Muslim scholars' literary works go on show

Guests touring the Treasures Of Muslim Scholars: 100 Years Of Singapore Literary Heritage exhibition, which was launched at the National Library Building yesterday.
Guests touring the Treasures Of Muslim Scholars: 100 Years Of Singapore Literary Heritage exhibition, which was launched at the National Library Building yesterday.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Ustaz Ahmad Sonhadji Mohamad, the renowned Muslim scholar at the forefront of Islamic writing in the 1900s, is best known for his instructional guide in performing prayers called Mari Sembahyang.

Besides the guide, he is also known for his book Abr Al-Athir, which is a compilation of the 30 volumes of detailed explanations of Quranic verses that he first presented when he was host of a radio programme from 1959 to 1984.

The book took him 25 years to compile and was one of his most influential, as it was among the earliest translations of the Quran into Malay, and one which correlated social and current issues. The first volume was published in 1960, and the full 30-volume edition in 1993.

The books by Ustaz Ahmad Sonhadji, who died in 2010 at age 88, are among an extensive display highlighting literary works of local Muslim scholars since 1906.

The exhibition, Treasures Of Muslim Scholars: 100 Years Of Singapore Literary Heritage, was launched by President Halimah Yacob at the National Library Building yesterday. Supported by the National Heritage Board, the exhibition is a sequel to Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association's (Pergas) first national-level exhibition in 2014, which highlighted achievements and contributions of past Islamic scholars.

Visitors can explore Islamic literature through published and unpublished books, manuscripts as well as research works by local Muslim scholars.

"As we celebrate the Singapore Bicentennial this year, this exhibition is also timely in paying tribute to our pioneer Muslim scholars and reliving their achievements," said Pergas' chief executive, Ustaz Yusri Yubhi Yusoff. "From the colonial days to the post-independence era, the legacy of our Muslim scholars lingers on (and is visible through) their tremendous contributions to the literary field."

The exhibition will be held until Aug 31. From Sept 1 to 15, it will be a mobile exhibition at Jurong Regional Library. Admission is free.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2019, with the headline 'Muslim scholars' literary works go on show'. Print Edition | Subscribe