Raja Haji Fisabilillah Monument in Tanjung Pinang

Raja Haji Fisabilillah (full name Raja Haji Fisabilillah ibni Daeng Chelak) (1727–1784) was a Bugis-Malay warrior, and also the Yang Dipertuan Muda (Crown Prince) of the Johor Sultanate from 1777 to 1784.

Early life

Born in Ulusungai, Riau in 1727, he was a younger brother of Raja Lumu (who later became Sultan Salehuddin Shah of Selangor) and his grandchild, Raja Ali Haji would later become a renowned historian, poet, and scholar.


He helped put together the recently-fragmented territory of Johor. Known as a great hero by the Tuhfat al-Nafis, from 1760 he coerced the rulers of Jambi and Indragiri and married their daughters, while forcing Sultan Mahmud II of Perak to allow the marriage of his daughter to Raja Haji's brother. He also became a kingmaker, installing his preferred person to be crowned sultan of Pontianak. He defeated the Siak Sultanate and was widely feared by the Dutch. Dutch Governor Thomas Schippers in 1773 secured a plan to prevent the strength of Raja Haji's pirate bands. Fearful of an invasion of Riau, (the Bugis fought the Dutch in Malacca to a standstill in 1757) they invaded it in 1784 but securing no victory, had to call off their siege after three long months. Once the Dutch returned to Malacca, they found out that the city was invaded by the combined Selangor and Bugis factions. The Dutch national fleet had to be called for backup which eventually led to Raja Haji's death and a major dispersal of Bugis around the Riau islands.[1]

The effect of the war infuriated his nephew, Raja Ibrahim, as it has caused Selangor to be involved indirectly in the war between the Dutch and Johor.[citation needed]

Death and burial

Raja Haji led a series of raids on A Famosa, a Dutch fortress in Melacca. On the verge of victory after surrounding the Dutch forces in one of her forts, he was, however, shot from a distance, killing him instantly. He died in 1784 at Teluk Ketapang, Melaka in modern-day Malaysia.[citation needed]

According to famed Malay writer Munshi Abdullah, Raja Haji was rumoured to have been buried in a pig farm by the Dutch.[2] It was not until the English conquered Malacca that the royal family requested Raja Haji's body to be removed from the pig farm. He was subsequently given a proper Muslim burial at Pulau Penyengat, Indera Sakti, Riau.[citation needed]


His bravery was remembered by Indonesians, as the government has posthumously proclaim him as the "Pahlawan Nasional Indonesia" (National Hero of Indonesia), and an Raja Haji Fisabilillah Airport was renamed in honor of him in 2008.

In Malaysia, there is a mosque in Cyberjaya in the state of Selangor, Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque was named after him.


  1. ^ Trocki, Carl A. (2007). Prince of Pirates: The Temenggongs and the Development of Johor and Singapore, 1784-1885. Singapore: NUS Press. pp. 36, 38. ISBN 978-9971-69-376-3.
  2. ^ Hamdani, H. (2007). Hikayat Abdullah. PTS Pop. See page 47