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This is a list of the rulers of the Sulu Sultanate. The Sultan of Sulumarker is a Muslim royal house that governs over most Muslims in the Sulu Archipelagomarker in the Philippinesmarker. The Sultanate also used to govern the state of Sabahmarker in Malaysiamarker. While the sultanate is not an internationally recognized entity it enjoys some autonomy and influence in the Philippines, particularly among the Muslim population of the country. The office was recognized by the government in Manilamarker until 1936. The centre of government of the Sulu Sultanate kingdom was in Jolomarker. During their rule, Jolo became the centre of the Sulu Sultanate government and the centre of port trading.

List of sultans

The following list details the holders of the title Sultan between 1450 and 1936.

Sultan Details
1 Sultan Sharif ul-Hashim
The founder of the Sulu Sultanate whose proper name was Abu Bakr. He founded The Royal Sultanate of Sulu in 1457 and renamed himself Paduka Mahasari Maulana al-Sultan Sharif ul-Hashim. The "maulana" meaning protector (Arabic), "paduka" being a local term for "master", and "mahasari" for "His Majesty". The Sharif is reported to have lived about thirty years in Buansa, the first seat of the sultanate, and his tomb is located in one of the slopes of nearby Mount Tumantangis.
2 Sultan Kamal ud-Din
The son of the Sharif ul-Hashim who succeeded his father as sultan.
3 Sultan Ala ud-Din
Sulu Genealogy suggests that he was a brother of Kamal ud-Din. A son of Sultan Shariful-Hashim, but believed not to be proclaimed the "Sultan of Sulu."
4 Sultan Amir ul-Umara
His title is believed to be the Arabic translation of Maharajah-di-rajah found as the fourth sultan in some tarsilas. Some Sulu genealogy do not mention him. Believed to be the Sultan Bolkiah
5 Sultan Mu-izz ul-Mutawadi-in
He is the Maharajah Upo (grandchild) of Sharif ul-Hashim. Some genealogy states that he succeeded to the sultanate upon the death of Kamal ud-Din.
6 Sultan Nasir ud-Din I
The son of Sultan Mu-izz ul-Mutawadi-in. His surname was Digunung or Habud, suggesting that he grew up in or ruled from the interior of Sulu.
7 Sultan Muhammad ul-Halim
The son of Sultan Nasir ud-Din I. His other name was Pangiran Buddiman which was the name by which he was probably known.
8 Sultan Batara Shah Tengah
The son of Sultan Muhammad ul-Halim. "Batara" was a title used by Sulu rulers as early as the beginning of the fifteenth century, and Bruneimarker annals always referred to Sulu rulers by this term. Died without heir.
9 Sultan Muwallil Wasit I
The nephew of Sultan Batara Shah Tengah (the son of his sister who married Sultan Hassan of Brunei). He was known to Spaniards as Rajah Bongsu. One of his daughters married Sultan Qudarat of Maguindanaomarker while another daughter married Balatamay (Baratamay), the ruler of Buayanmarker in 1657. Around 1650, his son Bachtiar took over the sultanate.
10 Sultan Nasir ud-Din II
Son of Sultan Muwallil Wasit who reigned during the lifetime of his father following his father's defeat by the Spaniards. The throne reverted to his father after his brother, Sarikula, died in 1648.
11 Sultan Salah ud-Din Bakhtiar
Known to Spanish authorities as Pangiran Bactial and to Dutch officials as Pangiran Batticale. After his death, he was called Marhum Karamat. Due to his father's old age as well as the number of his followers, he did not become sultan until around 1650, if not a year earlier. He installed the "3 Temporary Sultans of Sulu" to sit on the Sulu throne from 1680-1685 due to the very young age of his son.
12 Sultan Ali Shah Not mentioned in the Sulu Genealogy but produced a permanent heir in Shahab ud-Din (No. 15). His reign was short and peaceful.
13 Sultan Nur ul-Azam Daughter of Sultan Nasir ud-Din II who was also known as Pangyan Ampay or Sitti Kabil (Arabic, meaning grand mistress) and ruled for four or five years. Some Sulus did not look with favor on her regime, being ruled under a woman.
14 Sultan Al Haqunu Ibn Wali ul-Ahad The name "Ibn Wali ul-Ahad" is Arabic for "son of the rajah muda" (heir apparent). Is speculated to be the son of Sarikula and helped govern with his cousin Sultan Salah ud-Din.
15 Sultan Shahab ud-Din
The son of Salah ud-Din. It was he who killed Sultan Kahar ud-Din Kuda of Maguindanao in 1702 and "ceded" Palawanmarker to the Spanish government in 1705.
16 Sultan Mustafa Shafi ud-Din
The younger brother of Shahab ud-Din he was also known as Juhan Pahalawan. He abdicated the thrown in favor of his younger brother Badar ud-Din to avoid future dynastic troubles.
17 Sultan Badar ud-Din I
The younger brother of the two previous sultans, he was known to different Spanish authors as "Bigotillos" or "Barbillas,"" or as "el Rey Viejo de Tawi-Tawi." His mother as a Tirun lady from the North East coast of Borneo. In 1732, a nephew (or grand nephew) contested his rule which led to his retirement to Tawi-Tawimarker where he was then known as Sultan Dungun. He died around 1740 in Dungun during the reign of his son Azim ud-Din I.
18 Sultan Nasar ud-Din
He was either a son or grandson (by a daughter) of Shahab ud-Din and was known to the Spaniards as Datu Sabdula (Arabic, Abdullah). In 1731, he challenged the rule of Badar ud-Din, forcing the latter to take leave and retire in 1732. The intrigues of Badar ud-Din led to the proclamation of Azim ud-Din (a son of Badar ud-Din) as sultan in 1735. After a series of desultory skirmishes between the factions of Nasar ud-Din and Azim ud-Din, the former left for Maimbung where he generally remained till he died around 1735. He was also referred to as Dipatuan.
19 Sultan Azim ud-Din I

Son of Badar ud-Din, he was known to the Spaniards and many Sulus as Alimuddin. His father proclaimed him ruler in Tawi-Tawi in 1735. In 1736, after a few intrigues had paved the way, a number of Datus asked Azim ud-Din to transfer his court from Dungun to Bauang (Jolo). But a political struggle in 1748 forced him to leave Jolo for Basilan and then Zamboanga. His younger brother, Datu Bantilan, was then proclaimed sultan. In the meantime, he went to Manila where he remained for sometime, including a few years of imprisonment. He returned an old man to Jolo in 1764. In the same year, on June 8, he was formally reinstated to the throne. In 1774, tired of affairs of state, he formally handed over the affairs of state to hisson Muhammad Israil. He had two periods of reign; 1735-1748 and 1764-1774.
20 Sultan Muizz ud-Din
Known to Spanish officials and priests as Datu or Pangiran Bantilan. He was a younger brother of Azim ud-Din-I. Sultan Bantilan Muizzuddin heirs stand as "The Sulu Sultanate Second Heir-Apparent", which nowadays become the Maharajah Adinda families.
21 Sultan Muhammad Israil
One of the sons of Azim ud-Din I who abdicated his power to his son in November 1773, but did not formally assumed the reign early the next year. He was believed to have been poisoned by either the partisans of his cousin or the cousin, himself, Azim ud-Din (a son of Muizz ud-Din), in 1778.
22 Sultan Azim ud-Din II

The son of Muizz ud-Din I who governed Sulu with his brother after the death of their father around the middle of 1763. By the end of that year, he had become, for all practical purposes, the Sultan. With the arrival of his uncle Azim ud-Din I from Manila in 1764, whom he received well, Azim ud-Din II left his his followers for Parang. In 1778, he succeeded Muhammad Israil. He reigned up to his death in 1791.
23 Sultan Sharaf ud-Din
Another son of Azim ud-Din I and lived a venerable old age. Ten years earlier the Spaniards were expecting him to die at any moment and were thus worried that a successor antagonistic to them might ascend the throne.
24 Sultan Azim ud-Din III
The son of Sharaf ud-Din and died the same year as his father. According to a report, he reigned only for forty days. He likely died a smallpox epidemic that raged through Jolo that year.
25 Sultan Ali ud-Din
The younger brother of Azim ud-Din III who occupied the throne in the absence of the rajah muda in Jolo (Raja Muda Datu Bantilan @ Datu Badaruddin ibni Sultan Azimuddin/Alimuddin-II ibni Sultan Bantilan Muizzuddin ibni Sultan Badaruddin-I). Raja Muda Bantilan then born Datu Aranan/Adanan (sat on the Sulu throne for a week only in 1862 using the name of Maharajah Adinda Sultan Mohammad Aranan/Adanan Puyo) born Datu Amirul, Datu Sie and Datu Laja.
26 Sultan Shakirullah
The brother of Ali ud-Din and was popularly known as Datu Sakilan.
27 Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram I
The son of Azim ud-Din III.
28 Sultan Muhammad Fadl
The son of Jamal ul-Kiram I and was popularly known as Pulalun.
29 Sultan Jamal ul-Ahlam
The son of Muhammad Fadl who ascended to the throne in 1862. He was known to the Spaniards and Sulus as Jamalul Alam.
30 Sultan Badar ud-Din II
The son of Jamal ul-Ahlam and wife Jamilah, died as a relatively young man on February 22, 1884.
31 Sultan Harun al-Rashid
A descendant of Azim ud-Din I, through Datu Putong, a son. Spanish intrigues led to his proclamation as sultan by a few Datus in 1886, although earlier in 1884, Amirul Kiram, a younger brother of Badar ud-Din II, had already been proclaimed sultan. He never had firm support of the majority of the Sulus who generally Amirul Kiram as sultan especially when the latter was able to overthrow Datu Ali ud-Din, a pretender to the throne. When it became apparent that he no longer served any purpose to Spanish officials, Harun ar-Rashid was persuaded to abdicate in 1894. This was a tacit admission on the part of Spanish authorities that Amirul Kiram was the real sultan of Sulu. Harun ar-Rashid retired to Palawan where he died in April 1899.
32 Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram II
The younger brother of Badar ud-Din II. He was proclaimed sultan by his followers in 1884, not long after the death of his older brother. While rajah muda, he was called Amirul Kiram. His proclamation as sultan was contested by Datu Ali ud-Din, a grandson of Sultan Shakirullah, but to no avail. Ali ud-Din was forced to flee to Basilan. It was Harun ar-Rashid who tried to mediate between Amirul Kiram and Ali ud-Din until the Spaniards thought it expedient to have Harun ar-Rashid to sultan himself. The Spaniards were led eventually to deal with Jamal ul-Kiram II as the sultan of Sulu in spite of his repeated refusal to go to Manila on a state visit. Jamal ul-Kiram II died on June 7, 1936. He was considered to have been sultan from 1884 to 1936, despite the fact that in 1915, he virtually surrendered his political powers to the United States government under the so-called Carpenter's Agreement.

List of present day Sultan

In 1936, when Sultan Jamal-ul Kiram II seceded his powers to the United States colonial government of the Philippines, there appeared several chieftains to the throne.

Regardless of the surrender of powers done by signing the Carpenter`s Agreement in 1915, the Philippine government formally accepted a transfer (power of attorney) of claims of de jure sovereignty over the territory of North Borneo, in 1962. This was accepted by President Macapagal from the then Sultan Esmail Kiram I. and his then Crown Prince Punjungan Kiram (administrator of the territory of North Borneo as ruled in the MacKaskie judgement in 1939).There is a serious dispute between the Philippine and Malaysian governments/scholars about the legitimacy of these claims over North Borneo.

Sultan Details
1 Muwallil Wasit II
Sultan for six months and died of poisoning.
2 Ombra Amilbangsa and Ismael Kiram
3 Muhammad Ismael Kiram I
Due to different regional spellings, as can be found on government and newspaper sites, his name appears as Esmail, Esmael, Ismail or Ismael. The same appears to Ismael Kiram II. the second son of his younger brother and first crown prince, the late Punjungan Kiram.
4 Mohammad Mahakuttah Kiram
The last Sultan to be recognized officially by the Wazir Amb. Abraham Rasul, Rumah Bichara and the Philippine government in 1974 through a presidential decree by President Ferdinand Marcos.
5 Muhammad Punjungan Kiram
6 Abirin, Aguimuddin
7 Jamal ul-Kiram III
Acted as "interim Sultan" from 1974- 1981. In 1986, he was crowned as the Sultan.
8 Mohammad Akijal Atti
9 Ismael Kiram II
Due to different regional spellings, as can be found on government and newspaper sites, his name appears as Esmail, Esmael, Ismail or Ismael. The same appears to Ismael Kiram I. the elder brother of his father Punjungan Kiram.

See also

External links

  • Official links
Philippine Provincial Government of Sulu - The Official list of Sultans
Philippine National Historical Institute - Coronation of the current Sultan
The International Commission on Nobility and Royalty - Suspicious claimants
  • Websites of the pretenders
The former official website of Ismael D. Kiram
The new official website of Ismael D. Kiram
  • News links
Sulu sultan’s ‘heirs’ drop Sabah claim - 2008-07-17
Who is the Real Sultan? - 2008-07-13


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