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British map Maldives while Male' walks the Big Smoke, 1828-1848
National Centre of Linguistics and Historical Research, Male', Maldives
First printing 1981, second printing 1993
translated by Fareesha Abdulla with assistance from Majid Abdul-Wahhab and Michael O'Shea
Notes and section titles by Maldives Culture

male harbour, 1879
Male' harbour 1879
lithograph of photo by H.C.P. Bell

Law and superstition in 19th century Maldives
Where the mass of the people is sunk in ignorance, as is the case here, with only a few exceptions, it is not surprising to find the most absurd and superstitious fancies exerting a powerful and pernicious influence. In describing their superstitions, it may not be irrelevant to premise that, in the absence of other and better sources of information, an account of these may throw some light on the nature of the religion of the islanders which preceded the one which they now profess.

One of the most remarkable of their customs is the offering made to the sea, when a boat is to be launched. On such occasions a small vessel , three or four feet long, being decked out with flags, and having samples of the various fruits of the island, is set adrift; should it be a boat newly built, other ceremonies are observed, accompanied with feasting, music etc. The miniature vessel is decorated with flowers, and her gunwales are hung with fruits, for which, as soon as she enters the water, there is a general scramble.

Before a voyage is undertaken, an offering is made to some saint for success, and in dangers or distress the mariners trust chiefly in the efficacy of vows or offerings to the tombs of some personage (dead or living) eminent for piety.

We are informed of large sums given as votive offerings made during boisterous weather, to an old priest resident in Calcutta. All monies paid at Male' in fulfilment of such vows go to the priest.

It is also a common practice for persons laboring under sickness, or any other sufferings, to dedicate certain sums as a means of ensuring relief.

An amulet obtained from a reputed saint is prized very highly as a preventative of calamity, and those who possess such a thing constantly wear it.

The person of a saint is regarded with the greatest reverence. Even the king receives such a person standing, though his doing so is considered a sign of acknowledged inferiority amongst the people. There are, according to the legends we heard, three kinds of merit which entitle a man to be esteemed as a saint or a person favoured of God.

First, eminent usefulness to the country in matters of religion, as in the case of a person who first brought the people to a knowledge of their faith; and that of the restorer of it, after the conquest by the Portuguese.

Second, special miracles wrought for the benefit, or in the consequence of the prayers of such persons.

And thirdly, severe afflictions befalling those who have been the means of bringing on them disgrace, punishment, or other trouble, they being in such cases considered as avenged by God.

Many individuals on the island gain their livelihood by writing charms, which are supposed to possess much virtue, not only as a preventive against, but also a cure in most diseases. In order to produce the curative effect, the ink of a fresh written charm is washed off in water, and drank as medicine.

The belief in the existence of spirits and supernatural beings who interfere, sometimes visibly, in human affairs for the purposes of evil, as also in extraordinary phenomena supposed to afford intimation of pending calamity, is universal amongst the islanders.

Many positively asserted to us that they had seen such things, and during our residence, evidently through the fear entertained of the intentions of the English, it was often reported that the spirits had made their appearance, which were generally described as habited after the manner of Europeans, carrying arms etc., and which were said to have caused death, madness, sickness, abortion, and other extraordinary effects.

They believe also in the auspiciousness, or otherwise, of certain days for particular transactions, no undertaking of any importance to individuals or to the public being entered upon without the priest being consulted to determine the point.

During recitations in Arabic of passages from the Koran, which is common practice, incense is kept burning and when this takes place on board a boat, the crew are always careful to fumigate the rudder head and tiller before the fire is extinguished.

A remarkable instance of the extreme credulity of these people in superstitious tales, and their baneful effects, was related to us by one of the natives as follows. A person reputed to be a saint, while on a fishing excursion, having used all his bait, was in want of a supply to continue the sport and demanded some from a boat which he met, belonging to a populous island within three miles of Male'. Being refused, he pronounced a curse upon all the inhabitants of that island, declaring that their boats would never more catch fish, and it is reported that for many days afterwards no fish were caught, either by the fishermen of Male' or by those of the island in the neighbourhood.

This being supposed to be the effect of the curse hanging over the islands denounced by the saint, an order was issued by the Sultan, prohibiting their ever going out fishing in their own boats, which regulation was in force when we were residing as Male', and we were informed had been so for many years back...

The Maldivians have a written, as well as an unwritten law, the former being the Mahomedan code, and the latter founded on the established customs of the country, which are well-known to all the classes. The Sultan, who is not above these laws, is the fountain head of justice, but the fandiyaru, as head of the church and chief magistrate, is the expounder and the administrator of the laws, aided by his deputies called kateeb. The fandiyaru's jurisdiction extends over all cases, civil as well as criminal, the cognizance of the offences against religion being, however, his peculiar province.

He resides in Male' and deputes his subordinates, either permanently, or on visiting circuits to the different atolls. The mode of trial is equally summary and simple. On the complaint being made, the accused is cited to appear before the fandiyaru or his deputy, or if he has been seized by the soldiers, who perform the police duties, in the commission, or the strong suspicion of a criminal or illegal act, he is taken at once before the judge, and as soon as the witnesses can be collected, the complaint is at once investigated and disposed of.

The testimony of one witness in support of an accusation, is held to be sufficient to establish its truth. When no witness can be produced by the prosecutor, the accused is required, in order to clear himself, to make an oath as to his innocence; and in the case of his declining that test, he is considered guilty. Should he, however, comply and take the oath, it does not always fully exonerate him if appearances or probability be on the complainant's story: in such cases the accused is punished with a number of stripes according to the circumstances.

A person who has taken such an oath is prohibited by law from going in the trading boats of the islanders, lest in case of the individual having committed perjury, the judgment of God should, on his account, come upon the vessel. Nevertheless, the inducement to a man to forswear himself is very strong.

There are some severe regulation regarding the respect with which the wives of others are to be treated, according to which the man who offers another man's wife the leaf commonly eaten with betel-nut, is punished by flogging, the act being esteemed equal to touching her, which they consider most improper. In case of adultery, if the woman has not given encouragement, the man is severely flogged on the back in the street, the vazir of the quarter of town, to which the offender belongs, superintending the punishment, and the injured person being the administrator.

When the woman is proved to be as criminal as the man, both are punished; when the injured party is a man of high rank, he is allowed to try the offender in his own house, confronted by the witnesses, and to allot the punishment, as also to have it inflicted by one of his followers. We are told that sometimes death ensues from the severity with which the flogging is administered, which is inflicted with two or three rattans held together in the hand. The marriage bond is not considered binding after both parties have publicly declared before the kateeb their wish to annul it. On such occasions the woman is not required to attend in person, two witnesses on her behalf being sufficient.

Theft is punished by flogging, and banishment to an atoll distant from the one to which the individual belongs. Some time ago the punishment was more severe, and we were shown a block of stone on which the right hands of offenders were chopped off formerly for this crime. Murder is punished by flogging, and banishment to a barren, uninhabited island of Huvadu atoll where the individual usually dies a lingering death. Convicts who escape and return from thence, are generally put to death.

An instance lately occurred, however, of the return of two men from their banishment, the circumstances of which were related to us by a person who had seen the individuals. When left at the islands with the horrors of starvation before them, they adopted the desperate measure, in the S.W monsoon, of committing themselves to the waves, buoyed up by a large piece of driftwood, hoping to reach Ceylon. Driven by the wind and sea, they were providentially cast upon a part of that island, whence after some time they returned to Male', and the Sultan learning of the circumstances, granted them a pardon.

'Memoir on the inhabitants of the Maldiva Islands'
by Lieutenant J.A. Young and W. Christopher
in Transactions of the Bombay Geographical Society from 1836-1838

Aliraja claims Maldives 1828
Cannanore Aliraja sent a letter to renew the old fight. It arrived on Friday 25 January 1828. After addressing the Maldive king in an appropriate manner, the letter read:
'There is a resolute agreement existing between us, and it can never be annulled. The agreement is in a written document in our possession stating that Maldives is under our (Aliraja's) rule, the same as our other territories. Why do we make this claim, you may ask? Because we installed king Utu Mohamed Bodu Takurufan in Maldives with Ali Haji as chief minister (in 1573).
'This was the way things were arranged in the agreement: the wealth of Maldives was to be divided into three parts, one part for the two holy places, another for us, and the third for yourselves. The part for us was for the two sacred places (in Mecca and Medina) and for the holymen Abdul Qadir (Gadir) and Aidharoos. Although we have received nothing for a long time, we are sure that, with the blessings of these two holymen, we will get our share. You Maldivians are also remembered in the hearts of these saints and their holy places.
'Regarding the produce owing to us (Aliraja), tell us in a letter what you decide to send. Grant our request, if you want friendship and peace.
'Please note: If Almighty God is willing, and for the sake of the mentioned saints, we will, if necessary, get help from the English governor to find out what is happening to our property. Through the strength and greatness of Almighty God, we have received letters from the Ottoman emperor about these and other matters. Reply to this letter and say if this affair is to proceed in kindness and friendship.'

The letter had been written on Friday 7 December 1827. When it was read out to the people of Male', no one knew what to say. They were shocked and lost for words. 'Any person aged seven years or older can advise me on a suitable reply to this letter. Say what you think,' said the king, but everyone was silent for a week.

On Thursday 7 February, a reply was written. After the appropriate regards and praise, it said:
'Your letter has been read and examined, and we have understood its contents. You mentioned a written agreement between us. The Maldivians who approached you and made that agreement, owned almost nothing. They were not in possession of all the islands.
'Are there any among you who possess everything? It is just the same among us, and with those Maldivians who negotiated with you. Such agreements can only relate to one's own possessions. Nobody else can be included in that sort of arrangement.
'Maldives belongs to all of us. Our people accepted the religion of Islam in 1153 in a spirit of peace and by the hands of the Tabriz holyman. Therefore, our country belongs to us and its wealth belongs to Almighty God.
'Wealth was given to the human race. One's wealth cannot be given to another without following the righteous conditions allowed according to religious law. The holy Prophet's hadith says, 'Any condition that is not given in Almighty God's book, is invalid.'
'We follow the example of all the religious scholars and kings before us, who had agreed not to give away anything that is not righteously approved by law.'

The scribe then reached the section containing the king's instructions and he wrote:
'We have kept a letter sent to us in 1778, in which your highness' Mama Biyafan [Aliraja Bibi Junumabe II (1777-1819), the mother of the Aliraja being addressed] wrote that Maldivians and your people will always live in love and peace. Your people also know what is written about love and peace in that letter.'

This was written on Thursday 31 January 1828, and a group of military men were summoned. The letter was read out to them and they agreed to deliver it. Instead of sending the letter in an odi from Minicoy, it was thought better to send it in an odi from Maldives.

Another letter was also sent. After the appropriate salutations and praise, it read:
'Your highness (Aliraja) please note: Near every ruler there are aristocrats and relatives who give good advice and bad advice. A person who listens to the good advice will receive honour in this world and the afterlife. A person who takes bad advice is among the doomed.
'The people of Minicoy and others say that your highness is a very young moslem ruler. We are saying this because we still have the letter dated 1778 from your highness' mother, saying that we will live in peace and love. Since that time, there has been nothing but peace and love between us and your people. The appropriate hadith states, 'Monarchies can survive infidelity, but they cannot last with brutality.'
'All our islands are in the hands of moslems. We have done nothing to anger your highness. From the time of your mother until now, we have treated each other as relatives. As Almighty God revealed in this verse, 'All Moslems are brothers'.'

This letter was written on Tuesday night 5 February 1828. After it had been read aloud like the previous letter, it was agreed to send it. An odi was prepared in Maldives with royal military personnel and it left at 11 a.m. on Wednesday 6 February.

When the ship arrived in Cannanore, the Aliraja sent one of her ministers to receive the two letters and the captain, Hussein of Tinadoo. Aliraja treated the captain very well and all the people who came on the ship were put in Aliraja's house and kept at her expense for their whole stay.

When it was time for the departure of the odi, Aliraja gave many gifts to the ship's captain including a blanket worth 100 rupees. When asked if he needed anything else, a shortage of rice on the ship was mentioned and ten moodu of rice was supplied. As they were about to leave, they were given two letters and gifts for the Maldive king. The odi arrived back in Male' with the letters on 25 March 1828.

In the letters, Aliraja gave praise and blessings for God and the Prophet, and then appropriate salutation and prayers for king. She hoped that future kings would behave in the same way, and that this situation would never change:
'We have checked our records and we have indeed written that letter you mentioned. It is the duty of later monarchs to behave in the same way as previous ones, and keep the situation peaceful. We do not want anything and we do not want to cause harm to people.
'Moslems should not fight each other. The Prophet said not to fight and we wish to act according to sharia law. Let us not break this peace that exists between us. Please get your scribes to write to us and let us know what is happening.'

In the other letter, there were the same praises to God and blessings to the Prophet; then it said:
'Every year you can send ships here to trade. I have started to build a new ship. Please send guns for this vessel and let me know the cost. Also let us know what you need and we will send it. I have sent a small number of gifts in the care of the captain. Please accept them.'

On Wednesday 1 October 1828, a letter arrived in an odi from the Aliraja. After praises to God, grace to the Prophet and salutations, it said:
'We received your first letters and we have sent a reply to that letter, as you know. The letter from you sent with Minicoy Hussein Manikfan, has also been received, and we understand when you say that a promise can only be kept by those who make it.
'It is a wonderful thing! Among moslems as well as infidels, arrangements made by one ruler are binding on later rulers too. It was a promise not to argue and fight. We cannot act contrary to a promise we have made.
'But regarding the produce for the two holy places, that promise was made by a previous Maldivian king and other kings have written to us verifying the matter. Your highness is now in charge of the affairs and property of moslems. Please do not break this promise. If you intend to keep your promise to maintain the love and friendship between us, send an amount of goods every year.
If you break this arrangement, your people will experience some adverse effects. We have sent Hussein Manikfan. He will personally deliver the rest of our message. Tell us what you have to say about this matter.'

That letter was written on Sunday 18 May 1828. In the Maldive historical records, there is no mention of any reply.

The disputes between the king and the clan of Don Ahmed Didi
Among the events that occurred during the reign of king Mohamed Mueenudeen [1799-1835], there was huge rivalry between the king and the sons of Hussein Doshimeyna Kilegefan, namely Ismail Didi, Ali Didi, Don Ahmed Didi and Ibrahim Didi.

Don Ahmed was married to a daughter of the king. The king himself had five daughters and three sons. The mother of three of these girls and two of the boys was Kadeeja Didi, the daughter of Hussein Doshimeyna Kilegefan. The mother of the king's other boy and two girls was Aminath Manikfan the daughter of Ali Naib Kateeb Manikfan. She died in 1828. Don Ahmed was married to her eldest daughter. Her other daughter was married to Kakagey Ahmed Manikfan the son of Ibrahim Manikfan.

Don Ahmed's brother Ismail Didi had two boys and three girls. Don Ahmed wanted his wife's younger sister Noomara Goma divorced from Kakagey Ahmed Manikfan, and for her to marry Muleegey Ibrahim Didi the son of Bodu Ismail Didi.

Don Ahmed plotted relentlessly until Ahmed Manikfan was forced to divorce the princess. Three months later, she married Ibrahim and there were merry celebrations among the families of the palace royals and Don Ahmed's clan.

The clan also wanted a daughter of Bodu Ismail Didi to marry Mueenudeen's son Prince Ali. There were rumours that they practised sorcery to achieve this. A short time later, Ali became ill and died. While people were still in mourning, a written piece of paper appeared inside the palace. It said: 'Ali's illness was caused by sorcery that was meant to make those two fall in love. His royal highness' brother-in-law Don Ahmed Didi and his friends performed black magic on the prince.'

Judge's decision ignored
The militia gathered at the wrestling square in Male' and serious discussions were held about the rumours. These discussions were so detailed that only people who attended the meeting were able to understand their full length and breadth. After the names of various people had been read out, close associates of Don Ahmed were arrested and tied up.

The king summoned chief judge Ibrahim Sirajudeen and said: 'Because of this piece of paper, people have been arrested and the military is asking for them to be punished.' The judge told the king that although the allegation was written on a piece of paper, it remained to be proven, and people should not be punished under such circumstances. 'For whatever reason, the prince is dead,' said the judge, 'and there is nothing to justify these arrests. Even if the suspects actually did it, they should not be punished when the only evidence is based on a piece of paper found in this way. Please issue instructions to release these men.'

The legal advice was unacceptable to king Mueenudeen. The prisoners were beaten and exiled. Then the king heard about what happened before the prince became ill, the circumstances surrounding the illness, details of the illness itself and what people had to say about the matter. Mueenudeen was also told about the lady whom the prince intended to marry, and what people had to say about her and the prince.

Mueenudeen became very angry with Don Ahmed's clan. [crossed-out section begins] 'They do not understand what is forbidden and what is halal,' said the king. [crossed-out section ends] Then Mueenudeen addressed his two daughters: 'Your husbands are my enemies.'

From that day on, Don Ahmed's clan realised that the king's feelings towards them had changed. Don Ahmed Didi and Muleegey Ibrahim Didi divorced the two princesses and left the royal court. Their clan became the people who the king disliked.

In the thirty-fourth year of this king's reign, on Friday 18 February 1831, chief judge Ibrahim Sirajudeen passed away. After his funeral, the king sent for Sirajudeen's students. There were three of them - Sirajudeen's two sons who were the two kateeb and another, Mulaku Mohamed Manik, who was married to a daughter of the deceased judge.

When the king sent his messengers, these people discussed among themselves who would become judge. Mohamed Kateeb Manikfan said that he did not qualify for the position due to his youth and lack of education, and he could not handle the responsibility. The other two were more qualified. The messengers went back to the king and told him what had been said, but he would not accept it.

The rumour spread that if Mohamed Kateeb did not agree to become chief judge, he might not be allowed to stay in Male'. He said he had no intention of leaving and took the position. Mulaku Naib Manikfan was made kateeb. This happened on Thursday 17 March 1831.

The chief secretary Ibrahim Manik and Hussein Manik came to the judge's house and said they were under instructions from the king to do an audit. After checking the court house boxes they said, 'The gold and money and all these other things belong to the holy tombs.'

They went away, leaving everything behind. Although they made these accusations, the correct amount had been sent to the tombs every year. Then 16,000 cups of cowry shells buried by the dead judge, were taken to the treasury house. Everything else that remained in the judge's house was left to be distributed among the children.

With Mohamed Muhibudeen as the new judge, his brother-in-law Mulaku Mohamed and his wife became very jealous. If they had been educated in more than just worldly desires, they would not have been so envious. The judge was uncomfortable in this situation. He was young and uninterested in material wealth. He told the king he wanted to go on the haj. Thinking the judge would not have the courage to actually go, the king gave his consent. When it became obvious the judge would indeed be leaving, he was stopped by cunning, without anything being said.

There were increasing verbal disputes between the Mueenudeen and judge Muhibudeen, and eventually Kateeb Zakariya Manikfan was given responsibility for the affairs of the court. The judge went to his father's island of Gan and then on to Bengal in a cargo ship from that island belonging to Kateeb Zakariya Manikfan. Mohamed Muhibudeen made some money there and embarked for Arabia on Friday 9 August 1833. Those who loved him were sad, and those who opposed him were happy.

After Muhibudeen left for Arabia, Mulaku Mohamed and his wife thought he might not return. They went into the house of the judge and checked the books including the official government records, and took things away. They did not anticipate that after staying for a long time in Mecca, Mohamed Muhibudeen would indeed return home, God willing. They carried on as if they believed the position of chief judge would be theirs. The king was angry when he heard they were checking the books and records.

After some time, people were saying that Muleegey Ibrahim Didi was secretly seeing Noomara Goma whom he had been forced to divorce. An investigation took place and Ibrahim was exiled to Toddoo island.

Later a person called Ali, who worked for the king, went outside the palace one night where he was mocked and insulted by a group of people in the dark. They were near the palace and Ali had asked them who they were. He grabbed one of the men and looked closely at his face. It was Ahmed, a son of Bodu Ismail Didi. Ali let him go and walked off.

Bodu Ismail heard from Goidoo Moosa that Ali, a mere servant of the king, had harmed his son. Moosa lived in Henveiru ward and he had been among the group near the palace. Ismail immediately summoned Ali and angrily told him off.

King Mueenudeen intervened and blamed Goidoo Moosa for making trouble. He ordered Moosa to be arrested and tied up at Veyodoshu palace, [crossed-out section begins] and then sent a message to Ismail daring him to free Moosa if he had the courage to do it. [crossed-out section ends]

Hearing this, Don Ahmed's clan knew the king was totally against them. Mueenudeen's anger remained unabated, and it was rumoured that next day the royal guard would exile members of the clan to different islands.

Don Ahmed Didi attempts to overthrow the king
[crossed-out section begins] Don Ahmed and his relations thought about the situation and discussed it among themselves. They eventually decided to enter Veyodoshu palace and release Goidoo Moosa. Meanwhile, feasts were being prepared at Bodu Ismail Didi's house and the militia were invited to eat. A few were persuaded to take the clan's side, but most people hesitated. Some supported the king; others backed the clan.

On the 20th night of Ramadan, the plotters held discussions all night. After the pre-dawn meal when most people were asleep, Don Ahmed and his relatives and followers took their swords and lances and went to the Central Tomb and said the fatiha, a prayer praising Allah and asking for divine help and guidance. From there, they went to the Hand-Chopping mosque and said fatiha to the tombs. Then they entered Veyodoshu palace and untied Goidoo Moosa. Together, the men said the fatiha at the tomb of Haji Eduru Kaleygefan before entering the royal palace grounds and opening the armoury where more swords, lances and guns were stored. After taking what they needed, the men tied the remaining weapons into bundles and hid them. Armed with knives, Don Ahmed and others hurried off to capture the king.

Mueenudeen's eldest surviving son, the future king Imadudeen, had seen everything, and he made sure the king was asleep in a secure place with plastered hewn coral walls, and partitions and doors made of teak hardwood. The attackers kicked the walls and pulled and pushed at the doors with all their strength but they could not break in.

The assault continued until dawn and as the sun rose, other ministers and leaders arrived and people gathered.

Hearing the news, the king's mother had approached the palace gate. Berudadi Mohamed stood there with a lance. He blocked the path of the old queen and threatened to stab her with his weapon. She went around to another side of the wall and entered the compound through a gun emplacement.

After everyone had assembled, the attackers were embarrassed. They dropped their lances and fled. One of the ministers gave the order to beat the drum and summon the militia. Someone went into the drum house and discovered all the drum-skins had been slit. Acting chief judge Kateeb Zakariya Manikfan and Mulaku Mohamed Manikfan arrived and told the crowd not to fight.
'You must all make peace with each other,' the two men said. 'You are all moslems.'
Things calmed down and people returned to their houses. [crossed-out section ends]

A little later, a cargo ship returning from Bengal anchored in Mushi Olu near Male'. The captain and navigator unloaded the government cargo, but 75,000 kilograms of rice belonging to private customers remained aboard. The two men allied themselves with the rebel chiefmen and at night the two men sailed out from Male' and climbed aboard the ship. Then they cut the anchors and sailed away with the rice. Some of the crew were not on the vessel but others were there asleep. Only two were awake. On the night of Saturday 22 Ramadan, that ship left Mushi Olu with a lot of people's rice.

The chiefmen sailed to Rasdoo island and then across to Toddoo in another small vessel. While they were travelling, Ibrahim Didi invited islanders to come with them to Arabia for haj. Some agreed, others did not. The rebels went back to Kuramathi island on Rasdoo atoll and ordered the islanders to load water but they refused. The chiefmen went ashore with an earthenware waterpot and filled it. [crossed-out section begins] They grabbed a betel vine, pulling it out by the roots and stealing the whole thing! [crossed-out section ends]

While they were preparing to leave, Don Ahmed wrote a letter to the king: 'I am sailing away with other people's rice. When I was married to your daughter, you took a lot of my possessions. From that, you can repay the owners of the rice.'

Two of the men travelling with them slipped away and hid in the bushes of Toddoo island for three days before returning to Male'. Rumours spread after they arrived. It was said that six or seven rebel supporters were in the capital. The king ordered the two who had returned, and the other alleged rebels, to be exiled after having the skin flayed off their backs. They were all brought out under the punishment tree. Each one was flogged thirty or forty times and then they were banished to different islands.

Taxing coconut palms on Hadunmati (Laam) atoll 1834
Later, two people were sent to Hadunmati atoll to put identification marks on coconut trees. One of these men was Kihadoo Kuda Ibrahim Takurufan, the other was called Gasim. Earlier kings and scholars had prohibited the marking (taxing) of coconut palms in Hadunmati atoll.

When they arrived at each island, they ordered people to build them a house. After the house was built, they ordered men's wives and daughters to get beautifully dressed up and come to them carrying royal gift offerings. Everywhere they went, they asked people to fulfil their needs. They ate only chicken curry. The islanders brought them very well-prepared food and betel. All costs were borne by the people. At night after dinner, they would send for the women to sing and play the drums. They also sang bereki raivaru (love songs). If one of the islanders said they had some coconut palms, then the two men would go there and put marks on the palms. One half of the palm's production then went to the king, the other half to the person who planted it. They did not include anything for the upkeep of mosques.

British at Bombay send Moresby to map Maldives 1834
While this was being done, Someone came with a letter from the British governor [John Fitzgibbon] in Bombay. In that letter, after prayers, regards and praise appropriate for kings and expressions of love and friendship for Maldivians, it was written that an Englishman was being sent in a ship to the king: 'His name is Moresby,' it said, 'and the ship is called the Benares. He is our very close friend, and we would be very pleased if you help him. Be kind to him and look after him please. Englishmen like us do not know the general conditions in the Maldives. He is being sent by the government of Bombay to survey the position of the reefs and shallows, and the depths of the seas.
'After this is completed, both small and large ships will have easy access and life will be less difficult and more profitable for your people. Trade will also increase if it is easier to come and go.
'Moresby will stay for about two years to complete his task. During his stay, he will go to Colombo once a month to get all the provisions he needs. We would be very pleased if you would write to us about how these activities are going. Please provide him with whatever he needs. He will pay for whatever he receives. If not, he will write a bill in our name, and when the bill is sent to us, we will pay the money. The ship we sent will arrive before your vessel. There is also a small number of gifts. Please kindly accept them. If someone attacks your people please send us a letter and we will help you.'

This letter was dated October 1834.

When Moresby arrived, the people were very frightened but they said nothing. He landed in Male' and examined the island; going into the forts and checking them out. The ministers and many others followed him. Moresby investigated the Big Fort's watchtower and climbed to the top. Then the captain asked to see the king, but that was avoided by lies and tricks. Then Moresby measured the length and width of the island and the position of the reefs. The islanders became very scared.

The two people in Hadunmati atoll marking the palms trees were ordered to cease and return to Male'. It was rumoured the king was so frightened he considered moving to another island. The people met and discussed this matter but they could not think of anything to do except 'walk with the big smoke'. At night, they walked with smoke to the various tombs and during the day they followed the trail of the captain. He left after fifteen days when the king was ill and close to death.

Mohamed Muhibudeen Fandiyaru Manikfan returned to Male' from Arabia and king Mohamed Mueenudeen died on the night of Wednesday 21 January 1835. This king had lived for 55 years and ruled for 38 of them.

King Mohamed Imadudeen IV, 1835
His 19 year old son Mohamed became the new ruler, and he was named king Mohamed Imadudeen. This same year, Mulaku Mohamed Kateeb Naib Manikfan passed away on the night of Tuesday 10 February 1835.

This year, an Arab vessel carried some of the island gentry to haj. They included Ahmed Manikfan and Ali Manikfan the sons of Ibrahim Ranabandeyri Kilegefan, and Kateeb Zakariya Didi the son of Ibrahim Sirajudeen Fandiyaru Manikfan. They went to Jidda and then to Mecca and performed haj. On their return journey, smallpox broke out in the boat and many people died. Among the dead was Ahmed Manikfan, the son of Ibrahim Ranabandeyri Kilegefan. In Hudayda, Zakariya Didi passed away on 30 May 1835.

After the throne had been given to Mohamed Imadudeen and his mother, news came of the people who had left Male' after disputes with the deceased king Mueenudeen. Later, a report said Don Ahmed Didi and his brothers lost their way after leaving Maldives for haj, and landed at Somalia on the African coast. The people in that country stole almost all their belongings. From Somalia they went to Muscat in the Gulf of Oman, and then to Cannanore on the southwest coast of India. When they arrived, the Aliraja [queen of Cannanore] treated them kindly and gave them food and clothing.

After staying for some time, they asked to go to Minicoy and were sent there. [crossed-out section begins] It was rumoured that in the land of the Aliraja, they asked the English for help to attack Maldives, but this was not true. [crossed-out section ends] While they were staying in Minicoy, Mueenudeen died, and a big ship from Maldives was sent to fetch them as friends. From Minicoy, they sailed back to Cannanore to give a kind goodbye to the Aliraja and received her permission to embark for Maldives. Aliraja sent two ambassadors along with them. The former rebels arrived back in Male' to a honourable welcome. Their houses and land were returned to them.

Then Moresby came back to Male' with wonderful presents and things for the king, royal family and ministers. Again, Moresby tried to meet the king, but Imadudeen went to Veyodoshi palace with the aristocrats, ministers and the chief judge, and he sent Don Ahmed to the English captain.. Moresby sent ashore two navigators [lieutenant Young and Mr Christopher] from the ship. They sat down on two chairs and were asked why they wanted to see the king. They said they wanted to stay on the island for a while. 'We would very much like a house for rent or free.' They were given the bench hall of Doshimeyna palace, and they returned to the ship and came back to stay with their possessions and tools and other people. They all settled there.

Then the king ordered a letter written in reply to the previous letter from the British. The chief judge wrote the document, it was read out and all agreed to send it. The letter was addressed to the governor of Bombay:
'We have received the letter and also the gifts you sent. Your letter said the captain sent by you would measure the depths and shallows of the sea, check the position of the coral growths and reefs, and measure the length and width of the islands. Of these things, we are aware. He is happy here with us. We treat him very kindly. They have done what they came to do.
We do not see from him any behaviour of which we do not approve, except on rare occasions; for example, when he left two Englishmen with us.
We are a people who live on very small islands in the middle of the sea. It is inappropriate for people like you to stay in this sort of place. As you know, friendship and love between our peoples has existed since ancient times. This has ceased and now we are in this state of sadness. We would like to experience the same love and friendship we had before.'

This letter was dated June 1835.

The two British people who stayed in Male', and the people who came with them, tried to learn the ancient language and the modern language of the people. They tried to learn the languages by going into the mosques and drawing on paper the letters written on the gravestones. They showed the letters to people, and some people would read it aloud; others would not.

Then the British sent two books to the king and the chief judge containing the Bible's Old Testament written in Arabic. During that season, many christian ships came. Moresby went frequently between the Maldives and the mainland, and after returning he would disembark without the king's permission. He would not even pay a visit to the house of a minister or an aristocrat! He would go to Don Ahmed's place, and discuss everything with him. [crossed-out section begins] This is what was happening! Just look at it and think about it! [crossed-out section ends]

Insulting the chief judge 1836
During the second year of the king's reign, he issued orders to collect coral stones for the harbour wall. Traditionally, the practice was for the chief treasurer to send instructions to the atoll chiefs to build twelve small vessels. The boats were assigned to the kateeb, the chief judge, the ministers and the aristocrats. The distribution of the vessels was in accordance with rank. On condition that they provide expenses for the captain and crew, the highest-ranking person had first choice. The last choices were left for those from the lowest ranks.

[crossed-out section begins] The boats were assigned according to rank, but without the chief judge being present. This was done purposely, to make the judge feel powerless and humiliated. During the distribution, a vessel was set aside for him without consideration of his rank. These people did not realise that there can be no dishonour for a person whom Almighty God has raised in education and piety. The chief judge would not accept the boat, nor would he send anyone to collect it on his behalf. It became obvious Muhibudeen did not approve of the way things had been done.

Everyone came to the judge's house except the chief minister Don Ahmed, who was unable to attend due to illness. At the judge's house, Ahmed Hakura Manikfan said, 'We acted without you in this matter because you are our judge. This work involves military personnel and therefore the person in charge should be the chief minister, because he is in charge of the military. And in matters relating to the wards, Henveiru should take the leading role. That's why we were first to choose an odi.'

The military personnel and aristocracy, even the ministers, did not understand that doing anything without the approval of the chief judge was immoral, even fighting wars.

The judge replied, 'Prior to this, I was unaware of that line of reasoning; no doubt this is due to my young age and immaturity. I noticed on the day I was given the position of judge that I was seated ahead of the chief minister. I believe I still hold that rank. If that is not the case, please tell me what my rank is?'

When he said that, everyone was surprised; no one knew what to say. People were quiet for two days. Don Ahmed was sent the the judge's house and he said that the words of the judge were true. 'The gentry of the island are arguing about it,' he said. 'Please tell us what you want.'

'If what I said is true, then I am happy to solve this problem according to the wishes of the chief minister,' said the judge.

Ignoring the odi he had been given before, he chose another by sending someone on his behalf. That is what happened between the judge and the ministers. [crossed-out section ends]

Moresby drills Maldives
Returning from one of his trips to the mainland, Moresby brought six rods made of iron and steel. These rods were put into the ground, and drilled into the earth. Each rod measured about 4 metres. Moresby took these things to the islands in Hadunmati (Laam) atoll, taking measurements and surveying the seas, islands and reefs there.

From there he went to Huvadu atoll, and at Havaru Tinadoo island, he used the rods to drill in an ancient well on the eastern side of the island. The sand brought up by the drilling was checked for mineral content. It was washed, examined and packed in pieces of paper. This work was carried out by 30 people over a period of seventeen days. When one rod disappeared, another was placed on top of it and drilling continued. Three rods went in this way, but as soon as the fourth one was placed in and turned, it broke off at ground level. They worked for three days to remove the rods, but nothing emerged. Moresby said that Satan must be holding the other end. They could not get the rods out of the ground because it was so hard. Then Moresby embarked and sailed away.

The British driven out of Male' by disease 1835
After some time, the door to the law of the infidels was locked again. It was Divine Will that the moment had arrived for Maldivians to re-establish their own laws. The two British navigators who stayed in Male' became seriously ill, and it was thought they would not recover. They asked the aristocrats to take them quickly to anywhere in Hindustan. The trip was organised, and by the time they left for Colombo in a small odi, they were unable to get up from their beds.

Don Ahmed punishes his wife and her alleged lover
[crossed-out section begins] While he was away in Minicoy, Don Ahmed had made a vow that if he was able to return to Maldives, he would build a bathing tank in Toddoo island. He went to the island with his son to fulfill the vow. When he returned to Male', there were rumours that a group of men had spoken to his wife. It was said that one of them was Ibrahim Didi Famuladeyri Kilegefan, a descendant of king Iskandar. Ibrahim Didi was summoned to be flogged with the cane.

Don Ahmed questioned a servant who worked for his wife, 'Did you know about this?' When the servant said he knew nothing, he was hung up, beaten and threatened until he said he knew something. He was taken to the house of the judge along with another servant, but the judge was away in Tiladunmati atoll.

The younger brother of the chief judge, Ahmed Naib Manikfan, was asleep with the door locked so Don Ahmed called out and woke him up by shouting, 'Ibrahim Didi has spoken to my wife. These two servants know about it.'
When Ahmed Naib looked out to check, he noticed one of the servants had been beaten.
'There are a number of conditions applying to witnesses,' Ahmed Naib said. 'Do not flog Ibrahim on the word of these two.'

Don Ahmed went away abusing Ahmed Naib, and the chief judge, and Ibrahim Didi. He complained that the judge and the people around him did not know how to provide justice, except to those with the wealth to bribe them.
'I will do justice as I see it,' Don Ahmed pledged.
He approached a tall negro called Baburu Ali from Kurendoo island, who was the slave of a navigator, and ordered his own wife and Ibrahim Didi to be tied together back-to-back. Don Ahmed was acting against the law of the Prophet. Nevertheless, to show Maldivians the power of his will, the chiefman ordered the couple taken onto the streets. Then he announced that if any of the descendants of Iskandar wanted to help them, let them come forward now.

Ali, an older brother of Don Ahmed, eventually untied the pair, and Don Ahmed said he would not stay in the same island where his enemy was living. Ibrahim was placed in a vessel, and then the king ordered the treasurer to send him to an island in Malosmadulu atoll. For his own safety, Ibrahim was transferred to another vessel and the crew were given orders to get out of the harbour quickly. They were on their way when Don Ahmed caught up with them in his own boat and dared Ibrahim to come aboard. He accepted the challenge.

'I only have ugly things to say to you! You are a Didi, the son of a prince!' yelled Don Ahmed, then he kicked Ibrahim in the groin.

Ibrahim fell into the sea and swam back to the other boat. He sailed off to exile in Kihadoo island. After a short time, he got permission to go to Himiti, the island of his mother. [crossed-out section ends]

During the fifth year of the king's reign, Don Ahmed and his son Ali Didi prepared an odi for haj, and they left Male' with many people aboard on Monday 24 December 1838. Fifty-five people travelled on this odi. They performed haj without visiting Medina, and returned to Male' in the following year on Thursday 13 June 1839. Sixteen people died during the trip. Among the dead was Mohamed the son of judge Moosa Najmudeen.

On Thursday 18 July 1839, a ship was finished and launched. Construction of the vessel had begun during the second year of the king's reign. After setting up the first section, a person had been sent to Bengal to buy British rigging for the ship. [crossed-out section begins] Servants and others who worked around the ship were ordered to wear the caps and uniforms of sailors from past shipwrecks. [crossed-out section ends] To learn the necessary skills, the king's master builder was sent to Bengal.

During this period, popular behaviour included staying awake eating, drinking and smoking all night, and sleeping during the daytime until even the servants were outraged. People played musical instruments and drums, singing like the slave women of Hindustan. [crossed-out section begins] Some religious scholars say that smoking cannabis causes a hundred and twenty diseases. [crossed-out section ends]

Adam Nakuda, who was imprisoned in Bengal during the reign of king Mueenudeen, was sent to learn Parsi and Urdu. He travelled to Bengal and brought back many books and a person who understood what was in them. The man's name was Zahid Khan. This navigator was very well treated, and he stayed for a year before he left.

Celebrating the Parsi New Year
The behaviour that used to occur included men and women socialising together. The king and his younger brother instructed their wives and sisters to tell the daughters of the aristocrats, scholars and others, and the women around them, to wear beautiful dresses and present themselves three times, night and day, during the Parsi New Year celebrations.

When the women arrived, the king would come out with his entourage, collect water from wells and bathing tanks, and pour it over the women while rubbing them from their heads to their knees. In performing this immoral and perverse act, they had no shame for what God has created.

Indian singers welcomed by Male' aristocrats
Another habit of the time was when ships arrived, the harbour master went to the captains and asked if there were any Hindustani women aboard who could sing. These women would visit the houses of the royal families, and after being invited to a sumptuous feast they would be asked to sing. A huge crowd gathered and the king was present.

The singers were with men who dressed up like Hindustani concubines, and the audience couldn't see any difference between them and fourteen or fifteen year old girls. They partied and played the drums and oud until dawn. This would all take place in the presence of everybody's wives and brothers and sisters.

Island dispossession by atoll chief
In this same year, Moosa Malimee the son of Ali the master carpenter, came to see the judge. He explained that he was a man from Huvadu, born and bred in an island where he and his family had planted trees and coconut palms. While living there comfortably, they had been robbed of their island and all their possessions by the atoll chief. The man asked to speak to the king in an attempt to get the island back.
'There are many people to support and care for on the island. About twenty people live there,' he told the judge.

The judge took the complaint to the king and discussed the matter with him. The judge said that if the island was returned to those people, the king would receive God's blessing. The king accepted the judge's advice, and instructed that the people were to live in their island as they had before. The island was Kuramati. [Kuramati had been officially abandoned years before, in the reign of king Mueenudeen. The only Kuramati island now existing in Maldives is on Rasdoo atoll.]

Moosa and the people with him had built up the island and they had lived there happily until Adam, the son of Makana Bandeyri Ismail Kaleyge, was sent there as atoll chief. He intimidated people and made pronouncements in a commanding voice. He sent men to remove Moosa and his wife and children from their island, and all six of them were put on a low-lying islet in the lagoon. This island was inundated when the tide was in, and there was only a small dry area at low tide. When sun came out and it got hot, they went into the sea. When the sun went down, they came up on dry land. After two days and nights of this, one of Moosa's friends came in a small raft and took them to a little island with some bushes. They stayed there for about a month, eating only fish. Then they went to Kanandoo in southern Huvadu (Gaaf Daal) atoll and stayed there for a long time.

The atoll chief gave orders that they were not allowed aboard any vessel. This was to prevent the chief judge of Maldives from hearing about what was happening. It was not long before a small doani embarked secretly at night and sailed to Male'.

Moosa was very skilful at composing raivaru poetry. To keep the island of his birth, Moosa composed a poem telling the story of the terrible circumstances of his life, and presented it in a book to a servant who handed it on to the king. On condition that he paid 640 cups of cowrie shells to the treasury every year, Moosa was given back the island. Moosa accepted the arrangement and left Male'.

The horse trader from Kabul 1840
In the sixth year of the king's reign, a horse-seller came from Ceylon. He said he was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, but it was rumoured he was a horse-trader from Kabul. He said he had come with a great present for the king - two white horses. He said he did not want a single paise from the king in return. The king accepted the gifts and expressed gratitude for them, and the trader was given valuable mats, shawls and dresses. In fact, he received many gifts.

When the trader was about to leave, he spoke to the aristocrats and ministers.
'Don't you people know royal protocol?' he asked. 'If someone gives a present to a king even more is given in return.'

The king began to think it would be better to pay for the horses, but when he attempted to do this, the trader would not agree to anything less than 8,000 cups of cowrie shells delivered to Ceylon. The king agreed to the price and the cowrie shells buried during the time of the king's father by Hussein Bodubandeyri Manik, were dug up to pay for the horses.

Trader's son from Basra seeks compensation for his father's losses 1841
During the seventh year of the king's reign, a ship came from Cochin carrying two descendants of the Holy Prophet. One was blind. His name was Sayyid Abdul Rahman and he was from Basra. He had studied arabic grammar, the sharia laws of inheritance, and a little bit of general knowledge. The other gentleman was from Mecca and his name was Sayyid Mohamed. When the two men arrived, the king treated them with great honour and they were provided with food and a place to stay. People held up umbrellas for them as they walked around, and others carried their shoes.

The two gentlemen went to see the chief judge and showed him full respect. When the time had come for the two gentlemen to depart, Sayyid Abdul Rahman told the judge that they had come to Male' to meet the king and to beg his indulgence.

Sayyid Abdul explained that when they left their homeland and arrived in Bombay, they heard Arabs say that Sayyid Abdul's father, Sheik Majid, had come to Maldives from Ceylon with trade goods and had stayed until the king robbed him.
'Would you please ask the king about this?' Sayyid Abdul said to the judge.
When the judge mentioned this to the king, all the ministers were summoned and asked about the problem and they said, 'Regarding the complaint he's made, there is a document in the treasury house. Bring it out and read it to the king.'

When the document was read, Sayyid Abdul listened and stayed quiet for a while. 'Now I understand that my father was not robbed,' said Sayyid, 'but where is the ship he arrived in?'
The ministers explained it was put in the harbour and there was no owner. 'Many days passed and it was falling apart, some parts ended up on land and others were carried out to sea by the current until everything was gone.'

'My father was well known among you,' said Sayyid Abdul. 'I have asked you about him because it is your moral responsibility to tell me about of what happened. Do you have anything belonging to him in your possession?'

Before Sayyid Kaleygefan brought this matter up with the king, all the people of the island loved him very much. They asked him to stay a bit longer so that people could learn how to read the Koran, and nahuwa and faraa-ilu knowledge. There were very few scholars on the island because people were not educated, apart from the learned people's relatives.

Four Maldivians sent to Azhar university in Cairo 1842
Because of this situation, in the eighth year of the king's reign, four people were sent to the university of Azhar. One of them was Ahmed, the son of king Ibrahim's slave Salim Mohamed. During king Ibrahim's time, Salim was known as Kuda Tutu. The other student was Ibrahim, the son of Ali and grandson of Holudoo Mohamed Navin. During the time of that king, he was called Holudoo Navin's Ibrahim Fulu. Two friends accompanied the students.

They all left in a trading odi on Monday 12 September 1842 for Bengal, hoping to study and learn the art of debate. Whatever they wanted, the Maldivian king provided.

Before this, in the time of Mueenudeen, his son the young prince wanted to learn to read the Koran with correct pronunciation and inflexions. His father said he could learn that from judge Mohamed Muhibudeen. The judge taught the future king to pronounce the letters properly and to differentiate the various sounds. The prince studied until he mastered it.

When his father died, Imadudeen asked the judge to teach him astronomy. The judge replied that he did not know that science. 'If you would like to know what I learned from my teacher, then ask for that kind of knowledge.'
The king was not interested, and instead asked the judge why he had not learned astronomy.
'Almighty God would not condemn me for not learning that subject,' the judge replied. 'It was due to my desire to learn other things.'

Rugiyath Didi undermines her brother the judge
The king was now very upset that he had bothered to learn how to read the Koran, and he was angered by everything else the judge said. All this trouble took place because of the actions of the judge's full sister Rugiyath Didi. She told the king many bad things about the judge. Rugiyath came between the king and the judge the same way Satan came between Adam and Eve.

In the judge's family there were three girls and two boys. One of the boys became the judge and the other was Zakariya Manikfan. The three girls were Rugiyath Didi, Zainab Didi and Zulaika Didi.

There was a brother by a separate mother. He was Ahmed Didi, the attorney general, and he was also known as Dabugasdoshuge Didi. Due to arthritis, he was unable to walk. The judge had resigned from his position for ten years after he strongly disapproved of something. Ahmed Didi was acting judge during that time. Later, after the judge had returned, Ahmed Didi passed away in Ma-eboodoo island on the 31 August 1864.

Before Rugiyath Didi married Ahmed Didi, she was married to Mulaku Naib Manik, the attorney-general and Mafannu ward kateeb. He was a learned student of the judge. Rugiyath Didi gave birth to two children by Naib Manik - a girl and a boy. The girl was Zulaika Didi. The boy, who was very young when his father died, was Hitigasdoshuge Ahmed Didi, the Mafannu kateeb.

Zainab Didi was married to Beeru Hassan Didi and their child was Malin Manikfan. Zainab Didi also married Landoo Fandiyaru's Mohamed Manikfan and their child was Abdulla Naib Manikfan. Then Zainab Didi married Kalu Didi's Ahmed Didi and their child was Mohamed Didi.

Zulaika Didi married Toddoo Handeygirin Takurufan and their child was Hawwa Didi.

The same way she got between the king and the judge, Rugiyath Didi did the same thing to the judge and Ahmed Naib Manikfan, saying, 'Younger brother, you should learn astronomy from your elder brother.'

When Ahmed Naib died he had two daughters. One was called Mariyam Didi who was married to king Imadudeen and lived in Dekunu house. Her mother was Daleyka Didi the sister of Fatmath Didi, the judge's wife. The other daughter was Fatmath Didi. Her mother was Hawwa Manik the daughter of Haji Don Kokko.

In the same way she got between Ahmed Naib and the judge, Rugiyath got between Esa Naib Takurufan and the judge. Esa Naib had studied under the judge and his father, and had continued to study under somebody else.

All of these people fell for the tales of Rugiyath Didi. She also sent her son Ahmed Kateeb to the judge to study. This was during his father's lifetime.

When Ahmed Naib died, everyone agreed that education could not be acquired in Maldives, so a trip was organised to the university of Azhar in Egypt. They prepared to embark on the king's ship for Cochin. The king went aboard the day they were due to leave. The day before, the king had refused to attend the haj farewell for them. They left in the royal odi for Cochin on Wednesday 8 November 1843. There, they hired the deck of one of Aliraja's ships for 350 rupees and headed to Arabia.

Comet 1844
Next year on Thursday night 22 February 1844, an upright comet was seen in the western sky. [Two comets were seen outside Maldives in this period, the Great Comet of 1843 (February-April) and the Great Comet of 1844 in December]. The tail was 18 inches wide and spread across the west from the noon to the afternoon sun. The top of the comet appeared to be slightly bent. It moved slightly each night, and stayed in the sky for about a month. Some thought it was a sign of good portent; others saw it as a sign of foreboding.

Epidemic in Male' 1844
A short time later, a deadly sickness broke out in Male'. Afflicted people would cry and scream in agony, and excrete foul liquid and pus. All medical care was useless. Although people were treated, they remained sick for many days and then died. If women who were three or four months pregnant caught the disease, they miscarried and lost their babies.

Fire in Giravaru 1847
During the thirteenth year of the king's reign on Wednesday 27 January 1847, Giravaru island was completely burnt. The fishermen were away catching fish and when they returned to their island they saw smoke, and women and children on the beach. One child was missing, caught in the fire. The child was found after the blaze was extinguished. The body was burnt white.

In the same year, the king's brother Ibrahim passed away. He died of a sickness that caused a burning feeling between the chest and navel. The heat was so intense he thought he was cooking. Unable to get any relief from medicine or treatment, he was in such a state that others could not come close to him due to the high temperature. He died on Tuesday 29 June 1847.

Ibrahim had three wives. One was Mariyam Didi the daughter of Hassan Velana Manikfan. She was left with two royal sons. Another wife was Mariyam Didi the daughter of Toddoo Hassan Handeygirin Takurufan. She died on Friday 25 June. The third wife was a daughter of Ibrahim, the son of Hussein Doshimeyna Kilegefan.

Overseas trading vessels burnt in Male' lagoon, 1848
In the fourteenth year (1848) of this king's reign, the overseas trading ships outside the harbour wall were burnt, along with the sailing ships. One vessel belonged to the king. Three ocean-going odi belonging to Don Ahmed the son of Hussein Doshimeyna Kilegefan, were burnt. Two other odi were burnt from among the Colombo fleet. People could not get anywhere near the fire and they stood back, suffering shock and fear. No one was able to put the blaze out.

Houses burnt in Tinadoo island 1848
Also in this year, many houses were burnt in Havaru Tinadoo island on Huvadu atoll.

[This version of the Divehi Tareek ends here]

map of maldives 1844
Map of Maldives 1844
Source: David Rumsey collection

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