Female Islamic Saints


Kanjeng Ratu Kadipaten (1734–1803) was an Indonesian queen of the Yogyakarta Sultanate and mystic of the Shattari order. She was a Garwa Padmi, or queen consort, of Hamengku­buwono I, the first Yogyakarta Sultan, and the mother of his heir, who reigned as Hamengkubuwono II, and her father Ageng Derpayuda was an important kyai, or religious scholar. Being very pious and knowledgable on Islam herself, she was also the murîd of four Shattari masters, Kyai Mufid, Muhammad Shakir, Kyai Mas Nida Muhammad, and Kyai Nurdaim Muhammad, although her rank in the order isn’t known. She was known as Kadipaten as she lived in the Javanese court in Kadipaten, and when her husband died in 1792, she moved to Tegalreja to farm rice, potentially to also distance herself from the life of her religiously lax son and the court. After this point, she was called Ratu Ageng Tegalreja. Late in her time at Kadipaten, as well as the rest of her life in Tegalreja, she nursed and raised her grandson Pangeran Dipenagara and instilled in him religious education and an interest in mysticism. He grew up to become a mystic and lead a rebellion against the Dutch in the Java War, and in his chronicle of the war, Babad Dipanegara, he described her as being devoted to God and bringing many visitors to the Tegalreja. In the last year of her life, she allegedly admonished her son saying:

“Sultan! The path I have to lay aside is difficult and now I feel that I am essentially no more than an ordinary person. My son, keep that in view and do not believe that, although you are now ruler, after your death you will be anything more than a common coolie. So live accordingly!”

Not necessarily considered a saint.

Other Reading

Fathurahman, Oman. “Female Indonesian Sufis: Shattariya Murids in the 18th and 19th Centuries in Java.” Kyoto Bulletin of Islamic Area Studies, no. 11, Mar. 2018, pp. 40–67.

Southeast AsiaShattari OrderSufiQueen ConsortMystic.