Call to include manuscript studies in college courses

Azlan Othman

The panellists at the Knowledge Convention Premier Forum 2019 yesterday recommended for the study of manuscripts to be made public, so that it can be observed and enjoyed by young people.

The panellists were Assistant State Mufti at the State Mufti’s Office Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mazanan bin Haji Yusof; Director of the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam Associate Professor Ampuan Dr Haji Brahim bin Ampuan Haji Tengah; Expert Staff of the Minister at the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia for Communication and Information in the Faculty of Management Professor Dr Oman Fathurahman; and Literature Professor from Universiti Sains Malaysia Professor Dr Jelani Harun.

The moderator was Associate Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Universiti Brunei Darussalam Associate Professor Dr Haji Awang Asbol bin Haji Mail. They reasoned that the study of Arabic and Jawi manuscripts would encourage students to do academic research and produce quality theses, which in turn would open up other areas for research.

The existing curriculum at institutions of higher education would need to incorporate manuscript studies for the continuing preservation of these treasures to achieve this.

The research into ancient manuscripts would also involve the history of the compilation of Al-Quran under the caliphate of Abu Bakar (RA) and Arab-Islamic traditions in the Kutub al-Turath (Books of Heritage).Bustan As-Salatin (Garden of Kings) by Nuruddin ar-Raniri, a scholar who worked in the court of Aceh in the 15th Century, was also cited as an important work in Jawi, from the golden age of civilisation in the Malay Archipelago.

The panellists during the Knowledge Convention Premier Forum 2019. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR