The Metaphysical Epistemology of Shaykh Shams al-Dīn al-Sumatrā’ī
Author: Mohamad Nasrin Nasir
Pages: 312 pp
The last major study on Shams al-Din was in 1946. Since then scholars have shied away from discussing this enigmatic scholar. The reason being he has always been seen as a mere follower of Hamzah Fansuri. This book challenges this view as we attempt to show that Shams al-Din was indeed a scholar of his own right. Where Fansuri was inclined to teach with poetry and a few prose works, Sumatra’I was a master of prose and the Haqq al-Yaqin is a testament to that fact. Quoting from many Sufi authors from the school of Ibn ‘Arabi and earlier Sufis, the text is hereby studied and interpreted to ease understanding for the modern reader. Though at times difficult the text testifies to the advanced and complex nature of discussion achieved in Malay Sufi literature. The book also provides the historical connections in Acheh that provides the setting for such advanced metaphysical discussion to flourish. This book would be of interest to persons interested in Sufi literature in Malay as well as those working in the academia most particularly the field of Sufism and Islam in Southeast Asia.
“Mohamad Nasin’s work counts as a major contribution to the study of Sufism in the Malay world, combining a historical approach with an examination of the metaphysics. He exhaustively covers and analyzes all the relevant secondary literature abd the historical background; of particular interest is the discussion of links with the Persian and Turkish speaking worlds.”
Prof. Hamid Algar
Emeritus professor of Islamic Studies,
University of California, Berkeley
After graduating from Brunel University (UK) in Industrial Design Engineering (Bsc.Hons), Mohamad Nasrin Nasir changed his field to Islamic studies for his Masters and Islamic thought and philosophy for his PhD. His Masters dissertation titled “A Brief Critique on John Wansbrough’s methodology towards the Qur’an” was awarded a distinction by the Islamic College for Advanced Studies, which is affiliated to the Middlesex University, UK. His Ph.D thesis was an edition of the Haqqul Yaqin a metaphysical text of the 17th century Acheh. He has taught at various private colleges and institutions in Malaysia, England and Brunei. He has presented at various conferences around the world including the UK, Paris, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia and Korea. He is also a former editor to the web-based journal Palestinian Internationalist. His academic articles have appeared in international peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Islamic Philosophy (USA), Journal of Islamic Studies Oxford and al-Shajarah the journal of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, Malaysia. He is also a regular contributor to the Muslim World Book Review (UK). He currently is the Head of the Manuscript Research Centre located at the Institute of Malay world & civilization (ATMA), UKM.
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