History of Maldives -
The fall of Malé 1720-1759
National Centre of Linguistics and
First printing 1981, second printing 1993
translated by Maldives
with assistance from Majid Abdul-Wahhab
16 November 2005
minor corrections 17 November 2005
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
Other translations from Tareek:
From Ali to Iskandar, 1558-1687
Regents, Usurpers and Judges, 1687-1721
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
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.
the Tellichery Factory 1683-1794
K.K.N. Kurup 1985
It is called the great magham (magha, tenth
asterism) festival to distinguish it from the annual
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
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
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.
on the South Asian Frontier - the Mappilas of Malabar
Stephen Dale 1980
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
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
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,
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
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.
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.
of South India and Laccadives, Bowen 1747
Names are sometimes followed by letters D (Dutch),
F (French), and/or E (English)
Source: David Rumsey collection
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
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
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.
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
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
Notes from Memorandum
on the administration of the coast of Malabar
Adriaan Moens 1781
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
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
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
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.
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.
Laccadives including Minicoy,
from the CIA Indian Ocean Atlas 1976
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
Alliance with the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
is an independent internet magazine of Maldive cultural
Editors and translators: Michael O'Shea and Fareesha
We invite contributions from Maldivians and others
interested in Maldives.