MALAYSIA STUDY GROUP - Popular Islamic Novels of Indonesia and Malaysia: A Preliminary Exploration by Dr Mohd. Zariat Abdul Rani

This study stems from a development taking place in Indonesia and Malaysia, two neighbouring countries in South East Asia. This development refers to what is known as the ‘phenomenon of popular Islamic novels’, which first emerged in both these countries several years ago, and which is still active to this day. In Indonesia, this phenomenon arose with the extraordinary reception received by the novel Ayat Ayat Cinta (Verses of Love) (2004) by Habiburrahman El-Shirazy. This was then followed by a reception of almost similar magnitude for novels like Syahadat Cinta (‘Divine Pledge of Love’) (2006) oleh Taufiqurrahman Al-Azizy, Mukjizat Cinta (‘Miracle of Love’) (2007) by Muhammad Masykur A.R. Said dan Kasidah-Kasidah Cinta (‘Divine Verses of Love’) (2007) by Muhammad Muhyidin. The phenomenon in Malaysia began with the overwhelming reception received by Zaid Akthar’s Salju Sakinah (‘The Snow of Tranquillity’) (2008). This was followed by Warkah Cinta Berbau Syurga (A Heaven-scented Love Letter) (2008) and Hidayah Cinta (‘The Divine Guidance of Love’) (2008) by Ilham Hamdani, as well as Rona-rona Cinta Damascus (‘The Colours of Love of Damascus’) (2008) by Sheila Wani. The extremely positive reception towards these novels is found to have catalysed the publication of other novels bearing almost similar external appearances. This makes the publication of these popular Islamic novels in both countries a literary phenomenon in its own right, that cannot merely be glossed over. With reference to the external appearances, such as the titles of the novels, the cover illustrations, the blurbs and even the names and biodatas of the authors, one very apparent characteristic is is the inclination to display Islamic imagery. This then raises the question: do these novels actually offer Islamic messages, as suggested by their external appearances? If they do indeed offer Islamic messages, in what manner are these messages conveyed, given that they have attracted the attention of the Muslim public in Indonesia and Malaysia so comprehensively? This study attempts to answer these questions by analysing a number of novels, identify the messages contained within, and subsequently, synthesise a ‘standard offering’ that can be gleaned from the popular Islamic novels of Indonesia dan Malaysia. 


2 komentar:

Anonymous said...

Hi, please could you remove links to the strange sites at the footer of your blog? Links such as high heel shoes and dining furniture are hardly relevant to an Islam blog. Regards, Lila.

Ain said...

Tuan, saya telah membaca novel tuan berjudul Salju Sakinah. Terim a kasih kerana novel tersebutlah saya berkenalan dengan La Tahzan dan (dengan luar biasanya sekali) berjaya mengkhatamkan karya Dr Aidh Abdullah Al-Qarni tersebut walaupun bertahun jugalah nak habisnya..