We are very happy to announce that one of the participants of the exploratory workshop on Islam in Southeast Asia is Sohayle M. Hadji Abdul Racman. The workshop will be held on September 21, 2018 (Friday) at the National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (NISMED) of the University of the Philippines Diliman. He will present his current research entitled “The Political Legitimacy of the Sultans of the Lanao Sultanate in the 17th Century with Special Reference to the Political Views of al-Māwardī.”
The Pat a Pangampong sa Ranao or Lanao Sultanate in the Philippines was founded in the early 17th century after it seceded from the Magindanao Sultanate. The Lanao Sultanate had the traditional laws and Shari’ah (Islamic laws). The political structure of Lanao Sultanate consists of council of elders, house of board of advisers, house of bais (ladies), imāms (prayer leaders), kalis (judges), gurus (teachers), askars (army), pananalsilas (genealogy experts), defence units headed by a radia-laut (naval and war commander), and the 43 clans who ruled the pagawidan (supported states) and pagawid (supporting states). The supported states had 15 sultans who were the executive bodies of the 15 royal houses of the Lanao Sultanate, and supporting states which had 28 governors called m’babaya ko taritib who were also the legislative bodies of the 4 states of Lanao: Bayabao, Masiu, Unayan, and Baloi. Books specifically dealing with the legitimacy of the sultans of the Lanao Sultanate are scarce. This explains why there is a huge research gap on the political legitimacy of the sultans of the Lanao Sultanate from Sunni political perspective. To fill in this research gap, this paper will explore in-depth the practice of the Maranao Royal Court in appointing a sultan, his qualifications and functions. This practice will be cross-referred to the Qur’ān and Ḥadith injunctions on establishing a ruler as well as on the political perspective of al-Māwardī on establishing an imāmate (leadership) i.e. sultan, the process of his appointment, his qualifications and functions.
Sohayle M. Hadji Abdul Racman finished BS in International Relations from the College of King Faisal Center for Islamic Arabic and Asian Studies, Mindanao State University, Marawi City. He finished his Master’s degree in Islamic Studies from the Institute of Islamic Studies, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. He is currently taking PhD in Islamic Civilization and Contemporary Issues at Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam where he recently completed writing the manuscript of his PhD thesis entitled: The Political Legitimacy of Lanao Sultanate in the 17th Century with Special Reference to the Political Perspective of al-Māwardī. Mr. Racman worked as a college instructor and taught social sciences subjects at St. Peter’s College in Iligan City from 2010 to 2014. He also taught international relations subjects in International Relations Department at the Institute of Middle East and Asian Studies at University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan Cotabato in 2014 to 2015.