Kesultanan Seludong

كسولتانن سلوروڠ
Sultanate of Manila

Manila and suburbs 1898.jpg
A Spanish map of Manila
Capital Manila
Official language Tagalog, Malay, Arabic, Spanish
Religion Islam
Government Sultanate, Rajahnate
 - 1571-1575 Rajah Sulayman
 - 1575-1579 Rajah Sulayman II
 - 1579-1614 Hassanal Sulayman
 - 1614-1640 Qasim Abdullah
 - 1640-1690 Safar ud-Din (Enrique)
 - 1690-1760 Esmael (Carlos)
Historical era Spanish Colonial Era
 - Treaty between Tondo and Spain 1571
 - Integrated into the Spanish Empire, and decline of Islam in Manila 1760
Currency peso
Today part of Flag of the Philippines Philippines
Part of a series on the
Alternate History of the Philippines
Philippine History Collage
Alternate Classic Period of the Philippines (900–1521)
  • State of Ma-i
  • Kingdom of Tondo
  • Kingdom of Maynila
  • Kingdom of Namayan
  • Kingdom of Butuan
  • Rajahnate of Cebu
  • Sultanate of Manila
  • Sultanate of Maguindanao
  • Sultanate of Sulu
  • Sultanate of Lanao
Spanish Period (1521–1898)
  • Spanish East Indies
  • Christianity in the Philippines
  • Philippine revolts against Spain
  • Katipunan
  • Philippine Revolution
By topic
  • Demographics
  • Military
  • Political
  • Transportation

The Sultanate of Manila (Jawi: كسولتانن سلوروڠ Kesultanan Selurong, Arabic: سلطنة مانيلا Sultanat Manila, Tagalog: Kasultanan ng Maynila, Spanish: Sultanato de Manila) was the period of Muslim rule in what is now Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines and the areas south of the Pasig River since the reign of Rajah Sulayman from 1571-1575 to the reign of Don Carlos Safaruddin from 1698-1760.

Rajah Sulayman signed a treaty with Spain, allowing the Sultanate to exist as a special autonomous province within New Spain while he ceded some control to Spain, what would become the Province of Manila which became a Christian area.

The sultanate was ruled by Rajah Sulayman's descendants. Although referred to as a "sultanate", its rulers never extensively used the term, retaining the titles "rajah" and "datu" almost extensively, as seen with Rajah Sulayman II (not to be mistaken for Ache). The term "sultan" first fell into use by Rajah Sulayman's grandson Hassanal Sulayman who is presumably considered the first true "Sultan" of Manila, and used extensively by the fifth sultan Lakan Malik-Salamat.

Sultanate of Manila is also often associated with the Islamic Rajahnate of Manila, which the Malay name "Selurong" first appears which why some historians argue that Rajah Sulayman was the first sultan.


Rajahnate of Maynila

Manila was one of three major city-states that dominated the area by the lower reaches and mouth of the Pasig River before the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the 16th century. It is the site of present-day Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines. The early inhabitants of the present-day Manila engaged in trade relations with its Asian neighbors as well as with the Hindu empires of Java and Sumatra, as confirmed by archaeological findings. Trade ties between China became extensive by the 10th century, while contacts with Arab merchants reached its peak in the 12th century. During the reign of Sultan Bolkiah (1485–1521) the Kingdom of Brunei decided to break the Kingdom of Tondo's monopoly in the Chinese trade by attacking Tondo and establishing the city-state of Seludong as a Bruneian satellite. This is narrated through Tausug and Malay royal histories, where the names Seludong, Saludong or Selurong are used to denote Manila prior to colonization. Islam was introduced when Salila, Maynila's ruler converted to Islam and adopted Islamic politics and changing his name from Rajah Salila, to Rajah Sulayman.

Spanish Colonialization

In the mid-16th century, the areas of present-day Manila were governed by native rajahs. Rajah Matanda (whose real name was recorded by the Legaspi expedition as Ache) and his nephew, Rajah Sulayman ("Rajah Mura" or "Rajah Muda" (a Sanskrit and Malay title for a Prince), ruled the Muslim communities south of the Pasig River, including the Kingdom of Maynila, while Rajah Lakandula ruled the Kingdom of Tondo north of the river.  These settlements held ties with the sultanates of Brunei, Sulu, and Ternate in Indonesia. Juan de Salcedo and Martin de Goiti battled with Rajah Sulayman's Muslim armies for control of the Pasig River. The Muslims of Luzon actively resisted conversion attempts to Roman Catholicism as had those of Mindanao. As a result of latter treaty after the battles, Sulayman allowed Spanish colonists access to his domain but he prevented and halted Spanish missionaries.

Partition of Manila

The areas of the Pasig River were divided among Sulayman and the Spanish colonists. The Muslim settlements of the southern Pasig River were given control to Rajah Sulayman while the north became Spanish territory. It was divided into a Muslim-controlled Manila and a Spanish Christian-controlled Manila where Spanish missionaries converted the natives to Roman Catholicism. Sulayman's kingdom was established as an autonomous province within New Spain. Malay remained the language of the Muslim-controlled Manila.

The Sulayman Dynasty

Silver enlaid salakot

The Royal Salakót, or the "Sulayman Salakót" inlaid with silver worn by the other sultans of Manila and major nobility of the Sulayman Dynasty

The Muslim rule of Manila was controlled by Rajah Sulayman's descendants, who most with the exception of the last two rulers resisted marriages to Spanish colonists or conversion to Roman Catholicism.

Reign of Hassanal Sulayman 1579-1614

Rajah Sulayman married a Malay princess by the name of Nirmala and bore three children, two females and one son. Sulayman rejected an order from Spanish authorities to give up his daughters to be wed to Spanish Christians and converted to Christianity and sent them to Sulu for safety knowing that an armed standoff was possible. According to folklore, Lakan Dula also made a salakót (traditional Tagalog headdress) inlaid with silver and gave it to Rajah Sulayman as a gift to be passed on to his descendants as an heirloom and would become the symbol of power and authority used by Manila's sultans. He named after himself too and only the sultan was given the right to wear it. Sulayman forged a Malay and Sulu-style sword known as a kris and would make in an heirloom, it was made with copper, steel and silver. In 1579, Rajah Sulayman gave up the throne to his son Rajah Sulayman II who married a Tagalog Muslim and gave birth to Hassanal Sulayman who took the throne in 1600. Sulayman further strengthened Islam's foothold in Manila, and barred Spanish culture or influence from coming south into the Pasig River. Hassanal banned entrants ot Catholic and Jesuit missionaries from preaching to the Muslim communities and sent native armies and a naval force to patrol the Pasig River. Spanish soldiers launched a campaign to take the southern Pasig River in 1605, their attack was largely repulsed. In 1608, Hassanal Sulayman's armies thwarted another Spanish invasion and threatened to invaded Spanish Manila if conquistadors did not cease their attempts to sack Manila's Muslims. In 1610, the Spanish army launched a final large offensive in the Pasig River, vanquishing Hassanal Sulayman's naval forces stationed there. Sulayman himself was killed in the battle as Spanish forces advanced to attack the Muslim towns.

Reign of Qasim Abdullah 1614-1640

In 1614, Prince Abdullah bin Sulayman became the sultan but there no time for a formal coronation as Spanish forces were approaching and commencing the sack of Manila. Abdullah quickly received the Sword of Sulayman that his father used to fight the Spaniards from a survivor. Abdullah bin Sulayman thwarted Spain's invasion by using burning rocks and archers
Moro kris sword

The kris sword used by the Sulayman sultans, also known as "Sulayman's Kris" or "Sword of Sulayman"

causing conquistadors to flee back to the Spanish-controlled Manila. In 1616, Abdullah launched a campaign to invade northern Manila but his invasion was repulsed by the use of Christian converted-natives.

In 1618, archers fired burning arrows into villages of northern Manila. Spanish forces tried to invade the Muslim Manila but their attack were reduced by Abdullah's naval army on the Pasig River. Although pushed back on land, that is where Abdullah defeated Spanish forces and signed the Pasig Treaty.

Abdullah took the name "Qasim" which meant "protector" in Arabic, or sometimes "Kaseem". His coronation also took place during that time, along with a proper burial ceremony for his deceased father. Qasim also received his father's royal Sulayman Salakót, which was placed on his head upon his proper coronation as sultan. Qasim Abdullah implemented new reforms into the kingdom, including the usage of Arabic as a state language. He also barred the Spanish language, and threatened to arrest Spanish speakers although only a few diplomats were permitted to use the language.

Reign of Safar ud-Din (Don Enrique) 1640-1690

Qasim Abdullah's son, Safar ud-Din was coronated in 1640 when Qasim passed away, the royal salakót and the kris sword was passed on to him. Safar ud-Din would become Manila's longest-reigning and one of the more distinct and influential sultans.

He was born in 1620 during Qasim's reign, and was educated at an Islamic school in British Malaya where he learned Arabic and mastery of the Qu'ran. He father communicate to him in Malay and Arabic and became sultan when his father passed away of old age in 1640.

Safar ud-Din accepted the Spanish friendship and designated Spanish as an official language. He married a Sulu princess by the name of Maryam and had four daughters and two sons. Safar ud-Din permitted Christian missionaries into the Pasig River in 1655 and pursued rebels who tried to stop them along with Spanish aid. He also allowed three of his four daughters to be wed to Spanish colonists and converted to Roman Catholicism. In 1670, he himself requested to be baptized as a Roman Catholic, celebrating a full Easter Holy Week before being fully baptized as a Roman Catholic on Eastern Sunday under the name Enrique and took the title Don Enrique. That year, the provincial governor of Spanish Manila was murdered by Muslim militant groups. Spanish soldiers and the sultan's armies defeated them in collaboration with Christian natives of the north.

The Spanish Crown was so astounded that they granted Enrique the right to become provincial governor, a high honorary rank that was not normally available to the native nobility. In 1690, Enrique Safaruddin decided he was too old to govern and abdicated the throne to his son Carlos de Enrique y Safaruddin or Don Carlos.

Reign of Carlos de Enrique 1690-1760

The reign of Safar ud-Din's son, Carlos de Enrique y Safaruddin was a controversial one although his reign was straight-forward. He was born as Esmael bin Safar ud-Din and was converted to Roman Catholicism the same day his father was, taking the name Carlos.

As usual, when Carlos de Enrique was coronated as Manila's ruler, he received the salakót and the kris. Although he was a Roman Catholic (converted from Islam), he occasionally still used the Islamic noble title "sultan", which is why is regarded in some aspects to be the last sultan of Manila since his descendants made no use or mention the title. Some Spanish friars even referred to him by the moniker "El Sultán Indio Nuevo" or "The New Indian (native) Sultan". Carlos de Enrique himself used the title "Cabeza de las Barangays Sur" or "Chief of the Southern Barangays" since the native position of provincial governer was confined to Enrique. 

Because he was a Roman Catholic, Muslim historians believe the Sultanate of Manila to have ended in 1670, when Safar ud-Din and Esmael converted to Roman Catholicism as Enrique and Carlos. Carlos de Enrique did pass his ancestors' heirlooms to his children, he gave the salakót to his youngest son Juan de Carlos and the kris sword to his eldest son Fernando de Carlos and is unknown of whether they ever did anything with them. The heirlooms were later found in a chest near the Pasig River and displayed in the national museum in Manila.

However, there is evidence that pointed out that Enrique de Carlos still tried to revive Islam in Manila's culture. For example, some Spanish documents recorded that Don Juan de Carlos did not allow farmers to raise pigs, or sell swine meat and also prohibited wine sales and also served feasts of sweet foods during Eid al-Fitr and fasted on Ramadan suggesting that while he was a Roman Catholic by faith he remained a practicing Muslim and some point out that he even reverted to Islam giving him a dual-religious status as both Muslim and Catholic. This suggests that he had a difficult time deciding which faith to accept. When he travelled to Cavite, he was often called "El Sultán Musulmán-Católico" or "The Muslim-Catholic Sultan". When he paid a visit to Cavite's Principalia members, he was called "Carlos El Moro-Cristiano" or Carlos the Christian-Moor (Christian-Moor in this context used to refer to a person of Muslim and Christian faith, not a Moorish convert to Christianity or a Morisco). Carlos de Enrique died around 1760, but it is obscure. In one of the Tausug documents, it records:

"In the holy month of Ramadan in 1760, a Tagalog Christian ruler - whose father had also been a sultan of Manila, with a Tausug mother came to our land and requested to be re-admitted into the Islamic faith, an undoing of his father's earlier actions of adopting the Paganism that the colonists have introduced." This can be attributed to Carlos. Whether he died a Muslim or Christian, his descendants were not Muslims which initially ended Islam's presence in Manila.

See Also

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