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The Sultanate of Palembang


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Nov 24, 2020
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The Origin of the Palembang Sultanate

The Origin of the Palembang Sultanate From the historical records of Arabic handwriting made by a priyayi in Palembang it can be read as follows: "It has been narrated that several sons of the kings had moved from Java to Palembang because the Sultan of Pajang attacked Demak and was the first to become a king. The king in Palembang is Kiyai Geding. Kiyai Geding Suro died and was replaced by Kiyai Geding Suro Mudo, son of Kiyai Geding Ilir and at that time, there were 24 children of the king who moved from Java to Palembang. Some of the descendants of Prince Trenggono who moved to Palembang under the leadership of Kiyai Geding Suro Tuo who settled in the village of Kuto Gawang in the area around the village of Palembang Lamo. As is known, Prince Trenggono is the son of Raden Fattah, bin Prabu Kertabumi Brawijaya V from Majapahit2 with his wife a daughter from China, born and raised in Palembang in the palace of his brother, another mother, namely Ario Dillah. Since the beginning of the reign of Kiyai Geding Sedo Ing Lautan until the time of Prince Sedo Ing Rejek, Palembang has not had the status of a Sultanate, but has entered the territory of the Kingdom of Mataram and only during the reign of Prince Ario Kesumo did Palembang break with the Mataram Kingdom and Prince Ario Kesumo who founded the Palembang Sultanate. Darussalam.Prince Ario Kesumo is the first Sultan of Palembang with the title Sultan Abdurrahman Kholifatul Mukminin Sayyidul Imam ruled from 1659-1706.

After Prince Ario Kesumo founded the Palembang Sultanate free from Mataram control, he became the first Sultan. In 1703 he crowned a son of Ratu Agung as the second King of Palembang Darussalam with the title Sultan Muhammad Mansur (1706-1714). Then Sultan Muhammad Mansur was replaced by his younger brother named Raden Uju who was later crowned Sultan Agung Komaruddin Sri Truno (1714-1724). Then he was succeeded by his nephew Pangeran Ratu Jayo Wikramo with the title Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin I who ruled from 1724-1758.

Prince Adikesumo is the second son of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin I who was crowned the fifth Sultan of Palembang Darussalam with the title Sultan Ahmad Najamuddin I who ruled from 1758-1776. Then Sultan Ahmad Najamuddin I was replaced by the crown prince with the title Sultan Muhammad Bahaudin was crowned as the sixth Sultan of Palembang Darussalam who ruled from 1776-1803. Sultan Muhammad Bahaudin was succeeded by his eldest son named Raden Hasan Pangeran Ratu with the title Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II as the seventh Sultan of Palembang Darussalam and ruled from 1803-1821. After only a year of holding the reins of government, the British, under the leadership of Major Robert Rollo Gillespie, invaded Palembang (1812).

The kingdom (sultanate) of Palembang is located on the banks of the Musi river. The capital of the Sultanate is Palembang City which is located at the foot of the Siguntang hill. The Musi River divides the city of Palembang into two parts, namely the Ilir section and the Ulu section. Musi River empties into Sunsang. Sunsang is also the estuary of the 9 Musi tributaries. The Sultanate of Palembang to the north is bordered by Jambi. In the west with Bengkulu, in the south with Lampung and in the east with the Java Sea. Along the East coast this area consists of swamps and dense forests. The western part consists of a long line of hills on the island of Sumatra. The Palembang sultanate area generally has a tropical (hot) climate.

Rainfall in this area is quite high, the area is fertile. Plants for export are also produced by the Palembang sultanate. The plants are: pepper, coffee, cloves, and herbs. In the interior also produced fruits and vegetables. In rural areas, farming is called farming. The farming system was named “Ume”. Most of the rural areas live farming. The people of Palembang city live from shipping and trade. The population of the Palembang sultanate consisted of two groups, namely the nobles (priyai) and the common people. The nobility group consists of: Prince, Raden and Mas Agus. The people group consists of the Miji people and the Senan people. In addition, there are the Foreign Eastern groups consisting of Chinese, Arabs and Indians. Noble status is not only based on birth or descent. Those who contributed to Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II were also given the title of nobility. These appointed aristocrats were also rewarded with certain territories. They cultivate crops or gardens which are partly handed over to the Sultan.

Arabs, Indians and Chinese generally live in the city of Palembang. They live by trade. Their residence is not far from the market. These people formed a separate village in the city of Palembang. Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II obtained financial resources from the merchant class and the Sultan also received tax payments from the port. Ordinary people generally consist of the Senan people and the Miji people who live in the city of Palembang and live as laborers and some are farming. They were taxed, but had to serve Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II. Among the Miji and Senan people there were those who became soldiers of the Sultanate. They are also in charge of making fortifications. In addition they served the needs of the Sultan such as repairing houses and royal boats. The Miji and the Senan are formidable warriors in war. The development of Islam in the Sultanate of Palembang experienced rapid progress. In the reign of Sultan Abdurrahman or Sunan Cindeh Balang (1659-1706) Islam was established as the official religion of the Kingdom.

In order to promote commerce, the Sultan appointed a porter in the city of Palembang. Syahbandar was a leader and governed the city (Bandar) of Palembang. He was in charge of advancing shipping and trade. Syahbandar also collects import and export duties from the port. In addition, the harbormaster is also responsible for maintaining the security of foreign traders. The Syahbandar had more and more power, he also arranged for foreign merchants who wanted to meet the Sultan, so that the consultation (relationship) would run smoothly. The Sultan also appointed a special officer who took care of the Sultan's land. This officer is called Jenang. Jenang also takes care of the problems of the Palace, Mosque and Tomb of the Kings.

Relations with Dutch VOC (Company) traders were also established by the first Sultan of Palembang, namely Sultan Abdurrahman Kholifatul Mukminin. At first the relationship with VOC traders was equal to other traders. In 1642 the VOC established a Loji (Trade Office) in Palembang.

"Face with you your friends and your enemies with a sweet face and with kind words and gentle. Fear you for your enemies once in a while and fear you for your friends a thousand times. Make your position for virtue and speak regularly. Listen to the kind words of people talking to you. Protect yourselves from actions and words that violate the Shari'ah.

The quote above is a message left by Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II.

Life Attitude and Personality of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II

Based on the research, it can be concluded that some of the attitudes and personality of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II are that he has the personality or character of a knight, a brave person, a person who has a far-sighted view, so that he can determine the right time and take a firm stand. Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II is also a person who pious, patient and devoted to Allah. Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II also knows his dignity and position as a great king, a wise leader who always respects the attitude of friends, relatives and consequently until the end. life as an anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist.

The attitude of life and personality is found in the following events. Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II has shown his chivalry spirit by refusing to give up his younger brother Sultan Mudo when Mutinghe came to Palembang in 1817 and also rejecting Mutinghe's demands to hand over his eldest son Pangeran Ratu and his retinue Princes in 1819.

Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II's speed in acting was the expulsion of the Dutch from the Aur River Lodge on September 14, 1811, after he learned about developments on the island of Java. Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II showed courage and firm stance to his enemies, when General De Kock sent a letter to him asking him to surrender to the Dutch on June 10, 1821 after the Dutch army anchored on Salah Nama Island ready to attack Palembang.

By preparing the resistance and defense that he arranged in the rivers and inland, making the enemy unable to penetrate the defenses of Palembang which was so strong and Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II himself who led the battle against the Dutch so that the enemy could be repulsed. This shows that he is an agile war leader, a "strateeg" (a person who is skilled at strategizing), and a tactician.

Without neglecting his obligations to Allah, Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II remained with his people in resistance to the British and the Dutch. With his actions and attitudes, it appears that Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II is a pious person who is obedient to religious teachings, especially Islam and Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II is also a patient person.

The migration of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II to the interior and by appointing his younger brother Pangeran Adipati as Sultan Mudo remained in the midst of the people in Palembang, when British troops occupied the city in 1812, proves a wise and calculated attitude and action. Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II is a wise leader and always respects his friends, relatives, it can be seen from the deliberations with dignitaries, scholars and community leaders when he is faced with complicated problems and which require decisions about resolution.

Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II is an anti-imperialist and anti-colonial person in attitude, speech and action, as can be seen from the attitude and personality of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II, which is never to give up on his enemies. Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II did not lose the war, but was tricked by General de Kock. He also never signed the agreement “Long Contract (Lange Verklaring) and Short Contract (Korte Verklaring).

Palembang Sultanate's Social and Economic Conditions

The Palembang Sultanate was the area of the Palembang Residency during the Dutch era. It is more accurate to say that the Palembang Residency is the legal area of Palembang. From a geographical point of view, the area is a separate area. In the south bordering Lampung is a swampy and heavily forested area, while from Bengkulu there is Bukit Barisan which stretches on the island of Sumatra. The rivers in the Palembang area are navigable and meet at a point, namely the capital city of Palembang. This is a requirement to establish a strong center of power.

This network of waterways, namely the Musi River with branches, is a means of transportation that used to bind parts of the Palembang Sultanate into one which is a unity and whole whose parts are related to each other, as well as connected in a directed and orderly manner. . The location of the mouths of the wide rivers to the major trading roads, has attracted foreign traders to settle there.

If we look at the current population structure in the Palembang area, we will see that there were four waves of original inhabitants. Three waves came from three central mountainous areas, namely Rejang, Pasemah, and Ranau (Belalau and Aji). These groups are more or less Hinduan in style (apparently from the names of several tribes that indicate a Hindu influence, such as the Bermani tribe, Selupu tribe, Belungu tribe), moving downstream. The Rejang group followed Musi and Rawas, to the lower reaches of Lematang via the turbid and Penukal rivers, the Pasemah (and Serawai people) followed Lematang and Enim, Kikim, Lingsing and central Musi and Ogan, the Jelama Daya tribe from Ranau moved downstream along Komering to Mount Batu.

These three waves of mountain people moved one wave of foreign immigrants, most of whom were Javanese. There are also other immigrants such as Malays and others who move upstream to Belida and Pegagan. This last wave lasted until 1544, when a group of aristocrats from Demak under the leadership of Gde Ing Suro settled in Belida. With the help of these aristocrats, the kings of Palembang were able to extend their power to Belalau, Rejang and Pasemah (Muddy Water). The Rejang Bermani (Middle Rejang) tribe was conquered, which now form the Middle tribal clans in Musi Ulu (Kepungut Tengah Tribe). These mountain tribes moved downstream to expel the Kubu tribes and the remnants of the previous tribes, until they themselves were conquered by a wave of immigrants from Java who moved upstream. The population of Palembang can be divided into two (2) major groups, namely: the priyai and the people.

Priyai are descendants of kings. The status was obtained by birth or with the approval of the Sultan. Among the priyais there were those who did not own a number of hamlets and they lived from handicrafts and other activities such as making gold and silver goods, fine crafts, trading or farming. Priyai who have hamlets or clans are required to help the Sultan if there is a war. The aid was in the form of soldiers and war equipment such as armed boats. Everything that the aristocrats need is obtained from the hamlets and the miji they have.

The people were divided into the Miji and the Senan.22 The Miji in the capital were on the same level as those in the interior, provided that they were not taxed and did not generate taxes. They helped the Sultan in the war. The Senan or Snouw people are a lower class than Miji, they are not allowed to work for anyone other than just the Sultan, for example making or repairing the Sultan's boats, the houses of the priyais or rowing the Sultan's boat. There are also groups of foreigners such as Chinese, Arabs, Indians and others. The Chinese mostly live in rafts, the Arabs have their own villages and the other foreigners live among the local people.

Regarding religion, most of the population in Palembang are Muslim, in addition there are some immigrants who embrace Hinduism, Buddhism or Christianity. Since the 5th century in this area there has been a Hindu kingdom. The Srivijaya Kingdom is known to have power to mainland Asia. After the kingdom fell, this area was under the rule of Majapahit.

For two centuries, the area that used to be the territory of the Srivijaya kingdom became the prey of deliberate and anarchic neglect, so that for how long it was controlled by Chinese pirates. After that this area was under the Malay kingdom. After Majapahit replaced Srivijaya's position by Brawijaya V, his son Ario Damar (later renamed Aria Dillah) was assigned as Duke of Majapahit there. After that the position of Majapahit was replaced by Demak under the leadership of Raden Fattah. When in the Kingdom of Demak there was a Keraton revolution, then that time arrived in Palembang a group of priyai descendants of Trenggono led by Ki Gede Sedo Ing Lautan took down the kings of Palembang.

The Sultanate's government was well-organized, as was its security apparatus. Rules were made for merchants and incoming residents (overlapping residents). The highest authority was the Sultan. In determining decisions, they are always based on the Qur'an, laws and charters. In Palembang, customary laws apply, which are sourced from the "Simbur Cahaya" Law Book. Then added to the regional law, namely "Sindang Mardike".

In the field of justice, there are two kinds of courts, the first one that adjudicates in religious cases led by Pangeran Penghulu Nato Agamo, who oversees the Princes of the Penghulu. The second is to try in cases that are punishable by the leadership body of Tomenggung Karto Negaro. In the port sector, the Syahbandar is in charge. Each incoming ship is subject to a port fee, the amount of which is according to the number of crew members.

Relations with foreign countries since time immemorial are solely trade relations, based on trade agreements (trade contracts) with or without monopoly rights, such as trade contracts with the VOC that existed from the mid-17th century to the early 19th century. The islands of Java, Bangka, China, Riau, Singapore, Penang Island, Malacca, Lingga and the State of Siam, besides that from other islands, boats also came to carry and take merchandise. Merchandise that is in the form of various linens, fabrics of European ideals, from rough to smooth. There are also goods from China such as silk, gold thread, iron pots, glassware, medicine, tea, sweets and other items.

Other important merchandise is coconut oil and peanut oil (from Java and Siam), palm sugar, onions, tamarind, rice, granulated sugar, copper, iron, steel, grocery items and so on as well as some goods from Europe. . The biggest linen traders are Arabs, some have their own boats and boats, but most of them are taking care of other people's merchandise from outside Palembang. After the Arabs followed the Chinese who bought goods from the boat. Palembang people buy from Arabs and Chinese and bring it inland to be sold there. Palembang people used to buy goods on credit and pay with goods as well (barter).

The products of the Palembang Sultanate that were exported were: rattan ikat, resin, camphor, incense, lako wood, wax, ivory and gold sand. They were gathered from the forests and from the banks of the rivers. Apart from that, some are deliberately planted such as pepper, coffee, sugar cane, gambier, areca nut, tobacco and indigo. Other products are dried fish and salted fish, glassware, rattan and straw mats, sacks, articles of brass, silk woven with gold thread (songket) and others from self-woven cotton threads. The legal area of Palembang consists of the Residency of Palembang and in addition the areas of Rejang Empat Petulai (Lebong) and Belalau to the south of Lake Ranau. The customary law of South Sumatra shows that throughout the region there are so many familial characteristics, thus forming a separate legal environment. In such a vast area the effects on it are not the same everywhere. The development of customary law has proceeded in an unequal way, due to various external influences, certain parts have become separate customary law areas with all their deviations and variations. One of those environments is the customary law environment of the Palembang Sultanate.

In terms of customs, it is clear that they are well regulated and maintained, as evidenced by the existence of the "Simbur Cahaya" Customary Law from the time of the Sultan of Palembang to the time of the Dutch Colonial Government. Culture includes other than customary law such as customs and habits, arts, crafts and literature. The Palembang people are experts in the art of building and carving, as evidenced by the existence of large houses which are generally decorated with flower and leaf motifs carved in wood, they are good at working on ivory, silver and gold, especially in making carvings. - embossed engraving.

In the field of literature, Palembang is not left behind. For example, Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II himself was an enthusiast and expert in the field of literature, as evidenced by his extensive library. In the field of defense systems from 1819 to 1821 the enemy was very impressive. This was recognized by the Dutch when they attacked the forts on Kemaro Island and Tambak Bayo in Plaju in 1819 and 1821, which caused them to fail several times to reach the Kuto Besak Palace.