Catatan Jurnal: International Jurnal of Pesantren Studies

2 min

Volume, 3 Number 2, 2009

Pusat Studi dan Pengembangan Pesantren (PSPP)

  1. The Traditional Pesantren and The Discourse of Islamic Reform (Sunarwoto, Tribakti Institute of Islamic Studies Lirboyo, Kediri, East Java) Page 143.

In the nineteenth century the Jawi community increased due to the growing number of the pilgrims from the Archipelago. Not all those pilgrims came to Mecca only to perform the pilgrimage, but also to settle there for a few years or until the end of their life. They came to Mecca not just for religious reasons but for economic reasons as well. The economic importance of the pilgrimage itself attracted Jawi to come. Citing a report on pilgrims from the Archipelago in 1913-1914 (De Indische Gids, 1915), Laurence Husson states that not all Jawi immigrants were wealthy.[1] Many of them worked as shopkeepers who sold garments, tailors, or itinerant sellers of religious objects such as rosaries.[2]

The Jawi community therefore was also involved in trade and performed the same economic activities as Meccans. Their intense contacts with local people in various activities also resulted in cultural exchange as reflected in their lingua franca. These contacts also had an impact on the image of Jawi community and the reception of Meccans. To put it clearly, the way they behaved toward Meccans influenced the way the latter perceived them. The Jawa community came from different parts of the Archipelago. In their daily interaction they communicated with each other in the Malay language. Malay language became particularly important in their daily life, especially in trade. This is true for all Jawi coming to Mecca, regardless of their Jawah origins. According to Snouck, in every Jawi group there was always someone who could speak Malay. In short, Malay in Mecca spoke Malay to their Malay fellows. At the same time, Malay dialects differed from one region to another. Each dialect represented their origins. They were divided by their respective dialect.[3]

So dominant was the use of Malay that Meccans felt it necessary to master some Malay words and use them in their social interaction with Malays. The spread of an elementary knowledge of Malay among Meccans thus also indicates the prominent position of the Jawi race in the pilgrim-market. It is not surprising that many Malay words were absorbed into Arabic such as Turus (terus, to go on) and burum (burung, birds). There was even a steamer going from Jeddah to Batavia which was named Babur Turus. For Meccans, mastery of Malay became important, especially in business and trade. They even changed some Arabic phrases into Malay such as “harr ya ‘esh” (hot bread) into “roti ya panas”; “sukkar ya habbab” (sugar, o water melons) into “manis ya semangka”.[4] In order to maintain their business with the Jawi, Meccans had to master the language as precisely as possible. “They would fail to secure trust of many Jawa,” says Snouck, “ if they only speak as it was spoken by non-Muslim.”[5]


  1. Zamakhsyari Dhofier (University of Qur’anic Science, Wonosobo), page 122

The West always improves the management quality of universities. Excellent American students are adventurous. In the third semester of their study, they will be offered scholarships by the Central Intelligence of America (CIA) and recruited as its agents after the completion.


[1] Laurence Husson, “Indonesia in Saudi Arabia,” pp. 126-127.

[2] Ibid., p. 127.

[3] Snouck Hurgrinje, Mekka, p. 232.

[4] Ibid., p. 229-230.

[5] Ibid., p. 230.

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