The Name Syarif Hidayatullah
If some universities in Indonesia are using the names of figures in the military field, IAIN prefers the names of figures in the religious field. The naming of IAIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta (now UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta) is inseparable from the above. The name Syarif Hidayatullah was chosen because it is the original name of one of the Walisongo, nine Islamic preachers in Java, Sunan Gunung Jati, who played a major role in the development of Islam in Sunda Kelapa (present-day Jakarta).
Syarif Hidayatullah (Sunan Gunung Jati) was born in Arabia in 1448 AD and died in Cirebon in 1568 AD. He was the son of Nyai Rara Santang (daughter of Prabu Siliwangi of Pajajaran) with Syarif Abdullah. The titles given to him were Muhammad Nuruddin, Sheikh Nurullah, Sayyid Kamil, Maulana Sheikh Makhdum Rahmatullah, and Makhdum Jati. After his death he was given the title "Sunan Gunung Jati".
After reaching adulthood, Syarif Hidayatullah returned to Pajajaran and became the ruler of Cirebon. Since then he has played a role in spreading Islam in Java, especially the western part. Later he placed his son, Maulana Hasanuddin, as a preacher and ruler in Banten. In 1527 AD, with the help of Fala-tehan (Fatahillah), he succeeded in taking control of Sunda Kelapa after expelling Portuguese troops led by Fransisco de Sa.
Syarif Hidayatullah proselytized directly to community leaders and local nobles in a wise manner. He began by providing knowledge of Islamic teachings or tazkirah about Islam and gentle warnings. He exchanged ideas from heart to heart with full tolerance. If this method did not work, then he resorted to arguing or mujadalah. This last method is applied especially to people who openly show disapproval of Islam. The method of da'wah used by Syarif Hidayatullah has succeeded in attracting public sympathy.
He also often helped the poor and suffering, both morally and materially. He associates with the language of the people, so that his teachings can be easily accepted. Syarif Hidayatullah did not sharply oppose the religion, beliefs and customs of the local population. On the contrary, he showed the beauty and simplicity of Islam. What he did was to show the merits of Islam and the equality of status among human beings.
In order to foster the religious diversity of people from various ethnicities, he intermarried with the younger sister of the Regent of Banten, princess Kaunganten (1475), mother of Maulana Hasanuddin; a Chinese princess, Ong Tien, in 1481 (no descendants); an Arab princess named Syarifah Bagdad, mother of Pangeran Jaya Kelana and Pangeran Brata Kelana; and Nyi Tepasari from Majapahit, mother of Ratu Winahon and Pangeran Pasarean.
Syarif Hidayatullah had a major role in the establishment of Islamic rule in Sunda Kelapa, which was later named Jayakarta and changed to Batavia by the Dutch. Therefore, the naming of Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta is expected to inspire the academic community in the development of Islam in Indonesia.