The Biography of Raja Ali Haji

The Biography of Raja Ali Haji For discovering all sides of a prominent figure, reading his personal history, or simply called biography, is very pivotal. Without it, the picture will not be complete, and the result wouldn’t be satisfying. It is an integral part of the figure. Biography is defined as the records of person, which are written by other people. Thus, biography can serve as a means to capture someone’s chapter of life written by other than him. Providing information on person’s genealogy, the biography can be a valuable insight into his familial background. Besides, other information is narrated in the biography such as, education, working experience, activities in both national and international level, and the awards given to him. In other words, biography presents an array of timelines of person, commencing from his birth to his death. Raja Ali Haji (RAH) is a powerful and important figure in the Malay world. His influential thoughts on the development of Malay world are very evident through his literary works and other, all of which become the main reference for the modern and classical writing tradition. He is known as an Ulama (religious thinker) contributing to the creation of new discourse and critical tradition in the Malay world as well. Below is the biography of RAH. Biography The Family Tree Education Working Experience National and International Activities Awards 1. Biography The full name of Raja Ali Haji is Raja al-Hajj bin Raja Ahmad al-Hajj bin Raja Haji Fisabilillah bin Opu Daeng Celak alias Engku Haji Ali bin Engku Haji Ahad Riau . He was born in 1808 A.D. in the Riau -Lingga Sultanate in Panyengat Island (now Riau Islands , Indonesia ). There was a short story of Panyengat Island . In the book published by the Dutch, this small island was called “Mars.” By the inhabitants, it was called Indera Sakti (The Sacred Senses) as their admiration for Panyengat Island . A lot of Malay literature works and material cultures were written by Malay intellectual figures including RAH. The date of his birth is different from his father, Raja Ahmad, that was stated in meticulous detail, on Thursday evening, Rajab 1193 Hijriyah (The Islamic calendar) in the palace of Yang Dipertuan Muda Riau , Raja Haji bin Daeng Celak. Otherwise, the birth of RAH is merely an estimation. Hasan Junus (2002: 62) states that the different era and atmosphere had led to the different cultural spirit of the time. This cultural spirit caused the common people called RAH by “ Raja ” (literally means King). Malay people tend to remember the date of their children’s birth by relating to the momentous occasion. For instant, RAH was born five years after Panyengat Island was changed into the residence of Engku Puteri. In other words, he was born two years after the Portuguese fortress, A-Famosa that was located in Malacca, was destroyed under the command of William Farquhar. The Malay people habitually give the name for their children by taking datuk (Grandfather) if their grandfathers have died. Consequently, the names of Malay people tend to be the same each other. The date of RAH’s death is still being debated as there are some sources stating that he died in 1872 A.D. However, there are other facts rejecting this public views. On December 31 st , 1872 A.D., he wrote a letter to his best friend named Herman Von De Wall, a Dutch cultural expert who died at Tanjung Pinang in 1873 A.D. Thus, we may conclude that RAH died at Panyengat Island in 1873 A.D. Raja Ali Haji was buried in Engku Putri Raja Hamidah graveyard, outside of the main building. One of his masterpieces, Gurindam Dua Belas, has been intentionally carved on his tombstone so that everyone visiting his tomb can read it. SUMBER: http://www.rajaalihaji.com

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