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

Islam has existed because the period of the dominion in Indonesia. Well-liked perception states that Islam got here through 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 principle is thought, there are nonetheless different theories!

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

Let’s analyze collectively who the one who unfold it was and the way it unfold till Islam turned probably the most widespread faith in Indonesia. Be sure to learn to the top of this text!

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

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

1. Gujarat principle

That is the preferred principle and says that Islam got here through merchants from Gujarat, India.

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

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

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

Assertion from Markopolo

The character Marcopolo, who hails from Venice, Italy, made a press release supporting Gujarat’s principle 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 just 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 principle, extensively believed by the general public, has been growing for a very long time. These outcomes help the validity of this principle, because it seems that Islam got here from the retailers of Gujarat.


Though this is among the oldest theories, this principle nonetheless suffers from many weaknesses in comparison with different theories. Even the Gujarat principle has acquired criticism and refutations from numerous students learning the unfold of Islam in Indonesia.

Considered 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 is just not 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 principle 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 principle

Additionally it is believed that the idea of Islam coming into Arab Indonesia is the right principle. Some comprehend it because the Mecca principle. However mainly, this principle states that Islam got here to Indonesia from Arab merchants who settled in Pasai.

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

Builder numbers and guides

The one who put ahead this principle is Hajj Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah. Chances are you’ll know him higher as Buya Hamka. This principle acquired help from H. Johns, Van Leur, Crawford, T. W. Arnold and numerous different events.

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

They married native individuals to create a faith that will be handed down from technology to technology. Regardless, the subsequent option to preach is to type an Islamic neighborhood. There may be some proof that helps this principle:

Arab-Indonesian commerce routes

Arab retailers or delegations got here to Indonesia through 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 idea 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 title is the proprietor. At the moment, this title was solely used for kings in Egypt. That is sturdy proof that the event of Islam gained nice affect from Arab immigrants.


The proper discovery on this principle 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 principle that Islam developed and got here by way of Indian merchants is invalidated. In actual fact, it’s mentioned that this principle is the truest and strongest principle for the introduction of Islam into Indonesia.


Sadly, this principle nonetheless lacks info that designate the function of Arab delegates or retailers within the unfold and improvement of Islam in Indonesia.

3. Persian principle

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

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

Builder numbers and guides

The originator of the idea 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 may be a lot supporting proof present in manuscripts and neighborhood tradition. It was this end result that helped strengthen the Persian principle. 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 completely different from Indonesian celebrations. An instance of that is the Tabuk ceremony in Bengkulu, which in Persia is often a day of remembrance for Hussein bin Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, might God bless him and grant him peace.

There may be one other related custom, the custom of the delivery of Lumbua in Sikwang, which is analogous to the day of Ashura in Persia.

Similarity to Sufi teachings

Sheikh Siti Jinar is an Indonesian Sufi cleric, who adheres to the identical Sufism practiced by Persian retailers, i.e. Iranian Sufism with the Hajj sect.

Tombstone form

The idea of the entry of Islam into Indonesia and its supporters refers back to the tombstone of Malik Shah, which resembles the tombstone of Maulana Malik Ibrahim.

Comparable vocabulary

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


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


Nonetheless, the Persian principle nonetheless lacks proof and factual information. Extra analysis and supporting proof is required for this principle 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. Subsequently, this principle wants deeper improvement.

4. Chinese language principle

Based on Chinese language principle, 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 positioned in southern China.

There may be 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 principle was developed by Sumanto Al-Qurtubi. He defined that the unfold of Islam in China occurred by way of marriage to native residents. Chinese language immigrants did this once they lived for a very long time in Indonesia.

In help of his principle, 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 may be 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 idea of Islam coming into Indonesia and China.

Demographic similarity

There’s a group of Chinese language individuals 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 principle proof is that this inhabitants largely adheres to Islam.


This principle 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 non secular transmission. Many researchers additionally printed their analysis in Islamic books.


This principle nonetheless wants to elucidate China’s function in initiating the event of Islam in Indonesia. In different phrases, this principle 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 principle. Though there isn’t a good principle, the Arab principle is the idea that may be thought-about greater than others.