A News from Hajj Ma Huan


Hajj Ma Huan was a secretary and interpreter of, Cheng Ho, a famous explorer that have been sailed for many times. On Ma Huan records, based on Cheng Ho’s three goodwill mission, he said that the explorer land to East Java in 1413 – 1415, or in goodwill mission the forth. In East Java, Ma Huan closely witnessed the society characteristic, including the Chinese people that decided to convert to Muslim.

As Ma Huan showed in his report book entitled Ying-yai Sheing lan (An Epic Ocean Beaches Sceneries), “kapal-kapal yang sampai di tanah jawa mula-mula akan mendarat di Tu-pan (Tuban), Ts’e-ts’un (Gresik), Su-lu-ma-I (Surabaya), dan akhirnya di Man-che-poi (Majapahit).”

(The ships that have been landed in Java will begin their journey to Tu-pan (Tuban), Ts’e-ts;un (Gresik), Su-lu-ma-I (Surabaya), and finished in Man-che-poi (Majapahit)).

Ma Huan said, there were three nations in East Java, the Muslim people from west foreign kingdoms, Chinese people from Kuang-tung, Chang-chou, Ch’uan-chou (Tang dynasty) province, and animism local people. However, Ma Huan didn’t tell his story in detail about where the Muslim Chinese people on his report.

As we known, indirectly, on Tang Dynasty and Sung Dynasty era, the Arabian merchants had contribution to Islamize local people in Java. The Arabian came to Canton on King Tai Tsung government era. Years by years, many ulamas came to China and some of them got high positioned in the palace, let said Ko Shung Han, a commander of King Tang Hang Tsung army. So, related to Ma Huan’s report, there were, probably, some Muslim Chinese in East Java was parallel with their ancient in China.

This post is also available in: Indonesian


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