Traditional Malay literature and the generation of knowledge

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Abstract

This paper discusses the functions of traditional Malay literature as a platform for generating knowledge to contribute towards human civilisation and fulfil his/her responsibility as Allah's representative on earth. The traditional Malay literature is rich in knowledge of various types. Consistent with the goal to produce a perfect human, knowledge is important to produce individuals who successfully achieve real perfection either spiritually or physically. Data studied involves a multiple genre of traditional Malay literature produced or copied from the 15th to 19th century including Sejarah Melayu (Sulalatus Salatin), Hikayat Raja Pasai, Syair Perang Siak, Syair Perang Mengkasar, Hukum Kanun Melaka, Taj al-Salatin, Bustan al-Salatin, Sirat al-Mustaqim, Sabil al-Muhtadin, Syair Perahu, Syair Dagang, Surat al-Anbiya, Hikayat Abu Syahmah and Hikayat Ibrahim ibn Adham. In establishing the functions of traditional Malay literature as a platform for generating knowledge, this study applies Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas's (2001) framework on adab. The study demonstrates that traditional Malay literature has played an important role of generating knowledge towards producing a noble, well-balanced individual, spiritually and physically, in this world and the hereafter. Traditional Malay literature is apparently conceived by its readership as providing enlightening principles in seeking a guided relationship both with their Creator (hablumminaLLah) and fellow human beings (hablumminannas) as well as explicating the divine purposes of every living human being in this world to become His vicegerent and servant. Knowledge contained in this traditional literary text could produce a perfect human being that has the ability to fulfil his obligations as Allah's representative on earth and His righteous slaves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Volume24
Issue numberMarch
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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knowledge
human being
readership
servants
slave
civilization
literature
obligation
genre
responsibility
ability
Human Being
Allah

Keywords

  • HablumminaLLah
  • Hablumminannas
  • Knowledge
  • Knowledge generation
  • Perfect human
  • Science
  • Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas
  • Traditional Malay literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this

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title = "Traditional Malay literature and the generation of knowledge",
abstract = "This paper discusses the functions of traditional Malay literature as a platform for generating knowledge to contribute towards human civilisation and fulfil his/her responsibility as Allah's representative on earth. The traditional Malay literature is rich in knowledge of various types. Consistent with the goal to produce a perfect human, knowledge is important to produce individuals who successfully achieve real perfection either spiritually or physically. Data studied involves a multiple genre of traditional Malay literature produced or copied from the 15th to 19th century including Sejarah Melayu (Sulalatus Salatin), Hikayat Raja Pasai, Syair Perang Siak, Syair Perang Mengkasar, Hukum Kanun Melaka, Taj al-Salatin, Bustan al-Salatin, Sirat al-Mustaqim, Sabil al-Muhtadin, Syair Perahu, Syair Dagang, Surat al-Anbiya, Hikayat Abu Syahmah and Hikayat Ibrahim ibn Adham. In establishing the functions of traditional Malay literature as a platform for generating knowledge, this study applies Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas's (2001) framework on adab. The study demonstrates that traditional Malay literature has played an important role of generating knowledge towards producing a noble, well-balanced individual, spiritually and physically, in this world and the hereafter. Traditional Malay literature is apparently conceived by its readership as providing enlightening principles in seeking a guided relationship both with their Creator (hablumminaLLah) and fellow human beings (hablumminannas) as well as explicating the divine purposes of every living human being in this world to become His vicegerent and servant. Knowledge contained in this traditional literary text could produce a perfect human being that has the ability to fulfil his obligations as Allah's representative on earth and His righteous slaves.",
keywords = "HablumminaLLah, Hablumminannas, Knowledge, Knowledge generation, Perfect human, Science, Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas, Traditional Malay literature",
author = "Jamian, {Muhd Norizam} and {Md. Radzi}, {Shaiful Bahri}",
year = "2016",
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