Who is Syair Hamzah Fansuri and Why You Should Read His Poems
Syair Hamzah Fansuri is a Malay poet and mystic who lived in the 16th or 17th century. He is considered one of the pioneers of Sufism in Southeast Asia and one of the greatest poets in Malay literature. His poems, known as syair, are written in rhymed quatrains and express his mystical insights and experiences of God.
If you are interested in learning more about Syair Hamzah Fansuri and his poems, you can download a PDF file of his works from this link: hamzah fansuri penyair sufi aceh Pages 1-50 - Flip PDF Download FlipHTML5. This PDF file contains 47 poems by Syair Hamzah Fansuri, some of which have been translated and commented by scholars such as G.W.J. Drewes, L.F. Brakel, J. Doorenbos, and Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas.
In this article, we will give you a brief introduction to Syair Hamzah Fansuri's life, his mystical teachings, and some examples of his poems. We hope that this will inspire you to read his poems and appreciate his contribution to Malay culture and spirituality.
Syair Hamzah Fansuri's Life
Little is known for certain about Syair Hamzah Fansuri's life. His name suggests that he was a descendant of Syekh Al Fansuri, a Persian scholar who came to Samudra Pasai, an Islamic kingdom in northern Sumatra, in the 13th century. He had a brother named Ali, who was also a poet and a teacher of Sufism. Ali's son, Abdurrauf, became a famous scholar and a critic of Syair Hamzah Fansuri's doctrine of wahdatul wujud (the unity of being).
Syair Hamzah Fansuri founded a Sufi school in Singkel, on the west coast of Aceh. He was influenced by the Qadiriyya order and the teachings of Ibn Arabi, a prominent Andalusian Sufi philosopher. He also traveled widely in the Islamic world, visiting Mecca, Medina, Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus, and India. He met many Sufi masters and learned from them various aspects of Islamic mysticism.
Syair Hamzah Fansuri's poems were popular among the Malay elites and commoners alike. He had many followers and disciples, such as Syamsuddin Sumatrani, Nuruddin al-Raniri, and Ismail al-Khalidi. However, he also faced opposition and persecution from some orthodox scholars who accused him of heresy and blasphemy. His works were banned and burned by some rulers of Aceh, such as Iskandar Muda and Iskandar Thani.
It is not clear when and how Syair Hamzah Fansuri died. Some sources say that he was executed by Iskandar Muda in 1604. Others say that he died peacefully in Mecca or India. His tomb is said to be located in Singkel or Aceh Besar.
Syair Hamzah Fansuri's Mystical Teachings
Syair Hamzah Fansuri's mystical teachings are based on the concept of wahdatul wujud (the unity of being), which he derived from Ibn Arabi. According to this concept, there is only one reality, which is God. Everything else is a manifestation or reflection of God's attributes and names. Therefore, everything is essentially one with God.
However, this does not mean that Syair Hamzah Fansuri denied the existence or uniqueness of creation. He distinguished between two aspects of being: zahir (the outward) and batin (the inward). The zahir is the phenomenal world that we perceive with our senses. The batin is the hidden reality that we can access with our intellect and intuition. The zahir is subject to change and multiplicity, while the batin is eternal and indivisible.