Hagiography in Southeast Asia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEncyclopaedia / Dictionary EntryOtherpeer-review


The longstanding devotion of Muslims in Southeast Asia to commemoration of and supplication through the intercession of deceased Muslims is expressed in the literary corpus (including hagiographies) of the peoples of the region and in their rituals, pilgrimages, and performances. These reveal appropriations of notable figures from Arab and Persian traditions, as well as localised conventions of commemorative practice that have developed around distinguished Southeast Asian Muslims. Diverse motivations have underpinned these processes, including supplication, the need for members of social and political groups to legitimise and distinguish themselves, fulfilment of didactic goals, and spiritually inspired creative practice. For the national communities of the region, hagiographical remembrance has unifying effects, for indigenous histories of Islamisation meet with popular approval from national as well as subnational subjects. At the same time, saints and the practices associated with them are points of dispute over correctness in worship that point to social distinctions in the Islamic communities of the region.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopaedia of Islam THREE
EditorsKate Fleet, Gudrun Kramer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9789004435940
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameBrill Encyclopaedia of Islam THREE
ISSN (Electronic)1873-9830


  • Islam
  • Indonesia
  • Hagiography

Cite this