World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sultan of Kedah

Part of a series on the
History of Malaysia
Prehistoric Malaysia
Early kingdoms
Chi Tu 100 BC – 7th AD
Gangga Negara 2nd–11th
Langkasuka 2nd–14th
Pan Pan 3rd–5th
Srivijaya 7th–13th
Majapahit 13th–15th
Kedah Kingdom 630–1136
Rise of Muslim states
Brunei Sultanate 15th–present
Kedah Sultanate 1136–present
Malacca Sultanate 1402–1511
Sulu Sultanate 1450–1899
Johor Sultanate 1528–present
Colonial era
Portuguese Malacca 1511–1641
Dutch Malacca 1641–1824
Straits Settlements 1826–1946
British Malaya 1874–1946
Federated Malay States 1895–1946
Unfederated Malay States 1909–1946
Kingdom of Sarawak 1841–1946
North Borneo 1882–1963
Japanese occupation
(Malaya, Borneo)
Malayan Union 1946–1948
Federation of Malaya 1948–1963
Independence era
Independence (Malaya) 1957
Malaysia Agreement 1963
Proclamation 1963–present
By topic
Malaysia portal

The Sultanate of Kedah was the earliest sultanate on the Malay Peninsula and one of the oldest Sultanates in the world, founded in 1136.

Kedah Kingdom

Kedah Kingdom (630-1136) was founded by Maharaja Derbar Raja of Gemeron around 630 CE and the Hindu dynasty ended when Phra Ong Mahawangsa converted to Islam.


Around 170 CE a group of native refugees of Hindu faith arrived at Kedah, joining them soon were peoples from nearby islands and from the northern Mon-Khmer region. Ancient Kedah covered the areas of Kuala Bahang, Kuala Bara, Kuala Pila and Merpah, and the inhabitants of Kedah appointed Tun Derma Dewa and Tun Perkasa as their village chiefs.

The king from Gemeron

In 630 CE, Maharaja Derbar Raja of Gemeron (now known as Bandar Abbas) in Persia was defeated in battle and escaped to Sri Lanka, and he was later blown off course by a storm to the remote shores of Kuala Sungai Qilah, Kedah. The inhabitants of Kedah found him to be a valiant and intelligent person, and they made him the king of Kedah. In 634 CE, a new kingdom was formed in Kedah consisting of Persian royalty and native Malay of Hindu faith, the capital was Langkasuka.

Conversion to Islam

In the late 11th century, after the Chola military left Kadaram, the 9th Hindu rajah, Dubar Raja II, renounced the Hinduism and converted to Islam, which was introduced by Muslims from neighbouring Aceh, he also changed his name to Sultan Mudzafar Shah. He ruled the northern region of Malay Peninsula from 1136 to 1179. According to the Kedah Annals, the first king of Kedah was Maharaja Derbar Raja I, a fleeing king from Gameron in Persia.

List of rulers

According to tradition, the founding of the Kedah kingdom (or Kadaram) occurred around 630 CE, replacing the ancient kingdom of Langkasuka. It is said to have been founded by Durbaraja I, a Hindu who originated from Gemeron in Persia. The Hindu dynasty ended when the ninth king Durbaraja II, styled "Phra Ong Mahawangsa" by the Siamese, converted to Islam in 1136.[1]

Pre-Islamic era

The following is a list of kings of Kadaram, nine in total. Each used the Hindu title of maharaja. The exact dates of each king's reign are not known.

  1. Sri Paduka Maharaja Durbar Raja I (c. 630–?)
  2. Sri Paduka Maharaja Diraja Putra
  3. Sri Paduka Maharaja Maha Dewa I
  4. Sri Paduka Maharaja Karna Diraja
  5. Sri Paduka Maharaja Karma
  6. Sri Paduka Maharaja Maha Dewa II
  7. Sri Paduka Maharaja Darma Raja
  8. Sri Paduka Maharaja Maha Jiwa
  9. Sri Paduka Maharaja Durbar Raja II (?–1136; succeeded as Sultan of Kedah, see below)
Source for the list of sultans is the Muzium Negeri Kedah, Alor Setar, Malaysia. "The sultans of Kedah".

Islamic era

The beginning of the use of the title sultan in Kedah is attributed to a visit by a Muslim scholar from Yemen, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ja'afar Quamiri, to Durbaraja II's palace at Bukit Mariam in 1136. The audience resulted in the king's conversion to Islam. He adopted the name "Mudzafar Shah" and established the sultanate of Kedah, which continues to rule today.[1]

Sultans of Kedah
Number Sultan Reign
1 Sultan Mudzafar Shah I 1136–1179
2 Sultan Mu'adzam Shah 1179–1201
3 Sultan Muhammad Shah 1201–1236
4 Sultan Mudzaffar Shah II 1236–1280
5 Sultan Mahmud Shah I 1280– 1321
6 Sultan Ibrahim Shah 1321– 1373
7 Sultan Sulaiman Shah I 1373–1422
8 Sultan Ataullah Muhammad Shah I 1422–1472
9 Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin I 1472–1506
10 Sultan Mahmud Shah II 1506–1546
11 Sultan Mudzaffar Shah III 1546–1602
12 Sultan Sulaiman Shah II 1602–1625
13 Sultan Rijaluddin Muhammad Shah 1625–1651
14 Sultan Muhyiddin Mansur Shah 1651–1661
15 Sultan Dziaddin Mukarram Shah 1661–1687
16 Sultan Ataullah Muhammad Shah II 1687–1698
17 Sultan Abdullah Mu'adzam Shah 1698–1706
18 Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Shah I 1706–1709
19 Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II 1710–1778
20 Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah 1778–1797
21 Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Shah II 1797–1843
22 Sultan Zainal Rashid Al-Mu'adzam Shah I 1843–1854
23 Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Mukarram Shah 1854–1879
24 Sultan Zainal Rashid Mu'adzam Shah II 1879- 1881
25 Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah 1881–1943
26 Sultan Badlishah 1943–1958
27 Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah 1958–present
Source for the list of sultans is the



The Nobat musical instruments of Nagara and Nepiri were introduced to Kedah by Maharaja Derbar Raja. The instrument is also called semambu. The band is led by the king, and it consists of drums, a gong, a flute and a trumpet. Today, Nobat is a Royal orchestra, played only during royal ceremonies such as inaugurations, weddings, and funerals. The building which houses the instruments and where the ensemble rehearses is known as the Balai Nobat, literally the Office of Nobat.

See also



External links

  • List of Kedah sultans
  • [1]
  • (Malay)Nobat

Template:Sultans and Yang di-Pertua Negeri

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.