Massacre of ulema by Amangkurat I

Massacre of ulema by Sultan Amangkurat I
Location Sultanate of Mataram
Date 1648
Target Ulema and their family members
Attack type
Mass killings
Perpetrators Government of Amangkurat I

Massacre of ulema by Sultan Amangkurat I was a mass killing that was committed in the territory of the Sultanate of Mataram at one afternoon in the year 1648. Around 5,000-6,000 ulemas and their family members were slain within less than thirty minutes.[1] This massacre was ordered by Sultan Amangkurat I in order to exact revenge, since two days before his own younger brother Prince Alit tried to overthrow him.[1] Although this coup failed and Prince Alit was killed during the ensuing chaos, Amangkurat intended to eradicate all groups who were allegedly conspiring with his younger brother.[1]

During the planning of this massacre, the Sultan wanted to ensure that the real mastermind behind the massacre would not be discovered.[1] He instructed four of his right-hand men to carry out the plan; they were Prince Aria, Tumenggung Nataairnawa, Tumenggung Suranata and Ngabehi Wirapatra.[1] According to historian H. J. de Graaf, Amangkurat wanted the ulema to be completely purged.[2] The commencement of the massacre itself was signaled by a cannon fire from the palace.[1] Local sources have failed to document the details of this massacre and the only reliable source that is available is a note made by an officer from the VOC, Rijcklof van Goens, who was being dispatched to Mataram at that time.[1]

Amangkurat tried to cover up his involvement in this massacre.[1] The day after the killings, he pretended to be angry and surprised.[1] He alleged the ulema to be responsible for the death of Prince Alit and forced eight leaders to confess to their "crime" of plotting the overthrow of the Sultan.[1] These eight men were slaughtered together with their family members.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ivan Aulia Ahsan, Saat 6.000 Ulama dan Keluarga Dibantai Sultan Mataram Islam,, 24 October 2017, retrieved 26 May 2018
  2. ^ H. J. de Graaf, De Regering van Sunan Mangku-Rat I Tegal-Wangi, vorst van Mataram, 1646-1677 (Brill 1962), hlm. 38