teradesa.com The Kingdom of Demak or Kasultanan Demak was the first Islamic kingdom in Java. The kingdom was established in the early 16th century by Raden Patah and reached its heyday under the leadership of Sultan Trenggono.
Demak Kingdom is located in Demak area, Central Java. Initially, Demak was a duchy that was subject to Majapahit rule.

Demak Kingdom became the center of the spread of Islam under the leadership of Raden Patah with the central role of Wali Songo. The period of Raden Patah’s leadership was the initial phase of the development of Islam in Java.

The Kingdom of Demak: History, Triumph and Decline.
Economic life
Quoted from the book History of the 8 Largest Kingdoms in Indonesia by Siti Nur Aidah and KBM Publishing Team, the Demak Kingdom was located on the north coast of Java, so the main economic source of the Demak people was sea trade. The absence of friendly kingdoms in Java was also a factor why the Demak Kingdom was very active in trading at sea.

During its heyday, the Demak Kingdom controlled major ports such as Surabaya, Madura, Tuban, Semarang, Jepara, Cirebon and Sunda Kelapa. In addition, inland duchies such as Madiun, Kediri, Malang, Pati, and Pajang were also major sources of agriculture and livestock as trading commodities. Javanese rice was an important commodity in international trade in the archipelago.

Political life
Politically, the Demak Kingdom was the largest power in Java. It ended the long dominance of Majapahit, and the existence of Sunda rulers who had consistently existed since the 6th century AD. The Demak Kingdom placed dukes as an extension of the Sultan. Regions such as Surabaya, Tuban and Madiun had dukes who were quite influential.

The Demak Kingdom was also the first to come into contact with western imperialism. The establishment of Demak in the 16th century was followed by the Portuguese occupation of Malacca. The capture of Sunda Kelapa in 1527 was an attempt to control the entire north coast and ward off the arrival of the Portuguese in Java.

Kings of Demak Kingdom
1. Raden Patah (ruled 1500-1518 AD)
Raden Patah was the founder of the Demak Kingdom. He was the son of the King of Majapahit from a Chinese woman, who had converted to Islam. Raden Patah ruled the Demak Kingdom from 1500 to 1518 AD. Under the leadership of Raden Patah, the Demak Sultanate became the center of the spread of Islam with the central role of Wali Songo. This period was the first phase of the development of Islam in Java.

2. Adi Pati Unus (ruled 1518-1521 AD)
After Raden Patah died in 1518, the throne of Demak was succeeded by his son, Adipati Unus (1488-1521). Before becoming sultan, Pati Unus was famous for his bravery as a warlord so he was nicknamed Pangeran Sabrang Lor.
Quoted from the book The Collapse of Hindu-Javanese Kingdoms and the Emergence of Islamic Countries in the Archipelago (2005) by Slamet Muljana, in 1521 Pati Unus led the second invasion of Malacca against the Portuguese. Pati Unus died in the battle and was succeeded by Trenggana as the third leader of the Demak Sultanate.

3. Sultan Trenggono (ruled 1521-1546 AD)
Sultan Trenggana brought the Sultanate of Demak to its period of glory. Demak’s territory extended to the eastern and western parts of Java. In 1527, the combined Islamic forces from Demak and Cirebon led by Fatahillah on the orders of Sultan Trenggana succeeded in expelling the Portuguese from Sunda Kelapa.
The name Sunda Kelapa was then changed to Jayakarta or “perfect victory”. Later, Jayakarta changed its name again to Batavia and then Jakarta, the capital of the Republic of Indonesia.
When attacking Panarukan, Situbondo, which was then controlled by the Kingdom of Blambangan (Banyuwangi), in 1546, an incident occurred that killed Sultan Trenggana.

4. Sunan Prawata (ruled 1546-1549 AD)
Sunan Prawata was the son of Sultan Trenggono. The sudden succession of Sultan Trenggana due to his death did not go smoothly.
Prince Surowiyoto or Prince Sekar attempted to take power over Sunan Prawata who was Trenggana’s son. Sunan Prawata then killed Surowiyoto and took power.
However, the incident led to a decline in support for his rule. He moved the center of Demak to his territory in Prawoto, Pati, Central Java. He only ruled for one year, when Arya Penangsang, son of Surowiyoto, assassinated Prawata in 1547.

5. Arya Penangsang (ruled 1549-1554 AD)
Arya Penangsang occupied the throne of Demak after killing Sunan Prawata. He also removed Pangeran Hadiri/Kalinyamat, the ruler of Jepara, who was considered dangerous to his power. This led to his displeasure with the dukes of Demak, one of whom was Hadiwijaya of Pajang.

This led to the relocation of Demak’s center of power to Jipang, Arya Penangsang’s territory. However, Arya Penangsang ruled until 1554 when Hadiwijaya assisted by Ki Ageng Pemanahan, Ki Penjawi, and his son Sutawijaya rebelled against Demak. Arya Penangsang was killed, and Hadiwijaya took the throne by transferring power to Pajang, marking the end of the Demak Kingdom.

The Bledek Door is a door equipped with sculptures made in 1466 by Ki Ageng Selo. From the story circulating, the door was made by Ki Ageng Selo with lightning that was struck using his supernatural powers that he caught while in the middle of a rice field.
Great Mosque of Demak

A very famous historical heritage of the Demak Kingdom is the Great Mosque of Demak. This mosque is located in Kauman Village, Demak Kota Subdistrict, Demak Kota Regency, Central Java. The mosque was founded in 1479 AD which is now about 6 centuries old but still stands firmly because it has been renovated several times.
Tomb of Sunan Kalijaga

Sunan Kalijaga was one of the 9 Walisanga Sunan who preached around Java. Sunan Kalijaga died in 1520 and was buried in Kadilangu village near Demak city.
Sunan Kalijaga’s tomb is now a site that is often visited by pilgrims and tourists from various regions in the country and is one of the historical relics of the Demak Kingdom. Many people visit for the purpose of pilgrimage and prayer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here