Syeh Maulana Malik Ibrahim, also known as Syeh Maghribi or Sunan Gresik,
is considered to be the "father" of Wali Sanga (nine saints).
His arrival in East Java occurred in about A.D. 1404, but little is known about his origin.
Some believed that he came from Turkey or Nothern India and some others believed from Persia.
In spreading Islamic faith, he focused his activities in East Java and settled in the region of Gresik until he died in A.D.1419 and was buried in Gapura Village City Subdistrict, Gresik Regency, 6 km from the city which can be reached with public transport.

Tombstone ot Maulana Malik Ibrahim

His tombstone is of particular interest, because it is carved from white marble
and intricately inscribed with Arabic letters and was shipped from Gujarat in north western India.

Visit : Syeh Maulana Malik Ibrahim Website

Sunan Ampel, whose first name is Al Rahmatullah, is a son of Syeh Ibrahim Assamarqondy, coming from Bukhoro-Samarkand, and the princess of Champa, Dewi Candrawulan.

Having enough knowledge, he began to spread the Islamic teaching in Surabaya.
One of his well known teaching is the "moh limo", refusing the five things, such as : gambling, stealing, adultery, drug abuse and alcoholic drink. To assist easier understanding and receiving of the teaching, he created "pegon" letters, Javanesse language written in Arabic letters.

pilgrims at Sunan Ampel's tomb

It is said further, that two members of "Wali Sanga", Sunan Bonang and Sunan Drajat, are his sons, while Sunan Giri and Sunan Kudus in Central Java are his sons-in-law.
He is also a kind older brother, to whom the other saints went for guidance. He is also regarded as the the spiritual force behind the founding of Java's first Islamic kingdom in Demak. In A.D. 1479, he died and was buried in Ampel Denta, Surabaya, 2 km from Jembatan Merah.