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Islam in the Malay World: Al-Falimbānī’s Scholarship

MOHAMMED HUSSAIN AHMAD is Acting Director at Balai Khazanah Islam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Brunei.

IIUM Press (Second Reprint, 2021)
355 pages including Bibliography and Index


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Islam in the Malay World: Al-Falimbānī’s Scholarship explores al-Falimbānī’s biography, his various scholarly contributions, Sufi orientation as well as the intellectual developments of the Malay Archipelago through the examination of his unpublished manuscripts and published works. It uncovers evidence of al-Falimbānī’s great erudition in the major Islamic sciences by tracing his early education, the developments of his intellectual maturity and the influence of various well-known scholars who shared their expertise with him. The subject of this study, ‘Abd aṣ-Ṣamad al-Falimbānī, an eighteenth-century Muslim scholar from Palembang, Sumatra, although known to modern scholarship still deserves a more focused and analytical study. It is possible to identify many of his works that have not been utilised by modern scholars. These mainly include unpublished manuscripts and a few of his published works.

As a result of the author’s examination of these manuscripts and in addition to his published works, significant details of ‘Abd aṣ-Ṣamad al-Falimbānī’s life, his role as a scholar and Sufi, and his contributions to the intellectual developments of the Malay Archipelago have come to light and can now be presented in some detail and more critically than has been done thus far. Despite being known only as a Sufi in the Malay Archipelago through his magnum opus Sayr as-Salikin upon which his fame is chiefly based, this study uncovers evidence of his erudition in virtually every aspect of the Islamic religious sciences. This is substantiated by tracing his contacts with numerous major scholars of his period, the subjects he learned from them and the evidence that he later transmitted these teachings to his disciples through oral instructions and his written works in addition to testimonies from his own students. It is by analysing his teacher-student links that we can better understand his place in the nexus of eighteenth-century scholars and highlight his central position in the intellectual network of that time.

A Note on Technicality

1. Review of Sources and Contemporary Studies
2. Biographical Data of ‘Abd aṣ-Ṣamad al-Falimbānī
3. Al-Falimbānī’s Formation of a Scholarship
4. Al-Falimbānī’s Schools
5. Al-Falimbānī’s Writings: A Critical Assessment

Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3

Weight0.605 kg
Dimensions22.8 × 15.2 × 2.1 cm




Year Published


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