Some scholars view that the historical conciousness among the Malays did not exist in the traditional period. For them the conciousness only exist after the writing of Tuhfat al-Nafis which was written by Raja Ali Haji in the 19th century. This paper will examine the existence of historical conciousness among the Malays in the traditional period. The existence of Malay historical ideas could be seen before the coming of Islam in this region but flourished after the coming of Islam. The Quran, some Islamic books and historiographies which were widely spread in this region, had given some historical inspirations as well as conciousness to the Malays to have their own local history. These historical conciousness can be seen through traditional works which had been written since 14th century or earlier by Malay historians based on traditional and Islamic conception of history. Based on Sejarah Melayu (the Malay History) which are regarded as the most important historical texts, this study proves that Malay historical conciousness already exist earlier than 19th century.
|Keywords:||Malay Historical Texts|
Lecturer, Department of History, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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