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Sunan Giri 19 June, 2006

Posted by netlog in Raden Paku.
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(Raden Paku)


Among the traditional literature relating to the Wali Songo, the name of Sunan Giri is especially prominent. Furthermore, his names are many, among them Raden Paku, Sultan Abdul Fakih, Maulana 'Ainul Yaqin, as well as Joko Samudra. His last name is connected with the semi-legendary account of his early years. The story begins with his birth from the marriage of a Muslim scholar named Maulana Ishak with a princess of the East Javanese Kingdom of Blambangan. Forced to abandon the child shortly after his birth, his mother set him adrift on the ocean, from where he was rescued by sailors and brought to Gresik.

Here, he was adopted by a woman named Nyai Gede Pinatih, who was a ship owner and sailors' employer. She subsequently named the young boy Joko Samudra, 'Samudra' meaning ocean.

When he was old enough, Joko Samudra was taken by his mother to Surabaya, where he began receiving religious instructions from Sunan Ampel. It was not long before his teacher discovered the boy's true identity and thus, when he considered that his student had learned enough, sent him together with his own son Makhdum Ibrahim (later to be known as Sunan Bonang) to broaden his education further afield. It is said that both of them travelled to Aceh, or possibly Malacca, where they were received by Maulana Ishak. Here, Joko Samudra, or Raden Paku as he was known by now, learned of his real parents and the story of his abandonment. After three years of study with his father, Raden Paku returned to Gresik, where he founded a religious institution on the hill at Giri.