Hikayat Misa Melayu

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A page from the Misa Melayu manuscript by Raja Chulan Raja Abdul Hamid.

Misa Melayu was written by Raja Chulan ibni Raja Abdul Hamid ibni Yang DiPertuan Muda Raja Mansur Shah (Marhum Pulau Tiga) during the reign of Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain (1754-1764). The misa (story) tells the period of the Perak Sultanate, and was written in a structured and chronological order.

Among the subjects described in the misa are:
1. How the Perak Sultanate are the descendants of Iskandar Zulkarnain (Alexander The Great of Macedonia)
2. How the Dutch commenced trade in tin at Pengkalan Halban in Perak during the reign of Sultan Muzaffar Shah II
3. The involvement of Raja Chulan with the wedding of Raja Iskandar Dzulkarnain and Raja Budak Rasul
4. The conflict between Sultan Muhammad Shah and his elder brother, Sultan Muzaffar Shah III

Misa Melayu had been studied extensively by W.E. Maxwell in 1882. R.O. Winstedt then translated it to English in 1919. A few other versions of the Misa Melayu manuscript are known to be kept at Leiden University in The Netherlands, with title Hikayat Salasilah Perak and Ikatan Raja Ke Laut.

About Raja Chulan Raja Abdul Hamid: Raja Chulan’s great-grandfather was Sultan Muzaffar Shah II (1636-1653). Also, Raja Chulan’s grandfather, Yang DiPertuan Muda Raja Mansur, had three sons who became the Sultan of Perak:
1. Sultan Alaudin Mughayat Shah (1720-1728)
2. Sultan Muzaffar Shah III (1728-1754)
3. Sultan Muhammad Shah (1744-1750)
All the three Sultans were Raja Chulan’s uncle. During the reign of Sultan Muhammad Shah,  Raja Chulan was granted the title Raja Kecil Besar and was then Raja Muda in 1773. He died on 10 February 1787.

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Footnote: The Raja Chulan above is not to be mistaken with Raja Sir Chulan ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdullah Muhammad Shah Habibullah. The Misa Melayu manuscript is available at My Manuskrip – Digital Library of Malay Manuscripts.

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5 thoughts on “Hikayat Misa Melayu

  1. it would be interesting if books translated by winstedt can still be purchased. i tried amazon and there are some (a history of perak, for example) purported sellers but they do cost a bomb. a friend of mine found one pre-WW2 print of winstedt’s book in a 2nd hand book store in colchester for a measly £6! talk about luck!

    here’s an example: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B000KYLYY2/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&qid=1251171368&sr=8-12&condition=used

    • Salam KuMahariz

      Very true indeed, most of the books related to Perak or Malaya in general dah fall into out-of-print. However, thank you to Google, Microsoft and other big brothers in ICT, we’re fortunate enough to be able to read them online (in pdf format). For a start go to Internet Archive@ http://www.archive.org. The amount of books you’ll find would amaze you. Some as old as 1830. As orang Perak cakap’ Seronok Gila Baca Buku-Buku Lama, Yop”

      Rgds
      SembangKuala

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