The Jawi Manuscript: Its History, Role, and Function in the Malay Archipelago
Dr. Mahayudin Hj Yahaya

Research on Jawi manuscripts is an important aspect of knowledge and it has received wide acceptance especially among Western scholars. The discoveries made by this research enrich the treasure of knowledge. Such research was started in 16th century A.D. by Dutch scholars, followed by British and other European scholars, who were the ex-colonial powers in the Malay Archipelago. Their aim was to understand the thinking and the way of life of the Malays in order to facilitate the colonization and administration of the territories under their rule. A large portion of works on Islam produced in the Malay Archipelago is still in the form of manuscripts. There are more than 28 countries in the world that are keeping Jawi manuscripts. Although the number of Jawi manuscripts on Islam is said to be small, compared to those on legends and literature for example, manuscript researchers have given Islamic Jawi manuscripts special attention because Islamic studies are the foundation for Malay studies and the forerunner to the development of Malay literature in the Malay Archipelago. This paper is an attempt to highlight the Jawi manuscript about its definition, writing history and culture, the influence of Arabic language and Islam on its writing culture and instruments, its role and function in the Malay World.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jisc.v4n1a7