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Penceramah: En. Md. Md. Khaldun Munip Abd Malek
Tarikh: 04/10/2016 (Selasa)
Masa: 10.30 pagi - 12.30 tgh
Tempat: Bilik Mesyuarat KITA, Aras 4, Bangunan Pentadbiran Kolej Keris Mas, UKM, Bangi

This paper examines the so-called divide between ‘modernist’ (Kaum Muda) and ‘traditionist’ (Kaum Tua) thinking in Malay-Muslim culture at the turn of the 20th century. This distinction has played a critical role in much of the literature (Roff, 1967; Kessler, 1978; Yegar, 1979, Matheson Hooker, 2000; Funston, 1980 et al) on the literary, cultural, political and religious history of Malay Muslims on the Peninsula especially during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, with reference to the early vernacular publications thought to exemplify Malay ‘Modernist’ Muslim writings (such as “al-Imam”), this paper questions the purported intellectual differences between Kaum Muda and Kaum Tua.   

By following the more recent works of van Brunissen (1994; 2010), Laffan (2003; 2011), Roff (1985); Asad (2003; 1996); Brown (1999) and others, we argue that existing narratives which emphasise such dichotomies (structured through binaries premised on notions of the ‘modern’-‘tradition’, ‘syncretic’-‘orthodox’ and so on) may have exaggerated the differences between the so-called ‘reformists/modernists’ and their ‘rivals’. We suggest that these apparent ‘disputes’/ ‘disagreements’ can be better understood if viewed as part of the dynamics of an on-going discourse amongst the Muslim intelligentsia on the questions of correct belief and practice, as opposed to seeing them as products of irreconcilable ideological dogma.