1 May 2005 (Labour Day, before lunch)
The seventh search is to scrutinize a third e-mail sent to me on 28 January 2005 by En. Mohd. Fadli Ghani from Kuala Lumpur. The subject read "Doktor Melayu Pertama". He has appended his paper entitled "Karya-Karya Sains Ulama Melayu, 1800-1950: Satu Tinjauan Awal". En. Fadli thanked me for responding to his previous e-mail. En. Fadli noted several points in order to assist my search of the early Malay doctors.
En. Fadli had searched more history books concerning the Malay race (bangsa Melayu). According to En. Fadli, he found data on more than 10 medical books written by Malays in either the Malay language (Bahasa Melayu) or Arabic (Bahasa Arab). These books were written between 1400 and 1900. En. Fadli believed however he might still have not found all the books written by Malays.
Book 1. The oldest medical book is entitled "Sisa-sisa Berguna" written by a Pattani clergy (ulama') named Sheikh Syarifuddin. However, En. Fadli queried whether it could possibly be "Sisa-sisa" or"Sia-sia". Sheikh Syarifuddin lived in Pattani around 1400 (about 800 Hijrah). His book was reproduced (disalin) in 1871 by a Terengganu clergy living in Pattani. The exact date when this happened cannot be ascertained except the date of the writing.
There are two more medical books which have been reproduced many times but the exact dates of their initial writing are not known. The first book is entitled "Risalah Perubatan" and the second is entitled "Ilmu Tabib".
Book 2. The book "Risalah Perubatan" was reproduced in 1815 by Sheikh Ishak Mohd. Hashim from Kedah. On page 4 of this book, Sheikh Ishak explained why he had reproduced the book. It related to the Malays being under the Siamese rule and the payment of tithe in the form of the golden flower (bunga emas) which was used for this purpose. This is a verse from the book:
"Perintah ini senda salin di dalam tib Duli Tuk Raja Yang Maha Mulia, maka Duli Tuk Raja Yang Maha Mulia salin di dalam tib Dato' Paduka Seri Nara Diraja di bandar Limbong dipinta halal pada menantunya Dato' Seri Diraja pada masa bawa bunga emas ke Benua Siam pada tahun 1230. Maka tatkala selesai salin ini zaman Duli Tuk Raja Yang Maha Mulia semayam di bandar Pulau Pisang memerintah negeri Kubang Pasu pada Sanah 1230 tahun dal akhir."
According to En. Fadli, 1230 Hijrah is equivalent to 1815 Masehi, of the Gregorian calendar.
Book 3. The book "Ilmu Tabib" was reproduced in 1288 Hijrah (1871) by Muhammad Salleh ibni Ahmad Penambang from Kelantan. Penambang is a river bank settlement by the Kelantan River(Sungai Kelantan) and also a Malay word which refers to a fee probably for paying the bamboo raft service for crossing Sungai Kelantan. On the last page of his book, Mohd. Salleh acknowledged that he had reproduced the medical book in the month of Syawal in 1288 in Kota Raja in Kelantan. Syawal is a month of rejoicing following the one month compulsory fasting in the month of Ramadhan of the Muslim calendar. This was what he wrote:
"Telah selesai hamba, faqir ilallahu taala, iaitu Muhammad Salleh ibni Ahmad Penambang, menyalin akan surat tib ubat ini, dalam negeri Kelantan Darus Salam, di dalam Kota Raja, kepada bulan Syawal, tahun kepada Hijrah an-Nabi Muhammad S.A.W., tarikh Sanah 1288."
Muhammad Salleh ibni Ahmad Penambang (see also Search 6). The word ibni is Arabic and means son of. The word Penambang is added last after his father's name to indicate his origin or hometown. He had written Kelantan Darus Salam. However, we presently use Kelantan Darul Naim - Editor
According to En. Fadli, these were the three early medical books written by Malays but where the writers had studied is unknown. En. Fadli pointed out that even though they were merely early writers but this does not mean that the Malays were unaware of medicine or uneducated in medical knowledge.
Books 4 - 10. En. Fadli did not mention about the remaining 7 early medical books.
Book 11. En. Fadli alerted me to an early book written by a Malay in Malacca (Melaka). He mentioned a book entitled "Silalatus Salatin" or better known as "Sejarah Melayu" written by Tun Seri Lanang. Tun Seri Lanang wrote about the history of the Malay Sultanate in Malacca. Tun Seri Lanang also wrote about the war between Malacca and the Portuguese. During this war, there was a Malay doctor (tabib Melayu) who was a royal doctor to the last Malacca king, Sultan Ahmad Shah. The Malay doctor also helped look after the wounded dignitaries of the war.
En. Fadli mentioned, even though the history of the Malays was written in 1700, the Malacca-Portuguese war occurred in 1511. En. Fadli affirmed that Malay doctors existed at the time of the Malacca Sultanate. According to him, Tun Seri Lanang had used the term tabib and not bomoh, dukun, nujum or pawang which are terms normally used to refer to the traditional Malay folk medicine. En. Fadli reiterated, tabib referred to the use of more scientific methods of treatment compared to mystical means.
The Story of Merah Silu. En. Fadli alerted me to the story of Merah Silu. Merah Silu was the first Sultan Perak who embraced Islam in 1200. Merah Silu ate earthworms as medicine. En. Fadli said he will write more about Merah Silu in future e-mail to provide proof that the early Malays indeed knew about the medicinal value of animals and as have been written in many early Malay books (hikayat).
En. Fadli ended his e-mail by writing a paragraph listing what he had in store for me.
- He had recorded the medical books and will let me know if I need them.
- He also managed to obtain more information concerning Dr. Latif Abdul Razak, the first Malay doctor. Here is the update on Dr. Abdul Latif:
Dr. Abdul Latif bin Abdul RazakSee also Search 1. First Malay doctor. His name is mortalised as a name of a road in Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) as Jalan Doktor Latif. This road links Jalan Masjid and Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz and heads towards the pediatric ward of HKL. His name is also mortalised in naming a hostel after him in Universiti Industri Selangor (UNISEL), located in Section 7, Shah Alam in Selangor. Shah Alam is the capital city of the state of Selangor.
- En. Fadli also attached a paper which he had written entitled "Karya Sains Ulama Melayu" which he hoped will help my search.
En. Fadli thanked me and signed off.
It is now 12.49 pm. I have to quit now to cook lunch (fried fish and white rice). My husband and kids want to attend a Maulud cum Kesyukuran (thanskgiving) lunch held by my parents in-law in Tanah Merah.
En. Mohd. Fadli Ghani provided plenty of useful information in his e-mail on 28 January 2005.
Book 1. "Sisa-sisa Berguna"
"Sisa-sisa Berguna" was written by a Pattani clergy (ulama') named Sheikh Syarifuddin. This book was reproduced in 1871 by a Terengganu clergy living in Pattani. The exact date when this book was written is unknown.
Sheikh SyarifuddinA Pattani clergy (ulama') around 1400 (about 800 Hijrah). He wrote the book "Sia-sia Berguna" or "Sisa-Sisa Berguna"..
Name unknownUnknown Terengganu clergy. He reproduced "Sisa-sisa Berguna" in 1871 when living in Pattani.PattaniWhere is Pattani? Why is Pattani the focus of Muslim clergy? Did the Arabs arrive in Pattani?
Book 2. "Risalah Perubatan"
"Risalah Perubatan" was reproduced in 1815 by Sheikh Ishak Mohd. Hashim from Kedah. The original author is unknown.
Sheikh Ishak Mohd. HashimFrom Kedah. He reproduced "Risalah Perubatan" in 1815 when living in Pattani. Was it an order from the Malay ruler for him to reproduce "Risalah Perubatan" or was it his own initiative?Siam land (benua Siam)When was the Siamese rule? How much Malay land was under Siam in 1230? Was Pattani under Siam? Was Siam aware of the medical treatment used by the Malays?Golden flower (bunga emas; bunga mas)The golden flower was carried to Siam in 1230. Why was the golden flower mentioned? Was the golden flower linked to medicine or medical treatment?TibWhat is the actual meaning of tib? Does it refer to a registry or an official record?Duli Tuk Raja Yang Maha MuliaWho was he? When was the reign of Duli Tuk Raja Yang Maha Mulia?Tib Duli Tuk Raja Yang Maha MuliaWho keeps this tib now? Where is it normally kept? Who was allowed to write in this tib? Write about what? For what reason?Dato' Paduka Seri Nara DirajaWho was he? He lived in the town of Limbong.Tib Dato' Paduka Seri Nara DirajaWho keeps this tib now? Where is it normally kept? Who was allowed to write in this tib? Write about what? For what reason?Dato' Seri DirajaWho was he?Menantu Dato' Seri DirajaWho was he?Pulau PisangWhere is this town or is this an island? What was this place like in 1230? Duli Tuk Raja Yang Maha Mulia was the head (bersemayam) in Pulau Pisang at the time "Risalah Perubatan" was reproduced.Kubang PasuWhere is this state? Does it refer to the place near Masjid Muhammadi in Kota Bharu, Kelantan? What was this place like in 1230? What was the relationship between Pulau Pisang and Kubang Pasu? Duli Tuk Raja Yang Maha Mulia was the ruler (memerintah) in Kubang Pasu at the time "Risalah Perubatan" was reproduced.
Book 3. "Ilmu Tabib"
"Ilmu Tabib" was reproduced in 1288 Hijrah (1871) by Muhammad Salleh ibni Ahmad Penambang from Kelantan.
Muhammad Salleh bin AhmadMuhammad Salleh bin Ahmad was from Penambang in Kelantan. He reproduced "Ilmu Tabib" in 1288 Hijrah (1871)PenambangPenambang is a river bank settlement by the Kelantan River (Sungai Kelantan).KelantanKelantan Darus Salam is now Kelantan Darul Naim.
Books 4 - 10. Will need the names and details of these books.
Book 11. "Silalatus Salatin" or better known as "Sejarah Melayu"
Early Malay book written by Tun Seri Lanang about the history of the Malay Sultanate in Malacca.
Tun Seri LanangHe wrote "Silalatus Salatin" (Sejarah Melayu) during the last Malay Sultanate in Malacca.Malacca SultanateNeed details. Who was the royal Malay doctor indicated by Tun Seri Lanang in his book "Silalatus Salatin"?Malay doctor (tabib Melayu)Who was he? He was the royal Malay doctor who served both the king and dignitaries during the Malacca-Portuguese war in 1511.Sultan Ahmad ShahHe was the last Malay ruler of the Malacca Sultanate. What was his roots? Was he fond of medicine?Malay wordsNeed the correct meaning of the Malay words tabib, bomoh, dukun, nujum and pawang.
The Story of Merah Silu
Merah SiluMerah Silu was the first Sultan Perak who embraced Islam in 1200. Merah Silu ate earthworms as medicine. Who taught him to eat earthworms?EarthwormsWhat sort of earthworms can be eaten for health?HikayatWhat is a hikayat?
Dr. Abdul Latif bin Abdul Razak
First Malay doctor. Jalan Doktor Latif in HKL has been named after him. This road links Jalan Masjid and Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz and heads towards the pediatric ward of HKL. A students' hostel has been named after him in UNISEL.
Universiti Industri Selangor (UNISEL)UNISEL is located in Section 7, Shah Alam, Selangor.Shah AlamShah Alam is the capital city of the state of Selangor.SelangorOne of the 14 states and territories in Malaysia. It is a southern state and also bears Putrajaya.
Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia