I have been trying to ignore it for a long time. I usually found some excuses or dim-witted explanations to help me ignore it, but it is time I face reality.
Maldives is no longer a 100% Muslim population.
For me, it all started when I saw a man announcing that he is not a Muslim on national television. Although he retracted his statement afterwards and entered Islam again, again on national television, this became a seed of doubt that was planted in my heart. I had tried to put my mind at rest, telling myself that that was a 100 percent minus one, as Dr. Zakir Naik put it, returned back to 100 percent.
Then I witnessed, a couple of years later, on social media what appeared to be acts that would nullify one’s Islam: ridiculing Allah and His Messenger, criticizing Islamic rulings and the Shari’ah. It was so blatant and bold, so clear and said-with-so-much-audacity that it sent chills down my spine. Are they really Maldivians, born to Maldivian?
True, many youngsters and others do acts prohibited in Islam. Many still do it. Drugs. Adultery. Theft. The list goes on. Heck, even I was once in the middle of it. But this is a whole new level. This is, how do you say, too much. This is really transgressing the limit.
Despite being convinced of their kufr, I still refused to let go of the 100% Muslim population label. I wanted to stick to it so much that I started to look for an excuse—and found one: In Maldivian Constitution, it says that none other than a Muslim can be a Maldivian.
I told myself: if they are not Muslims, technically they are not Maldivians. This way, I managed to hold on to the notion that Maldives is still a 100% population.
But the more I saw such things, the more disturbed I became. I can’t just simply ignore it by saying they are not Maldivians. Who is a Maldivian and who is not is not defined by what someone wrote. They were born in Maldives, they were born to Maldivian Muslim parents, they lived in—and are still living in—Maldivian soil. They really are Maldivians who went astray.
What went wrong, then?
Mistakes of many are involed. Parents and teachers, scholars and leaders. If only they were taught the true Islamic creed and its values, we would not be seeing this day.
Anyway, the damage has been done. Maybe it is impossible to bring them back, maybe not. But one thing is sure: we can always make sure the coming generation is safe—by making sure we are trained hard enough to train our kids to face the battle.
May Allah guide us and the people of our country.