Hukuru Miskiiy meaning Friday Mosque is the only visible landmark in the Maldives that marks the introduction of Islam to the Maldives in the 12th century. Although the existing structure dates to the mid 17th century, the building is said to stand on the site of a 12th century mosque, the first to have been built after the country’s conversion to Islam. The mosque is close to other antiquities connected to the introduction of Islam to the country such as Medhu Ziyarat, the tomb of the Abu al Barakaat Yusuf who is credited with introducing Islam to the Maldives. The inclusion of Friday in the name of the mosque signifies the importance of the day and the mosque when all males were required to attend Friday noon prayers at this, the main mosque in the city.
The mosque is quite unlike other traditional Islamic religious structures and has been built facing west instead of towards Mecca. This has been remedied by a rug on the floor pointing worshippers in the direction of Mecca. Although small in size it features some excellent examples of early Maldivian workmanship. Coral blocks that form the outer and inner walls of the building feature dainty fluting and floral patterns. The ceiling, window frames and doors are made from carved hardwoods such as teak, red sandal wood and red wood panels. Bold calligraphy picked out in yellow with a red border, black painted thick ceiling panels with brown knobs in between are some of the interior highlights. The pitch of the roof with the eaves extending out is reminiscent of those found in temples around Asia. Unfortunately the roof does not seem to have survived the centuries although the structure did. The squat minaret found by the side of the mosque was put up around the same time the mosque was renovated. The muezzin used to call the people to prayer five times a day from this minaret until the construction of the new Islamic Centre. Wooden plates found in the mosque are said to describe how the Maldives was converted to Islam. The mosque is also the site of the first school to have been established in the country. No work was done on the mosque after its 17th century renovations.
The grounds around the mosque served as a graveyard for the country’s royal rulers. The carved tombstones with rounded tops indicate graves of women and those with pointed tops of men. Little house like structures and ones with gold borders indicate those of sultans that ruled the country. Non Muslims need to obtain prior permission to visit the mosque although they are welcome to visit the pleasant garden with neat pathways and a fountain.
A speck of green sitting serenely on the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a house reef teeming with life characterizes Cocoa Islands Maldives, that endeavours to deliver serenity and privacy the qualities much prized by holiday makers. As one of favourite Maldives luxury resorts guests are offered spacious, light filled water villas with gorgeous views the relaxing ambience of which pervades the whole facility. Individually formulated spa treatments, nutritious fusion cuisine, yoga classes as well a host of other activities and excellent yet discreet service has gained this Maldives resort an enviable reputation.