The actual timing and introduction of the Islamic religion and its practice to
Whatever the source, scholars acknowledge that Muslim influence in
Whatever exact dates and sources one chooses to support, there is no doubt that Islamization of many peoples in present-day
The scholar Anthony Reid, Professor of History at the
For example, Islam became strong in eastern Indonesia, especially coastal kingdoms of Sulawesi, Lombok, Kalimantan, Sumbawa, Makassar, and in Sulu and Magindanao (Cotabato Province) in the southern Philippines from 1603-1612. This does not mean that rulers and their subjects in these areas were totally devoted to upholding all of the basic rules of Islam. It means that Islamic influence was present, as evidenced through ruling elites' obligation to renounce the consumption of pork and to pronounce the daily five prayers. Some also practiced circumcision during this period.
Islam's influence and conversion in
In the year 1500, Anthony Reid notes that Islamic influence was present in coastal ports of Sumatra, Java, and
In the year 1590, Islamic writing appears in both Malay and Javanese scripts. This indicates a period of activity by Muslim scholars in select areas who were promoting Islamic beliefs.
Rapid commercialization increased global trade that involved Southeast Asians in extensive travel outside their home areas. Animism, or the belief in spirits, was an intensely 'local' religious form. It was difficult to perform rituals outside of one's own home area, since spirits (ancestral or otherwise) were not 'portable'. The increased global trade influenced indigenous Southeast Asian traders in two ways: 1) they were attracted to new religious forms that were not tied to specific places; and 2) they were impressed by the wealth and apparent materialistic power and talents of foreign traders.
Wealth and power, by indigenous animistic beliefs, signaled enhanced spiritual power. In other words, traders began to contemplate Islam and Christianity as alternative, in some cases superior, forms of religious belief. The success of European traders and Arabic traders during this period provided the basis of attraction to new ritual practices. In many cases, new religious practices were absorbed into the existing Southeast Asian ritual practices.
Southeast Asian peoples came into direct contact with Muslim traders who had been not just to
The successful spread of Islam in
Written doctrines enable religions to establish durability and a lasting impact on people; oral religious traditions easily change and adapt to new circumstances. While these great new religious traditions took a toll on local beliefs, and in that sense were intrusions of foreign influence in
Today, 90% of Indonesians are Muslims, while over half of