Pandanaran, Head of Government and Propagator of Islam in Semarang

Ki Ageng Pandanaran or known as Pangeran Mangkubumi was given the title as Sunan Bayat or Sunan Tembayat. He was the second head of government in Semarang, central Java, Indonesia. Beside being the head of government or leader in Semarang, he was known as the important figure that spread Islam in Semarang. In 16th century, Pangeran Mangkubumi led Semarang and he was the son of the first leader in Semarang named Harya Madya Pandan.

 

The Spiritual Experience of Ki Ageng Pandanaran Before Spreading Islam

When his father died, Pangeran Mangkubumi replaced his position as the second head of government with the title of Ki Ageng Pandanaran. He was lifted as the leader after the discussion between Sultan Hadiwijaya or the advisor of Demak Kingdom with Sunan Kalijaga. As the head of government, Ki Ageng Pandanaran continued the struggle from his father but in the middle of his business to finish the governmental tasks, he also established the recitation and delivered the religion speech to spread Islam.

He built Islamic boarding school and also the worship place such as mosque to increase the spiritual life of his society. He was considered successful to do both governmental and also religion tasks just like his father so the society could live in peace. However, the characteristic of human could change and so was Ki Ageng Pandanaran. He was also human and his success to reach the goal made him arrogant. His kind characteristic was changed to be selfish and also arrogant. He liked collecting money and wealth.

His wealth made him forget about his duties as the head of government and also as the propagator of muslim in Semarang. He forgot to take care of Islamic boarding school along with mosques. Sunan Kalijaga knew about it and he disguised himself as the grass seller. Along with his cleverness, Sunan Kalijaga gave the advice to Pandanaran while offering him his grass. One day, Sunan Kalijaga went to Ki Ageng Pandanaran’s house with the ugly clothes. Sunan Kalijaga gave him advice so he was not deceived by the wealth.

However, Pandanaran was angry to Sunan Kalijaga who was in disguised because the grass seller had no right to judge right or wrong to the head of government. However, Sunan Kalijaga said that he just wanted to remind him of the true self. In the end, Sunan also said the the rue happiness was the hereafter happiness. After hearing it, Pandanaran was angrier and sent off the grass seller. However, Sunan still tried giving him advice and he showed his power by digging the soil and it turned into gold.

Ki Ageng Pandanaran realized the grass seller was not the ordinary person. When he asked who the grass seller was, he was surprised to see that the grass seller was Sunan Kalijaga. After that, Pandanaran apologized to Sunan Kalijaga and he wanted to change and become Sunan’s student. Ki Ageng Pandanaran learnt Islam more from Sunan Kalijaga. He was known as the smart and diligent student. He spread the religion lesson around the region and whenever he was along with his family. Beside the knowledge of religion, Pandanaran also taught the people to farm and communicate to other people so well.

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