Texts about the nocturnal journey of the Prophet Muḥammad (Mi‘rāj) abound in the Muslim world and outside. International attention has never been afforded to any version of text in any language of the Indonesian archipelago. One old version of the text from the area, the Malay
Hikayat Mir’āj Nabi Muḥammad is presented here in Malay and English translation. The introductory chapters place the text in a wider context in Indonesian literatures while the manuscript of the text (Cod.Or. Leiden 1713) is described in detail. The text and translation purport to enhance interest in this important text in the Muslim world as seen from the Malay/Indonesian perspective.
Th.C. van der Meij, Ph.D. (2002), affilated with Leiden University and the State Islamic University in Jakarta has published in the fields of Balinese and Javanese manuscript and Islamic studies. He is currently writing a book on Indonesian manuscript traditions.
N. Lambooij studied Medicine at the Free University of Amsterdam. He was appointed Chief of the Department of Neurosurgery at Municipal Hospitals, The Hague in 1973 and is the co-founder of the Dutch Pain Society and of the International Neuromodulation Society.
'This book offers many valuable resources for the study of Jawi manuscripts more generally and the understudied field of Miʿrāj narratives in the Malay-Indonesian world more specifically. The color photographs of the manuscript provide the reader with a valuable orientation to the scribe’s style who, for example, sometimes color coded the Arabic words to differentiate them from the mostly Malay text. The transcription makes the original text accessible to anybody literate in Indonesian or Malay, while at the same time reflecting the idiosyncrasies of the original manuscript. And the translation of the text affords the reader the opportunity to gain access to the under-explored field of Miʿrāj texts in Malay and its many narrative elements that are likely unique to the Malay tradition of this popular and widespread genre.(...) At the same time, the book raises many questions that, as the authors admit from the outset, are beyond its scope, largely due to the scarcity of prior scholarship. Nonetheless, it is quite evident that van der Meij and Lambooj’s book provides a valuable first perspective on this text, and we may hope that their foray into this field will lead to further research on the topic.'
NewBooks posted online on 7 June 2016: newbooks.asia/review/nocturnal-journey
All interested in Islamic and Southeast Asian literary traditions.