This is the gurindam of the first issue.raja_ali_haji2

Whosoever to his faith holds not
Is a man whose name will be forgot.

Whosoever understands these four
Truly stands among the knowers.

Whosoever has knowledge of The One,
Command, forbid: he will not turn.

Whosoever has knowledge of self
Has knowledge of Allah, azza wa jal.

Whosoever has knowledge of the life of this earth
Knows it is deception of no true worth.

Whosoever has knowledge of the Afterlife
Knows this world is profitless strife.


Ini gurindam pasal yang pertama

Barang siapa tiada memegang agama,
sekali-kali tiada boleh dibilangkan nama.

Barang siapa mengenal yang empat,
maka ia itulah orang ma’rifat

Barang siapa mengenal Allah,
suruh dan tegahnya tiada ia menyalah.

Barang siapa mengenal diri,
maka telah mengenal akan Tuhan yang bahari.

Barang siapa mengenal dunia,
tahulah ia barang yang terpedaya.

Barang siapa mengenal akhirat,
tahulah ia dunia mudarat.


Gurindam Dua Belas is a Malay poem written in rhyming couplets with free meter. It has 12 parts, each dealing with a different pasal, or issue. It was composed by Raja Ali Haji (1808-1873), an intellectual of the Riau-Lingga court best known for his history Tuhfat al-Nafis (the Precious Gift).  I’ll be posting my translations pasal by pasal.

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply