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Hijjas, Mulaika (2013) 'Guides for Mrs Nawawi: two nineteenth-century Malay reformist texts on the duties of wives.' Indonesia and the Malay World, 41 (120). pp. 215-236.

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This article explores how texts circulating in the Malay world on the subject of the religious obligations of women reflect currents of Islamic reform transmitted across the Indian Ocean. The focus is on Abdullah b. Abdul Rahim’s Kitab muhimmah and Raja Ali Haji’s Syair Siti Sianah, both apparently 19th-century reformist responses to the substantial corpus of Malay works setting out the duties of wives, paramount among which is devoted service, bakti, to their husbands. A comparison with these bakti texts and with the major source of reformist teachings on women’s conduct – the chapter on marriage in al-Ghazali’s Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din – suggests how the process of dynamic adaptation of disparate elements functioned. Perhaps unexpectedly, Kitab muhimmah, which is still in use among Malay Muslims today, reveals more traces of ‘unreformed’ elements than does the little known Syair Siti Sianah.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia
ISSN: 13639811
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2013 09:28

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