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Pasai, also known as Samudera and Samudera-Pasai sometimes called Samudera Darussalam was a Muslim harbour kingdom on the north coast of Sumatra from the 13th to the 15th centuries CE. It was believed the word Samudera derived from Samudra meaning ocean in Sanskrit. According to Hikayat Raja-raja Pasai, it was said Merah Silu saw an ant as big as a cat, he caught it and ate it and he named the place Samandara. King Merah Silu later converted to Islam, known as Malik ul Salih, he was the sultan in year 1267 CE.Pasai exported its culture, and most importantly its language — an early form of Malay written in the Jawi alphabet — to a number of islands. Later, this language became the lingua franca among traders in what is now Indonesia and Malaysia.
Arab and Indian Muslims had traded in Indonesia and China for many centuries. A Muslim tombstone in eastern Java bears a date corresponding to 1082. But substantial evidence of Islam in Indonesia begins only in northern Sumatra at the end of the 13th century. Two small Muslim trading kingdoms existed by that time at Pasai and Peureulak or Perlak. A 1297 royal tomb at Samudra is inscribed entirely in Arabic. By the 15th century several harbour kingdoms developed, all ruled by local Muslim princes, from the north coast of Java and elsewhere to as far east as Ternate and Tidore in Maluku. Marco Polo spent five months here, he had Ferlec, Basma, and Samara (Samudera) mentioned in his travel story. Another famous traveller Ibn Battuta on his way to China stayed 15 days at Samudera.
The establishment of the first Muslim centres in Indonesia was probably a result of commercial circumstances. By the 13th century the collapse of Srivijayan power, drew foreign traders harbours on the northern Sumatran shores of the Bay of Bengal, safe from the pirate lairs at the southern end of the Strait of Malacca. Northern Sumatra had a hinterland rich in gold and forest produce, and pepper was being cultivated at the beginning of the 15th century. It was accessible to all the merchants of the archipelago who wanted to meet ships from the Indian Ocean. By the end of the 14th century, Samudra-Pasai had become a wealthy commercial centre, giving way in the early 15th century to the better protected harbour of Malacca on the south-west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Majapahit attacked and looted the place in the middle of the 14th century.
Pasai's economic and political power depended almost entirely on foreigners. Muslim traders and teachers probably participated in its administration from the beginning and were bound to introduce religious practices that made them feel at home. The first Muslim beachheads in Indonesia, especially Pasai, were to a considerable extent genuine Muslim creations that commanded the loyalty of the local population and encouraged scholarly activities. Similar new harbour kingdoms formed on the northern coast of Java. Tomé Pires, author of the Suma Oriental, writing not long after 1511, stresses the obscure ethnic origins of the founders of Cheribon, Demak, Japara, and Gresik. These Javanese coastal states served commerce with India and China and especially with Malacca, an importer of Javanese rice. The rulers of Malacca, despite their prestigious Srivijayan origin, accepted Islam precisely in order to attract Muslim and Javanese traders to their port.
In some places within Banda Aceh is now discovered a few heritage of former empire, such Taman Sari, Gunongan. At its age, this park was called Park of Ghoirah or Darul Isqi. This name is still grafted at the river which is draining and cut off gunongan with the door of Kob, namely Krueng Daroy (Daroy River). Kandang XII is the funeral site of Sultans which is laid in the mid of town. In the site was found the famous Sultan of Aceh is Ali Mugayathsyah and his in charges. But the rest of the royal palace no more exist, as the palace (karaton) that was established from the wood had been burnt by the Dutch when Aceh was in colonialism (1873-1878). The original mosque of Baiturrahman also revitalized, the old mosque was either burnt, the mosque that is still remaining until this present time is the mosque that was built by the Dutch Colonialism followed the architecture of Moghul. This mosque with the dome, in early was built by the Dutch with three domes. The original mosque of Baiturrahman can be only seen through the picture. The shape is similar with the style of the mosque of Demak and Banten, which has five levels roof shaped pyramid.
So, where we started the story of Aceh? The history of the kings who ruled new Aceh can be mentioned clearly from the source of history which is believable, beginning from the establisher of the kingdom of Aceh namely Ali Mughayatsyah, died in 12th Dzulhijjah 936 H ( Augustus 7th 1530). Previously, it was commonly called the preceded of the kings started from Ali Mughayatsyah even the Fable of Aceh started to air since it began from the king of Johansyah (601-631 H). Based on the Dauler Crony, Djajaningrat rose his statement into the list of the kings of Aceh as follow:
1.Johansyah 601 – 631 H
2.Ri’ayatsyah 631 – 665 H. (the son of Johansyah was previously named Sultan Ahmad)
3.Mahmudsyah 665 – 708 H. (son of Ri’ayatsyah)
4.Firmansyah 708 – 775 H. (son of Mahmudsyah)
5.Mansyursyah 778 – 811 H.
6.Alauddin Johansyah 811 – 870 H.
7.Huseinsyah 870 – 901 H.
8.Ali Ri’ayatsyah 901 – 917 H.
9.Salahuddin 917 – 946 H.

According to the list that has been stated by Djajaningrat that in 10th century can be claimed accordingly in the source of history, because in the last name of the list above has been popularized by the people of Portugal. This crony also told about the king of Mudhafarsyah ruled in Mahkota Alam, (it’s now Banda Aceh), while in Darul Kamal was ruled by ‘Inayatsyah. Both of the small empires remained under attack each other. Finally, these empire could be united in forward these empire named The Empire of Aceh Darussalam by Ali Mughayatsyah. In a complex of cemetery called Biloy (The Sub-District of Great Aceh), found some of the kings name which appeared looked like the kings of previous Aceh, namely Mahkota Alam and Darul Kamal. In the cemetery complex also found the cemetery of the King Mughayasyah and ‘Inayatsyah.
Mughayatsyah as the establisher of the kingdom of Aceh and the unifier two little of empire Mahkota Alam and Darul Kamal, selecting Banda Aceh as the capital of kingdom, which was at that period Banda Aceh has accepted by many foreign traders. In the record of traveler and traders said that the center of commercial, Banda Aceh was good to dock the big vessels. The harbor was rather difficult to be docked by the big vessel as the huge wave of Indian Ocean. However, the international circumstance continued making a profit in falling the kingdom of Malaka caused the Moslem traders who previously docked and traded in Malaka looking forward for the alternative Moslem pearl, so Aceh has become overcrowded. After organizing the kingdom central, Mughayasyah spread out his wing out of the territory and making invasion to the closer regions to conquer them such as : Daya, Pidie, Pasai, and Deli, was successfully conquered in 1524. In the battle with Portugal troops at the coast of Malaka in 1521, again Mughayatsyah successfully defeated Portugal troops led by Jorge de Brito. Mugayatsyah was then replaced by his oldest son named Salahuddin who invaded Malaka in 1537, but the invasion out of expectation. Under the replacement of Salahuddin, Alauddin Ri’ayatsyah was often nicknamed Al Kahar (the conqueror), the kingdom of Aceh grew rapidly. He was the last son of Mughayatsyah who enthroned in 1538. Based on the notification of the travelers of Portugal F.Mendez Pinto ( who came by in Aceh in 1539), under the sultan Al Kahar the troops of Aceh have interconnection with the foreign troops, one of them was Turkey.


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