Nuruddin ar-Raniri

Syekh Nuruddin ibn Ali ar-Raniri

Nuruddin ibn Ali ar-Raniri (Arabic: نورالدين بن علي الريناري‎) (also transliterated Nur ud-Din ar-Raniri / Randeri, died 1658) was an Islamic mystic and scholar from Rander in Surat province[1] of Gujarat, in India, who worked for several years in the court of the sultan of Aceh in what is now Indonesia. He was the most prolific of the authors of the Acehnese court, and helped contribute to its international reputation as a center of scholarship. His work was considered the oldest Muslim scholarship of South east Asia.[2]

Shaikh Randeri (Ar-Raniri) (Shaikh Nur ad-Deen Muhammad b. Ali b. Hasanji al-Hamid as-Shafi'i al-Ashari al-'Aydarusi ar-Randeri) was born into a Gujarati Muslim family [3][4] of Hadhrami lineage,[5] that was descended from Quraysh Arabian nobility.[6][7][8] He arrived in Aceh in 1637 and enjoyed the patronage of Iskandar Thani (reigned 1636-1641). He denounced his predecessors at the Acehnese court, Hamzah Pansuri and Syamsuddin of Pasai, for what he saw as their heresy in violation of the Islamic belief that God was unchanged by his creation. He ordered their books to be burned, while he wrote numerous works setting what he insisted were orthodox religious standards.

His most notable work was the Bustan as-Salatin ("The Garden of Kings"), begun in 1638 and written in Malay based on Arabic sources. It is a seven-volume encyclopedic work, covering the history of the world from the creation through the period of prophets of Islam and the Muslim kings of the Middle East and the Malay area, as well as several sciences.

Ar-Raniri's works were translated into other Indonesian languages, and had considerable influence in Malay literature. He lost favour with the court of Iskandar Thani's successor, his widow Taj ul-Alam, and left Aceh in 1644, and died in India in 1658.


  1. ^ Om Prakash; Denys Lombard (1999). Om Prakash, Denys Lombard, Indian Council of Historical Research (eds.). Commerce and Culture in the Bay of Bengal, 1500-1800. Manohar. p. 195. ISBN 9788173042652.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Al-Raniri, Nur al-Din". The Biographical Encyclopaedia of Islamic Philosophy. Continuum. 2010. ISBN 9780199754731.
  4. ^ Meri, Josef W. (31 October 2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. ISBN 9781135455965.
  5. ^ "Gujarat helped establish Islam in SE Asia | Ahmedabad News - Times of India".
  6. ^ Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Malaysian Branch (1967). Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 40. the University of California: Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. p. 43.
  7. ^ Islam and the Malay-Indonesian World: Transmission and Responses (2001), pg 116
  8. ^ Reid, Anthony; Andaya, Barbara Watson; Wade, Geoff; Azra, Azyumardi; Hayimasae, Numan; Joll, Christopher; Bradley, Francis R.; King, Philip; Walker, Dennis; Suwannathat-Pian, Kobkua; Mansurnoor, Iik A.; McCargo, Duncan (1 January 2013). Ghosts of the Past in Southern Thailand: Essays on the History and Historiography of Patani. ISBN 9789971696351.

Further reading[edit]

  • M.C. Ricklefs. A History of Modern Indonesia Since c. 1300, 2nd ed. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994, p. 51.
  • Peter G. Riddell Islam and the Malay-Indonesian World: Transmission and Responses published by C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2001, ISBN 1-85065-336-4


  • Muhammad Naquib al-Attas. Raniri and the Wujudiyyah of 17th century Aceh. Singapore: Monographs of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, no. 3, 1966.
  • G.W.J. Drewes. "Nur al-Din al-Raniri's charge of heresy against Hamzah and Shamsuddin from an international point of view." pp. 54–9 in C.D. Grijns and S.O. Robson (eds.). Cultural contact and textual interpretation: Papers from the fourth European colloquium on Malay and Indonesian studies, held in Leiden in 1983. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, vol. 115. Dordrecht and Cinnaminson: Foris Publications, 1986.
  • Takeshi Ito. "Why did Nuruddin ar-Raniri leave Aceh in 1054 A.H.?" Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, vol. 134, no. 4 (1978), pp. 489–491.