At the Fringes of Arabic Historiography: Observations from the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea

  • Philipp Bruckmayr (Vortragende*r)

Aktivität: VorträgeVortragScience to Science


This contribution seeks to draw attention to cases of Arab(ic) historiography from the Indian Ocean and South China Sea regions as well as to the treatment and role of Arabs in vernacular historiographies from the area. The first subject of analysis will be Tuḥfat al-Mujāhidīn, the first indigenous history of Kerala (India) and its local Mappila Muslim community, written in Arabic in 1583 by the major local Muslim legal scholar Zayn al-Dīn al-Malībārī, which is strongly characterized by the joint struggle of the local Hindu Zamorin dynasty and the Mapillas against the Portuguese. Secondly, turning our gaze to the wider Straits of Malacca area, the reflections of Arab actors in 19th century Malay language historiographical works detailing the history of the region from the 17th to the 19th century, will be discussed. Hereby it is interesting to note that the major texts of the genre, such as the Hikayat Siak of 1855 and Tuḥfat al-Nafīs of 1865, although representing competing views of local history and dynastic claims, both depict the establishment of an Arab(-descended) dynasty in the Sultanate of Siak (Sumatra) in negative terms. Finally, the Arabic writings of Sayyid ʿUthmān b. ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAqīl al-ʿAlawī (d. 1914), a Ḥaḍramī-descended scholar of Batavia (Jakarta) who wrote mostly in Malay, on the history of his ancestral land will be scrutinized. The latter, who also produced an atlas of the Ḥaḍramawt, clearly viewed Ḥaḍramī history primarily as one of ʿAlawī Sufi saints.
Zeitraum18 Okt. 2019
EreignistitelArabic Pasts: Histories and Historiography
OrtLondon, Großbritannien / Vereinigtes KönigreichAuf Karte anzeigen