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A. Document concerning the Birth of Iskandar Muda - article ; n°1 ; vol.20, pg 213-224


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Archipel - Année 1980 - Volume 20 - Numéro 1 - Pages 213-224
12 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.



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Published 01 January 1980
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Teuku Iskandar
A. Document concerning the Birth of Iskandar Muda
In: Archipel. Volume 20, 1980. pp. 213-224.
Citer ce document / Cite this document :
Iskandar Teuku. A. Document concerning the Birth of Iskandar Muda. In: Archipel. Volume 20, 1980. pp. 213-224.
doi : 10.3406/arch.1980.1602
http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/arch_0044-8613_1980_num_20_1_1602EVENEMENTIELLE - HISTOIRE
Malay historical writings usually start their account of the life of
a ruler from the time he ascends the throne. A description of a future
ruler has never been noted. Many writings do mention the names of
children of a particular ruler, stating that at a certain time, one of
them became a successor to his father. This account is then followed
by a description of the rule of the new sultan.
Only here and there do we find an account of a crown-prince given
in passing, mostly in connection with other important events. For in
stance, in Sejarah Melayu. the story told of Raja Muhammad, son of
Sultan Mansur Syah of Malacca (1459-1477), who was destined for
the throne but killed a son of the Bendahara Paduka Raja and was
banished and made sultan of Pahang (1). The purpose of this episode
of Sejarah Melayu is not to give an account of the youth of this prince,
but to give an explanation why Sultan Mansur Syah chose another
son as his successor to the throne of Malacca and to furnish the Pahang
royal family with an account of its origin.
The same can be said of the story of Sultan Bungsu, a prince of
Pahang, who married a daughter of Sultan Iskandar Muda of Aceh.
This account is given in Bustanus-Salatin not for the purpose of the
story of the youth of the prince who was later to become Sultan Iskan
dar Thani, but as an explanation why this foreigner was chosen by
his father in law to become ruler of the sultanate of Aceh (2).
(l) The Malay Annals or Sejarah Melayu, ed. Sir R.O. Winstedt, JMBRAS Vol. XVI
3, 1938, pp. 124-125.
(L>) Bustanu's-Salatin, ed. T. Isk?ndar, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Kuala Lumpur,
1966.- .
Even less likely to be found than the account of the youth of a
future ruler, is the date of his birth. Up till now, there has been no
document which has given the date of birth of a crownprince.
One of the outstanding figures in Malay historical writings is Sul
tan Iskandar 'Muda, the most famous of all Achehnese rulers (1607-
1636). The historical writings which deal with his youth are an except
ion to the usual practice mentioned above. About this sultan, several
books have been written. The Achehnese Hikayat Pôteumeureuhôm
Meukuta Alam of which Hikayat Sultan Aceh Marhum is the Malay
version, is based on oral tradition. Hikayat M além Dagang, a written
work, tells us of the wars of Iskandar Muda against the sultanate of
Johore, in which his admiral Malém Dagang played an important role.
Hikayat Aceh relates his genealogies from his father's and mother's
side : there too, the marriage of his parents is told in great detail.
The hikayat also gives an account of his birth and his childhood is
described from year to year. Nevertheless, the date of his birth is not
mentioned in this extraordinary work. This gap may be filled by a
document kept in the library of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in
Kuala Lumpur.
The list of the manuscripts and photos acquired by Universiti Ke
bangsaan, among which this document is found, is made by the former
owner as below, in the former Indonesian spelling :
Daftar Naskah dan Photo
1. Salsilah Sultan2 Atjeh dan ramalan2.
2. Sedjarah Atjeh jang berkaitan dengan Johor, Perak dan Pahang
dan mengenai Atjeh . Sjahrunnawi.
3. Peta Atjeh dan susunan kabinet.
4. Satu buku mengenai tarak hulubalang, antara lain terdapat nama2 :
a. Paduka Radja Pirak,
b. Bintara Sri Lila Raja Pirak,
c. Sri Samara Kedjrun urang Kedah,
d. Bintara Sri Lila Radja Pirak,
e. Tendil Budjang Kedah,
dan mengenai hukum laut dan dagang.
5. 1 (satu) lembar lepas mengenai susunan wazir2 (dan) mengenai
hukum gala (gadai).
6. 1 (satu) lembar lepas mengenai kutipan dari Tadzkirat jang isinja
nasihat Iskandar Muda kepada pegawai2 Kerajaan. 215
7. 1 (satu) lembar lepas mengenai ilmu2 (Islam).
8. 1 (satu) lepas hukum.
9. 1 lembar lepas mengenai hukum memahalkan barang ma-
kanan dan pakaian dan kapal2 jang berlajar ke
Atjeh manakala rusak dalam pelajaran.
10. 1 (satu) lembar lepas mengenai larangan mengadjar ilmu diluar.
11. 1 lem/bar lepas hukum mengikat hewan dan he-
wan2 jang akibatnja binasa manusia.
12. Sedjarah Radja-radja Atjeh termasuk Sulthan Alaidin Pirak dan
Sultan Iskandar Thani.
13. 1 (satu) lembaran besar mengenai qanun Sjara' keradjaan Atjeh
kutipan dari Tadzkirat Thabaqat.
14. 1 (satu) lêmbaran lepas sedang, mengenai hukum Islam.
15. 1 buku mengenai hari bulan lahir Sulthan Iskandar Muda
jaitu padaizaman Keradjaan Sulthan Alaidin Manshur Shah ibnu
Ahmad Shah Radja Pirak.
16. 1 (satu) set photo maqam Sultan jang terletak dikampung Pandee,
Atjeh Besar, Kuta Radja.
17. 3 (tiga) lembar masing2 mengenai :
a. nama2 alim ulama dalam madjelis Iskandar Muda,
b. djenis2 asal bangsa di Atjeh dan ramalan tentang hasil bumi
dan penggali hasil bumi,
c. sja'ir Sjech Abdul Rahid.
Number 15, entitled 1 (satu) buku mengenai hari bulan lahir Sul-
ihan Iskandar Muda jaitu pack zaman keradjaan Sultan Alaidin Man
shur Shah ibnu Ahmad Shah Radja Pirak, is in fact a manuscript con
taining several writings.
folio 1 verso : a fragment of an Achehnese law dealing with the
counterfeiting of money ;
f.l r.-f.l7 r. : a treatise on the Friday salat by Daud bin Abdullah
Fatani ;
f.17 v. (line 1-3) : a treatise on the jiqh ;
f.17 v. (line 3)-f. 18 r. : a document on the birth of Sultan Iskan
dar Muda.
f.18 v.-f.l9 v. : a contract between Sultan Ahmad Syah and the
Jamal-Lail family ;
f.20 r.-f.2O v.: unidentified." .
In the margin are found:
f .1 v. : a fragment of a treatise on cap sikureuëng ;
• i Z r. : a gragment of a on iman and tawhid ;
f.3 r.-f.4 r. : a treatise on the 4 mazhabs, ownership, and punish
ment for stealing;
' f.20 v. : punishment for trouble makers. .
The. document on, f.l7v.-18r. is an excerpt from Kanun Makota
Alam (Mukhtazar Tadzkirat Qanun Makota Alam) and copied by Wa-
zir al-Sabil al-Mujahid Amir al-Hiqmah al-Ulama' Teungku di-Mulik,
Sayyid Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Abdul-Rahman ibn Usman ibn
Hassan ibn Wandi Mulik, Sayyidi Lela al-Habib Syarif Abdullah ibn
Sayyid al-Habib Syarif Ibrahim Sultan Jamal' al- Alam Badr
Munir al-Jamal-Lail.
No date for the copying of this document is mentioned. But this
writing is followed by a contract between Sultan Ahmad ,Syah and the
Jamal-Lail family relating to an amount of money and gold collected
by the members cf the Jamal-Lail family and given to the writer of
this contract for the purpose of the holy war (perang sabil), that is
the Dutch Achehnese war (1873-1903). The Jamal-Lail family is a cla
imant to the throne.
This contract is written by the copyist of the document concerning
the birth of Iskandar Muda, Teungku di Mulik, who himself is a member
of the Jamal-Lail family. The date of. the above mentioned contract is
Asyura of the month of Muharram, 1290 Hijrah, or the 10th. of March
1873, the year the Dutch- Achehnese war started. Because both docu
ments are written by the same person, we can assume that the excerpt
from the Kanun Makota Alam was made on the same date.
The content of the above mentioned document is as follows :
I ' That on Monday the 12th of Rabi'ul-Awal 999 Hijrah, a child was
born by the name of Abdullah Sulaiman ibn Mansur.
II That the child was born during the reign of Sultan Alauddin Mans
ur Syah ibn Ahmad Syah of Perak.
III That at the age of 7 days, the aqiqah was performed at which oc
casion several names were given to that child :
a. Sultan Alaud-Din Manshr Syah of Perak named him : Pochut
Abdullah Sulaiman Mansur ;
b. Syaikh Abu'l-Khair called him Iskandar Muda Mansur al-Asyi ;
c.Muhammad Yamin called' him Makota Alam. Mansur ; "
Universiti Kebangsaan, MS 15, f. 17v.-18r. 218
d. The other ulama's said: this is Malik al-Asyi Mansur Ri'ayat;
e. Ministers and other officials exclaimed : this is our lord who
gives faith to these lands below the wind, Makota Alam Iskandar
Muda Perkasa alam Syah al-Kuat ;
f. Syaikh Nurud-Din called him : Sultan Alaud-Din Makota Alam
Iskandar Muda Perkasa Alam Syah al-Kuat.
The page ends with the name of the writer (folio 18 recto) without a
date. The following page (folio 18 verso) beginning with : Tarikh pada
tahun Hijrah seribu dua ratuâ sembilan puluh (1290) pada bulan Mu-
harram hari Asyura, 'bahwasanya &ekalian anak-cucu kaum keluarga
yang turun-temurun daripada Paduka Seri Sultan Alaud-Din Jamal
al-Alam Badr Munir al-Jatnal-Lail semuanya mengumpulkan rial 'ba-
nyaknya tujuh ratus lima puluh tahil .... belongs to another document,
namely a contract between Sultan Ahmad Syah and the Jamal-Lail
family. This ends on folio 19 recto.
A. First, let us examine statement II of the document: that Sultan
Iskandar Muda was born during the reign of Sultan Alaud-Din ibn Ah
mad Syah of Perak.
Hikayat Aceh relates that during the reign of Sultan Alaud-Din,
son of Sultan Ahmad of Perak, Raja Mansur, son of Abdul-Jalil,
was married to the daughter of Syah Alam Marhum Sayyid al-Mukam-
mil, Puteri Raja Indera Bangsa (3). Not long thereafter, this princess
became pregnant (p. 116) and at an auspicious time, Perkasa Alam
(Iskandar Muda) was born (p. 118).
Hikayat Aceh however, does not tell us whether at the birth of
Iskandar Muda, Sultan Alaud-Din, son of Sultan Ahmad of Perak was
still on the throne, but instead gives more emphasis to the role of Sultan
Alauddin Ri'ayat Syah Sayyid al-Mukammil (Syah Alam) , grandfather
of Iskandar Muda, during the festivities of the marriage of Iskandar's
parents. This hikayat does not specifically mention that this ruler was
already on the throne when Iskandar Muda was born, but states that
his mother bore him immediately after the marriage had taken place.
While Sultan Alaud-Din of Perak, his death in 1585 was succeeded
by Raja Bungsu with the title Sultan Ali Ri'ayat Syah . (1586-1588),
Alauddin Ri'ayat Syah, grandfather of Iskandar Muda was this sultan's
successor. Thus we can assume that at that time, Sultan Alaud-Din
Mansur Syah of Perak was still on the throne.
(:{) De Hikajat Atjeh, ed. T. Iskandar, Nijhoff, 1958 (VKI XXVI), p. 100 of the
edition. 219
Thus far, then, our document does not contradict Hikayat Aceh
concerning the story that Iskandar Muda was born during the reign
of Sultan Alauddin Mansur Syah ibn Sultan Ahmad of Perak.
There is moreover another source which supports this statement,
namely the narrative by Rev. Patrick Copland on the Voyage of Thomas
B. Statement III says that when the ahikah (ritual shaving of a child's
head for the first time) was performed, 7 days after the birth of Iskan
dar Muda, there were present :
1: Syaikh Abul-Khair,
2.Muhammad Yamin, and
3. Syaikh Nurud-Din.
1. Bustanus-Salatin tells us, when giving an account of the reign of
Sultan Alaud-Din Perak ibn Sultan Ahmad (Sultan Alaud-Din Mansur
Syah ibn Sultan Ahmad Syah of Perak of our document), that in 990
Hijrah Syaikh Abu-Khair bin Syaikh ibn Hajar arrived in Aceh. He
was the author of Saifu'l-Qati' (The Sharp Sword) a treatise on a'yan
thabitdh (ideal prototypes) and taught ilmu jiqh in Aceh Darus Sa-
lam (op.cit.p.33). This Syaikh Abul-Khair bin ibnu Hajar is presum
ably the same as the mentioned by our document.
2. Furthermore, Bustanus-Salatin (p.33) states that there also came
to Aceh during the reign of Sultan Alaud-Din Mansur Syah of Perak,
a certain Syaikh Muhammad Yamani, who was a scholar in ilmu usul.
Both Syaikh Abul-Khair and Syaikh Muhammad Yamani had a debate
on the problem of a'yan thabitah and when they could not reach any
solution, they sailed off. The Syaikh Yamin of the document
can, thus, easily be identified as Syaikh Muhammad Yamani of Bus-
tanus-Salatin. Yamin must be a miscopying of Yamani.
We do not know, however, whether they sailed away after or before
the birth of Iskandar Muda.
3. There is no mention of Syaikh Nurud-Din during the reign of Sul
tan Alaud-Din Mansur Syah of Perak in tiustanusSalatin. This work
only relates (p.32) that during the reign of Sultan Ri'ayat Syah (1568-
1575) a certain Muhammad Azhari, titled Syaikh Nurud-Din, from
(4) The Voyage of Thomas Best to the East Indies (1612-14), edited by Sir William
Foster C.J.E. Works issued by the Hakluyt Society, Second Series, no LXXV,
1934, p. 213. 220
Egypt, arrived in Aceh and taught ilmu ma'kulat (metaphysics) . there.
But he died not long afterwards, probably during the reign of the same
ruler and so it could not be this Nurud-Din who is mentioned in our
document. Another visitor to Aceh was Syaikh Muhammad Jailani ibn
Hassan ibn Muhammad, of the clan of Hamid, a Kuraisy from Ranir.
This syaikh taught ilmu manti' ma'ani (logic and poetics), ilmu bayan
badda'i (rhetoric), ilmu usul and ilmu jiqh in Aceh Darus-Salam
This Syaikh Muhammad Jailani ibn Hassan ibn Muhammad Hamid
ar-Raniri was an uncle of Syaikh Nurud-Din ar-Raniri, author of Bus-
tanus-Salatin. It is probably this Syaikh Muhammad JaOarii who is to
be identified with Syaikh Nurud-Din in our document.
This scholar too departed after spending some time in Aceh but
he came back to teach tasawuf (mysticism) to his student (ibid.p.33-34) .
In this case too, we do not know for certain whether Iskandar Muda
was born during the interval or not.
Hikayat Aceh, however, does not mention the names of these
scholars in connection with the birth of Iskandar Muda. This hikayat
only talks of a certain Hakim Mahmud who congratulated Sultan Alaud-
Din Ri'ayat Syah, grandfather of Iskandar Muda, the morning after the
latter's birth.
C. Statement I, the date of the birth of Iskandar Muda, gives us many
problems. If we can accept statement II that Iskandar Muda was born
during the reign of Sultan Alaud-Din Mansur Syah of Perak, then he
must have been born between 985-993 Hijrah or 1577-1585 A.D. This
is supported by the account of the Rev. Patrick Copland who arrived
with Thomas Best in Aceh in 1613, during the reign of Sultan Iskandar
Muda. About this ruler he gives the following comment : "This king
of Aceh is a proper gallant man of warre, of thirty two years, of mid
dle size, full of spirit, strong by sea and land". (5) Calculating that
if he was 32 years old when Thomas Best saw him, Lombard puts Is-
kandar's birth in 1583 (°) . This year coincides with the reign of Alaud-
Din Mansur Syah of Perak. We can also accept this date if we take
into account the information that Syaikh Abul-Khair was present when
Iskandar Muda was seven days old, as stated by the document, since
Bustanus-Salatin (p.33) mentions the year of arrival of this scholar in
Aceh as 990 Hijrah (1582-3).
(5) Ibid., p. 213.
(c) Denys Lombard. Le Sultanat d'Atjch au temps d' Iskandar Muda, Publication de
l'Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, Volume LXI (1967), p. 168. 221
This date, however, does not tally with the date given by our do
cument, which is. Monday the 12th. of Rahi'ul-Awal 999 Hijrah. Accor
ding to the Christian calender, this date fell on the 2nd. of January
1591 and it was not a Monday but a Tuesday. That Iskandar Muda was
born in this year is untenable because it fell 6 years after the reign
of Sultan Alaud-Din Mansur Syah of Perak. Moreover it differs too
much from the date as calculated from the observation of the Rev.
Patrick Copland.
If the year 999 Hijrah cannot be accepted as the year of birth of
Iskandar Muda, let us examine whether Monday the 12th. of Rabi'ul-
Awal could be right. The twelfth Rabi'ul-Awal fell on Monday in 978
Hijrah or 1570 A.D., thus it was 7 years before the reign of Sultan
Alaud-Din Mansur Syah of Perak. The next 12 Rabi'ul-Awal which
fell on a Monday was in 994 Hijrah (1586), the. year after the death
of the ruler.
The time of birth is according to our document, the forenoon.
Hikayat Aceh (p.117-8), which goes into more detail about this, says
that during the magrib (sunset), Iskandar's mother had labour pains
and that later that night he was born after the royal insignia had been
Hoesein Djajadiningrat, in comparing the story of Iskandar Muda
in Hikayat Aceh, when he was 10 years old and the arrival of the
Portuguese embassy in Aceh, with the account of Frederick de Hout-
man concerning a Portuguese embassy: which came to Aceh in 1600,
came to the conclusion that Iskandar Muda must have been born in
1590 (7). This date comes close to the date given by our document, 999
Hijrah or 1591 A.D.
It is interesting to note that Hikayat Aceh (p. 119 sqq), which
was written in the 17th. century, gives other names bestowed on the
prince. The first name mentioned in this work was Raja Zainal or Raja
Sadlan. When he was three years old, his name was changed into Abang-
Raja Munawar Syah. When five years of age, he got the nickname
of Pancagah. At ten, he was called Perkasa Alam and at thirteen,
Johan Alam. Throughout the whole work, he was thereafter called Pan
cagah or Johan Alam. In these cases, it was his grandfather, Sultan
Alaud-Din Ri'ayat Syah (Sayyid al-Mukammil) , who gave him the
(7) Raden Hoesein Djajadiningrat, Cristisch Overzicht van de in Maleische Werken
Vervatte Gegevens over de Geschiedenis van het Soeltanaat van Atjeh, BKl 55
(1911), p. 170.