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[ Vol. 26, Supp. 1, 2019 ]




The Asian Journal of Humanities

Published by
Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia

Past Issue - Volume 26, Supp. 1, 2019

  • Editorial
    Nor Faridah Abdul Manaf and Muhammad Adli Musa

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  • Islamic Scriptures and Voice Intonation: A Preliminary Survey in Arabic Linguistic Thought and Ḥadīth Interpretive Discourse
    Khairil Husaini bin Jamil

    Abstract: This is the first study that aims to explore the possibility of applying the art and science of voice intonation in reading statements attributed to the Prophet Muhammad and to form a theoretical framework explicative of the nexuses between the two enterprises. The study ventures to assess the attention towards a range of functions played by voice intonation such as attitudinal functions, psychological functions and other indicative functions as it may have appeared within the various compositional strategies of ḥadīth literature. It also aims to examine how normal conversations, declarative sentences, questions, etc. could be identified through voice intonation and the extent to which the understanding of a certain ḥadīth can be affected by such an exercise. The preliminary analysis indicates that the right selection of tone assumes a crucial role in forming a sound ḥadīth interpretation. The consequential extension of this study may involve several other subtopics in the field such as the oral and written transmission of ḥadīth, the euphony and cacophony of narrated words and sentences in ḥadīth, and the psycho-spiritual effects of ḥadīth.

    Keywords and phrases: intonational meaning, ḥadīth interpretation, ḥadīth linguistics, matan criticism, scriptural phonology
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  • Crossroads between Islamic Spirituality and the Instruction of Science
    Salah Machouche, Benaouda Bensaid and Zuraida Ahmed

    Abstract: The increased interest in understanding the influence of spirituality on the diverse domains of life, and alongside, the inherent pathways with science continues to draw the interest of both academicians and professionals. In the context of Muslim communities, however, and in view of their struggle for educational reforms, this issue is considered as highly critical, given Muslim active spiritual and religious take on life. This preliminary study explores the linkages associating Muslim spirituality to science and its instruction. This research shows that for science instruction, spirituality is naturally interconnected with science, helps broaden the horizon of exploration, nurtures Muslims’ connection with the divine, and helps refine their ethical responsibility towards society and nature. Further empirical research on the effects of spirituality on students’ learning attitudes to sciences and instructors’ delivery would bring to light how Muslim spiritual values shape current personal and educational developments.

    Keywords and phrases: Muslim spirituality, Islamic science, Islamic education, scientific instruction, Islamic pedagogy
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  • Moral Autonomy and Habituation Method: A Study Based on Islamic Teachings
    Javad Fakhkhar Toosi, Asyraf Isyraqi bin Jamil and Mohd Yakub @ Zulkifli bin Mohd Yusoff

    Abstract: The current paper seeks to illustrate the conflict between habituation and moral autonomy and explain the Islamic view in this regard. The methodology of this research is qualitative and Islamic classical sources have been used to further elucidate Islam’s stance, as we have referred to some articles and resources to understand the concept of habituation method and its contradictions with moral autonomy. The achievement of the paper is realising the contradiction between the habituation method and moral autonomy and habituation’s incompatibility with the rational growth and development of the youth which is the goal of Islamic education. Therefore, this method cannot be accepted in Islamic moral education. On the other hand, there are some narratives in the Islamic sources that apparently have recommended this method, so another important achievement of the article is the proper interpretation of these narratives, presented for the first time. According to this interpretation, these narratives do not recommend the habituation method, but rather the continuity and maintenance of the action. Therefore, there is no disapproval in Islamic sources in this regard, and these sources reject the use of this method in moral education. The paper concludes by saying that the habituation method is not an Islamic method of education, and Islamic narrations have not recommended it. This paper comes with a suggestion that education scholars and policy makers need to extract other methods from the Islamic sources and devise them according to scientific findings instead of using this method.

    Keywords and phrases: moral autonomy, habituation method, Islamic teaching, Islamic perspective, educational methods
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  • Sufism and Travel Literature: Soul Captivity in Ḥājj Sayyāḥ’s Knowledge-Seeking Journey in Safarnāmah-i Ḥājj Sayyāḥ bih Farang
    Firuz-Akhtar Lubis

    Abstract: This paper explores Sufi method of being enlightened through deep reflection in reading a Persian travelogue written by Ḥājj Sayyāḥ entitled, Safarnāmaḥ-i Ḥājj Sayyāḥ bih Farang (SHS). After introducing the author and the travelogue background, this study presents the concepts of captivity awareness, knowledge and ignorance which become the basis of the journey in SHS. It then proceeds to the discussion on taming the soul through six ways; physical hardship, renunciation (zuhd), poverty, loneliness, illness and the experience of near death in order to escape the idiocy imprisonment. Finally, this paper explains the journey of freedom in SHS according to the framework of Sufi concepts about human conditions in an odyssey towards God. In conclusion, high level of captivity awareness enhances motivation to seek for an escape path from mind or conceptual captivity. Within the site of travel, the “purification” process of imprisoning the soul is enhanced and it provides a path towards the exceptional kind of liberation.

    Keywords and phrases: captivity, freedom, knowledge-seeking, ignorance, travel
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  • Constructing an Alternative Concept of Islamic Governance: A Maqāṣidic Approach
    Maszlee Malik

    Abstract: The common perception of Islamic governance is a dark image of a non-democratic and autocratic system, or a dictatorship with iron claws, or the governance of the cleric elite with the infringement of people’s freedom under the banner of religion. This is mainly due to the fiqhī “legal positivistic” framework that is often used to explain issues concerning governance by mostly traditionalist and Islamicist scholars. Humanistic governance based on the preservation of the dignity of human beings, which has been the focal point in Islamic tenets, the inviolability of life, and responsible freedom should be explored and promoted as another alternative voice of the dominating conventional fiqhī legal positivistic hegemony. Thus, a new ijtihād (reasoning) in dealing with the subject is absolutely mandatory. This paper will look into a new approach to governance from the “consequentialistic” approach inspired by the general theory of Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah. This research will explore some conceptual grounds for the exploration by looking into the epistemological dimension of governance from Islamic sources and principles through “inductive qualitative method” to critically analyse the texts, as part of the deconstruction of discourse.

    Keywords and phrases: governance, ijtihād, Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah, modernity, tawḥīd
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  • Politico-Cultural-Religious Milieu of South East Asia: An Examination of Pre-Islamic Structures of Authority and Syncretic Practices
    Mohd Noh Abdul Jalil, W Mohd Azam Mohd Amin and Majdan Alias

    Abstract: This paper analyses the structure of authorities and syncretic practices among the people in South East Asia before the spread of Islam in the region. The influence of South Asian tradition and culture in South East Asia was evident especially in the social and political spheres. Practices of South East Asian empires originated from the South Asian continent. In order to understand those influences, this study analyses available materials related to the development of socio-political and cultural-religious environment in South East Asia prior to the advancement of Islam in the region. This study concludes that early kingdoms in South East Asia adopted the doctrines of devaraja and bodhisattva as the model of governance. This doctrine provides the rulers with everlasting loyalty from their subjects. At the same time, religious life among the people in South East Asia highlights a unique practice. The syncretic practices of the people in South East Asia at that time prove that they did not follow blindly religious practices presented to them from the South Asian traditions. They adopt and adapt those practices to suit their own needs at that time.

    Keywords and phrases: South East Asia, devaraja, bodhisattva, syncretism, Hindu-Buddhist
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  • The Role of Islamic Movements in Enhancing Daʿwah Work: The Malaysian Experience
    Badlihisham Mohd Nasir, Ahmad Syukran Baharuddin and Norhidayu Muhamad Zain

    Abstract: Daʿwah work was one of the main means that helped spread Islam throughout the Malay Archipelago. The advent of Islamic resurgence in 1970s that came along with the emergence of influential Islamic movements had transformed the daʿwah work to become more sophisticated. This paper attempts at understanding the relationship between the traditional daʿwah work and the Islamic movements in Malaysia before looking in-depth at the development of Islamic movements in establishing and improving daʿwah methodology and institutions. Findings reveal that the Islamic movements played a very significant role in reforming daʿwah work. They had introduced an alternative system in daʿwah work that had been manifested either in their own private institutions or through advocacy of daʿwah work policies as well as in its implementation within the existing daʿwah work. The findings also prove that the differences in political ideology were not a major obstacle for them in developing daʿwah work in the country. In conclusion, despite the varied understanding and approach of Islamic movements, their contribution in developing the nation through daʿwah work is significant. Overall, the Islamic movements now have to improve the quality of their daʿwah work and learning process in order to face current challenges and obstacles.

    Keywords and phrases: Islamic movements, daʿwah work, Malaysia experience, spiritual movements, daʿwah contribution
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  • Converting to Otherness, Islam, Autobiography and Embracing the Other
    Mahmoud Abdel Hamid Mahmoud Ahmed Khalifa

    Abstract: For Muhammad Asad, converting to Islam was a matter of continuity not disjunction with his identity as a Jew. The disavowal happened with his identity as a European in a materialistic context. His symbolic battle is launched against his Western heritage with all its attendant anti-Semitism and fascism that claimed the lives of his father and sister. This symbolic battle is clear in his autobiography, The Road to Mecca (1954). Islam provided Asad with a space from which he could critique Western modernity which is centred around the material. On the other hand, in her autobiography, From MTV to Mecca: How Islam Inspired My Life (2012), Kristiane Backer created a “third space” where she tried to reconcile two selves in one subjectivity. The otherness of Islam is tempered by the internal conversion experience of the new Muslim. So instead of looking at conversion as a radical act that negatively affected her original culture, Backer tried to form some continuity with her past self.

    Keywords and phrases: conversion, Muslim autobiography, otherness, third space, spiritual journeys
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  • Islam in Imperial China: Sinicization of Minority Muslims and Synthesis of Chinese Philosophy and Islamic Tradition
    Fauziah Fathil

    Abstract: Even though China is nowhere near the heartland of Islam, the country is not a stranger to the religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In fact, Islam had reached China as early as 7th century ce and achieved its zenith during the era of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 ce), also known as the “Golden Age of Islam” in China. Not only were Muslims during the Ming era generally accepted by majority Chinese whose affiliations were predominantly Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism, Islam was legally recognised by the imperial government. The number of Islamic institutions such as mosques and learning centres increased, and so did the number of Muslim population in the country. In administration and politics, the Muslims equally received their share while Muslim intellectuals and scholars found themselves appreciated and acknowledged by Chinese rulers for their contributions. Nevertheless, as with minorities of other countries, the Muslims in China were subject to assimilation or integration into the culture of the majority, i.e., Han Chinese. This policy known as “sinicization” consequently affected Muslims in many ways, leading to changes in their lifestyle, custom and tradition. Using qualitative approach and library research method, this paper aims to assess the underlying reasons for the sinicization of Chinese Muslims apart from the obvious political necessity of the Chinese imperial government, and the effects of the process on the Muslim community. On the latter, focus will be given to Muslims’ attempt to synthesise Chinese philosophy and Islam during the imperial era (618–1912 ce) as it served to project the peaceable nature of Islam hence enabled Muslims to preserve their distinctive Islamic identity and tradition amidst the predominant non-Islamic cultural setting. In other words, the synthesis which was pioneered by Chinese Muslim scholars, particularly of the Ming until the Qing era, not only prevented full assimilation of Muslims into local Chinese culture but also ensured the survival of Islam and its tradition in China until the modern period.

    Keywords and phrases: Muslims in China, Islam in China, Islam in imperial China, sinicization of Muslims, Muslim minority in China
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