The Peninsular Malays

    Abstract

    VARIOUS classes of students, in addition to the Civil Service cadets for whom it is primarily intended, should read the most excellent pamphlet on “Malay Beliefs” recently written by Mr. R. J. Wilkinson. The author is one of the most erudite of students of the Malay language, classical and dialectical, and he has acquired an intimate and sympathetic knowledge of Malay customs and beliefs. This little book contains a clear statement of the strange mixture of Mohammedan creeds and practices that obtains in the peninsula. As Malay Islamism was mainly introduced from southern India, the Malays are Sunnites like the Moslems of the Deccan, but owing to the predominance of Persian influence in India Shiite “heresies” have crept in; further, in the matter of religious law the Malays are Shafeites. Below and penetrating through this imported religion are aboriginal vestiges of paganism, always strongly tinted with magic.

    The Peninsular Malays.

    I. Malay Beliefs. By R. J. Wilkinson. Pp. 81. (London: Luzac and Co., 1906.) Price 2s. net.

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    The Peninsular Malays . Nature 75, 245 (1907) doi:10.1038/075245a0

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