History of the Maldives. The Maldives is a nation consisting of 26 natural atolls, comprising 1192 islands.
Historical setting Since very ancient times, the Maldives were ruled by kings (Radun) and occasionally queens (Ranin). Historically Maldives has had a strategic importance because of its location on the major marine routes of the Indian Ocean. Maldives' nearest neighbors are Sri Lanka and India, both of which have had cultural and economic ties with Maldives for centuries. The Maldives provided the main source of cowrie shells, then used as a currency throughout Asia and parts of the East African coast. After the 16th century, when European colonial powers took over much of the trade in the Indian Ocean, first the Portuguese, and then the Dutch, and the French occasionally meddled with local politics. Early Age These first Maldivians didn't leave any archaeological remains. Ancient history and settlement. Historical setting. Early age. The Buddhist kingdom of the Maldives. Buddhism in the Maldives.
Historic Buddhist statue from Maldives, on display in Sri Lanka National Museum in Colombo 2011 Buddhism in the Maldives was the predominant religion at least until the 12th century CE.
It is not clear how Buddhism was introduced into the islands although there are number of competing theories. The predominant view is that it was introduced with the expansion of Sinhalese people from neighboring Sri Lanka who are predominantly Buddhist. Archaeology Western interest in the archaeological remains of early cultures on the Maldives began with the work of H. Although Bell mentioned that the ancient Maldivians followed Theravada Buddhism, many local Buddhist archaeological remains now in the Malé Museum display in fact Mahayana and Vajrayana iconography. According to a legend of the Maldivian Folklore, a prince named Koimala from India or Sri Lanka entered the Maldives from the North (Ihavandhu) and became the first king from the House of Theemuge.
References Introduction of Islam. Islamic period. List of sultans of the Maldives. This is a list of monarchs of the Maldives.
All the rulers before King Koimala only ruled over parts of the Maldives or Deeva Maari (and Dheeva Mahal) as it was known then. Koimala was the first king to rule over all the islands of the Maldives as we know today and the island of Maliku. The Maldives was turned into a Sultanate in 1153 when the Buddhist King Dhovemi converted to Islam. Prior to that the Maldives was a Buddhist Kingdom, a Hindu Kingdom and before that a matriarchal society with each atoll ruled by a chief queen according to some accounts or by others, several theocratic societies ruled by priests known as Sawamias of heliolatric, selenolatric and astrolatric religions. The formal title of the Sultan up to 1965 was, Sultan of Land and Sea, Lord of the twelve-thousand islands and Sultan of the Maldives which came with the style Highness. Solar Dynasty or the Kingdom of Adeetta Vansa Early Lunar Dynasty or the Kingdom of Soma Vansa Hilaalee Dynasty
Islam in the Maldives. Islam is the state religion of Maldives, and adherence to it is legally required of citizens by a revision of the constitution in 2008: Article 9, Section D states that a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives.
The islands converted from Buddhism in the 12th century, and the indigenous population is effectively all Muslim. Prominence of Islam Islam overly impacts Maldivean law. The traditional Islamic law code of sharia, known in Dhivehi as sariatu, forms the Maldives' basic code of law, as interpreted to conform to local Maldivian conditions by the president, the attorney general, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Majlis.
On the inhabited islands, the miski, or mosque, forms the central place where Islam is practiced. Prayer sessions are held five times daily. Ismail Khilath Rasheed controversy See also Islam by country References This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.
Independance. 21st century.