Saturday, November 12, 2016

Kingdom of Aceh

According to Hikayat Bustan as-Salatin written in 17th century by AR-Raniri, Sultan Ali Mughayat Syah conquests Ache in the 1520s. He was the first sultan to rule Aceh, and he also the first to embrace and enforce Islam. Sultan Ali Mughayat Syah was identified as Raja Ibrahim in the Portuguese account.

Before that there were no rajas but only village communities. Aceh was united by an aggressive new dynasty determined to eliminate foreign interference in the name of militant Islam, Aceh’s rise was thus an exact counterpoint to Portugal’s intrusion into the area in the period 1509-20.

Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah al-Khahar (reign until 1588) was another great ruler of Aceh. He expanded the armed forces developed trade and established close relationships with Islamic powers in the Middle East, especially with Turkey and in Africa namely Abyssinia and Egypt.

The political expansion of the Acehnese sultanate was continued by his successors, who attacked Malacca in 1573 and conquered the rich tin-producing state of Perak in the Malay Peninsula two years later.

Modern Aceh province
Aceh’s main exports were the goods obtained from its dependencies of Sumatra West Coast and the Malay Peninsula, especially tin and pepper. Aceh’s most valuable mineral resource, however, was gold.

During the reigned of Sultan Iskandar Muda (r 1607-1636), the kingdom became strong and prosperous because of his achievement in the development of international trade and commerce, political expansion and the establishment of close relations with foreign Islamic kingdoms that not only strengthened Aceh’s’ military forces but also intensified the kingdom’s Islamic faith.

By mid 1660s, it appears that the power of the kingdom of Aceh relative to the VOC was reduced. The influence of Aceh over her dependencies in Sumatra West Coast and Minangkabau hinterlands had diminished.

In contrast, the Dutch seemed successfully in making inroads into these areas and they took these minor rajas under the company’s protection.
Kingdom of Aceh
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