Sultan of Lanao crowned
from Manila Bulletin, June 7, 1996
Datu Firdausi Ismail Yahya Abbas, president of the Muslim Bar Association of the Philippines and chairman of the Bangsa Moro Islamic Party, has been crowned Sultan of Lanao in Marawi City. Abbas received the gold-handled “kampiIan,” the symbol of temporal authority, from the Sultan of Raya Dimapuno Ramos on behalf of the 28 special sultanates (the guardians of Maranaw tradition and customary law), while the oath on the Holy Koran was administered by Gov. Mahid Mutilan of Lanao del Sur, the guro (religious leader) of Marawi. Formalizing the conferment of the title in the royal scroll was Sultan Rakiin Macarampat, Sultan of Ramain, and former mayor of Ramain for several terms representing the 15 principal sultanates; Sultan Salic Maguindanao, representing the 28 special sultanates; Sultan Asgar Sani of Marawi, Sultan Rakim Mutin of Dayawan, and Datu Gulam Dianalan, of Guimba.
Sultan Abbas, who holds a doctor of philosophy degree from the University of the Philippines, is the fourth sultan of Lanao. The first was his granduncle, the late Sultan Ibra Gundarangun who was the representative of Lanao in the Philippine Assembly.
Gundarangun was succeeded by the late Sultan Bato Ali, the mayor of Dansalan (now Marawi) and congressman during the Japanese occupation. The third was the late Sultan Cosain Naga, the first mayor of Marawi City, another uncle of Abbas.
The present sultan’s father was the late Datu Macapanton Abbas Sr., the first Filipino Muslim lawyer, provincial fiscal, and Court of First Instance (now regional trial court) judge. His paternal grandfather was Hadji Darapa Abbas, who was the Datu of Marawi (prime minister).
His great-grandfather was Hadji Okur who was the Rajah Muda (Crown Prince) of Marawi and his great great-grandfather Rampatan was also the Datu of Marawi.
The sultan’s great granduncles, half brothers of his great grandfather Okur, Rajah Muda of Marawi, namely, Maruhom, Omar Pado and Hadji Disokor, were Sultans of Buwayan, Pantar (which is part of Lanao del Norte) and Baloi (also part of Lanao del Norte), respectively.
Sultan Firdausi I.Y. Abbas’ paternal grandmother was Bai (Princess) Dalumabi, sister of Sultan Cotawato, who was the Sultan of Dayawan (the title held by Sultan Macapanton Abbas Jr., elder brother of Sultan Firdausi), Marangtao and Wato. Her other brother was Sultan Bacarat, who also became Sultan of Marantao.
His mother Sitti Rahma Yahya is the daughter of the late Sheikh Ismail Yahya, the Sheikh of Bayang and Yemen, and former president of the municipality of Malita in Davao del Sur, whose father, Sheikh Olomodin Yahya Bin Saide was an Arab prince from Sanaa, Yemen who belonged to the royal family of the Yahyas who once ruled South Yemen, and they trace their ancestry to Mecca, to the line of the prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and were Sharief. When Sheikh Olomodin died, his brothers came to Lanao and brought his body back to Sanaa. His wife belonged to the royal house of Bayang.
The present sultan’s maternal grandmother was Bai Rosa, the Bai of Nuling, niece of the late Sultan of Rajah Buayan (which is now North Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental) and cousin of the Datu of Kabuntalan of Maguindanao. His maternal great grand aunt was the wife of Datu Uyong of Sulu, and the mother of Datu Buyongan who was the first husband of Dayang Dayang (Princess) Tarhata Kiram and of Datu Tambuyong who became Sultan Jamal Aberin of Sulu and North Borneo.
Wife to Sultan Firdausi is Bai Ma. Carmina Alejandro Abbas from Baliwag, Bulacan, also a lawyer, a product of the UP College of Law.
Their eldest is Datu Norjan Ismail, who was crowned April 1, 1995, in Marawi, at the Torogan (palace) of the Sultan of Dayawan, as the Rajah Muda of the Sultanate of Dayawan.
He is followed by Bai Faridza Aisha, a foreign service officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Both are products of UP.
The second son is Datu Firdausi Ismail II and the third son is Datu Yasser Ismail. The youngest is Sitti Kadija Rahma who is in third year high school.
The kingdom of Lanao, based on ancient Maranaw sarsila and mythology is divided into four kingdoms which were established by four brothers who were Malay princes. In each kingdom are several sultanates.
Within the Pongampong A Ranao (the kingdom or territorial domain of Lanao) which is composed of Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, and part of Bukidnon are the 15 principal sultanates and the 28 special sultanates which are the guardians of Maranaw taritib (tradition).
All these sultans have a term of four years. The title is rotated among the royal families. The Sultan of Lanao however holds his title for life.