Husain Salaahuddin

Last updated

Husain Salahuddin (Dhivehi: ހުސެއިން ސަލާހުއްދީން; April 14, 1881 – September 20, 1948), was an influential Maldivian writer, poet, essayist and scholar.

Maldives South Asian country in the Indian Ocean

The Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is an Asian country, located in the Indian Ocean, situated in the Arabian Sea. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) from the Asian continent. The chain of 26 atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to the Addu City in the south. Comprising a territory spanning roughly 298 square kilometres (115 sq mi), the Maldives is one of the world's most geographically dispersed sovereign states as well as the smallest Asian country by land area and population, with around 427,756 inhabitants. Malé is the capital and a populated city, traditionally called the "King's Island" for its central location.


Salahuddin was one of the most prolific writers of early Maldivian literature (Dhivehi: ޅަފަތުގެ ދައުރު, Era of Crawling), and contributed to Maldivian literature during a time when tremendous growth and innovations took place in the Maldivian literary scene. He was the father of Ibrahim Shihab, statesman of the Maldives.

Honorable Al-Usthaaz Ibrahim Shihab (1926–1988), was an influential Maldivian writer, poet, essayist and statesman. He was the son of scholar Husain Salaahuddin.

Lifetime and career

Husain Salahuddin was born on April 14, 1881. He signed his writings as Salahuddin Hussein bin Moosa al-Mahli (صلاح الدين حسين بن موسى المحلى), meaning "Salahuddin Hussein, son of Moosa from Malé". He obtained his education on the island of Meedhoo. His master was Al-Allam al-Shaikh al-Hafiz Ibrahim Thakurufaan (Aisaabeegedaru Dhon Beyyaa). He subsequently studied under al-Shaikh Muhamed Jamaludin Naib Thutthu. He is recognized for his contributions to Maldivian literature, including the translation of various books written in Arabic, Urdu and Persian into Dhivehi.

Malé City in North Malé Atoll, Maldives

Malé is the capital and most populous city in the Republic of Maldives. With a population of 133,412 and an area of 9.27 square kilometres (3.58 sq mi), it is also one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The city is geographically located at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll. Administratively, the city consists of a central island, an airport island, and two other islands governed by the Malé City Council.

Meedhoo (Addu) Island in Addu Atoll, Maldives

Meedhoo is the oldest populated island in Addu Atoll in the Republic of Maldives, having been settled between 1000 and 500 BCE. Its name comes from the original Indo-Aryan settlers; Meedhoo means "Big Island" in Sanskrit. The island is located in the northeastern tip of Addu Atoll. The geographical island to which Meedhoo and the adjoining Hulhudhoo belong to is known as Hulhumeedhoo.

Urdu national language and lingua franca of Pakistan; standardized register of Hindustani

Urdu —or, more precisely, Modern Standard Urdu—is a Persianised standard register of the Hindustani language. It is the official national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. In India, it is one of the 22 official languages recognized in the Constitution of India, having official status in the six states of Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, as well as the national capital territory of Delhi. It is a registered regional language of Nepal.

He also served in various key positions in the Maldivian government. He became the Attorney General of the Maldives at the young age of 18. He also served as the Chief Justice of the Maldives for a long time. Among the other positions that he assumed were the posts of Secretary and Prime Minister for the Majlis.

Majlis is an Arabic term meaning "a place of sitting", used in the context of "council", to describe various types of special gatherings among common interest groups be it administrative, social or religious in countries with linguistic or cultural connections to Islamic countries. It shares its root with the verb meaning 'to sit,' جلس julush. The Majlis can refer to a legislature as well and is used in the name of legislative councils or assemblies in some of the states where Islamic culture dominates. The term Majlis is used to refer to a private place where guests are received and entertained.

He served as the founder and principal of Majeediyya School in Malé, the first institution of formal education in the Maldives. Majeediyya School was started on the front veranda of Bageechaage, Salahuddin's residence.

Majeediyya School is the first Maldivian government school, located in Malé, Maldives. It was a single gender school that used to teach only boys students to the secondary level of education until the introduction of Primary Education in 2010 when the school was opened to both genders. English medium is followed in teaching with the exception of Dhivehi and Islam. In 2010 Majeediyya School became first school in the Republic of Maldives that has changed its teaching methods from traditional blackboard to the modern electronic whiteboard with iBoards in all classes.

During his lifetime, Salaahuddin served in the National Literary Committee established by the President of the Maldives, Mohamed Amin Didi.

Mohamed Amin Didi Maldivian politician, 1st president of the Maldives

Al Ameer Mohamed Ameen Dhoshimeynaa Kilegefaanu, popularly known as Mohamed Ameen Didi was a Maldivian political figure. He served as the first president of the Maldives and as the head of government between January 1, 1953, and August 21, 1953. Ameen Didi was also the principal of Majeediyya School from 1946 to 1953. Amin Didi had one daughter, Ameena Ameen. His grandson Ameen Faisal was the former Minister of Defence and National Security of Maldives. His other grandchildren are Ibrahim Faisal, Farahanaz Faisal and Aishath Shuweykar.

Salaahuddin published some of the most famous and influential books and poems in Dhivehi. Books that he wrote include: The Story of Dhon Beefaan; The Story of Thakurufaan the Great; Shaikh Zubair, an interpretation of the works of two great Maldivian poets; Nu'umaan and Mariyam; two anthologies of poetry titled Morning Star I and II; and his most famous work, The Biography of Prophet Muhammad , in which he translated and combined various Arabic books about Muhammad into Dhivehi.

Influence and legacy

An audiobook version of the Biography of Prophet Muhammad is broadcast every Ramadan on Maldivian radio. The Biography is said[ by whom? ] to be the quintessence of Maldivian writing, even though it was a translation from Arabic works on the subject.

The Story of Thakurufaan the Great is nationally considered to be the definitive account of the life and times of the national hero, Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaan al Auzam. The book was based on orally transmitted folktales and legends concerning the man's life. Although Salaahuddin had used his own literary style in its writing, he remained faithful to the original folktales, the result being one of the true Maldivian epics. Even so, the National Day in the Maldives is celebrated on Rabi' al-awwal the first, celebrating the liberation of the Maldives from the Portuguese invaders.


Husain Salahuddin died on September 20, 1948. He was buried in Colombo, Sri Lanka.


Hussain Salaahuddin's children were all writers, poets and speakers who filled various high positions in the government.

Children of Dhon Didi:

Children of Sanfa Manike:

Children of Medhuganduvaru Thuththu Gomaa:

Related Research Articles

Ibrahim Nasir Maldivian politician, 2nd president of the Maldives

Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan, KCMG, NGIV was a Maldivian politician who served as Prime Minister of the Maldives under Sultan Muhammad Fareed Didi from December 1957 to 1968 and succeeded him to become the first President of the Second Republic from 1968 to 1978.

Fathulla Jameel was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives from 1978 to 2005.

Abdul Majeed Didi Sultan of the Maldives

Abdul Majeed served as Sultan of the Maldives from 1944 to 1952. At the time, the Maldives were a British protectorate. Didi is recognized a reformer and has been described as "the father of the modern Maldives".

Dharavandhoo Inhabited island in Maldives

Dharavandhoo is one of the inhabited islands of Baa Atoll.

Velidhoo (Noonu Atoll) Inhabited island in Miladhummadulhu Atoll, Maldives

Velidhoo is one of the inhabited islands of Noonu Atoll in the Maldives.

Muhammed Ghiya'as ud-din,, the son of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar II, was the sultan of the Maldives from 1766 to 1773. As per the will of his predecessor Dhon Bandaarain, Muhammed Manifufaanu ascended the throne and reigned as Sultan Al-Haj Muhammed Ghiya'as ud-din Iskandar Sri Kula Sundara Maha Radun. He was the last sultan of the Dhiyamigili Dynasty; he was deposed while away on a pilgrimage, and later, on his return trip he drowned, or was murdered by Kalhu Bandaarain.

Imad H. Latheef, is a Maldivian journalist, columnist and a commentator. He was the foreign news editor, in Haveeru newspaper in Maldives.

Abdullah Afeef President of United Suvadive Republic

Abdullah Afeef (1916–1993) was the President of the United Suvadive Republic from 1959 to 1963. Born in Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll, Afeef was an educated and well-respected individual from a family of notables. Owing to his knowledge of the English language, he served as a translator to the British military at Gan airbase in the same atoll. His local name was Elha Didige Ali Didige Afifu.

Muhammad Jameel Didi Maldivan politician

Al Sheikh Muhammed Jameel Didi, popularly known as Jameel Didi, was a Maldivian political figure and poet who was famous for his writings and speeches. He was born on 1 May 1915 to Abdullah Kamaaludhin the Attorney General and Fenfoa'gan'duvaru Aminaa Didi. At first, he studied at the Majeedhiyya School and later went abroad to Egypt and studied at Al-Azhar University. After returning, he became a member of the sentence committee. He later served as Minister of Justice from 10 September 1953 and as Attorney General from 30 May 1956 ad.

The first evidence of Maldivian literature is known as Lōmāfānu from the 12th century. Lōmāfānu is in the oldest known written form of Maldivian.

Dhadimagu, is an administrative division of Fuvahmulah, Maldives. It is the largest division of the island, located on the north-west of the island. Throughout history, many scholars and famous public figures came into being from this district housing many of the historical sites and landmarks of the island. A center of learning as well as an important location for the island's economy, the number of 'Hafiz's and teachers from this district outnumber that of any other district in Fuvahmulah and this district is considered by many to be the most educated and learning centered district of Fuvahmulah.

Dhivehi beys is the local Dhivehi name given to the Traditional Medicine of the Maldives and Minicoy, Lakshadweep or the Dweep Unani / Dheebu Yoonaanee, the islanders' system of herbal medicine. The term Dhivehi means Islanders' and beys means medicine. Dweep is another word used for islands and Unani is the term for Hippocratic humoral system of herbal medicine practiced in South Asia.

Bodufenvalhuge Sidi Maldivian writer

Bodufenvalhuge Sidi or Assayyidhu Bodufenvalhugey Seedhee, was a Maldivian intellectual and writer.

Rayyithunge Muthagaddim Party was the first political party of the Maldives.

Maadhadu is an administrative division of Fuvahmulah, Maldives. With the changes it has encountered over time, this is today the smallest district in Fuvahmulah. Located in the center of the island the district shares borders with Diguvāndo, Hōdhado, Mālegan and Miskimmago.