Through a study of over 1,300 previously unanalyzed Malay Islamic manuscripts, this article examines the role of the Patani community in the construction of transoceanic knowledge networks between Mecca and Southeast Asia in the nineteenth century. Set against the backdrop of the destruction of prevailing symbols of authority, as well as the displacement and scattering of the community after 1200/1786, the present study investigates the manner by which scholars established new cultural unities for the community and addressed social concerns by translating and spreading Islamic writings, teachings, and schools. With its spiritual leadership centered now in Mecca, influential members of the community began producing works that were contingent upon political circumstances, but also directed at the problems facing the refugee community. Of foremost importance were the place and definition of the family, and related issues such as inheritance, divorce, and visible social actions, including ritual purity, fasting, almsgiving, and criminal punishments.

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