Islam is the focus of the Maldivian life in every respect, all being Sunni Muslims. Prayers are conducted five times a day in all mosques on every inhabited island. The golden dome of the Islamic centre dominates the skyline of Male' whether first viewed by air or from water. A result of the commitment of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's government to uphold and strengthen the character of the nation, this imposing mosque was inaugurated in 1984.
The well planned, comfortable interior of the centre is often utilized for important official occasions in addition to regular meetings. Dark woodcarvings depict the history of the religion and serve as inspiration for spiritual development. For the artist they are a work of beauty. From inside the mosque, worshipers can see both the spiraling communication tower of the Postal building and the graceful minaret of the Islamic Centre. It is a startling contrast of tradition and technology.
The night view of the mosque is breathtaking. In the quite night, visitors may stand at the bottom of the impressive steps, look upwards to what is said to be one of the most beautiful mosques in Asia and find a moment for reflection.
Belonging to the Sunnis, the largest and most traditional Islamic sect, the Maldivians believe that "There is no God but Allah", confident that he is one, supreme and all-powerful. They also believe that "Muhammad" is the messenger of Allah.
All Maldivians believe in an afterlife and a final judgment that decides whether they go to hell or heaven. Only right conduct can assure the latter, which entails keeping to the five pillars of the religion, to repeat the creed "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah", to say prayers five times a day (at dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset and after darkness), to give alms to the poor, to make a pilgrimage to Mecca if possible at least once in a lifetime, and to fast during the holy month
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