Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Works by Terengganu's Scholars of the 19th Century in Dignifying the Study of Islamic Knowledge Based on the Al-Qur'an

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Works by Terengganu's Scholars of the 19th Century in Dignifying the Study of Islamic Knowledge Based on the Al-Qur'an

Article excerpt


Works by famous Muslim scholars from the state of Terengganu, Malaysia are still being inherited in the form of hand written manuscripts. It is worrying and very apparent that inherited knowledge and scholarly proof of past Muslim scholars from Terengganu who have dignified the encompassing system of Islamic learning based on the al-Qur'an will be forgotten and not benefited by future generations. This research have been undertaken to highlight a few manuscripts which are the works of three Muslim scholarly figures from Terengganu during the 19th Century, namely Sayyid Muhammad bin Zayn al-Abidin al-Aydarus (Tok Ku Tuan Besar), Sayyid Abd al-Rahman bin Muhammad al-Aydarus (Tok Ku Paloh), and Sayyid Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Aydarus (Tok Ku Melaka), as proof of their personification and scholarliness in dignifying teaching based on the al-Qur'an. We have listed, catalogued, digitally documented the works we have found and made Romanized transliterated copies. The research have identified and ascertained that Tok Ku Tuan Besar as having contributed 11 forms of work in various fields of teaching based on the al-Qur'an, such as faith (aqida), Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), teaching on the Life of the Prophet (sira) and daily prayers (wird). While Tok Ku Paloh's contributions were focused on the aspect of in violating monotheism (tawhid) to Allah The Almighty and a manual on specific practices aimed at achieving that particular purpose in a famous work. Tok Ku Melaka had contributed in the field of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and daily prayers (wird) in three works of his own.

Keywords: Terengganu's scholars, Tok Ku Tuan Besar, Tok Ku Paloh, Tok Ku Melaka, Terengganu's manuscripts

1. Introduction

Terengganu is a state famous for its identity as an Islamic state unanimous in the educational and social arena, and statehood. This has been written in the folds of Terengganu Malay history, which has been reflected and vindicated through artifacts, history and works by Muslim scholars. This is further fortified by the fact that Terengganu is among the earliest states to establish an Islamic educational institution, to enact Islam as the state constitution, and the last state to be colonized and to receive colonial decrees. The involvement of Muslim scholars in the administration of the state, the earnestness of the Sultan to recognize Islam's unanimity as a way of life and the willingness of the people of Terengganu to accept Muslim scholars as their pillar of reference, has thrust Terengganu forward in aspects related to religion compared to other states in Malaysia (Bakar, 1991).

Terengganu was once the center of Islamic education in the Malay Archipelago as early as the 18th century. A hut style educational institution (pondok) resembling one in Masjidil Haram in Mecca was founded by a local named Syeikh Abd al-Malik bin Abdullah in Pulau Manis village, Terengganu as soon as he returned from Mecca. This center of learning had been noted as one of the earliest hut style educational institutions to be opened in the Malay Land. At the end of the 19th century, religious learning centers mushroomed all over Terengganu and consequently religious learning activities at the beginning of the 20th century were focused in this state. In other words, around the reign of His Highness Omar until His Highness Sultan Zainal Abidin III, Terengganu was the famous hub of Islamic education. It was flooded by local students and students from abroad and was at par with religious learning institutions in Fatani, Kelantan and Kedah at that time (Bakar, 1983).

Muslim scholars from Terengganu not only fulfilled their religious obligations by teaching directly to society but perpetuated their written works for the benefit of the present and future society. The 19th century saw tens of religious work being written by Muslim scholars from Terengganu. As far as it is known, the famous Sayyid Muhammad bin Zayn al-Abidin or also known as Tok Ku Tuan Besar (d. …

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