List of Sultans of Brunei
|Heir apparent||Al-Muhtadee Billah|
|First monarch||Muhammad Shah|
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The Sultan of Brunei is the head of state and absolute monarch of Brunei. He is also head of government in his capacity as Prime Minister. Since independence from the British in 1984, only one Sultan has reigned, though the royal institution dates back to the 14th century.
The Sultan of Brunei can be thought of as synonymous with the ruling House of Bolkiah, with descendency being traced from the 1st sultan, temporarily interrupted by the 14th sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin who in turn was deposed by a member of the House of Bolkiah. It is not clear when the house became known as the 'House of Bolkiah', and whether it was named after the current sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, or the 6th sultan Bolkiah .
List of Sultans
The following is the list of Sultans of Brunei since 1363:
|1||Muhammad Shah / Awang Alak Betatar||1368||1402||Established the Sultanate.|
|2||Abdul Majid Hassan / Maharaja Karna||1402||1408||Died in Nanjing, China.|
|3||Ahmad / Awang Pateh Berbai||1408||1425|
|4||Sharif Ali||1425||1432||No direct genealogical relation to predecessor, but was selected as he was his son-in-law and was well versed in Islam.|
|5||Sulaiman||1432||1485||Son of Sharif Ali. Abdicated to allow his son Bolkiah to become sultan.|
|6||Bolkiah||1485||1524||Son of Sulaiman|
|7||Abdul Kahar||1524||1530||Son of Bolkiah|
|8||Saiful Rijal||1533||1581||Nephew of Abdul Kahar. Castille War broke out between Brunei and Spain.|
|9||Shah Berunai||1581||1582||Son of Saiful Rijal|
|10||Muhammad Hassan||1582||1598||Younger brother of Shah Berunai, son of Saiful Rijal.|
|11||Abdul Jalilul Akbar||1598||1659||Son of Muhammad Hassan|
|12||Abdul Jalilul Jabbar||1659||1660|
|13||Muhammad Ali||1660||1660||Killed by his successor Abdul Hakkul Mubin, sparking the Brunei Civil War.|
|14||Abdul Hakkul Mubin||1660||1673||Started the Brunei Civil War by killing his predecessor Muhammad Ali, and was in turn killed by Muhammad Ali's grandson Muhyiddin who succeeded him as sultan.|
|15||Muhyiddin||1673||1690||Grandson of Muhammad Ali who avenged his death by killing his predecessor Abdul Hakkul Mubin, so ending the Brunei Civil War.|
|17||Hussin Kamaluddin||1710||1730||First reign|
|19||Hussin Kamaluddin||1737||1740||Second reign|
|20||Omar Ali Saifuddin I||1740||1795|
|22||Muhammad Jamalul Alam I||1804||1804|
|23||Muhammad Kanzul Alam||1807||1826|
|25||Omar Ali Saifuddin II||1828||1852||Brunei ceded Sarawak to James Brooke.|
|26||Abdul Momin||1852||30 May 1885||Brunei ceded eastern North Borneo.|
|27||Hashim Jalilul Alam Aqamaddin||30 May 1885||10 May 1906||United Kingdom established protectorate over Brunei in 1888.|
|28||Muhammad Jamalul Alam II||10 May 1906||11 September 1924|
|29||Ahmad Tajuddin||11 September 1924||4 June 1950|
|30||Omar Ali Saifuddien III||4 June 1950||4 October 1967||Abdicated; died on 7 September 1986.|
|31||Hassanal Bolkiah||4 October 1967||Present||Brunei regained independence from the United Kingdom in 1984.|
The earliest historical record of the Sultans of Brunei is not clearly known due to the poor early documentation of Brunei history. In addition there has been an effort to Islamise the history, with the "official history" not matching up with verifiable foreign sources  The Batu Tarsilah - the genealogical record of the kings of Brunei - was not started until 1807. Therefore, much of the intepretation on history relied on earlier Chinese sources and legends. It seems that the early Sultanate of Brunei was dependent on Chinese support, and perhaps early Sultans were of Chinese origin. Furthermore the earliest Sultans may have been practicing the Hindu or Buddhist religions, with early names indicating this origin .
- "Prime Minister". The Prime Minister's Office of Brunei Darussalam. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- "Sultan-Sultan Brunei" (in Malay). Government of Brunei. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- Elisseeff, Vadime (January 2000). "Chapter 8: A Brunei Sultan of the Early Fourteenth Century – A Study of an Arabic Gravestone". The Silk Roads: Highways of Culture and Commerce. Berghahn Books. pp. 145–157. ISBN 978-1-57181-222-3. Retrieved 26 December 2013.