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Islam in the Maldives

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Islam is the state religion of the Maldives. Article 9, Section D of the constitution states that a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives.

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. Maldives has a total of 725 mosques and 266 women's mosques.

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