Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Who Forged the Origin of King Raden Patah’s Mother?

Never before in the history of Nusantara (the old Indonesia) that there occurred a big confusion about the identity of somebody as the case of the mother of Raden Patah, the founder of Demak Sultanate, the first Islamic Kingdom in Java. There were so many versions about who was actually Raden Patah’s mother, possibly  because of the degradation of the  information  in time or in purposely falsified.
One of the versions a) which is the most logical of all is that of Putri Champa b), the wife of Brawijaya V, the king of Majapahit. But the term of Champa, had made already a big confusion as whether it was a region in Cambodia-Vietnam or Jeumpa, a small region part of Samudra Pasai in Aceh.

Under this version Raden Patah’s mother named Dwarawati, the sister of Chandrawulan. The latter was the wife of Maulana Malik Ibrahim c), known as Sunan Gresik and bore the son called Raden Rahmat who later on became Sunan Ampel. Raden Rahmat then married with Chandrawati Karimah and got a daughter named Dewi Murtasih who became the wife of Raden Patah  and a daughter named Murtasimah who became the wife of Raden Paku or Sunan Giri (Figure-1).
The argument that Raden Patah’s mother was Princess Champa is put forward based on the following indirect evidences:
  1. Raden Patah as Sultan Demak had a very close relationship with Sunan Gresik, Sunan Ampel and Sunan Giri. This is not so surprising if they were all in one big family relationship.
  2. When Raden Patah was young he lived with and learned to Maulana Malik Ibrahim known as Sunan Gresik, who was the brother-in-law of Princess Champa. This event becomes clearer if Princess Champa was Raden Patah’s mother and he lived, therefore, with his own uncle.
  3. When Raden Paku known as Sunan Giri was young, he was called Joko Samudro. This Javanese nickname indirectly indicates that he was from Samudra [Pasai] d). This supports the version that Joko Samudro was the son of Maulana Ishak,  the brother of Maulana Malik Ibrahim, who lived in Samudra, a region covering the area of Pasai and Jeumpa in Aceh, thus explains the Raden Patah’s Jeumpa connection.  As the time elapsed, people forgot about the origin of this nickname, and since “Samudro” in Javanese literally means the ocean,  then a romantic lore [similar to Moses in Old Testament] was made that when he was still a baby, his parents put him away to the ocean as for some reasons he was considered as bringing in a bad omen. The folklore continues telling that he was then recaptured by an old widow and saved him to stay alive.
The most popular versions on who was Raden Patah’s mother was a Chinese woman who was taken as one of Brawijaya V’s concubines.  These versions claim that there happened at around that time some significant Moslem Chinese communities flourished and held important positions in the Kingdoms and Sultanates’ noble life as well as in the government structures, but then disappeared after a certain short period of time, and none has remained up to the present day.
The followings are some versions:
  1. Babad Tanah Jawi referred that Raden Patah’s mother was Chinese concubine the daughter of Kyai Batong (Ma Hong Fu).
  2. The Chinese chronicle from Sam Po Kong Temple asserted that Raden Patah had a Chinese mother, the concubine of Brawijaya V, of which he got Chinese name Jim Bun.
  3. Serat Darmogandul narated that Raden Patah’s mother was a Chinese Princess.Raden Patah, whose Chinese name was Kao Tiang, was born in Palembang. His father as consulted by his advicers gave him a title Babah Patah.
  4. Purwaka Caruban Nagari reported that Raden Patah’s mother was Siu Ban Ci, the Chinese concubine of Brawiijaya V, the daughter of Tan Go Hwat, an ulema called Syeik Bantong and his wife Siu Te Yo from Gresik.
  5. Banten Chronical pointed out that Raden Patah known as Cu Cu was the son of ex-Prime Minister of China who migrated to Java. He went to Majapahit and worked for the king. He then became Demak regent taking the title of Arya Sumangsang.
  6. Tome Pires unfortunately simply wrote in his book Suma Oriental that Raden Patah (Pate Rodin), a grandson of a low class family in Gresik.
Some of those chronicles which were written in the early Mataram era around 200 years after the happening might be the result of the degradation of the term Champa to become China. It was also possible that this misinterpretation was made in purpose, as there were some hard feelings from certain noble entourages in the Mataram and other Sultanates toward the coastal “pure” Islamic communities as reflected,  for example, in Serat Darmo Gandul.
The Chronicle of Sam Po Kong put forward and adopted other versions in which some important and noble characters were supposed to be Chinese. This chronicle  supported that Raden Patah (Jim Bun) was the son of Brawijaya V with a Chinese concubine. It also claimed that Arya Damar was half-Chinese, called Swan Liong the son of Brawijaya III with a Chinese concubine.
The chronicle included the war version between Raden Patah against Majapahit in 1478 and went even  further by  fabricating a story about Raden Patah installing his close Moslem Chinese entourage named Nyoo Lay Wa, as the king of Majapahit after Majapahit was defeated by Demak which is not found in any other chronicles. Such versions obviously gave in some degree an advantage to the Dutch ruler to support their “divide-et-impera” colonialism strategy. .
As on the question of the reason why there are now no more influencing Moslem Chinese communities exist  just like as what happened in the time around the Majapahit downfall, the proponents of the chronicle argue that at that particular time the Chinese who migrated to Nusantara were  from Moslem Yunnan and Swatow, but almost abruptly ceased in around 1500 and were replaced by the migrants from [non-Muslem] Hokkian.
a.The people legend around the life of Sunan Ampel.
b. The mainstream historians interpreted Champa as a region right at the boundary of Vietnam and Cambodia. This theory got strong support from Dutch historians such as Snouck Hurgronye, Pigeaud and De Graaf. However, Hikayat Banjar  informed that Brawijaya V married with Princess  from Pasai (Jeumpa). T.S. Raffles (1815) stated that Champa was not Cambodia-Vietnam but  “Jeumpa”, a region in Samudra Pasai, Aceh.
c. Maulana Malik Ibrahim was also called as Ibrahim As-Samarkandy which indicated that he originated from Samarkand. Before he arrived in Java island in 1404, he lived as a scholar in Samudra Pasai, Aceh, where he married with a princess, the sister of Dwarawati popularly known as Princess Champa. His brother, Maulana Ishak, was the father of Raden Paku, then became Sunan Giri.
d. It is common at that time that someone was named in accordance with his native origin. For example, Meurah Noe entitled Maharaja Nuruddin  (1155-1210) was called Tengku Samudera  or Sultan Nazimuddin Al-Khamil. He was called Tengku Samudera because his native land was Samudra [Pasai].


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