Shaykh al-Islam Shaykh Samsuddin Sumatrani (d 1630)
His name is also spelt as
- first name: Syamsuddin, Shams al-Din
- last name: al Sumatrai, Abd Allah al Sumatra’i,
Scholarship (Islamic): He was given the title Shaykh al-Islam in the Aceh royal court by the legendary conqueror Sultan Iskandar Muda. Shaykh Sumatrani’s scholarship was well recognised across the Malay world in his time.
His writings include notable texts such as jawhar al-haqaiq (jewel of true realities), mir’at al muminin…
Drawing on different kitabs but mainly on Burhanpuri’s Tuhfa al-mursala ila ruh al-nabi, he described a conceptual 7 Levels of Being in his kitab Nur al Haqaiq
4. Alam al arwah
5. Alam al mithal (world of ideas)
6. Alam al ajsam (world of bodies)
7. Alam al insan (world of humans)
Scholarship (Malay literature): He is also recognised as a Malay literary giant
Tariqah: Naqshbandi. He is also one of the most notable Naqshbandi shaykhs of the malay world. In fact he is the one who initiated Sultan Islandar Muda into Naqshbandi tariqah
Chivalry: Shaykh Sumatrani was an accomplished warrior. He led an Aceh force in battle against invading Portugese colonialists in Melaka (Malaysia). He bravely accepted the role knowing full well it will be too hard a battle to win. He died in the battled in 1630.
Makam: His makam is at the heart of Melaka, right next to Jonker Street. But it is deeply hidden in an ancient cemetary opposite the oldest malaysian mosque, Masjid Kampong Hulu.
Directions to visiting his Makam
1. Go to Masjid Kampong Hulu in Melaka.
It is located at intersection of Jalan Kampung Hulu and Jalan Masjid. It is the oldest mosque, close to Melaka river and Jonker Street.
2. Look for signboard on Jalan Masjid
3. Walk in the Direction the Signboard points to
This is the hardest part and you may even end up spending 20 minutes to find the makam. Dont give up. Ask the residents in the tiny village for help.
First turn right, then walk down and turn left, then walk down and turn left.
4. You will reach the entrance to the ancient Aceh cemetary