Use of Arabic Language in Terengganu in the Early 20th Century

Maheram Ahmad, Izziah Suryani Mat Resad


The 1887 discovery of the Terengganu Inscription Stone (Batu Bersurat Terengganu) at Tanah Batu in Kampung Buloh, in the district of Hulu Terengganu gave a proof of Islam’s early foothold in Terengganu. The arrival of Islam in Terengganu also introduced a new language, namely the Arabic language, to the Terengganu society. In relation to that, this study was conducted to analyse the use of the Arabic language in Terengganu in early 20th century. Apart from that, it was also aimed at looking into categories of the words used. This study is a qualitative study using literature search and document analysis to obtain data. Several letters, still in the handwritten/manuscript form, were made samples of this study. These letters, written by the general public, religious scholars and royals, were descriptively analysed. The study found that the society in Terengganu then knew and used the language in their writing. Arabic words which were used by the Terengganu Malay society at that time are divided into three categories, namely words which were known by the general public and well assimilated into the Malay language; words which were known and used by only the Islamic scholars and the educated mass; and finally words which are still in their original forms which have yet to go through assimilation process.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n29p49

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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