Yati on 'Ulama Perempuan'

19 Apr 2014 | 2,405 views

We could stick our necks out and say that 80% of Malays now calling themselves Malaysians can trace their ancestry to any of the Indonesian islands; they are of the same stock, sharing a similar language, culture and to a large extent the religion of Islam.

But seperated by time and space, the two have developed differences; even in the way Islam is perceived.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Norhayati Kaprawi's documentary film, Ulama Perempuan.

The film tells the story of religious educated women who play a major role in Indonesian society -- not only in the teaching and the preaching of the religion but they sometimes take the role of village head to assist in the settling of domestic problems because of their standing as religious scholars.

Muslim Malay women in Malaysia do not take on such a high profile religious roles in their communities.

Yati spent a year in Indonesia -- 2011 to 2012 under the Asian Public Intellectual Fellowship and finished the film in 2013.

In the film she also featured Jakarta's Istiqlal Mosque. A massive construction that can accommodate a congregation of 120,000.

How the Imam views his congregation seems world's apart from how Imam's here view theirs.