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