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The History of Serdang Sultanate

The inception of Serdang Sultanate is closely related with the glory of Aceh Darussalam Sultanate. The Commander in Chief of Army and Commander of Fleet of the Sultanate called Sri Paduka Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan became the main figure of Serdang Sultanate establishment. Under the command of Sri Paduka Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan, Aceh Darussalam Sultanate which was under the reign of Sultan Iskandar Muda (1607-1636 AD), succeeded in conquering the lands along the West Coast and East Coast of Sumatra, including Johor and Pahang (1617 AD), Kedah (1620 AD), Nias (1624 AD), and others.

Sri Paduka Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan in title of ”Laksamana Kuda Bintan”, was allegedly the same person with Laksamana Malem Dagang, the leader of Aceh Darussalam in the fight against the Portuguese in 1629. Due his devotion to Aceh Darussalam Sultanate, Sultan Iskandar Muda was pleased to inaugurate Sri Paduka Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan as his representative to lead Haru region (East Sumatra) in 1632. Haru was one of the kingdoms conquered by Sri Paduka Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan. The administration of Haru under Sri Paduka Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan changed to become Deli Sultanate.

The administration of new region (Deli Sultanate) under the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam was on several missions, which are:

  1. To destroy the remaining resistance of Haru Kingdom (assisted by the Portuguese).
  2. To spread Islamic religion to the inland areas.
  3. To rule the regions under the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam.

The leadership of Sri Paduka Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan in Deli Sultanate was supported by local kingdoms. For example was Datuk Imam Surbakti, the leader of Sunggal Kingdom (inland area), who pleased to marry off his sister, Miss Nan Baluan Beru Surbakti, with Sri Paduka Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan in 1632 AD. The recognition of local kingdoms helped the government of Deli Sultanate which was under the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam run quite smoothly.

After Sri Paduka Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan died in 1641 AD, the reign of Deli Sultanate granted to his son, Tuanku Panglima Perunggit (1614-1700 AD) who was then titled as the Commander of Deli. At the same time, the power of Aceh Darussalam Sultanate was weakening after the death of Sultan Iskandar Muda in 1636 AD. Furthermore, in 1669 AD, Tuanku Panglima Perunggit tried to make Deli Sultanate become independence from Aceh Darussalam Sultanate. This effort was supported by the Dutch who built the fortress in Malacca.

Tuanku Panglima Perunggit died in 1700 AD, and was replaced by Tuanku Panglima Paderap. The Second reign lasted until 1720 AD. However, after Tuanku Panglima Paderap died, Deli Sultanate started to split because of some reason. One of the reasons was the influence of Siak Kingdom in East Sumatra. The other reason was sudden seizure of power among four children of Tuanku Panglima Paderap. Those four children are:

  1. Tuanku Jalaludin In title of Kejuruan Metar, from the royal line of Mabar, Percut, and Tg. Mulia.
  2. Tuanku Panglima Pasutan, from the royal line of Bedagai and Deli.
  3. Kejeruan Santun, from the royal line of Denao and Serbajadi.
  4. Tuanku Umar Johan Alamshah In title of Kejeruan Junjongan, from the gentility of Serdang and Sei Tuan.

In 1723 AD, there was civil war in Deli Sultanate. Tuanku Umar Johan Alamshah In title of Kejeruan Junjongan, the most entitled to the throne of Deli as he is a son of the empress, was unable to obtain his right. Against his brother, he was defeated, and with his mother, Tuanku Puan Sampali (the empress of Tuanku Panglima Paderap), pushed aside and established new settlement called Kampung Besar. Of these, the throne of Deli was occupied by Tuanku Panglima Pasutan.

Not all parties agreed to Tuanku Panglima Pasutan as the King of Deli Sultanate. Some of local kings who refused to acknowledge and still on the side of Tuanku Umar Johan Alamshah In title of Kejeruan Junjongan are: King Sunggal Undo, King Undo Senembah, King Undo of East Batak, and one dignitary of Kejeruan Lumu (Aceh). They inaugurated Tuanku Umar Johan Alamshah In title of Kejeruan Junjongan as the King of the new government located in Kampung Besar. Later on, this new government which founded in 1723 AD was known as the Sultanate of Serdang. 

B. Serdang Sultanate in the Colonial Period

Serdang Sultanate under the leadership of Umar Johan Alamshah In title of Kejeruan Junjongan lasted for 44 years until 1767 AD. Tuanku Umar Johan had three sons, Tuanku Malim, Tuanku Ainan Johan Alamshah, and Tuanku Sabjana (the Prince of Kelambir village). Therefore, Tuanku Malim refused to be inaugurated as king instead of his father, so the one who asked to occupy the throne was Alamshah Tuanku Ainan Johan (1767-1817).

Sultan Ainan Johan Alamshah married to Tuanku Puan Sri Alam, the Princess of Perbaungan Kingdom. Then the territory of Perbaungan Kingdom embedded to Serdang Sultanate. This marriage blessed with many children, but the first child, who should be the Crown Prince, Tuanku Zainal Abidin, was killed in the battle in Langkat. Instead, the second child of Sultan, Tuanku Sultan Thaf Sinar Basarshah (1817-1850), was appointed as the Crown Prince and the successor of Serdang Sultanate.

In the reign of Sultan Thaf Sinar Baharshah, who also known as the Big Sultan of Serdang, the Sultanate had the glorious time. Serdang become a prosperous Sultanate since the progress of its trade sector. The name of Serdang Sultanate was well known until the Land of Malay Peninsula. Many other kingdoms were asking for help especially in defense and security.

The successor of Sultan Thaf Sinar Baharshah was his eldest son, Sultan Basyaruddin Shariful Alamshah (1819-1880). His leadership got legitimacy from Aceh Darussalam Sultanate, Sultan Ibrahim Shah Mansyur, in the form of the recognition of “Mahor Cap Sembilan”. This is when the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam sent an expedition of war as many as 200 warships to punish Deli and Langkat Deli, Serdang was on the side of Aceh.

The administration of Serdang Sultanate was accompanied by the great People, vizier, and the conquered Kings. However, the Sultanate under the leadership of Sultan Basyaruddin Shariful Alamshah was full of disputes, both internal and external. In addition to the conflict with the Sultanate of Deli about their territorial expansion, Serdang also face the hegemony of the Dutch who came in 1862. Through Acte van Erkenning on August 16, 1862, Serdang Sultanate eventually forced to admit defeat under the Dutch.

When Sultan Basyaruddin Shariful Alamshah died on Muharram 7, 1279 AH (December, 1880), the Crown Prince, Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah was still very young. Serdang Sultanate temporarily handed over to Tengku Raja Muda Mustafa (the uncle of Solomon Shariful Alamshah). Once Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah was considered old enough, he was appointed as the King and getting recognition from the Dutch East Indies colonial government on January 29, 1887.

Under the leadership of Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah, Serdang Sultanate made some strategic measures to attack the growing influences of Dutch colonizers. One of the important movements was the war in 1891. The war occurred against the Dutch when the controller of Serdang (representative of Dutch) moved the capital of Serdang from Rantau Panjang to Lubuk Pakam.

As a form of resistance, Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah refused and instead build a new palace, Perbaungan Palace (Kraton Galuh City), in 1886. In addition, Sultan also built Raya Sulaimaniyah Mosque, store, fish market, shopping complex and thus stand a small town named Simpang Tiga Perbaungan. This small town was made by Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah as a new rival capital of the Dutch.

Subsequently, in 1898 Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah refused to face the Dutch in Batavia, he was also not willing to face the Queen of Netherlands Kingdom as well. Rather than obey the request, he visited Japan and China. This "insubordination" is a proof that Serdang Sultanate obviously fought against the arrogance of the Dutch.

During his visit to Japan, Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah personally feted by Tenno Heika, the Emperor of Meijimutshuhito. However, on the other hand, the Dutch took the advantage from the departure of the Sultan by constraining the Serdang Sultanate boundaries. Arbitrarily the Dutch changed in the official government of the Great People, in which some of them was eliminated from administrative position, including the Viceroy and the Wazir Paduka Maharaja Setia. 

C. Serdang Sultanate in the Independence Era

The reign period of Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah lasted long enough from the colonial of Dutch (1866) until the post-independence of the Republic of Indonesia (1946). Not long enough after Indonesia declared its independence, in December 1945 Serdang Sultanate under the leadership of Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah expressed their support for the establishment of Independence State of the Republic of Indonesia.

At the year 1946, the territory of East Sumatra, including Serdang were on tense situation. On March 3, 1946, there was a big move known as the "Social Revolution". This move was to arrest the kings and the nobility who were considered as a traitor of their "dedication" to the Dutch.

In Serdang, the situation was slightly different from the other kingdoms. Serdang Sultanate was spared from the brutality of Social Revolution because of the positive support of Sultan Sulayman Shariful Alamshah against the movement. In addition, anti-Dutch feeling inside him has been known since colonial times. Serdang Sultanate gave full support towards the establishment of the Independence State of the Republic of Indonesia strengthen his side over Indonesia.

Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah suggested to the family and the nobility of Serdang Sultanate to occupy a position in the structure of the forces of the Republic of Indonesia as well as political Islamist and Nationalist organizations. Therefore, when the "Social Revolution" occurred on March 3, 1946, there was held negotiation between Captain Tengku Nurdin (Battalion Commander III of the Republic of Indonesia in Medan) with Tengku Mahkota Serdang and some figure of Serdang Sultanate. The decision of this meeting was Serdang Sultanate handed their power to Indonesian People’s Army (TRI), in this case they acted on behalf of the government of the Republic of Indonesia.

The next day, on March 4, 1946, Tengku Mahmuddin and Panitera Tengku Dhaifah on behalf of Serdang Sultanate formally hand over the administration to TRI. This meeting was united by the National Committee of Indonesia in Serdang and some community organization and representative of other political organizations in Density office, Perbaungan. The event became unique moment for the first time in Indonesia. Since then, Serdang Sultanate merged as part of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia as a manifestation of its commitment to the establishment of an independent Indonesian state and sovereign.

On October 13, 1946, Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah died on his 80 years old and was interred with military ceremony at the tomb of the kings next to Raya Perbaungan Mosque. As next heir to the throne of Serdang Sultanate was Tengku Putera Mahkota Rajih Anwar. However, due to political and security situation which unstable, the Sultan was named as the Head of customs, not as the Sultan of Serdang. Actually, Tengku Putera Mahkota Rajih Anwar himself was not willing to be crowned as the Sultan under traumatized by a series of tragic events of "Social Revolution" at the beginning of 1946's.

Putera Tengku Mahkota Rajih Anwar died in Medan on December 28, 1960. He was buried in Perbaungan. After the death, people of Serdang had no longer his successor and the throne was vacuum for about 35 years. Finally, on November 30, 1996, Serdang Density Indigenous Affairs held a meeting and decided that the Indigenous Stakeholder of Serdang is chosen from the late Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah’s sons who are still alive.

It was decided from that meeting that Tuanku Abunawar Sinar Shariful Alam Al-Haj, the third son of Sultan Sulaiman Shariful Alamshah and the holder of the crown to Serdang Sultanate VII was as the Stakeholder Indigenous Affairs and Chairman of the density of Serdang Indigenous Affairs. The inauguration was done through traditional ceremonies in 45 Gedong Juang, Perbaungan, on January 5, 1997.

The resurrection of Serdang Sultanate can not be separated political system in the state. The Imperial institution solely viewed from the political perspective. The existence of Serdang Sultanate was no longer being understood as a representation of indigenous culture and community behavior. Impact, the Sultanate’s activities were limited merely as an institution of customs.

Tuanku Abunawar Sinar Shariful Alam Al-Hajj died on January 28, 2001 due to illness and was buried in the Tomb of Kings next to Raya Mosque, Perbaungan. Before his remain was departed at midnight on January 28, 2001, there was held a meeting according to their custom of "Raja Mangkat Raja Menanam" to decide who will be the next heir of throne.

In that meeting, all members agreed that Tuanku Luckman Sinar Baharshah II (was in title of Temenggong Mangkunegara Serdang) designated as the Stakeholder VIII of Indigenous Serdang. The coronation ceremony was held on June 12, 2002 in Perbaungan. The ceremony was attended by 6,000 delegates from around the region of Serdang and 2,000 guest from 4 countries.

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iqbal February 18, 2012 09:26

sangat menggugah......

Dewa Firmansyah August 27, 2012 07:15

perlu dihidupkan segala kegiatan budaya kesultanan serdang ini sebagai salah satu kekayaan budaya kita.