4 Theories of Islam’s entry into Indonesia and its makers (full)

Aden Fauzi

4 Theories of Islam’s entry into Indonesia and its makers (full)

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Islam has existed for the reason that period of the dominion in Indonesia. Fashionable perception states that Islam got here by way of merchants from Gujarat, India. However in actuality, what are the theories concerning the entry of Islam into Indonesia? It seems that not solely Gujarat’s idea is understood, however there are nonetheless different theories!

On the whole, there are 4 recognized theories concerning the arrival of Islam in Indonesia, together with the Persian idea (Iran), the Arab idea (Mecca), the Chinese language idea, and probably the most well-known Indian idea (Gujarat). Everybody has a unique opinion on how this faith was first launched.

Allow us to analyze collectively who had been the figures who unfold it and the way the method of spreading it went till Islam turned probably the most widespread faith in Indonesia. Be sure to learn to the top of this text!

The speculation of the entry of Islam into Indonesia and its traits

The emergence of those theories trusted discoveries at the moment. Beforehand, most Indonesian folks adhered to the Hindu-Buddhist religions. A few of these theories clarify how Islam was introduced and unfold in Indonesia:

1. Gujarat Idea

That is the preferred idea and says that Islam got here by way of merchants from Gujarat, India.

Except for finishing up commerce, they’re believed to be spreading Islam, particularly within the Malacca Strait area. Based mostly on this idea, Islam entered the archipelago within the thirteenth century AD.

This idea was first offered by the Dutch scientist J. Bignapple and was supported by Christian Snook Horgroni.

There’s some proof that confirms this idea. This discovery was mentioned by Moquette, the scientist who helped develop this idea in 1912. Among the many discoveries associated to this idea are the next:

Assertion from Markopolo

The character Marcopolo, who hails from Venice, Italy, made a press release supporting Gujarat’s idea concerning the introduction of Islam into Indonesia. He said that he made an expedition to Perlak in 1292.

There he met many Muslim residents. He additionally added that the Islamic faith there developed from the retailers who stopped there.

Batu Nisan Sultan Malik As-Saleh

A tombstone was found in Pasai, North Sumatra in 1927. The tombstone belonged to Sultan Malik Salih. Nonetheless, this tombstone is much like tombstones present in Cambay, Gujarat, India.

Oldest inscription

Proof of the subsequent discovery is the oldest inscription describing the connection between Sumatra and Gujarat.


This idea, extensively believed by the general public, has been growing for a very long time. These outcomes assist the validity of this idea, because it seems that Islam got here from the retailers of Gujarat.

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Though this is without doubt one of the oldest theories, this idea nonetheless suffers from many weaknesses in comparison with different theories. Even the Gujarat idea has acquired criticism and refutations from numerous students learning the unfold of Islam in Indonesia.

Certainly one of them considerations the similarity of tombstones in North Sumatra and Gujarat, which Professor Fatemi denied in his paper “Islam Involves Malaysia” (2009). The reason being that the form of the tombstone just isn’t the identical in any respect. Even in its form, Malik Saleh’s tombstone intently resembles a tombstone in Bengal.

Except for denying the similarity between the tombstones, the subsequent questionable factor about this idea is the college of thought to which it’s adhered to. Merchants in Gujarat largely adhere to the Hanafi college of thought, whereas residents of Pasai adhere to the Shafii college of thought.

Nonetheless, there are those that deny that when Islam got here to Pasai, nearly all of Gujarat was nonetheless Hindus.

2. Arab idea

It’s also believed that the speculation of Islam getting into Arab Indonesia is the proper idea. Some realize it because the Mecca idea. However mainly, this idea states that Islam got here to Indonesia from Arab merchants who settled in Pasai.

The originator of this idea refutes the Gujarat idea which is taken into account to lack strong proof. This idea is anticipated to cowl the shortcomings of Gujarat’s idea. In response to the Arabic idea, the unfold of Islam in Indonesia occurred within the seventh century AD.

Builder numbers and guides

The one who put ahead this idea is Hajj Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah. It’s possible you’ll know him higher as Buya Hamka. This idea has acquired assist from H. Johns, Van Leur, Crawfurd, T. W. Arnold and numerous different events.

This idea appears on the growth of Islam from a unique perspective. In response to Boya Hamka, Arab retailers didn’t unfold Islam for financial causes. Nonetheless, he solely desires to introduce Islam to Indonesian society.

They married native folks to create a faith that will be handed down from era to era. Furthermore, the subsequent technique of dawah is to type an Islamic neighborhood. There’s some proof that helps this idea:

Arab-Indonesian commerce routes

Arab retailers or delegations got here to Indonesia by way of sea commerce routes. This highway existed earlier than BC.

Islamic villages in West Sumatra

Then Arab merchants or delegations entered West Sumatra and based a village throughout the reign of the Umayyad dynasty. This village is the village that proves the speculation of the event of Islam from the Arabian Peninsula.

Similarity within the king’s title

The king in Samudra Basai has the identical title because the king in Arabia. His identify is the proprietor. At the moment, this title was solely used for kings in Egypt. That is robust proof that the event of Islam gained nice affect from Arab immigrants.

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The proper discovery on this idea is the similarity of the mental doctrine embraced by Arab society and Western Sumatra, which is the Siyafi doctrine.

Thus, the declare of the Gujarat idea that Islam developed and got here by Indian merchants is invalidated. Actually, it’s mentioned that this idea is the truest and strongest idea for the introduction of Islam into Indonesia.


Sadly, this idea nonetheless lacks information that specify the function of Arab delegates or retailers within the unfold and growth of Islam in Indonesia.

3. Persian idea

The next idea posits that the event of Islam occurred because of commerce carried out by Persian retailers. It’s because Indonesia is an archipelago with potential as a enterprise vacation spot.

Sources related to this idea point out that the event of Islam started within the interval between 7-13 AD.

Builder numbers and guides

The originator of the speculation of the entry of Islam into Indonesia within the seventh century was Professor Dr. Omar Amir Hussein and Prof. Dr. Hussein Jagadiningrat. Each argue that Islam first landed on the island of Sumatra.

There’s a lot supporting proof present in manuscripts and neighborhood tradition. It was this outcome that helped strengthen the Persian idea. Among the many proof talked about are the next:

Festivals and traditions

The Persian Islamic neighborhood has quite a few cultural celebrations that aren’t a lot totally different from Indonesian celebrations. An instance of that is the Tabuk ceremony in Bengkulu, which in Persia is normally a day of remembrance for Hussein bin Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, might God bless him and grant him peace.

There’s one other related custom, the custom of the delivery of Lumbua in Sikwang, which has similarities to the day of Ashura in Persia.

Similarity to Sufi teachings

Sheikh Siti Jinar is an Indonesian Sufi cleric who adheres to Sufism just like the Persian retailers, i.e. Iranian Sufism with the doctrine of pilgrims.

Tombstone form

The speculation of the entry of Islam into Indonesia and its supporters refers back to the tombstone of Malik al-Shehhi, which resembles the tombstone of Maulana Malik Ibrahim.

Related vocabulary

Other than that, the creator of this idea additionally identified that there are similarities in vocabulary between Persian and Malay. This proof confirms that the folks of Sumatra had beforehand absorbed some vocabulary from Persian merchants.


This idea tends to strengthen the declare that Indonesia had shut ties with Persia by commerce relations and cultural absorption. This idea exhibits that there’s a lengthy historical past between these two nations that inspired the unfold of Islam.


Nonetheless, the Persian idea nonetheless lacks proof and factual knowledge. Extra analysis and supporting proof is required for this idea to be trusted. Furthermore, when Islam entered Indonesia, neither Persia nor Iran was the middle of the unfold of Islam.

As well as, there have been fewer retailers from Persia than retailers from Arabia, Gujarat, or China. Due to this fact, this idea wants deeper growth.

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4. Chinese language idea

In response to Chinese language idea, the introduction of Islam into Indonesia started throughout the Ting Dynasty (618-905 AD) and is alleged to have originated in Canton, a area with a majority Muslim inhabitants. This area is situated in southern China.

There’s one other opinion that additionally says that Islam got here by the hands of a Muslim chief named Saad bin Waqash, who preached the caliphate of Uthman bin Affan.

Builder numbers and guides

This idea was developed by Sumanto Al-Qurtubi. He defined that the unfold of Islam in China occurred by marriage to native residents. Chinese language immigrants did this after they lived for a very long time in Indonesia.

In assist of his idea, Sumanto collected a number of items of proof proving that Chinese language immigrants introduced Islam. Some proof is as follows:

Chinese language Muslim neighborhood

In his e-book Islam in China (2004), Jean A. Burley mentioned that there was a Chinese language Muslim neighborhood in Palembang in 879 AD, and it was mentioned that this neighborhood was indigenous however they had been Muslims who had been Chinese language residents who migrated from Canton to Southeast Asia.

An Islamic king of Chinese language origin

In Java, there’s an Islamic kingdom led by a king of Chinese language origin. Radin Fath is the one who leads the Demak authorities. He was the primary king.

Nonetheless, most subsequent kings had titles that used Chinese language phrases. That is proof of the validity of the speculation of Islam getting into Indonesia and China.

Demographic similarity

There’s a group of Chinese language folks inhabiting the coastal a part of East Java. They had been Tang individuals who got here from Kwangtung, Quanzhou and numerous different areas of China. What makes this idea proof is that this inhabitants largely adheres to Islam.


This idea has quite a few supporting proof concerning the unfold of Islam by Chinese language immigrants, in addition to the areas that had been the vacation spot of spiritual transmission. Many researchers additionally revealed their analysis in Islamic books.


This idea nonetheless wants to elucidate China’s function in initiating the event of Islam in Indonesia. In different phrases, this idea nonetheless lacks proof.

When somebody talks concerning the 4 theories concerning the introduction of Islam into Indonesia, now you can discover out the proof and shortcomings of every idea. Though there isn’t a good idea, the Arab idea is the speculation that may be thought-about probably the most.

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