I just returned from my first trip ever to the Maldives. It was an amazing experience.
Some interesting facts:
- The Maldives is an archipelago of around 1200 islands, of which around 200 are inhabited, and around 100 are used for tourist resorts.
- This makes Maldives one of the most unique countries in the world, where each city is in essence an independent island! I was intrigued as to how a government can manage such islands and administrate over such a large body of water spotted with small habitats!
- Islam has been in the Maldives for over 800 years. Legends claim that a traveling Berber trader impressed the King by using the Quran to fight off a 'sea monster' (one Maldivian Shaykh told me it was a jinn!). The King immediately converted to Islam, and all of his people followed him. Whatever the truth of this legend, Maldives was never invaded by an Arab or Islamic army, and its entire population converted of their free will. Today Maldives is a 100 % Muslim country!
- I had the opportunity to stay at two resorts - suffice to say that if you are able to go, it is a trip of a lifetime! Amazing scenery, beautiful water, clean beaches, and (in my case via Scuba dives) a thriving underwater ecosystem with an impressive array of sea creatures (eels, manta rays, sharks, parrot fish, massive groupers, and the list goes on and on...). It was one of those places where I felt, 'If this world is so beautiful, imagine what Jannah will be like!?'
- My khutba in the main masjid of Male (the capital), which accommodates around seven thousand worshippers, was the first khutbah ever given in English on the island. I was told that there was a far higher percentage of youth who came to attend than usual.
- There are only 350,000 Maldivians, and they speak a unique language not shared by anyone else on earth! Their country is at risk due to global warming, and there is a fear that rising sea tides might actually cause the islands to submerge within the next century (may Allah protect them from that!!)
- I was very happy to see that so many Islamic graduates of Madinah and al-Azhar are working tirelessly as Imams and callers to Islam, and are employed in both the public and private sector. The people seem to genuinely respect Islamic scholarship and are eager for knowledge.
All in all I had a wonderful time and hope to pay these beautiful islands a visit at another time as well
Taken from Dr Yasir Qadhi's FB
Dr Yasir Qadhi: The Distortion that Prophet Muhammad 'Robbed Caravans'