Sufism in Writings: Mysticism and Spirituality in the Love Poems of Salleh Ben Joned

Nadiah Abdol Ghani


Salleh Ben Joned is seen as a notorious figure in the Malaysian literary scene as a result of his use of profanities and vulgarities, interlacing them into ideas or texts that are seen to be sacred by the society. He is most infamously known for his vivid descriptions of carnal images and sex and its vicissitudes in his poems, thus earning the accusations of being an apostate and his works to be blasphemous. This essay is an attempt at reappraising his love poetry, by explicating the poems using the doctrine of Sufism and its central theme of love and the Beloved/Divine. My view is that his poems are not just describing the ‘profane’ act of sexual copulation, but rather would be more apt in describing a devotee’s spiritual journey towards finding his Beloved or the Divine.

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International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

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