Denisova T. A. Prophetic Dream in the Malay Muslim Historiography and Its Cultural and Historical Interpretation

T. Denisova - Institute of Oriental Studies Russian Academy of Science Moscow, Russian Federation University Technology of Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
ORCID: 0000-0001-8606-5697


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ABSTRACT. Malay Islamic historiography from between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries contains interesting information regarding the early history of the Islamization of the Malay world. Almost every text describes the first ruler who converted to Islam, his teachers, where he came from, how and when the conversion happened, etc. Information related to these matters became one of the most important arguments proving the legitimacy of the ruling sultan and his dynasty. Some of these statements are based on real historical events that could be accepted as a historical report, while others bear quasi-historical information. Specialists in Malay history used to focus only on events which they could consider historically proven or which at least ‘sounded’ like real history. Scholars interested in mythology and culture tend to examine the mythological aspect of Malay written tradition without any interrogation regarding its veracity or possible links to the real history. Meanwhile Malay chronicles usually contain both kinds of accounts; for example in Hikayat Raja Pasai we can find a story looking like a historical report (that about the ship from Mecca), as well as a totally quasi-historical passage about the miraculous dream of Merah Silau and his conversion to Islam. The article presents a comparison and content analysis of these two accounts found in one text, the earliest Malay historical work, which allows us to understand them better, as well as to guess/extrapolate the functions of myths in the Malay Muslim historiography.


KEYWORDS: Malay Muslim historiography, Hikayat Raja Pasai, quasi-historical plots, prophetic dream, history of Islam in the Malay world


DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2021-3(13)-75-100
УДК 930 (91)



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