Hamzah Fansuri

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Hamzah Fansuri (Jawi: حمزه فنسوري ; also spelled Hamzah Pansuri, d. c. 1590) was a Sumatran Sufi writer, the first known to pen mystical panentheistic ideas in the Malay language. He wrote both prose and poetry, and worked at the court of the Aceh Sultanate.

Fansuri's panentheism derived from the writings of the medieval Islamic scholars. He perceived God as immanent within all things, including the individual, and sought to unite one's self with the indwelling spirit of God. He employed the doctrine of seven stages of emanation (martabat) in which God manifests Himself in this world, ending in the Perfect Man, a doctrine widespread in Indonesia at the time. However, his works were later deemed heretical by Nuruddin ar-Raniri, for upsetting the Islamic belief that God remained unchanged by his creation.[1]

Hamzah was one of the first Southeast Asians to complete the hajj.[2]


  • Sharab al-'ashiqin ("The Lovers' Beverage")
  • Asrar al-'arifin ("The Secrets of the Gnostics")
  • Muntahi ("The Adept")

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ricklefs, 51
  2. ^ Heidhues, 81


  • Mary Somers Heidhues. Southeast Asia: A Concise History. London: Thames and Hudson, 2000.
  • M.C. Ricklefs. A History of Modern Indonesia Since c. 1300, 2nd ed. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994.

Further reading[edit]

  • Muhammad Naguib al-Attas. The mysticism of Hamzah Fansuri. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press, 1970.
  • G.W.J. Drewes and L.F. Brakel (eds. and tr.). The poems of Hamzah Fansuri. Dordrecht and Cinnaminson: Foris Publications, 1986. ISBN 90-6765-080-3

External links[edit]