Surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is home to over 1,000 islands and offers visitors a scenic coastal holiday destination. The island nation’s capital Male is a lively area where one can experience local lifestyles and culture amidst several of the country’s well known attractions. One such place of interest is Hukuru Miskiyy.
Translated to ‘Friday Mosque’, Hukuru Miskiyy is the oldest mosque in the Maldives and offers visitors a chance to view one of the country’s most fascinating structures. Built in 1656 during the time of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar I, this ancient mosque was constructed on the site that once housed a temple. Erected after the Maldives became a Muslim country, the mosque was given the term ‘Friday’ since that is the day of the week that male Muslims get together at around noon in order to pray. During this time it was also customary for the Imam or spiritual leader to teach and give religious advice.
A unique feature of Hukuru Miskiyy is that it has been built with coral stones and showcases the architectural style prevalent during the 17th century, when it was constructed. Another fascinating design element is the structure’s interior and exterior walls that have intricate wood carvings and ornamental designs along with exquisitely beautiful writings in Arabic. While such features as the mosque’s roof and window frames have been made using woods that include red sandalwood and teak, one will also find beautiful lacquer work in the structure’s dome like areas.
Within the property of Hukuru Miskiyy one will also find ancient headstones of such notable individuals as sultans and nobles. Dating back to 1675, the white and blue minaret that overlooks the mosque is also one of the country’s most prominent landmarks. Other attractions nearby include Sultan Park, the National Museum and the Islamic Centre.