Universiti Putra Malaysia
Syeikh Nurud’din ar-Raniri, an Indian expatriate from Randir, Gujarat, serving as the Syeikhu al-Islam in the kingdom of Aceh in the 17th Century, undoubtedly played a pioneering role in empowering the use of the Malay language as the language of science and higher knowledge in the Malay world. The focus of the discussion in this paper is his magnum opus the Bustan al-Salatin, considered to be the largest Malay work in the field of political ethics. It comprises seven chapters and 60 clauses, and its contents ranges from varieties of subjects such as moral philosophy, political ethics, mysticism, and even traditional medicine. The paper will specifically discuss in brief the general content of the third chapter of the Bustan al-Salatin (MS UM 41), focusing on the use of the Malay language by the author. This is to illustrate the language competency of the author in using Malay expression precisely and appropriately, thus elevating Malay as the language of science and higher knowledge. Ar-Raniri has also written 14 other works in Malay that were widely read and used in many parts of the Malay world, thus elevating Malay as the language of higher knowledge, besides its status as the lingua franca of the region.
Nurud’din ar-Raniri, Bustan al-Salatin, Malay language, language of science and higher knowledge, Malay scholars and intellectuals