Emeritus Prof. Ahmat Adam

Independent Scholar

Paper Abstract

Melaka in the Long 15th Century Conference

2-4 AUG 19


Born in 1941, in Melaka, Emeritus Professor Ahmat Adam likes to be considered as an Independent Scholar. Prof. Ahmat has until now published sixteen books in both Malay and English.

On Going Interests

Prof. Emeritus Ahmat Adam  believes ‘Hang Tuha’ is the nickname of Melaka’s Laksamana. His real name was unknown

Recent Research Projects

Among Prof. Emeritus Ahmat Adam’s recent works are: Sulalat u’s-Salatin (the Krusenstren manuscript) (2016), Antara Sejarah & Mitos (2016), The Trengganu Inscription (2017), Hikayat Hang Tuha (atau Hikayat Hang Tua) (2018) and the Hikayat Raja Pasai (2019).

Melaka in the 15th Century Conference


The Early History of Melaka According to the Text of the Sulalatu’s-Salatin

This paper intends to discuss the early history of Melaka based on the Sulalatu’s-Salatin and the Chinese sources, namely the Ming Shi-lu.  The main thrust of the argument in this paper is that while recognizing the status of the Sejarah Melayu as a great work of literature, produced by an unknown author before the seventeenth century, it is nevertheless not a reliable historical source for historians to discuss the early history of the Melaka sultanate.

In this paper, this writer attempts to propose a hypothesis on why the author of the Sulalat u’s-Salatin chose to name of the founder of Melaka after “Iskandar Syah” also known as Iskandar Dhu’l-Qarnayn.  Another issue that this writer tries to point out is regarding when Melaka Malays and their king embraced Islam.  It is in the opinion of this writer that Sultan Muhammad Syah who, according to the Sejarah Melayu, was the first Melaka ruler to embrace Islam, was only a fictional name created by the author of the Sulalat u’s-Salatin.  Finally, based on this writer’s rejection of the Sejarah Melayu as a reliable source of early Melaka history, it is obvious that the year 1262 as the founding date of the Melaka polity that was proposed by some local historians, and still held to be valid by some people in Melaka is an absurdity.