Hikayat Bakhtiar
text notes
list of words



Hikayat Bakhtiar

print edition:

A.F. von de Wall, Hikajat Bakhtijar, Batavia: Kolff, 1881.  Maleisch Leesboek voor Inlanders naar einige Maleische handschriften bewerkt.


text:  ~1650;    print edition:  1881.


text & manuscript:  unknown


17696 words.


to the pages (3-93) and lines of von de Wall's 1881 edition, thus:   Bkht 93:16.


This text was kindly provided by George Miller

Editorial notes and bibliography
There are two works that go under the title Hikayat Bakhtiar.  They appear to be from different sources.  This is the shorter and older of the two, based loosely on a Persian version of the story.
Braginsky, The Heritage of Traditional Malay Literature, 423-24 conveys the setting of the short version of the story thus:
A just king reigns in a certain country.  One day he learns that his brother is going to rebel against him and, wishing to avoid bloodshed, he secretly retires with his wife to the impassable jungle.  There his wife gives birth to a child of rare beauty from whose body a wonderful radiance spreads all around.  The ill-fated parents have to leave the child in the jungle, entrusting him to Allah’s mercy, and continue their journey.  A merchant named Idris finds the boy, adopts him and gives him the name Bakhtiar.  The royal couple wander for quite a long time before they reach a country of which the ruler has just died.  Courtiers decide to release an elephant for it to find a new ruler, and the animal selects the runaway king. 
In the meantime, Bakhtiar grows up, masters the art of reading the Qur´an, leans to write and become a connoisseur of literary works of the olden times.  One day Idris brings his stepson to the king’s presence.  The king is so much impressed by the young man’s appearance and good manners that he accepts Bakhtiar into his service.  As a courtier, Bakhtiar wins not only the love of the ruler, but also the hatred of his ministers, especially of the envious vizier Tahkim.  To calumniate the young man, Tahkim talks his wife into stealing the shawl of the ruler’s favourite concubine and placing it secretly with Bakhtiar.  The innocent young man is accused of an affair with the concubine and thrown into jail.  Tahkim insists on his execution.  To postpone it, Bakhtiar tells the king five . . .  stories.  Meanwhile Idris comes to the palace and tells the king how he found Bakhtiar in the jungle.  The king recognises his son and elevates him to the throne. 
V. Braginsky, The Heritage of Traditional Malay Literature: A historical survey of genres, writings and literary views, Leiden: KITLV Press, 2004 (Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 214), pp.416-431.
R.O. Winstedt, A History of Classical Malay Literature, 2nd ed., Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1969, pp.125-130.
Liaw Yock Fang, Sejarah Kesusasteraan Klassik, rev. ed., Singapura: Pustaka Nasional, 1982, pp.181-85.
Added:  August 2010
The printed edition was transcribed by George Miller and supplied to the MCP in digital form.