In the classical Islamic tradition, what we may call political theory can be extracted from various disciplines and fields as diverse as theology, philosophy, ethics and jurisprudence, as well as works belonging to the nasihat (counsel-for-kings) or 'mirrors for princes' genre, and handbooks of administration. This article discusses a seventeenth-century Malay work, the Taj al-Salatin, which belongs to the nasihat genre and has significant Persian influence. The Taj al-Salatin is a Malay mirror for princes said to have been composed around 1603 in Aceh. This article focuses on the anti-feudal orientation of the Taj al-Salatin, suggesting that this crucial element of pre-modern Malay literature was in competition with feudal elements that are also expressed in Malay literature.