Sultan Sharif-ul Hashim originated Sulu local governance and public ...
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saturday, september 15. 2007
Sultan Sharif-ul Hashim originated Sulu local governance and public administration
By Datu Albi Ahmad Julkarnain
Chairman,Council ofRoyal Datus(Second ofa series)Sulu Tarsila accounts thatthe Sultanate ofSulu political theory did notstartwiththe idea ofa nation-state per se,butonly with the option thatthe Muslim â€œUmmahâ€ or villages thinly scattered around the mainland ofSulu andnearby islands mustpossesses a leadership.The leadership mustultimately bederived from a divine source.The primary purpose ofthe local governance andpublic administration ofthe Sultanate ofSulu was for the â€œraâ€™ayatsâ€ oradherents to make possible â€œibadatâ€ (the dutiful worship to God) andadherence to the Islamic and â€œAdatâ€ laws.The Muslim Ummah mustbesafeguarded againstoutsiders,especially from non-Muslims.Itmustcreate theproper condition for worship and safeguard the internal order ofthe MuslimUmmah againstdisharmony and disloyalty.And thatthe Sultanate ofSulu shouldalways strong enough to completely insure these goals as unifying ideals.The leadership ofSulu Sultanate was symbolized in the deâ€™jure Sultan as both a charismatic person united with divineauthority to rule the people ofSulu Archipelago.The duly constituted reigning Sultan can properly claim to have the authority ofsovereignty and unity ofleadership under the divine guidance ofAllah or God.The empowered Sultan ofSulu Sultanate is the â€œtrunk ofthe Islamic Faithâ€ (pu-unan sin agama),he being the highestreligious official and head ofboth the ecclesiastical andstate.The â€œRaâ€™ayatsâ€ or adherents have absolutely no conception ofstate apartfrom the reigning Sultan ofSuluSultanate.The Islamic political ideology is with the understanding thatthe reigning Sultan is the one who replaced the Prophet(halip-ul rasul) and his behavior should ideally live up to the standard ofthe Prophet(Nabi).The Sulu Tarsila accounts in Hijrah Calendar thaton the 24th day ofJumadil Awal,808 A.H.,which is equivalentto November 17,1405 C.E.,Sayeed Abubakar established the Sultanate ofSulu atBuansa village,Lupah Sug (Sulu) and he assumed the firstSultan ofthe realm under the royal name ofSultan Sharif-ul Hashim.Sulu Sultanate was the firstpolitical institution in SuluArchipelago.The acceptance ofSulu Sultanate governmentby the people ofSulu and their respective chiefs suggested thatIslamreligion and its principles musthave already been widespread practiced by them.Soon after,Sulu Sultanate increased contact,both political and commercial with other Islamic countries in SoutheastAsia which transformed Sulu Sultanate governmentinto apartofâ€œDarul-Salamâ€ ofother ancientMalay Kingdoms.Sultan Sharif-ul Hashim united his people under the banner ofIslam.Consequently,Unity replaced tribal division,Love replacedhatred between the coastal people called â€œTau-Higadâ€Â with the hinderland inhabitants ofSulu mainland called â€œGuimbahanonâ€ or â€œBuranon,â€ Cooperation replaced hostility.The Sultanate ofSulu became the unifying factor in anenvironmentsurrounded by troubles and wars.The administration ofSultan Sharif-ul Hashim centralized the administrative functions ofgovernmentin the mainland ofSulu bydividing into five districts,namely,Parang Pansul,Lati,Giâ€™tung and Luuk.Each administrative districtwas headed by a â€œPanglimaâ€.These districts were again divided into smaller divisions and administered by subordinate chiefs.Sultanate ofSuluÂ was framed by Sultan Sharif-ul HashimÂ on the same principles ofArabian Sultanate.Â The Sultanateâ€™sgovernmentwas in conformity with the Islamic principles and modified local custom and tradition practices.A code oflaws waspromulgated and written to preserve these laws and to serve as guide in the administration ofSulu Sultanate government.The challenge ofSulu Sultanate facing now lies in maintaining the UNITY established by the firstSultan ofSulu Sultanate.Somany persons have proclaimed themselves as Sultan ofSulu Sultanate.These are the Sultans as published in the localnewspaper,referred as Sultans rule withoutkingdom.The people ofSulu Archipelago will soon proclaim the deâ€™jure Sultan ofSulu Sultanate base on traditional Rule ofSuccession.