Original Research

The thematic system in the construction of Arabic Sufism communities and Islamic identity

Muhammad Y. Anis, Mangatur Nababan, Riyadi Santosa, Mohammad Masrukhi
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 1 | a7469 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i1.7469 | © 2022 Muhammad Y. Anis, Mangatur Nababan, Riyadi Santosa, Mohammad Masrukhi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2022 | Published: 06 June 2022

About the author(s)

Muhammad Y. Anis, Department of Arabic Literature, Faculty of Cultural Science, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Surakarta, Indonesia
Mangatur Nababan, Department of English, Faculty of Cultural Science, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Surakarta, Indonesia
Riyadi Santosa, Department of English, Faculty of Cultural Science, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Surakarta, Indonesia
Mohammad Masrukhi, Arabic Literature Study Program, Faculty of Cultural Science, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


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Abstract

This research aims to investigate the thematic system (theme and rheme) of Arabic texts, especially Arabic Sufi texts related to al-Hikam aphorisms. Thematic structure is defined as the set of options relating to ‘information structure’, the linguistic representation of extralinguistic experience and how a Sufi constructs an information structure in al-Hikam aphorisms. In this case, the extralinguistic experience is focused on the Arabic Sufi communities (Tarekat Syadziliyah community). The first problem of this research, about thematic system in al-Hikam aphorism related to Arabic Sufi communities and Islamic identities, is elaborated comprehensively. The elaboration process can be classified into a number of thematic systems such as (1) unmarked topical, (2) marked topical, (3) interpersonal and (4) textual. The thematic analysis becomes the base foundation to elaborate the construction of Arabic Sufi communities and Islamic identities. A thematic model shows how language users in Arabic Sufi communities encode language from their mental picture of reality. By capturing the al-Hikam aphorism through the thematic system, it can be concluded that communication is pivotal in making Islamic Sufi identities.

Contribution: Contextually, this research contributes to the study of cross-language and cross-culture. Language as a reflection of a certain culture can be seen both in terms of the product and the translation process.


Keywords

thematic system; Arabic Sufi communities; social identity; al-Hikam aphorisms; language and identity

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