Founder of Samudera Pasai Kingdom, First Islamic Empire

Founder of the Kingdom of Samudera Pasai, the First Islamic Kingdom in the Archipelago – The Sultanate or Kingdom of Samudera Pasai was the first Islamic kingdom to appear in the archipelago. The Kingdom of Samudera Pasai was present in the 13th to 16th centuries AD in the archipelago and was founded in 1267 and its heyday ended in 1521. Semuderan Pasai itself has experienced its heyday and left several traces through some of its legacies.

The founder of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom was Marah Silu and when he converted to Islam, Marah Silu also had the title Sultan Malik Al Saleh. Then, who is the founder of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom? Check out this article to find out more, Sinaumed’s!

The Founder of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom and Its Beginning

According to some sources, it is stated that the Samudera Pasai Kingdom was established earlier than the Ottoman dynasty in Turkey which was founded in 1297 AD. According to Marcopolo’s notes, it is also stated that there was a trader who came from Venice, Italy and stopped at Samudera Pasai in 1292 AD.

From Marcopolo’s notes, Marcopolo explained that he had seen an Islamic empire that had developed at that time. It is known that the Islamic empire that Marcopolo saw was Samudera Pasai with its capital in Pasai.

Apart from the two notes from Ibn Battutah and Marcopolo regarding the time when Samudera Pasai was founded, there is also a saga, namely the Hikayat Raja Pasai as well as several writings from the investigations of a number of historians in Europe.

According to historians in Europe, the Kingdom of Samudera Pasai emerged around the middle of the 13th century with its first king, Sultan Malik Al Saleh. Some sources state that Sultan Malik Al Saleh could become the first king of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom because of Nazimuddin Al Kamil.

Nazimuddin Al Kamil is a marine admiral from Egypt. In 1238 AD, Nazimuddin Al Kamil was ordered by the Mamluk Sultanate in Cairo to seize a port called Kambayat in Gujarat India. The seizure of the port aims to make the port a place for marketing trade goods originating from the east.

On orders from the Mamluk Sultanate, Nazimuddin Al Kamil then appointed Marah Silu or Sultan Malik Al Saleh as the first leader or first king of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom in Aceh with the title Sultan Malikussaleh or Sultan Malik Al Saleh in 1267 to 1297 AD.

Even though it is believed that Sultan Malik Al Saleh got the throne of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom from Nazimuddin Al Kamil, Sultan Malik Al Saleh still gets recognition as the founder and first ruler of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom.

Meanwhile there are several sources that mention different stories about how Marah Silu or Sultan Malik Al Saleh got the title as the founder and first king of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom.

According to historians in Europe, it is explained that Nazimuddin Al Kamil, a sea admiral from Egypt who came from the Fatimid dynasty succeeded in conquering the Hindu Buddhist kingdom in Aceh and then establishing a kingdom in Pasai.

Nazimuddin Al Kamil also died and then Pasai was ruled by an admiral named Johan Jani who came from Pulau We who came from the Mamaluk dynasty, the dynasty that replaced the Fatimid dynasty.

Johan Jani then intends to seize the kingdom from his predecessors. The Mamaluk dynasty then sent a preacher named Shaykh Ismal and Fakir Muhammad who had previously preached around the West Coast of India and then moved to Pasai.

In Pasai, the two preachers met Marah Silu, a member of the army from the Kingdom of Pasai. Shaykh Ismal and Fakir Muhammad then persuaded Marah Silu to embrace Islam and then founded the Samudera Kingdom with the aim of rivaling Pasai.

After embracing Islam, Marah Silu also received the title of Sulran Malik Al Saleh and became the first king of the Samudera Kingdom. Samudera Kingdom itself is located on the left side of the Pasai River and faces the Malacca Strait.

Sultan Malik Al Saleh then married the daughter of Ganggang Sati, a descendant of Sultan Aladdin Muhammad Amin who came from the Kingdom of Perlak. Then since then, the two Islamic empires have merged into one and become the Kingdom of Samudera Pasai.

The name Samudera Pasai itself actually comes from Samudera Aca Pasai which means the good Ocean Kingdom with its capital city in Pasai. After Sultan Malik Al Saleh died, the royal throne was replaced by his son, namely Sultan Muhammad or Malik Al Tahir in 1297 AD to 1326 AD.

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As additional information, Sultan Malik Al Saleh received the title Al Malikush Zahir, while his son was given the title Al Malikul Mansu Azh Zahir, which is the title used by the second Mamalik Sultan in Egypt, namely Al Malikuzh Zhair Bibars in 1260 to 1277.

Al Mansur itself is the title given from the third Sultan Mamalik. Sultan Al Malikuz Zhahir, son of Merah Silu or Sultan Malik Al Saleh, became the second sultan in Samudera Pasai and had the nickname Raja Muhammad.

From these two sources, it can be seen that the recognized founder of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom is Meurah Silu or Sultan Malik Al Saleh as the founder and first king of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom.

The heyday of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom

Ibn Battuta had the opportunity to visit the Samudera Pasai Kingdom during its heyday, namely during the reign of Sultan Al Malik Az Zahir II who reigned until 1349 AD. At that time, Samudera Pasai traded lad as one of its main commodities and had a role as a major trading port at that time. .

Even at that time, the Samudera Pasai Kingdom had issued a form of exchange in the form of gold coins or dirhams with the composition of the gold in the medium of exchange being 70 percent pure. Apart from being successful because of trade, the Samudera Pasai Kingdom was also the center of the spread of Islam. This is because the location of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom is considered strategic and easy to visit by people from various regions with various religions.

The Samudera Pasai Kingdom was also attacked by the Majapahit Kingdom during its heyday. However, the Kingdom of Samudera Pasai succeeded in embracing the golden era again in the era of the reign of a female sultan with the title Sultanah Malikah Nahrasyiyah who held the throne from 1406 to 1428 AD.

Sultanah Nahrasyiyah also had a big role in advancing the Samudera Pasai Kingdom, including in making Samudera Pasai one of the centers for the development of the large and strong Islamic religion in the archipelago at that time.

The End of the Kingdom of Samudera Pasai and the Invasion of the Portuguese

According to Chinese records, the son of Zainal Abidin should have the right to be able to occupy the royal throne in Samudera Pasai. However, a fisherman managed to seize the throne. Because he was not happy, Zainal Abidin killed the fisherman who seized his throne, then Zainal Abidin ascended the throne which was his right before.

King Iskandar, the son of Raja Samudera Pasai in 1412, was also brought by Admiral Cheng Ho to visit China and then came and met the Chinese Maharaja. Then when he arrived in China, King Iskandar died because he was killed. Since the killing of King Iskandar, it is rarely heard of diplomatic relations between Pasai and China. It is recorded that the last visit of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom to China was in 1434.

Meanwhile, Malacca was beginning to rise and the Samudera Pasai Kingdom began to decline. The port in Pasai is slowly getting quieter and the beach is getting shallower. Thus, many ships choose to anchor their ships at the Port of Malacca.

Since then, the center of Islamic activity which was originally in Pasai has moved to Malacca. In addition, many residents from Samudera Pasai chose to leave their hometown after the Portuguese invaded and attacked Samudera Pasai in 1521.

Then more and more people in Samudera Pasai went and chose to migrate to Java, especially to migrate to East Java and settle there, namely to the Majapahit power center.

One of the residents from Pasai who came to Java was named Fatelehan or Fatahillah or Syarif Hidayatullah. He decided to chain fairies to Java because at that time the Kingdom of Samudera Pasai, his country, was being attacked by the Portuguese. In Java, Fatahillah decided to have a career as a warlord in Demak to defeat Galuh and Pajajaran. Until finally Fatahillah succeeded and founded the city of Banten and Cirebon.

Relations and Rivalry of Samudera Pasai Kingdom

The Kingdom of Samudera Pasai rose again during the reign of Sultan Zain Al Abidin Malik Az Zahir in 1383 who ruled until 1405. According to Chinese chronicles, Sultan Zain was also successfully known by the name Tsai-nu-li-a-pi-tingki and it was stated that he died at the hands of King Nakur. Then, the government of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom was continued by his wife, Sultanah Nahrasiyah, who also succeeded in bringing the Samudera Pasai Kingdom to its glory and golden age.

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In 1405, 1408 and 1412 Admiral Cheng Ho visited Pasai with a fleet of around 208 ships. According to sources, the journey undertaken by Cheng Ho was recorded by his assistants named Ma Huan and Fei Xin.

Geographically, the Samudera Pasai Kingdom is described as having boundaries with high mountains to the south and east of Pasai, and if it continues to head east, Pasai is bordered by two kingdoms, namely the Nakur Kingdom and the Lide Kingdom.

Meanwhile, if you continue to head west, you will meet the Kingdom of Lambri or Lamuri, which states that the distance from Pasai to the kingdom is three days and three nights. With the border between Pasai and the kingdom’s territories, the Samudera Pasai Kingdom also has competition with its border areas.

Meanwhile, Pasai also has a relationship with China whose relationship is strengthened by the relationship of the kings or nobles of Pasai with Admiral Cheng Ho who at that time often visited Pasai along with his fleet troops.

Government of the Kingdom of Samudera Pasai

The Kingdom of Samudera Pasai has a government center which is between the Krueng Jambo Aye or the Jambu Air River and the Krueng Pase or the Pasai River in North Aceh. According to Ibn Batuthah’s search records, it is stated that the Samudera Pasai Kingdom at that time did not have stone fortifications, but had fenced its cities with wood which was several kilometers from its port. In the central government area, this kingdom also has mosques, markets and is traversed by fresh water rivers that empty into the sea.

In the government structure in the Kingdom of Samudera Pasai, there are the terms minister, syahbandar and kadi. While the sultan’s children at that time, both male and female, received the title Tun, this title was also given to several royal officials in Samudera Pasai. The Sultanate of Pasai at that time had several lower kingdoms and the ruler of this kingdom had the title of sultan.

During the reign of Sultan Muhammad Malik Az Zahir, the Kingdom of Perlak also became part of the sovereignty of Pasai. Then, Sultan Muhammad Malik Az Zahir also placed one of his children named Sultan Mansur in Samudera.

However, during the reign of Sultan Ahmad Malik Az Zahir, the Samudera area at that time had become a single unit under the name Samudera Pasai which had a permanent center of government, namely in Pasai.

During the reign of Sultan Zain Al Abidin Malik Az Zahir, the Kingdom of Pedir or the Kingdom of Lide was said to be one of the subordinate kingdoms of Pasai. Meanwhile, Pasai at that time also had quite a bad relationship with the Nakur Kingdom, a kingdom that was near the border of the Pasai region. The bad relationship between the two kingdoms was exacerbated by the Nakur Kingdom which attacked Pasai and resulted in the Sultan of Pasai being finally killed.

The economy of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom

Pasai is a trading city that relies on pepper as its mainstay commodity. In Ma Huan’s note it was also stated that 100 kati of pepper was sold at a price of 1 tahil silver. In trade matters, the Sultanate of Pasai issued gold coins as a means of transaction to its people, this currency is also called Deureuham or Dirham whose composition is made of 70% pure gold with a medium of exchange weight of 0.60 grams and a diameter of 10 mm and a quality of 17 carats.

Meanwhile, people in Pasai generally also plant rice in their fields. The rice can be harvested twice a year. Apart from rice, the people in Pasai also have dairy cows to produce cheese. Meanwhile, the houses of the residents have an average height of 2.5 meters and have insulation that makes the house divided into several cubicles. The houses of the Pasai people are also made of floors made from coconut wood or areca wood and arranged with rattan, then a rattan or pandan mat is spread on top.

That is an explanation of the figure of the founder of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom and how the founder of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom, Sultan Malik Al Saleh, got the throne based on several literacy sources written by historians.

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