This course is an ambitious survey of over five hundred years of history of a region with
diverse peoples, cultures, and traditions. Inevitably, some topics and themes do not
receive as much discussion in course lectures as might be merited. This assignment
will introduce you to one of these themes and the major impact on the region and
period under study.
It is often forgotten that there are more Muslims living in Southeast Asia than any other
region in the world, including the Middle East. In 2009, Indonesia had the largest
Muslim population than any other country. The history of the Islamization of Southeast
Asia reveals the complexity of Islam, and its ability to adapt to local cultures and norms.
Until the fourteenth century, Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as local belief systems,
dominated Southeast Asian society. However, as Islam spread throughout India, the
traditional trade links between Southeast Asia and the Indian sub-continent gradually
spread Islam throughout the region. Eventually – and at different times in different
places – kingdoms and peoples in Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines, and the
Malaysian Peninsula converted, affecting changes in the culture and political history of
You are asked to discuss how Islam spread throughout Southeast Asia. The readings
cover Southeast Asia in general, the Malayan Peninsula, the Philippines, and Java, and
you will be expected to discuss each of these regions. In addition, your discussion of
how Islam was spread throughout the region should discuss the following:
How did Islam adapt to the culture of each region?
How was Islam successful (or not) in this region?
In what ways are these different experiences of Islam different? How are they
Remember: Although you are using these sources as the basis of your essay, you need
to make an argument of your own! Do not merely repeat what you read. Engage with
the individual arguments of each author to construct your own. I don’t want their
opinions, I want yours!
For this essay, you are required to read the five sources listed below. All sources must
be discussed in your essay, and you are not permitted to add additional readings. The
essay should be between 1500-2000 words in 12-point, double spaced text. Please use
an easy to read font like Times New Roman or Calibri. Include your student name, ID,
and section (ASIA or HIST) on the first page, and ensure there are page numbers.
Essays are to be submitted to the Dropbox folder on the course’s UMLearn site by
11:59PM on 11 October 2016.
Ahmad Ibrahim, Sharon Siddique, and Yasmin Hussain, “Introduction to Part One,” in
Readings on Islam in Southeast Asia (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian
Studies, 1985), 3-4.
Ceser Adib Majul, “Some Social and Cultural Problems of Muslims in the Philippines,”
Asian Studies 46 (2010), 48-64.
Robert Day McAmis, “A History of Malay Islam,” in Malay Muslims: The history and
challenge of resurgent Islam in Southeast Asia (Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdman’s
Publishing, 2002), 7-25.
Muhammad Saleem Ahmad, “Islam in Southeast Asia: A study of the emergence and
growth in Malaysia and Indonesia,” Islamic Studies 19 no. 2 (Summer 1980), 134141.
Mark R. Woodward, “Conclusion,” in Islam in Java: Normative piety and mysticism in
the Sultanate of Yogyakarta (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1989), 242-251.
Essays that deviate substantially from the assignment and do not respond to the
research question must be re-submitted or will receive a “F” grade. This also
applies to essay without footnotes. Note that you cannot pass this course without
receiving a passing grade on both papers.
The post Asian Civilizations from 1500
Assignment status: Solved by our experts