Apart from idyllic beaches and luxury resorts in Maldives, the country has a religious heritage that one may not know about; here are some insights into this and the way it’s linked with local laws.
A Muslim Nation
The country’s state religion is Sunni Islam and almost the entire population belongs to the Sunni sect. There are mosques for men and women on local islands while the fundamentals of Islam are interwoven in all aspects of life; that said, the country is relatively more liberal than some Arab states.
Laws & Rules
Local laws relate to Islam as well; you cannot bring any pork items into the country and the same applies to alcohol. Additionally, on public islands, wearing revealing clothing or bikinis and public displays of affection are taboo. This doesn’t apply to 5-star resorts in Maldives including properties like Adaaran Prestige Water Villas where alcohol can be consumed too.
Did you know that the Maldives initially was a predominantly Buddhist nation? That all changed in the 12th century when a scholar from Morocco by the name of Abul Barakat Yoosuf Al Barbary introduced Islam which led to the country’s conversion. His tomb can be seen at Medhu Ziyaaraiy in Male.
Interestingly, there is a belief in evil spirits as well, most notably “jinnis” who are said to afflict humans and are often blamed for aspects which can’t be explained by education or religion. To combat “jinnis”, locals may turn to a “hakeem” or medicine man, who will offer various potions or spells to ward off evil.