List of sultans of Brunei

The sultan of Brunei is the monarchical head of state of Brunei and head of government in his capacity as prime minister of Brunei.[1] Since independence from the British in 1984, only one sultan has reigned, though the royal institution dates back to the 14th century.[2]

Sultan of Brunei Darussalam
Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam
Arms of His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam
Hassanal Bolkiah
since 5 October 1967
(Installed on 1 August 1968)
StyleHis Majesty
Heir apparentThe Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah
First monarchSultan Muhammad Shah
Formation1363 (1363)
ResidenceIstana Nurul Iman, Bandar Seri Begawan

The sultan of Brunei can be thought of as synonymous with the ruling House of Bolkiah, with generations being traced from the first sultan, temporarily interrupted by the 13th sultan, Abdul Hakkul Mubin, who in turn was deposed by a member of the House of Bolkiah. The sultan's full title is His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.[1]


Sultans of Brunei since 1368[2]
No. Name Reign start Reign end Notes
1 Muhammad Shah / Awang Alak Betatar 1363[3] or 1368 1402 Established the Sultanate.[3]
2 Abdul Majid Hassan / Maharaja Karna 1402 1408 Died in Nanjing, China.
3 Ahmad / Awang Pateh Berbai 1408 1425
4 Sharif Ali / Sultan Barkat (Blessed Sultan) 1425 1432 Previously the Sharif of Mecca of the Mamluk Sultanate and has no direct genealogical relation to the predecessor, but was selected as he was the son-in-law of the previous sultan (Ahmad) and was well versed in Islam.
5 Sulaiman 1432 1485 Son of the previous sultan, Sharif Ali. Abdicated to allow his son Bolkiah to become sultan.
6 Bolkiah / Nakhoda Ragam (The Singing Captain) 1485 1524 Son of the previous sultan, Sulaiman.
7 Abdul Kahar 1524 1530 Son of the previous sultan, Bolkiah
8 Saiful Rijal 1533 1581 Nephew and adopted-son of the previous sultan, Abdul Kahar. Castile War broke out between Brunei and Spain.
9 Shah Berunai 1581 1582 Eldest son of Sultan Saiful Rijal
10 Muhammad Hassan 1582 1598 Younger brother of Shah Berunai.
11 Abdul Jalilul Akbar 1598 1659
12 Abdul Jalilul Jabbar 1659 1660
13 Muhammad Ali 1660 1661 Strangled by his successor Abdul Hakkul Mubin, sparking the Brunei Civil War.
14 Abdul Hakkul Mubin 1660 1673 Started the Brunei Civil War by killing his predecessor Muhammad Ali and was in turn killed by Muhyiddin who succeeded him as Sultan.
15 Muhyiddin 1673 1690 Son of Abdul Jalilul Akbar who avenged the death of his father-in-law Muhammad Ali by killing Abdul Hakkul Mubin, thus ending the Brunei Civil War.
16 Nasruddin 1690 1710
17 Hussin Kamaluddin 1710 1730 First reign. He ruled for the second time between 1737 and 1740.
18 Muhammad Alauddin 1730 1737 Instructed Datu Imam Yaakub to write the Salsilah Raja-Raja Berunai or the Genealogy of the Sultans of Brunei.
19 Hussin Kamaluddin 1737 1740 Second reign
20 Omar Ali Saifuddin I 1740 1778
21 Muhammad Tajuddin 1778 1807 Ordered Khatib Abdul Latif to inscribe Batu Tarsilah or Stone Tablet.
22 Muhammad Jamalul Alam I 1804 1804
23 Muhammad Kanzul Alam 1807 1826
24 Muhammad Alam 1826 1828
25 Omar Ali Saifuddin II 1828 1852 Brunei ceded some territories of Sarawak to James Brooke. Brunei ceded Labuan to the British.
26 Abdul Momin 1852 29 May 1885 Brunei ceded northwestern part of Borneo to the British. The declaration of Amanat took place in 1884 that vowed not to cede more Brunei territories to foreign powers.
27 Hashim Jalilul Alam Aqamaddin 29 May 1885 10 May 1906 United Kingdom established protectorate over Brunei in 1888.
28 Muhammad Jamalul Alam II 10 May 1906 11 September 1924 The Sultan's reign was a short one. An outbreak of malaria claimed his life as well as three members of his family.
29 Ahmad Tajuddin 11 September 1924 4 June 1950 Japanese occupation of Brunei took place.
30 Omar Ali Saifuddien III 4 June 1950 5 October 1967 Signed the Brunei Constitution of 1959. Abdicated voluntarily in favor of his eldest son, Hassanal Bolkiah. Became Brunei's first Minister of Defence after independence in 1984.
31 Hassanal Bolkiah 5 October 1967 Incumbent Brunei regained independence from the United Kingdom in 1984.


The earliest historical record of the Sultans of Brunei is not clearly known due to the poor early documentation of Brunei history. In addition there has been an effort to Islamise the history, with the "official history" not matching up with verifiable foreign sources [4] The Batu Tarsilah - the genealogical record of the kings of Brunei - was not started until 1807. Therefore, much of the interpretation of history relied on earlier Chinese sources and legends. It seems that the early Sultanate of Brunei was dependent on Chinese support,[3][5][6] and perhaps early Sultans were of Chinese origin.[3] Furthermore, the earliest Sultans may have been practicing the Hindu or Buddhist religions, with early names indicating this origin.[4]

See also


  1. "Prime Minister". The Prime Minister's Office of Brunei Darussalam. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  2. "Sultan-Sultan Brunei" (in Malay). Government of Brunei. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  3. Elisseeff, Vadime (January 2000). "Chapter 8: A Brunei Sultan of the Early Fourteenth Century – A Study of an Arabic Gravestone". The Silk Roads: Highways of Culture and Commerce. Berghahn Books. pp. 145–157. ISBN 978-1-57181-222-3. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  4. "Brunei".
  5. "Malaysians Unplugged Uncensored: MALAY HISTORY: WHat's MISSING IN MALAYSIAN HISTORY BOOKS". June 2013.
  6. "The golden history of Islam in Brunei | The Brunei Times". Archived from the original on 26 January 2013.
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