The Spread Of Islam in Indonesia 1200 – 1600


The spread of Islam in Indonesia

This article is part of the
History of Indonesia series
See also:

Timeline of Indonesian History

Prehistory
Early kingdoms
Tarumanagara (358-669)
Srivijaya (7th to 13th centuries)
Sailendra (8th to 9th centuries)
Sunda Kingdom (669-1579)
Medang Kingdom (752–1045)
Kediri (1045–1221)
Singhasari (1222–1292)
Majapahit (1293–1500)
The rise of Muslim states
The spread of Islam (1200–1600)
Sultanate of Ternate (1257–….)
Malacca Sultanate (1400–1511)
Sultanate of Demak (1475–1548)
Aceh Sultanate (1496–1903)
Sultanate of Banten (1526–1813)
Mataram Sultanate (1500s to 1700s)
European colonialism
The Portuguese (1512–1850)
Dutch East India Co. (1602–1800)
Dutch East Indies (1800–1942)
The emergence of Indonesia
National awakening (1899–1942)
Japanese occupation (1942–1945)
Declaration of independence (1945)
National revolution (1945–1950)
Independent Indonesia
Liberal democracy (1950–1957)
“Guided Democracy” (1957–1965)
Start of the “New Order” (1965–1966)
The “New Order” (1966–1998)
Reformasi” era (1998–present)
Edit this template

Islam is thought to have first been adopted by peoples of the Indonesian archipelago during the eleventh century, although Muslims had visited the archipelago early in the Muslim era. By the end of the 16th century, Islam, through conversion, had surpassed Hinduism and Buddhism as the dominant religion of the peoples of Java and Sumatra. At this time, only Bali retained a Hindu-practising majority, and the eastern islands remained largely animist but would adopt Islam and Christianity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The spread of Islam was driven by increasing trade links outside of the archipelago; in general, traders and the royalty of major kingdoms were the first to adopt the new religion. Dominant kingdoms included Mataram in Central Java, and the sultanates of Ternate and Tidore in the Maluku Islands to the east. By the end of the thirteenth century, Islam had been established in North Sumatra; by the fourteenth in northeast Malaya, Brunei, the southern Philippines and among some courtiers of East Java; and the fifteenth in Malacca and other areas of the Malay Peninsula. Although it is known that the spread of Islam began in the west of the archipelago, the fragmentary evidence does not suggest a rolling wave of conversion through adjacent areas; rather, it suggests the process was complicated and slow.

Despite being one of the most significant developments in Indonesian history, historical evidence is fragmentary and generally uninformative such that understandings of the coming of Islam to Indonesia are limited; there is considerable debate amongst scholars about what conclusions can be drawn about the conversion of Indonesian peoples.[1] The primary evidence, at least of the earlier stages of the process, are gravestones and a few travellers accounts, but these can only show that indigenous Muslims were in a certain place at a certain time. This evidence cannot explain more complicated matters such as how lifestyles were affected by the new religion or how deeply it affected societies. It cannot be assumed, for example, that because a ruler was known to be a Muslim, that that the process of Islamisation of that area was complete; rather the process was, and remains to this day, a continuous process in Indonesia.

Early history

Samudra Pasai Sultanate map

Historical evidence is fragmentary and generally uninformative such that understandings of the coming of Islam to Indonesia are limited; there is considerable debate amongst scholars about what conclusions can be drawn about the conversion of Indonesian peoples.[1] The primary evidence, at least of the earlier stages of the process, are gravestones and a few travellers accounts, but these can only show that indigenous Muslims were in a certain place at a certain time. Both Indonesia’s colonial and republican governments have favoured Hindu and Buddhist sites in Java in their allocation of resources for excavation and preservation, with less emphasis on the early history of Islam in Indonesia. Funds, both public and private, are spent on the construction of new mosques, rather than the exploration of old ones.[2]

Even before Islam was established amongst Indonesian communities, Muslim traders had been present for several centuries. Ricklefs (1991) identifies two overlapping processes by which the Islamisation of Indonesia occurred: Indonesians either came into contact with Islam and converted, and/or foreign Muslim Asians (Indians, Chinese, Arabs, etc.) settled in Indonesia and mixed with local communities. Islam is thought to have been present in South East Asia from early in the Islamic era. From the time of the third caliph of Islam, ‘Uthman‘ (644-656) Muslim emissaries and merchants were arriving in China who must have passed Indonesia sea routes through Indonesia from the Islamic world. It would have been through this contact that Arabic emissaries between 904 and the mid-twelfth century are thought to have become involved in the Sumatran trading state of Srivijaya.

The presence of foreign Muslims in Indonesia does not, however, demonstrate a significant level of local conversion or the establishment of local Islamic states.[1] The most reliable evidence of the early spread of Islam in Indonesia comes from inscriptions on tombstones and a limited number of travellers’ accounts. The earliest legibly inscribed tombstone is dated AH 475 (AD 1082) although as it belongs to a non-Indonesian Muslim, there is doubt as to whether it was not transported to Java at a later time. The first evidence of Indonesian Muslims come from northern Sumatra; Marco Polo, on his way home from China in 1292, reported at least one Muslim town;[3] and the first evidence of a Muslim dynasty is the gravestone, dated AH 696 (AD 1297), of Sultan Malik al Saleh, the first Muslim ruler of Samudra, with further gravestones indicating continued Islamic rule. The presence of the Shafi’i school of thought, which was to later dominate Indonesia was reported by Ibn Battutah, a Moroccan traveller, in 1346. In his travel log, Ibn Battutah wrote that the ruler of Samudera Pasai was a muslim, who performs his religious duties in his utmost zeal. The madh’hab he used was Imam Shafi’i with the similar customs he had seen in India.[3]

By region

Islam penetrated Indonesian society in a largely peaceful way, and from the 14th century to the end of the 19th century the archipelago saw almost no organised Muslim missionary activity.[4]

Malacca

Founded around the beginning of the fifteenth century, the great Malay trading state The Sultanate of Malacca, was, as the most important trading centre of the western archipelago, a centre of foreign Muslims, and it thus appears a supporter of the spread of Islam. From Malacca and elsewhere gravestones survive showing not only its spread in the Malay archipelago, but as the religion of a number of cultures and their rulers in the late fifteenth century.

Northern Sumatra

Mosque in West Sumatra with traditional Minangkabau architecture.

Firmer evidence documenting continued cultural transitions comes from two late-fourteenth century gravestones from Minye Tujoh in North Sumatra, each with Islamic inscriptions but in Indian-type characters and the other Arabic. Dating from the fourteenth century, tombstones in Brunei, Trengganu (northeast Malaysia) and East Java are evidence of Islam’s spread. The Trengganu stone has a predominance of Sanskrit over Arabic words, suggesting the representation of the introduction of Islamic law. Ma Huan’s Ying-yai Sheng-lan: The overall survey of the ocean’s shores’ (1433), reports that the main states of the northern part of Sumatra were already Islamic. In 1414, he visited the King of Malacca, who was Muslim and also his people, and they were very strict believers. The establishment of further Islamic states in North Sumatra is documented by late fifteenth- and sixteenth-century graves including those of the first and second Sultans of Pedir; Muzaffar Syah, buried AH 902 (AD 1497) and Ma’ruf Syah, buried AH 917 (AD 1511). Aceh was founded in the early sixteenth century and would later become the most powerful North Sumatran state and one of the most powerful in the whole Malay archipelago. The Aceh Empire’s first sultan was Ali Mughayat Syah whose tombstone is dated AH 936 (AD 1530).

The book of Portuguese apothecary Tomé Pires that documents his observations of Java and Sumatra from his 1512 to 1515 visits, is considered one of the most important sources on the spread of Islam in Indonesia. At this time, according to Piers, most Sumatran kings were Muslim; from Aceh and south along the east coast to Palembang the rulers were Muslim, while south of Palembang and around the southern tip of Sumatra and up the west coast, most were not. In other Sumatran kingdoms, such as Pasai and Minangkabau the rulers were Muslim although at that stage their subjects and people’s of neighbouring areas were not, however, it was reported that the religion was continually gaining new adherents.

Central and eastern Java

Inscriptions in Old Javanese rather than Arabic on a significant series of gravestones dating back to AD 1369 in East Java, indicate that these are almost certainly Javanese, rather than foreign Muslims. Due to their elaborate decorations and proximity to the site of the former Hindu-Buddhist Majapahit capital, Damais concludes that these are the graves of very distinguished Javanese, perhaps even royalty.[5] This suggests that some of the Javanese elite adopted Islam at a time when the Hindu-Buddhist Majapahit was at the height of its glory.

Ricklefs (1991) argues that these east Javan gravestones, sited and dated at the non-coastal Majapahit, cast doubt on the long held view that Islam in Java originated on the coast and represented political and religious opposition to the kingdom. As a kingdom with far-reaching political and trading contacts, Majapahit would have almost certainly been in contact with Muslim traders, however there is conjecture over the likelihood of its sophisticated courtiers being attracted to a religion of merchants. Rather, it mystical Sufi-influence Islamic teachers, possibly claiming supernatural powers, who are thought to be a more probable agent of religious conversion of Javanese court elites who had long been familiar with aspects of Hindu and Buddhist mysticism.[6]

Grand Mosque of Demak, the first Muslim state in Java.

When the peoples of the north coast of Java adopted Islam is unclear. Chinese Muslim, Ma Huan and envoy of Chinese Emperor Yongle,[3] visited the Java coast in 1416 and reported in his book, Ying-yai Sheng-lan: The overall survey of the ocean’s shores’ (1433), that there were only three types of people in Java: Muslims from the west, Chinese (some Muslim) and the heathen Javanese.[7] Since the east Javan gravestones were those of Javanese Muslims fifty years before, Ma Huan’s report indicates that Islam may have indeed been adopted by Javanese courtiers before the coastal Javanese.

An early Muslim gravestone date AH 822 (AD 1419) has been found at Gresik an East Javanese port and marks the burial of Maulana Malik Ibrahim . As it appears, however, that he was non-Javanese foreigner, the gravestone does not provide evidence of coastal Javanese conversion. Malik Ibrahim was, however, according to Javanese tradition one of the first nine apostles of Islam in Java (the Wali Sanga) although no documentary evidence exists for this tradition. In the late fifteenth century, the powerful Majapahit Empire in Java was at its decline. After had been defeated in several battles, the last Hindu kingdom in Java fell under the rising power of Islamised state Sultanate of Demak in 1520.

Western Java

PiresSuma Oriental reports that Sundanese-speaking West Java was not Muslim in his day. A Muslim conquest of the area occurred later in the sixteenth century. In the early sixteenth century the Central and East Java (home of the Javanese) were still claimed by the Hindu-Buddhist king living in the interior of East Java at Daha (Kediri). The north coast was, however, Muslim as far as Surabaya and were often at war with the interior. Of these coastal Muslim lords, some were Javanese who had adopted Islam, and others were not originally Javanese but Muslim traders settling along established trading routes including Chinese, Indians, Arabs and Malays. According to Piers, these settlers and their descendants so admired Javanese Hindu-Buddhist culture that they emulate its style and were thus themselves becoming Javanese.

In his study of the Banten Sultanate, Martin van Bruinessen focuses on the link between mystics and royalty, contrasting that Islamization process with the one which prevailed elsewhere in Java: “In the case of Banten, the indigenous sources associate the tarekats not with trade and traders but with kings, magical power and political legitimation.”[8] He presents evidence that Sunan Gunungjati was initiated into the Kubra, Shattari, and Naqshbandi orders of sufism.

Other areas

There is no evidence of the adoption of Islam by Indonesians before the sixteenth century in areas outside of Java, Sumatra, the sultanates of Ternate and Tidore in Maluku, and Brunei and the Malay Peninsula.

Indonesian and Malay legends

Although time frames for the establishment of Islam in Indonesian regions can be broadly determined, the historical primary sources cannot answer many specific questions, and considerable controversy surrounds the topic. Such sources don’t explain why significant conversions of Indonesians to Islam did not begin until after several centuries of foreign Muslims visiting and living in Indonesia, nor do they adequately explain the origin and development of Indonesia’s idiosyncratic strains of Islam, or how Islam came to be the dominant religion in Indonesia.[9] To fill these gaps, many scholars turn to Malay and Indonesian legends surrounding Indonesian conversion to Islam. Ricklefs argues that although they are not reliable historical accounts of actual events, they are valuable in illuminating some of the events is through their shared insights into the nature of learning and magical powers, foreign origins and trade connections of the early teachers, and the conversion process that moved from the elite downwards. These also provide insight into how later generations of Indonesians view Islamisation.[10] These sources include:

  • Hikayat Raja-raja Pasai (“The Story of the kings of Pasai”) – an Old Malay text that tells how Islam came to “Samudra” (Pasai, northern Sumatra) where the first Indonesian Islamic state was founded.
  • Sejarah Melayu (“Malay History”) – an Old Malay text, which like Hikayat Raja-raja Pasai tells the story of the conversion of Samudra, but also tells of the conversion of the King of Malacca.
  • Babad Tanah Jawi (“History of the land of Java”) – a generic name for a large number of manuscripts, in which the first Javanese conversions are attributed to the Wali Sanga (“nine saints”).
  • Sejarah Banten (“History of Banten“) – A Javanese text containing stories of conversion.

Of the texts mentioned here, the Malay texts describe the conversion process as a significant watershed, signified by formal and tangible signs of conversion such as circumcision, the Confession of Faith, and the adoption of an Arabic name. On the other hand, while magical events still play a prominent role in the Javanese accounts of Islamisation, such turning points of conversion as in the Malay texts are otherwise not as evident. This suggests a more adsorptive process for the Javanese,[11] that is consistent with the significantly larger syncretic element in contemporary Javanese Islam in comparison to the relatively orthodox Islam of Sumatra and Malaysia

Sultanate of Ternate

Sultanate of Ternate was originally named as Kingdom of Gapi, but later change the name base of its capital, Ternate. The sultanate is one of the oldest muslim kingdoms in Indonesia, established by Baab Mashur Malamo in 1257. It reach its Golden Age during the reign of Sultan Baabullah (1570 – 1583) and encompassed what most of the eastern part Indonesia and a part of southern Philippines. Ternate was a world producer of cloves and a major power in the region between 15th – 17th century.

History

Pre-colonial history

Ternate and neighbouring Tidore were the world’s single major producer of cloves upon which their rulers became among the wealthiest and most powerful sultans in the Indonesian region. Much of their wealth, however, was wasted fighting each other. Up until the Dutch completed the colonization of Maluku in the 19th century, the sultans of Ternate ruled empires that claimed at least nominal influence as far as Ambon, Sulawesi and Papua.[1]

In part as a result of its trade-dependent culture, Ternate was one of the earliest places in the region to which Islam spread, probably coming from Java in the late 15th century. Initially, the faith was restricted to Ternate’s small ruling family, and spread only slowly to the rest of the population.

The royal family of Ternate converted to Islam during the reign of King Marhum (1465-1486), his son and successor, Zainal Abidin (1486-1500) enacted Islamic Law and transformed the kingdom into Islamic base Sultanate, the title Kolano (king) was then replaced with Sultan.

The peak of Ternate’s power came near the end of the sixteenth century, under Sultan Baabullah (1570-1583), when it had influence over most of the eastern part of Sulawesi, the Ambon and Seram area, Timor island, parts of southern Mindanao and as well as parts of Papua. It frequently engaged in fierce competition for control of its periphery with the nearby sultanate of Tidore. According to historian Leonard Andaya, Ternate’s “dualistic” rivalry with Tidore is a dominant theme in the early history of the Maluku Islands.

Europeans

The first Europeans to stay on Ternate were part of the Portuguese expedition of Francisco Serrão out of Malacca, which was shipwrecked near Seram and rescued by local residents. Sultan Bayanullah of Ternate (1500-1522) heard of their stranding, and, seeing a chance to ally himself with a powerful foreign nation, he brought them to Ternate in 1512. The Portuguese were permitted to build a fort on the island, construction of which began in 1522, but relations between the Ternateans and Portuguese were strained from the start.

An outpost far from Europe generally only attracted the most desperate and avaricious, such that the generally poor behaviour of the Portuguese combined with feeble attempts at Christianisation, strained relations with Ternate’s Muslim ruler.[2] In 1535 Sultan Tabariji was deposed and sent to Goa by the Portuguese. He converted to Christianity and changed his name to Dom Manuel. After being declared innocent of the charges against him he was sent back to reassume his throne however he died en route in Malacca in 1545. He had though bequeathed the island of Ambon to his Portuguese godfather Jordão de Freitas. Following the murder of Sultan Hairun at the hands of the Portuguese, the Ternateans expelled the Portuguese in 1575 after a five-year siege. Ambon became the new centre for Portuguese activities in Maluku. European power in the region was weak and Ternate became an expanding, fiercely Islamic and anti-Portuguese state under the rule of Sultan Baab Ullah (r. 1570 – 1583) and his son Sultan Said.[3]

Spanish forces captured the former Portuguese fort from the Ternatese in 1606, deported the Ternate Sultan and his entourage to Manila. In 1607 the Dutch came back in Ternate where with the help of Ternateans built a fort in Malayo. The island was divided between the two powers: the Spaniards were allied with Tidore and the Dutch with their Ternaten allies. For the Ternaten rulers, the Dutch were a useful, if not particularly welcome, presence that gave them military advantages against Tidore and the Spanish. Particularly under Sultan Hamzah (1627-1648), Ternate expanded its territory and strengthened its control over the periphery. Dutch influence over the kingdom was limited, though Hamzah and his grandnephew and successor, Sultan Mandar Syah (1648-1675) did concede some regions to the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in exchange for help controlling rebellions there. The Spaniards abandoned Maluku in 1663.

Desire to restore Ternate to its former glory and expel the western power, Sultan Sibori of Ternate (1675-1691) declared war to the Dutch, but the power of Ternate had greatly reduced over the years, he lost and forced to concede more of his lands to the Dutch by an unjust treaty in 1683. By this treaty, Ternate lost its equal position with the Dutch and became a vassal. However the Sultans of Ternate and its people was never fully under Dutch control.

In the 18th century Ternate was the site of a VOC governorship, which attempted to control all trade in the northern Moluccas. By the 19th century, the spice trade had declined substantially. Hence the region was less central to the Netherlands colonial state, but the Dutch maintained a presence in the region in order to prevent another colonial power from occupying it. After the VOC was nationalised by the Dutch government in 1800, Ternate became part of the Government of the Moluccas (Gouvernement der Molukken). Ternate was occupied by British forces in 1810 before being returned to Dutch control in 1817. In 1824 became the capital of a residency (administrative region) covering Halmahera, the entire west coast of New Guinea, and the central east coast of Sulawesi. By 1867 all of Dutch-occupied New Guinea had been added to the residency, but then its region was gradually transferred to Ambon (Amboina) before being dissolved into that residency in 1922.

Sultan Haji Muhammad Usman (1896 – 1914) made a last attempt to drove out the Dutch by instigate revolts in the region, he fails and was dethroned, his wealth was confiscated and exiled to Bandung where he lived his remaining years until 1927. The throne of Ternate was left vacant from 1914-1927 until the board of minister by the blessing of the Dutch placed the Crown Prince Iskandar Muhammad Jabir as the next Sultan.

Lineage

The dynasty which ruled Ternate still exist today as well as the Sultanate itself, though they no longer holds any political power. Ternate is ruled by an unbroken line of rulers since its first king, Baab Mashur Malamo in 13th century. The current sultan is H.H. Sultan Drs. H. Mudaffar II Syah who assumed the title in 198

Sultanate of Demak

Kasultanan Demak
Sultanate of Demak
1475–1548

The Grand Mosque of Demak, build on traditional Javanese architecture.

Capital Demak
Language(s) Javanese
Religion Islam
Government Sultanate
Sultan
 – 1475-1518 ¹ Raden Patah
 – 1518-1521 Pati Unus
 – 1521-1548 Sultan Trenggana
History  
 – foundation of Demak port town 1475
 – death of Sultan Trenggana 1548
¹ (1475-1478 as vassal of Majapahit)

The Sultanate of Demak was Javanese Muslim state located on Java‘s north coast in Indonesia, at the site of the present day city of Demak. A port fief to the Majapahit kingdom thought to have been founded in the last quarter of the 15th century, it was influenced by Islam brought by Arab and Gujarat traders. The sultanate was the first Muslim state in Java.

Despite its short period, the sultanate played an important role in the establishment of Islam in Indonesia, especially on Java and neighbouring area.

Origins

Demak’s origins are uncertain although it was apparently founded in the last quarter of the fifteenth century by a Muslim, known as Raden Patah (from Arabic name: “Fatah”, also called “Pate Rodin” in Portuguese records, or “Jin Bun” in Chinese record). There is evidence that he had Chinese ancestry and perhaps was named Cek Ko-po.[1]

Raden Patah’s son, or possibly his brother, led Demak’s brief domination in Java. He was known as Trenggana, and later Javanese traditions say he gave himself the title Sultan. It appears that Trenggana had two reigns—c 1505–1518 and c 1521–1546—between which his brother in law, Yunus of Jepara occupied the throne.[1]

Before emergence of Demak, northern coast of Java was seat of many Muslim communtiy, both foreign merchants and Javanese. The islamisation process gained momentum from decline of Majapahit authority. Following fall of Majapahit capital to usurper from Kediri, Raden Patah declared Demak indepence from Majapahit overlordship so did nearly all northern Javanese ports.[2]

Demak and nearby ports. With approximate coastline when Muria and Java still separated.

Demak was a busy harbor with trade connection to Malacca and the Spices islands. It was located at the end of a channel that separated Java and Muria Island (the channel has now filled and Muria joined with Java). In 15th century until 18th century, the channel was wide enough and important waterway for ships traveling along northern Javanese coast to the Spices islands. In the channel also located Serang river, which enabled access to rice producing interior of Java. This strategic location enabled Demak to rise as a leading trading center in Java.[3]

According to Tome Pires, Demak had more inhabitants than any port in Sunda or Java. Demak was the main exporter of rice to Malacca. And with the rise of Malacca, so did Demak rise into prominence. Its supremacy also enhanced with claim of direct decent of Raden Patah to Majapahit royalty and his marriages ties with neighboring city-states.[3]

Rulers of Demak

Raden Patah

Foundation of Demak traditionally attributed to Raden Patah (1475–1518), a Javanese nobility related to Majapahit royalty. At least one account stated that he was son of Kertabhumi, who reigned as king Brawijaya V of Majapahit (1468–1478). Demak manage consolidate its power to defeat Daha in 1527 because its more accepted as legitimate successor of Majapahit. The reason of his acceptance because Raden Patah was direct descendant of Kertabhumi who survive from Girindrawardana invasion into Trowulan in 1478.

Chinese chronicle in temple of Semarang states that Raden Patah founded town of Demak in marshy area to the north of Semarang. After the collapse of Majapahit, its various dependencies and vassals broke free, including northern Javanese port towns like Demak.[4]

The new state derives its income by trade: importing spices and exporting rice to Malacca and the Moluccas. He managed to gain hegemony on other Javanese trading ports in northern coast of Java such as Semarang, Jepara, Tuban, and Gresik.[5]

Supremacy of Raden Patah was illustrated by Tome Pires,” … should de Albuquerque make peace with the Lord of Demak, all of Java will almost be forced to make peace with him… The Lord of Demak stood for all of Java”.[6] Apart from Javanese city-states, Raden Patah also gained overlordship of ports of Jambi and Palembang in eastern Sumatra, from which produced commodities such as lignaloes and gold.[6] As most of its power is based on trade and control of coastal cities, Demak can be considered as a thalassocracy.

A very early map of Java. Note that only major trading ports on the northern coast were known to the European. From west to east: * Bantam (Banten) * Xacatara (Jayakarta) * Cherebum (Cirebon) * Taggal (Tegal) * Damo (Demak) * Iapara (Jepara) * Tubam (Tuban) * Sodaio (Sedayu, now near Gresik) * Surubaya (Surabaya)

Pati Unus

Raden Patah was succeeded by his brother-in-law Pati Unus or Yunus (1518–1521). Before it, he was a ruler of Jepara, a vassal state to the north of Demak. He was known for his two attempts in 1511 and 1521 to seize the port of Malacca from the control of Portuguese.

During the invasions he managed to mobilise vessels from Javanese coastal cities to Malay Peninsula. Javanese ports turned against Portuguese for a number of reason, the major of them is opposition to Portuguese insistence on monopoly of spices trade. The invasion fleet cosisted around one thousand vessels, but this was repulsed by the Portuguese. The destruction of this navy proved devastating to the Javanese ports, who although somewhat recovered, unable to respond properly when next colonial power came, the Dutch.

This campaign attempt ended with failures and loss of the King’s life. He was later remembered as Pangeran Sabrang Lor or the Prince who crossed (the Java Sea) to North (Malay peninsula).

Sultan Trenggana

The King’s brother-in-law, Trenggana (1522–1548), crowned by Sunan Gunungjati (one of the Wali Songo), became the third and the greatest ruler of Demak. He conquered the Hindu based resistance in Central Java.

Following discovery of news of Portuguese-Sunda alliance, he ordered invasion to Banten and Sunda Kelapa ports of kingdom of Sunda at 1527 (Sunda Kelapa was later renamed Jayakarta). From this territories he created sultanate of Banten as vassal-state under Hasanudin, son of Gunungjati.

Trenggana spread Demak’s influence eastward and during his second regin, he conquered the last Javanese Hindu-Buddhist state, the remnants of Majapahit. Majapahit had been in decline since the later fifteenth century and was in an advanced state of collapse at the time of the Demak’s conquest[1], it not real Majapahit which defeated by Sultan Trenggana since it created by Girindrawardhana after he defeat Kertabumi and raze Trowulan into ground. Majapahit’s heirlooms were brought to Demak and adopted as Demak’s royal icons.[citation needed] Demak was able to subdue other major ports and its reach extended into some inland areas of East Java that are not thought to have been Islamised at the time. Although evidence is limited, it is known that Demak’s conquests covered much of Java: Tuban, an old Majapahit port mentioned in Chinese sources from the eleventh century, was conquered c. 1527;

His campaign ended when he was killed in Panarukan, East Java in 1548.

Decline

The death of the strong Trenggana sparked the civil war of succession between the king’s younger brother, Sekar Seda Lepen; and the King’s son, Prince Prawoto; all two were killed in this civil war; and finally Sekar’s son, Arya Penangsang won the throne.

Arya Penangsang soon faced heavy opposition from his own vassals due to his unlikeable character, and soon was dethroned by a coalition of vassals led by Jaka Tingkir, Lord of Boyolali, who had kinship with the King Trenggana. Jaka Tingkir assumed the role as the King but he moved all the Demak heirlooms and sacred artifacts to Pajang, then he ended the Demak history when he founded his new kingdom: the short-lived Kingdom of Pajang.

Javanese legends of Demak

Later Javanese chronicles provide varying accounts of the conquest, but they all describe Demak as the legitimate direct successor of Majapahit although they do not mention the possibility that by the time of its final conquest, Majapahit no longer ruled. The first ‘Sultan’ of Demak, Raden Patah, is portrayed as the son of Majapahit’s last king by a Chinese princess who was exiled from the court before Patah’s birth.

The chronicles conventionally date the fall of Majapahit at the end of the fourteenth Javanese calendar (1400 Saka or 1478 AD), a time when changes of dynasties or court was though to occur. Although these legends explain little about the actual events, they do illustrate that the dynastic continuity survived Islamisation of Java.

Aceh Sultanate

 The Sultanate of Aceh, officially the Kingdom of Aceh Darussalam (Acehnese: Keurajeun Acèh Darussalam) was a sultanate centered in the modern area of Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, which was a major regional power in the 16th and 17th centuries, before experiencing a long period of decline. Its capital was Kutaraja, the present Banda Aceh. At its peak it was a formidable enemy of the sultanate of Johor and Portuguese-controlled Malacca, both on the Malayan Peninsula, as all three attempted to control the trade through the Strait of Malacca and the regional exports of pepper and tin with fluctuating success. In addition to its considerable military strength, the court of Aceh became a noted center of Islamic scholarship and trade.

Foundation and rise

Masjid Raya Baiturrahman, Banda Aceh‘s Grand Mosque.

Aceh’s origins are unquestionably Cham, as the Champa king Syah Pau Kubah sent his son Syah Pau Ling to rule over Aceh when the capital Vijaya (Champa) in 1471 AD, was sacked by the Vietnamese. Acehnese is the only other non-Chamic language in the 11 language Aceh-Chamic languages group.

The ruler of Aceh converted to Islam in the mid-15th century.[1] The sultanate was founded by Ali Mughayat Syah, who began campaigns to extend his control over northern Sumatra in 1520.[2] His conquests included Deli, Pedir, and Pasai, and he attacked Aru. His son Alauddin al-Kahar extended the domains farther south into Sumatra, but was less successful in his attempts to gain a foothold across the strait, though he made several attacks on both Johor and Malacca,[3] with the support along with men and firearms from Suleiman the Magnificent‘s Ottoman Empire[1]. The Ottoman Empire sent a relief force of 15 Xebecs commanded by Kurtoğlu Hızır Reis, the fleet introduced gunsmiths, cannons, and muskets to Muslim Sultanates in Southeast Asia (see also: Ottoman expedition to Aceh).

Internal dissension in the sultanate prevented another powerful sultan from appearing until 1607, when Iskandar Muda came to the position. He extended the sultanate’s control over most of Sumatra. He also conquered Pahang, a tin-producing region on the Malayan Peninsula. The strength of his formidable fleet was brought to an end with a disastrous campaign against Malacca in 1629, when the combined Portuguese and Johor forces managed to destroy all his ships and 19,000 troops according to Portuguese account.[4][5] Aceh forces was not destroyed, however, as Aceh was able to conquer Kedah within the same year and taking many of its citizens to Aceh.[5] The Sultan’s son in law, Iskandar Thani, former prince of Pahang later became his successor. During his reign Aceh focused on internal consolidation and religious unity.

After the reign of Sultan Iskandar Sani, Aceh was ruled by a series of female sultana. Aceh previous policy of taking hostage conquered kingdoms’ population [5] made them eager to seek independence, the results are Aceh’s power weakened while regional rulers gained effective power. The sultan ultimately became a largely symbolic title.[6] By the 1680s, a Persian visitor could describe a northern Sumatra where “every corner shelters a separate king or governor and all the local rulers maintain themselves independently and do not pay tribute to any higher authority.”[7]

Culture and economy

Aceh saw itself as heir to Pasai, the first Muslim state in Southeast Asia, and continuing Muslim missionary work of Malacca after it was conquered by the Roman Catholic Portuguese. It called itself the “veranda of Mecca,” and became a center of Islamic scholarship, where the Qur’an and other Islamic texts were translated into Malay.[1] Its notable scholars included Hamzah Pansuri, Syamsuddin of Pasai, Abdurrauf of Singkil, and the Indian Nuruddin ar-Raniri.[8]

Aceh gained wealth from its export of pepper, nutmeg, cloves, betel nuts,[9] and, once it conquered Pahang in 1617, tin. Low interest rates and the use of gold currency strengthened its economy.[10] It was always somewhat fragile economically, however, because of the difficulty in providing enough surplus food to support the military and commercial adventures of the state.[11] However, as it lost political cohesion in the 17th century, it saw its trading importance yielding to the Dutch East India Company, who became the dominant military and economic power in the region following the successful siege of Malacca in 1641.[7]

Conquest by the Dutch

Tuanku Muhammad Daudsyah Johan Berdaulat, the last Sultan of Aceh.

In the 1820s, as Aceh produced over half the world’s supply of pepper, a new leader, Tuanku Ibrahim, was able to restore some authority to the sultanate and gain control over the “pepper rajas” who were nominal vassals of the sultan by playing them off against each other. He rose to power during the sultanate of his brother, Muhammad Syah, and was able to dominate the reign of his successor Sulaiman Syah (r. 1838-1857), before taking the sultan himself, under the title Sultan Ali Alauddin Mansur Syah (1857–1870). He extended Aceh’s effective control southward at just the time when the Dutch were consolidating their holdings northward.[12] Britain, heretofore guarding the independence of Aceh in order to keep it out of Dutch hands, re-evaluated its policy and concluded the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of Sumatra, which allowed for Dutch control throughout Sumatra in exchange for concessions in the Gold Coast and equal trading rights in northern Aceh. The treaty was tantamount to a declaration of war on Aceh, and the Aceh War followed soon after in 1873. As the Dutch prepared for war, Mahmud Syah (1870–1874) appealed for international help, but no one was willing or able to assist.[13]

In 1874 the sultan abandoned the capital, withdrawing to the hills, while the Dutch announced the annexation of Aceh. The sultan died of cholera, as did many combatants on both sides, but the Acehnese proclaimed a grandson of Tuanku Ibrahim sultan. The rulers of Acehnese ports nominally submitted to Dutch authority in order to avoid a blockade, but they used their income to support the resistance.[14] However, eventually many of them compromised with the Dutch, and the Dutch were able establish a fairly stable government in Aceh with their cooperation, and get the sultan to surrender in 1903. After his death in 1907, no successor was named, but the resistance continued to fight for some time.[15] Indeed, Hasan di Tiro, who founded the Free Aceh Movement, is a descendent of the last sultan.[16]

List of sultans

  • 1496-1528 Ali Mughayat Syah
  • 1528-1537 Salahuddin
  • 1537-1568 Alauddin al Qahhar
  • 1568-1575 Husain Ali Riayat Syah
  • 1575 Muda of Aceh|Muda
  • 1575-1576 Sri Alam
  • 1576-1577 Zainal Abidin of Aceh|Zainal Abidin
  • 1577-1589 Alauddin Mansur Syah
  • 1589-1596 Buyong
  • 1596-1604 Alauddin Riayat Syah Sayyid al-Mukammil
  • 1604-1607 Ali Riayat Syah
  • 1607-1636 Iskandar Muda
  • 1636-1641 Iskandar Thani
  • 1641-1675 Ratu Safiatuddin Tajul Alam
  • 1675-1678 Ratu Naqiatuddin Nurul Alam
  • 1678-1688 Ratu Zaqiatuddin Inayat Syah
  • 1688-1699 Ratu Kamalat Syah Zinatuddin
  • 1699-1702 Badrul Alam Syarif Hashim Jamaluddin
  • 1702-1703 Perkasa Alam Syarif Lamtui
  • 1703-1726 Jamal ul Alam Badrul Munir
  • 1726 Jauhar ul Alam Aminuddin
  • 1726-1727 Syamsul Alam
  • 1727-1735 Alauddin Ahmad Syah
  • 1735-1760 Alauddin Johan Syah
  • 1760-1781 Mahmud Syah
  • 1764-1785 Badruddin
  • 1775-1781 Sulaiman Syah
  • 1781-1795 Alauddin Muhammad Daud Syah
  • 1795-1815 Alauddin Jauhar ul Alam
  • 1815-1818 Syarif Saif ul Alam
  • 1818-1824 Alauddin Jauhar ul Alam (second time)
  • 1824-1838 Muhammad Syah
  • 1838-1857 Sulaiman Syah
  • 1857-1870 Mansur Syah
  • 1870-1874 Mahmud Syah
  • 1874-1903 Muhammad Daud Syah

 Sultanate of Banten

 

Kasultanan Banten
Sultanate of Banten
1527–1813

Rough extend of Banten at the death of Hasanudin, controlling both sides of Sunda Strait

Capital Banten (city)
Language(s) Javanese, Sundanese, Lampung
Religion Islam
Government Sultanate
Sultan
 – 1552–1570 ¹ Hasanudin
 – 1651–1683 Ageng Tirtayasa
History  
 – invasion of kingdom of Sunda 1527
 – annexation by Dutch East Indies 1813
¹ (1527–1552 as vassal of Demak)

 The Sultanate of Banten was founded in the 16th century and centered in Banten, a port city on the northwest coast of Java; the contemporary English spelling of both was Bantam. It is said to have been founded by Sunan Gunungjati, who later went on to found Cirebon.

Once a great trading center in Southeast Asia, especially of pepper, its importance was overshadowed by Batavia, and finally annexed to Dutch East Indies in 1813. Its core territory now forms the Indonesian province of Banten.

Formation

Before 1526 AD, a settlement called Banten was situated not on the coast, but about ten kilometers inland on the Cibanten River, in the area which is today occupied by the southern suburbs of the town of Serang. It was known as Banten Girang, meaning “Banten-up-the-river” owing to its location.[1]

In the early 16th century, an ulema known today as Sunan Gunungjati settled from Demak in Banten Girang, then part of the kingdom of Sunda, with the intention of spreading the word of Islam in this still-Hindu town. Although at first well received by Sunda authorities, after news of the Portuguese-Sunda alliance became known, Gunungjati nevertheless asked Demak sultanate to send troops to Banten. It was likely his son, Hasanudin, who commanded this military operation in 1527, just as the Portuguese fleet was arriving of the coast at Sunda Kelapa, to capture these towns.[2]

Sunan Gunung Jati had Hasanudin named king of Banten by the Sultan of Demak who, in turn, offered Hasanudin his sister’s hand in marriage. Thus a new dynasty was born at the same time as a new kingdom was created. Banten was the capital of this kingdom, held as a vassal-state of Demak.[3]

Growth

=

De Stad Bantam, engraving by François Valentijn, Amsterdam, 1726[4]

From the beginning it was obviously Hasanuddin’s intention to revive the fortunes of the ancient kingdom of Sunda for his own benefit. One of his earliest decision was to travel to southern Sumatra, which had traditionally belonged to the kingdom of Sunda, and from which the bulk of the pepper sold in the Sundanese region came. He was keen to assure himself of the loyalty of these wealthy areas as soon as possible and to guarantee supplies of pepper for his ports, since it was on this spice that all international trade was based and, hence, in which the wealth of his kingdom lay.[5]

Having established control over the ports and the pepper trade, Hasanuddin decided to build a new capital, to symbolize the new era which was beginning. On the advice of his father, Sunan Gunungjati, he choose to construct it on the coast at the mouth of the Cibanten River. That a settlement already existed at this place is evidence by its harbour activities, but at this time the seat of political power was in Banten Girang. The royal city was founded on the delta, formed by the two arms of the river. Two main streets running north-south and east-west divided the city into quarters. The royal palace surrounded by residences of the principal minister of state, was built on the south side of the royal square and the great mosque on the west side. Foreigners, for the most part merchants, had to live outside the royal city, that is on either side of the delta.

After some twenty years the new dynasty was so firmly established that Hasanuddin had no hesitation in leaving the kingdom in 1546 to take part in a military expedition against Pasuruan in eastern Java, at the request of Sultan Trenggana, third sultan of Demak. The Sultan lost his life in this venture, and it is likely that Hasanuddin took advantage of his suzerain’s death and the troubles which ensued to free his kingdom from any further obligations to this royal house.

From 1550s onwards the kingdom enjoyed a period of great prosperity. According to tradition, the development of this kingdom was managed by Hasanuddin’s son, Maulana Yusuf, who had become co-sovereign with his father, following a custom long practiced in the archipelago.[6]

Colonial era sketch of Grand Mosque of Banten

.Also during this period, Hasanuddin decided to launch the final blow to what remained of the kingdom of Sunda. Maulana Yusuf led the attack on Dayeuh Pakuan, its capital city located in modern Bogor. After losing its most important port Sunda Kelapa, the kingdom, already deprived of its trading revenues, was of symbolic importance only. The kingdom put up little resistance and henceforth Banten ruled over the entire territory of the former kingdom of Sunda, which corresponds to most of current Indonesian province of West Java.

The sacred stone (watu gigilang) that was serving as the sovereign’s throne of Sunda kingdom was taken away and put at the street intersection in the royal square of Banten, thus marking the end of the Sundanese dynasty. Henceforth this stone was to serve as the Banten sovereign’s throne.

When Hasanuddin died in 1570, the royal kingdom of Banten comprised all of Sunda, with the exception of Cirebon, and all of southern Sumatra, as far as Tulangbawang (modern-day Lampung) in the northeast and Bengkulu in the northwest. Trade was expanding to become one of the largest in Southeast Asia.[7]

Traders coming from China, India, Turkey, England, Portugal and the Netherlands were frequent visitors to the Banten harbor. Spices, silk, Chinese ceramics, gold, jewelry and other Asian goods attracted European merchants. Banten was a pioneer in international trade. Banten was also known as an educational center for Islamic studies. [8] Among Islamic scholars in Banten was Sheikh Yusuf. He was a scholar from Macassar who worked under Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa.

The greatest period in Banten is arguably under Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa. In 1661 he extended Banten’s rule to Landak in western Borneo. In the 1670s he also acquired Cirebon area following a civil war in Mataram. Ageng established trade with the Spanish Manila for silver and built canals for coconut palm and sugar plantations, among other developments. [9]

Decline

Banten Residency after annexation to Dutch East Indies, with neighbouring Batavia (now Jakarta) and Buitenzorg (now Bogor).

On June 27 1596 Dutch trade ships led by Cornelis de Houtman, the first ever Dutch fleet to arrive in East Indies, landed in Banten. On its return to the Netherlands, the voyage (1595–97) generated a modest profit.[10] The Portuguese and Dutch fought for control of Banten in the 17th century. In 1600 the Dutch set up the Dutch East Indies Company.

Other Europeans were soon to follow. The English, who started to sail to the East Indies from around 1600, established a permanent trading post in Banten in 1602 under James Lancaster. In 1603, the first permanent Dutch trading post in Indonesia was established in Banten.[11]

Danish merchants also arrived from Tranquebar, in search of pepper. The trade relation is evident in two letters written by Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa to Frederick III of Denmark. [12]

After conflict with the Dutch over the pepper trade in 1619, the Dutch East India Company Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon Coen took the port of Jayakarta from Banten. He founded Batavia (now Jakarta) on the ruins of this Javanese town, which became the center of VOC operation and a serious rival for Banten, later contributing to its decline. During the middle of 17th century several conflicts between Banten and the Dutch in Batavia, just 60 miles separated along the northern coast of Java, occurred.

Palace disputes erupted between Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa and his son and co-sovereign Sultan Haji. Sultan Ageng wished to maintain a policy of free-trade with all European powers, but his son wanted close relations with the Dutch in Batavia. Ageng’s independence is shown in the letter to the Danish king mentioned above, offering to trade pepper from Banten for firearms and gunpowder.

With Sultan Haji allied with the VOC, a war broke between Batavia and Banten in the 1670s and 1680s. The result was disastrous for Banten: the VOC gained Priangan Highlands (now West Java) and reduced Banten’s power substantially, making it a protectorate of the VOC. Although nominally independent, its power was gone. In 1752, the Dutch annexed territories on western Borneo and southern Sumatra formerly held by Banten.

In 1808 Herman Willem Daendels, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies in 1808-1810, commissioned the construction of Great Post Road to defend Java from incoming British invasion. Daendels ordered Sultan Aliyuddin II of Banten to move the capital to Anyer and to provide labor to build a new port planned to be built at Ujung Kulon. The Sultan refused Daendels’ command, and in response Daendels ordered the invasion of Banten and destruction of Surosowan palace. The Sultan, together with his family, was arrested in Puri Intan and held as a prisoner in Fort Speelwijk, and later sent into exile in Ambon.

On 22 November 1808, Daendels declared from his headquarters in Serang that the Sultanate of Banten had been absorbed into the territory of the Dutch East Indies.[13] In 1813 Banten Sultanate ceased to exist when Thomas Stamford Raffles forced Sultan Muhamad Syafiuddin to give up his throne.[14] This was the final blow that marked the end of Sultanate of Banten.

Sultans

  • Sunan Gunungjati
  • Maulana Hasanudin – Panembahan Surosowan (1552-1570)
  • Maulana Yusuf – Panembahan Pakalangan Gedé (1570-1580)
  • Maulana Muhammad – Pangeran Ratu Ing Banten (1580-1596)
  • Pangeran Ratu – Abdul Kadir Kenari (1596-1651)
  • Ageng Tirtayasa – Abul Fath Abdul Fattah (1651-1683)
  • Abu Nasr Abdul Kahhar – Sultan Haji (1682-1687)
  • Abdul Fadhl (1687-1690)
  • Abul Mahasin Zainul Abidin (1690-1733)
  • Muhammad Wasi Zainifin (1733-1750)
  • Muhammad Syifa (1750-1752)
  • Syarifuddin Artu Wakilul Alimin (1752-1753)
  • Muhammad Arif Zainul Asyikin (1753-1773)
  • Abul Mafakir Muhammad Aliyuddin (1773-1799)
  • Muhyiddin Zainush Sholihin (1799-1801)
  • Muhammad Ishaq Zainul Muttaqin (1801-1802)
  • Wakil Pangeran Natawijaya (1802-1803)
  • Aliyuddin II (1803-1808)
  • Wakil Pangeran Suramanggala (1808-1809)
  • Muhammad Syafiuddin (1809-1813)
  • Muhammad Rafiuddin (1813-1820)

 

Mataram Sultanate

Kota Gede, the former capital of Mataram Sultanate.

This article is about a historic kingdom on Java in what is now Indonesia. For other uses, see Mataram (disambiguation).

The Sultanate of Mataram (pronounced muh-TAR-uhm) was the last major independent Javanese empire on Java before the island was colonized by the Dutch. It was the dominant political force in interior Central Java from the late sixteenth century until the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Javanese kingship

The name Mataram itself was never the official name of any polity. This name refers to the areas around present-day Yogyakarta. The two kingdoms that have existed in this region are both called “Mataram”, but the second kingdom is called Mataram Islam to distinguish it from the Hindu 9th-century Kingdom of Mataram. Javanese kingship varies from Western kingship, which is essentially based on the idea of legitimacy from the people (Democracy), or from God (divine authority), or both. The Javanese language does not include words with these meanings.

The concept of the Javanese kingdom is a mandala, or a center of the world, in the sense of both a central location and a central being, focused on the person of the king (variously called Sri Bupati, Sri Narendra, Sang Aji, Prabu). The king is regarded as a semi-divine being, a union of divine and human aspects (binathara, the passive form of “bathara”, god). Javanese kingship is a matter of royal-divine presence, not a specific territory or population. People may come and go without interrupting the identity of a kingdom which lies in the succession of semi-divine kings. Power, including royal power is not qualitatively different from the power of dukuns or shamans, but it is much stronger. Javanese kingship is not based on the legitimacy of a single individual, since anyone can contest power by tapa or asceticism, and many did contest the kings of Mataram.

Dates

The dates for events before the Siege of Batavia in the reign of Sultan Agung, third king of Mataram, are difficult to determine. There are several annals used by H.J. de Graaf in his histories such as Babad Sangkala and Babad Momana which contain list of events and dates in Javanese calendar (A.J., Anno Javanicus), but besides de Graaf’s questionable practice of simply adding 78 to Javanese years to obtain corresponding Christian years, the agreement between Javanese sources themselves is less than perfect.

The Javanese sources are very selective in putting dates to events. Events such as the rise and fall of kratons, the death of important princes, great wars, etc. are the only kind of events deemed important enough to be dated, by using a poetic formula called “candrasengkala”, which can be expressed verbally and pictorially, the rest being simply described in narrative succession without dates. Again these candrasengkalas do not always match the annals.

Therefore, it is suggested to follow the following rule of thumb: the dates from de Graaf and Ricklefs for the period before the Siege of Batavia can be accepted as best guess. For the period after the Siege of Batavia (1628-29) until the first War of Succession (1704), the years of events in which foreigners participated can be accepted as certain, but –again- are not always consistent with Javanese version of the story. The events in the period 1704-1755 can be dated with greater certainty since in this period the Dutch interfered deeply in Mataram affairs but events behind kraton walls are in general difficult to be dated precisely.

The rise of Mataram

Details in Javanese sources about the early years of the kingdom are limited, and the line is unclear between the historical record and myths since there are indications of the efforts of later rulers, especially Agung, to establish a long line of legitimate descent by inventing predecessors. However, by the time more reliable records begin in the mid-seventeenth century the kingdom was so large and powerful that most historians concur it had already been established for several generations.

According to Javanese records, the kings of Mataram were descended from one Ki Ageng Sela (Sela is a village near the present-day Demak). In the 1570s one of Ki Ageng Sela’s descendants, Kyai Gedhe Pamanahan became the ruler of the Mataram area with the support of the kingdom of Pajang to the north, near the current site of Surakarta (Solo). Pamanahan was often referred to as Kyai Gedhe Mataram.

Pamanahan’s son, Sutawijaya or Panembahan Senapati Ingalaga, replaced his father around 1584. Under Panembahan Senapati the kingdom grew substantially through regular military campaigns against Mataram’s overlord of Pajang and Pajang’s former overlord, Demak. After the defeat of Pajang, Senopati assumed royal status by wearing the title “Panembahan” (literally “one who is worshipped/sembah”). He began the fateful campaign to the East along the course of Solo River (Bengawan Solo) that was to bring endless conflicts and eventual demise of his kingdom. He conquered Madiun in 1590-1 and turned east from Madiun to conquer Kediri in 1591, and perhaps during the same time also conquered Jipang (present day Bojonegoro), Jagaraga (north of present day Magetan) and Ponorogo. His effort to conquer Banten in West Java in 1597 – witnessed by Dutch sailors – failed, perhaps due to lack of water transport. He reached east as far as Pasuruan, who may have used his threat to reduce pressure from the then powerful Surabaya.

The reign of Panembahan Seda ing Krapyak (circa 1601-1613), the son of Senapati, was dominated by further warfare, especially against powerful Surabaya, already a major center in East Java. He faced rebellion from his relatives who were installed in the newly conquered area of Demak (1602), Ponorogo (1607-8) and Kediri (1608). The first contact between Mataram and the Dutch East India Company (VOC) occurred under Krapyak. Dutch activities at the time were limited to trading from limited coastal settlements, so their interactions with the inland Mataram kingdom were limited, although they did form an alliance against Surabaya in 1613. Krapyak died that year.

Mataram under Sultan Agung

Krapyak was succeeded by his son, Raden Mas Rangsang, who assumed the title Panembahan ing Alaga and later took the title of Sultan Agung Hanyokrokusumo (“Great Sultan“) after obtaining permission to wear “Sultan” from Mecca. Agung was responsible for the great expansion and lasting historical legacy of Mataram due to the extensive military conquests of his long reign from 1613 to 1646. He attacked Surabaya in 1614 and also Malang, south of Surabaya, and the eastern end of Java. In 1615, he conquered Wirasaba (present day Mojoagung, near Mojokerto). In 1616, Surabaya tried to attack Mataram but this army was crushed by Sultan Agung’s forces in Siwalan, Pajang (near Solo). The coastal city of Lasem, near Rembang, was conquered in 1616 and Pasuruan, south-east of Surabaya, was taken in 1617. Tuban, one of the oldest and biggest cities on the coast of Java, was taken in 1619.

Surabaya was Mataram’s most difficult enemy. Senapati had not felt strong enough to attack this powerful city and Krapyak attacked it to no avail. Sultan Agung weakened Surabaya by capturing Sukadana, Surabaya’s ally in southwest Kalimantan, in 1622 and the island of Madura, another ally of Surabaya, was taken in 1624 after a fierce battle. After five years of war Agung finally conquered Surabaya in 1625. The city was taken not through outright military invasion, but instead because Agung surrounded it on land and sea, starving it into submission. With Surabaya brought into the empire, the Mataram kingdom encompassed all of central and eastern Java, and Madura, except for the west and east end of the island and its mountainous south (except for Mataram – of course). In the west Banten and the Dutch settlement in Batavia remain outside Agung’s control. He tried in 1628-29 to drive the Dutch from Batavia, but failed.

By 1625, Mataram was undisputed ruler of Java. Such a mighty feat of arms, however, did not deter Mataram’s former overlords from rebellion. Pajang rebelled in 1617, and Pati rebelled in 1627. After the capture of Surabaya in 1625, expansion stopped while the empire was busied by rebellions. In 1630, Mataram crushed a rebellion in Tembayat (south east of Klaten) and in 1631-36, Mataram had to suppress rebellion of Sumedang and Ukur in West Java. Ricklefs and de Graaf argued that these rebellions in the later part of Sultan Agung’s reign was mainly due to his inability to capture Batavia in 1628-29, which shattered his reputation of invincibility and inspired Mataram’s vassal to rebel. This argument seems untenable due to two reason: first, rebellions against Sultan Agung already began as far back as 1617 and occurred in Pati even during his peak of invincibility after taking Surabaya in 1625. The second, and more importantly, the military failure to capture Batavia was not seen as political failure by Javanese point of view. See Siege of Batavia.

In 1645 Sultan Agung began building Imogiri, his burial place, about fifteen kilometers south of Yogyakarta. Imogiri remains the resting place of most of the royalty of Yogyakarta and Surakarta to this day. Agung died in the spring of 1646, leaving behind an empire that covered most of Java and stretched to its neighboring islands.

Struggles for power

Upon taking the throne, Agung’s son Susuhunan Amangkurat I tried to bring long-term stability to Mataram’s realm, murdering local leaders that were insufficiently deferential to him including the still-powerful noble from Surabaya, Pangeran Pekik, his father-in-law, and closing ports and destroying ships in coastal cities to prevent them from getting too powerful from their wealth. To further his glory, the new king abandoned Karta, Sultan Agung’s capital, and moved to a grander red-brick palace in Plered (formerly the palace was built of wood).

By the mid-1670s dissatisfaction with the king was turning into open revolt, beginning from the recalcitrant Eastern Java and creeping inward. The Crown Prince (future Amangkurat II) felt that his life was not safe in the court after he took his father’s concubine with the help of his maternal grandfather, Pangeran Pekik of Surabaya, making Amangkurat I suspicious of a conspiracy among Surabayan factions to grab power in the capital by using Pekiks’ grandson’s powerful position as the Crown Prince. He conspired with Panembahan Rama from Kajoran, west of Magelang, who proposed a stratagem in which the Crown Prince financed Rama’s son-in-law, Trunajaya, to begin a rebellion in the East Java. Raden Trunajaya, a prince from Madura, lead a revolt fortified by itinerant fighters from faraway Makassar that captured the king’s court at Mataram in mid-1677. The king escaped to the north coast with his eldest son, the future king Amangkurat II, leaving his younger son Pangeran Puger in Mataram. Apparently more interested in profit and revenge than in running a struggling empire, the rebel Trunajaya looted the court and withdrew to his stronghold in Kediri, East Java, leaving Puger in control of a weak court. Seizing this opportunity, Puger assumed the throne in the ruins of Plered with the title Susuhanan ing Alaga.

Amangkurat II and the beginning of foreign involvement

Amangkurat I died in Tegal just after his expulsion, making Amangkurat II king in 1677. He too was nearly helpless, having fled without an army nor treasury to build one. In an attempt to regain his kingdom, he made substantial concessions to the Dutch East India Company (VOC), who then went to war to reinstate him. For the Dutch, a stable Mataram empire that was deeply indebted to them would help ensure continued trade on favorable terms. They were willing to lend their military might to keep the kingdom together. The multinational Dutch forces, consisting of light-armed troops from Makasar and Ambon, in addition to heavily-equipped European soldiers, first defeated Trunajaya in Kediri in November 1628 and Trunajaya himself was captured in 1679 near Ngantang west of Malang, then in 1681, the alliance of VOC and Amangkurat II forced Susuhunan ing Alaga (Puger) to relinguish the throne in favor of his elder brother Amangkurat II. Since the fallen Plered was considered inauspicious, Amangkurat II move the capital to Kartasura in the land of Pajang (northern part of the stretch of land between Mount Merapi and Mount Lawu, the southern part being Mataram).

By providing help in regaining his throne, the Dutch brought Amangkurat II under their tight control. Amangkurat II was apparently unhappy with the situation, especially the increasing Dutch control of the coast, but he was helpless in the face of a crippling financial debt and the threat of Dutch military power. The king engaged in a series of intrigues to try to weaken the Dutch position without confronting them head on; for example, by trying to cooperate with other kingdoms such as Cirebon and Johor and the court sheltered people wanted by the Dutch for attacking colonial offices or disrupting shipping such as Untung Surapati. In 1685, Batavia sent Captain Tack, the officer who captured Trunojoyo, to capture Surapati and negotiate further details into the agreement between VOC and Amangkurat II but the king arranged a ruse in which he pretended to help Tack. Tack was killed when pursuing Surapati in Kartasura, then capital of Mataram (present day Kartasura near Solo), but Batavia decided to do nothing since the situation in Batavia itself was far from stable, such as the insurrection of Captain Jonker, native commander of Ambonese settlement in Batavia, in 1689. Mainly due to this incident, by the end of his reign, Amangkurat II was deeply distrusted by the Dutch, but Batavia were similarly uninterested in provoking another costly war on Java.

Wars of succession

Amangkurat II died in 1703 and was briefly succeeded by his son, Amangkurat III. However, this time the Dutch believed they had found a more reliable client, and hence supported his uncle Pangeran Puger, formerly Susuhunan ing Alaga, who had previously been defeated by VOC and Amangkurat II. Before the Dutch, he accused Amangkurat III of planning an uprising in East Java. Unlike Pangeran Puger, Amangkurat III inherited blood connection with Surabayan ruler, Jangrana II, from Amangkurat II and this lent credibility to the allegation that he cooperated with the now powerful Untung Surapati in Pasuruan. Panembahan Cakraningrat II of Madura, VOC’s most trusted ally, persuaded the Dutch to support Pangeran Puger. Though Cakraningrat II harbored personal hatred towards Puger, this move is understandable since alliance between Amangkurat III and his Surabaya relatives and Surapati in Bangil would be a great threat to Madura’s position, even though Jangrana II’s father was Cakraningrat II’s son-in-law. Pangeran Puger took the title of Pakubuwana I upon his accession in June 1704. The conflict between Amangkurat III and Pakubuwana I, the latter allied with the Dutch, usually termed First Javanese War of Succession, dragged on for five years before the Dutch managed to install Pakubuwana. In August 1705, Pakubuwono I’s retainers and VOC forces captured Kartasura without resistance from Amangkurat III, whose forces cowardly turned back when the enemy reached Ungaran. Surapati’s forces in Bangil, near Pasuruan, was crushed by the alliance of VOC, Kartasura and Madura in 1706. Jangrana II, who tended to side with Amangkurat III and did not venture any assistance to the capture of Bangil, was called to present himself before Pakubuwana I and murdered there by VOC’s request in the same year. Amangkurat III ran away to Malang with Surapati’s descendants and his remnant forces but Malang was then a no-man’s-land who offered no glory fit for a king. Therefore, though allied operations to the eastern interior of Java in 1706-08 did not gain much success in military terms, the fallen king surrendered in 1708 after being lured with the promises of household (lungguh) and land, but he was banished to Ceylon along with his wives and children. This is the end of Surabayan faction in Mataram, and – as we shall see later – this situation would ignite the political time bomb planted by Sultan Agung with his capture of Surabaya in 1625.

With the installation of Pakubuwana, the Dutch substantially increased their control over the interior of Central Java. Pakubuwana I was more than willing to agree to anything the VOC asked of him. In 1705 he agreed to cede the regions of Cirebon and eastern part of Madura (under Cakraningrat II), in which Mataram had no real control anyway, to the VOC. The VOC was given Semarang as new headquarters, the right to build fortresses anywhere in Java, a garrison in the kraton in Kartasura, monopoly over opium and textiles, and the right to buy as much rice as they wanted. Mataram would pay an annual tribute of 1300 metric tons of rice. Any debt made before 1705 was cancelled. In 1709, Pakubuwana I made another agreement with the VOC in which Mataram would pay annual tribute of wood, indigo and coffee (planted since 1696 by VOC’s request) in addition to rice. These tributes, more than anything else, made Pakubuwana I the first genuine puppet of the Dutch. On paper, these terms seemed very advantageous to the Dutch, since the VOC itself was in financial difficulties during the period of 1683-1710. But the ability of the king to fulfil the terms of agreement depended largely on the stability of Java, for which VOC has made a guarantee. It turned out later that the VOC’s military might was incapable of such a huge task.

The last years of Pakubuwana’s reign, from 1717 to 1719, were dominated by rebellion in East Java against the kingdom and its foreign patrons. The murder of Jangrana II in 1706 incited his three brothers, regents of Surabaya, Jangrana III, Jayapuspita and Surengrana, to raise a rebellion with the help of Balinese mercenaries in 1717. Pakubuwana I’s tributes to the VOC secured him a power which was feared by his subjects in Central Java, but this is for the first time since 1646 that Mataram was ruled by a king without any eastern connection. Surabaya had no reason to submit anymore and thirst for vengeance made the brother regents openly contest Mataram’s power in Eastern Java. Cakraningkrat III who ruled Madura after ousting the VOC’s loyal ally Cakraningrat II, had every reason to side with his cousins this time. The VOC managed to capture Surabaya after a bloody war in 1718 and Madura was pacified when Cakraningrat III was killed in a fight on board of the VOC’s ship in Surabaya in the same year though the Balinese mercenaries plundered eastern Madura and was repulsed by VOC in the same year. However, similar to the situation after Trunajaya’s uprising in 1675, the interior regencies in East Java (Ponorogo, Madiun, Magetan, Jogorogo) joined the rebellion en masse. Pakubuwana I sent his son, Pangeran Dipanagara (not to be confused with another prince with the same title who fought the Dutch in 1825-1830) to suppress the rebellion in the eastern interior but instead Dipanagara joined the rebel and assumed the messianic title of Panembahan Herucakra.

In 1719 Pakubuwana I died and his son Amangkurat IV took the throne in 1719, but his brothers, Pangeran Blitar and Purbaya contested the succession. They attacked the kraton in June 1719. When they were repulsed by the cannons in VOC’s fort, they retreated south to the land of Mataram. Another royal brother, Pangeran Arya Mataram, ran to Japara and proclaim himself king, thus began the Second War of Succession. Before the year ended, Arya Mataram surrendered and was strangled in Japara by king’s order and Blitar and Purbaya was dislodged from their stronghold in Mataram in November. In 1720, these two princes ran away to the still rebellious interior of East Java. Luckily for VOC and the young king, the rebellious regents of Surabaya, Jangrana III and Jayapuspita died in 1718-20 and Pangeran Blitar died in 1721. In May and June 1723, the remnants of the rebels and their leaders surrendered, including Surengrana of Surabaya, Pangeran Purbaya and Dipanagara, all of whom were banished to Ceylon, except Purbaya, who was taken to Batavia to serve as “backup” to replace Amangkurat IV in case of any disruption in the relationship between the king and VOC since Purbaya was seen to have equal “legitimacy” by VOC. It is obvious from these two Wars of Succession that even though VOC was virtually invincible in the field, mere military prowess was not sufficient to pacify Java.

Court intrigues in 1723-1741

After 1723, the situation seemed to stabilize, much to the delight of the Dutch. Javanese nobility has learned that the alliance of VOC’s military with any Javanese faction makes them nearly invincible. It seemed that VOC’s plan to reap the profit from a stable Java under a kingdom which is deeply indebted to VOC would soon be realized. In 1726, Amangkurat IV fell to an illness that resembled poisoning. His son assumed the throne as Pakubuwana II, this time without any serious resistance from anybody. The history for the period of 1723 until 1741 was dominated by a series of intrigues which further showed the fragile nature of Javanese politics, held together by Dutch’s effort. In this relatively peaceful situation, the king could not gather the support of his “subjects” and instead was swayed by short-term ends siding with this faction for a moment and then to another. The king never seemed to lack challenges to his “legitimacy”. The descendants of Amangkurat III, who were allowed to return from Ceylon, and he royal brothers, especially Pangeran Ngabehi Loring Pasar and the banished Pangeran Arya Mangkunegara, tried to gain the support of the Dutch by spreading gossips of rebellion against the king and the patih (vizier), Danureja. At the same time, the patih tried to strengthen his position by installing his relatives and clients in the regencies, sometimes without king’s consent, at the expense of other nobles’ interests, including the powerful queens dowager, Ratu Amangkurat (Amangkurat IV’s wife) and Ratu Pakubuwana (Pakubuwana I’s wife), much to the confusion of the Dutch. The king tried to break the dominance of this Danureja by asking the help of the Dutch to banish him, but Danureja’s successor, Natakusuma, was influenced heavily by the Queen’s brother, Arya Purbaya, son of the rebel Pangeran Purbaya, who was also Natakusuma’s brother-in-law. Arya Purbaya’s erratic behavior in court, his alleged homosexuality which was abhorred by the pious king and rumors of his planning a rebellion against the “heathen” (the Dutch) caused unrest in Kartasura and hatred from the nobles. After his sister, the Queen, died of miscarriage in 1738, the king asked the Dutch to banish him, to which the Dutch complied gladly. Despite these faction strruggles, the situation in general did not show any signs of developing into full-scale war. Eastern Java was quiet: though Cakraningrat IV refused to pay homage to the court with various excuses, Madura was held under firm control by VOC and Surabaya did not stir. But dark clouds were forming. This time, the explosion came from the west: Batavia itself.

Chinese War 1741-1743

In the meantime, the Dutch were contending with other problems. The excessive use of land for sugar cane plantation in the interior of West Java reduced the flow of water in Ciliwung River (which flows through the city of Batavia) and made the city canals an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, resulting in a series of malaria outbreak in 1733-1795. This was aggravated by the fall of sugar price in European market, bringing bankruptcy to sugar factories in the areas around Batavia (the Ommelanden), which were mostly operated and manned by Chinese labor. The unrest prompted VOC authorities to reduce the number of unlicensed Chinese settlers, who had been smuggled into Batavia by Chinese sugar factory owner. These laborers were loaded into ships out of Batavia but the gossip that these people were thrown to the sea as soon as the ship was beyond horizon caused panic among the Chinese. In 7 October 1740, several Chinese mob attacked Europeans outside the city and incited the Dutch to order a massacre two days later. The Chinese settlement in Batavia was looted for several days. The Chinese ran away and captured Bekasi, which was dislodged by VOC in June 1741.

In 1741, Chinese rebels were present in Central Java, particularly around Tanjung (Welahan), Pati, Grobogan, and Kaliwungu. In May 1741 Juwana was captured by the Chinese. The Javanese at first sided with the Dutch and reinforced Demak in 10 June 1741. Two days later, a detachment of Javanese forces together with VOC forces of European, Balinese and Buginese in Semarang to defend Tugu, west of Semarang. The Chinese rebel lured them into their main forces’s position in Mount Bergota through narrow road and ambushed them. The allied forces were dispersed and ran as fast as they could back to Semarang. The Chinese pursued them but were repulsed by Dutch cannons in the fortress. Semarang was seized by panic. By July 1741, the Chinese occupied Kaligawe, south of Semarang, Rembang, and besieged Jepara. This is the most dangerous time for VOC. Military superiority would enable VOC to hold Semarang without any support from Mataram forces, but it would mean nothing since a turbulent interior would disrupt trade and therefore profit, VOC’s main objective. One VOC high official, Abraham Roos, suggested that VOC assumed royal function in Java by denying Pakubuwana II’s “legitimacy” and asking the regents to take an oath of loyalty to VOC’s sovereignty. This was turned down by the Council of Indies (Raad van Indie) in Batavia, since even if VOC managed to conquer the coast, it would not be strong enough to conquer the mountainous interior of Java, which do not provide much level plain required by Western method of warfare. Therefore, the Dutch East India Company must support its superior but inadequate military by picking the right allies. One such ally had presented itself, that is Cakraningkrat IV of Madura who could be relied on to gold the eastern coast against the Chinese, but the interior of Eastern and Central Java was beyond the reach of this quarrelsome prince. Therefore, VOC had no choice but to side with Pakubuwana II.

VOC’s dire situation after the Battle of Tugu in July 1741 did not escape the king’s attention, but – like Amangkurat II – he avoided any open breach with VOC since his own kraton was not lacking of factions against him. He ordered Patih Natakusuma to do all the dirty work, such as ordering the Arch-Regent (Adipati) of Jipang (Bojonegoro), one Tumenggung Mataun, to join the Chinese. In September 1741, the king ordered Patih Natakusuma and several regents to help the Chinese besiege Semarang and let Natakusuma attack VOC garrison in Kartasura, who were starved into submission in August. However, reinforcement from VOC’s posts in Outer Islands were arriving since August and they were all wisely concentrated to repel the Chinese around Semarang. In the beginning of November, the Dutch attacked Kaligawe, Torbaya around Semarang, and repulsed the alliance of Javanese and Chinese forces who were stationed in four separate fortress and did not coordinate with each other. At the end of November, Cakraningrat IV had controlled the stretch of east coast from Tuban to Sedayu and the Dutch relieved Tegal of Chinese rebels. This caused Pakubuwana II to change sides and open negotiations with the Dutch.

In the next year 1742, the alliance of Javanese and Chinese let Semarang alone and captured Kudus and Pati in February. In March, Pakubuwana II sent a messenger to negotiate with the Dutch in Semarang and offered them absolute control over all northern coasts of Java and the privilege to appoint patih. VOC promptly sent van Hohendorff with a small force to observe the situation in Kartasura. Things began to get worse for Pakubuwana II. In April, the rebels set up Raden Mas Garendi, a descendant of Amangkurat III, as king with the title of Sunan Kuning.

In May, the Dutch agreed to support Pakubuwana II after considering that after all, the regencies in eastern interior were still loyal to this weak king but the Javano-Chinese rebel alliance had occupied the only road from Semarang to Kartasura and captured Salatiga. The princes in Mataram tried to attack the Javano-Chinese alliance but they were repulsed. On 30 June 1742, the rebels captured Kartasura and van Hohendorff had to run away from a hole in kraton wall with the helpless Pakubuwana II on his back. The Dutch, however, ignored Kartasura’s fate in rebel hands and concentrated its forces under Captain Gerrit Mom and Nathaniel Steinmets to repulse the rebels around Demak, Welahan, Jepara, Kudus and Rembang. By October 1742, the northern coast of Central Java was cleaned of the rebels, who seemed to disperse into the traditional rebel hideout in Malang to the east and the Dutch forces returned to Semarang in November. Cakraningrat IV, who wished to free the eastern coast of Java from Mataram influence, could not deter the Dutch from supporting Pakubuwana II but he managed to capture and plunder Kartasura in November 1742. In December 1742, VOC negotiated with Cakraningrat and managed to persuade him to relieve Kartasura of Madurese and Balinese troops under his pay. The treasures, however, remained in Cakraningrat’s hand.

The reinstatement of Pakubuwana II in Kartasura in 14 December 1742 marked the end of the Chinese war. It showed who was in control of the situation. Accordingly, Sunan Kuning surrendered in October 1743, followed by other rebel leaders. Cakraningrat IV was definitely not pleased with this situation and he began to make alliance with Surabaya, the descendants of Untung Surapati, and hired more Balinese mercenaries. He stopped paying tribute to VOC in 1744, and after a failed attempt to negotiate, the Dutch attacked Madura in 1745 and ousted Cakraningrat, who was banished to the Cape in 1746.

Division of Mataram

The divided Mataram in 1830, after the Java War.

The fall of Kartasura made the palace inauspicious for the king and Pakubuwana II built a new kraton in Surakarta or Solo and moved there in 1746. However, Pakubuwana II was far from secure in this throne. Raden Mas Said, or Pangeran Sambernyawa (meaning “Soul Reaper”), son of banished Arya Mangkunegara, who later would establish the princely house of Mangkunagara in Solo, and several other princes of the royal blood still maintained rebellion. Pakubuwana II declared that anyone who can suppress the rebellion in Sukawati, areas around present day Sragen, would be rewarded with 3000 households. Pangeran Mangkubumi, Pakuwana II’s brother, who would later establish the royal house of Yogyakarta took the challenge and defeated Mas Said in 1746. But when he claimed his prize, his old enemy, patih Pringgalaya, advised the king against it. In the middle of this problem, VOC’s Governor General, van Imhoff, paid a visit to the kraton, the first one to do so during the whole history of the relation between Mataram and VOC, in order to confirm the de facto Dutch possession of coastal and several interior regions. Pakubuwana II hesitantly accepted the cession in lieu of 20.000 real per year. Mangkubumi was dissatisfied with his brother’s decision to yield to van Imhoff’s insistence, which was made without consulting the other members of royal family and great nobles. van Imhoff had neither experience nor tactfulness to understand the delicate situation in Mataram and he rebuked Mangkubumi as “too ambitious” before the whole court when Mangkubumi claimed the 3000 households. This shameful treatment from a foreigner who had wrested the most prosperous lands of Mataram from his weak brother led him to raise his followers into rebellion in May 1746, this time with the help of Mas Said.

In the midst of Mangkubumi rebellion in 1749, Pakubuwana II fell ill and called van Hohendorff, his trusted friend who saved his life during the fall of Kartasura in 1742. He asked Hohendorff to assume control over the kingdom. Hohendorff was naturally surprised and refused, thinking that he would be made king of Mataram, but when the king insisted on it, he asked his sick friend to confirm it in writing. On 11 December 1749, Pakubuwana II signed an agreement in which the “sovereignty” of Mataram was given to VOC.

On 15 December 1749, Hohendorff announced the accession of Pakubuwana II’s son as the new king of Mataram with the title Pakubuwana III. However, three days earlier, Mangkubumi in his stronghold in Yogyakarta also announced his accession with the title Mangkubumi, with Mas Said as his patih. This rebellion got stronger day by day and even in 1753 the Crown Prince of Surakarta joined the rebels. VOC decided that it did have not the military capability to suppress this rebellion, though in 1752, Mas Said broke away from Hamengkubuwana. By 1754, all parties were tired of war and ready to negotiate.

The kingdom of Mataram was divided in 1755 under an agreement signed in Giyanti between the Dutch under the Governor General Nicolaas Hartingh and rebellious prince Mangkubumi. The treaty divided nominal control over central Java between Yogyakarta Sultanate, under Mangkubumi, and Surakarta, under Pakubuwana. Mas Said, however, proved to be stronger than the combined forces of Solo, Yogya and VOC. In 1756, he even almost captured Yogyakarta, but he realized that he could not defeat the three powers all by himself. In February 1757 he surrendered to Pakubuwana III and was given 4000 households, all taken from Pakubuwana III’s own lungguh, and a parcel of land near Solo, the present day Mangkunegaran Palace, and the title of “Pangeran Arya Adipati Mangkunegara”. This settlement proved successful in that political struggle was again confined to palace or inter-palace intrigues and peace was maintained until 1812.

Sultanate of Ternate

Sultanate of Ternate was originally named as Kingdom of Gapi, but later change the name base of its capital, Ternate. The sultanate is one of the oldest muslim kingdoms in Indonesia, established by Baab Mashur Malamo in 1257. It reach its Golden Age during the reign of Sultan Baabullah (1570 – 1583) and encompassed what most of the eastern part Indonesia and a part of southern Philippines. Ternate was a world producer of cloves and a major power in the region between 15th – 17th century.

History

Pre-colonial history

Ternate and neighbouring Tidore were the world’s single major producer of cloves upon which their rulers became among the wealthiest and most powerful sultans in the Indonesian region. Much of their wealth, however, was wasted fighting each other. Up until the Dutch completed the colonization of Maluku in the 19th century, the sultans of Ternate ruled empires that claimed at least nominal influence as far as Ambon, Sulawesi and Papua.[1]

In part as a result of its trade-dependent culture, Ternate was one of the earliest places in the region to which Islam spread, probably coming from Java in the late 15th century. Initially, the faith was restricted to Ternate’s small ruling family, and spread only slowly to the rest of the population.

The royal family of Ternate converted to Islam during the reign of King Marhum (1465-1486), his son and successor, Zainal Abidin (1486-1500) enacted Islamic Law and transformed the kingdom into Islamic base Sultanate, the title Kolano (king) was then replaced with Sultan.

The peak of Ternate’s power came near the end of the sixteenth century, under Sultan Baabullah (1570-1583), when it had influence over most of the eastern part of Sulawesi, the Ambon and Seram area, Timor island, parts of southern Mindanao and as well as parts of Papua. It frequently engaged in fierce competition for control of its periphery with the nearby sultanate of Tidore. According to historian Leonard Andaya, Ternate’s “dualistic” rivalry with Tidore is a dominant theme in the early history of the Maluku Islands.

Europeans

The first Europeans to stay on Ternate were part of the Portuguese expedition of Francisco Serrão out of Malacca, which was shipwrecked near Seram and rescued by local residents. Sultan Bayanullah of Ternate (1500-1522) heard of their stranding, and, seeing a chance to ally himself with a powerful foreign nation, he brought them to Ternate in 1512. The Portuguese were permitted to build a fort on the island, construction of which began in 1522, but relations between the Ternateans and Portuguese were strained from the start.

An outpost far from Europe generally only attracted the most desperate and avaricious, such that the generally poor behaviour of the Portuguese combined with feeble attempts at Christianisation, strained relations with Ternate’s Muslim ruler.[2] In 1535 Sultan Tabariji was deposed and sent to Goa by the Portuguese. He converted to Christianity and changed his name to Dom Manuel. After being declared innocent of the charges against him he was sent back to reassume his throne however he died en route in Malacca in 1545. He had though bequeathed the island of Ambon to his Portuguese godfather Jordão de Freitas. Following the murder of Sultan Hairun at the hands of the Portuguese, the Ternateans expelled the Portuguese in 1575 after a five-year siege. Ambon became the new centre for Portuguese activities in Maluku. European power in the region was weak and Ternate became an expanding, fiercely Islamic and anti-Portuguese state under the rule of Sultan Baab Ullah (r. 1570 – 1583) and his son Sultan Said.[3]

Spanish forces captured the former Portuguese fort from the Ternatese in 1606, deported the Ternate Sultan and his entourage to Manila. In 1607 the Dutch came back in Ternate where with the help of Ternateans built a fort in Malayo. The island was divided between the two powers: the Spaniards were allied with Tidore and the Dutch with their Ternaten allies. For the Ternaten rulers, the Dutch were a useful, if not particularly welcome, presence that gave them military advantages against Tidore and the Spanish. Particularly under Sultan Hamzah (1627-1648), Ternate expanded its territory and strengthened its control over the periphery. Dutch influence over the kingdom was limited, though Hamzah and his grandnephew and successor, Sultan Mandar Syah (1648-1675) did concede some regions to the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in exchange for help controlling rebellions there. The Spaniards abandoned Maluku in 1663.

Desire to restore Ternate to its former glory and expel the western power, Sultan Sibori of Ternate (1675-1691) declared war to the Dutch, but the power of Ternate had greatly reduced over the years, he lost and forced to concede more of his lands to the Dutch by an unjust treaty in 1683. By this treaty, Ternate lost its equal position with the Dutch and became a vassal. However the Sultans of Ternate and its people was never fully under Dutch control.

In the 18th century Ternate was the site of a VOC governorship, which attempted to control all trade in the northern Moluccas. By the 19th century, the spice trade had declined substantially. Hence the region was less central to the Netherlands colonial state, but the Dutch maintained a presence in the region in order to prevent another colonial power from occupying it. After the VOC was nationalised by the Dutch government in 1800, Ternate became part of the Government of the Moluccas (Gouvernement der Molukken). Ternate was occupied by British forces in 1810 before being returned to Dutch control in 1817. In 1824 became the capital of a residency (administrative region) covering Halmahera, the entire west coast of New Guinea, and the central east coast of Sulawesi. By 1867 all of Dutch-occupied New Guinea had been added to the residency, but then its region was gradually transferred to Ambon (Amboina) before being dissolved into that residency in 1922.

Sultan Haji Muhammad Usman (1896 – 1914) made a last attempt to drove out the Dutch by instigate revolts in the region, he fails and was dethroned, his wealth was confiscated and exiled to Bandung where he lived his remaining years until 1927. The throne of Ternate was left vacant from 1914-1927 until the board of minister by the blessing of the Dutch placed the Crown Prince Iskandar Muhammad Jabir as the next Sultan.

Lineage

The dynasty which ruled Ternate still exist today as well as the Sultanate itself, though they no longer holds any political power. Ternate is ruled by an unbroken line of rulers since its first king, Baab Mashur Malamo in 13th century. The current sultan is H.H. Sultan Drs. H. Mudaffar II Syah who assumed the title in 1986

 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “The Spread Of Islam in Indonesia 1200 – 1600

  1. Hey. I just want to give you a quick note to verbalize my thankfulness. I have been reading your blog for few weeks and have picked up a lot of great info and appreciated the way you’ve built your site. I’m undertaking to create my personal site but I think its too general and I would like to focus more on particular themes.

    Like

  2. Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s