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Iyye, Yesterday - Chapter 9
Some things 'the real father' did against Islamic etiquette
Abdul Hakeem Hussein Manik
10 August 1997

translated by Fareesha Abdulla with assistance from Majid Abdul-Wahhab and Michael O'Shea

The first thing
Minister Hassan Velanage Manikfan's elder son Mohamed Didi was on a trip to bring fighters from Peshawar when he picked up his father Hassan who had been exiled to Haddhunmathi atoll and they travelled together to Colombo. The leaders of this group were the two sons of Velana Manikfan and Eggamuge Abdullah Didi. In Colombo, Velanage Manikfan was taken ill and he died in hospital.

When this news reached Male' on Friday afternoon, the havaru drum was heard and many people gathered at the main square. A table was placed in the middle of the crowd and the information officer climbed onto it. He was Makosharuge Hussein Manik and he announced to everyone, 'Malinge Hassan Didi (Velana Manikfan) has died a terrible death in a hospital in Ceylon. Praise to Allah!'

After saying this, Hussein held his hands to his face in prayer and a group of people known as the Athirige mob began to say 'Amen' and gave thanks that the man was dead. My father (Hussein Manik, the son of Dhon Manik) was deeply disapproving and he returned without giving any thanks. He told me about the incident ten years after it took place. Think about it! When news is received of the death of a moslem, the Islamic convention is to say a verse from the Koran. Even menstruating women should say this verse when they hear of someone's death. I have heard modern religious scholars who agree with this.

The second thing
Minister Henveiruge Hakura Manikfan and Ibrahim Doshimeyna Kilegefan (the real father) were in deep conflict with each other, and Hakura Manikfan was politically more powerful. After Mohamed Shamsudeen III became king, Ibrahim Doshimeyna became the king's prime minister and the most influential person in Maldives.

The late Ushakuru Haji told me the following story:

The east wall of the Friday mosque was being built and coir rope strings were set up. Holding the coir at the north end was Ibrahim Doshimeyna. At the south end by the east wall of the Maulood hall was a commoner holding the other end.

Doshimeyna moved the rope to the west, and Haji said softly that the rope was now on the grave of Henveiruge Hakura Manikfan. The Doshimeyna ignored the comment and told a person nearby to drive in a stake to tie off the rope.

'When he was alive,' said the Doshimeyna, 'he became king Nooradeen's father-in-law and was more influential than me. He had my wife divorced from me and married her, and lived his life. Today is my day. He will have to lay under a large wall.'

Haji was a young man of twenty-five when this happened. He was the servant of Abdul Majeed whose father was the Doshimeyna. There is no reason to doubt his story but I have verified it from more substantive sources.

One day at the shop, I thought of asking Ibrahim Shihab about it. I knew he would get furious so I contacted Bageechaage house by phone. Shihab answered and I asked him which side of the Friday mosque contained the grave of Henveiruge Hakura Manikfan. Shihab replied in an angry voice. 'You are dancing on somebody's grave, Abdul Hakeem! Ibrahim Doshimeyna Kilegefan arranged the koli for your uncle which made him the chief royal clerk and when that uncle of yours used to visit Athireege house, he would not sit unless the Doshimeyna personally spread the reed mat for his seat.'

Then I heard the 'clunk' sound as he hung up.

The reference to the reed mat (thun'du kunaa) harked back to the day of the Big Fire when Ibrahim Doshimeyna Kilegefan was kept with both hands handcuffed on a raised bed. Makosharuge Hussein Manik who later became chief government secretary came up to the bed and said, 'A bar of gold is still a bar of gold even when it is handcuffed.' Then he spread a reed mat for the Doshimeyna to sit on. The Doshimeyna's behaviour in the Athireege house was the grateful response to that original incident. There were three other nobles of the same ranking. The story can be found in the History of the Big Fire.

The third thing
Mueenudeen III was the king when the Big Fire rebels were banished. He had a son while he was on the throne and the boy was known by various names on different days. Sometimes he was called Eggamuge Manipulu and other times he was called Maajehige Manipulu.

Shamsudeen III was fond of his relatives and Mueenudeen III was the eldest son of Shamsudeen's uncle. They were very closely related. Maajehi Ganduvaru Manipulu had the royal umbrella raised over his head and 25,000 lari were distributed to the militia. This is the third level of royal umbrella-raising, and I believe the ritual was carried out by Mohamed Imadudeen VI.

When Shamsudeen was king, he wanted Maajehi Ganduvaru Manipulu to accompany him on official visits with full royal protocol. Shamsudeen mentioned this to Ibrahim Doshimeyna Kilegefan, and the Doshimeyna exposed his leg and the scar left by an iron chain. He said that he would not allow the Manipulu to appear in public with full protocol. However, the Manipulu did wear the traditional dress of a royal prince and he was provided with two personal servants and two attendants. He was treated as a second-level royal prince and was required to wear a wrapped lungi, and to wear an alpaca top and a golden headscarf.

Ibrahim Doshimeyna passed away and Abdul Majeed became the chief leader. The way was now clear for Maajehi Ganduvaru Manipulu to appear in king's dress and to attend official ceremonies in the company of the king and with full royal honours. Later, he also ascended to the throne as Hassan Nooraddheen III. Shortly afterwards, the koli for the king was held on 19 August 1938. The guran'dhu was read out by Hassan Fareed Didi.

It would not be incorrect to say that the 'real father' did not have any decent attributes. If there was anyone worse, it would be King Hadhi Hassan.

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