Kedah’s Islamic conversion stories or gateways to its pre-Islamic past

Mozaffari-Falarti, Maziar (2009) Kedah’s Islamic conversion stories or gateways to its pre-Islamic past. In 2nd Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asia Studies, 26–27 July 2007, Singapore.


Little is known about the early history, symbolism and indigenous political systems that existed prior to the arrival of Islam in Southeast Asia. What is known however about the early history and formation of settlements in the ‘Malay world’ is that they were predominantly based on the coast and river basins, and were often loosely unified. Furthermore, the majority of natives in these coastal settlements practiced an admixture of Hinduism, Buddhism (including Tantric beliefs), animism, and ancestor worship. Conversely another aspect unique to Southeast Asia was the near-divine attributes associated with the local rulers. In certain respects, the religious transformation of the Malays and their modes of conversion to Islam act as gateways, into the region’s past and at the same time set the scene for future Malay social and political systems. Hence in this paper I will attempt to explore Kedah’s historic conversion stories and the transformation to Islam. This I believe gives a better picture of the political, religious and social systems prior to the advent of Islam into the region. Moreover, this significant event at Kedah’s history enables us to better comprehend and deconstruct the forces involved in its political survival, as well as its ability to function as a regional economic powerhouse.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,126 since deposited on 20 Apr 2009
61 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 19623
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Kedah, Hikayat Marong Mahawangsa, conversion, pre-Islam, Islam, Southeast Asian history, Malaysia, Naga, Hikayat, Arabia, Persia, Jataka, Ramayana, Shahnameh
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 20 Apr 2009 23:03
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 13:35

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page