Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam

Al-Sultan Al-Gaazee Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al-Auzam (Dhivehi: އައްސުލްޠާން އަލްޣާޒީ މުހައްމަދު ތަކުރުފާނު އަލްއަޢުޡަމް) (death August 26, 1585) or Al-Sultan Ghazi Muhammad Bodu Thakurufaanu ruled over the Maldive Islands (Dhivehhi Rajje) from 1573 to 1585 AD. He was a captain, environmentalist and a military strategist. He is one of the most celebrated Maldivian heroes who saved Maldives from the Portuguese conquerors who ruled over the Maldives from 1585-1573 after killing Sultan Ali VI in Malé.

Mohamed Thakurufan learned hevikan in Bidadi (ބޭދާޅީ) in India.

Muhammad Thakurufaanu was the son of Khatheeb (island chief) Husain of Utheemu in Thiladhummathi Atoll and Lady Amina Dio of Ihavandhoo. After the invasion, the Portuguese ruled most cruelly over the Maldive islands in a period which the Tharikh fgh describe as ‘‘a time when intolerable enormities were committed by the invading infidels, a time when the sea grew red with Maldivian blood, a time when people were sunk in despair…’’

To bring an end to this, Muhammad Thakurufaanu, left the Maldive Islands with his brothers Ali and Hasan to Maliku off the coast of India in the Laccadive Archipelago. The three Utheemu brothers built the ship Kalhuoffummi, the sailing boat used by the heroic character, Mohamed Thakurufaanu in his endeavor to free the country of the occupation by the Portuguese, and got Dandehelu to captain the ship. The sails of the ship were made on the island of Maroshi, Shaviyani Atoll. This island is historic as it has the tree that grew from the Kaani Mundi (a raw wooden post) used to make the sail of Kalhuoffummi. It is also the largest tree of its kind in the country, and probably the oldest as well. They, three brothers landed on a different island every night, fought the Portuguese and set sail into the ocean before daybreak. They reached the capital island Malé on the night before the day fixed by the Portuguese garrison of Andiri Andiri for the forcible conversion of the inhabitants to Christianity, on the penalty of death for non-compliance. The Utheemu brothers along with other Maldivians who were determined to die for their country and faith, slew the whole Portuguese garrison and gained independence for the country from its invaders. Adri Adri was killed by a musket shot of Muhammad Thakurufaanu himself.

It is said that Mohamed Thakurufaanu received a lot of help from the renowned Maroshi Raaveribe (toddy-tapper) in his fight for national independence. It was his job to mend and maintain the sail of the Kalhuoffummi - the ship used in the 'battle' and supply water to the vessel every time it docked at Maroshi, which was an important port during this fight.

The Maldivians assigned Muhammad Thakurufaanu as their Sultan, no longer recognizing the sovereignty of the self-exiled Christian kings in Goa or their appointed regents. The chronicles report him to have ruled wisely, being just and considerate, protecting the poor, and even solicitous for the people’s interests. He was the first Maldivian king to form the Ashkaru (a unified military body). Muhammed Thakurufaanu died a natural death on August 26, 1585.

Every year the first day of Rabi' al-awwal is celebrated the Maldives as National Day or Gaumee Dhuvas in remembrance of Mohamed Thakurufaanu's defeat of the Portuguese.