Saturday, January 23, 2010

Langkat Sultanate

Longkat Sultanate was an Islamic Malay harbour state. The area of ex-sultanate Langkat are the existing of current Langkat Regioncy, and Kota Binjai,Aceh Tamiang in Aceh. Sultanate Langkat is the northest Sultanate from 9 (nine) Malay Sultanates in East Sumatera, such as :

(1) Deli,
(4)-(7). Asahan (Asahan-Kualuh, Bilah, Kotapinang, Panai),
(8) Siak, and
(9) Tongkat

The small coastal sultanate, stretching from Tamiang, Aceh until Siak in Riau. These states alternatively paid tribute to the more powerful state of Acheh in the north and Siak in the south.

An English man, John Anderson, visited Langkat in 1823 and mentioned Longkat, Deli and Serdang as pepper port of Sumatra. Pepper cultivated in the coastal lowland and interior areas, and was exported to the Straits,where the demand for it was high. Although the Malay sultans benefited from the export, they remained only minor chiefs. This was in comparing with Siak sultanate, where a palace with court was built. The coastal lowland was called " Hilir" and the interior highland was called " Hulu". The Malay population were engaged in fishing ,paddy planting, gathering forest products and trading. Some of the products were exported from the harbor of Langkat. One of the critical problem of Malay maritime sultanate was the creation of loyal followers. It was people rather than land which form the main source of power, as it is from them the tax was collected. Taxing trade was their main income.

Langkat Regency
Langkat Regency is the northernmost regency in eastern shore of North Sumatra. Its seat is Stabat. Its area is 6,272 km² and population was 902,986 in the 2000 national Census, and official intercensal estimate in 2007 of 1,027,414 people.

Immediately south is Karo Regency, to the southeast is Deli Serdang Regency encapsulating cities of Medan and Binja.

Tanjung Pura is a kecamatan in Regency(Kabupaten) Langkat, Sumatra Utara(North Sumatra),located about 60 km from Medan and 20 km from Stabat. It was the location of the seat of Langkat Sultanate. The tombs of the past sultans can be found in the burial ground at Masjid Termegah Azizi,

Map of Langkat

View Larger Map

Langkat Regioncy can be divide into;

1. Coastal Area :
The coastal area like Teluk Aru Zone, Tanjung Pura and Stabat are more developed compare to the inland area. The first oil field exploration in Indonesia located in Telaga Said field, Teluk Aru area. And All the old heritages of Sultanate Langkat can be found here, in Langkat plane area. Especially, in Tanjung Pura the heartquarter of former Sultanate Langkat. The heritage of Mosque Azizi, the Palace and the cemetery of Sultanate Langkat are located in this small town. Mosque Azizi is wellknown all over the world. This mosque adopt the architectural of Turkish and Moghul India.

2. The Inland Area:
The Inland area of Langkat topographically is hilly and mountainous area. Bukit Barisan mountain mostly dominated this southern and western area of Langkat. The majority of people settled in this area comes from the ethnic of Batak Karo and Gayo Aceh. The conservation of Gunung Lueser covers majority of this hilly area. Bahorok, little town here, is famous of his Orang Utan through all the world.

For development administration purpose, Langkat is divided into 3 regions:

1. Wilayah Pembangunan I (Langkat Hulu) :
* Kecamatan Bahorok dengan 19 desa
* Kecamatan Salapian dengan 22 desa
* Kecamatan Kuala dengan 16 desa
* Kecamatan Selesai dengan 13 desa
* Kecamatan Binjai dengan 7 desa
* Kecamatan Sei Bingai 15 desa
2. Wilayah Pembangunan II (Langkat Hilir) :
* Kelurahan
* Kecamatan Secanggang dengan 14 Desa
* Kecamatan Hinai dengan 12 desa
* Kecamatan Padang Tualang dengan 18 desa
* Kecamatan Tanjung Pura dengan 15 desa dan 1 kelurahan(the seat of Langkat Sultanate).

3. Wilayah pembangunan III (Teluk Haru):
* Kecamatan Gebang dengan 9 desa
* Kecamatan Brandan Barat dengan 6 desa
* Kecamatan Sei Lepan dengan 5 desa dan 5 kelurahan
* Kecamatan Babalan dengan 5 desa dan 3 kelurahan
* Kecamatan Pangkalan Susu dengan 14 desa 2 kelurahan
* Kecamatan Besitang dengan 8 desa dan 3 kelurahan

History of Langkat Sultanate

........ Aceh Sultanate
....... Independence
........ Siak Sultanate protectorate
1850?....... Aceh Sultanate/Siak protection?
1858 Siak grant Dutch protection for Langkat
26 Oct 1869 Dutch protectorate.
1887 Raja become Sultan Musa al-Khalidy, assumed the title of Sultan
17-8-1945 Independent from Dutch

The Sultanate of Langkat is one of the older states on the north-eastern Sumatra. Although dating back to the pre-Islamic age, recorded history is available only from the seventeenth century.

The Royal house served as representatives or local rulers on behalf of the Sultan of Aceh until the early years of the nineteenth century. The arrival of the Europeans during the teens and twenties, and the weakening of Acehnese power in their wake, prompting the Rajas of Langkat to seek to establish their own independence. They threw in their lot with, and accepted the protection of the Sultans of Siak, then the dominant power on the east coast of Sumatra.

Acehnese returned during the 1850's and attempted to regain control. The granting of grandiose titles to the local rulers and an administrative presence stemmed the tide for a period. Eventually, Acehnese power was no match for the Europeans. Langkat concluded a separate contract with the Dutch in 1869. They went one better than the Acehnese and recognised the Raja as Sultan in 1887.

The potential for developing the plantation economy was a great temptation to the Dutch and the prospect of income from leases, too great for the Raja. Musa al-Khalidy, assumed the title of Sultan and a reign name to signifying his complete equality with his former overlord. In common with Deli, Asahan and Siak, the sultanate prospered beyond expectation. Rubber demand boomed during the Great War and the ever-growing demand for oil followed during the 1920's and 30's. By the early 1930's the Sultan of Langkat was the wealthiest ruler in Sumatra, thanks to oil royalties from the Pengkalan Brandan fields. All this only served to enhance the envy of the Japanese.

The Second World War soon displaced prosperity as Japanese oppression displaced Dutch colonialism. The end of war, however, did not bring an easy peace. The Communist inspired "social revolution" of 1946 brought hideous bloodshed and loss of life. Amongst the casualties, Tengku Amir Hamzah, scion of the Langkat Royal House and the foremost Malay poet and writer of his generation. The evils of the times did not end quickly as the Dutch attempted to regain control while the Javanese republicans attempted to oust them. Large numbers of the aristocracy perished in these conflicts, chaos reigned supreme and the sultanates all but ceased to function. The reigning Sultan, Mahmud 'Abdu'l Jalil, died in 1948, one year before the conclusion of hostilities and the recognition of independence by the Dutch. His son was not proclaimed or installed as Sultan.

In common with the Royal House of Deli, the Langkat family was independently wealthy due to the land lease system and the successful oil economy. It opened them to greater intercourse with the wider world, to travel broadly and to value European education. It also enabled them to conclude several marriage alliances across the Straits of Malacca.

Although the central government in Java was very slow in officially recognising or promoting the restoration of the Sumatran princes, a recent change of policy has been implemented without much publicity. The Langkat dynasty has been one of the few to benefit. They accepted a Head of the Royal House, in the person of Tengku Dr Herman Shah Kamil in 1999. Since his death in 2001, his nephew has been officially installed as Sultan Iskandar Hilali 'Abdu'l Jalil Rahmad Shah.


* Raja HITAM [Kejuruan Tuwa] -/1818
* Raja AMAT 1818/1840
* HH Sultan MUSA AL-KHALIDY AL-MUAZZAM SHAH [Tengku Ngah] 1840/1892, born 1807, married Tengku Maslaurah binti Tengku Desan [Tengku Permaisuri Maslaurah] and had issue. He died 1892.
o HH Sultan AZIZ ABDUL DJALIL RAHMAT SHAH ibni al-Marhum Sultan Musa al-Khalidy al-Muazzam Shah (qv)
o Tengku Aishah [Intan] binti al-Marhum Sultan Musa al-Khalidy al-Muazzam Shah, married Tengku Pangeran Jaya Setia Tengku Syed Embong ibni Tengku Syed Khalid of Siak and had issue.
* HH Sultan ABDUL AZIZ ABDUL DJALIL RAHMAT SHAH ibni al-Marhum Sultan Musa al-Khalidy al-Muazzam Shah 1892/1927, born 9th May 1878, married 1stly c1892 Tengku Alautiah binti Raja Muda Tengku Sulaiman of Deli [Tengku Permaisuri Alautiah], died 31st October 1897, 2ndly c1898 Tunku Aishah binti al-Marhum Sultan Zainal Rashid Mukarram Shah of Kedah [Tengku Permaisuri Aishah], died 11th January 1904, 3rdly c1905 Tengku Fatimah Sham binti Tengku Abdul Kadir [Putih] of Serdang [Tengku Permaisuri Fatimah Sham], born c1890, died 23rd May 1919, 4thly December 1919 Tengku Zaharah binti al-Marhum Sultan Alauddin Sulaiman Shah of Selangor [Tengku Permaisuri Zaharah], born 18th December 1899, died December 1981 and had issue. He died 1st July 1927.
o HH Sultan MAHMUD ABDUL DJALIL RAHMAT SHAH ibni al-Marhum Sultan Abdul Aziz Abdul Djalil Rahmat Shah (qv)
o Tengku Pangeran Kamil ibni al-Marhum Sultan Abdul Aziz Abdul Djalil Rahmat Shah, married Tengku Arfah binti al-Marhum Sultan Muhammed Hussein Rahmat Shah of Asahan, died 1978 and had issue.
+ SON, married his cousin, Tengku Nazliah binti Tengku Muhammed Ali of Asahan.
o Tengku Rahimah binti al-Marhum Sultan Abdul Aziz Abdul Djalil Rahmat Shah [Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Selangor], born 4th August 1927, married 10th March 1956 HRH Sultan SALAHUDDIN ABDUL AZIZ SHAH Al-Haj ibni al-Marhum Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj of Selangor and had issue. She died 27th June 1993.
* HH Sultan MAHMUD ABDUL DJALIL RAHMAT SHAH ibni al-Marhum Sultan Aziz Abdul Djalil Rahmat Shah 1927/1948, born 19th July 1893, married c1924 Tengku Raudah binti al-Marhum Sultan Muhammed Shah of Kualah [Tengku Mahsuri Raudah], died 9th March 1971 and had issue. He died 23rd April 1948.
o Raja Muda Tengku Musa ibni al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Abdul Djalil Rahmat Shah, born 1925, died sp 1946.

Chronological list of Rajas/Sultans

17.. - 17.. Badi uz-Zaman
17.. - 1818 Hitam (Kejuruan Tuwa) (d. 1822)
1818 - 1840 Amat (b. c.1807 - d. 1840)
1840 - 1887 Tengku Ngah (b. 1807 - d. 1892)

1887 - 1892 Musa al-Khalidy al-Muazzam Syah (s.a.)
(Tengku Ngah)
1893 - 1 Jul 1927 Abdul Aziz Abdul Jalik Rakhmat Syah(b. 1875 - d. 1927)
1 Jul 1927 - 23 Apr 1948 Mahmud Abdul Jalil Rahmat Syah (b. 1893 - d. 1948)
23 Apr 1948 - 27 Oct 2002 Interregnum
27 Oct 2002 - 21 May 2003 Iskandar Hilali Abdul Jalil Rahmat Syah (b. 1952 - d. 2003)
21 May 2003 - Azwar Abdul Jalil Rahmat Syah (b. 1951)


Related websites/books/articles:

2. Tribal communities in the Malay world: historical, cultural and social(2002), by Geoffrey Benjamin, published by Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.

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