Makam Syiekh Mahmud di Barus

Pilgrimage to the Grave of Sheikh Mahmud, the Prophet’s Companion in the Archipelago

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The historicity of the Islamic religion is always interesting to observe, especially the stories of its propagators. In addition to the Prophet Muhammad, companions also played a role in the spread of Islam. The spread of Islam is not only focused on the Arab region. Islam is also spread throughout the world, including Indonesia.

Early evidence of the entry of Islam into Indonesia is supported by the discovery of Islamic tombs in the Sumatra area. For Example, the tomb of Mahligai, located on the hill of Central Tapanuli, North Sumatra; Papan Tinggi grave in Barus, North Sumatra; the tomb of Tuhar Amisuri, Hasang Village, Barus District, North Sumatra; and the tomb of Meurah Silu in Aceh.


All of the Islamic tombs are ancient, and out of those ancient tombs, the tomb of Syekh Mahmud in the Papan Tinggi Tomb complex is suspected of the tomb of the Prophet’s companions. However, in this regard, not many people know about it.

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Syekh Papan Tinggi, known as Syekh Mahmud, was included in the group of the first propagator of Islam in the archipelago. He was a merchant and preacher from Yemen and was sent to Asia during the caliph Umar bin Khattab. From a Youtube channel (FSRMM Channel), it is stated that Sheikh Mahmud is the son of Abdullah bin Mas’ud. Sheikh Mahmud died in 44 H during the reign of Muawiyyah bin Abi Sufyan.

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Barus as the Gateway to Islam

Based on the circulating literature, Barus is an old city located in Central Tapanuli Regency, North Sumatra, which is the gateway for the entry of Islam into Indonesia. Therefore, if Walisongo carried out the spread of Islam in Java in the 14th century AD, Islam in Barus has existed since the early 7th century.

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