Syed Syeikh Al-Hadi Collection

By Nur Diyana


NUS Libraries has recently acquired the works of Syed Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hadi, published in the early twentieth century. This collection of primary source materials contains 7 series of Al-Imam (1907 – 1908), the first Malay Islamic reformist periodical published in Singapore, Malaya and Malay Archipelago; 18 series of Al-Ikhwan (1927 – 1930); two monographs on religious reformation and education, and 10 novels by Al-Hadi. Being extremely rare and highly sought after, we are delighted to acquire them from a private collector through generous funding by the Wan family. These resources add to our niche collection of titles published in Malaya. They are valuable resources for education, and can potentially open up new possibilities for research and teaching. To facilitate these possibilities, NUS Libraries has digitised the collection and made it open access.

About Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi

Syed Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hadi, a journalist and publisher, started the journal Al-Imam in Singapore in 1907, together with Shaikh Mohamad Tahir, Sheikh Mohamad Salim al-Kalili and Haji Abbas Mohamad. Al-Hadi then founded Jelutong Press in Penang, in 1927. Jelutong Press published various works with reformist ideas and modern literature such as popular journalism, and novels. Al-Hadi wrote Hikayat Faridah Hanom in 1926 which included themes on women’s agency and education; translated Tahrir al-Mar’ah (Qasim Amin) on the emancipation of women in 1930; and edited and wrote extensively on political, social, and religious issues in Al-Imam and his later journal Al-Ikhwan, from 1927-1930. His works and publications were widely circulated in the Malay Archipelago.

Image from Wikipedia

To view the collection please visit our Digital Gems site: Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi Collection

To view other works by Al-Hadi in our collection please click on Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hadi, al-Syed (1857-1934).

To read more on Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi’s ideas on development, religion, and nationalism, among others, please refer to the recommended readings in our holdings:

Alatas, S., Farid, (2005). Ideology and utopia in the thought of Syed Shaykh Al-Hady. Dept. of Sociology, National University of Singapore.
Al-Hadi, S., & Alwi, Gordon, A., (1999). The real cry of Syed Shaykh al-Hady. Malaysian Sociological Research Institute.
Aziz, S. A. (2003). Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi: cendekia dan sasterawan ulung (Vol. 1). Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Ibrahim, A. (2013). Contemporary Islamic discourse in the Malay-Indonesian world: critical perspectives. SIRD.
Karim, W.J.B. (2009). Straits Muslims: diasporas of the northern passage of the Straits of Malacca. Straits G.T.
Hassan, M. M. A., & Ibrahim, M. H. (2019). Syed Syeikh al-Hadi: pembaharu semangat Islam dan sosial (Cetakan pertama). Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
Roff, W. R. (1967). The origins of Malay nationalism. University of Malaya Press.
Seruan islah Syed Shaykh Al-Hady. (2018). Islamic Renaissance Front.
Zakariya, H. (2017). Colonialism, Society and Reforms in Malaya: A Comparative Evaluation of Shaykh Tahir Jalaluddin and Syed Shaykh Ahmad Al-Hady. Intellectual Discourse, 25, 477–501.

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