Part 15

The Kingdom of Mataram Islam


In 1586, Sutawidjaja successfully brought ceremonial objects of Padjang to the Mataram palace. Then Sutawidjaja crowned himself to be King of Mataram and had the title Panembahan Senapati (1586-1601).

At that time, Mataram region was very small. Its capital city was Kota Gedhe. To expand his power, one at a time several important areas in Central Java and East Java were conquered. In addition, some areas that used to be conquered by Pajang wanted to escape from Mataram therefore Panembahan Senapati forced to make war.

            Demak, was the first area that defeated then consecutive Madiun, Panaraga, Pasuruan, and Kediri. Finally Surabaya, a region that had become a most successful trade center in East Java, also forced to bow to Mataram power. Although some areas had been under the Mataram authority, these areas several times did rebellion. But all these revolts could be extinguished by Panembahan Senapati.    

In 1595 Panembahan Senapati successfully conquered Cirebon and Galuh. He also had intention to overcome Banten that at that time had become a bustling trade center. By conquering Banten, Mataram hoped to hold the political power of international trade in South Asia. However his plan was not successful. During the reign, Panembahan Senapati had to continue to fight. Panembahan Senapati experienced a long period of struggle to gain recognition from the whole prince and regent who led the region or district. Because of continually war, Panembahan Senapati did not have the opportunity to maintain a vast culture. Panembahan Senapati passed away in 1601 and was buried in Kota Gedhe, Yogyakarta.

The Genealogy of Panembahan Senapati

After the Panembahan Senapati death, the power of the kingdom of Mataram held by Mas Djolang, the son of Panembahan Senapati. He had the title Sultan Anjokrowati (1601-1613). When Sultan Anjokrowati ruled, some areas that used to be overcome by Panembahan carried out rebellion. But one by one these areas successfully seized again. In 1604, Sultan Anjokrowati successfully seized Demak. Panaraga, Kediri, Kertasana, Wirasaba also successfully seized again. In 1612 Gresik was defeated. On his return from war, in 1613 Sultan Anjokrowati died in Krapyak, a place in Kedu. That is why he is also well-known as Pangeran Seda Krapyak. Sultan Anjokrowati buried in Kota Gedhe, Yogyakarta.

The entrance to the complex of King Mataram’s graveyard at Kota Gedhe, Yogyakarta. This photo proved that the culture of Islam in Indonesia adjusted the Indonesia native culture which had been affected by Hindus elements.


To be continued



Soeroto: Indonesia Ditengah-tengah Dunia dari Abad ke Abad; Djambatan: 1954

Endo Hardjosoewito; Sedjarah Indonesia I; Kementrian Pendidikan Pengadjaran dan Kebudajaan RI: 1952

Drs. Sutjipto Wirjosuparto; Dari Lima Zaman Pendjajahan Menuju Zaman Kemerdekaan; Indira:1956

Dr H.J. De Graaf; Geschiedenis Van Indonesie ; N.V. Uitgeverij W. Van Hoeve-’s Gravenhage / Bandung 1949

H.J. De Graaf & G. TH Pigeaud; Kerajaan-kerajaan Islam Pertama di Jawa; Grafiti Pers; Jakarta:1986



Part 14

The Padjang Kingdom

The Sultan Trenggana’s death, in the year 1546 resulted in a great turmoil in Java. Then several small kingdoms which recognized the power of Demak, one by one escaped from the influence of Demak. In Demak the heirs struggled  with each other for power. In the midst of chaos, the power turned to Prince Hadiwidjaja, the duke of Padjang.

Prince Hadiwidjaja other name is Mas Krebet, Djaka Tingkir, or Pandji Mas. He is the son of Regent Pengging named Ki Kebo Kenanga. Prince Hadiwidjaja still has the blood of the descendants of Majapahit. During the Sultan Trenggana led Demak, Prince Hadiwidjaja become leader of Demak troops. He also married Sultan Trenggana’s daughter.

When the power switched from Demak to Padjang, the crown and ceremonial objects of Demak, which said came from Madjapahit, brought to Padjang. In the year 1568, Prince Hadiwidjaja faced Sunan Giri. To strengthen the position he was appointed to be the Sultan by Sunan Giri.

Padjang was one of the Majapahit kingdom’s crowns in the 14th century. At least once the king Hayam Wuruk had made visit to this region. In spite of that, Padjang was not an important region for Majapahit kingdom because Pajang rarely mentioned in the Negarakertagama book.              

            Padjang area is located in the southwest Surakarta, Central Java. The removal of the kingdom's center from coastal to inland area meant the movement of the center of trade to agriculture. In addition, Islam also began to enter the hinterland. People in the coastal areas were Muslims while in the heartland Hindu had not disappeared. Meanwhile Islam slowly entered the hinterland East Java. However, Hindu and Buddhist still stood in a corner of East  Java. People who were loyal to the Hindu and Buddhism evacuated to the areas of the Tengger mountain range, Blambangan, or to Bali.

The Padjang era (1568-1586) also indicated the movement of the center of trade to agriculture.

The Padjang power slowly was recognized by the traders in the coastal area because Sultan Padjang was not too officious to the traders and did not contradict between the hinterland and coastal areas. In a short, Sultan Padjang who was in power from the inland Central Java succeeded in unifying a number of the Islam kings in Central Java and East Java into a formal bound. There were some areas that recognize the authority of the Sultan Hadiwidjaja, such as Surabaya, Tuban, Pati, Demak, Pemalang, Purbaja (Madiun), Blitar (Kediri), Selaro(Banyumas), Krapjak (Bagelen), Mataram (Djogja). These areas were commanded by the regent or prince while Mataram submitted on Ki Gede Pemanahan who helped Sultan Hadiwidjaja destroy Arya Penangsang.   

        The green marks on this map show the authority of the Padjang in 1568-1586

    The son of Ki Gede Pemanahan whose named Sutawidjaja or Raden Bagus or Pangeran Ngabehi Loring Pasar was adopted as a son by Sultan Hadiwidjaja. Sutawidjaja also was friend to the crown prince i.e. Pangeran Banawa. When Ki Gede Pemanahan died in 1575, Sultan Hadiwidjaja lifted Sutawidjaja with a title Senapati ing Alaga Saidin Panatagama as a substitute for his father.  

Senapati wished to overpower the entire Java. It was quite apparent that he wanted to rebel Sultan Hadiwidjaja when he released Tumenggung Majang who was exiled to Semarang with violence. At this event Senapati was assisted by the minister of Kedu and Bagelen. His rebellion caused some ministers of Pajang to be victims and trigger off a war between Mataram and Padjang. In that battle, Padjang was defeated while Sultan Hadiwidjaja fell from his ride, an elephant. Some people say that Sultan Hadiwidjaja was poisoned. Sultan Hadiwidjaja died and buried in the village of Butuh in 1582.

As a substitute for Sultan Hadiwidjaja, the family appointed Arya Pangiri, while Pangeran Benawa, the crown prince, was assigned as the duke of Jipang.

During Arya Pangiri led Pajang, the people of Pajang disliked him much because of his action that had given 1 / 3 part of the Pajang’s field to his followers from Demak. This event caused restlessness of the people. The people of Padjang informed Senapati about Arya Pangiri’s acts. However, Senapati neglected it. Senapati finally gave an attack after Pangeran Benawa urged him to seize Padjang and there was a rumor about a movement which wanted to bring him down in the capital of Padjang. As a result of Senapati attack, Arya Pangiri downed the throne. At the request of the Sultan Hadiwidjaja’s daughter, Arya Pangiri was not be killed and allowed to return to Demak. Then Pangeran Benawa submitted Padjang to Senapati (1586). The crown and ceremonial objects of the Padjang kingdom moved to Mataram.



To be continued


Part 13

The Nine Pious Ambassador’s Profiles.


7.      Sunan Kudus

Sunan Kudus is the son of Raden Usman Haji. But some historians said that he is the son of Sunan Ampel. If he is truly the son of Sunan Ampel, then he belongs to the Prophet Muhammad’s descendants. 

Sunan Kudus was a war commander in the Demak kingdom. In addition as a mark of his dedication to Islam he inherited a great mosque of Kudus in Central Java. The name of “kudus” is derived from the name of Baitul Makdis whom Arabian calls it Al-Quds. 

This photo shows the Kudus mosque minaret. The form of minaret adopted the Java-Hindu architecture. This photo also proved that Islam is religion of tolerance.

8.      Sunan Muria

His proper name is Raden Umar Said. Sunan Muria is the son of Sunan Kalijaga. When he was young, his name was Raden Prawoto. He married with the son of Sunan Ngudung whose name Dewi Sujinah. Sunan Muria was faithful to the Demak kingdom. Along with Raden Patah, he built that kingdom. He also perfected the development of the great Demak mosque. Sunan Muria was similar to his father in maintaining the Java cultural preservation as the religious proselytizing method. Perhaps the one who created the Javanese songs i.e. Sinom and Kinanti was Sunan Muria. Raden Umar Said was nicknamed Sunan Muria because he lived on the slope of Mount Muria and was buried in there.

9.      Sunan Gunung Jati

He had several nicknames such as Syarif Hidayatullah, Makhdum Gunung Jati, Taragil, Muhammad Nuruddin, Syeikh Nurullah, Makhdum Jati, Syeikh Makhdum Rahmatullah, etc.  His famous nickname is Falatehan or Fatahillah. His genealogy is as follows Syarif Hidayatullah bin ’Abdullah (’Umdatuddin) bin ’Ali Nur ’Alam bin Maulana Jamaluddin Al-Akbar Al-Husain bin Sayyid Ahmad Syah Jalal bin ’Amir ’Abdulmalik bin Sayyid ’Alwi bin Sayyid Muhammad Shahib Marbath bin S

ayyid ’Ali Khali’ Qasam bin Sayyid ’Ali bin Sayyid Muhammad bin Sayyid ’Alwi bin Sayyid ’Abdullah bin Imam Ahmad Al-Muhajir bin Imam ’Isa An-Naqib bin Sayyid ’Ali Al-’Uraidhi bin Imam Ja’far Ash-Shadiq bin Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir bin Imam Zainal Abidin bin Imam Al-Husain bin Imam ‘Ali bin Abi Thalib, who is Fatimah Az-Zahra’s husband.  So that he is included into the Prophet Muhammad’s descendants.

      Syarif Hidayatullah passed away in 1570 and buried at Gunung Jati, Cirebon. Perhaps it was he who changed the Demak kingdom into the Demak Sultanate and also gave a title Sultan to Raden Trenggono.  

The genealogy of Sunan Gunung Jati.


According to other historians, there are also other pious ambassadors, apart from the 9 pious ambassadors, such as Sunan Tembayat, Sunan Prawoto, Sunan Ngudung, Sunan Geseng, Sunan Benang, Sunan Mojoagung, Syeikh Siti Jenar, Syeikh Syubakir, Maulana Ishak etc. However these other pious ambassadors are less renowned than the 9 pious ambassadors.



To Be Continued

Part 12

The Nine Pious Ambassador’s Profiles.


5.      Sunan Drajat

Maulana Syarifuddin is well-known as Sunan Drajat. He is the son of Sunan Ampel Denta. He was loyal to Raden Patah and attended in building the first Islamic kingdom in Java i.e. The Bintoro Demak kingdom. There is also a historical source which told that it was Sunan Drajat who created the song of Pangkur. But the truth of this historical source remains unknown. In addition nobody knows when Sunan Drajat was born and where he was buried.

6.      Sunan Kalijaga (Raden Mas Syahid)

He is a native of Java. His proper name is Raden Mas Syahid. He is the son of Ki Raden Sahur Tumenggung Wilatika who was the regent of Tuban. He was the one of the nine pious ambassadors who had a great religious tolerance. He was a man of letters and he was a philosopher as well. A Dutch writer called him Reiznde Mubalig or preacher who always on the move. Each time of his religious missionary he was followed by some noblemen and some intellectuals.  It was he who put Islam elements and Islam views into the stories of wayang (the leather puppet). He also skilled in putting Islamic elements into Java traditional music orchestra and gave some Islamic characters to several Javanese customs and traditions which at that time still be affected by Hindus and Buddhist traditions.

      Not only Javanese but also Javanese cultures, such as the art of Java music (Gamelan and Gending), the art of play (the leather puppet performance), the art of painting (Batik), the art of sculpture (Sungging) and Javanese literature were Islamized by Sunan Kalijaga

      At the golden peak of the Majapahit period, many bird images were used in Batik designs. In relation to that matter, Sunan Kalijaga was skilled in creating the meaning of the words. For example, an old Java word was adapted, so it had an Islamic meaning. The word bird in the old Java word means kukila. This word was adapted with the word quqila which is in Arabic means what is said. By adapting this word, kukila or quqila had a new meaning i.e. watch out what you want to say. It means we have to be careful of the words we choose when we talk.

This photo shows a bird image of Batik which was used by Sunan Kalijaga as a means for religious proselytizing. 

Sunan Kalijaga also designed a cloth style which well-known as Baju Takwa. This cloth recently is pretty familiar in the circle of Java nobility. This cloth derived from the word Takwa (an Arabic word) which means obedient or be faithful to God. 


 This photo shows the ulama (Muslim religious teacher or leader) of the Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace who were praying.  They wore Baju Takwa, designed by Sunan Kalijaga, a man of great tolerance.

It is possible that Kalijaga is merely a nick name. It occurred because Javanese had pronounced his name incorrectly. Actually his proper name is Qadhi Zakka. Javanese got difficulty with the pronunciation of his name. His proper name is derived from Arabic language. Because of miss-pronunciation his name changed into Kalijaga.

      Historians have a difference of opinion about his genealogy. Some historians said that Sunan Kalijaga was a native of Java, and the others said that he had the same genealogy with other pious ambassadors such as the son of Sunan Ampel. If the last opinion is correct, in that case Sunan Kalijaga can be included in the Prophet Muhammad’s descendant.

 To Be Continued


Part 11

The Nine Pious Ambassador’s Profiles.


3.      Sunan Bonang

He is the son of Sunan Ampel. His proper name is Maulana Makhdum Ibrahim. He has the same genealogy as Sunan Ampel has. His thought about the divinity is that Iman, Tauhid and Makrifat (the belief, the oneness of God, and the highest knowledge in mysticism) are the perfect knowledge that can be achieved if anyone keeps devoting to God. Sunan Bonang was skilful in Fikih, Usluhudin, Tasawuf, Art, and Architecture. During his lifetime, he propagated Islam in around Jepara, Lasem, Tuban and Madura. In  spread of Islam, he did everything as long as did not contradict to Islam doctrines. He eliminated the belief in unlucky day. As substitute for it, he implanted the belief in the existence of some angels and some prophets. Sunan Bonang also held Islamic boarding school to educate the youths who would spread Islam to remote areas. He also helped to develop the great Demak mosque. He helped Raden Patah  in adding his knowledge about Islam as well. In artistic performance, perhaps it was Sunan Bonang who created Gendhing Dhurmo (a musical composition for gamelan). His fully dedication made people getcloser to Islam. Sunan Bonang passed away around 1525 in the Island of Bawean. He was buried near to Glorious Mosque of Tuban, East java.

                   A complex of Sunan Bonang's graveyard lies in Tuban, East Java 

4.      Sunan Giri (Raden Paku)

His proper name is Raden Paku Syarif Muhammad ‘Ainul Yakin. His genealogy is as follows Muhammad ’Ainul-yaqin bin Makhdum Ishaq bin Ibrahim Asmoro bin Jamaluddin Al-Husain bin Ahmad Syah Jalal bin ’Abdullah bin ’Abdul-Malik bin ’Alawi bin Muhammad bin ’Ali bin ’Alawi bin Muhammad bin ’Alawi bin Abdullah bin Al-Muhajir Ahmad bin ’Isa and so on until reach its peak to ’Ali Zainal-Abidin bin Al-Husain, who is one of the sons of the married couple of Imam ’Ali bin Abi Thalib and Fatimah Az-Zahra binti Muhammad (the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter). He was the one of the Sunan Ampel’s disciples. His father was a teacher of Islam religion in Pasai and Malacca. Based on Islam history books in Indonesia, Sunan Giri’s father was well-known as Maulana Ishaq dari Blambangan because Sunan Ampel delegated to him to spread Islam in Blambangan, East Java. Another historian said that after Sunan Giri’s father went to Pasai and never went back to Java, the young Raden Paku was taken as an adopted child by Nyai Ageng Maloka or Nyai Gede Maloka. In history of Java, Nyai Ageng Maloka was called Nyai Ageng Tandes or Nyai Ageng. After growing up, Raden Paku was sent to Sunan Ampel by Nyai Ageng to learn about Islam. Then Raden Paku met the son of Sunan Ampel who later known as Sunan Bonang. Sunan Ampel asked Raden Paku and his son to make the pilgrimage to Mecca while deepening their knowledge. Before going to pilgrimage they stopped over in Pasai, Sumatra to gained more knowledge. 

A map of Pasai, Sumatera in 1365

After making the pilgrimage the two young men went back to Java. Raden Paku had succeeded in achieving the knowledge of ladunniy, so that his teacher in Pasai gave a name “Ainul Yakin” or Sheikh Ainul Yakin. Then Raden Paku held an Islam boarding school in Giri, East Java.Besides Raden Paku  paid great attention to the child’s education. Hence he created some child songs which contained Islamic lyrics, such as Gendhing-gendhing (Java-musical composition for gamelan) Jelungan, Jamuran, Gendijor, Gula ganti, Cublak-cublak Suweng. One of his famous songs is Ilir-ilir which lyric as follows:

Lir ilir, lir ilir,

tandure wis sumilir,

sing ijo royo-royo,

tak sengguh kemanten anyar,

cah angon, cah angon,

penekno blimbing kuwi,

lunyu-lunyu penekno kanggo masuh dodotiro,

dodotiro, dodotiro, kumitir bedah ing pinggir

dondomono jrumatono, kanggo sebo mengko sore,

mumpung gede rembulane,

mumpung jembar kalangane,

dak surak-surak …


This song has a meaningful message that is a new born baby i.e. Islam which just born in this world is clean and pure (straight) like a newlywed that attracts everyone who looking at. Hay the one, who herds (a person who keeps his belief and the saving of his soul). Climb that star fruit tree! (Star fruit symbolizes ritual prayer and action performed 5 times daily). Even though that tree is  hard to be climbed but try it (Even tough ritual action i.e. sholat is hard to be fulfilled but just do it) because it is useful to wash out your cloths (soul and heart) which torn at its sides (dirty because of having a sin). Sew and stitch it (mend and correct it) so that can be worn to look out in the evening (used as a supply in facing God, later on resurrection day). Be happy, be cheerful, and be full of spirit, the one who cleans his soul and heart. Speaking about  the Ilir-ilir song, some people say that Ilir-ilir song is not Sunan Giri’s creation but Sunan Kalijaga’s creation. However Sunan Giri is well-known as a child’s songs composer. So that it is very possible that the Ilir-ilir song is his creation. Raden Paku passed away and was buried on the Giri Hill in Gresik East Java.

                                                                                             To Be Continued 

Part 10

The Nine Pious Ambassadors (Wali Sanga)

The civilization of Java-Majapahit did not disappear immediately but little by little was Islamized. The civilization of Java-Islam which developed by the nine pious ambassadors was the renewal of the old Java-Hindu, then Islam gradually became the most predominant religion in Java.

According to the people say, several pious ambassadors often came to Demak, Central Java to hold the meetings. Those pious ambassadors were considered possessing supernatural qualities. It was they who lead the development of Islam in Java. They lived in the beginning of the 16th century and build several religious places, such as the great mosque of Demak. Those pious ambassadors also built the kampong. For example Sunan Kudus built several villages in Kudus; Sunan Giri built a palace and mosque on the Giri hill; and another pious ambassador built Semarang city. Through those new cities or kampongs, Islam spread out the entire Java.

Here is the list of the nine pious ambassador’s name that spread Islam in Java:

  1. Maulana Malik Ibrahim
  2. Sunan Ampel (Raden Rahmat)
  3. Sunan Bonang
  4. Sunan Giri (Raden Paku)
  5. Sunan Drajat (Maulana Syarifuddin)
  6. Sunan Kalijaga (Raden Mas Syahid)
  7. Sunan Kudus
  8. Sunan Muria (Raden Umar Said)
  9. Sunan Gunung Jati (Syarif Hidayatullah)

All of the 9 pious ambassadors taught Islam doctrines properly. In spreading of Islam in Java, they used the shafiite persuasion. Most of the nine pious ambassadors were included in the Ahlul Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah. Here are the nine pious ambassador’s profiles.

1. Maulana Malik Ibrahim

He is the one who pioneered of the spreading Islam in Java. His genealogy is as follows: Maulana Malik Ibrahim bin Barokat Zainul-’Alam bin Jamaluddin Al-Husain (Jamaluddin Al-Akbar) bin Ahmad Syah Jalal bin ’Abdullah bin ’Abdul-Malik bin ’Alawiy bin Muhammad bin ’Ali bin ’Alawi bin Muhammad bin ’Alawiy bin ’Abdullah bin Al-Muhajir bin ’Isa and so on until reach its peak to ’Ali Zainal-Abidin bin Al-Husain, who is one of the sons of the married couple of Imam ‘Ali bin Abi Thalib and Fatimah Az-Zahra binti Muhammad (the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter). Maulana Malik Ibrahim had a nick name i.e. Sheikh Maghriby or Maulana Maghriby. His mission was in East Java. He had a kind personality that helped him much in his mission. He did not fight against the Hindu or Buddhism customs and traditions which generally still embraced by people in Java. He just explained and performed the sincerity and the majesty of Islam doctrines. He also built some Muslim boarding schools to educate revival mullah. Another story stated that Maulana came from Gujarat, India. He came to Java only for religious mission. Maulana passed away in 1419 and buried in a village called Gapura, in Gresik, East Java.

A map of Gujarat, India in 1398

2. Sunan Ampel (Raden Rahmat)

He is the one of the nine pious ambassadors. He is a cousin of Maulana Malik Ibrahim. His genealogy is as follows Raden Rahmat bin Ibrahim Asmoro (Sunan Nggesik, Tuban) bin Jamaluddin Al-Husain bin Ahmad Syah Jalal bin ’Abdullah bin ’Abdul-Malik bin ’Alawi bin Muhammad bin ’Ali bin ’Alawi bin Muhammad bin ’Alawi bin ’Abdullah bin Al-Muhajir bin ’Isa and so on until reach its peak to ’Ali Zainal-Abidin bin Al-Husain, who is one of the sons of the married couple of Imam ’Ali bin Abi Thalib and Fatimah Az-Zahra binti Muhammad (the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter).He also carried out the Muslim boarding school to teach Muslim youth. Raden Paku, Raden Patah, Raden Makhdum Ibrahim, Syarifuddin were the Sunan Ampel’s disciples. It was Sunan Ampel who planned on the foundation of the Bintoro Demak kingdom, the first Islam kingdom in Java. In 1401 he was engaged in developing the great Demak mosque as well. Another story told that the great Demak mosque was built in 1477. Meanwhile the Demak kingdom was built in 1479. It could be known from the sengkalan (chronogram) i.e. “Geni mati siniram jalmi” (Fire extinguished by person). In spreading of his taught, Sunan Ampel carefully kept the pure of Islam. Sunan Ampel was born in Campa. According to Raffles (Thomas Stamford), Campa was located in Aceh, Sumatra. Sunan Ampel is the son of Ibrahim Asmara Kandi, who was the king of Campa. He married with Nyai Ageng Manila. He died in 1425 and buried in Tuban, East Java.

Demak Mosque was built in 1477 by Wali Sanga

To Be Continued

Part 9

Demak the first Islam kingdom in Java

At the beginning of the 16th century, Demak under the Raden Patah’s leadership became the most well-known kingdom in Java. As a kingdom which lived from the trade, Demak disliked Portuguese which had captured Malacca in 1511. Meanwhile, several regions which lay on the north coast of Java, from Central Java to East Java, were overwhelmed by Demak authority. In addition Demak had a biggest harbor i.e. Jepara. Besides, the means of livelihood of its people was rice trading and transit trade.

After Raden Patah passed away, he was replaced by his son i.e. Pati Unus (Pangeran Sabrang Lor). When Pati Unus was a crown prince, he led his troops to help the former Sultan Malacca who chassed off by Portuguese. Demak and Aceh troops along with the former Sultan Malacca struggled for Malacca. But their effort had no result. Portuguese caused to fail their attack. After Prince Pati Unus ascended the throne, he did not try to attack Portuguese anymore. But his detestation to Portuguese remained. His attitude of course inflicted a loss on Portuguese. In the meantime Malacca depended on the rice supply from Java. Hence, Portuguese made a relationship with the Pajajaran kingdom which still embraced Hinduism and did not compete against Portuguese. That circumstance of course threatened Demak, both in trading and the spread of Christian religion in West Java.

In 1521 Pati Unus passed away and replaced by his brother i.e. Raden Trenggana (Sultan Trenggana: 1521 -1540). Sultan Trenggana sent Fatahillah to Banten in order to occupy that territory. Fatahillah was a teacher of Islam religion and a skilled soldier. He came from Pasai. Fatahillah married Sultan Trenggana’s sister.

The genealogy of Sultan Demak.

In 1527 Banten fell into Demak’s authority and so did Sunda Kelapa. At that moment, Sunda Kelapa was an important harbor. Since then Sunda Kelapa was changed its name into Djajakarta. In addition, Cirebon was occupied by Fatahillah. Thus, the entire regions, from Banten in west Java to Gresik in East Java which lay on the North Coast of Java were occupied by Demak. Demak grew to be a great Islam kingdom in Java. Demak also tried to conquer Malacca but all Demak efforts ended in failure. Besides, Madura was put into Demak territory. Meanwhile the region which lay on the Easternmost Island of Java had not yet surrendered. So that Sultan Trenggana considered conquering that region. Sultan Trenggana along with Fatahillah led Demak troops to go to Pasuruan in 1546. At the beginning of the war, Sultan Trenggana was killed. Hence Demak troops did not continue that war and went back to Demak. Sultan Trenggana death caused a great chaos in Java. Most of the Demak‘s conquered territories released themselves. Meanwhile, in Demak the heirs of the Demak’s dynasty struggled with each other to obtain the throne. The civil war occurred in Java. In the middle of that chaotic situation, the power was seized by Adiwidjaja who was famous as Jaka Tingkir in the folklore of the Javanese. The Demak’s crown and its ritual objects which belonged to Majapahit, as so the story goes, was carried off to Pajang. Then Adiwidjaja crowned himself to be a king as Sultan Pajang. Hence the center of the kingdom moved far away from the coast. The hinterland of Central Java was a populous area. In addition the cooperation among the people was necessary. Hence the centralization of the authority was carried on easily. Thus, Islam entered the hinterland by removing the capital city to Pajang.

Meanwhile after Sultan Trenggana death, Fatahillah went back to Banten to arrange the government. Because Demak had lost its authority, Banten and Cirebon became the completely independent kingdoms. In 1552 Fatahillah handed his authority over his son i.e. Hassanuddin. Fatahillah then went to Cirebon. He resigned from the governmental matters and concentrated on religious affairs such as the spread of Islam. He passed away in 1570 and was buried at Gunung Jati village. Then he was well known as Sunan Gunung Jati, one of the nine pious ambassadors who spread Islam in Java.

To be continued


Dr H.J. De Graaf; Geschiedenis Van Indonesie ; N.V. Uitgeverij W. Van Hoeve-’s Gravenhage / Bandung 1949