Hamzah Fansuri, Indonesian theologian

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Date: 1600s

Region: Asia

Subject: Religious

Medium: Literature


Artist: Hamzah Fansuri (also spelled Pansuri) (d. c. 1590)

Confronting Bodies: The court of Aceh, followers of Nuruddin ar-Raniri

Dates of Action: 1600s

Location: Indonesia

Description of Artwork: Hamzah Fansuri defended the theological idea that all living things are one. He wrote his own verses, known for their original thought and expression, and codified traditional Maylay poetry.

The Incident: The orthodox Muslim teacher Nuruddin ar-Raniri ruled the court of Aceh in the mid-17th century. Nuruddin declared all theological works that opposed his own to be heretical. Hamzah Fansuri's writings, in addition to those of his students, were banned and burned.

Results of Incident: Hamzah Fansuri's ideas advanced among a small group of students. His beliefs are still debated and banned by orthodox Muslims in parts of Asia.

Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones