Batu Bersurat Memorial (Terengganu Inscription Stone)

batu bersurat terengganu

Batu Bersurat Terengganu Inscription Stone

The Islamic Inscription on the Inscribed Stone of Terengganu is a profound statement of Terengganu's Islamic Past. The Stone, which dates as far back as the early 14th Century, is known to be the earliest piece of inscription in Malay using the Jawi script which states Islam as the official religion of Terengganu, along with an Islamic law guide pertaining to misdeeds and sanctions.

Batu Bersurat Terengganu is the oldest artifact with Jawi writing on it. The artifact proves that Islam reached Terengganu earlier than 1326 or 1386. It was accidentally discovered near Teresat River at Kuala Berang, Terengganu, Malaysia by an Arab trader named Sayid Husin bin Ghulam al-Bokhari in 1899 after a flash flood hit Kuala Berang.

memorial batu bersurat kuala berang
Image source via Nick Shah

Kuala Berang is situated about 33 kilometers from Kuala terengganu and it is an historical place. Kuala Berang became famous when an inscribed stone was discovered here. The inscribed stone found was the earliest record of Islam in Peninsular Malaysia.

The inscribed stone was discovered in 1899 when there was a major flood in Terengganu. After the flood, the villagers found a huge stone at the mouth of Sungai Teresat. The villagers then shifted the stone to a mosque at Kampung Buluh in Kuala Berang.

In 1902, a gold and tin miner named Syed Hussain bin Ghulam Al Bukhari from Riau - Lingga and Engku Pengiran Anum arrived at Kuala Berang. They saw the inscribed stone and brought it back to Kuala Terengganu where they presented it to Sultan Zainal Abidin, who was then the Sultan of Terengganu.

Sultan Zainal Abidin kept the inscribed stone from many years as no one understood the Jawi writings that was inscribed on the stone. Thus an Englishman who was working in Terengganu send photographs of the inscribed stone to history language specialists in Singapore and London. In the end, the inscriptions on the stone was able to be read clearly.

The inscribed stone weighed about 215 kilograms, 84 centimeters in height, 53 centimeters wide at the top and 27 centimeters wide at the bottom. The thickness of the stone is 24 centimeters and is made of granite which cannot be easily broken.

The inscriptions are in Arabic - Malay believed to be written on the 22nd February 1303. Among the inscriptions on the stone are the ten Islamic laws and their punishments. With the discovery of this stone, historians felt that Islam has reached Terengganu before the 14th century.

The inscribed stone also proved that a government existed in Terengganu long before Melaka was founded. Even after Melaka was founded, Kuala Terengganu still remained an important port.

Where To Stay
  • Chalet Perhilitan
  • Kenyir Sanctuary Resort
  • Sekayu Rest House
  • Kenyir Lake View Resort
  • Kuala Berang Resthouse

Source from Terengganu Tourism