House of Jamalullail (Perak)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The House of Jamalullail of the Perak branch is one of the oldest Syed clans in Malaysia. It was established in 1528 C.E. when Saidina Hussain Al-Faradz Jamalullail from Hadramaut arrived in Perak to spread Islam.

According to R.O. Winstedt in his article titled The Hadramaut Saiyids of Perak and Siak which was published in the Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (September 1918), there was a certain Sayid family that exercised great influence on the history of Perak in the 18th century. The family acquired the highest state offices, those of Orang Kaya Besar and of Menteri, and one of its members acted even as Bendahara. Scions of this Sayid house were sought for eagerly in marriage and married into the families of all the greater Perak chiefts. One married the sister of Sultan Iskandar (whose reign is described in the Misa Melayu) and was the father of a Perak Sultan.[1]

Syed Hussain al-Faradz[edit]

Syed Hussain, the founder of the Jamallulail family in Perak, was said to be a religious scholar from Hadramaut who came to spread Islam in the Malay Archipelago. Given the year of his arrival, Perak may still be referred by its ancient name Gangga Negara. Thus when Sultan Muzzafar Shah I became the first sultan in 1528 on the founding of the Perak sultanate, Syed Hussain was appointed as the first Menteri (now styled as Orang Kaya Menteri, one of the four major chiefs of Perak) of the royal court. It was also said that he was the religious teacher to Sultan Muzzafar and thus could be credited with helping to spread Islamic teachings to the people of Perak. The Jamalullails held the position of the Orang Kaya Menteri six out of seven times in the period from the founding of Perak in 1528 until 1862, reflecting the special position given to them. This hereditary tradition in Perak was interrupted in 1862 upon the death of menteri Syed Usman, during the reign of Sultan Jaafar Muazzam Shah (1857-1865).

In the early period of the Perak sultanate the Jamalullails in their capacities as advisors to the sultans played active roles in the administration of the state. Syed Hussain himself and Syed Hasan (Raja Sehari) were credited with bringing the “Ninety-Nine Laws of Perak” into the administration of the state. These laws were never officially made as state laws but remained as personal laws of the Jamalullails. It was only at around 1900 when Syed Jaafar, Penghulu (Village Head) of Teja, extended a copy of the Laws to an officer of the British administration for study. The Jamalullails used the Ninety-nine Laws as secondary references after the Shariah when advising the sultans on official matters. The Laws constituted an early attempt to strengthen governance in state administration in Perak, and was applicable in Perak until the early 20th century. For a reading on this subject please see R.J.Wilkinson (General Editor) and J.Rigby (Editor), “Papers on Malay Subjects” Part II – “Ninety-Nine Laws of Perak”, FMS Government Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1908.[2]

The term ‘Jamalullail’ in Arabic literally means ‘beautiful night’. According to legend, the name was given to a Syed in Hadramaut. He was a very religious person who used to stay awake very late into the night, offering prayers to Allah, under the beautiful sky of the desert nighttime. Because he used to pray late into the night under the beautiful skyline of the desert night he was referred to as a ‘Jamalullail”.

The term ‘Jamalulail’ has been adopted by descendents of Syed Husain al-Faradz as a clan name, whenever it is used.

For further reading on the origin of the name, refer to The Jamalullails of Perak by Syed Jaafar Jamalullail.

Family tree[edit]

The following family tree was redrafted from R.O. Winstedt's article The Hadramaut Saiyids of Perak and Siak. Additional genealogical information was retrieved from the book A History of Perak by Winstedt and R.J. Wilkinson in 1934.[3]

Fatima az-Zahra
(605CE - 632CE)
Ali ibn Abi Talib
(559CE - 661CE)
Saidina Husayn bin Ali
(626CE - 680CE)
Saidina Zayn al-Abidin
(659CE - 712CE)
Saidina Musa al-Kadhim
(745CE - 799CE)
Saidina Ja'far al-Sadiq
(702CE - 765CE)
Saidina Muhammad al-Baqir
(676CE - 743CE)
Saidina Ali az-Zahir
Saidina Ali-az-Zahir
Saidina Muhammad an-Nakib
Saidina Esa
Saidina Alwi
Saidina Muhammad
Saidina Ahmad al-Muhajir
(820CE - 924CE)
Saidina Ali Khali-kasam ba' Alwi
Saidina Muhammad Shahib Mirbath
(Died 1161CE)
Saidina Muhammad al-Fakih
(Died 1232CE)
Saidina Abdullah Jamalullail
Saidina Abdur-Rahman Sakaf
Saidina Maula'd-dawilah Muhammad
Saidina Alwi
Saidina Abdullah
Saidina Maulana as-Sharif Jamalullail al-Jafri
Syed Abu Bakar
Syed Hasan (Raja S'ari)
(Floruit: 1577-1584CE)
Introduced the 99 Laws of Perak[4]
Saidina Sharif Husain al-Faradz
(Arrived at Perak in 1528CE)
Orang Kaya Menteri Pertama
Syed Mustafa
Syed Abdul Majid
Orang Kaya Menteri
Syed Jalalu'd-din
(Tok Tambak of Pulau Pisang)
Syed Abubakar
(Menteri and Bendahara)
Syed Hasan
Syed Shamsuddin
Puteri Bulan
(daughter of OKB Kuala Kanas)
(daughter of Sri Adika Raja)
To' Engku Pandak Ahmad Kaya
Syed Hitam Besar
Syed Mahmud
Orang Kaya Besar
Syed Muhammad
Syed Usman


  1. ^ Journal Of The Straits Branch Of The Royal Asiatic Society - September 1918
  2. ^ The Jamalullails of Perak -
  3. ^ A History of Perak by R.O. Winstedt and R.J. Wilkinson (1934)
  4. ^ Papers on Malay Subjects. Law: Part II - The 99 laws of Perak by R.J. Wilkinson [1908]