The first settlers sailed to the archipelago from the island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and from southern India around 500 BC. BC. But there is a version that the islands located at the intersection of trade routes attracted the attention of the great nations of navigators as early as the second millennium BC. The Maldivians believe that there was an ancient race of sun-worshipping people on the islands, the Redins, who were the first colonists of the islands and left to their descendants religion, traditions and belief in evil spirits, genies, which exist to this day.
Redin disappeared around 500 BC. BC. or mixed with Ceylon Buddhists or Hindus. As resources were limited on the islands, the new settlers built their homes on the foundations and foundations of their predecessors’ dwellings. Therefore, many Maldivian mosques look towards the sun, and not towards Mecca. Arab traders on their way to the Far East began visiting the Maldives from the 2nd century AD. At that time, cowrie shells were mined on the islands, which were a kind of cash equivalent at the beginning of the 1st millennium AD, and therefore the Maldives was called “money islands”. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Maldives.
The conversion to Islam took place in 1153 CE. was an important event in Maldivian history. According to legend, the sea genies, Rannamaari, demanded that young girls be sacrificed to them in Male. Abu al-Barakat, who visited the North African Arabs, took the place of the sacrificed girl, and drove out the sea demon by reciting a prayer from the Koran, the holy book of Muslims. The Maldivian king converted to Islam, and Barakat himself later became the first sultan. There were six dynasties in the Maldives, which were marked by the appearance of 84 sultans and sultanas. And in the 16th century, when the Portuguese arrived in the country, there were two ruling dynasties: Malei and Hilali.
The Portuguese, who wanted to control the trade routes in the Indian Ocean, were allowed to build a fort and establish a settlement on the island of Male, but they wanted to get their hands on the entire Maldives. In 1558, Captain Andreas André was the leader of the Portuguese invasion. During which the Maldivian Sultan Ali VI was killed. Andre ruled the island of Male and most of the country for the next 15 years. The Portuguese occupation ended in 1573 when Mohammed Takurufaan led an attack on the Portuguese garrison during which many invaders were killed.
In the 17th century, the Maldives was under the patronage of Holland, and later Britain, but was never a colony. In the 1860s Borahi merchants from Bombay opened the first department stores and stores on the island of Male and received an almost complete monopoly on foreign trade operations. Sultan Mohammed Muenuddin II, who was wary of the economic strength of the Borahs, signed an agreement with Great Britain in 1867, which guaranteed the islands full independence. The Maldives became a British protectorate and the British established their means of defense here.
The post of Sultan became elective, not hereditary, with the adoption of the first constitution of the Maldives in 1932. In 1953, the sultanate was abolished and the country was proclaimed a republic, with Amin Didi as president. Less than a year later, Amin Didi was deposed and the sultanate was restored by Mohammed Farid Didi, who became the 94th Sultan of the Maldives. Around the same time, the British received permission to rebuild their military airfield at Addu Atoll in the south of the country. In 1956, the Royal Air Force began using the airfield as a staging post, employing hundreds of Maldivians and facilitating the relocation of residents from Gan Island. But when Ibrahim Nasir was elected prime minister in 1957, he insisted on revising the agreement, demanding a reduction in the terms of the lease of the atoll and an increase in rent.
This decision sparked an uprising in the atolls of Addu and Suwadia (Huwadhoo), where local residents protested that Nasir demanded that the British stop using local labor. Inspired by the presence of the British, they decided to cut off ties with the rest of the islands and form their own independent state. In 1962, Nasir sent armed ships to the southern atolls and the rebellion was put down. Shortly thereafter, the British recognized the sovereignty of the islands and in 1965 the Maldives gained full independence.
After a referendum in 1968, the sultanate was again abolished and a republic was proclaimed, headed by Nasir. His despotic rule ended a decade later when he fled to Singapore fearing for his life. Maumun Abdul Geyum, who has progressive views, became president in his place.