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Ahmad Rifaʾi (or Ripangi)

(1,135 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel A.
Ahmad Rifaʾi (or Ripangi) (c. 1786–1876), one of the most radical Islamic reformers of nineteenth-century Java, was born in Kendal, Java, and died in exile in Ambon. Ripangi, as he is usually known in Java, was the sixth son of Raden Kyai Haji Muhammad Abu Sujak, also known by his Javanese name, Raden Sutawijaya, a penghulu (the highest level of religious official) in the Residency of Kendal. The position of penghulu in Kendal was subsequently held by a son of Sutawijaya’s older brother, and it was this penghulu who, in the 1820s, ordered Ripangi imprisoned for some time in Semara…
Date: 2021-02-14

Javanese court chronicles on the rising power of the Dutch, 17th and 18th centuries

(46 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsJavanese court chronicles on the rising power of the DutchKarel Steenbrink

Jacob Cornelisz. van Neck

(693 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Jacob Corneliszoon van Neck Date of Birth: About 1564 Place of Birth: Amsterdam Date of Death: 15 March 1638 Place of Death: Amsterdam BiographyJacob Cornelisz. van Neck was born into a prominent family in Amsterdam. Very little is known about his youth except that his father died when he was two years old and his mother when he was about 11. He received a good general education and then special training in nautical sciences, and he became involved in various forms of trade.The oldest company for trade with Southeast Asia selected him as the admiral for its second fleet of ei…

 Dagh-register van ‘tgene hier in Batavia ‘tsedert Primo January 1624 gepasseert is gelyck mede verscheyden tydingen van andere Qartieren becomen et cetera

(2,011 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Daily account of what has taken place here in Batavia since 1 January 1624, as well as some reports about other settlements’ Dagh-register Date: 1624-1799 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionOn 6 December 1621, Governor General Jan Pieterszoon Coen ordered all settlements of the VOC to keep a diary ( Dagh-register) of important events. This was to include reports about local politics and trade rivals, especially the British but also the French, Danish, Portuguese, Gujarati and others. An account was entered for every month, detailing the shi…

 Reisen

(730 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Travels’ Nicolaas de Graaff Date: Unknown; before 1688 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionThe first 100 pages of this book (its full title is  Reisen van Nicolaus de Graaff, na de vier gedeelten des Werelds, als Asia, Africa, America en Europa, mitsgaders sijn Oostindische spiegel) contain brief and concise reports of de Graaff’s first 13 voyages. The following 130 pages cover his last three voyages.  Oost-Indise spiegel (98 pages) is re-printed with new pagination in the same volume. On his first voyage, de Graaff arrived in Aceh, Sumatra, where he saw th…

Livinus Bor

(327 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
BiographyLittle is known about the childhood and early career of Livinus Bor. He entered the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1639 as a naval cadet and worked in modest positions in Ternate after arriving in the Indies. In 1650, he became the secretary to Arnold de Vlaming van Oudshoorn, superintendent for the three governors in East Indonesia: Banda, Ambon and Ternate. He joined his superior when, in early 1652, the sultan of Ternate was brought to Batavia to sign a treaty in wh…

 Remonstrantie

(1,502 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
'Account of India and a history of the Mughal Empire' Francisco Pelsaert Date: Probably 1627 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionThe Dutch in Batavia (present-day Jakarta) considered the Dutch settlements in Arabia, Persia and India to be western settlements ( Westerkwartieren) of the expanded VOC. In the mid-1620s, the central office in Batavia requested that reports be sent from these regions. Within this context, Pelsaert wrote his Remonstrantie, a report from Agra as the central location of the Mughal Empire. The work has no true title and there is no title page in the manuscript. R…

Nicolaus de Graaff

(319 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Nicolaas de Graaff Date of Birth: 18 August 1619 Place of Birth: Alkmaar, Netherlands Date of Death: Shortly before 14 October 1688 Place of Death: Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands BiographySon of a seaman, Nicolaus de Graaff entered the service of the Dutch East India Company, Hoorn Chapter, as a chirurgijn, the lowest degree of medical worker, commonly connected to a barber’s shop. He made 16 voyages, from several months to several years long, visiting nearly the whole known world of the time: from Greenland to Brazil, Denmark and the Mediterrane…

Acehnese, Dutch and Malay authors on the Aceh War (1873-1903)

(42 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsAcehnese, Dutch and Malay authors on the Aceh War (1873-1903)Karel Steenbrink

 Dutch and Malay accounts of the conflicts known as the Banjar War, 1859-1905

(3,928 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
- Dutch and Malay accounts of the conflicts known as the Banjar War, 1859-1905 Date: 19th century Original Language: Dutch DescriptionIn order to situate works on Christian-Muslim relations related to the Banjar War, it is necessary briefly to outline the historical context in which they were written. Almost at the same time as the Portuguese arrived in the Malay Archipelago (Malakka 1511, Ternate 1522), the princedom of Banjar accepted Islam as its official religion. In 1526, a complicated transfer of rulers took place. During a war of succ…

 Nederlandsch-Indisch Plakaatboek

(1,692 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Compendium of decrees by the Government of the Dutch East Indies Nederlandsch-Indisch Plakaatboek Date: 17th/18th century Original Language: Dutch DescriptionAfter exploratory trips to Asia between 1595 and 1600, traders in the young Dutch Republic established the VOC ( Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie; Dutch East India Company). The VOC built, or captured from the Portuguese, fortifications along the route, or in key locations, for the spice trade from Arabia and India to the Malay Archipelago. Jan Pieters­zoon Coen and his Dutch fo…

Repen Ripangi

(29 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsRepen RipangiKarel Steenbrink

 Dutch and Malay authors on the Paderi Wars in west Sumatra

(1,947 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
- Dutch and Malay authors on the Paderi Wars in west Sumatra Date: First half of the 19th century Original Language: Dutch DescriptionDuring the 17th century, the west Sumatran coastal town of Ulakan was a significant catalyst in the spread of Islam in the region through its famous mystical teacher Syaikh Burhanuddin (1646-1704). In the later 18th century, students from Ulakan promoted religious study in the mountainous central regions of west Sumatra, targeting perceived deviations from the pure practice of Islam. These included the four major vice…

 De Marokkane

(905 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
'The Moroccan woman' Willem Bilderdijk Date: 1805 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionThis didactic poem of 33 quatrains is a dialogue between a Christian prisoner in Morocco, who is waiting for his ransom to arrive, and a Moroccan Muslim woman. She expresses her love for him, but also fears that he despises her religion. She asks: ‘Why do you honour Allāh, but do not include Muḥammad?’ The Christian responds that he believes in Allāh, the One, but also honours His only born son, Issa. The woman declares that Muslims know the stories about Jesus, like Christians, and respect him.After they…

Dagh-register

(34 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Dagh-register van ‘tgene hier in Batavia ‘tsedert Primo January 1624 gepasseert is gelyck mede verscheyden tydingen van andere Qartieren becomen et cetera Karel Steenbrink

 Repen Ripangi

(887 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘The Ripangi poem’ Repen Ripangi Date: 1886 or before Original Language: Javanese Description Repen Ripangi is a poem written in the style of traditional Javanese literature, following strict rules in which the length of each line and the rhyme are fixed, and suited for sung performance. It is divided into seven cantos, and occupies 60 pages in the printed edition. The first three cantos describe the religious teacher Ripangi, the familiar name for Aḥmad al-Rifaʾi, who successfully establishes a  pesantren or boarding school in the village of Kalisalak in central Java. H…

Willem Bilderdijk

(601 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: 7 September 1756 Place of Birth: Amsterdam, The Netherlands Date of Death: 18 September 1831 Place of Death: Haarlem, The Netherlands BiographyBorn in 1756, Willem Bilderdijk was the son of a physician who had political vision and ambitions, but who worked mostly as a tax collector. At the age of six, Willem seriously injured his left foot and, for the next ten years, he had to remain at home, where he developed his knowledge through wide reading. He proved to be multi-talented, excelling in drawing, poe…

No (longer) fear, but control and care. Europeans and Muslims in South East Asia, 17th and 18th centuries

(3,287 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
The VOC ( Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, Dutch East India Company, 1602-1799) and its European partners were often seen primarily as a trade link between Europe and Asia. They brought Asian spices, and later also coffee, tea, valuable timbers, textiles, garments and other commodities to Europe, for which the Europeans initially paid in precious metals or diamonds and later also in goods produced by the developing European industries. One of the first Dutch traders to come to Aceh to buy spices, Fr…

 Het Geopende en Wederleyde Muhammedisdom of Turckdom

(596 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Islam or Turcism opened and rejected’ Simon Oomius Date: 1663 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionOomius wrote this work, which is 991 pages long, with the twin purposes of correcting false representations of Islam and of giving examples of piety among Muslims, all for the benefit of his fellow Christians. But he also wrote to argue against the teachings and practices of Islam, because in his view Islam was built upon a combination of fragments of heresies and false teachings. His major sources were the wor…

Nederlandsch-Indisch Plakaatboek

(26 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsNederlandsch-Indisch PlakaatboekKarel Steenbrink
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