Many People Don’t Know, Here’s the Beginning of the Spread of Islam in Papua – Islam is known to have entered the land of Papua through various directions, namely from Tidore, Seram, Banda, Bugis and Hadramaut or the Arabian Peninsula. In some information, Islam had entered Papua since the 17th century AD, before the colonials and the evangelists came to Papua.

At that time, Islam came and spread in the coastal areas of Papua, originating in Sorong and Fak-Fak Regencies.

There are three things related to the entry of Islam in Papua. First, the figure bringing Islam to Papua. Second, the entry route for Islam to Papua. And the third is a trace of Islamic heritage which is still being witnessed in Papua.

Some information explains that the propagators of Islam in Papua came from Hadramaut. There are two figures who brought and spread Islam in Papua. Firstly, namely the Sayyids, or the people who have a lineage with the Prophet Muhammad. And secondly, the Shaykhs, namely people of Arab have blood but not descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Shaykhs who brought and spread Islam came from the clans of al-Hamid, al-Katiri, Assegaf, Said bin Agil, Bafadal and Kabiran.

According to several sources, there are three main routes for the entry of Islam into Papua. Namely the Sultanate of Tidore, Raja Ampat and the Seram-Banda Islands. The following is an explanation of each of the main routes:

Tidore Sultanate Path

The sources believe that the Tidore Sultanate was present in Papua long before the colonial era entered Papua. Even missionaries entering the interior of Papua were escorted by the Tidore Sultanate network. According to Andaya (1993), Papuans associate Tidore with Islam. This is illustrated by an incident that occurred in 1705, when Jogugu and the Marine Captains Salawati and Waigeo received the envoy of the Sultan of Tidore, all those present at the event said ‘Amen’ when the envoy finished reading the letter of the Sultan of Tidore.

Raja Ampat route

The Raja Ampat Islands are a mountainous archipelago located between North Maluku and the mainland of West Papua. According to legend, the origin of the Raja Ampat kingdoms was ruled by four kings, namely King Salawati, King Waigeo, King Misool, and King Waigama. The origins of the Raja Ampat kingdoms are summarized in various myths and legends. According to sources, the presence of Islam to Papua, originating from Raja Ampat, came from Salawati, brought and spread by figures who personally propagated Islam.

Creepy Path

A source who holds the title of Grand Imam said that according to the narrative of his ancestors, Islam came to Papua through Seram. Senarai spread Islam, some of them married local residents, giving birth to mixed Moluccan-Papuan descendants. As explained by Haji Jafar Bugis, one of the owners of the ancient manuscripts who lives in Sorong, that his ancestors who came from Sulawesi initially migrated to Tual in East Seram, then moved to Kampung Lilinta on Misool Island and gave birth in this place.

The descendants of the Bugis living in Misool are still carrying on their ancestral tradition by practicing the tariqat that only families from their ancestral path can follow.

The same opinion was also conveyed by sources in the Fakfak area that Islam came to Fakfak from Seram. Wallahu A’lam.

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