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Hijjas, Mulaika (2015) '"Penghulu segala perempuan": Fatima in Malay didactic texts for women.' In: Formichi, Chiara and Feener, R. Michael, (eds.), Shi'ism in South East Asia: 'Alid Piety and Sectarian Constructions. London: Hurst and Co., pp. 79-98.

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The Malay manuscript tradition includes a number of didactic texts for women setting out their duties as Muslim wives, with the Prophet's daughter Fatima the most frequently encountered paragon of correct behaviour. Often called the “leader of all women” (penghulu segala perempuan), Fatima is identified as an intercessor on behalf of female sinners. This chapter examines Hikayat Nabi Mengajar Anaknya Fatima, Hikayat Fatima Bersuami and Hikayat Siti Fatima Dengan Seorang Fakir Yang Miskin. These Malay texts do not present the Fatima familiar from the Persian or Arabic textual tradition: rather than the grieving mother of Hasan and Husayn, she is the perfect wife of ‘Ali, performing devoted service (bakti) to her husband. Fatima functions here as a new name for an older local paragon, reflecting the heterogeneous character of popular Islam in the nineteenth-century Malay world. This chapter also discusses the probable process of “de-Shi’itisation” in the manuscript tradition, particularly evident in its transition to print at the end of the nineteenth century, and the role of Fatima in texts concerning esoteric sexual practices.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia
ISBN: 9781849044363
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2015 15:10

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