Maldives Embraced Islam Day

Maldives Embraced Islam Day

Varies
The Republic of Maldives is an island nation comprised of approximately 1,190 islands in the Indian Ocean. In 1153, Maldives converted from Buddhism to Islam. The main events and festivals in Maldives follow the Muslim calendar. Children receive religious education both at home and in school, and all children learn the Arabic alphabet. According to legend, the country converted to Islam as follows:
Long ago, Rannamaari, an evil sea-demon, came out from the sea once a month and threatened to destroy everything unless a virgin was sacrificed. Every month the people of the island chose a young girl by lot and left her alone in a small temple as a sacrifice.
One day, a young man named Yousuf Shamsuddin-al Tabrezi arrived on the island. He stayed in the house of a poor couple in MalÉ. When the daughter of the house was selected for the next sacrifice, Yousuf decided to disguise himself as a girl and take her place in the temple. He went to the temple that night and continuously recited the Holy Quran. The demon came that night, but as it got closer to the temple, it heard the words of the Quran and turned away.
When the islanders went to check on Yousuf in the morning, they were amazed to find him alive and still reciting the Quran. He told them that it was the powers of the Holy Quran that had saved him. He called upon the king to embrace Islam so that the island could be free from the wrath of the demon. The King took his advice and converted to Islam and ordered all of his subjects to do the same.
CONTACTS:
Ministry of Legal Reform, Information and Arts
Rehendhihigun
960-333-4333; fax: 960-333-4334
www.maldivesinfo.gov.mv