Rehendhi Khadeeja

Sultana Rehendhi Khadeeja holds Court (an artist's impression based on the writings of Ibn Batuta). By her side is her husband Minister Muhammed Jameel.

 

 

History records that Sultana Khadeeja Rehendhi Kanbaidhi Kilege ascended the Maldivian throne on three separate occasions. She was the daughter of Sultan Jalaluddin Umar Vir. She first ascended the throne on the death of her younger brother Sultan Ahmed Shihabuddin. According to the Researched Excerpts from the History of the Maldives, her first accession was in the year 742 AH (1341 AD). There is some confusion about the dates of her reign. The traveller Ibn Batuta visited the Maldives in early 1343 AD during her reign. The Bodugalu Miskiy Loamaafaanu written in 758 AH (1356 AD) clearly states that it was written during the 16th year of the reign of the Sultana. In addition to the confusion involving dates of her reign, there is also confusion in the information relating to her marriages, and the dates during which she and her two spouses ruled the country. Further research is required to resolve the chronological and other errors.

The writings of Ibn Batuta record some of the events and traditions of the Maldives during the reign of Rehendhi Khadeeja. During Ibn Batuta's first visit to the Maldives, the Sultana was married to Wazeer Muhammed Al Jameel. The famous traveller writes that the Sultana and her spouse treated him very kindly. In fact, he makes particular mention of the kindness of the Sultana's husband. Accordingly, everything that Ibn Batuta wanted in the Maldives was arranged for him. He also served as the Chief Justice for a short period. During the approximately 20 months that he stayed in the country he married a number of Maldivian ladies. According to him the reason for his departure was related to some disputes he had with Al Wazeer Abdulla.

When Ibn Batuta left the Maldives one of his wives was pregnant. Two years after his departure, he returned to the Maldives for a second time. By the time he returned, Al Wazeer Muhammed Al Jameel had passed away and Sultana was married to Al Wazeer Abdulla. Shortly after meeting his son in the Maldives, Ibn Batuta left the country again bound for Bengal. According to Ibn Batuta on his return to Maldives Al Wazeer Abdulla had treated him with respect and gave him many gifts.

 

A portrait of Ibn Batuta, the traveller from Magreb who visited the Maldives in 1343 AD (743 AH). The writings of Ibn Batuta contain a lot of information about 14th century Maldives

 

 
 

The copper-strip book from Bodu Galu Miskiy (photo from HCP Bell's Monograph). According to the copper-strips, they were written during the 16th year of the reign of Sultana Rehendhi Khadeeja

 
.