Inter-Asia Research NetworksAs the Aceh model suggests, the 17th century is regarded as a turning point in the history of Islam in Southeast Asia. Local Muslim people began to be loyal to Islamic norms from this century onward, although the first waves of Islamization in this region had already started in the middle of the 13th century. Their awakening happened due to the increase of European visitors as well as some other factors. Malay documents such as the Malay royal customary law of Riau-Johor suggest that Islam played a more significant role in local societies from the 18th century onward. This customary law shows that Islamic norms were set above the position of rulers in Malay society around this time.[d] Arguments on the Pre-Colonial Malay Political CultureSo far, other studies have focused on traditional concepts such as daulat (divinity or supernatural power of Malay rulers), derhaka (treason against Malay rulers), and nama (fame of Malay rulers, titles of their people). Malay historians usually claim that people in the Malay sultanates were always loyal to their rulers for they believed in daulat and its effect on those who committed derhaka. On the other hand, although referring those two concepts as well, British scholar, J. M. Gullick thinks that the above-mentioned traditional view was no longer influential in the 19th century. A. C. Milner’s view, that the pre-colonial Malay polity (kerajaan) was ruler-centered, is somewhat similarity to that of Malay historians. His argument, however, claims that nama has been the most important concept in the Malay political life during the Islamic period. Although both these arguments differ in detail, such alternative views themselves suggest that the transformation of Malay political culture occurred during early modern times.While recognizing the above-mentioned four points, the present study discusses the case of Melaka in order to examine state formation of the Malay Islamic states before the 17th century. For this purpose, we will approach the Sejarah Melayu and try to analyze factors that legitimize the position of the ruler. Our main interest here is to clarify such elements that support the divinity of a Malay ruler and their connections with Islamic factors. While reexamining the following seven aspects, I would like to point out some features of the Melaka model.[1] Malay Political Contract (Perjanjian) in the Sejarah MelayuThe political contract between the Malay rulers and their people is regarded as the most significant political principle in the Melaka model. Both parties made this contract by taking a mutual oath and Allah was considered its witness. This contract includes Islamic norms and two traditional concepts, daulat and derhaka. At the same time, however, this contract stresses the predominance of Islamic laws over the concepts of daulat and derhaka. In other words, the supreme power of Melaka rulers is limited by Islamic norms.[2] Criteria for Good RulersThe Sejarah Melayu considers that adil (just, fair), murah (generous), and saksama (fair, careful) are the criteria for good rulers. In the context of Islam, adil is often stressed as important requirement of good ruler, as shown in the Taj al-Salatin (a Malay translation of Persian texts on statecraft, which was edited in Aceh in 1603). Therefore, it is certain that the criteria for good ruler in the Sejarah Melayu are also related to Islamic norms.[3] An Important Question: What Measures Can Be Taken against the Zalim (unjust, unfair) Rulers by Their People?061