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[ Vol. 30, No. 2, 2023 ]




The Asian Journal of Humanities

Published by
Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia

Past Issue - Volume 30, No. 2, 2023

  • The Strait of Malacca and Strait of Hormuz: A Brief Historical Review
    Mohamad Firdaus Mansor Majdin, Rahmah Ahmad H. Osman and Md Salleh Yaapar

    Abstract: This study attempts to revisit two prominent trading networks between the Arab world and the Malay archipelago, namely the Strait of Malacca and the Strait of Hormuz, which historically linked the two worlds. This historical linkage is made possible via visitations by the Arab-Persian traders to the Malay world and the Malay traders’ visits to their destinations. Given the geopolitical environments they have experienced in the past and present, there is no denying the immense significance of these straits to Malaysia and the Kingdom of Oman, respectively. They had contributed abundantly in the past to Malaysia and the Kingdom of Oman, as well as to the countries bordering the two straits. Nonetheless, the study argues that given the current unstable world conditions, the safe navigation of both straits is increasingly vulnerable. It also highlights some socioeconomic and political dynamism, which reveal historical changes and continuities that have occurred in the past and present. The situation here seems critical since both straits have established themselves as major world shipping lanes from the west to the east and vice versa. In short, the study investigates the current issues and how small countries like Malaysia and the Kingdom of Oman handle conflict in the most strategic and effective way.

    Keywords and phrases: Strait of Malacca, Strait of Hormuz, Malaysia, Oman, trading straits
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  • Indonesian Manuscripts at Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin: A Codicological Review
    Titik Pudjiastuti

    Abstract: Old manuscripts are cultural products of the ancestors of modern Indonesians and contain highly valuable cultural information. As such, they were sought after by other nations, who have managed to acquire them in various ways, including by taking them, bartering them with other items or buying them. It is thus no wonder that a lot of Indonesian manuscripts are now housed in various institutions in other countries, including the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (STABI) in Germany. This article aims to describe the Indonesian manuscripts that are now housed in STABI and to trace how they ended up there, with a particular focus on the physical condition of the manuscripts using the codicological approach. As the research shows, the Indonesian manuscripts housed in STABI are from various regions, including Java, the Batak lands, Aceh, Bima, Lampung and Makassar, and in the Malay language used all over Southeast Asia. The manuscripts date from the 15th century onwards, and they were acquired as a result of purchase or as gifts from certain institutions or individuals.

    Keywords and phrases: old manuscripts, Indonesian manuscripts, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, philology, codicology
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  • The Manifoldness of Traditional Knowledge: The Example of the Minangkabau Society in West Sumatra, Indonesia
    Alexander Stark and Ariezal Afzan Hassan

    Abstract: In a fast-changing world, traditional knowledge is moved to the edge. In many fields of knowledge, there is no place for traditional knowledge. Often this wisdom is considered to be taboo and old-fashioned. However, it must be emphasised that it belongs to the cultural heritage of humankind. The authors intend to show the richness of traditional knowledge by focusing on one geographical area, namely West Sumatra. The essential fields of traditional knowledge in that area are illustrated and analysed. The authors focus on three types of traditional knowledge, namely philosophy, the judicial system, and traditional healing methods. They conducted qualitative research that included fieldwork and an analysis of relevant literature to deepen the knowledge. The main hypothesis was that the different spheres of traditional knowledge were interdependent. It was detected that the traditional Minangkabau culture has fascinating traditional knowledge that is worth to be preserved.

    Keywords and phrases: Minangkabau, West Sumatra, traditional knowledge, traditional medicine, traditional philosophy
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  • The Acehnese and “Ratéb Dôda Idi”: Instilling Compassion Based on Religious Values in Lullabies
    Yusri Yusuf, Yunisrina Qismullah Yusuf and Jarjani Usman

    Abstract: “Ratéb Dôda Idi” is a traditional lullaby passed on from generation to generation in Aceh society of Indonesia, as one of the mediums for cultivating religious and other important values in children. There is a scarcity of studies that specifically examine the lullaby concerning its kinds of compassion based on the religious teachings of Islam. Hence, this study intends to fill in the gap by probing the kinds of compassion embedded in “Ratéb Dôda Idi” and how religion plays a role in immersing these teachings. It employed an ethnographic case study to analyse the verses by interviewing 17 Acehnese elders to obtain data. The results showed that the lullabies contain five kinds of compassion essential to Acehnese society – compassions for parents, teachers, society, nature and the homeland. It is necessary to preserve this tradition of local wisdom because language, religion and cultural heritage reflect and shape the values, beliefs and aspirations that define and keep their integrity as an Acehnese society. This kind of study thus helps our understanding of the values expressed in lullabies from many cultures and these beliefs are mirrored in the society of the singers (i.e., speakers).

    Keywords and phrases: Acehnese lullaby, compassion, early-childhood education, Islamic values, Acehnese culture
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  • Writings of Ruskin Bond with Special Reference to the Autobiographical Element
    Md Mojibur Rahman and Asmita Sharma

    Abstract: Ruskin Bond is a well-known Indian author whose works are deeply rooted in his personal experiences and observations. His stories often feature an autobiographical element, with characters and settings inspired by his own life. This study explores the autobiographical element in Bond’s writings and how it adds depth and authenticity to his works. Through an analysis of some of his famous short stories, the researchers highlight how Bond’s stories reflect his experiences of growing up in small towns in India, observing people at railway stations, spending time with local craftsmen and living in the Himalayas. The researchers also discuss how Bond’s works often explore themes of individuality, simplicity, nostalgia and the relationship between humans and nature. Overall, Bond’s autobiographical element brings a unique perspective to his works and captures the essence of human relationships and the importance of finding beauty and joy in the everyday.

    Keywords and phrases: autobiographical elements, human relationships, nature love, Ruskin Bond, India
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  • Interpretation of Taqnîn al-Ahkâm by Ibn Al-Muqaffa’ and Its Relevance to the Application of Islamic Law in Indonesia
    Ahmad Hasan Ridwan, Hasan Bisri and Muhammad Andi Septiadi

    Abstract: This study aims to elaborate on Ibn al-Muqaffa’s idea about taqnîn al-ahkâm using the literature review method. Many relevant pieces of primary and secondary literature were analysed using critical analysis techniques. Ibn al-Muqaffa’, who lived during the Abbasid Dynasty, precisely in the time of Abû Ja’far al-Manshûr, had sparked the idea of the legislation of Islamic law (taqnîn al-ahkâm) to be applied throughout the Islamic territory to avoid diverse legal rulings among judges on the same legal case. Re-expressing the idea of Ibn al-Muqaffa’ is important because it has relevance to the ideological ideals of most Indonesian Muslims so that national law absorbs as much as possible from Islamic law. These ideological ideals have grown louder and louder since the freedom of speech in Indonesia has become wide open. As a result, anyone now can express his/her ideological opinions and ideals without any fear of the threat of subversion. In a climate of democracy and freedom, the idea has been resounded again by many groups, including the general public, socio-political activists, academics and parliamentary members.

    Keywords and phrases: taqnîn al-ahkâm, juridical positivism, Risâlah al-Shahâbah, Indonesian legal system, siyâsah al-shar’iyyah
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  • Pengaruh Muhammad ‘Abduh Terhadap Kemunculan Fundamentalis-Reformis Kaum Muda di Tanah Melayu (1900–1930)
    The Influence of Muhammad ‘Abduh Towards the Emergence of Fundamentalist-Reformist of Kaum Muda in Tanah Melayu (1900–1930)
    Adibah Yasmin Alias, Mohd Irwan Syazli Saidin and Jamaie Haji Hamil

    Abstract: The emergence of Kaum Muda in Malaya around 1900s was seen as successfully filling the intelectual vacuum by bringing awareness to the Malay community. Malay community that was colonised by the British was seen to be in a backward situation in terms of education and economy, and even from religious understanding. In addition, they were also trapped in the practise of taqlid and elements of bid’ah. Based on the concept of fundamentalism and through qualititave analysis, this study analysises the relationship between fundamentalist-reformist and Muhammad ‘Abduh’s influence on Kaum Muda’s thoughts. The activism of Kaum Muda can be associated with fundamentalist-reformist terminology based on the characteristics presented in Islamic fundamentalisme. From religious understanding, Kaum Muda has the characteristics of being fundamentalists, which is the urge of returning to Quran and Sunnah. In fact, there is no denying that the thought of Kaum Muda was also influenced by Muhammad ‘Abduh based on writings published in al-Imam and al-Ikhwan. In conclusion, Kaum Muda can be associated as fundamentalist-reformist and was influenced by Muhammad ‘Abduh reformism thoughts, especially on the issues of education, women and social revolving the Malays.

    Keywords and phrases: fundamentalist, reformist, Kaum Muda, Muhammad ‘Abduh, Islamic revivalism

    Abstrak: Kemunculan Kaum Muda di Tanah Melayu sekitar tahun 1900-an dilihat berjaya mengisi ruang vakum intelektual dalam memberi kesedaran kepada masyarakat Melayu. Keadaan masyarakat Melayu yang dijajah oleh British dilihat berada dalam situasi mundur bukan sahaja dari segi pendidikan dan ekonomi malah juga dari sudut kefahaman agama, iaitu terperangkap dalam amalan bertaklid dan unsur bidaah. Keadaan ini telah mendorong Kaum Muda bangkit memberi kesedaran kepada orang Melayu. Bertunjangkan konsep fundamentalisme, kajian ini membahaskan perkaitan antara fundamentalis-reformis dengan pengaruh Muhammad ‘Abduh terhadap pemikiran Kaum Muda. Kajian ini juga menggunakan pendekatan kualitatif menerusi sumber sekunder dan dianalisis secara deskriptif dengan melihat dari sudut historiografi. Hasil kajian ini menunjukkan aktivisme Kaum Muda boleh dikaitkan dengan terminologi fundamentalis-reformis berdasarkan ciri-ciri yang dikemukakan dalam fundamentalisme Islam. Dari sudut kefahaman agama, Kaum Muda mempunyai ciri-ciri sebagai fundamentalis iaitu melalui prinsip bahawa agama perlu kembali kepada al-Quran dan sunah. Namun demikian, dari sudut pemikiran, Kaum Muda mempunyai ciri-ciri reformisme dalam isu pendidikan, isu wanita dan kemunduran masyarakat Melayu. Malah, tidak dinafikan bahawa pemikiran Kaum Muda juga dipengaruhi oleh pemikiran dan idea reformisme Muhammad ‘Abduh berdasarkan penulisan yang disiarkan dalam majalah al-Imam dan al-Ikhwan. Kesimpulannya, aktivisme Kaum Muda di Tanah Melayu sangat berkait rapat dengan terma fundamentalis-reformis dan perjuangan mereka dipengaruhi oleh pemikiran reformisme Muhammad ‘Abduh.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: fundamentalis, reformis, Kaum Muda, Muhammad ‘Abduh, kebangkitan Islam
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  • Metafizik Melayu Menurut Filsuf Melayu Kerajaan Buddha, Hindu dan Islam
    Malay Metaphysics Developed by Malay Philosophers from the Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic Kingdoms
    Tee Boon Chuan

    Abstract: This article aims to explore the Malay conception of philosophy or metaphysics more specifically from the 7th century to the 17th century which spans through the kingdoms of Srivijaya, Malay-Singapore and Aceh with the philosophers’ works of Sakyakirti, Dharmakirti, Kuja Ali (through the narrator of Hikayat Seri Rama) and Hamzah Fansuri, particularly. Philosophy from the various periods of kingdoms refer to the same highest science that is metaphysics which is based on a conception of cause and effect (causality). Philosophers agreed that universe is the created effect from an ultimate cause, but Srivijayan philosophers like Sakyakirti and Dharmakirti from the Yogacara Buddhist school attributed it to the cita, while Kuja Ali and Hikayat Seri Rama from Samkhya Hindu tradition in Malay-Singapore period perceived it as purusa, and Hamzah Fansuri from Islamic Sufism during the Aceh kingdom referred it to Allah SWT. Despite the difference, however, the same approach to self-knowledge has been taken by all philosophers because they believe that the existence of self (consequence) is not different from the existence of the ultimate being (cause); by realising the existence of self, someone will recognise the existence of reality. This similarity and continuity of this concept and its approach throughout the Srivijaya to Aceh kingdom is perhaps the tradition or identity of the Malay philosophy that has not yet been explored and realised by the philosophical community.

    Keywords and phrases: Malay philosophy, metaphysics, being, causality, self-knowledge

    Abstrak: Makalah ini bertujuan untuk mengupas konsep falsafah atau metafizik Melayu secara khusus dari kurun ke-7 sehingga kurun ke-17 yang menjangkau kerajaan Sriwijaya, Malayu-Singapura dan Aceh dengan karya-karya filsuf Sakyakirti, Dharmakirti, Kuja Ali (melalui narator Hikayat Seri Rama) dan Hamzah Fansuri. Falsafah daripada kerajaankerajaan pelbagai zaman merujuk kepada ilmu tertinggi yang sama iaitu metafizik yang berasaskan konsep sebab dan akibat (causality). Para filsuf bersetuju bahawa alam semesta adalah kesan yang dicipta daripada sebab muktamad, namun ahli falsafah Sriwijaya seperti Sakyakirti dan Dharmakirti dari sekolah Buddha Yogacara mengaitkan perkara ini dengan cita, manakala Kuja Ali dan Hikayat Seri Rama dari tradisi Hindu Samkhya pada zaman Melayu-Singapura menganggap hal ini sebagai purusa, dan Hamzah Fansuri dari tasawuf Islam pada zaman kerajaan Aceh pula merujuknya sebagai Allah SWT. Di sebalik perbezaan itu, pendekatan pengetahuan kendiri yang sama telah diambil oleh semua filsuf kerana mereka mempercayai bahawa “wujud diri” (akibat) adalah tidak berbeza dengan wujud sebab, iaitu dengan menyedari wujud diri, seseorang akan mengenali “wujud hakiki”. Persamaan dan kesinambungan daripada konsep dan pendekatan ini di seluruh kerajaan Sriwijaya sehingga ke Aceh mungkin merupakan tradisi atau jati diri falsafah Melayu yang belum diterokai dan disedari oleh masyarakat falsafah.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: falsafah Melayu, metafizik, wujud, sebab-akibat, pengetahuan kendiri
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  • Risalah Darurat: Strategi Kerajaan dalam Memenangi Jiwa dan Pemikiran Orang Cina di Tanah Melayu, 1948–1960
    Emergency Leaflets: The Government’s Strategy in Winning the Hearts and Minds of the Chinese in Malaya, 1948–1960
    Ho Hui Ling, Mardiana Nordin and Noraini Mohamed Hassan

    Abstract: In Malaya, the Chinese were influenced the most by the communist movement and thus developed into the largest supporting group. In this situation, the government of the Federation of Malaya (hereinafter the government) has planned and carried out various strategies to win their hearts and minds in order to thwart them from joining the communist struggle. The discussion in this article is based on Chinese-written Emergency Leaflets disseminated by the government through the Department of Information specifically for the Chinese during the emergency period (1948–1960). This study aims to discuss the importance of physical propaganda in the form of Emergency Leaflets in helping the government to rally support from the Chinese as well as to look into the government’s stands towards the communist movement. This study clearly shows that the Emergency Leaflets have been used by the government as propaganda and an instrument of communication to explain to the Chinese about the situation in Malaya including the danger of communist threats and efforts taken in the fights against the communists. Their cooperation was also called in combating the communist movement. Thus, the leaflets played an important role as a medium of propaganda for the government to restrain the communists’ influences during the emergency.

    Keywords and phrases: Emergency Leaflets, propaganda, the Chinese, the hearts and minds, communist

    Abstrak: Di Tanah Melayu, orang Cina merupakan golongan yang paling ramai terpengaruh dengan gerakan komunis sehingga membentuk kumpulan penyokong yang paling besar. Dalam keadaan ini, kerajaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu (seterusnya disebut sebagai kerajaan) membuat perancangan dan menjalankan pelbagai strategi untuk memenangi jiwa dan pemikiran mereka supaya tidak menyertai perjuangan komunis. Perbincangan dalam makalah ini adalah berdasarkan penelitian terhadap Risalah Darurat (Emergency Leaflets) dalam tulisan Cina yang disebarkan oleh kerajaan melalui Jabatan Penerangan kepada penduduk Cina pada zaman darurat (1948–1960). Kajian ini bertujuan membincangkan kepentingan propaganda fizikal dalam bentuk Risalah Darurat untuk membantu kerajaan meraih sokongan daripada orang Cina selain melihat pendirian kerajaan terhadap gerakan komunis. Kajian ini dengan jelas menunjukkan Risalah Darurat digunakan oleh kerajaan sebagai propaganda dan instrumen komunikasi untuk menerangkan kepada penduduk Cina tentang situasi di Tanah Melayu termasuk bahaya ancaman komunis serta langkah yang diambil dalam memerangi komunis. Kerajaan turut menyeru penduduk Cina agar memberi kerjasama dalam menumpaskan gerakan komunis. Justeru, risalah memainkan peranan penting sebagai medium propaganda kerajaan untuk memerangi pengaruh komunis semasa darurat.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: Risalah Darurat, propaganda, orang Cina, jiwa dan pemikiran, komunis
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  • Kaedah Pemikiran Kritis al-Dihlawi terhadap Perbahasan al-Sa’adah (Kebahagiaan) dalam Karya Hujjah Allah al-Balighah
    Al-Dihlawi’s Critical Thinking Method on al-Sa’adah (Happiness) Debate in the Manuscript of Hujjah Allah al-Balighah
    Noraini Junoh, Zanirah Mustafa@Busu dan Abdul Manam Mohamad

    Abstract: During this era, the world is evolving at such a rapid pace that there is uncertainty and confusion. The idea of modernity embodied by the West has spawned thoughts that contradict Islamic sharia thus rejecting the authority of the Quran and Sunnah as the main source of reference for Muslims. In today’s technological rapidity, Islam is seen as a backward religion and its teachings need to be adapted to the modern lifestyle thus damaging the faith of the Muslims themselves. This study aimed to analyse al-Dihlawi’s critical thinking method through the debate of al-sa’adah (happiness) in the book titled “Hujjah Allah al-Balighah”. This study employed a qualitative approach. The highlights of in-depth readings were derived primarily from the book of Hujjah Allah al-Balighah. The first step was to translate the text, followed by a content analysis method to extract the concept of happiness discussed in the book and explore it in the context of the critical thinking method in al-Dihlawi’s view. This study’s results found that al-Dihlawi’s critical thinking method was used in debating al-sa’adah in five methods: question and answer thinking, rational thinking, scientific thinking, Sufi thinking and rabbani thinking. If Muslims appreciate and apply al-Dihlawi’s critical thinking method, they could strengthen their mind and direct their thinking toward pursuing happiness in this world and the hereafter. Happiness begins when the human mind can control lust and reject anything that is against revelation. Via critical thinking, humans can distinguish between right and wrong through a guide to revelation. When a person can control lust and has a high level of obedience and carry out their obedience to Allah’s commands with a full sense of responsibility as his servant, then he can draw closer to Allah SWT and acquire His blessings.

    Keywords and phrases: thinking methods, critical thinking, al-sa’adah, al-Dihlawi, Hujjah Allah al-Balighah

    Abstrak: Era ini menyaksikan dunia yang berkembang dengan begitu pantas sehingga berlaku ketidakpastian dan kecelaruan pemikiran. Gagasan kemodenan yang dicanangkan oleh Barat telah melahirkan pemikiran-pemikiran yang bertentangan dengan akidah Islam sehingga menolak keautoritian al-Quran dan Sunah. Dalam kepesatan teknologi kini juga, umat Islam dilihat perlu menyesuaikan kehidupan mereka dengan gaya hidup moden walaupun bersalahan dengan ajaran Islam. Kajian ini bertujuan untuk menganalisis kaedah pemikiran kritis al-Dihlawi berdasarkan perbahasan al-sa’adah (kebahagiaan) dalam kitab Hujjah Allah al-Balighah. Kajian ini menggunakan kaedah kualitatif. Sorotan pembacaan secara mendalam telah dilakukan terhadap kitab Hujjah Allah al-Balighah sebagai sumber utama. Penterjemahan teks merupakan langkah pertama diikuti kaedah analisis kandungan bagi mengekstrak konsep kebahagiaan yang dikupas oleh al-Dihlawi dalam konteks kaedah pemikiran kritis. Hasil analisis mendapati terdapat lima kaedah pemikiran kritis al-Dihlawi yang digunakan dalam membahaskan al-sa’adah, iaitu pemikiran soal jawab, rasional, saintifik, kesufian dan rabbani. Dengan kaedah ini, umat Islam dapat memantapkan minda dan pemikiran dalam mencapai kebahagiaan hidup di dunia dan akhirat. Kebahagiaan bermula ketika akal manusia dapat menguasai nafsu dan menolak perkara bertentangan dengan wahyu. Pemikiran kritis mengupayakan manusia untuk membezakan antara yang benar dengan yang batil melalui panduan wahyu. Ketika seseorang telah menguasai nafsunya dan memiliki sifat ketaatan yang tinggi, maka dia dapat mendekatkan diri kepada Allah SWT dan memperoleh keberkatan-Nya.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: kaedah berfikir, pemikiran kritis, al-sa’adah, al-Dihlawi, Hujjah Allah al-Balighah
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  • Book Review
    David H.J. Neo

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