Attractions in Maldives, Maldives Attractions, Tourist Attractions, Hukuru Miskiiy

Hukuru Miskiy and Minaret

Hukuru Miskiy, which means Friday Mosque, was built in 1658 AD during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar I, in the 17th century.The mosque was built on the foundations of an old temple that faced west to the setting sun.Hukuru Miskiy has a perimeter of 199 ft. The Mosque's design depicts a mixture of unique 11th century Islamic architecture and local Maldivian styles used prior to the conversion to Islam.

Heavy wooden doors slide open to the inner shrine with lamp hangings of wood from the roof and window panels elaborately carved with mainly Arabic quotations from the Holy Quran and olden style Dhivehi writing,they are made of different types of wood including teak,cordia, coconut timber, sandalwood, red sandalwood and redwood. The interior and exterior walls of this historic mosque are built with coral stones in ornamental patterns.Some historical facts about the structure and erection of the Mosque are also inscribed in Arabic,inscriptions in Dhivehi relay out the main duties assigned to the Imaams and to the Malims and Dhoshun holding various offices in the Mosque.The Mosque provides a glimpse of the abundant beautiful coral carvings and expert lacquer-works.

Hukuru Miskiiy - Male' Maldives The main building which is used for conducting the daily prayers is divided into three sections - Mihuraabuge (used by the Imam to lead prayers) , Medhu Miskiy (middle Mosque), Fahu Miskiy (back Mosque).The room on the northern side was reserved for the Sultan and the room on the southern side was reserved for important government officials.Three  platforms are found in the northern, southern and eastern sides of the main building on either side of each entrance.

There are four wells inside the Mosque compound constructed with coral stone blocks and are used for ablution before the prayers.The worshippers have to face the corner of the mosque when they pray (the striped carpet), laid at an angle shows the correct direction (qiblah facing towards Mecca).In earlier times, the Hukuru Miskiy was the main mosque where Friday's noon prayers were held.

The first ever sundial in Maldives was built at the Friday Mosque and was located in the front of the Mosque. Sultan Mohamed Shamsuddheen built a new sundial in 1917 AD,since the initial sundial was worn out.
 
The compound of the mosque encloses a number of ancient tombstones erected in memory of past sultans, heroes and nobles with a legion of intricately carved coral headstones.

The large coral stone Munnaaru or minaret, a drum shaped tower in front of the mosque built in 1675, represents the beginning of round minarets in the country and forms an interesting variation with the pre-Islamic past of the country.The original rope binding around the minaret was replaced by iron chains and copper belts in 1914 AD.The sound of the prayer from the Munnaaru reaches the entire island, gathering people for prayers five times a day.

Male' Hukuru Miskiy, the enclosing cemetery and Minaret is part of the tentative list in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

In all its uniqueness the Hukuru Misky deserves a standing ovation, for its spiritual,architectual and religious history.

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