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The Ash'ari creed in Southeast Asia across the Centuries

Muslim Southeast Asia is known as a region thoroughly dominated by Shāfiʽi law and Ashʽari theology. This dominance was the result of a gradual marginalization of non-Ashʽari theology in the region and the linked ascendancy of a specific strand of Ashʽarism based on the thought of the post-classical North African scholar Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Sanūsī (d. 895/1490). From the mid-18th century onwards local Islamic scholars have produced an extensive body of Ashʽari creeds, mainly in Malay, but also in other Southeast Asian languages, thereby firmly entrenching a common standard of orthodoxy across the region. By the mid-20th century, however, several challenges to the status quo had become manifest.

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IAIS Building/LT1