Rannamaari is a mythical story taught in the Maldives which explains how the Maldivian people converted their faith from Buddhism to Islam. According to the story, Rannamaari, a sea demon haunted the people of the Maldives and he had to be served with a virgin girl once every month for him not harm the people.
Rannamaari, the notorious sea demon haunted the people of the Maldives since time began. Every month, a virgin had to be sacrificed for the demon, or the people were to face his wrath. A girl was chosen from the inhabitants by the king or his advisories and she would be kept alone on the first night of the month in an isolated temple at the eastern seafront in Malé. At dawn, the girl's family would return to the temple to find the lifeless body.
One day, a Moroccan visitor heard the story and claimed that he can exorcise the demon. He decided to take the place of the girl in the temple on the month that followed. When the demon appeared, he started to recite the versus from the Qur'an and the Rannamaari vanished forever. After this day, he called upon the Maldivians to accept the faith of Islam and to give up on Buddhism.
Modern Interpretation of the Myth
This story is being taught in the schools of Maldives as how the country was introduced to Islamic faith. Surprisingly every child believes so, only to realize the contradictions at a later age. Nobody for real knows how this story came to be or who created it. For that reason the people do not know how the population which once practised hardcore Buddhism came to follow Islam.
The most popular interpretation claims the events to be part of a sex scandal by the king. The demon was infact the king and a few of his loyal people. They used their authority and wealth to create the drama of the demon to succesfully exploit the ignorant people's minds into believing that a demon was haunting them. The king then raped every girl and killed them all. Finally, with the Moroccan's help, some people were able to find out what was actually happening and the king, determied to protect his pride, accepted the call to change his faith, and that of everyone in the country.