The sayyids as commodities: The Islamic periodical alKisah and the sayyid community in Indonesia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This study discusses the significance of being a sayyid in Indonesia today, with special attention paid to the Islamic magazine alKisah. As is the case with other regions in the Islamic world, Indonesia is a country that contains many descendants of the Prophet Muḥammad. Sayyids participate in a wide range of activities and have occupations such as entrepreneurs, politicians, government officials, professionals, artists and academics. However, it is in the religious sphere where being a sayyid matters the most. Ulamā of sayyid descent have opened schools, built mosques, had disciples and conducted dawa (a call for Islam) in various parts of Southeast Asia. Some of them have come to be recognized as saints (wali) and a yearly visit to their tombs, called a haul, is a popular religious ceremony in the region, especially in Java. These activities in the religious sphere are by no means monopolized in Indonesia by the sayyids, who are indeed in the minority. However, their presence in the country with the largest Muslim population in the world is significant for their number.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSayyids and Sharifs in Muslim Societies
Subtitle of host publicationThe Living Links to the Prophet
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781136337390
ISBN (Print)9780415519175
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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