Genealogy: Introduction 

This is the story of my family and that of my wife Aminath Didi also known as Antu.

Our families can be traced in uninterrupted written records in the Maldives, as far back as the late thirteenth century. Most of our known progenitors lived on the island of Fura-Malé (Malé).

Whence they

Other known roots in the Maldive archipelago are many, and extend from Minicoy (administratively not known to be part of the Maldives ever, but culturally very much so) in the north, to Addu in the south. Roots beyond these territories can be traced to various regions in Arabia and elsewhere.

In the 16th and 17th centuries King Siri Dhirikusa Loka (Sultan Hassan IX) later known as King Manoel (or Dom Manoel) and his descendants, lived as Christians in the Portuguese territory of Goa where they inter-married with Portuguese subjects.

In diaspora
Two of them came to the Maldives in the 17th century to re-conquer their great grandfather Dom Manoel’s kingdom. One was killed in battle and the other was captured, converted to Islam and settled in the Maldives.

The genealogy covered in this document is essentially that of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century aristocratic families of Malé and Minicoy. At the apex of this aristocratic structure was of course the Royal House of Huraa.

The Athireegey family, the Kakaagey family (known in Minicoy as the Divehi Ganduvaru family), the Henveyrugey family and the Huraagey Royalty (Royal House of Huraa) were indeed all descended from Muslim Abbas of Hilaal through the Christian King Dom Manoel.

Traced back
to antiquity

The Huraagey Dynasty, therefore was a branch of the earlier Hilaaly Dynasty that reigned for two hundred years until late in the Sixteenth Century. There is evidence to suggest that the Hilaaly King Siri Bavana (Sultan Hassan I) and his twin brother King Siri Loka Veeru (Hussain) were descended through their mother’s side from the previous Lunar Dynasty (Homa Vanha or Soma Vansa), going back to the Eleventh Century AD and beyond into antiquity.

The term "Lunar Dynasty" indicates that this was one of those ancient dynasties of sovereigns that traced their lineage to the heavens. Indeed until the Twentieth Century, Maldive Sultans included the phrase "kula Suda Ira", meaning "descended from the Moon and the Sun" in their royal titles.

judges marry
new royals
The other main aristocratic family was the descendants of the Diyamigily sultans who reigned for a century and a half from the early Eighteenth Century. In the reigns of the Huraagey sultans, the dispossessed Diyamigilys provided a ready supply of royal consorts and senior members of the judiciary.
Holier than

Three main families of Seedis and Sittis also featured among the upper classes of Malé and Minicoy. Only those Seedis and Sittis related by descent to the Hilaalys and the Diyamigilys or were raised to the title of Kilege were counted among the aristocracy. Seedis and Sittis were warrant carrying descendants of Mohamed (the prophet) son of Abdulla son of Abdul Muttalib of the clan of Hashim and the tribe of Quoreish that traced its descent from the Patriarch Abraham through Ishmael.

Certain people of Arab descent who claimed ancestry from Mohamed travelled and settled in many countries ruled by Moslems in Mediaeval times. They carried warrants from the Islamic authorities of the countries they departed in order to establish their credentials. It was unlikely that many Moslems would falsely claim or warrant, descent from Mohamed lest some unspeakable evil befall them.

Of concern to

In the Maldives, all the aristocratic families were intermarried to an extent that would seriously alarm many geneticists.
















Genealogy: Sources 

The sources of this document is an abridged extract of my unpublished document entitled Kingdom of Isles. The Huraagey family tree in that document is an edited extract of the family table that I finished writing on 31 January 1978, while on vacation in Malé .

The original Huraagey family table was the result of research I carried out between 1972 and 1974. My original work was in the Maldivian language.

Why an
English translation?

In 1991 and 1992, I embarked on the work of translating it for the benefit of my brother Abdul Rasheed and his wife Suzanne- she was a Canadian. Before I could finish, Suzanne died and not so long afterwards, Abdul Rasheed died in Michigan, United States. They did not get to see the end result.

Those who

I am greatly indebted to my father for much of the information in the Royal House of Huraa family table, of which only an extract is given here.

Much of the information on the Kakaagey family in Minicoy was very kindly supplied to me by our Kakaagey kinsman from Minicoy, Athireeganduvaru Baugey Hussain Manikfan. I first met Hussain Manikfan in 1986, when he visited Malé and stayed with us at Kakaage.

In 1987 I had the pleasure of visiting with him in Calicut in India, when I travelled there with Antu and her parents. There, we were constantly and most generously entertained by him, his wife Dhandigoathi Don Manika and their children Mohamed Manikfan and Aminah Manika

Written Maldive

Other sources were the Maldivian State Chronicle the Tarikh, Mohamed Amin Dorhimeyna Kilegefan's Divehi Tarikh Ge Tantankolu, first edition; the Royal Chronicle called the Raadavali, tombstone inscriptions, unpublished material including those that make references to the Portuguese Goa archives.

In 1900 my father's uncle, King-Sultan Mohamed Imaduddine VI appointed a Royal Commission to consolidate the manuscripts of the Tarikh as written down by several chiefs justice over many centuries. This Royal Commission consisted of the following members.

  1. Mohamed Jamaluddine Naibu Tuttu, acting Chief Justice and chief commissioner
  2. Hussain Salahuddine, deputy chief commissioner
  3. Mohamed Kuda Seedi son of Kateeb Ibrahim Dorhy Kaleygefan
  4. Moosa Maniku son of Kalu Ali Maniku and
  5. Buchaa Mohamed son of Ibrahim Dandehelu Thakurufan.
  The Commission's volume was published by the Maldives Council for the Service of History and Culture in 1981. A biography (Bappage Handhaan, 1961) of Meerubahuru Ismail Didi written by his son Meerubahuru Mohamed Didi under the pen name of Don Tukkalaa has also been a useful reference. I have also referred to transcripts of oral tradition as related by Buraara Koi also known as Buraara Mohamed Fulu.
In addition to these, I have referred to HCP Bell, The Maldive Islands, Monograph on the History, Archaeology and Epigraphy, and Thor Hyerdahl; The Maldive Mystery; Unwin Paperbacks 1988.
















Genealogy: Authenticity 

The Tarikh  is by no means an objective document. It was written over the space of some 150 years by a succession of chiefs-justice. Most of the authors were members of the Diyamigily dynasty who seemed to have an almost inherent antipathy towards the reigning House of Huraa. Whilst matters close to the heart of the Diyamigily family were recounted in great detail, equivalent information regarding the Royal House of Huraa was missed out.

The Diyamigily

The genealogy and dates of birth of the Diyamigilys were given in minuscule detail, while the Huraagey royals were referred to as such and such a person's eldest daughter and so on, avoiding even their names.

Occasionally family squabbles amongst the Diyamigilys become apparent. An attempt has been made to avoid such subjectivity whilst using the information in the Tarikh. It must be stated that I am of the Huraagey and the Diyamigily families to equal extents. The Diyamigily chroniclers were able to get away with this because the Tarikh was written in Arabic, which the royal family and the civil officials did not understand. By then the Diyamigilys were judges and ecclesiastical functionaries who understood Arabic and who determined those who were allowed to learn it.


Hassan Tajuddine chief justice was the first recorder of the Tarikh. He would have started his work in the early eighteenth century. As such, he would have relied on oral tradition for events that occurred prior to his time. If he referred to any written records, he did not acknowledge them. The Tarikh is a reasonably reliable document for events that occurred after the early eighteenth century.

Buraara Koi

The oral tradition as related by Buraara Koi seems to be very reliable for the most part. However this is a narrative account and cannot be verified by any surviving historical records other than the transcript of itself.

This narrative was supposed to have been committed to memory by Buraara Koi from an old manuscript at Eterekoilu, the Sultan's inner sanctum. A certain Feebo Ibrahim Maniku later transcribed Buraara Koi's narrative and was first published in 1959 by Sa’aada Press in Malé.

However, for reasons of expediency and political correctness, the editors of the transcripts now available seem to have censored huge chunks off it, where it does not agree with the Tarikh and other officially sanctioned records. Evidently the first transcript itself had been edited prior to publication to censor contentious chunks of text.

Fortunately censorship had taken the form of truncation rather than revision. Worthy of note, is the story of the conversion of Hassan IX to Christianity, which was left off the first edition of the transcript. The discrepancy between Buraara and the Tarikh as to when Mohamed Thakurufan supposedly ascended the throne can also be explained by such censorship.

Utheem Thakurufan
the infallible?

Buraara was politically quite incorrect regarding the personality and character of Mohamed Thakurufan. Buraara certainly gives Mohamed Thakurufan all the credit worthy of a conquering hero of Islam, but he is also described as an adulterer, a necromancer and someone who enjoyed trapping birds into his extended adolescence.

Nothing wrong with bird trapping, but adultery and necromancy were unbecoming of a knight of Islam, according to conservative commentators who wielded immense power.


One such commentator was Hussain Salahuddine, a twentieth century chief justice and one time royal commissioner of history. Buraara’s account was totally unacceptable for Salahuddine, so he revised it and wrote an alternative version.

His only evidence and justification for the change was that the traditional version of Mohamed Thakurufan’s character was incompatible with someone who waged holy war for the cause of Islam- very subjective and emotive indeed.

Accordingly he systematically and quite openly purged the traditional versions of objectionable events and inserted politically correct material in their place- some of it fabricated by his own admission. Salahuddine’s work on the subject is worthy of literary merit. However as a source of historical or traditional reference, its unreliability cannot be emphasised strongly enough. Salahuddine’s account remains the favoured version with the Maldives authorities.


Bell is quite objective, but it must be borne in mind that some of his sources obtained from the Maldives may have been doctored Bell's accounts were remarkably accurate except where his hosts in Malé, the Athireegey nobles were concerned. He had even attempted to critique fairly logically, I might add, some of the authors of the Tarikh (e.g.: bottom of page 41 of Bell). In 1920, King Siri Kula Sundhura Katthiri Bavana (Sultan Mohamed Shamsuddine III) gave Bell a copy of the Tarikh at the request of the Athireegey nobles.

In 1900, King Siri Kula Sundhura Katthiri Bavana's predecessor, King-Sultan Mohamed Imaduddine VI appointed a Royal Commission to consolidate the manuscripts of the Tarikh as written down by several chiefs justice over many centuries. The Arabic manuscripts were translated and the Maldivian manuscripts, written in dives script, were transliterated into the taana script.

The surviving manuscript of the Commission's volume, published in 1981, has the passages offensive to the Athireegey family hastily crossed out, but still clearly legible. Bell must have been given a fully edited version.

French, Portuguese
or just infidels?

Mohamed Amin Dorhimeyna Kilegefan may have depended on Salahuddine’s work and view of historical events.

Salahuddine was the Kilegefan’s father-in-law. The Kilegefan had, however, avoided most of the contentious issues altogether. As for his objectivity it must be stated that he admired the French so much that he thought Dom Luis was a Frenchman called Don Louis.

As a member of the Athireegey and Kakaagey families, the Kilegefan was indeed a descendant of Dom Luis de Sousa who was the great grandson of King Manoel Siri Dhirikusa Loka (Sultan Hassan IX). According to the Kilegefan, this made him a part-Frenchman. There is no historical evidence that Dom Luis de Sousa had in him a single drop of French blood.

Mohamed Amin Dorhimeyna Kilegefan would rather be a descendant of a French infidel than a Maldivian infidel. Conventional thinking then and now did not allow room to even contemplate a Maldivian who was not Muslim.

There was some embarrassment among members of the House of Huraa (royal and non-royal) in acknowledging descent from the disgraced Dom Manoel (King Siri Dhirikusa Loka Sultan Hassan IX) who committed apostasy when he converted to Christianity.
  It is quite common in Maldive circles to "revise" historical facts even in the face of stark evidence to support a contradicting view point.

A top-covered queen

Topless ancients
covered up by puritanical

A quick surf of the Internet reveals that such practices are still quite common. An artist's impression (shown here on the left) of Queen Siri Bavana Abaarana (Sultana Khadija) , a 14th Century queen and her husband giving an audience appears in one officially sanctioned site. The drawing is allegedly based on the writings of Abu Abdulla Mohamed ibn Batuta (1304 - 1368), a fourteenth Century Moorish traveller. (For annotated selections from his writings, see Travels of Ibn Battuta (tr. by H. A. R. Gibb, 3 vol., rev. ed. 1958-71).

His writings are well-known and were published in his book Travelogue (Rihlah) finished in AD 1357. According to ibn Batuta's eyewitness account, a copy of which I have in my possession, Maldive women in those days, went about topless in public. Most women covered only the parts below their navel. Very sensible, given the climate. They did not cover their hair. They combed their locks into a bun on one side of the head.

Some well-to-do women wore metal bangles to cover the forearms from the elbow down to their wrists.

ibn Batuta must have paid rather a great deal of attention to what took his interest. He recounted in considerable detail, a woman and her daughter who had two breasts between them. He was after all the uttama fandiyar, or chief justice of the Maldives for most of his sojourn. As such one would imagine that he would have been duty bound, as it were, to sit in judgement as to the balance of things!

  ibn Batuta had a number of concubines and wives in the Maldives. He made them cover themselves up according to Islamic norms.

According to ibn Batuta,
if women covered
their bodies above the
belly button, they were
heckled at mercilessly

According to ibn Batuta, as a result of the exotic attire of his womenfolk, they were heckled mercilessly in public.

These are well-known facts in the Maldives.

No such modes of attire are in evidence in the officially sanctioned graphic version of ibn Batuta's account. The queen and her seemingly female attendants appear to be clothed according to the Islamic values of dress promoted today.

History in the making

At least one official site refers to the period AD 1153 - 1900 as the POST- Islamic era. Now that is a novel idea! So Islam had after all been disestablished in the Maldives, if that site were to be believed.

Please click to view

It seems as though the cliché, "history in the making" has an officially sanctioned meaning.















Genealogy:  Dates

All dates given in the Christian Era from 11 November 1751 onwards are in the Gregorian Calendar, dates before that are in the Julian Calendar. Many of the dates are converted from Anno Hegirae  equivalents given in the Tarikh  and elsewhere using a standard set of formulae employed by astronomers in the Maldives. In the Maldive system of converting dates, the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar on Thursday 11 November 1751. The day before that day was Wednesday 31 October 1751. It is still unclear why Maldivian astronomers adjusted the calendar on that day.

The Gregorian calendar was adopted by Roman Catholic countries on 4 October (becoming 15 October) 1582, but Protestant and Eastern Orthodox countries long continued to use the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar was not adopted in lower England until 1752, when it was necessary to drop 11 days. The Eastern Orthodox Church accepted the Gregorian calendar in 1923, when 13 days were "lost." The Chinese had adopted it in 1912.

A reform that the Gregorian calendar effected was general adoption of January 1 as the beginning of the year. Until then some jurisdictions began it with December 25, others with January 1 or March 25 (as England did before 1752).

The New Year’s day in the sidereal nakaiy calendar used in the Maldives always falls on December 23rd. The official calendar during most of the eight hundred years until 1961 was the Anno Hegirae  Lunar Calendar, when the Christian Era calendar was adopted for day-to-day official use.

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