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(Syarif Hidayatullah)

Syarif Hidayatullah, Muhammad Nuruddin, Sayyid Kamil, Syekh Nurullah, and Faletehan are just some of the names which have been given to Sunan Gunung Jati, the wali who is said to have converted the western third of Java Islam virtually single-handed and to have founded the independent State of Cirebon.

Concerning the birth, life, and death of this member of the Wali Songo, there are several conflicting stories, yet the main thread runs as follows: 

Syarif Hidayatullah or Syekh Nurullah was born in Pasei, North Sumatra. According to some people, he was the son of Syekh Maulana Ishak and half-brother of Sunan Giri. Following the Portugese invasion of his homeland in 1521, he travelled to Mecca, where he stayed for three years. On his return, he entered the service of Sultan Trenggana of Demak, whose younger sister he married.  

During the next few years, as a brilliant military commander, he succeeded in subjugating the north west coast of Java as well as the State of Banten. After successfully blocking an attempt by the Portugese to land at Sunda Kelapa (Jakarta) in 1527, he settled in the region of Cirebon, where he continued to live and teach until his death in A.D. 1570.



Astana Gunung Jati, Mt Sembung, Cirebon; the third of nine gates leading to the tomb of Syarif Hidayatullah. Beyond this, access is forbidden to all but members of the royal family of Cirebon.

Guardians of the tomb are officially twelve in number; (right) lining up for evening prayer (left) awaiting visitors in the reception area.

Remains of the Kraton Pakungwati, the original palace of Sunan Gunung Jati 

Kraton Kesepuhan; remnants from the pre-Islamic period preserved in front of the main entrance

Kraton Kesepuhan; within the Sitinggil complex Cirebon; main entrance to the Great Mosque



Cirebon; the Panjunan Mosque was built by Prince Panjunan, a contemporary of Sunan Gunung Jati and apparently a son of the Sultan of Baghdad. Not suprising then that the mosque is especially popular with the Arab community.  

Ancient porcelain set into the walls of the mosque is said to have been a gift from Ong Tien, the Chinese wife of Sunan Gunung Jati.

Interior of the mosque
The original parts of the mosque are hidden from general view ; One of the pillars An original doorway

The Great Mosque of Cirebon, Sang Cipta Rasa, was built on the order of Sunan Gunung Jati and followed the model of Demak Mosque. Its construction was aided by Sunan Kalijaga and a famous architect from Majapahit named Kyai Sepet. According to the legend, it was here that the '10th wali', Syekh Siti Jenar, was tried and executed for heresy. 

Interior of the Great Mosque, Sang Cipta Rasa The original bedug or drum used for calling to prayer  

Cirebon Tembayat Pusponegoro

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Maulana Malik Ibrahim
Sunan Ampel
Sunan Giri
Sunan Drajat
Sunan Bonang
Sunan Kudus
Sunan Muria
Sunan Kalijaga
Sunan Gunung Jati