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[ Vol. 29, No. 1, 2022 ]




The Asian Journal of Humanities

Published by
Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia

Print ISSN: 1394-9330
Online ISSN: 2180-4257
Frequency: Biannually
Current Issue: Volume 29, No. 1, 2022
Abstracting/Indexing: SCOPUS, Malaysian Abstracting and Indexing System (MyAIS), Google Scholar, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

* The term Kemanusiaan is a Malay word meaning "Humanities". It is derived from the form manu, a Sanskrit term which means "man" or "mankind".;

Current Issue - Volume 29, No. 1, 2022

  • Ancient Trade Corridor Tamralipti and Bengal’s Glory (200 BCE–700 CE)
    Sharmin Akhtar and Hanizah Idris

    Abstract: Tamralipti was a port of ancient Bengal used as a corridor for international trade and it played a critical role in bringing fame and glory to Bengal. This study investigates the role of this port that contributed towards the socioeconomic and sociocultural supremacy from 200 BCE to 700 CE. Archaeological remains proved the trade contacts of this port with several domestic and foreign geographical entities such as Southeast Asia, China and Rome. The sequential dominance and fame of this port aided to enrich the society and structure the trade-related social classes in ancient Bengal until the deterioration and decline of this port after the seventh century CE. The study employs a qualitative method using historical research that focuses on ancient texts, archaeological findings and reports as primary sources. The information gathered from field visits and published literature is also consulted through archival and library research. The result of this study reveals the leading role of Tamralipti as a corridor that signifies the image of Bengal concerning political, economic and sociocultural aspects.

    Keywords and phrases: Tamralipti, Bengal’s glory, maritime trade, social class, culture
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  • Analisis Pengaplikasian al-Quranul Karim Sebagai Neraca Kritikan Terhadap Riwayat Al-Maghāzī dan Al-Siyar
    An Analysis of the Application of Quran as a Critical Yardstick in Evaluating Al-Maghāzī and Al-Siyar Narrations
    Muhamad Rozaimi Ramle, Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and Roshimah Shamsudin

    Abstract: Al-Maghāzī (war) and al-Siyar (history) are historical narrations about military campaigns launched by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during his lifetime. Hadith scholars of the past were indubitably flexible in their authentication of al-Maghāzī and al-Siyar. Narrations which are of weak status (daʻīf) are accepted as long as they are not related to fundamental precepts and rules of Islam. However, narrations of al-Maghāzī and al-Siyar are not accepted if and when they are contrary to other religious authorities. While there are various ways of authentication in this regard, this research seeks to discern and investigate a methodology of evaluating the authenticity and acceptability of al-Maghāzī and al-Siyar by relying on the Quran as a benchmark. This research finds the method, which has been in practice since the days of the companions, may be used apparently in two scenarios. Firstly, hadith scholars shall reject the narrations of al-Maghāzī and al-Siyar when they unequivocally contradict verses of the Quran. Secondly, ḥadith scholars shall equally reject narrations of al-Maghāzī and al-Siyar when they are not in line with the context of verses of the Quran. This research also demonstrates that, in the course of the process, hadith scholars shall not summarily reject the impugned narrations of al-Maghāzī and al-Siyar unless the respective discrepancies cannot be ultimately resolved and adequately explained. Methodologically, apart from depending heavily on library research methodology, inductive and deductive methods are concurrently used in this research to analyse the data collated from various sources of reference, which were referred to by hadith scholars in their criticisms of al-Maghāzī and al-Siyar.

    Keywords and phrases: narration, al-Maghāzī, al-Siyar, Quran, criteria for evaluation, criticism

    Abstrak: Al-Maghāzī (peperangan) dan al-Siyar (sejarah) ialah riwayat yang berkaitan dengan kisah peperangan pada zaman Nabi Muhammad SAW. Tidak dinafikan bahawa ulama silam memberikan kelonggaran untuk menerima riwayat al-Maghāzī dan al-Siyar yang daif selagi tidak berkaitan dengan akidah dan hukum. Namun begitu, ulama juga menetapkan bahawa riwayat al-Maghāzī dan al-Siyar tidak diterima jika bercanggah dengan dalil lain. Antara kaedah yang mereka gunakan adalah menjadikan al-Quranul Karim sebagai neraca untuk menilai ketepatan riwayat al-Maghāzī dan al-Siyar. Kajian ini menganalisis metodologi sarjana hadis dalam mengaplikasikan kaedah ini. Metodologi yang akan digunakan dalam kajian ini ialah metodologi perpustakaan. Metodologi deduktif dan induktif digunakan untuk menganalisis data yang diperoleh daripada rujukan hadis ketika melakukan kritikan terhadap riwayat al-Maghāzī dan al-Siyar. Kajian mendapati bahawa kaedah menjadikan al-Quran sebagai neraca dalam mengkritik riwayat al-Maghāzī dan al-Siyar telah pun digunakan oleh sarjana hadis sejak zaman sahabat lagi. Kaedah ini juga diaplikasikan dalam dua keadaan. Pertama, sarjana hadis menolak riwayat al-Maghāzī dan al-Siyar yang bercanggah dengan ayat al-Quran secara jelas. Kedua, mereka menolak riwayat al-Maghāzī dan al-Siyar yang tidak selari dengan konteks ayat al-Quran. Kajian ini juga membuktikan bahawa sarjana hadis tidak akan menolak riwayat al-Maghāzī dan al-Siyar melainkan apabila percanggahan tersebut tidak dapat diharmonikan.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: riwayat, al-Maghāzī, al-Siyar, al-Quran, neraca, kriteria penilaian, kritikan
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  • The Irrationality of Malay Proselytisation: The Failure of Education as a Tool for “Civilising” Native
    Sharifah S. Ahmad

    Abstract: Critiques of imperialism tend to focus on the motivations of empire-builders located at the metropolitan. However, seeing from the vantage of the women and men in the colonies, realities were often more tragic. The present article seeks to test a proposition pertaining to the irrationality of colonialism by examining the Anglican missionary work in education used as a tool for evangelising Malay society in Sarawak. The correspondence by the mission’s leader Bishop Francis Thomas McDougall (1817–1886) to the missionary societies in England, namely, the Borneo Church Mission and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, constitutes the main source-material informing the argument on the irrational motivation that drove the proselytising activity in the mid-19th century Sarawak. Utilising the concept “El Dorado”, it is argued that the subterranean facets of fantastical dream, ungrounded hope and fanatical imagination produced real-life disillusionment for the historical agents carrying out the dystopian programme of civilising Malay and other natives. It is found that the proselyting mission had failed to succeed because it was predicated on the intolerance of religious difference and the compulsion to subdue it. The article concludes by reiterating a perspective that considers irrational motive as a significant historical force.

    Keywords and phrases: El Dorado, Anglican missionary, 19th century Sarawak, Malay education
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  • Penolakan Ajakan dalam Rangkaian Sosial dari Perspektif Sosiopragmatik
    Declining an Invitation in Social Networks from a Sociopragmatic Perspective
    Natsue Hieda, Nor Hashimah Jalaluddin and Mohammad Fadzeli Jaafar

    Abstract: Declining an invitation is an important speech act to be mastered by second language speakers. This study was conducted with the aim of elaborating the invitation refusal strategies used by native speakers of Malay (MNSs) and Japanese (JNSs) as well as clarifying the “politeness effects” on the strategies used by the MNSs in Japanese. The data collection methods utilised in this study were open role-play through social networking services followed by post-task interviews. The study compared the order of semantic formulas and the usage of emojis between 20 MNSs and 20 JNSs. Comparisons were made in both native and intercultural contexts. The politeness effects were discussed based on Discourse Politeness Theory. The results showed that there was no significant difference between native contexts and intercultural contexts in terms of the order of semantic formulas and the usage of emojis. None of the cases produced a negative-politeness effect in this study although two cases were considered pragmatic transfers. This study has proved that strategies that differ from the target language norm do not necessarily affect smooth communication in intercultural interactions; instead, they are still acceptable upon cooperation between the sender and the recipient of the message.

    Keywords and phrases: declining an invitation, order of semantic formulas, emoji, intercultural communication, social networking service

    Abstrak: Penolakan ajakan merupakan suatu lakuan bahasa yang penting dikuasai oleh penutur bahasa kedua. Kajian ini dijalankan bertujuan menghuraikan strategi penolakan ajakan yang diambil oleh penutur natif bahasa Melayu (MNS) dan penutur natif bahasa Jepun (JNS) serta menerangkan “kesan kesantunan” terhadap strategi yang diambil oleh MNS dalam bahasa Jepun. Kaedah pengutipan data yang diterapkan dalam kajian ini ialah lakonan terbuka melalui perkhidmatan rangkaian sosial diikuti temu bual pasca lakonan. Kajian dijalankan dengan membandingkan susunan formula semantik serta purata penggunaan emoji dalam kalangan 20 orang MNS dan 20 orang JNS. Perbandingan dilakukan bagi kedua-dua konteks bahasa ibunda dan konteks silang budaya. Kesan kesantunan dibincangkan berasaskan Teori Kesantunan Wacana. Kajian ini mendapati bahawa tiada perbezaan yang ketara antara konteks bahasa ibunda dengan konteks silang budaya dari segi susunan formula semantik mahupun purata penggunaan emoji. Tiada sebarang kes yang menghasilkan kesan kesantunan negatif dalam kajian ini walaupun dua kes dianggap sebagai pemindahan pragmatik. Kajian ini telah membuktikan bahawa strategi yang berlainan daripada norma bahasa sasaran tidak semestinya menjejaskan komunikasi yang lancar dalam interaksi antara budaya, sebaliknya strategi tersebut masih dapat diterima hasil daripada kerjasama antara penghantar mesej dengan penerima mesej.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: penolakan ajakan, susunan formula semantik, emoji, komunikasi silang budaya, perkhidmatan rangkaian sosial
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  • Sex Slavery under Domestic and Colonial Patriarchy in Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman
    Kittiphong Praphan

    Abstract: Sex slavery operated through the comfort women system during World War II has been a historical shame and an inconvenient truth for both the Japanese and the Korean. This study, through Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman, investigates the life of a Korean character forced to become a comfort woman, arguing that domestic patriarchy and colonial patriarchy are the main institutions which transform her into a sex slave. A representation of Korean comfort women, she is exploited by the patriarchal oppression in her family and the Japanese colonial patriarchy. Her body is transformed into a commodity to sustain her family and offer comfort and pleasure to Japanese soldiers. Despite her liberation, she becomes a traumatised subject whose painful memories keep haunting her even when she relocates to the United States. Patriarchal violence in the form of sex slavery has destroyed her life and left a detrimental legacy preventing her from rebuilding a new successful life. The traumatic past causes this character and her daughter to be seen as weird Asians who are “double-othered” in the United States, a new world where they are unable to recover from profound trauma in spite of their new identity as Korean American.

    Keywords and phrases: comfort women, sex slavery, patriarchy, colonialism, Korean American literature
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  • Orang Dayak dan Gerakan Komunis di Sarawak, 1963–1990
    The Dayaks and the Communist Movement in Sarawak, 1963–1990
    Ho Hui Ling

    Abstract: The Dayaks, despite being the majority population in Sarawak, were unable to avoid involvement in the communist movement in the 1960s in East Malaysia. Faced with difficulties in obtaining aid and support in the First Division of Sarawak, Kuching, the communists moved to the Third Division of Sarawak (Rajang) which was inhabited by many Dayaks, with the objective of obtaining help for their activities. The current study, based on a qualitative method of collecting and analysing primary and secondary archival sources, found that the communists realised the Dayaks were important in mobilising their activities in Sarawak. The Dayak settlements, concentrated in the rural areas, were not easily detected by the authorities. And it was difficult for the government and security forces to be in contact with the Dayaks due to communication system problems. The study also found that the communists used various strategies to attract Dayaks’ attention and participation in their movement. They befriended the Dayak people by learning their language and culture, by establishing family ties with them, by championing their interests and by promoting their integration with other races. Despite this, the communist movement was not well-received by the Dayaks.

    Keywords and phrases: Dayaks, native population, communist movement, Sarawak, Clandestine Communist Organisation (CCO)

    Abstrak: Orang Dayak yang merupakan penduduk majoriti di Sarawak juga tidak dapat lari daripada gerakan komunis. Kajian ini bertujuan untuk membincangkan kepentingan dan pelibatan orang Dayak dalam gerakan komunis dan strategi komunis dalam menarik penyertaan mereka. Pada tahun 1960-an, komunis berdepan dengan masalah mendapatkan bantuan dan sokongan di Bahagian Pertama Sarawak iaitu Kuching. Dalam keadaan itu, komunis beralih ke Bahagian Ketiga Sarawak (Rajang) yang dihuni oleh ramai orang Dayak. Komunis berharap golongan ini dapat membantu kegiatan mereka. Kajian ini disempurnakan dengan menggunakan kaedah kualitatif iaitu mengumpul dan menganalisis sumber primer serta sekunder dari arkib dan perpustakaan di Kuala Lumpur serta Kuching. Kajian ini mendapati komunis menyedari orang Dayak adalah penting dalam menggerakkan kegiatan mereka di Sarawak. Petempatan orang Dayak yang tertumpu di kawasan pedalaman tidak mudah dikesan oleh pihak berkuasa. Mereka juga sukar dihubungi oleh pihak kerajaan dan pasukan keselamatan kerana masalah sistem perhubungan. Justeru, komunis menggunakan pelbagai strategi untuk menarik perhatian dan penyertaan mereka. Komunis mendampingi masyarakat Dayak dengan mempelajari bahasa dan budaya, menjalin ikatan kekeluargaan, memperjuangkan kepentingan serta menggalakkan penyatuan mereka dengan kaum lain. Walaupun demikian, gerakan komunis kurang mendapat sambutan dalam kalangan orang Dayak.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: Orang Dayak, penduduk peribumi, gerakan komunis, Sarawak, Clandestine Communist Organisation (CCO)
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  • Kesangsian Terhadap Agama: Memetakan Wacana-Wacana Barat yang Melingkari “Kemodenan” Abdullah Munsyi
    Scepticism towards Religion: Mapping Western Discourses that Surround Abdullah Munsyi’s “Modernity”
    Mohd Zariat Abdul Rani

    Abstract: This article arises from observations of scholarly corpus on Abdullah Munsyi who is often touted as the “Father of Modern Malay Literature”. Several interpretive orientations become evident from the corpus extant particularly as they pertain to the recognition of Abdullah Munsyi’s “modernity”, and the role played by the West in this recognition. Alongside these orientations are the polemics that surround Abdullah Munsyi’s suitability of the title. Given these interpretive orientations, the article argues that the history of Western intellectual development played a significant role in understanding Abdullah Munsyi’s position in the history of Malay literature and culture. This article thus strives to map Western discourses on Abdullah Munsyi’s “modernity”, as well as identify the key idea that informs the discourses. The article has cogently mapped Secularism and Modernism as discourses that first emerged in the West, and which have continued to surround debates on Abdullah Munsyi’s “modernity” till this day. Such mapping allows for identification of the key idea that underpins the discourses, namely scepticism towards religions especially the religious authority that endows the title “Father of Modern Malay Literature” to Abdullah Munsyi.

    Keywords and phrases: Abdullah Munsyi, Father of Modern Malay Literature, religion, religious authority, Western discourses

    Abstrak: Makalah ini bertitik tolak daripada pengamatan awal terhadap korpus kesarjanaan tentang Abdullah Munsyi, seorang tokoh yang diberikan gelaran “Bapa Kesusasteraan Melayu Moden”. Pengamatan ini menyerlahkan beberapa kecenderungan dalam kajian-kajian ilmiah sedia ada. Antara kecenderungan tersebut ialah perakuan terhadap “kemodenan” Abdullah Munsyi serta peranan Barat dalam soal kemodenan beliau. Selain itu ialah polemik tentang kewajaran Abdullah Munsyi menerima gelaran tersebut. Dalam konteks kecenderungan korpus yang sedemikian, makalah ini menghujahkan bahawa sejarah serta perkembangan intelektual di Barat memainkan peranan yang signifikan dalam usaha memahami kedudukan Abdullah Munsyi dalam sejarah dan kebudayaan Melayu. Justeru, makalah ini bertujuan untuk memetakan wacana-wacana Barat yang melingkari soal “kemodenan” Abdullah Munsyi, dan seterusnya mengenal pasti idea utama yang menyatukan wacana-wacana tersebut. Makalah ini berhasil dalam memetakan Sekularisme dan Modenisme sebagai wacana-wacana yang terlebih dahulu timbul di Barat, yang kemudiannya melingkari perbahasan tentang “kemodenan” Abdullah Munsyi. Pemetaan ini turut memungkinkan pengenalpastian idea utama yang menunjangi kedua-dua wacana tersebut, iaitu kesangsian terhadap agama terutamanya autoriti keagamaan yang melingkari gelaran “Bapa Kesusasteraan Melayu Moden” kepada Abdullah Munsyi.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: Abdullah Munsyi, “Bapa Kesusasteraan Melayu Moden”, agama, autoriti keagamaan, wacana-wacana Barat
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  • Ibn Taymiyyah’s “Mardin Fatwa” and the Mongols: An Analysis
    Mohd Farid Mohd Sharif and Mohd Firdaus Abdullah

    Abstract: The so-called “Mardin Fatwa” is Ibn Taymiyyah’s (d. 728/1328) description of Mardin city’s status as an Islamic state and its Islamic population. Yahya Michot (b. 1952) and ‘Abd Allah Bayyah’s (b. 1935) modern day readings of this fatwa emphasise different attitudes towards Mongols: Michot emphasised the word yuqātal (should be fought) in his reading of the text while Bayyah emphasised the word yu’āmal (should be justly treated). This seemingly small difference has had a large impact on Muslims’ understanding of fatwa. For instance, these two readings might alter readers’ perceptions of fatwa as either a literal or metaphorical spiritual battle. This article is grounded in a multidisciplinary approach that combines the selection, translation and critical reading of the selected sources with historical research. The overall approach followed in this article is best described as inductive. This article analyses Michot and Bayyah’s readings through a close reading of the fatwa itself. It concludes by deducing that the Mardin Fatwa text really does represent Ibn Taymiyyah’s opinion and that Yahya Michot’s reading of the text is the correct one.

    Keywords and phrases: Mardin Fatwa, Ibn Taymiyyah, Mongols, Islamic thought, Ghulūw
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  • Misa Melayu: Sumber Dokumen Penting Pengkajian Tentang Aspek Ekonomi Perak Kurun ke-18
    Misa Melayu: An Important Document Source on Perak’s Economy in the 18th Century
    Siti Noor Hafizah Mohamed Sharif

    Abstract: This article discusses the “Misa Melayu” as an important document in studying Perak’s economy between 1728 and 1792. In the past, “Misa Melayu” has been a source for writings on the history of Perak, covering various aspects such its politics (lineage of its sultans and important political events) and social-cultural matters (social structure and custom) in the 18th century. However, the document has rarely been used in studying the state’s economy. In relation to this, the current article discusses the importance of the “Misa Melayu” in unravelling Perak’s economy in the 18th century. For instance, “Misa Melayu” proved Perak’s economic ability to meet the demand for tin ore by the Dutch, who was then the state’s main trading partner. Besides tin, elephants were also a major trade for Perak whose exports reached as far as India. This article makes reference to “Misa Melayu” as the primary source as well as foreign records, namely the Dutch East India Company trade agreements with Perak.

    Keywords and phrases: Misa Melayu, Perak, tin trade, Perak’s economy, Straits of Malacca

    Abstrak: Makalah ini membincangkan Misa Melayu sebagai sumber dokumen penting pengkajian aspek ekonomi Perak (1728–1792). Misa Melayu sering digunakan sebagai dokumen penting dalam penulisan sejarah Perak sebelum ini. Misalnya, dokumen ini sering digunakan untuk membincangkan aspek politik (susur galur atau salasilah sultan-sultan yang mentadbir Perak dan peristiwa-peritiwa politik penting yang melanda Perak) serta aspek sosial (struktur sosial dan adat istiadat negeri Perak) pada kurun ke-18. Namun permasalahannya, dokumen ini jarang diketengahkan dalam pengkajian ekonomi Perak pada kurun yang sama. Ringkasnya, makalah ini mendapati bahawa melalui Misa Melayu, aspek ekonomi utama Perak pada kurun ke-18 dapat diketahui dengan jelas. Sebagai contoh, Misa Melayu membuktikan kemampuan Perak memenuhi jumlah permintaan bijih timah oleh Belanda yang merupakan rakan dagang utama Perak. Selain daripada bijih timah, gajah juga merupakan dagangan utama Perak dan gajah dari Perak dieksport sehingga ke India. Penulisan makalah ini merujuk kepada Misa Melayu sebagai dokumen primer utama selain rekod asing iaitu perjanjian-perjanjian perdagangan antara Syarikat Hindia Belanda dengan Perak.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: Misa Melayu, Perak, perdagangan bijih timah, ekonomi Perak, Selat Melaka
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  • Cultural Diversity: Exploring Eco-Cultural Memories in Hilary Tham’s Tin Mines and Concubines
    Khoo Siow See, Ruzy Suliza Hashim and Raihanah M.M.

    Abstract: Motivated by the theme of cultural diversity in Hilary Tham’s Tin Mines and Concubines (2005), a Malaysian fiction that depicts various family stories of multiethnic Malaysians in the 1960s, this article examines the ways in which the author draws on her cultural memories of Malaysian society through the lens of ecocriticism. While cultural memories convey the memories embedded in physical monuments, eco-cultural memories signify memories implanted in ecological substances. Eco-cultural memories entwine both natural and cultural aspects and are essential to the subject of ecocriticism, which emphasises human-non-human links. The research sheds light on Malaysia’s varied cultures by examining cultural memories incorporating animal, plant and culinary aspects. Tham’s perceptions of cultural variety vary according to ethnic origins, cultural upbringing, belief systems, social classes, cultural practices and experiences. In general, examining Tham’s eco-cultural recollections about bodily functions, weddings, superstitions, cultural alienation and social class reveals how the organic relationship between the animal, food and plant components fosters intercultural consciousness and interracial mutual understanding and misunderstanding in Malaysian society.

    Keywords and phrases: cultural diversity, cultural memories, ecocriticism, Hilary Tham, Malaysian fiction

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