Syarif Hidayatullah, Muhammad Nuruddin, Sayyid Kamil, Syekh Nurullah and Faletehan are just some of the names which have been given to Sunan Gunung Jati, the wall who is said to have converted the western third of Java to Islam virtually single-handed and to have founded the independent State of Cirebon. Concerning the birth, life and death of this member of the Wali Songo there are several conflicting stories, yet the main thread runs as follows: Syarif Hidayatullah, or Syekh Nurullah, was born in Pasei, North Sumatra. According to some, he was the son of Syekh Maulana Ishak and half-brother of Sunan Giri. Following the Portugese invasion of his homeland in 1521 he travelled to Mecca, where he stayed for three years. On his return he entered the service of Sultan Trenggana of Demak, whose younger sister he married. During the next few years, as a brilliant military commander, he succeeded in subjugating the north west coast of Java as well as the State of Banten. After successfully blocking an attempt by thePortugese to land at Sunda Kelapa (Jakarta) in 1527, he settled in the region of Cirebon, where he continued to live and teach until his death in A.D. 1570.
1. Asal -Usul
Sebelum era Sunan Gunung Jati berdakwah di Jawa Barat. Ada seorang ulama besar dari Bagdad telah datang di daerah Cirebon bersama duapuluh dua orang muridnya. Ulama besar itu bernama Syekh Kahfi. Ulama inilah yang lebih dahulu menyiarkan agama Islam di sekitar daerah Cirebon.
Al-Kisah, putra Prabu Siliwangi dari Pajajaran bernama Pangeran Walangsungsang dan adiknya Rara Santang pada suatu malam mendapat mimpi yang sama. Mimpi itu terulang hingga tiga kali yaitu bertemu dengan Nabi Muhammad yang mengajarkan agama Islam. Wajah Nabi Muhammad yang agung dan caranya menerangkan Islam demikian mempersona membuat kedua anak muda itu merasa rindu. Tapi mimpi itu hanya terjadi tiga kali.