Important figures who will fill this paper is Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa (1651-1682), he is the Sultan of Banten who has the original name Abdul Fatah, a pious king, a ancestor, and has high ideals.
The figure of Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, since his youth, had been known in the community as one of the sons of nobles who loved art and culture and even able to play puppets and other cultural games at that time.
According to Munadi Herlambang’s record (2013), during the reign of Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, Banten experienced its heyday which was marked by the development of the economy in the field of trade. Banten traders can still compete with Dutch traders. The development of Banten as a trading empire was supported by geographical, political and cultural factors.
First, geographical factors, the kingdom of Banten has a very strategic port. This port is directly opposite the very busy trade routes of the archipelago, the Sunda Strait and the Java Sea. Thus, the port is very easy to reach by traders who come from various ports in the archipelago and Asia. The inland land is also very fertile and produces pepper, rice and other agricultural products.
Second, political factors, the fall of Malacca into the hands of the Portuguese in 1511 AD and political upheaval in Central and East Java added to the bustling port of Banten. Since the fall of Malacca, many Malay traders have chosen Banten as a transit point for their merchandise before being exported to their destination.
The crowd increased after many fugitives from Central and East Java did not want to recognize the sovereignty of the Islamic Mataram Kingdom. For example, with the fall of Madura into the hands of Mataram in 1624 AD, many Madurese requested protection from Banten, including the regent of Sumenep. Many of the refugees chose their profession as traders in the port of Banten.
Third, cultural factors, with the increasing number of traders anchored in Banten and political escape from other regions, there was a cultural exchange between them. From the exchange it becomes a transfer of trading experience from traders to people who want to trade.
The positive result is the birth of new traders in the port of Banten, which then adds to the crowd at the port. The number of traders from various nations and residing in the port of Banten, made many changes to the patterns of social life of the people of Banten.
When Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa became the king of Banten, he was known to be very intelligent and valued education. For example, at that time the development of Islamic education began to progress rapidly. In the Great Mosque complex a madrasa was also intended to produce pious and religious leaders, as well as in various other places (Nana Supriatna, 2004).
Sultan Ageng is a very trustworthy leader and has a vision for the future in building his nation. In terms of diplomacy, for example, he always maintains cooperation in political and economic forms that are mutually beneficial.
The emergence of the VOC who wanted to monopolize the situation certainly made Sultan Ageng nervous and tried to fight back. He is always conflicting with injustice, irregularity, and always consistent with the truth he holds. He also maintained his dignity, including when he had to face Sultan Haji, his own betrayed flesh and blood.
In its golden history, the Sultan was able to bring political and economic sovereignty that truly brought the sultanate of Banten to become a respected and influential world power in Asia.
“Arguably, Sultan Ageng is a visionary leader, expert in regional planning and water management, egalitarian and moderate and has an international outlook.”
He is a leader who loves culture, is an expert in the structure of war, state, economic and trade governance, as well as an expert in education and broad-minded with his confrontational characteristics towards the Netherlands.
Presumably, the style of leadership and wisdom of the Sultan during the leadership of the sultanate in Banten at that time, could be an example for us all, especially government leaders in organizing and organizing a country.
Whereas in terms of leading a country, the first thing to consider is social welfare concerning the economic field. We may not be able to live in peace, good education, and noble culture if the welfare side is not yet finished. Then the economy becomes the most core factor in managing a populist-based country.
Furthermore, matters relating to justice, religion and civilization can be carried out well. Because, many tragedies of injustice, religious wars, and moral crises, stem from economic inequality. Moreover, if inequality is made up and oppressive, then forever this nation will not be independent and advanced.
In the midst of an uncertain political upheaval, quarreling with civil war, and a crisis of morality as it is today, we need to steer past people, whose figures can inspire us all and become a bridge for the improvement of Indonesia.