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Al-Attas, Syed Muhammad Naguib (1966) The mysticism of Hamzah Fansuri. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029629

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Abstract

This thesis is presented in two Parts; Part I forms the full exposition of the mysticism of Hamzah Fansuri, a Malay Sufi of the 16th century who lived in Barus in North Sumatra; Part II contains his three extant prose works edited in romanised Malay and translated into English; both the edition and the translation are annotated, A general picture of the spiritual climate of the period in which Hamzah lived, together with a brief biographical sketch attempting to establish his place of birth and the span of the period in which he lived - both of them problematic questions - is presented in the first chapter. Then in the second chapter allegations concerning the "heresy" in his ideas levelled against him by Nuru'1-Din al-Rahiri of Gujerat, who was in Acheh in North Sumatra in 1637. are critically examined. A conclusion that the allegations were unfounded is submitted. Chapter three deals with Hamzah's mystical doctrines in the domains of ontology, cosmology and psychology. Similarities with the doctrines of Ibnu'l-'Arabi and 'Abdu'l-Karim al-Jili are noted. Chapters four and five introduce methodological concepts in a modern semantic analysis which is employed to ascertain the meanings of important concepts in Hamzah's mystical system. These concepts - the Divine Will, Being, Existence, the Self - are couched in Malay, and comparison with Arabia, Greek, Persian and Sanskrit terms with a view to establishing equivalents is attempted. In the conclusion Hamzah's contributions in Malay classical literature, both in the field of poetry as well as that of rational inquiry is stated. It is further suggested that gamzah was the first man to set down in Malay the Sufi doctrines; that he was the first man to produce systematic speculative writing in Malay, A theory on the islamization process in the Malay-Indonesian Archipelago, in which it is suggested Hamzah played an important and hitherto undiscovered role, is also presented. The Appendices contain material already given in the table of contents. The most important material there is the Index of the Semantic Vocabulary of Hamzah's mystical system, which supports everything that has been said with reference to the concepts in Hamzah's teachings - in particular with concepts explained in Chapters four and five.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029629
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:20
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29629

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