House of Jamalullail (Perak)

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The House of Jamalullail of Perak is one of the oldest Syed (Saiyid) clans in Malaysia. It was established in early 16th century when Syed Husain Al-Faradz Jamalullail from Hadramaut arrived in Perak to spread Islam during the reign of Sultan Muzaffar Shah I (1528 - 1549), the first sultan of Perak.

According to R.O. Winstedt in his article titled "The Hadramaut Saiyids of Perak and Siak", Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, No. 79 (September 1918), there was a certain Saiyid family that exercised great influence on the history of Perak from its founding in the 16th century. The Saiyid family acquired the highest state offices, those of Orang Kaya Besar and of Menteri, and one of its members was made a Bendahara in the 18th century.

Syed Husain al-Faradz Jamalullail[edit]

Syed Husain, the founder of the Jamallulail family in Perak, was a religious scholar from Hadramaut who came to spread Islam in the Malay Archipelago. His arrival in Perak was estimated to be in the first half of the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Muzzafar Shah I (1528 - 1549), the first sultan of the Perak. Syed Husain was appointed as the first Menteri (now styled as Orang Kaya Menteri, one of the four major chiefs of Perak) of the royal court. He was also the religious teacher to Sultan Muzzafar and this facilitated the spread of Islamic teachings to the people of Perak.

The Jamalullails of Perak 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 in 1862, during the reign of Sultan Jaafar Muazzam Shah (1857-1865).

In the early period of the Perak sultanate the Jamalullails of Peak in their capacities as advisors to the sultans played active roles in the administration of the state. Syed Hussain himself and Syed Hasan ("Raja Sahari") were credited with introducing certain legal principles in state administration, which later became the “Ninety-Nine Laws of Perak”. 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 bin Syed Yunus, 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 Ninety-Nine Laws of Perak 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.

The term ‘Jamalullail’ in Arabic literally means ‘beautiful night’. The name was first given to Muhammad Jamalullail (d. 845 H/1441 CE in Tarim). 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'.

Family tree[edit]

The following family tree is drafted from two sets of sources. First, the descendants of Syed Husain al Faradz Jamalullail in Perak since the early 16th century CE are basically based on R.O. Winstedt's (1918) , and genealogies kept by the Jamalullail families of Perak. This family tree covers a period of almost 500 years in Perak. Second, the record of ancestors of Syed Husain al Faradz Jamalullail upwards to the Prophet Muhammad, are primarily based on previous works on descendants of the Prophet Muhammad by Islamic nasab scholars. One primary source is the "Shams al-Zahirah..." (Arabic) written by the Mufti of Hadramaut ,Abd-al-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Husayn al-Mashhur in 1911. This book has been revised and updated by Muhammad Diya Shahab (Jeddah 1984).

In South East Asia there are bodies in Indonesia (Maktab Daimi under Al-Rabithah Al-Alawiyah in Jakarta, and Lembaga Asyraf Aceh in Banda Aceh) that undertake the role of verifying the descendants of the Prophet. There are also private records of genealogies kept by various members of the Jamalullail families in Perak.

In present day, the Jamalullails of Perak trace their ancestry to Saidina Husain bin Ali (grandson of the Prophet Muhammad) through Muhammad Jamalullail (died 1441 CE at Tarim) who was the founder of the Jamalullail family.

The family tree of the Jamalullails of Perak reads as follows:

1 Fatima az-Zahra
(605CE - 632CE)
1. Ali ibn Abi Talib
(559CE - 661CE)
2.Husayn ibn Ali
2. Hasan ibn Ali
3. Ali Zayn al-Abidin
4. Muhammad al-Baqir
5. Ja'far al-Sadiq
6. Ali al Uraidhi
7. Muhammad al Naquib
8. Isa al Rumi
11. Alawi bin Ubaidillah
(First Syed born in Hadramaut, and first of the BaAlawy family)
10. Ubaidillah
9.Ahmad al-Muhajir
(Migrated from Basrah to Hadramaut
in 929CE (317H))
12. Muhammad
13. Alawi
14. Ali Khali Qasam
17. Muhammad al Fakih al Muqaddam
16. Ali
15. Muhammad Sahib Mirbath
18. Ali
19. Hasan al Turabi
20. Muhammad Asadullah
22. Muhammad Jamalullail
(Died 1441CE at Tarim )
21. Hasan Muallim
23. Abdullah Jamalullail
(Died 1491CE at Tarim)
23. Ali Jamalullail
24. Ahmad Jamalullail
(Died 1537CE at Tarim)
25. Abdullah Jamalullail
(Died 1566CE at Tarim )
26. Abdul Rahman Jamalullail
29. Syed Abu Bakar
28. Syed Hasan (Raja Sehari)
27. Syed Husain al-Faradz Jamalullail
(First Jamalullail in Perak during reign of Sultan Muzaffar Shah I 1528 - 1549.
First Orang Kaya Menteri of Perak.
Died and buried in Perak c.1580)
30. Syed Mustafa
30. Syed Abdul Majid
31. Syed Jalaluddin
(Tok Tambak of Pulau Pisang)
32. Syed Abubakar bin Syed Jalaluddin
(Bendahara and Menteri, fl. 1760)
32. Syed Hasan
32. Syed Husain
(Menteri at Bota)
33. Syed Ajmadin
33. Syed Shamsuddin
34. Syed Usman
Orang Kaya Menteri
(Died 1862)
35. Syed Makah
36. Syed Yunus
39. Syed Abdul Hamid
Orang Kaya Besar
(Died 1949)
38. Syed Safi
37. Syed Jaafar bin Syed Yunus
Orang Kaya Besar
(Last custodian of the "99 Laws of Perak")


  1. R.O. Winstedt, "The Hadramaut Saiyids of Perak and Siak", Journal Straits Branch, Royal Asiatic Society, No. 79. September 1918.
  2. R.J. Wilkinson, "Papers on Malay Subjects. Law: Part II - The 99 laws of Perak", Kuala Lumpur [1908]
  3. Abd al-Rahman al-Mashhur, "Shams al-Zahirah", (ed. Muhammad Diya Shihab) Jeddah: Alm al-Marifah [1984]