We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Islamic Connections

Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia

R Michael Feener and Terenjit Sevea

Publication Year: 2009

Well over half of the world’s Muslim population lives in Asia. Over the centuries a rich constellation of Muslim cultures developed there and the region is currently home to some of the most dynamic and important developments in contemporary Islam. Despite this, the internal dynamics of Muslim societies in Asia do not often receive commensurate attention in international Islamic Studies scholarship. This volume brings together the work of an interdisciplinary group of scholars discussing various aspects of the complex relationships between the Muslim communities of South and Southeast Asia. With their respective contributions covering points and patterns of interaction from the medieval to the contemporary periods, they attempt to map new trajectories for understanding the ways in which these two crucial areas have developed in relation to each other, as well as in the broader contexts of both world history and the current age of globalization.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Front Matter

pdf iconDownload PDF (937.7 KB)

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (503.0 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (499.1 KB)
pp. vii-viii

The Islamic Connections project was formally launched in Singapore in June 2007 with a conference entitled “Re-centering Islam: Islamic Linkages between South and Southeast Asia”, featuring international scholars of South and Southeast Asian Islam and Muslim linkages. The conference was made possible by the generous funding...

read more

The Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF (514.4 KB)
pp. ix-xi

R. Michael Feener’s research focuses on the intellectual and cultural history of Islam in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Born in Salem, Massachusetts, he was trained in Islamic Studies and foreign languages at Boston University, Cornell, and the University of Chicago, as well as in Indonesia, Egypt...

read more

Introduction: Issues and Ideologies in the Study of Regional Muslim Cultures

pdf iconDownload PDF (577.3 KB)
pp. xiii-xxiii

Over the past fourteen centuries the expansion of Islam has transformed societies all across Asia and Africa, producing a civilization of great complexity and internal diversity. Despite the demographic realities of the modern Muslim world, however, the academic study of Islam remains plagued by a resilient bias privileging...

read more

1. CONNECTED HISTORIES? Regional Historiography and Theories of Cultural Contact between Early South and Southeast Asia

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 1-24

This chapter will present a general overview of early South and Southeast Asian historiographies, with a particular reference to the problem of cultural interaction between the regions across the boundaries of the “classical” and “early modern” periods. It will attempt to trace the existing paradigms of interaction against...

read more

2. LIKE BANNERS ON THE SEA: Muslim Trade Networks and Islamization in Malabar and Maritime Southeast Asia

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 25-47

While the antiquity and depth of the connection between southern India and coastal Southeast Asia are well attested, much of the existing literature — whether concerned with commercial interaction or cultural transmission — has concentrated on Gujarat, the Coromandel Coast, and Bengal. This chapter seeks...

read more

3. CIRCULATING ISLAM: Understanding Convergence and Divergence in the Islamic Traditions of Ma‘bar and Nusantara

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 48-67

When the Muslim scholar Sam Shihab al-Din b. Sulayman composed these lines in his native Tamil language sometime in the late seventeenth century, there was more than mere hyperbole to the list of countries where his father, the scholar and Sufi Sulayman b. Sadaq, was allegedly honoured. The coastal regions...

read more

4. FROM JEWISH DISCIPLE TO MUSLIM GURU: On Literary and Religious Transformations in Late Nineteenth Century Java

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 68-85

When the shared histories of Muslims residing in South and Southeast Asia as well as the diverse and significant connections among them are considered, two regions stand out as being especially interconnected: Southeast India and the Indonesian Archipelago. The coasts of these regions were part of the Indian Ocean’s commercial...

read more

5. WAYANG PARSI, BANGSAWAN AND PRINTING: Commercial Cultural Exchange between South Asia and the Malay World

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 86-108

The 1870s is an attractive vantage point from which to start a discussion about an intensification in the exchange of “modern” cultural expressions between South Asia and the Malay world. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 had brought a host of new people and a variety of new products to the East, and the rapid development...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 109-133

On 29 October 1914, a few months after the outbreak of World War I, Turkey joined in on the side of Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On 11 November, Sultan Mehmed V proclaimed a holy war. His action left no shadow of doubt that religion obliged all Muslims in the world to side with Turkey and its two...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (947.2 KB)
pp. 134-148

On 13 July 1925, over two thousand people gathered at the Victoria Memorial Hall in Singapore to protest against the influx of Ahmadiyya influences into Malaya. The protestors asserted that under no circumstances should Muslims possess any books published by the Ahmadiyya, and called on the government to enforce a ban...

read more

8. MAKING MEDINAS IN THE EAST: Islamist Connections and Progressive Islam

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.0 MB)
pp. 149-174

It was Mian Maqsood Ahmad who first drew my attention to a madrasa in the North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, where Malay teachers “educated illiterate Pathans about true Islam”.1 Through a series of interviews with Islamists from bodies such as the Jama‘at-i Islami Pakistan (JIP) and the Deobandis at...

read more

9. SHARI‘A-MINDEDNESS IN THE MALAY WORLD AND THE INDIAN CONNECTION: The Contributions of Nur al-Din al-Raniri and Nik Abdul Aziz Bin Haji Nik Mat

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 175-194

In a 2006 article in the Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Muhammad Ali wrote that “the patterns of networking between… ulama in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in ‘Indonesia’ and those in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Kelantan seem to be similar. Surau, mosques...

read more

10. THE TABLIGHI JAMA‘AT AS VEHICLE OF (RE)DISCOVERY: Conversion Narratives and the Appropriation of India in the Southeast Asian Tablighi Movement

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 195-218

This chapter highlights one aspect of the Tablighi Jama‘at, which Masud, Metcalf, and Sikand have described as the biggest itinerant transnational Muslim missionary movement in the world today.2 The focus is on conversion narratives of Southeast Asian Muslims who have joined the Tabligh, and how these conversion...

read more

11. FROM KARACHI TO KUALA LUMPUR: Charting Sufi Identity across the Indian Ocean

pdf iconDownload PDF (980.4 KB)
pp. 219-235

As a case study of transnational religious identity, this chapter charts how a distinctly South Asian Sufi order has taken root in twenty-first century Southeast Asia. The Chishti Sabiri silsila is grounded in a long and storied Indo-Muslim past, and now thrives in contemporary Pakistan. Recently, however, the order...


pdf iconDownload PDF (1.3 MB)
pp. 237-245

Image Plates

pdf iconDownload PDF (6.9 MB)

E-ISBN-13: 9789812309242
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812309235

Page Count: 245
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1