Zainatuddin of Aceh

Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Zainatuddin Kamalat Syah (died 1700) was the seventeenth ruler of Aceh Darussalam. She reigned from 1688 to 1699, being the fourth and last ruling queen (sultanah) in succession.

Zainatuddin Kamalat Syah
Sulṭāna of Acèh Darussalam
Reign3 October 1688 – October 1699
PredecessorInayat Zakiatuddin Syah
SuccessorBadr ul-Alam Syarif Hasyim Jamaluddin
Queen consort of Acèh Darussalam
TenureOctober 1699 – 1700
BornBanda Aceh, Aceh Sultanate, Ottoman Empire (now Indonesia)
Banda Aceh, Aceh Sultanate, Ottoman Empire (now Indonesia)
SpouseCaptain of the Guard, name unknown
Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Zainatuddin Kamalat Syah
Fatherpossibly Syekh Muhammad Fadlil Syah
ReligionSunni Islam


When the old sultana Inayat Zakiatuddin Syah died in October 1688, Sultana Zainatuddin Kamalat Syah succeeded to the throne. There is no contemporary evidence about her relationship to the previous queens. According to a manuscript preserved at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, she was the daughter of Syekh Muhammad Fadlil Syah Teungku di Kedirian, son of Abdullah Fadlil, son of Muhyuddin Fadlil, son of Sultan Sri Alam.[1] This would need further verification. Not all the orang kayas (grandees of the kingdom) supported the choice. Some wanted a king rather than a female ruler. Four orang kayas marched against the capital with considerable forces; however, the opposition soon receded and the queen was acknowledged.[2]


After almost six decades of female rule there was increasing pressure for a male sultan. A Dutch visitor. Jacob de Roy,[3] reported in 1696 that the sultana formally held unlimited powers and convened the assembly of grandees; however, she had to await the approval of the majority of the counselors.[4] He also wrote that groups of people sometimes gathered in the capital Kutaraja and performed demonstrations in favour of a king. The syahbandar (harbour master) entertained plans to arrange a marriage between the queen and his son, a captain of the guard who stood in high regard with Zainatuddin Kamalat Syah. He asked Jacob de Roy to mediate in the affair since he realized that a marriage would evoke the envy of the orang kayas. Another Dutch writer, Francois Valentijn indicates that the marriage was eventually concluded. In 1699 a purported fatwa arrived from Mecca, issued by the qadi Malik al-Adil. Whether it was genuine or if the authority of Mecca was employed to make an impression is debatable. The fatwa deemed that the rule of a woman was contrary to the principles of Islam. Upon this the sultana was replaced by an Arab of sayyid descent, Badr ul-Alam Syarif Hasyim Jamaluddin.[5] It is sometimes speculated that he became her husband.[6] Zainatuddin died one year later, in 1700.


  1. ^ Hasjmy (1977), pp. 35-36. Alternatively she is alleged to be a daughter of Raja Umar bin Sultan Muda Muhammad Muhidudin; see Herman RN, Empat Sultanah Aceh Berdaulat .
  2. ^ Djajadiningrat (1911), p. 190-1.
  3. ^ Hendrik E. Niemeijer (2016) Maritime Connections and Cross Cultural Contacts Between The People of The Nusantara and The Europeans in The Early Eighteen Century Jurnal Sejarah Citra Lekha Vol 1 No 1
  4. ^ Khan (2009), p. 179.
  5. ^ Djajadiningrat (1911), p. 191.
  6. ^ Azra, Azyumardi (1995). Jaringan Ulama Timur Tengah dan Kepulauan Nusantara Abad XVII dan XVIII. Bandung: Mizan. pp. 196.C.


  • Djajadiningrat, Raden Hoesein (1911). "Critisch overzicht van de in Maleische werken vervatte gegevens over de geschiedenis van het soeltanaat van Atjeh", Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 65, pp. 135–265.
  • Hasjmy, A (1977). 59 tahun Aceh merdeka dibawah pemerintahan ratu. Jakarta: Bulan Bintang.
  • Khan, Sher Banu (2009). Rule Behind the Silk Curtain: The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641–1699. Ph.D. thesis, University of London.
  • Khan, Sher Banu (2010). 'The sultanahs of Aceh, 1641-99', in Arndt Graaf et al. (eds.), Aceh: History, Politics and Culture. Singapore: ISEAS, pp. 3–25.
  • Ricklefs, Merle C. (1994). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c. 1300, 2nd ed. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

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Preceded by Sulṭāna of Acèh Darussalam
3 October 1688 – October 1699
Succeeded by