The Era of Islamic Progress in Cirebon during the Sunan Gunung Jati Period

ISL4M.COM, TANJUNG ENIM - The name Sheikh Sharif Hidayatullah, known as Sunan Gunung Jati, is attached to Cirebon. He is one of the trustees who introduced and taught Islam massively in the Cirebon area and its surroundings.

Before Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah introduced and taught Islam, actually there were already Cirebon residents who embraced Islam quietly and openly. In the era of Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah, Islam really developed rapidly.

In the study of archipelago manuscript researchers, Mahrus, the era of Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah can be said to be the golden age of the development of Islam in Cirebon. Before being led by Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah, Cirebon was led by Pangeran Cakrabuana (1447-1479) who pioneered a government based on the principle of Islam.

"After Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah, the influence of the Cirebon rulers still took refuge behind the greatness of the name Syarif Hidayatullah," Mahrus said while talking with Republika.co.id in Bogor on Tuesday night (25/6).

He said, one of the contributions of Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah was to become one of the Walisongo councils on Java. Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah was given the task of preaching in Cirebon (West Java), Banten, and Sunda Kelapa (Jakarta).

The task is formulated like this, Kanjeng Susuhunan ing Gunung Jati, Cirebon, Amewahi Donga Hakaliyan mantra, Utawi, the parade of Imam Jampampi Utawi Amewahi, and the Babad Wana. That is, Sunan Gunung Jati in Cirebon teaches the procedure for praying and reciting mantras, procedures for treatment, and procedures for opening forests.

According to Mahrus, the difference with the other Walisongo is Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah besides being a cleric as well as umara. Because Sunan Gunung Jati also served as Sultan in Cirebon. "As proof of the glory of his leadership include the Panjunan Red Mosque (1480) and the Sang Cipta Rasa Great Mosque (1500)," he said.

He recounted the era of Shaykh Syarif Hidayatullah (1479-1568) leading Cirebon. According to him, at that time the political, religious and trade fields advanced very rapidly. At that time also the spread of Islam to Banten around 1525-1526 through the placement of one of the sons of Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah named Maulana Hasanuddin.

The progress of Islam in the era of Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah did not stop until the establishment of a government center under the leadership of Maulana Hasanuddin, located in Surosowan near Muara Cibanten, Banten. Islamic development was also carried out towards East Priangan, including to the territory of the Kingdom of Galuh around 1528, then to Talaga around 1530.

"If mapped, the area of ​​Islamic development in that era included the regions of Indramayu, Karawang, Bekasi, Tangerang and Serang in Banten," he explained.

Mahrus said that the proof of the glory in the era of Shaykh Syarif Hidayatullah in Cirebon, apart from being seen from the religious side that was spiritual like the spread of Islam. It can also be seen in the development of physical buildings such as Tajug (Mosque), Pakungwati Palace which is currently in the Kasepuhan Palace.

In addition there are also ports which were once the center of trade. The port is the legacy of Sheikh Syarif Hidayatullah who was once part of the silk route of international trade. The port of Cirebon was allegedly standing along with the birth of Cirebon in 1371.

 As a coastal city, Cirebon is a trade center for the surrounding area. Cirebon also became the most important alternative port city on the north coast of Java after Jakarta and Semarang. "The port of Cirebon is a port that has a strategic role in terms of trade since the time of Shaykh Syarif Hidayatullah was still in power," explained Mahrus.

In line with these evidences, Mahrus explained, Algerian thinker Malik Bin Nabi (1905-1973) in Syuruth al-Nahdlah argued that a Muslim civilization cannot rise except by religious faith. According to him, in that context Sheikh Sharif Hidayatullah built Muslim civilization in Cirebon.
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