staunch
opponent of the theory. However, from this information we
may safely conclude that not many people were talking about
the Aryan race before the 19th century. The passages I quote
below are picked from here and there in his article. So
don't expect connection from paragraph to paragraph. Here
most weird aspect of the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) is
that it has its origin not in any Indian records (no where
in any of the ancient Indian scriptures or epics or Puranas,
etc. is there any mention of this AIT, sounds really incredible!),
but in European politics and German nationalism of 19th
century. AIT has no support either in Indian literature,
tradition, science, or not even in any of the south Indian
(Dravidians, inhabitants of south India, who were supposed
to be the victims of the so-called Aryan invasion) literature
"Max Muller, a renowned Indologist from Germany, is credited
with the popularization of the Aryan racial theory in the
middle of 19th century. Though later on when
Muller's reputation as a Sanskrit scholar was getting damaged,
and he was challenged by his peers, since nowhere in the
Sanskrit literature, the term Arya denoted a racial people,
he recanted and pronounced that Aryan meant only a linguistic
family and never applied to a race. He wrote:
" I have declared again and again that if I say Aryas,
I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair, nor skull;
I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language... to
me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood,
Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist
who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic
grammar." (Max Muller, Biographies of Words and the
Home of the Aryas, 1888, pg 120).
"In Vedic Literature, the word Arya is nowhere defined in
connection with either race or language. Instead it refers
to: gentleman, good-natured, righteous person, noble-man,
and is often used like 'Sir' or 'Shree' before the name
of a person like Aryaputra, Aryakanya, etc.
"So nowhere either in the religious scriptures or by tradition
the word Arya denotes a race or language. To impose such
a meaning on this epithet is an absolute intellectual dishonesty,
deliberate falsification of the facts, and deceptive-scholarship."
did very carefully read the article. It is true that Allama
Ahmed Shihabuddine wrote a book named ''Kithaab Athaari
Meedhoo el-Qadimaa''. But, to my knowledge, no any of
the copies or a translation of the book does exist at any
form. One of the last references to that book was made by
Ahmed Didi the son of Mohamed Manik (Dhonmanik) the son
of Qazi Ibrahim Majududeen. On his book of ''ilm el-Faraaidh''.
Mr. Ahmed Didi writes that he copied some geneology from
that book and a part of the book was not readable due to
its age. Also we recently discovered a letter written by
Bodufenvalhugey Seedhee to President Amin Didi informing
him what he heard from his mother that his grand father
Qazi Ibrahim Majududeen used to tell that Allama Ibrahim
Shihabudeen wrote some details reagaring Midu converting
though Allhama Ahmed Shihabudeen wrote about the ancient
history of Midu, what contains on the article written by
this anonymous writer is not believable. And I have a feeling
that this anonymous writer has researched ancient Budhist
history and read the contents of Bodugalu Loamafan, Isdhoo
Loamafan and some old manuscripts of Midu history, and adapted
to compose this article in such a form. This is a very dangerous
thing. Because of this the credibility of the people like
us will be lost and the works of the pious scholars such
as Shihabudeen and Qazi Ibrahim Majududeen would be looked
in suspicion by others.
is really not possible that Shihabudeen may have researched
anciet Budhist, Aryan, Dravadian and King Ashoka's history
and the expansion of Budhist education & missionary activities
in South East Asia.
this anonymous writer is please advise him not to do such
things that will spoil the good name of the historians and
reserchers who work in good faith and intention.
would also like to request you that in the future not to
publish any such document unless scrutinized and the authenticity
is veryfied. If you need any help in verifying such thing,
I would be always very glad to help you
you for the mail and comments. Indeed this is the type of
debate that I was intending to generate. Any debate has
to be healthy, if properly managed.
did consider the authenticity of my source. I don't have
the actual manuscript in my hands at the moment, but did
critically consider elements of the translated document
that I received. The translator, if s/he were dishonest,
has to be very good at the phonetics of modern, 19th century
and ancient Divehi, plus the phonetics of Arabic to have
been able to render some of the terminology into the Roman/
English script the way s/he has done. For example, consider
the term "Malik Aaashooq". The translator obviously
did not know this was "King Asoka" and that was why it was
left untranslated. The term itself was rendered into Arabic
the way a classical, as opposed to a modern, Arabic writer
would have done. The other word that took my interest was
"Kalinja". Someone who forged the document would have written
it as "Kalinga". The other term was "Sawamia". It is obvious
that this term was written in Arabic first and then transliterated
into Divehi. Otherwise it would have been written as either
"Suwamia" or Swamia".
is just the cursory evidence I considered before I allowed
any credibility to the document. I reaslise that these factors
do not provide any conclusive proof beyond reasonable doubt,
but they are evidence that would be admissible in a court
of law, for example here. The other scenario is that the
translator is a very smart and well educated person, informed
in changing phonetics and transliteration conventions over
several centuries, who is determined to pervert the course
of historical research.
you would like to contribute a rebuttal to that article,
I would gladly include it in the site. However, in such
an article, I would ask you to question the credibility
of the material and issues rather than the credibility of
the anonymous author. Otherwise the whole thing would soon
degenerate into personal feuding. This would only help those
who are determined to discredit any historical information
from a Addu sources- and there are many of those.
may not have researched into "Budhist, Aryan, Dravadian
and King Ashoka's history and the expansion of Budhist education
& missionary activities in South East Asia". He may just
be transmitting what was already known within informed local
sources in Addu. What was mentioned in the translation on
these issues do not indicate that it was the outcome of
any major work of research, but information that may already
be accepted by tradition.
is the case I realise that some of the information in my
site is fairly controversial and it is meant to be so. My
intention is to make a contribution to healthy debate rather
than stifle any material that is not capable of getting
past the official censors.
you again for your feedback and support. Hope to hear from
you again, perhaps with a contribution.
am sorry that I was not able to convey the actual message
that I intended. I also believe the contents of the said
article has very much historical relevance. And it also
may be translated from an Arabic manuscript. As such, I
shall not be capable of writing a rebuttal to that article.
But, what I disagree is the original source of the materials.
the informations I gathered, I still do not think that it
was written by Shihabudeen and translated by Qazi Ibrahim
Majududeen. I think that the author has got these findings
from some other source and, perhaps, in order to prove its
authenticity or to any other hidden reason, claiming that
it was written by Shihabudeen.
has not been found any indication of such writings similar
to the contents of the article, from the writings of Ahmed
Didi, the grand son of Qazi Ibrahim Majududeen, who referred
the old manuscripts. And while referring he only mentioned
about the Arabic text. If it was translated into Dhivehi
by his grand father he would have definitely mentioned it.
Also I found some words of Fuamulak dialect in his writings.
If it was quoted from Majududeen's translations definitely
there won't be words of Fuamulak dialect.
would also love to believe the source of such rare historical
is just to express my view. I also may be wrong. Hence,
I don't think it is good as yet to write a rebuttal to the