This pilot project is based on the results of recent field research work in Western Sumatra and deals with written Islamic heritage of this region, especially Sufi literature. The manuscript collections are preserved mainly in the surau * of Sufi brotherhoods (Shattariyah, Naqshbandiyah) with a small minority kept in private collections. All these collections of manuscripts are written in Jawi (Arabic Malay) or Arabic and consist of examples of al-Qur'an, tafsir, works on fiqh and tasawwuf as well as agiographical treatises of auliya' (Muslim saints), historical and cultural works of Minangkabau region. There are some unique examples of calligraphy and illumination, in particular in the mountain regions of Minangkabau with the traces of its Hindu-Buddhists past. Such regions which are difficult to access and still remained unexplored can give different opportunities and treasures to investigate. Further studying of such written heritage can contribute much to the history of Sumatra, of Islam and Sufism and especially to the studying of the local form of Islam of Minangkabau. Most of these manuscripts are in a very poor, almost illegible state because of the humid climate and insects and can vanish and be lost to research within 10-20 years.
The research staff of Andalas University in Padang has already started the work of digitisation in some surau in a project led by Mrs. Zuriati, with whom this project will be coordinated. It is hoped that these two projects will supplement each other. The project of Mrs. Zuriati covers the territory where the main surau of Shattariyah brotherhood are located in the villages close to Padang (max. 50km) while the distant Shattariyah surau still remained unexplored. So the field work of this pilot project will be held partly in the region of Agam located rather far from Padang (100-300 km) in the mountain villages (Sejunjung, Palembayan) where it is planned to visit approximately five surau and identify their collections. The most valuable examples and those which are in the worst condition will be digitised.
This project will also investigate Naqshbandiyah manuscript collections preserved in the surau around Padang. Naqshbandiyah is another Sufi brotherhood which is widespread in the Minangkabau region and were introduced in Western Sumatra even earlier than Shattariyah, in the 17th Century. It is also planned to meet with the owners of private collections in Padang, identify their collections and digitise where possible.
As the outcome of this pilot project, a report of the survey will be prepared which will contain the guidelines to develop a future major digitisation project in the surau of Sufi brotherhoods in Western Sumatra. The most endangered and rare manuscripts will also have been digitised and preserved.
* Islamic study centres led by Sufi sheikhs as well as the places of Sufi ritual practice and preserving manuscripts.
|Extent:||328 TIFF images|
|Scope and Content:||Digital images of Kitab Mantiq [The Book of Logic], a classical Arabic text on logic. The manuscript has been approximately dated to the 18th century; the scribe is unknown. The original manuscript measures 15 x 20 cm; the text block 8 x 12 cm; it is written in red and black ink on European paper, and is unbound. It consists of 328 folios. Although generally in good condition, it suffers from staining, creasing and tearing.|
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