In Aceh history the most famous figure is Sultan Iskandar Muda. This sultan once held power for 31 years from 1606 to 1637. He is the most famous figure and also the most famous in Islamic history in Southeast Asia. Under his leadership, Aceh succeeded in becoming a “conqueror” country. History proves almost the entire region of Sumatra and part of Peninsular Malaysia successfully mastered.
But behind its success there is a stored mystery that crowded people do not know it. The king’s mufti when he served as sultan was Syamsyuddin al-Sumatrani. He served as a mufti in 1607 to 1630 AD. Well, while the end of the leadership of Iskandar Muda is 1636. Doomsday, Syamsyuddin al-Sumatrani died early 6 years before the end of Iskandar Muda. The question now that arises is who was appointed as a mufti at the time of Iskandar Muda after Syamsyuddin al-Sumatrani died …?
Keep in mind that, a 6 year period is a long period of time. At the same time Aceh is reaching its golden age. Peak of civilization is being tapped by this country. The position of a mufti is crucial. It plays an important role in maintaining political stability in a country.
At that time, Aceh was an Islamic state, so the position of a mufti was taken into account. Automatically, as soon as possible Sultan Iskandar Muda must find a substitute to be placed in the chair mufti in order to maintain the political stability of the Sultanate of Aceh at that time. Mufti not only acts as a representative of the sultan or judge, but he also controls the life in the field of religion and also culture.
Well, who is the person chosen by Iskandar Muda ..? Most of the historical literature explains that the mufti after Syamsyuddin as-Sumatrani was Nur al-Din al-Raniry. However, an obvious information is that al-Raniry served as mufti of the kingdom of Aceh beginning in 1607 when Iskandar Tsani served as the sultan of the Kingdom of Aceh. Thus ar-Raniry did not serve as mufti before that year. Later, if it refers to the source of history it is unlikely that ar-Raniry was chosen by Iskandar Muda because they were opposed to views.
Ar-Raniry came to bring the teachings of Islam based Fiqh but at the same time Tasawuf popularized by Hamzah Fansuri still got a place in the heart of Sultan Iskandar Muda. Wahdatul Wujud teachings are still growing and getting legitimacy by Iskandar Muda. It is therefore no wonder why Sultan Iskandar Muda chose Syamsuddin as-Sumatrani because he was a student of Hamzah Fansuri. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Iskandar Muda chose ar-Raniry because he strongly opposed Wahdatul Wujud’s teachings.
Who is ar-Raniry …? He was born in Ranir-India city in the 1500s. After studying in the Middle East he finally came to Aceh during Iskandar Muda. As opposed to Iskandar Muda he eventually emigrated to Pahang, one of the Islamic kingdoms in Peninsular Malaysia. But after Iskandar Muda’s death Iskandar Tsani served mufti of the Kingdom of Aceh from 1637 to 1641 AD.
Iskandar Tsani was the crown prince of the Pahang sultan who married Iskandar Muda’s daughter so that because of the cross-breeding succeeded in getting the power to lead the country of Aceh. Iskandar Tsani has met ar-Raniry when in Malaysia and they both have good relations. Thus ar-Raniry was called by Iskandar Tsani to serve as mufti of the Kingdom of Aceh counted in 1607. Therefore Iskandar Muda did not choose ar-Raniry as mufti.
Based on research presented by Hermansyah at International Conference on Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies (ICAIOS) in 2014 it is known that Syamsyuddin as-Sumatrani’s successor is Sheikh Faiz al-Baghdadi (Atjehpost 2014). Indeed, much literature explains the chronology of the mufti of the Aceh Kingdom but none has ever mentioned the name of Shaykh Faiz al-Baghdadi.
The only source to mention Syeikh Faiz al-Baghdadi is in the text of the Syattariah Tarekat which is currently stored in Tanoh Abee, Seulimum Aceh Besar. He was appointed by Iskandar Muda as mufti from 1630 to 1636 AD replacing Syamsyuddin as-Sumatrani. He is also one of Hamzah Fansuri’s students and has a good relationship with Syamsuddin as-Sumatrani. Thus, it turns out Iskandar Muda has two mufti. The first is Syamsyuddin as-Sumatrani and the second is Syeikh Faiz al-Baghdadi. It makes sense why Iskandar Muda raised Syeikh Faiz al-Baghdadi because he was a man in the circle of Hamzah Fansuri and Syamsyuddin as-Sumatrani.