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APY265 Book Review

APY265 Book Review - of Islam culture within the...

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Sarah Jordan Professor Banks APY265 April 13, 2011 Book Review: The Origins of Islamic Reformism in Southeast Asia Written by Azyumardi Azra, this book plays a major role in the understanding of Islam in Southeast Asia, primarily the Malay-Indonesian culture. It is about the movement of Islamic knowledge from the Middle East to the Malay-Indonesian world and how the two cultures are networked together by common beliefs. Through essential sources, such as historical texts, Azra is able to explain that Islamic reformism originated during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, where scholars rebuilt the basis of Muslim culture in a new place. As a result ideas and Islamic beliefs were transferred from the Middle East to Southeast Asia that shaped the Malay- Indonesian world as we see it today. Through Azra’s research and study of texts, he was able to show how scholars were modernizing the social and ethical basis of Muslim societies, developing a more traditional form
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Unformatted text preview: of Islam culture within the Malay-Indonesian society. The main impression perceived from this book are the ideas passed on, networks between scholars, and how the two are connected. For instance, an important idea portrayed was “neo-Sufism”, the need for peace between Sharia and Sufism, a mystical and more extreme form of Islam. It is believed that Sufism is required to truly accomplish the religious laws of Islam (Sharia). Another example that was fascinating was the adoption of Arabic into Indonesian phrases. It was intriguing to see Azra’s sources show an unattainable part of history. The development of Muslim culture in Indonesia, which is not well understood by the rest of the world, was somehow learned through distinguished research. I learned a lot and benefited reading this book, learning that the basis of beliefs and ideas originate from somewhere, and continue to spread and change the lives of many....
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