Shaykh Ismail Al-Jailani (Melaka)

Sultanul Ariffin Shaykh Ismail ibn Sayyid Abdul Qadir ibn Sayyid Abdul Jabbar Al-Jailani (d. 1520AD/925H)

Title: Sultanul Ariffin (king of the gnostics)


  • 18th Descendant of Prophet s.a.w.
  • Great grandson of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jailani (q) – some accounts claim he is 6th descendant

Birth: 17th of Rabi’ al-Awwal 867 A.H. in Baghdad

Description: According to accounts, Shaykh Ismail shared some of the physical features of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani. He was fair-skinned, almost reddish in colour; slightly thin; of medium height; possessed a long white beard and had Arab facial features. He was also said to be very friendly to children.

Instruction from Prophet saw: During a pilgrimage to Medina, Shaykh Ismail received instructions from the Holy Prophet saw to go to Jawa (Indonesia) to spread Islam.

His caravan to Jawa: Shaykh Ismail travelled to the Malay Archipelago with 16 of his companions that included his teacher (Sayyid Yusuf As Sidiq), his cousin (Sayyid Ibrahim al-Jailani) and Siti Sarah ibn Shaykh Yusuf as-Sidiq (she is also wife of Sayyid Ibrahim).

Dawah in the Archipelago: He pursued dawah in the Malay Archipelago and attracted a large following. Two of his notable students are Raden Malan Makhdum (Sunan Bonang) and Raden Paku (Sunan Giri) who are amongst the most revered saints of Indonesia.

Dawah in Melaka: Amongs this followers included the Sultan of Melaka who was then a hindu king and who then embraced Islam. Even though he did spend most of his time on the mainland of Melaka, he usually went back to his sawma’ah (cell) on the peaceful island of Pulau Besar.

Miracles: Saints of the Qadiri sufi order in the course of Islamic history are more noted for their outward display of miracles. Accounts claim that one of his miracles was he would go back to the island  every evening, by walking on the surface of the sea that separates the island from the mainland (a distance of about 4 miles). Shaykh Ismail is noted for many other miracles.

How to reach Pulau Besar

1. Take Uber or Taxi or drive to Anjung Batu Jetty, Merlimau, Melaka.

Do note that there is another jetty in Merlimau. Do not take that one unless if you have 10 persons in your group since it relies on smaller boats where capacity is 10 and the boat guys will harass you to book entire 10 pax capacity or wait for more passengers

In the Anjung Batu Jetty they use ferries that depart on fixed time schedules (see photo).

This is how the Anjung Batu Ferry terminal looks like

This is how the ferries look like

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