The 12 Gurindam of Raja Ali Haji

This is the gurindam of the third issue:

Ini gurindam pasal yang ketiga:

When we guard the eyes,
Idle fantasy is minimized.

Apabila terpelihara mata,
sedikitlah cita-cita.

When we guard the ears,
Evil gossip cannot come near.

Apabila terpelihara kuping,
khabar yang jahat tiadalah damping.

When we guard our tongues
We ensure good outcomes.

Apabila terpelihara lidah,
nescaya dapat daripadanya faedah.

Guard your hands carefully
from sins both light and heavy.

Bersungguh-sungguh engkau memeliharakan tangan,
daripada segala berat dan ringan.

When the belly is too full
What it produces is distasteful.

Apabila perut terlalu penuh,
keluarlah fi’il yang tiada senonoh.

Take heed of the middle part,
it is there that many men lose heart.

Anggota tengah hendaklah ingat,
di situlah banyak orang yang hilang semangat.

Guard well the feet
from walking the pathway to defeat.

Hendaklah peliharakan kaki,
daripada berjalan yang membawa rugi.



Raja_Ali_HajiGurindam Dua Belas is a 19th century 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.

Gurindam of the First Issue

Gurindam of the Second Issue

Published by bingregory

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

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  1. Thank you for your interest! Fasal 5 is in progress. If you subscribe to my site via the front page, you will get an email when I put up the next translation. Or you can add me on twitter (@bingregory) to receive notifications as well.

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