Samudera Pasai Kingdom According to Sources From China, Travelers and Explorers

Ibn Battuta's Journey (Photo Source: Twitter/@blueprintafric via Kompas) - Even though this kingdom is said to be a combination of two kingdoms, Pase and Perlak, which means it already existed before, the Samudera Pasai Kingdom is touted as the first Islamic kingdom in Indonesia.

The Samudera Pasai Kingdom, located in Lhokseumawe, Aceh, was founded by Meurah Silu (Malik Al-Saleh) in 1267 AD.

Meurah Silu or Malik Al-Saleh was the first Islamic sultan in Indonesia. He ruled for about 29 years, from 1297-1326.

The existence of the Pasai Ocean Kingdom in the past is corroborated by evidence of the discovery of the tombs of the Pasai kings in Geudong Village, North Aceh.

In addition, the existence of the Islamic empire in Aceh comes from several historical sources, including news from China, the writings of Ibn Batuthah, the travel notes of Marco Polo and Tome Pires in his book.

News from China

The existence of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom was recorded in the travel records of the Chinese people, both from travelers and those whose purpose was to trade.

J.V. Mills in the book Chinese Navigations in Insulinde About AD 1500 explains that there are several Chinese shipping routes in the archipelago, one of which is Samudera Pasai or "Su-menta-la".

From Su-menta-la, the next Chinese route was Ch'ieh-nan-mao or Pulau We. From Pulau We to Nan-wu-li or Lambri you will find ships sailing from Masulipam and Quilon.

Ibn Batuthah's writings in the book Rihlah ila l-Masyriq

The kingdom of Samudera Pasai is also recorded in the book Rihlah ila l-Masyriq written by a traveler from Morocco, Abu Abdullah ibn Batuthah.

It is known that Ibn Batuthah visited the Samudera Pasai Kingdom in 1345. He said that when he was in China he saw the Sultan of Pasai's ship.

Ibn Batuthah's explanation was reinforced by Chinese news which noted that envoys from the Kingdom of Pasai routinely came to his country to hand over tribute.

Apart from China, other evidence states that the Sultan of Pasai also regularly sent envoys to Quilon, West India, in 1282.

Marco Polo's Travel Notes

Marco Polo also described the Pasai Ocean region in his travel notes. Although Marco Polo's version notes still need further research.

Marco Polo noted that he had visited the territory of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom, which was previously the Perlak Kingdom.

At that time, he stopped on the coast of the Malacca Strait in 1292 and wrote that Ferlac or Perlak (the Kingdom's territory) was an area that had known Islamic law.

The people who brought Islamic law and teachings to the Perlak area were Saracen traders (traders from Jariza Arab). Previously, he said the Perlak people worshiped idols.

Tome Pires in his book Suma Oriental

A Portuguese explorer and medicine expert, Tome Pires, in his book entitled Suma Oriental, wrote that he had stopped in the territory of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom.

Pires said that the capital of the kingdom at that time was called Pase, but some people called it Camotora.

He noted that the kingdom has large cities with densely populated populations.

Pires also explained that commodity exports carried out by the Samudera Pasai Kingdom were dominated by pepper and could export 8,000-10,000 bahar (1 bahar is approximately 350 kilograms) per year.

According to him, although they can export 2,800 to 3,500 tons annually, the quality of pepper from the Samudera Pasai Kingdom is no better than cochin pepper.

That is, as Pires writes, the pepper from this region is not very large, sunken, not very durable and has a less fragrant aroma.

Such is the existence of the Samudera Pasai Kingdom according to a number of sources, such as from China, written by Ibn Batuthah, Marco Polo's travel notes to Tome Pires in his book which summarizes. Hopefully this article is useful. (*)

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