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Old 7th September 2014, 11:00 AM   #1
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Default Pedang Qala'i / Qala'i Sword


In 1154 AD al-Idirisi, an Arab traveller and geographer wrote in his book ' ar-Rujjar ' :

" The people of Zabag (Javaka : Srivijaya or Old Kedah) went to the land of Sofala (in modern Mozambique) and exported iron. From there, they brought the supplies to the whole Hindia. No iron can challenge their iron in terms of quality and sharpness.

Pedang (qala'i) '' Al-sayf al-Qadaram @ al-sayf al-Hind " (Pedang Kedah @ Pedang Hindi)

One of Prophet Muhammad SAW sword named al-Qal'iy. The name indicates that it was forged in the land named ' Kalah ' , which is the Arabic and Persian name for modern Kedah. See how the sword wavery style resembles a shape of a long kris .

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Old 7th September 2014, 11:08 AM   #2
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" Kalah" or "Kalaha" was Found by Kurds from the Kalahar Tribe

The State of Kedah, which was opened in 11th century A.D. was originally named " Kalah " (Muhammad Hassan, 1968: 3). " Kalaha " was the name of a tribe of Kurds, i.e. the natives of Iran who migrated to the Nusantara in the 10th and 11th century A.D. When the " Kalahar " tribe settled in Kedah, the other tribes moved on to settle down in other parts of the Malay Archipelago (Omar Amin Husin, 1962: 185).

Historians had proven that the Kingdoms of Pasai, Rokan, Kuntu and Siak in Sumatra were opened by Muslim Iranians as far back as 969 A.D. Tombstones engraved in the Pahlawi script were found there. Legor, or Nakhorn Si Thammarat was opened by Kunu Iranians who named the city, Jamguerd. Arabs pronounced it as " Jamkut ". The same could be said of a settlement in Leren, near Gerisik in East Java, which was believed to have been opened by Iranians of the Lor tribe. Zainab binti Maimun who was buried in Leren in 1101 A.D. had Sulaiman al-Farisi as one of her ancestors (Omar Amin Husin, 1962: 179)

When the Kalahar tribe arrived in Kedah, they named the place in accordance with the name of their tribe : Kalahar. Muhammad Hassan in his book, " Al-Tarikh Salasilah.. ", wrote its name as " Kalaha ". Arabs pronounced it as " Kalah ". These Kurds tribes who had migrated to the Nusantara did so not only for trade, but also in search of a calm and peaceful life, away from their own strife-torn land. These Iranians had also migrated to Africa, India, The Middle East, the Far East and New Zealand. The Malay Archipelago or "Nusantara" was also one of their destinations.

The Migration of Muslim Merchants from China to Kedah

Muslim merchants from Arabia, Iran and other places, congregated in the port of Canton (now Guangzhou) in China. Caliph Sayidina Uthman ibn Affan (644-656) used to send his envoy, Saad Abi Waqqas and an entourage of fifteen others, on a sea voyage to china with the purpose of asking the emperor of China to embrace Islam. Chinese records of 651 A.D. admitted having received an envoy from " Han Mi Mo Moni " ( " Amir ul-Mu'minin " ) and in the 7th century A.D. the emperor of China, Tai Ti Sung embraced Islam (Abdullah Ishak, 1992: p. 250-251).

Around 877 A.D., Arab and Iranian merchants were attacked and killed by rebels who were fighting against the government of China. These merchants who had lived for 200 years in Canton were massacred. It was estimated that the number killed were between 120,000 to 200,000 people (Naguib Al-Attas, 1969: 11). A large number of these Muslim traders and their families sought refuge in Kedah.

Another rebellion broke out around 900 A.D. in Yong Chow. This time, around 5,000 people including Muslim traders were murdered. Those who survived migrated to Kedah and Palembang (Abdullah Ishak, 1992:440).

The status of Canton as a busy port was thus taken over by Kedah. As far back as the 8th century A.D., Islam had taken roots in England. Two pieces of gold coins kept in the British Museum testified to the fact that King Offa, the ruler of Mercia had embraced Islam. It coins displayed the two the Muslim confession of faith. The Kingdom of Mercia was located between River Thames and the Humber River, comprising Kent, Essex and London. In 825 A.D. Mercia was attacked and assimilated by other territories and its status as a Muslim Kingdom then disappeared.
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Old 7th September 2014, 11:34 AM   #3
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The 940 A.D. Kedah Visited by Abu Dulaf

In 940 A.D. Abu Dulaf Al-Muhalhil from Bukhara stopped over in Kedah and made the following observations :-

" When I arrived in Kalah, I found it to be a beautiful place surrounded by the walls of its fort, flower gardens and flowing water from springs in the ground. I saw tin mines, which were incomparable to any other in this world. Within the city I saw makers of " qala'I " swords, i.e. original Indian (Hindi) swords….as in China, there were people who ate un-slaughtered meats. The people had a system of laws, which include the use of prisons and a system of fines as forms of punishment.

They ate wheat, dates, vegetables which were weighed before being sold and breads which were sold in piles. They did not have Turkish baths (hamam), but bathe in fast flowing rivers. They currency was the silver dirham…called ' fahri ' . The wore very expensive silks just like the people in China.. the King of Kalah paid tributes to China, and mentioned the name of the Chinese emperor in their Friday sermons and the King of Kalah faced the direction of the emperor when praying… "(Paul Wheatley, 1961:217).

Abu Dulaf reported that the people of Kedah knew how to use wheat flour, ate dates, bread and vegetables, just like the Arabs. It was clear that the Malays had absorbed some Arab cultures. According to Paul Wheatley in his small notes in the same page, the silver dirham called " Fahri " was the currency used in Khurasan, North Iran. In Kedah, the barter system was practiced, and the "fahri" was used only when very necessary. The " qala'I " swords, which were forged in Kedah became an export item known to the Arabs a "al-sayf al-Hind" (Fatimi, 1963:212).

Abu Dalaf caused a bit of confusion when he said that the King of Kalah " ….mentioned the name of the Emperor of China in his Friday sermons and the King of Kalah prayed in the direction of the emperor... "

Abu Dalaf was confused because the Muslims in Kedah did not mention the name of Caliph Al-Mutaqqi (940-944) who had just ascended the throne in Damascus in their sermons. Perhaps they mentioned the name of King of Sribuza (Sri Wijaya) or other such names which he though to be the name of the Chinese emperor.

The direction he mentioned, was the direction of power adhered to by the King of Kalah or Kedah, and not the direction faced when praying. Abu Dulaf could have assumed that the King of Kedah had not yet embraced Islam, even though all his subjects had already done so.

Observations made by Abu Zaid (916 A.D.) and Mas'udi (943 A.D.)

Abu Zaid a citizen of Siraf wrote the following notes in 916 A.D. :-

" Kalah was a territory under King al-Zabaj (Sri Wijaya), located between China and Arabia … Kedah port attracted ships from Oman, and from here ships set off for Arabia …Kedah was a trading centre for sandalwood, camphor, aloe's wood, ivory, tin, charcoal, " sepang " wood, all sorts of spices and other items which were too numerous to be counted.." (Paul Wheatley 1961: 218).

Mas'udi who wrote in 943 A.D. on the migration of Arab and Iranian merchants from Canton to Kedah in 877 A.D. was a Muslim traveler who wrote many books. In his book, " Muruj al-Dhahab wal ma'adin al-Jawahar " written in 943 A.D. observed:-

"…around Kalah and Sribuza (Sri Wijaya) were gold and silver mines. The sea routes placed Kedah a lttle further than some routes from Arabia to China. Today Kedah is a centre of attraction for Muslim merchants from Siraf and Oman. From here they boarded Chinese ships to go to China. Kalah sea is shallow and difficult to sail on and there are many small islands and straits." (Paul Wheatley, 1961: 218-219).

It is clear that Kedah was a large port used by Muslim merchants from Arabia and Iran in the 9th and early 10th century A.D. When entering its port, ships must employ local pilots who were skillful navigators of the sea around Kedah.

Ever since 877 A.D., Kedah had become one of Sri wijaya's busiest ports. Muslim and non-Muslim traders gathered in Kedah before continuing their journey to China or Palembang. However, the King of Kedah kept a policy good relationship in politics and economy with China.

After the migration of 877 A.D., the Chinese took to sailing their own ships when exporting their own goods. In the 8th and the 9th century A.D. Chinese sailors did not go further than Kedah. Chinese ships that could venture further than Kedah, only made their appearance during the time of the Song and the Ming Dynasties (Moorhead, 1957:7).

Kedah had Embraced Islam Since 877 A.D.

Arab and Iranian traders opened their own settlements wherever they trade. That was what had happened in Canton, champa, India, Africa and other places. They became well respected and influential in all levels of society.

There is no doubt that Islam had arrived in Kedah in the 9th century A.D. and some of its local population had already embraced the religion. Dr. Syed Naguib al-Attas made the following assumption:-

" After the Muslims had formed a large settlement in Canton (ever since the first century Hegira or the 7th century A.D.), they were free to practice their own religion and to execute their own civil laws, it would therefore easy to assume that they would continue the practice in their new settlement in Kedah and Palembang, after their migration from Canton. The migration could be the first indication of the coming of Islam into the Malay Archipelago (Nusantara). "
(Syed Naguib al-attas, 1969: 11)

Chinese travelers noted that there were many people in Kedah who had the word ' pu ' at the beginning of their names. Experts on the Chinese language agreed that ' pu ' could be a corruption of the word ' Abu '. This only serves to prove that there were already a large number of Muslims at that time.
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Old 7th September 2014, 11:38 AM   #4
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Kedah to rediscover secrets of Sungai Batu, says Mukhriz

Published : Friday December 6, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated : Friday December 6, 2013 MYT 9:46:18 AM

by sira habibu

KUALA LUMPUR : Kedah is planning to unravel the secret that lies beneath the lost Sungai Batu that was once the lifeline of the ancient civilisation of Lembah Bujang.

Mentri Besar Datuk Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir said they have discovered remnants of ancient jetties located 30m apart, indicating that Sungai Batu was once a wide river.

“ Ships once sailed along Sungai Batu, as narrated in Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa.

“ This is an indication that the river was very deep.

“ As the river has disappeared, I cannot wait to discover the secrets beneath the site where a major river once flowed, ” he said.

Mukhriz said there were many other interesting findings at the site that was once a flourishing civilisation dating as far back as the first century.

“ We are trying to gather more evidence following findings in India, West Asia and Arab countries that say the best steel swords were imported from Sungai Batu, ” he said.

Mukhriz said Bujang Valley was once a centre of power complete with defence, trade and administrative facilities.

“ We are also looking into exploring Gunung Jerai, which was also part of the Lembah Bujang, ” he said.

He said the Kedah Government was discussing with Tourism Ministry to develop the Bujang Valley by preserving and reconstructing structures of significant interest including the candi and iron smelting facilities.

“ We want to promote this historical site as a tourist destination, ” he said, adding that many of the sites in Lembah Bujang had been gazetted.

He said the unfortunate incident had created awareness on the importance of conserving the ruins of the ancient civilisation.

“ Lembah Bujang has become well known now, ” he said.

- The Star -

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Old 7th September 2014, 11:41 AM   #5
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Three of the mounds excavated from 2009-2010 reveal evidence of an iron smelting industry. Beside thousand of pieces of iron ore and iron slag, there is also a large number of clay pipes (known as tuyere in French) which were apparently used to blow air into the iron smelting furnaces.

The evidence seems to confirm information found in Arabic records (Hoyland and Gilmour, 2006; Krenkow, 1936; Rahman, 1955, 1959) and Tamil literary works (Nilakanta Sastri, 1938, 1949; Thani Nagayam, 1986). In these records, two early Muslim scholars, Al-Kindi and Al-Biruni mentioned the importance of iron from Kalah ( Bujang Valley in Arabic). Of Al-Kindi’s three categories of ancient or fine quality swords, the best were said to come from Yemen, Qalai (Kalah) and Hindi. Al-Kindi also mentioned that in the mid 3rd to 10th centruy CE, the traveller Misar Ibn Muhalhil identified Kalah as the place where the Kalah sword were made. Al-Biruni’s study of iron mentioned ' shaburqan ' (hard iron) swords called Qala, named after Kalah, the place where raw material came from, “ you hear a ring from Qala, but a harsh tone from anything else ”.

The Tamil poem Pattinappalai from classical Cankam period (200 BCE-200 CE) and Tamil epic Parunkhatai (10th Century CE) also mentioned iron from Bujang Valley. The Tamil poem refers to the import of kazhakaththu akkam at the seaport of Pukar on the east coast of India. The Tamil word kazhakam refers to a place located in the northernwestern part of Malay Peninsula, which was also known as Kataram, or Kataha in Sanskrit. Khazhakam, as place name is apparently a derivation from Tamil root word Kazh, which signifies ‘ iron ’ (black). Another Tamil epic, Parunkhatai, composed by Kongkuvelir in the 10th century CE, refers kataraththu irumpu which mean iron from Kataram, which was one of several kinds of material which is said to have been used in the making of the chariot in which the Princess Vacavathaththai made her journey to the city of Jayanthi.

Thus, the latest archaeological findings concerning the existence of an iron-smelting industry at Sungai Batu from the 1st to the 4th centuries CE, and the Arabic and Tamil records apparently support and confirm one another. Therefore, the Sungai Batu civilisation complex was clearly a sophisticated society where the economy was based primarily on the iron industry. In short, the new evidence indicates that the Sungai Batu civilisation developed on an economic base.

Dept of National Heritage (2011) “ Bujang Valley and Early Civilisation in Southeast Asia. ”
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Old 8th September 2014, 08:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HangPC2
One of Prophet Muhammad SAW sword named al-Qal'iy. The name indicates that it was forged in the land named ' Kalah ' , which is the Arabic and Persian name for modern Kedah. See how the sword wavery style resembles a shape of a long kris .

Actually no Hang, i do not see how the "waver style resembles a shape of a long kris". Are you sure you posted the right photo?
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Old 24th January 2016, 03:35 AM   #7
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Pedang (qala'i) '' Al-sayf al-Qadaram @ al-sayf al-Hind " (Pedang Kedah @ Pedang Hindi)

Location : Sungai Batu Archaeological Site, Lembah Bujang, Kedah, Malaysia

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