Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam
|Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam|
|Sultan of the Maldive Islands|
|Reign||1573 to 1585 AD|
|Full name||Al-Sultan Al-Gaazee Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al-Auzam|
|Titles||Sultan of Maldive Islands, Katheeb of Utheemu|
|Died||August 26, 1585|
|Place of death||Malé, Maldives|
|Buried||Bihuroazu Kamana Mosque, Malé, Maldives|
|Predecessor||Andiri Andiri regent of King Dom Manoel|
|Successor||Ibrahim Kalaafaan (son of Muhammad Thakurufaanu)|
|Issue||Sultan Ibrahim Kalaafaan (son)|
|Father||Katheebu Husain of Utheemu|
|Mother||Lady Amina Dio|
as-Sulṭaan al-Ghaazee Muhamadhu Thakurufaanu al-A'uẓam (Dhivehi: އައްސުލްޠާން އަލްޣާޒީ މުހައްމަދު ތަކުރުފާނު އަލްއަޢުޡަމް) (death August 26, 1585) or Al-Sultan Ghazi Muhammad Bodu Thakurufaanu ruled over the Maldive Islands (Dhivehi Rajje) from 1573 to 1585 AD. He was a captain, environmentalist and a military strategist. He is considered as one of the most celebrated and most bravest Maldivian heroes, for saving the Maldives from the Portuguese conquerors who ruled over the Maldives from 1558-1573 after killing Sultan Ali VI in Malé. He earned the highest respect and admiration by Maldivians, for his brave and heroic actions which led to the Maldives gaining independence from a cruel ruler, and restoring the faith of Islam in the Maldive Islands. Every year the first day of Rabi' al-awwal is celebrated in the Maldives as the National Day or Gaumee Dhuvas in remembrance of Mohamed Thakurufaanu's defeat of the Portuguese. He was also the first Maldivian king to form the Ashkaru (a unified military body).
Family and Background
Muhammad Thakurufaanu was the son of Khatheeb (island chief) Husain of Utheemu in Thiladhummathi Atoll and Lady Amina Dio of Ihavandhoo. Mohamed Thakurufan learned hevikan (may refer to Military drill or Cadet training) in Bidadi in India.
Defeating the Portuguese
After killing Sultan Ali VI, the Maldives was ruled by Andiri Andiri and his Portuguese invaders. Andiri Andirin was a regent of the King Dom Manoel (Sultan Hassan IX) who was the first Maldivian and the only member of its royalty to renounce Islam and convert to Christianity, later upon his deposition he took refuge in Goa, India.
After the invasion, the Portuguese ruled most cruelly over the Maldive islands in a period which the Tharikh fgh describe as ‘‘a time when intolerable enormities were committed by the invading infidels, a time when the sea grew red with Maldivian blood, a time when people were sunk in despair…’’
To bring an end to this, Muhammad Thakurufaanu, left the Maldive Islands with his brothers Ali and Hasan to Maliku off the coast of India in the Laccadive Archipelago. The three Utheemu brothers built the ship Kalhuoffummi, the sailing boat used by the heroic character, Mohamed Thakurufaanu in his endeavor to free the country of the occupation by the Portuguese, and got Dhuvaafaru Dhandahelu to captain the ship. It is said that Mohamed Thakurufaanu received a lot of help from the renowned Maroshi Raaveribe (toddy-tapper) in his fight for national independence. It was his job to mend and maintain the sail of the Kalhuoffummi - the ship used in the 'battle' and supply water to the vessel every time it docked at Maroshi, which was an important port during this fight. The sails of the ship were made on the island of Maroshi, Shaviyani Atoll. This island is historic as it has the tree that grew from the Kaani Mundi (a raw wooden post) used to make the sail of Kalhuoffummi. It is also the largest tree of its kind in the country, and probably the oldest as well.
They, three brothers landed on a different island every night, fought the Portuguese and set sail into the ocean before daybreak. They reached the capital island Malé on the night before the day fixed by the Portuguese garrison of Andiri Andirin for the forcible conversion of the inhabitants to Christianity, on the penalty of death for non-compliance. The Utheemu brothers along with other Maldivians who were determined to die for their country and faith, slew the whole Portuguese garrison and gained independence for the country from its invaders. Andiri Andirin was killed by a musket shot of Muhammad Thakurufaanu himself.
After killing the Andiri Andiri, as per a treaty he got refuge from Ali Raja of Cannanore, India. Muhammad Thakurufaanu's base of operation was Maliku under the sovereignty of Cannanore. Muhammad Thakurufaanu did not honor this promise. The Ali Raja demanded dominion over the Maldives, as promised to him by the Muhammad Thakurufaanu. The nature of the relationship between Mohamed Thakurufan and the Ali Raja of Cannanore was outlined in a letter sent by a later Ali Raja, Mariambe Ali-Adi Raja Bibi, to the Sultan Mohamed Mueenuddine I of the Maldives. The letter was dated Friday 17 Jamada-el-oula Anno Hegirae 1243 (7 December AD 1827). According to the letter Mohamed Thakurufan had entered into a treaty ceding sovereignty of the Maldives to the Ali Raja of Cannanore in the event Thakurufan was established in power in Male.
Mohamed Thakurufan concluded a treaty with the King Dom Manoel who lives in Goa, in order to ward off the Ali Raja of Cannanore. Although Mohamed Thakurufan was made a regent of King Dom Manoel (as per the treaty), the Maldivians assigned Mohamed Thakurufaanu as the Sultan of the Maldives, no longer recognizing the sovereignty of the self-exiled Christian kings in Goa or their regents. The chronicles report him to have ruled wisely, being just and considerate, protecting the poor, and even solicitous for the people’s interests. Muhammed Thakurufaanu died a natural death on August 26, 1585.
British author Royston Ellis's novel A Hero in Time is about the life and adventures of Muhammad Thakurufaanu. The Islamic Centre officially known as Masjid-al-Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam is the largest mosque in the Maldives and is named after him.
The historic Kaani tree of Maroshi where the sails of the Kalhuoffummi were sewn.
The tomb of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu in Malé.
The Islamic Centre, the largest mosque in Maldives, Masjid-al-Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam is named after him.
- List of Sultans of the Maldives
- Islamic Centre (Maldives)
- Qaumee Dhuvas
- Origin of the Security Force in Maldives
- Divehi Tārīkhah Au Alikameh. Divehi Bahāi Tārikhah Khidmaiykurā Qaumī Markazu. Reprint 1958 edn. Male’ 1990.
- H.C.P. Bell, The Maldive Islands, An account of the physical features, History, Inhabitants, Productions and Trade. Colombo 1883, ISBN 81-206-1222-1