Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam

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Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam
Sultan of the Maldive Islands, Katheeb of Utheemu
Reign 1573 to 1585 AD
Predecessor Andiri Andiri regent of King Dom Manoel
Successor Sultan Ibrahim Kalaafaan (son of Muhammad Thakurufaanu)
Born unknown
Utheemu, Maldives
Died August 26, 1585
Malé, Maldives
Burial Bihuroazu Kamana Mosque, Malé, Maldives
Spouse Rehendiye Goyye
Issue Sultan Ibrahim Kalaafaan (son)
Full name
Al-Sultan Al-Gaazee Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al-Auzam
House Utheemu
Dynasty Utheemu dynasty
Father Katheebu Husain of Utheemu
Mother Lady Amina Dio

as-Sulṭaan al-Ghaazee Muhamadhu Thakurufaanu al-A'uẓam (Maldivian: އައްސުލްޠާން އަލްޣާޒީ މުހައްމަދު ތަކުރުފާނު އަލްއަޢުޡަމް) (death August 26, 1585) or Al-Sultan Ghazi Muhammad Bodu Thakurufaanu ruled over the Maldive Islands from 1573 to 1585 AD. He was a captain, environmentalist and a military strategist.[dubious ] He is considered as the national hero of the Maldives for driving out the Portuguese who ruled over the Maldives from 1558-1573 after killing Sultan Ali VI in Malé. His victory is commemorated in the Maldives as Qaumee Dhuvas or National Day. He was also the first Maldivian king to form the 'Lashkaru (a unified military body).[1]

Early years[edit]

Muhammad Thakurufaanu was the son of a khatib, Husain of Utheemu in Thiladhummathi Atoll and Amina Dio of Ihavandhoo. Muhammad Thakurufan learned hevikan (may refer to Military drill or Cadet training) in Bidadi in India.[1]

Defeat of the Portuguese[edit]

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.[1]

After the invasion, the Portuguese ruled most cruelly over the Maldive islands in a period which the Tharikh describes 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.[2] It is said that Muhammad 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.[1]

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.[1]


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. The Ali Raja demanded dominion over the Maldives, as promised to him by the Muhammad Thakurufaanu. However, Muhammad Thakurufaanu did not honor this promise. The nature of the relationship between Muhammad 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 Muhammad 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 Muhammad 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.[3]

Muhammad Thakurufan concluded a treaty with the King Dom Manoel who lives in Goa, in order to ward off the Ali Raja of Cannanore. Although Muhammad Thakurufan was made a regent of King Dom Manoel (as per the treaty), the Maldivians assigned Muhammad 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.[3]


British author Royston Ellis's novel A Hero in Time is about the life and adventures of Muhammad Thakurufaanu.[4] The Islamic Centre, largest mosque in the Maldives is named after him.[1]

The Lashakru (army) organized by him has evolved into the Maldives National Defence Force.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Naseema Muhammad. Al-Sultan Qazi Muhamad Thakurufaanu Auzam Siri Savaadheetha Maharadhun. Online publication (
  2. ^ "Kalhuohfummi is expected to be completed in December: Home Ministry". VNews. VNews. 25 November 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Maldives Sovereigns from AD 1117". Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ Ellis, Royston (2000). A Hero in Time by Royston Ellis. ISBN 9789812321701. Retrieved 2013-02-22. 
  5. ^ "History". MNDF. Archived from the original on November 18, 2011. 
  • 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