Saturday, February 24, 2018
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CITY GUIDE

History

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ADVENT OF ISLAM

The most significant event in the early history of the territory was the complete religious conversion brought over by the adoption of the entire population to Islamic faith. The current tradition in all the islands say that it was brought about by an Arab Saint named Ubadidullah who reached Amini in Hejira 41 (AD.663). Ubaidullah, the grand son of Siddique-ul-Akbar, had a dream while praying at a mosque in Medina to proceed to Jiddan and from there by ocean to distant lands to spread the message of Islam. He proceeded from Jiddah but his vessel capsized due to a storm. Saint Ubaidullah drifted on a plank and reached Amini. The Saint started preaching there but met with general opposition. He could get a female covert from the Pondambelli family with whom he proceeded to Andrott and converted the inhabitants there. Then he went to Kavaratti and Agatti and returned once again to Amini in A.H-44 (A.D. 666). He succeed this time in converting the entire population to Islam. He then proceeded to Kalpeni converting the inhabitants there and finally returned to Andrott where he remained till the end of his life. He died at Andrott and his grave is enshrined there in a mosque at Andrott with deep veneration. All the Juma Mosques in the Islands of Amini, Kalpeni, Agatti, Kavaratti (Headquarters), are believed to have been founded by the saint. As the group lies directly in the path of Arab trade between the Red Sea and Malabar, the ultimate conversion of the inhabitants to Islam was a probability, and saint Ubaidullah must have been instrumental for such a conversion.

The conversion of the king of Maldives, Siri Bavanditta who assumed the name of Sultan Muhammad took place in the year AD.1153, when Ibn Batuta visited the area in AD.1346, he found that all the inhabitants in Mulook (Minicoy) were devout Muslims. It can be assumed that the people of Minicoy had embraced Islam sometime between 12th and 13th century AD. According to Sir.W.Robinson, the conversion to the new faith in other islands took place sometime in the 16th century.