Transnational Connections of Muslim Movements in Thailand
by Dr Srawut Aree
This seminar explains how the religious economy of Thailand’s Malay-majority far southern provinces have been influenced by a range of South Asian and Middle Eastern Islamic movements. After a brief reference to how Nile Green has developed the concept of “religious economy”, I offer a typology of transnational “reformist”, “revivalist”, and “modernist” franchises, and their impact on the “traditionalist” monopoly in the Thai provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat. This is followed by case-studies of the personalities involved in the establishment of these transnational movements. We argue that those originating in South Asia have been just as — if not more — influential as those possessing ideological and financial links to the Middle East. Furthermore, on the basis of where and when transnational franchises established themselves in South Thailand since the 1960s, their local impact on the religious economy can be attributed to their cumulative effect.
The Arrival of the Ahmadiya-Idrisiyya and the Mecca-based ‘Patani School’
by Dr Christopher M. Joll
In this seminar, I present some of my findings from a recently completed multi-site study of Sufism in Thailand. I summarise the range of personalities and historical processes involved in the introduction of the Ahmadiya-Idrisiyya from the Hijaz to Kelantan and Patani. I point out how this case differs from that of the Qadiriya wa Naqshabandiya, introduced to Ayutthaya (late 1890s), and the Ahmadiyya-Shadhiliya, whose founding sheikh arrived in Bangkok in 1927. Few studies of Sufism are complete without details of the silsilah of influential murshid (Ar. Sufi guides). While these will be included, my interests are in what the arrival of the Ahmadiya-Idrisiyya tells us about the Mecca-based “Patani School”, and their agenda in the late 1890s. I argue that this confirms Sheikh Ahmad al-fatani’s reputation as a progressive intellectual force, and offer suggestions on why he advocated the “juristic Sufism” of Sheikh Ahmad Ibn Idris.
About the Speaker(s)
Dr Srawut Aree is the director of the Muslim Studies Centre, at Chulalongkorn University’s Institute of Asian studies. He attained his PhD in 2002 from the Department of Western Asian Studies at Aligarh Muslim University. His most recent publications are The Role of Islam in Contributing to the Construction of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural (2018), and Moderation: An Islamic Approach in the Contemporary World Community (co-edited with Shekh Mohammad Altafur Rahman, 2018).