Women as Rulers Phenomenon in Southeast Asian Islamic Society: The Queens of Aceh

MEHMET OZAY
2011 Zenodo  
Abstract: This paper provides a brief explanation about the Era of the Queens (1641-1699) during which four female rulers were raised in succession to the throne of Aceh Darussalam Sultanate. The era in question has not been a resounding research subject either in the context of Southeast Asian Islamic studies or general Islamic history. The Era of the Queens is worthy of study due to its contributions in terms of anthropological and cultural differences from the perspective of the Muslim
more » ... of the Muslim world. Within this study, reasons for their placement in the power structure appeared to have influential elements in terms of education, socio-political environs and affiliations. This is a study that focusses on the role of women as ruling figures in an Islamic society which appears to be a very stimulative situation in that era. The queens were successful and played their roles well in order to continue retaining their power relations with other structural bodies within the sultanate. By possessing the required politically applicable opinions, the queens secured their places against the oppositions who persistently challenged them in the quest to wrestle for power. In relation to this context, this process of sustenance of power can be observed by the distributions of rights and incentives to various groups among the oppositions, in exchange for the Sultanah to continuously rule the state. Although women rulership during the second part of the seventeenth century in Aceh is considered by some circles as aberrant, however, it is a fact that these women rulers were in control of the power for nearly sixty years. This is seen as one of the unique practices in the Muslim world. Their accomplishment is the reason why these Acehnese female rulers ought to be regarded as political agencies who were subject to various challenges from the various entities allied with the different political, cultural and religious circles during these queens' reigns. In addition, [...]
doi:10.5281/zenodo.3246270 fatcat:xvjc5ntwjvdzdm4kvmkwcmxh3y