zaterdag 7 januari 2017

Sifa al-Rijali and the Moluccan Muslims and the Dutch as wife and husband

Volume 11 of the great series Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History has been puiblished now. It has 640 pages ob South and East Asia, 1600-1700. I have written myself entries on Coen, Frederick de Houtman, Pelsaert, Jacob van Neck, Livinus Bor, Jesuits, Nicolaus de Graaf, Daghregister). There is one contribution by Gerrit Knaap on a Malay document from the Moluccas, Hikayat Tanah Hitu, written by Rijali (born about 1590- died after 1657). It gives first the early history of Hitu (the larger half of the island of Ambon), its conversion to Islam after 1500, the arrival of the Portuguese. The confrontation with the Portuguese or Faranji as they are called by Rijali, is described mostly as a religious war.
Cover of CMR 11 showing a Jesuit priest at a Mughal court about 1600, painting by court painter Kesu Das.

Because of the work for another volume on Valentijn i read myself also section of the Hikayat Tanah Hitu in the edition by Z.V. Manusama (1977). Page 22 (reference to the original manuscript) relates the arrival of the Portuguese and Holy War, where death is a guarantee for being accepted in heaven (Apabila Islam mati perang sabil, maka dalam akhirat suatupun tiada hisabkepadanya melainkan masuk syurga). Onthe same  page there is already a war. Both parties stand in rows, like at prayer (kedua pihak berhadapan seperti orang sembahyang mengadap kepada kiblat). The first confrontation did not result  in a victor: there was no winner.
Page 62 of the text mentiones that both sides want to destroy the other: Christians want to destroy the Muslim faith and make them Christians and therefore it was called a war of throwing away the turban or the hat: kehendaknya Nasrani itu enda mengerusakkan agama Islam dimasukkan agama Nasrani. Daripada itulah maka digelar nama kelengkapannya itu `Buang Destar` namanya dan demikian pagi kehendaknya Islam enda mengerusakkan agama Nasrani dan Yahudi dimasukkan kepada agama Islam. Daripada itulah maka gelarnya kelengkapannya johan pahalawan kimelaha Leliyato "Buang Capeu" namanya. There  were no or very few Jews in this region. It is not clear to me why they were mentioend here.
The Portuguese are calles kafir la'nat  or 'cursed unbelievers'.
On p. 36 of the text of 106 pages the Dutch arrive. It first tells about a peaceful treaty between the Muslism and the Dutch. Pages 69-70 give a curious comparison (by a 'Dutchman') of the relation between the Muslim of Hitu and the Dutch:  Hitunese and Dutch are like man and wife. If the wife does something wrong she will be corrected by the man. Therefore we keep the Captain of Hitu and the Chiefs in prison. So it is with man and woman in this world, but we should have a meeting, discuss tha affiar and make peace.. Tanah Hitu dan Wolanda itu seperti laki-bini. Apabila bini salahitu melainkan lakinya juga ajar kepada dia. maka beta pegang kepada Kapitan Hitu dan orang kaya kaya ini. Demikian itulah halnya orang laki-bini dalam dunia, tetapi keluarlah kita kedua berbicara serta kebaikan.

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