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The Malé Friday Mosque or the Malé Hukuru Miskiy (Dhivehi: މާލެ ހުކުރު މިސްކިތް) also known as the Old Friday Mosque is one of the oldest and most ornate mosques in the city of Malé, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives. Coral boulders of the genus Porites, found throughout the archipelago, are the basic materials used for construction of this and other mosques in the country because of its suitability. Although the coral is soft and easily cut to size when wet, it makes sturdy building blocks when dry.[1] The mosque was added to the tentative

The Malé Friday Mosque or the Malé Hukuru Miskiy (Dhivehi: މާލެ ހުކުރު މިސްކިތް) also known as the Old Friday Mosque is one of the oldest and most ornate mosques in the city of Malé, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives. Coral boulders of the genus Porites, found throughout the archipelago, are the basic materials used for construction of this and other mosques in the country because of its suitability. Although the coral is soft and easily cut to size when wet, it makes sturdy building blocks when dry.[1] The mosque was added to the tentative UNESCO World Heritage cultural list in 2008 as unique examples of sea-culture architecture.[1]

Master carpenters of the Malé Hukuru Miskiy were Ali Maavadi Kaleyfaanu and Mahmud Maavadi Kaleyfaanu from Kondey, Huvadu.[2]

The calligrapher was Chief Justice Al Faqh Al Qazi Jamaaludheen.[2]

It took 2 years to construct the mosque. In terms of artistic excellence and construction technique using only interlocking assembly, it is one of the finest coral stone buildings of the world.[2]

Features

The Malé Friday Mosque is oriented west. Its prayer carpet is angled towards the mosque's northwest corner, so worshippers can face Mecca while they pray.[5] Devotees enter the mosque from either of the two entrance gates that lead to the mosque's dhaala.[6] The

The Malé Friday Mosque is oriented west. Its prayer carpet is angled towards the mosque's northwest corner, so worshippers can face Mecca while they pray.[5] Devotees enter the mosque from either of the two entrance gates that lead to the mosque's dhaala.[6] The carpet can accommodate 1,372 people if each devotee occupies one space. The mosque has a reported capacity of 10,700 for Friday prayers.[7]

It has intricate carvings,[8] with inscriptions in Quranic script.[8] with inscriptions in Quranic script.[5][9] The mosque, in a walled enclosure, is made of interlocking coral blocks[9] with its hypostyle roof supported by cut-coral columns. With three entrances, the mosque has two prayer halls surrounded by antechambers on three sides. Its vaulted, decorated ceiling is indented in steps. Local master carpenters, known as maavadikaleyge, fashioned the mosque's woodwork, roof and interior, and its wall panels and ceilings have many culturally-significant examples of traditional Maldivian woodcarving and lacquerwork.[10] The mihrab, with a mimbar (pulpit) at one end, is a large chamber. The main building, used for daily prayers, is divided into three sections: the mihtab (used by the imam to lead the prayers), the medhu miskiy (the mosque's central area) and the fahu miskiy (the rear of the mosque). A long, carved 13th-century panel memorializes the introduction of Islam to Maldives.[5]

The mosque's adjoining large, round blue-and-white minaret (built in 1675) resembles a wedding cake,[9] with a wide base similar to a ship's funnel. Built of coral stones, it is braced with metal strips.[1] The minaret is surrounded by a graveyard with carved coral tombstones[8] distinguishing males, females, sultans and their families. Women's tombstones have rounded tops; men's have pointed tops, and inscriptions for royalty are gilt. For family members, small mausoleums with intricately-decorated stone walls were built.[5]

This mosque and the other Maldives coral mosques were added to the cultural UNESCO World Heritage tentative list in 2008 for meeting criteria two (use of sea cultures for creating unique architecture), three (a historic cultural tradition with no parallel elsewhere in the world), four (the tongue-in-groove technique shows a highly developed building level for the period) and six (the buildings are associated with both religious and social practices of cultural significance). According to the UNESCO appraisal, "The architecture, construction and accompanying artistry of the mosque and its other structures represent the creative excellence and achievement of the Maldivian people".[1]