Kamaruzzaman, Bustamam-Ahmad, From Islamic Revivalism to Islamic Radicalism in Southeast Asia A Study of Jamā‘ah Tablīgh in Malaysia and Indonesia, Newcastle Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015, 265p.
This book presents an ethnographic study of the Jamā‘ah Tablīgh in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Banda Aceh, Indonesia. It explores the nature of organised religious practice within this Islamic missionary group, and illustrates the situation of faith amongst the members, which is coloured by Sufist elements. A central focus of the study is an exploration of the situation of faith, or religious awareness, of members of Jamā‘ah Tablīgh by undertaking a detailed examination of the aims and distinctive practices of the organisation in individual chapters. The book develops a pyramid of religious awareness which enables an understanding of the religious experiences of Muslims in terms of three aspects: sharī‘ah, haqīqah (reality), and ma‘rifah (gnosis). The pyramid offers a conceptual model of an internal problematic common to Muslims in relation to their beliefs, and the organisation and conduct of their daily lives. The book is particularly significant for the insights it provides into how a desire to reinstate an Islamic caliphate, as part of a return to al-Qur’an and al-Sunnah, may be realised in the contemporary period, through radical yet non-violent means, drawing heavily on the mosque-based form of government implemented by the Prophet Muhammad in Medina. This study will also prove to be useful for studies of other, non-Islamic, religious groups, where the religious person is one who submits him or herself to God. A further argument of the book is the proposal that the highest level of human being is insān kāmil (the perfect man), that is, one who has utilised his active intelligence.