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Tok KenALI. Presented by Madihah Samsudin Najwa Husna Razali Nur Waheeda Md Salleh Nor Fadzila Adenan Edited by Dr. Md. Mahmudul Hasan International Islamic University Malaysia 2010. Introduction. Tok Kenali was an Islamic intellectual and spiritual figure of Malaysia.

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Tok kenali
Tok KenALI

Presented by




Nor FadzilaAdenan

Edited by

Dr. Md. MahmudulHasan

International Islamic University Malaysia



  • TokKenali was an Islamic intellectual and spiritual figure of Malaysia.

  • He was very enthusiastic about leading people to positive changes in life.

  • This spirit led him to pursue an intensive life of Islamic education and social reforms.

  • There are quite a number of institutions with the the stamp of his direct and indirect influence.

His life and intellectual development
His life and intellectual development

  • Name: Muhammad Yusof

  • Place of birth: Kampung Kenali, Kubang Krian (Kelantan)

  • Year of birth: 1868

  • Father’s name: Ahmad bin ‘Abd al-Samad

  • Mother’s name: Fatimah binti Muhammad Salih

  • He was born into a poor family, and his father was a peasant farmer.

  • Tok is a nickname used to honor someone who is old or knowledgeable.


  • His father passed away when he was 5.

  • His grandfather taught him the Qur’an, writing and Tajwid.

  • Later on, he learned sufficient religious knowledge to serve as a guide in life such as the imperatives of existence, obedience to the rules of Islam and how to take pleasure in the performance of religious obligation as a means of earning God’s grace.

  • Tok Kenali was a very gifted person and a capable writer.

  • He managed to complete reading the Qur’an in a short time.

Teenage life in mecca
Teenage life in Mecca to help with account, keeping tally for paddy, coconut and durian crops.

  • Tok Kenali spent most of his teenage life in Mecca.

  • He continued his study when he went to Mecca in 1886 after he performed Hajj.

  • Mecca is a place of worship as well as a centre of knowledge.

  • His method of learning was listening.

  • This was due to his poverty, as he could not afford to buy books.

  • When he wanted to read books he had to go to the bookshops and asked for permission of the owners to borrow those they had on sale.

  • When he returned to his homeland, he only took two books with him: Mughni al-Labib and Ashmuni.

  • Productive reading and hard work were the major factors in his educational development.

  • He stayed in Mecca for about 22 years.

  • He learned a lot about Islam from a great scholar named Shaykh Muhammad Zain Pattani.

Shaykh muhammad zain al pattani
Shaykh Muhammad Zain al-Pattani and asked for permission of the owners to borrow those they had on sale.

  • He was a pious scholar, an excellent writer who had command of 47 fields, such as: history, medicine, Usulluddin, Fiqh, and many more.

  • He helped to shape Tok Kenali’s political view on the importance of establishing a country based on Islam.

  • He also trained his students to be reformers for the future and to fight against British and Dutch colonization of Malaysia and Indonesia.

  • Shaykh Muhammad Zain al- and asked for permission of the owners to borrow those they had on sale.Pattani encouraged TokKenali to become a reformer.

  • Tok Kenali went to Egypt with his teacher for educational purposes.

  • Later on, he taught in Mecca for 5 years.

  • It gave him an inspiration to revive Islamic teachings among Muslims.

  • He spread Islamic education and culture to the people by establishing a school called Pondok Kenali.

Majlis and asked for permission of the owners to borrow those they had on sale. Agama Islam Negeri

  • In 1915, Tok Kenali, Haji Nik Mahmud Isma’il and Haji Muhammad Said suggested to the King of Kelantan that he should establish a council of Islamic Religion.

  • It was built near Masjid Muhammadi.

  • TokKenali was one of the members of the council.

  • He worked to maintain the position of Islam as the official religion and to manage affairs related to education and culture.

The masjid of al muhammadi
The Masjid of al-Muhammadi and asked for permission of the owners to borrow those they had on sale.

  • In 1915, Nik Mahmud became an assistant to the chief Minister of the state and asked TokKenali to teach at the Masjid Muhammadi once a week.

  • On 5 August 1917, he was appointed the principal of the Masjid al-Muhammadi.

Madrasah al muhammadiah 1917
Madrasah al-Muhammadiah (1917) and asked for permission of the owners to borrow those they had on sale.

  • It had three language divisions: Malay, Arabic and English

  • The system was adapted to suit the need of the state in order to produce public servants.

  • The subjects taught at the Muhammadi school were chosen in order to satisfy contemporary demands. Important subjects were: Arabic syntax, Arabic morphology, geography, logic, theology, business, Islamic laws.

  • Tok Kenali played a great role in the expansion of Islamic education and Malaysian cultural development in Kelantan.

Pengasuh magazine
Pengasuh Magazine and asked for permission of the owners to borrow those they had on sale.

  • His first magazine Pengasuh was published by Majlis Agama Islam Kelantan.

  • It played a major role in teaching the true meaning of Islam.

  • The magazine influenced the thoughts of the people of that time not only among the Kelantanase but also among the people of other states and neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Pondok institution
Pondok and asked for permission of the owners to borrow those they had on sale.Institution

  • After the death of his teacher Shaykh Muhammad ZainPattani, TokKenali returned to Kelantan.

  • During that time, there were debates going on between Kelantan Government and Representative of Siamese Government to place Kelantan under British rule.

  • In such a critical juncture, TokKenali was a symbol of hope to society.

  • He worked together with Dato’ PerdanaHajiNik Mahmud (who was the Chief Minister) to disseminate knowledge of faith to the community.

  • Pondok and asked for permission of the owners to borrow those they had on sale.Kenali was established in 1910. (Kenali is the name of his birth place.)

  • Students began to come to him from different places. They set up small pondok (small learning institutions) around him, so that they could be near him.

  • PondokKenali was flourishing under his leadership and his fame started to spread far and wide.

  • Later, he started teaching once a week at MasjidMuhammadi in Kota Bharu for 5 years. He also taught at PondokKubangPasu.

  • His contributions  a founder member of the State Religious Council

     Editor of the PengasuhMagazine

  • The community in the pondok no less than 300 students, from Indonesia (Sumatera), Patani, Cambodia.

  • As a teacher, he prepared graduated text books in a number of subjects like Arabic and Islamic subjects. He wrote both in Arabic and Jawi. Some of the texts he taught are:

    i) Faridatul-Fara’id by Shaikh Ahmad Al-Fatani

    ii) Aqidatul-Najin by ShaikhZain al-’Abidin al-Fatani

    iii) Munyatul-Musalli by ShaikhDaud al-Fatani

  • Apart from reading the text, he told his students moral tales, often delivered in a humorous way.

  • Characteristics of his instructions  he did not use text book while teaching even though his students used text books.

  • He had amazing memory. This reflected the severe training that he had undergone in Mecca during his difficult times and poverty.

Writing career
Writing career tales, often delivered in a humorous way.

  • In Arabic  Tuhfah al-SibyanliMa’rifatiSahih al-Lisanand Luqlatul ‘AjlanliMuhtaj al Bayan

  • In Malay  al-Qaul al-Mufidli – IfadatilMustafid

  • In Jawi  AdabPergaulan(Conduct in Relationship). It discusses ‘adabin relation to :

  • husbands and wives

  • children and their parents, teachers and their students

  • rulers and their subjects

  • servants of Allah with their Lord.

Contribution to education
Contribution to Education tales, often delivered in a humorous way.

  • He contributed greatly to the promotion of Arabic and Islamic education in the traditional pondok system.

  • He devised a system of graduation in Arabic grammar and syntax, which helped the students master the language better.

  • A famous scholar in Kelantan, Haji ‘Ali Salahuddin bin Awang compiled these lessons of TokKenali in a book titled ad-Durus al-Kenaliyyah al-Ibtida’iyyah.

  • Besides, his influence in Islamic education led to the emergence of a number of religious schools, such as:

  • i) The PondokAhmadiah

  • ii) The MadrasahManabi al-UlumwaMatali’ al-Nujum

  • iii) Madrasah al-Falah

  • iv) Pondok of Haji Mat Pauh

  • He devised plans for the establishment of tales, often delivered in a humorous way.Ma’hadMuhammadiah School.

  • He formulated its curriculum to suit with the modern system.

  • He introduced a number of new subjects  history, geography, English, logic, literature, business and elocution.

  • His vision was futuristic in nature. He foresaw the problems the Malays would encounter in traditional education.

  • Thus, he reformed the religious system of education by integrating curricula of religious and general subjects.

  • He followed the Western Model to inculcate Islamic education.

  • He established Ma’hadMuhammadi to narrow the gap between education along Western line and that along Islamic line.

Islamic elements in tok kenali s short stories
Islamic Elements in Tok Kenali’s Short Stories integrating curricula of religious and general subjects.

  • There are two views on TokKenali’s short stories :

    i) by Al-Qari

    Written by him personally.

    ii) by Manasikana

    Written by one of his students.

Purpose: to reinforce his teaching to his students and other audiences.

Aim: to convey the message of Islam.

  • His short stories follow the deductive approach which is based on the popular style of writing of that particular period.

  • His short stories are based on the Islamic teaching and contain verses from the Qur’an, traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and Arabic poetry.

A critical analysis of tok kenali s short stories
A Critical Analysis of Tok Kenali’s Short Stories audiences.

  • We discuss two short stories:

    i) KuasaiIlmuPolitikdan Agama (Mastering

    Both Religion and Political Knowledge)

    ii) Lari Dari Kematian (Fleeing from Death)

Kuasai ilmu politik dan agama mastering both religion and political knowledge
Kuasai Ilmu Politik dan Agama audiences.(Mastering Both Religion and Political Knowledge)

It talks about the importance of political knowledge in order to implement Islamic law or values in society.

It argues that one should teach people without humiliating anyone.

It stresses the need for wisdom when preaching the teachings of Islam.

Lari dari kematian running away from death
Lari Dari Kematian audiences.(Running Away from Death)

The significance of this tale is that nobody can escape from death.

  • Major characters:

    i. The Rich Man

    ii. The Fortune Teller

  • He uses the contemporary belief and setting to invoke the readers of death.

  • It delivers Islamic teachings in an understandable, precise way.

Plots and settings of his short stories
Plots and Settings of his Short Stories time.

  • Both plot and setting were influenced by Arabian and Persian elements.

  • Therefore, we find the use of desert setting and Bedouin’s life in his stories.

  • Literary genres of the Arab world gave a great inspiration to Malaysian writers at that period.

More of tok kenali s short stories
More of Tok Kenali’s Short Stories time.

  • Honor Thy Father, but Fear God

  • Knowledge without Practice

  • Strengthen Both Religion and Political Knowledge

  • Let Custom Die, but Not Religion

    and many more..

Honour thy father but fear god
Honour Thy Father, but Fear God time.

  • A story about a poor boy who was sent to a Pondok Institution (a learning place) by his father to learn religion.

  • Because of poverty, it was difficult for him to buy food and necessary things for study.

  • The boy started to think to follow his father’s foot-step and to become a thief.

  • His teacher taught him: Honor your father, but fear God.

  • One night, he went into a rich man’s house to steal. time.

  • The boy did not steal the rich man’s things but places them at the corner of the house as he feared Allah.

  • The rich man, who was awake, felt weird as he saw the thief did not steal his things but placed them at the corner of his house.

  • He caught the boy and asked him why he acted like that. time.

  • The boy answered he wanted to be like his father, a thief, but at the same time he feared Allah.

  • The rich man was surprised by his truthful answer and pitied him.

  • The rich man asked him if he could read and understand the Qur’an; and he answered yes.

Analysis of honour thy father but fear god
Analysis of “ Al-Qur’an to his children as punishment. Honour Thy Father, but Fear God”


  • The importance of  Honoring one’s father

     Fearing God


  • Contemporary setting

Characters Al-Qur’an to his children as punishment.

  • The boy is a student of Pondok Institution. He is in a dilemma with what he has learned from his master. He tries to be a thief like his father but fears God.

  • The rich man catches the boy when he breaks into his house, and finally offers the boy to teach religion to his daughter.

Style of writing
Style of writing Al-Qur’an to his children as punishment.

  • The short story is written in Kelantanese dialect.

  • It is inspired by Islamic teachings.

  • It stresses the message or the moral rather than the events in the story.

Messages from the short story
Messages from the short story Al-Qur’an to his children as punishment.

  • Students must honor their father in order to get blessing from God.

  • God will reward those who fear Him.

  • It emphasizes the importance of education for both man and woman.

Conclusion Al-Qur’an to his children as punishment.

  • TokKenali was a great teacher and educator.

  • His spirit actually has awakened Muslims to step forward for development.

  • He wanted the Malays to be active to uplift the status of their nation.

  • This can be achieved by searching knowledge in a holistic manner.

  • Mardhatillah (seeking the bless from Allah).

That’s All … Al-Qur’an to his children as punishment.

Thank You