The Genmiskiy Mosque, located on north of the island, stands as a timeless testament to the island’s rich history and its journey towards Islam. With origins dating back to the 1300s, this historic mosque built with limestone is not only one of the oldest on the island but also one of the most culturally significant religious landmarks in the Maldives.
Nestled within its compound, the Genmiskiy is steeped in historical and religious importance. The grounds encompass not only the mosque itself but also a communal well, a rectangular ancient circular bath known as ‘Genmiskiy Veyo’ and a cemetery with enclosed shrines “ziyaarat” of revered religious figures.
The mosque has witnessed centuries of change and adaptation, undergoing structural modifications over time. The remnants on the west side of the mosque bear witness to these changes made over the years. The mosque is also believed to be the final resting place of Aboo Bakuru Naibu, a figure of religious nobility from Meedhoo.
In the past, the Genmiskiy Mosque served as a center for religious life in the island, hosting Friday prayers and Eid prayers, and as a gathering place for the ancient Sufi practice of venerating the saints ‘Wali’. Today, it remains a revered site, not just for its religious significance but also as a living museum of the island’s transition from pre-Islam to Islam.
The Genmiskiy Mosque and its surrounding continues to stand as a symbol of heritage, faith, and cultural continuity. Its timeless presence invites visitors and locals alike to connect with the island’s storied past, celebrating the enduring spirit of this historical and religious landmark.
A well within the compounds of Gen Miskiy, it has a unique tale of its own. Crafted from uncarved sandstone, this well was used as a refreshing groundwater source by the locals. There’s a captivating story associated with the four corners of the well, suggesting that each corner offers a distinct taste.
The Genmiskiy shrine is constructed using sandstone and protected by a brick enclosure. Originally, there were three tombs housed within the shrine. However, the tombstone on the left is no longer discernible. One of these tombs holds the remains of Ah Naib Al-Hafiz Abubakr, potentially the first proselytizer of Islam in the island.
The Genmiskiy Veu is a rectangular bath that sits adjacent to the southeastern wall of the Genmiskiy mosque, featuring constructed stairs that descend into the waters. It spans 34 feet in length and 29 feet in width, housing a small 15-foot by 15-foot bath within. The small bath within the main bath shows an alteration made to the original design in around 1930’s. Historians have previously identified such structures to be oriented towards the Kaaba, but the orientation of the Veu does not align with the Kaaba’s direction. This along with the fact that the region bears traces of a robust pre-Islamic civilization, gives credibility to the idea that the rectangular bath outdates the mosque and is tied to Buddhism. The Veu shares striking similarities with the baths in monasteries in Pokna and Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka,