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definition - Islam_in_the_Maldives

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Islam in the Maldives

                   

Islam is the state religion of Maldives, and adherence to it is legally required of citizens by a revision of the constitution in 2008: Article 9, Section D states that a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives.

  The Islamic Centre, housing the mosque Masjid-al-Sultan Mohammed Thakurufaanu-al-A'z'am.
  Mosque in Hulhumalé
Islam by country

Contents

  Prominence of Islam

Islam is important in Maldives. The traditional Islamic law code of sharia, known in Dhivehi as sariatu, forms the basic law code of Maldives as interpreted to conform to local Maldivian conditions by the president, the attorney general, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Majlis. On the inhabited islands, the miski, or mosque, forms the central place where Islam is practiced. Because Friday is the most important day for Muslims to attend mosque, shops and offices in towns and villages close around 11 a.m., and the sermon begins by 12:30 p.m. Most inhabited islands have several mosques; Malé has more than thirty. Most mosques are whitewashed buildings constructed of coral stone with corrugated iron or thatched roofs. In Malé, the Islamic Center and the Grand Friday Mosque, built in 1984 with funding from the Persian Gulf states, Pakistan, Brunei, and Malaysia, are imposing elegant structures. The gold-colored dome of this mosque is the first structure sighted when approaching Malé. In mid-1991 Maldives had a total of 725 mosques and 266 women's mosques.

Prayer sessions are held five times daily. Mudimu, the mosque caretakers, make the call. Most shops and offices close for fifteen minutes after each call. During the ninth Muslim month of Ramadan, cafés and restaurants are closed during the day, and working hours are limited.

The isolation of Maldives from the historical centers of Islam in the Middle East and Asia has allowed some pre-Islamic beliefs and attitudes to survive. Western anthropologist Clarence Maloney reports being told by a Muslim cleric during his 1970s fieldwork in Maldives that for most Maldivians, Islam is "largely a matter of observing ablutions, fasting, and reciting incomprehensible Arabic prayer formulas."

  Ismail Khilath Rasheed controversy

In November 2011, the blog of journalist Ismail Khilath Rasheed was shut down by Communications Authority of the Maldives (CAM) on the order of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, on the grounds that the site contained "anti-Islamic material".[1] Rasheed, a self-professed Sufi Muslim, had argued for greater religious tolerance.[2] The blog closing was condemned by Reporters Without Borders[3] and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay[4] as representing a rise in religious intolerance.

When Rasheed organized a rally in favor of greater religious freedom on 10 December, the rally was attacked and Rasheed's skull fractured.[2] He was subsequently arrested at the urging of the orthodox Sunni Adhaalath Party,[5] which also organized a counter-demonstration on 23 December to protect Islam. One website associated with the protests also urged his murder.[6] Rasheed was released on 10 January following protests by groups such as Amnesty International (which named him a prisoner of conscience[2]) and Reporters Without Borders[5] on his behalf.

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