Penang and the Hajj – collapsible text test


The Penang Story Lecture is open to the public and limited to 150 persons will be held in conjunction with a two-day conference on “Penang and The Hajj”.

PENANG STORY LECTURE, Keynote Lecture: The Material World of the Hajj in Colonial-Era Southeast Asia by Eric Tagliacozzo, 18 August (Sunday), 3.30pm-5.00pm at E & O Hotel.

CONFERENCE on PENANG AND THE HAJJ, 17 & 18 August (Saturday & Sunday), 9.00am-5.00pm at E & O Hotel.

Download registration form here.

Paper Presenters, Penang and The Hajj conference

us1United States (2 Speakers)

Prof. Eric Tagliocozzo – Keynote SpeakerTagliacozzo-photo
Prof. of History, Department of History, Cornell University
The Material World of the Hajj in Colonial-Era Southeast Asia
Abstract and Biodata


The economic connections of the pre-colonial Hajj were very important; they brought Southeast Asia into a wider orbit of contacts across the historical Indian Ocean. Scholars have asked, as a result of this, how vital the economy of the Hajj may have been in creating an “Indian Ocean world”, with major thinkers both championing and dismissing this notion. We know from a number of period observers in the 17th and 18th centuries that the number and dimensions of ships engaged in the Hajj were substantial, and that the Mughal Empire, Ottoman, Yemen, and Southeast Asia all become intertwined in the routes of such craft sailing across the ocean’s rim. In my lecture I will examine these far-flung connections, while also concentrating on Southeast Asia and its trans-oceanic economies more locally. I will do this by looking at the careers of eminent Hajjis such as Shaykh Yusuf of Makassar, as well as through classical texts from the region such as the Tuhfat al-Nafis. I argue that the Dutch were crucial as facilitators of the pilgrimage, and I sketch out some of the circumstances of the Javanese Hajj from the 17th to the early 19th centuries. I will also focus on the the British Case, where the Malay Peninsula and Penang became important as well in sending these travelers overseas, in increasingly larger numbers as the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries wore on. I highlight the means by which pilgrims from Southeast Asia were able to perform their Hajj, and the very real – and sometimes very difficult – material circumstances of their passage. This was a world in the making, one that connected the paths of quite ancient travelers to the voyages of pilgrims from our own time.


Eric Tagliacozzo is Professor of History at Cornell University. His first book, Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States Along a Southeast Asian Frontier (Yale 2005) won the Harry Benda Prize from the Association of Asian Studies. His second monograph, The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford, 2013) has just been published. Tagliacozzo is also the editor or co-editor of four other books, and serves as the Director of the Comparative Muslim Societies Program at Cornell, as well as Director of the Modern Indonesia Project and editor of the journal INDONESIA.

Dr. Francis R. Bradleyblank
Assistant Professor, Social Science & Cultural Studies, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Campus
Penang, Patani Scholars, and the Hajj
Abstract and Biodata

Patani and Penang, situated on opposite sides of the Malay-Thai Peninsula have both played important roles as centers for embarkation and influx of peoples, goods, and knowledge. This paper will analyze the relationship between Patani and Penang through the movement of Islamic scholars, pilgrims, and the texts they wrote. From the late eighteenth century onwards, Penang was often the destination for Patani people, often displaced by war, who sought a safer life abroad or sought passage to Mecca. In Mecca and Patani, scholars from Penang and Kedah studied with esteemed Patani scholars and, in the days before print, sometimes bore handwritten copies of manuscripts back to their homes after they returned. In the twentieth century, as Penang emerged as an active publishing center, the writings of the many well-known Patani scholars (and some who were less known) were eventually published in the printing houses of post-war Penang, destined for eager readers in Malay pondok on both sides of the Malaysian-Thai border.


Francis R. Bradley is an assistant professor of history in the department of social sciences and cultural studies at the Pratt Institute. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010. Bradley has previously published articles in the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Journal of the Siam Society, Patrick Jory’s edited collection, Ghosts of the Past in Southern Thailand: Essays on the History and Historiography of Pattani, and has a forthcoming article set to appear in the Journal of Asian Studies. He is presently preparing a book manuscript that examines the fall of Pattani in 1200/1786 (AH/CE), the displaced communities that formed trans-regional information networks that stretched from Mecca back to Southeast Asia, and the resultant rise of Islamic social and educational institutions on both sides of the Malay-Thai borderland.

uk1United Kingdom (1 Speaker)

Prof. E. Ulrich Kratzblank
Centre of South East Asian Studies, SOAS, University of London
Islam on Pulau Pinang: Some early evidence
Abstract and Biodata


The paper will have a systematic look at any evidence offered by the so-called Light Letters which originate from the early days of George Town. Other than making the sporadic and circumstantial evidence available in a more accessible format, it will attempt a preliminary analysis of the textual material. Particular emphasis will be given to the place of differing religious and secular institutions on the island and in especially, the set-up which is commonly found in the Malay Sultanates to meet the requirements of Muslims and which, on Pulau Pinang, was provided by Francis Light. The pilgrimage plays here an important part.


E. Ulrich Kratz (PhD 1971 J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt) is Emeritus Professor in Indonesian and Malay Studies at SOAS, London and currently a Professorial Research Associate in its Centre of Southeast Asian Studies.
Previously he held academic positions at Frankfurt University, where he is now a Senior Fellow, and at Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta. In the past he has been a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii atManoa and at Hamburg Unversity. During 1993 he was appointed a Karyawan Tamu with the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Malaysia.
His area of interest are the literatures, cultures, societies and religions of the Malay speaking world. He publishes on traditional Malay and contemporary Indonesian literatures.
Currently he is preparing the edition of the Light Letters on which he has worked for many years for publication.

Among his publications are:

Kratz, E.U. 1984. Trade and Politics in Penang Circa 1770-1794. In: Proceedings of the Xxxi. International Congress of Human Sciences in Asia and North Africa, edited by Y. Tatsuro, pp. 1100-02. Tokyo

———. 1987. Some Malay Letters on Trade. Indonesia Circle 44: 3-15.

———. 1994. Surat-Surat Light. The Light Letters 1786-1794. In: The Legacy of the Malay Letter – Warisan Warkah Melayu, edited by A.T. Gallop, pp. 130 – 41. London: The British Library

———. 1995. Francis Light Dan Surat-Suratnya. In: Tamadun Melayu, edited by I. Hussein, A. Aziz Deraman and A.R. al-Ahmadi, pp. 1043-60. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka

———. 2006. Like a Fish Gasping for Water. Indonesia and the Malay World 34 (100): 247-80.

Kratz, E.U. 2012. Francis Light’s Place in the Trading System of Both Coasts of the Malay Peninsula. Asian Journal of Social Science 40 (1): 83-99.

netherlands1Netherlands (1 Speaker)

Lecturer in Indonesian studies at institute for Area Studies (LIAS), Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University
A Critical Voice on Hajj by a Sumatran Pilgrim “Perdjalanan ke-Tanah Tjoetji” by Dja Endar Moeda (1903)
Abstract and Biodata


For centuries, Muslims from the Malay world have made the Hajj, the pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca. Hundreds of accounts have been written by the Malay-Indonesian pilgrims in all possible literary genres from the seventeenth century Hikajat Hang Tuah to recent Roidah’s novel Cinta Bertabur di Langit Mekah (Love Scattered Across the Sky of Mecca) (Jakarta: Erlangga, 2011). The accounts invariably stress the spiritual importance of this fifth ‘pillar’ of Islam, pervaded as they are by a sense of emotional involvement, religious enthusiasm and saintly overtones. Mecca and the Holy Places are described as a blessed land where one’s requests to God are most likely to be heard and answered. Although it may come as a surprise, not all accounts of the Hajj are positive. One early twentieth-century report written by a Sumatran pilgrim appears to be downright critical of some aspects of the practice. It is “Perjalanan ke-‘Tanah-Tjoetji’” (A trip to the ‘Holy Land’) written by Dja Endar Moeda. The author is a prominent businessman of vernacular press in Sumatra in the nineteenth century. The text was published in Amsterdam’s bimonthly Bintang Hindia in 1903. In “Perjalanan ke-‘Tanah-Tjoetji’” the author compares the running of the pilgrimage organized by the colonial Dutch regime in Padang and its British counterpart in Penang. The text also makes a list of 44 chapters (44 pasal) of instructions addressed to the potential hajj pilgrims from Nusantara archipelago. As such, the text actually serves as a ‘guidebook’ for the potential hajj pilgrims who want to go to Mecca. As a native intellectual, the author feels responsible to explain various things that may be experienced by the pilgrims during their trip to Mecca. This paper looks at the religious, cultural, and economic aspects represented in the text, its authorship and historical circumstances. Unlike Western accounts of the hajj practice, the Malay accounts of pilgrimage to Mecca like “Perjalanan ke-‘Tanah-Tjoetji’” most often reflect their cultural and social values. Since the text is unique among indigenous sources in its open criticism of some of the practices surrounding the Hajj, this paper also provides a critical edition of the text for current Malaysian and Indonesian readers.


Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University, and researcher in cluster Arts and Media at Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), Leiden. His research interests are oral tradition and verbal arts, classical Malay and modern Indonesian literature, and media culture in Indonesia. He is doing PhD research on cultural significance of regional recording industry in West Sumatra at Leiden University. Suryadi’s recent publications are “The image of radio technology in modern Indonesian literature”, in Rainbow of Malay Literature and Beyond: Festschrift in Honour of Professor Dato’ Dr. Md. Salleh Yaapar, Lalita Sinha (Penang: USM Press, 2011) “A tale of Lampung Submerged: A native’s reflection of the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Krakatau in 1883”, The Newsletter. International Institute of Asian Studies 61 (Autumn, 2012) and “A critical voice on Muslim pilgrims on Java: Reflection on UBL manuscript Or. 5567”, Omslag. Bulletin van Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden en het Scaliger Institute 10(2) 2012. Suryadi can be reached at

newzealand1New Zealand (1 Speaker)

Dr. Christopher M. JollChris Joll
Centre for Ethnic Studies and Development (CESD), Chiang Mai University
The Haj, salvation and social change in cosmopolitan Southeast Asian port city-states
Abstract and Biodata


As is well known, historians and religious studies have studied the haj, an element of Islam’s globally normative ritual repertoire widely dismissed by anthropologist as ethnographically insignificant. Anthropologists in Southeast Asia, particularly influenced by the anthropology of Islam, have complimented traditional interest in local ritual performances with how haj has impacted Southeast Asian Muslims and Muslim societies. This paper describes the effects of the the haj and umrah on individual salvation and social change. While the empirical data introduced in this paper is based on extensive enthnographic fieldwork undertaken in the overwhelmingly Muslim context of Pattani town (amphur muang Pattani), this paper suggests areas of continuity and disjuncture with other cosmopolitan Southeast Asian port city-states such as Penang. I argue that despite their geographical proximity, significant differences in the economic, ethnic, linguistic, and religious dynamics of these cosmopolitan centres should not be overlooked. Penang might have been the closest port of departure to Mecca for Muslims resided in the western coast of Thailand’s upper south that before the Anglo-Siamese treaty of 1909 was part of the Kedah Kerajaan, but many Malays from Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat left for Mecca from ports on the east coast. This paper argues that a significant similarities between Patani/Pattani and Penang the absence that has has been inadequately dealt with my scholars who shares the authors interest in the Thai/Malay Peninsula is the marginalization of Malay rajas by Siamese and British colonial expansion. Given the importance of these institutions in the patronage and administering of Islam, pilgrims returning to Penang and Patani/Pattani faced different obstacles to disseminating reformist agendas encountered in the Haramyn to than those returning to contexts still within the control of the palace. Whether from Penang and Patani/Pattani, pilgrims enjoyed the personal benefits of fulfilling the fifth and final pillar of Islam and the merit received from pious performances in Mecca’s potent centre, the details of which I delineate and discuss.


Dr Christopher M. Joll is a New Zealand anthropologist who has lived among and studied Thailand’s southern Malays for over a decade. He is a graduate of Universiti Kebangsaan whose academic interests are inter-disciplinary (anthropology, history, theology, Islamic studies), inter-religious (Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism), and trans-national (Thailand and Malaysia, and the Indian Ocean). He is the author of Muslim Merit-making in Thailand’s Far-south (Springer 2011), Since mid 2012, he has been based at the Centre for Ethnic Studies and Development (CESD), Chiang Mai University (CMU) where he has researched ethno-linguistic issues of language loss and loyalty in the Malay far-south, and begun a study of the ethno-religious diversity of sufi networks in Thailand. He has recently joined SEATIDE ( a three-year research project looking at issues of integration and exclusion in Southeast Asia, funded by the European Union, and is writing the Thailand chapter of a bibliographical history if Christian-Muslim Relations (1500-1900) ( While primarily invoved in research and writing he teaches intensive courses on inter-religious understanding and cultural anthropology in a number of Southeast Asian countries.

Dr Christopher M. Joll is a New Zealand anthropologist who, since 2000, has lived and worked in Thailand — ten of which were in the Malay-speaking far-south. He has a doctorate from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (2009) and is the author of Muslim Merit-making in Thailand’s Far-south (Springer 2011). His academic interests are inter-disciplinary (anthropology, history, theology, Islamic studies), inter-religious (Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism), and trans-national (Thailand, Malaysia, and the Indian Ocean). He has held research affiliations in Thailand and New Zealand and is currently a visiting researcher at Chiang Mai University’s Centre for Ethnic Studies and Development (CESD). Research and writing projects that he is currently involved with deal with the ethno-linguistic issues of language use, loss and loyalty among Thailand’s southern Malays, and ethno-religious dynamics in sufi networks among Thai and Malay-speaking Muslims in Thailand. He is contributing to a bibliographical history of Christian-Muslim Relations (1500-1900) (, and SEATIDE (, a three-year research project on integration and exclusion in Southeast Asia funded by the European Union.

indonesia1Indonesia (4 Speakers)

Dr. Kamaruzzaman Bustamam-Ahmadkamaruzzaman
State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) Ar-Raniry, Banda Aceh
Jak u Arab: Kajian Tentang Naik Haji di Kalangan Masyarakat Aceh
Abstract and Biodata


This paper attempts to explain the concept of the hajj pilgrimage through the Jak u Arab (journeying to Arabia) paradigm among the Acehnese. Historically, the pilgrimage was a major thing for the people of Aceh, aside from the satisfaction of worship, the hajj was also a means of connecting intellectually with Middle Eastern scholars (Kaptein 1997). At the very least, the spirit of Islamic struggle that existed in Aceh was influenced by the Middle East. Between the 16th to 17th centuries, the term Haramayn was coined to describe Arabia, from which point the premier network of Islamic scholars propagated Islamic reformism to Nusantara (Azra 1999) (Azra 1994) (Azra 1999). Following this, the term ek haji or going on hajj to “the land below the wind” emerged in which Penang was the major transit point. Economic records and the history of the Acehnese struggle are inseparable in the context of relationship between Aceh, Penang, and “the lands below the wind” in assimilating the spirit of Islamic reform, which is subsequently reflected in the history of the struggle against colonialism (Laffan 2003) (Azra 1999). The jak u Arab paradigm is still relevant in Acehnese society today, especially in the construction of the spiritual dimension and socio-religious strata. In Aceh, there are at least two villages which attached the word Haji to their names – Krueng Haji and Labuhan Haji. The former term is used to designate those who have performed the pilgrimage. In other words, the concept of pilgrimage is one of the key words in understanding the dynamics of the religious life of the people of Aceh.
In this paper, the author will discuss the conflict and impact of pilgrimage within the jak u Arab perspective. This study will adopt the socio-historical and socio-anthropologist methodology. Historical data will be put forth together with social and cultural facts of the Acehese people.
The structure of this exploration will first uncover the path taken by the jak u Arab concept, followed by a review of the polarization of the Acehnese pilgrims.

Jak u Arab: Kajian Tentang Naik Haji di Kalangan Masyarakat Aceh

Kerta kerja ini mencoba memaparkan bagaimana konsep naik haji melalui paradigama Jak u Arab (pergi ke Arab) dikalangan masyarakat Aceh. Secara historis, naik haji merupakan kunci utama bagi masyarakat Aceh, selain untuk kepuasan ritual dalam beribadah, juga untuk merasakan kontak intelektual dengan masyarakat ilmuwan di Arab (Kaptein 1997). Paling tidak, semangat perjuangan keislaman yang ada di Aceh, sedikit banyak dipengaruhi oleh Tanah Arab. Pada abad ke-16-17, untuk menggambarkan Arab, dimunculkan istilah Haramayn, dimana jaringan ulama perdana dalam pembaharuan Islam di Nusantara ( (Azra 1999) (Azra 1994) (Azra 1999). Setelah itu, muncul istilah ek haji (naik haji) pada “negeri bawah angin”, dimana Pulau Pinang menjadi tempat transit utama. Catatan perekonomian dan sejarah perjuangan Aceh, tidak dapat dilepaskan dari konteks hubungan Aceh, Pulau Pinang, dan “negeri bawah angin” lainnya di dalam menyerap semangat pembaharuan Islam, yang kemudian dipantulkan di dalam sejarah perjuangan melawan penjajah (Laffan 2003) (Azra 1999). Paradigma jak u Arab masih melekat pada masyarakat Aceh hari ini, terutama di dalam pembinaan aspek spiritual dan juga strata sosial keagamaan. Di Aceh, paling tidak ada dua kampung yang memakai nama haji yaitu Krueng Haji dan Labuhan Haji. Adapun gelar mereka yang sudah pernah naik haji dikenal dengan istilah Teungku Haji. Dengan kata lain, konsep haji menjadi salah satu kata kunci di dalam memahami dinamika kehidupan beragama masyarakat Aceh. Dalam makalah ini, penulis akan membahas bagaimana pergeseran dan dampak naik haji dalam perspektif jak u Arab. Adapun pendekatan yang digunakan di dalam kajian ini adalah sosio-historis dan sosio-antropologis. Jadi, data sejarah akan diperhadapkan dengan fakta sosial dan fakta kebudayaan yang terdapat di dalam masyarakat Aceh. Adapun struktur penjelajahan ini akan mengupas perjalan konsep jak u Arab, setelah itu meninjau polarisasi masyarakat Aceh yang pernah naik haji.


Kamaruzzaman Bustamam-Ahmad is a lecturer at the State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) Ar-Raniry, Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and was a visiting research fellow at the Academy of Islamic Studies at the University of Malaya. He completed his PhD in anthropology at La Trobe University, Australia. His research focuses on the anthropology of Islamic culture and the sociology of religion in Southeast Asia, and he is engaged in an ongoing project on Malay and Acehnese identity in Southeast Asia. His latest publications include Acehnologi (2012), Islam di Asia Tenggara [Islam in Southeast Asia] (2012), Islamic Studies and Islamic Education in Contemporary Southeast Asia (co-edited with Patrick Jory, 2011), and Islamic Thought in Southeast Asia: New Intepretations and Movements (co-edited with Patrick Jory, 2013).

Saiful Anwar Matondang (1) and Febry Ichman Butsi (2)blank2
(1) Ph.D candidate in Anthropological Linguistics, Universitē de Fribourg, Switzerland
(2) M.A. in Communication Science, USM
The Strategic Position of Penang and the Revival of shared Identity of the Ummah
Abstract and Biodata


Penang was not only a port for British defensive and economics purposes in South East Asia but also the center of socio-cultural changes of Ummah, the world Islamic communities, as it became a node of cultural reformation in the Straits of Melacca. This paper traces back the strategic position of Penang in British colonial era and Penang’s relation to the revival of shared identity of Ummah. That sort of revival contributes much to currently global Ummah phenomenon. As the ethno-religious sentiment was growing as a socio-political instrument for Ummah to take a vital position in Indian Ocean connectivity, Penang has a great variety of functions at the time. Although many of historians and political scientists rely on the records of Western scholarship and ignore the affecting factor of Ummah communication of Southeast Asia to Middle East, our attention pays on the impact of linkage of Sumatra, Malay Penisula and South Thailand to the Middle east as a core of change. Firstly we would argue that the anti-colonial movement, for instance, also was strongly affected by that relationship and hardened within Ummah sphere. Secondly, restructuring occurred; Western education system in which natives of noble family had been prepared eventually were reconstructed and recontextualized by Ummah movement. It needs to look at the position of Penang which influenced the Moslems’ perception of brotherhood, shared identity as well as the appearance of nationalism among the people who were living under the British and Dutch colonial. Finally, an investigation into the connectivity of Ummah, which has a powerful effect on the change of religiosity and pan-Malay identity in Malay Peninsula and Dutch Indies, and position of Penang in the eyes of Ummah need to discover.


Saiful Anwar Matondang is a doctorate student of Anthropological Linguistic, Department of Social Anthrophology, Faculty of Arts, Universite de Fribourg Switzerland and obtained M.A Arts & Culture, Asian Studies the University of Hawai’i., USA. He conducted an ethnographic field work which explores Interethnic Perceptions of Ethnic Boundaries in Penang. He has been teaching Method of Research in Language and Culture in several university in Medan North Sumatra Indonesia. He is now the Head of language Center University of Muslim Nusantara Al Washliyah, Medan. His email address:

Febry Ichwan Butsi graduated from M.A in Communication Science, Faculty of Communication, the University of Science Malaysia (USM) Penang in 2011. His M.A research focused on Media Studies; News construction into discourses in Malaysia and Indonesia mass media. He uncovered Nirmala Bonat’s case, an Indonesian house maid who had been tortured by her Malaysian employer, Yim Pek Ha. Now he is a lecturer in University of Muslim Nusantara in Medan and North Sumatera University as teaching assistant since 2008. You can contact him at :

Prof. (retired) Suwardi bin Mohammad SaminSuwardi
Historian and Culturalist of Riau
Perjalanan dari Sumatra – Riau ke Pulau Pinang naik haji ke Mekkah
Abstract and Biodata


Perjalanan bermula kurun ke 18 Masehi ke Pulau Pinang dari berbagai negeri asalnya seperti dari Aceh, Sumatra Timur, Sumatra Barat (Minangkabau) dan dari Riau seperti dari Rokan, Siak, Kampar, Kuantan, Indragiri dan sebagainya. Perjalanan tokoh-tokoh dari negeri-negeri itu semula melakukan pelayaran, perdagangan dan kemudian meneroka di Pulau Pinang serta mereka membangun berbagai sarana kehidupan, peribadatan seperti masjid, madrasah. Pembahasan materi tersebut dipergunakan juga sumber-sumber tertulis dan lisan. Dari situ diperoleh maklumat: bahawa para ulama dan tokoh-tokoh yang datang dari Sumatra termasuk dari Riau ke Pulau Pinang memakan masa itu mereka berhasil mengumpulkan perbelanjaan dan behasil naik haji ke Mekah seperti Seikh Tengku Syed Hussein Idid dari Aceh pada 1792 tiba di Pulau Pinang dan membangun masjid di Acheen Street, George Town. Pada tahun 1734 Nakhoda Intan atau setelah naik haji ke Mekkah bernama Hj. Mohammad Saleh membangun masjid Batu Uban berasal dari kampong Buadi Payakumbuh (Minangkabau). Madiso setelah naik Haji di Mekkah bernama Haji Shafie dan isterinya Ingah diberi nama Hajah Fatimah dengan rombongannya, berangkat dari Pulau Pinang ke Mekkah dengan naik kapal, mereka berasal dari Bandar Khalifah Deli-Serdang, dan selama 10 tahun di Simpang Temelok, Perak. Seterusnya dari Rokan Riau Tuan Guru Seikh Abdul Wahab Rokan bersama 20 orang muridnya menuju Penang dan menerima maklumat kapal akan berangkat ke Mekkah pada 10 Zulkaedah 1310 H yang berhasil mengumpulkan anggota rombongan naik haji. Tokoh-Tokoh, ulama dari Riau seperti Seikh Mustafa Indragiri dengan keturunanannya Seikh Mohammad Ali Indragiri serta cucunya Seikh Ibrahim Mohd.Ali Indragiri (lahir di Mekkah). Dari Tambusai Rokan berhasil pula naik Haji dari Tambusai via Pulau Pinang, Seikh Muhammad Nor Tambusai. Juga terpetik maklumat bahwa dari Kampar berhasil pula ke Mekkah dan sekembalinya terkenal sebagai Seikh Muhmmad Kampari.

Kata-kata kunci: Perjalanan,Sumatra-Riau, ke Pinang haji ke Mekkah


Prof. Suwardi bin Mohammad Samin was born in Sentajo, Kuantan, Regency of Riau in Indonesia on 23 July 1939. He is variously regarded as a teacher, educator and historian. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Educational History in 1963 and was an Undergraduate Major in Cultural History in 1966. In 1976, he entered the field of Educational Planning at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
From 1966 to 2009 he served as lecturer at Riau University (UNRI) in Pekanbaru, Indonesia. In 1987, he was made a professor at the Faculty of Teaching at the same university. Since 2010, has held the distinction of Extraordinary Lecturer at Riau University and also at STIPAR/APEPH in Pekanbaru. Aside from pedagogics, he has also held other positions including Deputy Rector of UNRI.

He was invited to Universiti Sains Malaysia’s CenPris, the oldest policy research centre in Malaysia as Visiting Researcher, from March to October 2012.

Prof. Suwardi has also written several books on Malay culture and history.

thailand1Thailand (2 Speakers)

Muhammad Ilyas Yahprungblank
Ph.D. candidate in International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC)
The reformist doctrine of ijtihad and its applications: A comparative study of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fatani’s Hadiqatul Azhar and Tayyibul-ihsan fi Tibbil-Insan, and the Penang’s reformist journal, al-Ikwan and Saudara.
Abstract and Biodata


Islamic reformism has been identified by scholars as a transformative force shaping Muslim society of the Malay Archipelago, particularly, at the dawn of the 20th century. The idea – aims primarily at reformulating the heritage of Islam through independence reasoning and integrating modern thought and institutions with Islam (Hasan: 2010, 303) – first propagated by Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) and his disciple Rashid Rida (1865-1935). As Muslim world, including the Malay, was encroaching by Western imperialists, the crying for reform was echoed by the Patani Ulama of such high reputation as Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fatani (1856-1908) who resided in Mecca, and whose Hadiqatul Azhar and Tayyibul-ihsan fi Tibbil-Insan are a clear indication of his calls for reform of the Malay society. Azra (2010: 155) had identified the institution of Haj as a crucial means through which the reformist idea came to the region. The Port of Penang played an important role not only as a place of embarkation for the Haj but also dissemination of the reformist idea. Two major reformist journals, al-Ikwan (first issue was published in 1926) and Saudara (first issue was published in 1928), were printed in Penang, urging the Malayan to reform their faith on several key concepts. This paper aimed at comparing the reformism, particularly, the concept of ijtihad (personal reasoning) and its application as proposed by Sheikh Ahmad in his two treaties – Hadiqatul Azhar and Tayyibul-ihsan fi Tibbil-Insan – and those of Ulama who wrote in al-Ikwan and Saudara. It argued that Sheikh Ahmad concerned more on the Malay adat (the Malay traditions) while al-Ikwan and Saudara emphasized on purifying Islam from latter accretion (bidah) to which adat was their prime target.


Muhammad Ilyas Yahprung is a lecturer in the Faculty of Political Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok. He was part of several publications: in 2011 An Interpretation of Modernity: A Study of Tuan Guru Ismail Sepanyang (1955-): The Traditionalist Ulama (Religious Scholar) of modern Pattani. Rubaiyat: Thai Journal of Asian Studies 2(3), 111-145 and in 2006 The Malaysian Connection of the Southern Thailand. In Samrn U-ngamsin (ed.), Holding Fast to the Ideology of Harmony among Thais (ppg.231-245). Bangkok: Maulid Klang Organising Committee of Thailand. His research currently under studied 100 most important Pattani’s historical Documents. This project has been studied in collaboration with Faculty of Humanities, Prince of Songkhla University. The project is funded by the Asia Foundation.

Dr. Numan Hayimasaeblank
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Pattani
Syeikh Haji Melayu, Hajj Pilgrimage Service: Its Genesis, Role and Change
Abstract and Biodata


The Hajj pilgrimage is one of the five pillars in Islam; Muslims must do this pilgrimage once in their lifetime in Mecca (of the recent Saudi Arabia). Compared to the other four pillars in Islam, the process of the Hajj pilgrimage is fairly difficult and complex. Ordinary Muslims have to be accompanied by someone who is able to teach and guide them along the Hajj correctly and completely. Some are even responsible in taking them from their homeland to Mecca and back again safely. Known as “Syeikh Haji Melayu” in Malay, this title was initiated by Syeikh Daud Abdullah al-Fatani in 1820s. The function of the Syeikh Haji Melayu includes introducing the pilgrims Hajj procedures, the important places relating to the Hajj, accommodation, food and other services. As the number of Hajj pilgrim increases each years, mostly because of the good economy of Muslims and better transportation due to the Suez Canal in Egypt which was opened in 1869, so did the number of Syeikh Haji Melayu. However, the voluntary nature of the task was replaced by a permanent vocation that promised substantial financial rewards. It became a business undertaking to organize the pilgrimage with the increasing participation of the Saudi Arabia government notably in the Hajj.


Dr. Numan Hayimasae is a lecturer at the Malay Studies Section, Department of Oriental Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prince of Songkla University in Pattani. He has held the post since November 2011.

He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Islamic Civilisation from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang on 2002. From 2004 to 2010, he studied Southeast Asian history for his doctoral research at the same university.

His work experience can best be described as diverse, having held a variety of positions including lecturer, municipality advisor and lecturer in both Pattani and Penang.

His areas of research are on the History of Madrasah in Thailand, the Haramayn and Patani Network and History of Islam in Nusantara.

No stranger to the world of intelligentsia, Dr. Hayimasae has written and tabled papers within his field of expertise.

His presentation will be on Syeikh Haji Melayu, Hajj Pilgrimage Service: Its Genesis, Role and Change.

malaysia1Malaysia (8 Speakers)

Abdur-Razzaq LubisLubis_photo
Independent scholar and author
The Mandailing on Hajj
Abstract and Biodata


The Mandailing were late comers to Islam, being converted at the point of the sword during the Padri War (1803-45), forcing some to migrate to the west coast of the peninsular (Malaysia) in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Dutch colonialism sustained this chain of migration until the early twentieth century. On both sides of the Straits of Malacca, the Mandailing found themselves lagging behind fellow Muslims in Islamic instruction and other respects of their new found faith. Performing the hajj was, for them, a way out of obscurity and marginality towards centrality and cosmopolitanism within the Islamic ecumene centred in the Haramyn (Makka and Madina). The hajj also served to quench their thirst for knowledge, shared praxis and values of the ummah, and to accumulate merit and salvation in this life and the hereafter as new Muslims and new brethren in an ancient communion from the dark ages. And thus they embarked on this sacred journey, traversing land and water across the enveloping Indian Ocean, from the remote tropical interior of the peninsular to the equally remote but dry climes of the Arabian desert. The cost of passage was drawn from the wealth of tin mining and trade.
This paper focuses on the journal of Raja Haji Shahabuddin, the youngest son of Raja Bilah and the doyen of the Perak Mandailings. The former authored Peringatan Tarikh Raja Shahabuddin dan Rahmah ke Makkah, a unique account of a husband and wife who went on the hajj at the onset of the Second World War, when U-boats lurked dangerously beneath the waves. The journal described the mundane day-to-day aspects of the journey: their mode of transport, the Sheikh Hajis (pilgrim brokers), the changing weather, the ports of call, the ethnicities, attires and languages of the people they met on board and on land and the medical and quarantine procedures, as well as entertainment for pilgrims. The disagreeable aspects of the voyage – the begging, the squalor, corruption, intimidation, continued destruction of tombs by the fundamentalist Wahhabis – were not spared. Raja Shahabuddin’s account is also gender sensitive as it is the only record that we know of from this part of the world that offers some insights on the activities of a woman in this case his wife in the performances of the hajj rites to shopping and visiting relatives, all of which they co-jointly performed.


Abdur-Razzaq Lubis @ Namora Sende Loebis is an independent scholar, author, activist and publisher. He is the author of several books and academic articles in learned journals published regionally and abroad. He has worked and written for Perak State Economic Planning Unit (EPU Tourism), Taiping Municipal Council, Perak Academy, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Asia-Pacific People’s Environmental Network (APPEN), Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Studies (IFEES), Alliance for Religions and Conservation (ARC) and other bodies. He was selected as an Asian Public Intellectual (API) Fellow by Nippon Foundation; a coordinator for Water Watch Asia, a project funded by UNDP and coordinator for UNESCO’s education program for youth as well as one of two coordinators of the UNESCO-LEAP project ‘Community Participation in Waqf Revitalization’ which earned the UNESCO’s Special Achievement Award in 2001.

Dr. Aiza binti Maslan @ Baharudinblank
School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Aktiviti Haji dan Perkembangan Pentadbirannya di Pulau Pinang
Abstract and Biodata

An analysis of the working history of Malay pilgrims discloses indirectly the involvement and the role of Penang and its people in the Hajj business. Before the opening of Penang’s seaways, the Malays travelled via Aceh to the Holy Land on private merchant vessels originating from various countries.

Things changed in 1786, when Penang took over Aceh in the role of transporting pilgrims, and inter alia, made itself the central point of departure during the Hajj season. In addition to the services provided by the Malayan Railway and the Penang Ferry, the pilgrim’s journey was also facilitated by the establishment of the local branch of Mansfield and Company, acting as agent of the shipping company responsible for Hajj travel; pilgrims could now depart from the mainland, Kedah, North Perak and Kelantan.

The involvement of Sheikh Omar Basheer’s family in the administration of the affairs of the pilgrimage has also intensified Hajj activities in Penang, as can be traced through the former’s personal notes.

The management of Hajj affairs also created its own history with the establishment of the Penang Hajj Control Office under the supervision of Mohamed Ali Rouse, who held the honour of being the Office’s pioneer controller.

Meneliti sejarah pengerjaan haji orang Melayu secara tidak langsung memperlihat penglibatan dan peranan yang dimainkan oleh Pulau Pinang dan masyarakatnya dalam industri haji. Sebelum pembukaan Pulau Pinang pelayaran haji orang Melayu dilakukan melalui Aceh dengan menumpang kapal-kapal dagang milik orang perseorangan dari pelbagai negara. Mulai tahun 1786 Pulau Pinang telah mengambil alih peranan Aceh sebagai sebuah pelabuhan haji, sekali gus menjadikannya tumpuan orang Melayu saban tahun untuk berlepas ke Tanah Suci Makkah. Selain kemudahan perkhidmatan Keretapi Tanah Melayu dan feri, pembukaan cawangan Syarikat Mansfield and Company sebagai ejen syarikat perkapalan yang bertanggungjawab mengangkut jemaah haji telah memudahkan proses pemergian jemaah haji dari Seberang Perai, Kedah, Perak Utara dan Kelantan. Penglibatan keluarga Sheikh Omar Basheer dalam pentadbiran hal ehwal haji juga telah merancakkan lagi aktiviti haji di Pulau Pinang sepertimana yang dapat ditelusuri melalui catatan peribadi tokoh berkenaan. Pengelolaan hal ehwal haji turut mencatat sejarahnya yang tersendiri dengan penubuhan Pejabat Kawalan Haji Pulau Pinang di bawah pemantauan Mohamed Ali Rouse selaku Pengawal Urusan Haji Tanah Melayu yang pertama.

Kata kunci: industri haji, Syarikat Mansfield and Company, Sheikh Omar Basheer, Pejabat Kawalan Haji Pulau Pinang, Mohamed Ali Rouse.


Dr. Aiza Maslan @ Baharudin is a senior lecturer at the Department of Philosophy and Civilization, School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. She specializes in Islamic History and Civilization with a focus on research of the Haj pilgrimage.

Selected bibliography:

1) Aiza Maslan Baharudin & Mohammad Redzuan Othman. 2012. “Pemergian Haji dalam Teks Hikayat Hang Tuah, Tuhfat al-Nafis dan Kisah Pelayaran Abdullah Ka-Judah”, Dastar Pendeta, Jabatan Sejarah, Universiti Malaya.

2) Aiza Maslan @ Baharudin. 2011. “Sistem Kuarantin dan Pelaksanaannya di Tanah Melayu pada abad ke-19”. Jurnal Sejarah. Bil. 19, Jld. 1, 79-103.

3) Aiza binti Maslan @ Baharudin & Roshimah binti Shamsudin. 2011 Penglibatan Kaum Wanita Dalam Institusi Haji: Satu Sorotan Sejarah”, Wanita dan Perjuangan, Universiti Tun Hussien Onn Malaysia.

4) Aiza binti Maslan @ Baharudin. 2009. “Menyahut Panggilan Ka’abah: Perspektif Orang Melayu Mengenai Ibadah Haji”. Issues and Challenges of Contemporary Islam and Muslims. Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

5) Aiza Maslan @ Baharudin & Roshimah Shamsudin. 2009. “Hubungan Antara Tanah Melayu dan Hejaz: Peranan dan Sumbangan Jemaah Haji dan Penuntut Melayu di Hejaz”. Proceedings of the Malaysian Conference on Arabic Studies and Islamic Civilization (MACASIC). Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

6) Aiza Haji Maslan @ Baharudin. 2005. “Pemergian Menunaikan Haji Dalam Hikayat Hang Tuah dan Tuhfat al-Nafis”. Jurnal Sejarah. Bil. 13.

Prof. Faridah Abdul Rashidblank
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
The Malayan Hajj Doctors and the Malaysia Hajj Scene 1900-2013
Abstract and Biodata


Malaysian Muslims perform hajj via Tabung Haji or travel and tours agency. Islamic banking was introduced for the establishment of Perbadanan Wang Simpanan Bakal-Bakal Haji (PWSBH) which impacted hajj development tremendously. Potential hajj pilgrims could successfully save money for future expenses of their intended hajj by paying as many small instalments. PWSBH and Pejabat Urusan Hal Ehwal Haji in Penang merged and Lembaga Urusan dan Tabung Haji (LUTH) was established under Akta 8, Akta Lembaga Urusan dan Tabung Haji on 30 September 1969. LUTH also used Islamic banking system. LUTH and private agencies, along with the hajj doctors, worked to bring about better overall experiences for the Malaysian hajj pilgrims. The pilgrims benefitted by enjoying good and safe travel, proper accommodation and balanced meals during the hajj. Good telecommunications, rapid banking facilities and postal services are offered at reasonable price in Makkah. Saudi sim cards were sold freely on the pavement outside Masjidil Nabawi in Madinah. Malayan pilgrims depended on the Indonesian authorities for their hajj sea travels before the Indonesian independence. Before 1974, Malayan hajj trips were operated by ships or steamers from Penang to Balad city port in Jeddah. Malayan pilgrims lived for a few days at Balad to acclimatise to the local desert climate before travelling by bus to Makkah or Madinah. This acclimatisation was necessary as it would reduce health problems among hajj pilgrims. Balad ceased to be used when LUTH deployed airplanes for its hajj trips in 1974. The hajj flights were conducted by the Malaysian Airlines System (MAS), departing initially from Malaysia’s first international airport at Subang, and later from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), and eventually from Penang and Terengganu. LUTH improved ground services and facilities for the hajj pilgrims at Kompleks Haji Kelana Jaya. International flights converged at the King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At the crux of the mass air travels and gatherings is the concern for public health. Huge crowds caused delays and can compromise on food quality, living conditions, sanitation and health. Massive outbreaks of diseases can decimate the pilgrims en masse. Since the time of Ibn Battuta’s Rihlah (travelogue) of the 1850s, diarrhoea is a big concern among travellers. Viruses have followed the African travellers and pilgrims are advised to be vaccinated accordingly. Vaccinations are provided by Malaysian major government hospitals and private clinics. Pilgrims are known to suffer from certain conditions upon return from the hajj. Between 1900 and 1957, there were close to 55 Malay doctors who worked in early Malaya and Singapore. A few Penang doctors served as ‘hajj doctors’ or ‘hajj surgeons’ on the annual hajj pilgrimage. Issues of health and sanitation were reported by the hajj doctors in local newspapers. There is paucity of hajj data and limited personal accounts of the hajj pilgrimage. Malaysian pilgrims do not pen their hajj travelogues for fear it will nullify the hajj. There are few Malaysian hajj travelogues in book form while narratives have appeared in local magazines.


Faridah Abdul Rashid was born and raised in Malacca, Malaysia. She attended schools in Kedah, Sabah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and Penang. She obtained the Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) in 1975. She holds a double BA in Microbiology (with distinction) and Chemical Sciences from California State University, Chico (1980), MSc in Biochemistry from the University of California, Riverside (1982) and PhD from the University of Western Australia, Perth (1990). She is a lecturer at the School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan in Malaysia where she teaches medical biochemistry and history of medicine. She researched on hyperlipidaemias. She introduced computerisation for clinical laboratories, e-learning and taught computers. She initiated research on rural broadband and social media. Her recent books published in 2012 are Research on the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore and Biography of the Early Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore.

Dr. Mohd Isa Othmanblank
School of Distance Learning, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Tarikh Perjalanan ke Negeri Mekah Al-Mukaramah Catatan Pengalaman Peribadi Wan Yahya Wan Mohd Taib
Abstract and Biodata

There are not many who relish the thought of documenting what is for them a personal journey, even less so when the experience is destined for the public domain.
One person who did chronicle his pilgrimage was Wan Yahya Wan Mohd Taib, a figure of repute in the Kedah government and also a writer of renown. In 1911, he published a history of Kedah. This was followed three years later with a personal account of his hajj experience, which he called A History of the Journey to the Holy City of Mecca (Tarikh Al-Siyahah Ila Makatul Mukaramah).
Wan Yahya travelled to Mecca on a merchant vessel, instead of the usual travel package reserved for pilgrims. This gave him the advantage of stopping at various ports of call and observing the different societies. Being a chronicler of great exactitude, he took pains to make detailed observations of what he saw. When he arrived in the holy city, he trained his keen powers of observation on the practice of worship in both Medina and Mecca.
As befitting its uniqueness, Wan Yahya’s comprehensive account of the hajj is especially relevant, particularly for the second decade of the 20th century.

Tidak ramai yang mahu menulis pengalaman perjalanan peribadi apatah lagi untuk diterbitkan untuk tatapan pembaca umum. Wan Yahya Wan Mohd Taib, seorang elit penting dalam kerajaan negeri Kedah merupakan pengarang terkenal yang menulis Tarikh atau Tawarikh Negeri Kedah pada tahun 1911. Beliau merupakan Setiausaha Kerajaan Kedah yang kedua. Pada 1914, beliau mendapat cuti menunaikan fardhu Haji. Pengalaman menunaikan fardhu haji itu beliau tuliskan sebagai buku dengan judul Tarikh Perjalanan ke Negeri Mekah al-Mukaramah (Tarikh Al-Siyahah Ila Makatul Mukaramah). Istimewanya pengalaman beliau, Wan Yahya tidak menaiki kapal haji bersama jemaah lain tetapi menaiki kapal dagang. Catatan ini menarik kerana Wan Yahya memperincikan tempat-tempat yang disinggahi dan amalan ibadat di Madinah dan Mekah. Buku ini mengungkapkan satu sisi pengalaman yang istimewa untuk zamannya, khususnya untuk dekad kedua abad ke-20


Professor Dr. Mohd. Isa was born in Kodiang, Kedah. He received his early education at Sekolah Rendah Tunku Bendahara, Kodiang and later continued his studies at Sultan Abdul Halim Secondary School in Jenan, Jitra. He received his Degree and Diploma in Education from University of Malaya. Later, he received his Masters and Doctorate from Universiti Sains Malaysia. He is now Associate Professor lecturing in Malaysian History at School of Distance Learning, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Dato’ Dr. Mujahid Yusof Rawablank
Member of Parliament, Malaysia
Haji Yusof Rawa and the Hajj Business
Abstract and Biodata


Haji Yusof Rawa was born as Yusof Bin Abdullah Ar Rawi on the 8th Mei1922 in Penang. He came from a family originated from North Sumatra of the Rao District. The generation of immigrant from this place was later known as The Rawas who by the early 20th century were scattered all over the Peninsular. In Penang the Rawas settled as merchants and traders occupying the area around Acheh Mosque later known as Acheen Street Malay Mosque. His father, Haji Abdullah bin Nordeen Arrawi started as a small trader selling Islamic books and other religious needs until he managed to own a premise beside the busy Acheh Street Malay Mosque. He was also in touch with the Haj Agents or the Syeikh Haji from Mecca and act as local agents for them. Yusof grew up as a boy in a strict Islamic discipline and was sent to Mecca to study at the age of 15. His father Haji Abdullah died in an aerial bomb attack during the Japanese WWII campaign on Penang Island. The young Yusof was in Mecca fulfilling his father wish to become a great Islamic scholar. Having to face hardship in Mecca because of the WWII Yusof decided to return home and continue his father publication and book house legacy. He strived hard to make ends meet for his sibblings and his mother Hajjah Asmah binti Salleh. After a colourful life of entrepreneurship, politics, social and educational contribution he died at the age of 78, on the 28th of April 2000. He left behind a legacy of his own known as Haji Yusof Rawa legacy.

Haji Yusof Rawa inherited his father’s publication and books business. His contacts with friends and family in Mecca after his long dwelling there has made him also a local agent for the Syeikh Haji looking for potential clients. His business premise at 55 Lebuh Acheh also acted as one stop centre for the Hajj Agents from Mecca. The house around the Mosque were rented for the would be pilgrims before they depart from the busy port of Penang to Jeddah as it was at an approximate distance to the port. It was an ideal centre where his premise would also provide guide books for the pilgrimage and other guides provided by the agents. The Agents from Mecca would bring with them Arabic Books ordered by Haji Yusof and Haji Yusof would also act as a trustee to keep the money collected from the potential pilgrims. Just like his father, he owned a respect as a trustee for the Syeikh Haji to keep their money and would withdraw them upon the request of the Syeikh Haji. The two agents from Mecca who had direct contact with him were Syeikh Amin Rawa and Syeikh Ahmad Lampong. He was their contact in Penang and his position as an influential social and political figure helped the Syeikh Haji a lot in dealing with the local authorities. His uncle Haji Arifin Bin Salleh was directly a Syeikh Haji himself looking for potential pilgrims and accommodating them around the Acheh Street Mosque. It was a unique way of doing the hajj business where ‘Mini Jeddah’ (referring to Acheh Street and the surrounding) was a busy and bustling centre for the Haj business.


Dato’ Dr. Mujahid Yusof Rawa, a Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP) is a native of Penang. His knowledge was shaped by his father, Tuan Haji Yusof Rawa, an expert on political and local social matters and his educational background. Being exposed to two schools of thought – Secular Secular Studies and Islam – gave him an edge in mastering sources of knowledge in both Arabic and English. His doctorate in Political Science is from Universiti Malaya; Bachelor’s in Human Resource Development from Universiti Putra Malaysia and BA in Arabic and Literature from the Al-Zahar University in Cairo, Egypt. He is a frequent contributor to The Malaysian Insider news portal under his regular column in the portal’s opinion section. He has written several books which challenges the status quo in Islamic thought in party politics, namely Menuju Pas Baru (Towards a New PAS) and Rejuvenasi PAS (The Rejuvenation of PAS) which was hotly debated. He also wrote a brief memoir of his father entitled Permata dari Pulau Mutiara (The Diamond from the Pearl Isle) and Kitakan Orang Malaysia, translated into English under the title Aren’t We All Malaysians? He is currently the Chairman of the Interfaith Dialogue for Peace in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Ramli Awangblank
Faculty of Islamic Civilization, University Technology Malaysia
Haji dan Lebai dari Perspektif Tuan Guru Syeikh Abdul Qadir Al-Mandili Al-Indonesia (1910-1965)
Abstract and Biodata

Muslims who fulfil the fifth pillar of Islam, the hajj, are considered praiseworthy by the Malay community. The hajj is regarded as the pinnacle of one’s faith and as such, returning pilgrims are respectfully given unofficial titles such as Tuan Haji, ‘bang Haji and Hajjah. There are those who also adopt such titles officially in their identification documents. These individuals are so admired by the community that their views are often consulted and used as references in communal activities. They are often called upon to perform services such as reciting the call to prayer, acting as leaders in prayer rituals and religious feasts, rituals for newborns and so on and so forth. In short, the Malays are of the opinion that the title of ‘Haji’ is closely related to the teachings of Islam, reflecting all that is desirable viz. piety, righteousness and a belief in the hereafter.

Syeikh Abdul Qadir al-Mandili was the author of a curiously titled book called Weapons of a Haji and Theologian (Senjata Tok Haji dan Tok Lebai). It was curious in the sense that the title had seemingly little to do with the contents, which comprised after-prayer recitals and devotions, recitals and prayers during religious feasts, ‘effects’ of reciting the Yasin 41 times, instructions given at the grave of a departed Muslim, ‘effects’ of the terawih and witir prayers, Friday sermons, wedding sermons, Eid sermons and teachings that are part of one’s daily good deeds.

This abstract attempts to analyze the views of Tuan Guru Syeikh Abdul Qadir al-Mandili in relation to his aforementioned book. What was his concept of the ‘weapon’ so owned by the Hajis and theologians, and what was the concept and its function among the lives within the community at the time?


Ramli Awang is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Islamic Civilisation, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Johor Bahru. He holds various degrees viz. a doctorate in the field of Theology and Philosophy; Master’s and a Bachelor’s in Islamic Studies from the National University of Malaysia in Bangi and a Diploma in Philosophy of Science in Islam from the Islamic College of Science & Technology (IPI) in Bangi.

A prolific writer, he has authored and published several works. They include:

• Islam: Nationalistic Thought and Governance (2012)
• Islamic Thought: Flow and Ideas (2012)
• Islamic Civilizational Science (2012)
• Islamic and Asian Civilizations (joint authorship, 2011)
• Biography & Moral Studies: Syeikh Abdul Qadir Al–Mandili (1910–1965) (2008)
• Philosophy of Science & Development: Towards a New Dimension (2003)

One of his works, Interfaith Dialogue from the Quranic Perspective, was accorded the National Islamic Media Award (AMIN) under the Best Writer–General Books category in October 2009.

Dr. Shanti Moorthyblank
Monash University, Malaysia campus
The Hajj as a Cosmopolitan Practice
Abstract and Biodata


There has been much interest of late in cosmopolitanism as a thematic, a praxis and an utopian ideal. It is my intention in this paper to briefly reiterate (with respect to my previous work on this subject) the cosmopolitan nature of the Indian Ocean and its port cities, of which Penang is one. As the historian Michael Pearson proposes, the hajj was crucial in the development of early modern cosmopolitanism across the Indian Ocean, the ramifications of which persist to this day in a wide dissemination of shared cultural practices, linguistic and family ties, trade networks etc. The hajj as a spatial and imaginal praxis set up arcs of mobility with Mecca as its centre. Despite the fact that Mecca may not have been an actual or contemporary nexus of political or imperial power through history, it remained a Centre, both as origin and terminus of pilgrim routes and concomitant freight of ideas, goods for trade etc but also in the sense of Mircea Eliade’s ideas of the sacred Centre, to be attained by the ummah throughout the world, both physically and imaginatively. Not only are the ummah constituted as communities, as Victor Turner would put it, by the performing the hajj, this sacred journey also provides the most profound opportunity for humankind to encounter their Allah Transcendent, as ibn Arabi has described both in general accounts of the hajj, and his own biographical writings. As such, the hajj provides a superb, and I would argue, faithful materialisation of Ancient Greek philosophical ideas about cosmopolitanism in its original sense, which was, more than anything, a state of mind.


Shanti Moorthy holds a medical degree from Melbourne University and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh and a member of the Anatomical society of Australia New Zealand. She has previously been a professional dancer, teacher and nattuvanar with the Melbourne based Bharatam Dance Company and the Sangeetha Abivirthi Sabha in Malaysia, and also a freelance scriptwriter for the Bombay based Antah UTV in Malaysia. Shanti is now a consultant otolaryngologist and Senior Lecturer in Anatomy at Monash University School of Medicine, in Malaysia. She co-edited ‘Indian Ocean Studies: Cultural, Social, and Political Perspectives’ (Routledge Indian Ocean Series) and also the final volume of Silverfish New Writing with Ashraf Jamal. She holds an MA in English Literature from University Malaya, situating the works of Abdul Razak Gurnah in the Indian Ocean World and is currently working on a PhD on spatial practices on the littoral with the Department of Philosophy at the University of Tasmania.

Mohammed Siraaj bin Saidumasudublank
University Sains Malaysia
Indian Muslim Community and Hajj: some personal experiences of their involvement in facilitating the pilgrims in Penang
Abstract and Biodata

The main thrust of my abstract will focus on the experiences (via oral histories and case studies) of the Indian Muslim community, particularly those from Penang, in relation to the Hajj pilgrimage. To a lesser extent, I will also examine their roles.
To begin with, the Indian Muslim community have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the field of trade and shipping, from the founding days of Penang. This gave them an advantage in facilitating the logistics for pilgrims from Kedah, Penang, Perak and other parts of Malaysia during the Hajj season in Penang. A major part of this was the provision of necessities and materials required by the pilgrims during their stay in Penang, as it was customary for these pilgrims, their relatives and friends to stay briefly in Georgetown while awaiting the arrival of the scheduled ships. To recap, the contributions of the Indian Muslims from petty traders to professionals in facilitating the Hajj pilgrimage will form the main focus of this brief discourse.
A secondary part of my presentation will centre on the role, personal experiences, perspectives and traditions of the Indian Muslim Hajjis, the non-entrepreneurial community and their clan associations.
The timeline of this discussion covers the period between the 1950s until the 1970s.


Mohammed Siraaj bin Saidumasdu is a teacher at SMK Abdullah Munshi, Jalan P. Ramlee, Penang and PHD candidate in Universiti Sains Malaysia, School of Distance Education Studies specialized in Islamic Civilization. For the time being, he is working on his research about the Tamil Muslim Community of Kadayanallur in Penang. He is also involved in United Muslim Association, a Tamil Muslim social association as head of education bureau and a member of Indian Muslim .com (


Speaker’s abstract and biodata can also be downloaded here.