A group of researchers from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Sarawak Branch are conducting a study visit to Andalusia, Spain to uncover the history of Islamic arrival and its development in Borneo particularly in Sarawak.
The trip was led by UiTM Sarawak Rector, Professor Dato Dr Jamil Hamali from Dec 6 to 18 including visits to the National Historical Archives of Spain in Madrid, The Halal Institute of Spain in Cordoba, the University of Granada in Granada and the Archivo de Indias in Seville.
The research trip to Spain is a follow-up study of Wali Songo (nine Islamic preachers) to review its original manuscripts, old maps and original genealogy records that are kept in the museums, archives and libraries in Spain.
The main objective of this study is to validate and to support the existing findings especially about the arrival and spread of Islam in Borneo, especially in Sarawak.
Additionally, the trip is also to discuss collaboration between UiTM Sarawak with the University of Granada and the Spanish Halal Institute in Cordoba.
The two universities intend to flourish cooperation in academic areas such as in halal technology, Arabic language studies and other relevant areas.
Two new books titled Islam in the Nusantara Archipelago: Governance, Economics and Education, and The History and Development of Wali Songo is expected to be launched at the end of the trip and it was based on previous studies.
The research was the brainchild of former Sarawak chief minister Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who contributed to the overall Islamic Nusantara studies project. — Bernama