Sejarah Melayu
Sejarah Melayu or Malay Annals is a Malay literary work which covers a period of over 600 years that chronicles the, then and now, Genealogies of Rulers in the Malay Archipelago. This work was believed to have been commissioned in 1612 by the Junior King or Regent of Johor, The Yang di-Pertuan Di Hilir Raja Abdullah (Raja Bongsu), later, by the office title, HRH Sultan Abdullah Mu'ayat Syah ibni Sultan Abdul Jalil Syah). In 1613, the Johor capital of Batu Sawar was destroyed by Achehnese invaders and Raja Abdullah and his entire court was captured and exiled to Acheh.

HRH Sultan Abdullah envoyed Seri Nara Wangsa Tun Bambang (Tun Bambang) to consult Bendahara Paduka Raja Tun Muhammad Mahmud (also known by the name, Tun Sri Lanang) on Thursday, 12 Rabi'ul Awal 1021, corresponds to 13 May 1612 to edit The Naskhah of Sejarah Melayu, accompanied by the Orang Kaya Sogoh from Gowa.

Tun Sri Lanang
Tun Sri Lanang
Tun Muhammad bin Tun Ahmad, better known as Tun Sri Lanang, is the Bendahara of the royal Court of Johor Sultanate who lived between the 16th and 17th centuries...

 was the editor and compiler of Sejarah Melayu, who edited and compiled the bulk of it in Johor and completed it during his captivity in Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...


The original version of Sejarah Melayu was written during the reign of Malacca Sultanate in Malacca. It was brought together when HRH Sultan Mahmud Shah fled from Malacca in 1511 AD. During 1528 AD, the original naskhah (copy) were brought to Johor from Kampar. The Portuguese seized The Naskhah Sejarah Melayu in 1536 AD while attacking the Old Johor (Johor Lama). The naskhah, later on were returned to Johor by Orang Kaya Sogoh.

The subjects covered in the work included the founding of the Kingdom of Malacca and its relationship with neighbouring kingdoms, the advent and spread of Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 in the region, the history of the Royalty in the region as well as the administrative hierarchy of the Malacca kingdom and its successor states. During the Johor Sultanate political turning point from 1612, The Sultans convened for a political legitimacy. With providence from genealogy and historical dating, Their Royal Highnesses, The Sultans took liberties for better political reasons.

The manuscripts were originally written in the classical Malay language
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 on traditional paper in old Jawi script. An edition was published in 1924, in Roman script by William Shellabear
William Shellabear
William Girdlestone Shellabear was a "pioneer" scholar and missionary in Malaysia. He was known for both his appreciation of Muslim society and also his translation of the Bible into the Malay language...


The Malay Annals was listed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme
Memory of the World Programme
UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme is an international initiative launched to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity against collective amnesia, neglect, the ravages of time and climatic conditions, and willful and deliberate destruction...

 International Register in 2001.

Tracing the lineage

The Sejarah Melayu recounts that a Srivijayan' Prince ruled Palembang with the title of Sri Maharaja Sang Utama Parameswara Batara Sri Tri Buana (also known as Sang Nila Utama
Sang Nila Utama
Sang Nila Utama was a Srivijayan prince from Palembang who founded the kingdom of Singapura in 1324. He was officially styled as Sri Maharaja Sang Utama Parameswara Batara Sri Tri Buana...

). HRH Sang Nila Utama sets and defined the legal relationship that should exist between a Malay ruler and his subjects.

Sri Maharaja Sang Utama Parameswara Batara Sri Tri Buana was later adopted as a son of the female ruler of Bentan, Wan Sri Benian. During his sojourn on Bentan, he explored neighbouring Temasek Island (modern Singapore) in search of a site to build a fortified town or city. His descendants became Rulers or Kings of Temasek. The last King of Temasek was Paduka Sri Maharaja Parameswara
Parameswara (sultan)
Parameswara , also called Iskandar Shah or Sri Majara, was a Malay-Hindu prince from Temasek who founded the Malacca Sultanate around 1402.-Etymology:...

. He lost Temasek to Majapahit after sentencing his bed-mate by taking off her jewellery garment, in public. Her father, Sang Rajuna Tapa, was one of Temasek's ministers, acted upon his family's holdings, turn sides and opened the way for a successful Majapahit invasion which ousted Paduka Sri Maharaja Parameswara. Paduka Sri Maharaja Parameswara fled north and later founded Malacca and introduced court ceremonies, laws and regulations which became the basis of Malacca administration.

Iskandar Dzulkarnain and common misconceptions

Muslims believed that Iskandar Dzulkarnain was the great conqueror of Asia Minor as mentioned in the Al Qur'aan; cites the ruler Dzulkarnain (verse 18:83). Iskandar Dzulkarnian has been identified with Alexander the Great or Cyrus the Great.

Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat and Hang Kasturi

According to Hikayat Hang Tuah
Hikayat Hang Tuah
Hikayat Hang Tuah is a Malay work of literature that tells the tale of the legendary Malay Muslim warrior Hang Tuah and his four warrior friends - Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu - who lived during the height of the Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th century.The most memorable...

, Hang Tuah
Hang Tuah
Hang Tuah is a legendary warrior/hero who lived during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah of the Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th century. He was the greatest of all the laksamana, or sultan's admirals, and was known to be a ferocious fighter...

 confronted and killed Hang Jebat. Sejarah Melayu on the other hand writes that Hang Kasturi was killed by Hang Tuah instead of Hang Jebat. However, a revised edition of the Sejarah Melayu by A Samad Ahmad mentions that Tuah fought against Jebat, not Kasturi.

Hang Nadim

According to the Malay Annals, there was a time when the villages along the coast of Singapore suffered vicious attacks from a school of swordfish
Swordfish , also known as broadbill in some countries, are large, highly migratory, predatory fish characterized by a long, flat bill. They are a popular sport fish of the billfish category, though elusive. Swordfish are elongated, round-bodied, and lose all teeth and scales by adulthood...

. On the advice of a particularly astute boy named Hang Nadim
Hang Nadim
In Sejarah Melayu, Hang Nadim was a Malay boy of great wisdom who saved Temasek, now called Singapore, from attack by shoals of swordfish, attacks which cost many indigenous Malays their lives. It is mentioned in the traditional accounts that the attack was a curse because the reigning Sri Maharaja...

, the ruler of Singapore built a barricade made of banana stems along the coast, which successfully trapped the attacking fish by their snouts as they leap from the waters.
In the revised edition of the Sejarah Melayu by A Samad Ahmad, the boy was not named.

Portuguese Conquest of Malacca

According to the Malay Annals, the Portuguese army, led by Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque[p][n] was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, an admiral whose military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean...

, launched a second assault on Malacca (during the reign of Sultan Ahmad Shah), the first being repulsed by the late Bendahara Tun Mutahir. The assault on the city was great on the first day, and on the second, Malacca fell to the Portuguese. However, according to Portuguese records, Albuquerque's assault on Malacca started on July 25, 1511, (on St. James Day), and the battle lasted for 15 days before the city was captured on August 15. Also, Portuguese records, especially the ones written by Albuquerque's son, mentioned that the Malaccan Commander-In-Chief, Sultan Ahmad Shah, fell on the field of battle. However, in the Malay Annals, he survived the battle, and retreated to a safer place, only to be put to death by his own father.

See also

  • Gangga Negara
    Gangga Negara
    Gangga Negara is believed to be a lost semi-legendary Hindu kingdom mentioned in the Malay Annals that covered present day Beruas, Dinding and Manjung in the state of Perak, Malaysia with Raja Gangga Shah Johan as one of its kings...

    , ancient Malay kingdom that is mentioned in the literature.
  • Kota Gelanggi
    Kota Gelanggi
    Kota Gelanggi is an archaeological site reported in 2005 as potentially the first capital of the ancient Malay Empire of Srivijaya and dating to around 650–900 and one of the oldest pre-Islamic Malay Kingdoms on South East Asia's Malay Peninsula...

  • Richard O. Winstedt

External links

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