Qaumee Dhuvas means ‘National Day’ in the Maldivian language and is observed annually on the first of the third month of the Islamic calendar, identified as Rabi’ al-Awwal, and this year it’ll be observed on September 16. This public holiday is to celebrate the victory of Muhammad Thakurufaanu al-Auzam over the Portuguese occupation in the year 1573. The celebrations of Qaumee Dhuvas typically include route marches and parades on the streets of Malé, as well as on the islands. There would occasionally also be flag-raising ceremonies and fireworks to celebrate the day.
History of Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas
In 1558, the Portuguese, led by ‘Andiri Andirin,’ attacked the Maldives, killed the Sultan Ali VI of the Maldives, and instigated colonial rule. In 1573, Muhammad Thakurufaanu al-Auzam and his two brothers, Ali and Hasan, led a revolt when the Portuguese attempted to enforce Christianity on the Muslim islanders, with the death penalty for non-compliance. Al-Auzam killed Andirin with a musket shot, ending 15 years of colonial rule. He was then made Sultan, reigning for 12 years until 1585 as a reportedly just and considerate leader.
Al-Auzam was born on January 16, 1535, in Utheemu, the Maldives. He was the son of Island Chief Husain of Utheemu in Thiladhummathi Atoll and Lady Amina Dio of Ihavandhoo. Al-Auzam was the first king who formed a unified military body, which later evolved into the Maldives National Defence Force. He died a natural death on August 26, 1585, and he is considered the national hero of the Maldives. Qaumee Dhuvas is observed to commemorate his victory in driving out the Portuguese from the Maldives.
The Maldives is an archipelagic and Muslim-majority country located in the Indian Ocean. Islam was introduced by Muslim traders, and Maldivians converted to Islam by the mid-12th Century after the long Buddhist period in Maldivian history.
Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas timeline
The Portuguese, led by Andiri Andirin, attack the Maldives.
The Portuguese enforce Christianity upon the islanders, who have widely embraced Islam since the 12th Century.
Al-Auzam and his brothers use guerilla warfare for eight years to fight against Portuguese rule.
Sultan and national hero al-Auzam die a natural death.
The Utheemu Dynasty, established by al-Auzam, ends after 127 years and 12 different sultans.
Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas FAQs
Who discovered the Maldives?
The Maldives is said to be first settled in the 5th Century B.C. by Buddhist seafarers from India and Sri Lanka.
What is the national food of the Maldives?
The national dish of Maldives is called ‘gulha,’ small ball-shaped dumplings stuffed with a mixture of tuna, finely chopped onions, grated coconuts, and chili.
Can you drink alcohol in the Maldives?
Alcohol is prohibited for the locals in the Maldives. It is not sold in supermarkets or grocery stores, among other places.
How to Observe Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas
Join the celebrations
There would be flag-raising ceremonies, fireworks, and parades on Qaumee Dhuvas. Join the celebrations in remembrance of the victory of al-Auzam over colonialism.
Gather with your family or friends
You can use the day to meet up with your family or friends. Together celebrate the occasion with fireworks and picnics.
Qaumee Dhuvas represents victory. You may want to use the day to make prayers and be thankful for the victories you have achieved in your life so far.
5 Interesting Facts About The Maldives
It’s the flattest country on earth
The Maldives is the world’s flattest country, only reaching approximately six feet above sea level.
People work on Sundays
The people in the Maldives generally work on Sundays because the weekend is Friday and Saturday.
It has a strict constitution
In the Maldives, only Muslims are allowed to be citizens.
It’s one of the safest tourist destinations
The Maldives is one of the safest tourist destinations due to all its islands being small and manageable.
The Maldives is sinking
The Maldives is rapidly sinking into the ocean because of rising sea levels and increasing land erosion.
Why Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas is Important
It commemorates a great leader
Al-Auzam killed the leader of the Portuguese colonials. Qaumee Dhuvas is the day to commemorate his victory and the legacy of he who is considered a national hero of the Maldives.
Its a day to make prayers
Holidays like Qaumee Dhuvas can be dedicated to practicing worship to get closer to God. We give our thanks for divine intervention that helps man in his course.
It brings people together
Being a public holiday, families can spend some time together. This time to reconnect over a shared heritage is priceless.
Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas dates