September 19, 2019: The Friday that observed the last prayers at the culturally and historically famed Friday Mosque or Hukuru Miskiy in Male’ City.
The mosque was finally reopened today after a year was spent on intricate renovations. Yesterday, the mosque saw the first prayers since its reopening. Today, the Friday prayers were conducted at the mosque which brought a sense of liveliness to the area which had been missing since the closure of the mosque.
Scenes reminiscent of a year ago were once again seen in the area. Fathers leading their sons to prayers hand in hand. Groups of youths with rolled up prayer mats gathered in the mosque for the prayers.
However, the number of people that attended the mosque for prayers was significantly lower than of previous times. It could be that most were unaware of the relatively quiet reopening of the mosque, or due to the situation with COVID-19 in the capital.
The insides of the mosque that goes back around three centuries were renovated. Instead of carpets, bare flooring with no signs of termites were visible. The renovation of the stones and wood that make up the mosque gave it a fresh look of antiquity. Intricate artwork that never ceases to amaze.
The mosque had to be closed down last year due to a massive infestation of termites. Having been heavily damaged due to the termites, the mosque was deemed as no longer safe for prayers.
Neighboring India has agreed to provide assistance in the renovation of the mosque. This was something agreed to by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi during a visit last year. The Archeological Survey of India is leading the renovation efforts of the mosque. However, COVID-19 had hampered these efforts as well.
The previous administration had also closed the mosque for a year for renovation purposes. The Heritage Ministry of this administration had criticized the previous administration for the renovation efforts. State Minister Mohamed Thoriq said that the actions of the previous renovation work had led to the infestation of termites.
The Friday Mosque is on the list of UNESCO’s Temporary List of World Heritage sites. The Heritage Ministry has previously said that it was working to make it to the permanent list of such sites.