Algebra in the Malay World: A Case Study of Islamic Mathematics
The Malay World comprises countries which are now known as Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, and Kampuchea. This part of the world is also known as Nusantara or Pascabima. Ptolemy, the Egyptian geographer, visited the Malay world in the second century AD and called it “Golden Chersonese” (Semenanjung Emas in Malay – a beautiful golden peninsula) for its beauty and greenness. Indian travelers once referred to it as Sunarvabumi, which can be translated in the same way. The significance of this area in ancient history as a meeting place for sea travelers between east and west is due to its strategic location between India and China.
The region went through its own history under many religious influences such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. It is recorded that Islam came to this region in the very early period of the Umayyad caliphate when a Srivijayan king embraced Islam during the reign of Caliph Umar ibn al‐Aziz (AD 717–720). Since then, Islam gradually...
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