No words suffice but praise to God the Almighty for it was with His help that I was able to complete this dissertation through much hard work. Although the completion of this dissertation took much sweat, time, and money, I am aware that there are many gaps that were unable to be explored. This was a consequence of limitations I faced in being able to examine everything related to the research topic. However, this is not an excuse for any academic errors in this research. I take full responsibility for all the shortcomings in this book.
This work does not represent the end of my academic career, but rather the beginning of a long and more challenging academic journey. Consequently, I accept criticism from readers in order to become a more responsible intellectual.
Although I worked hard to finish this research, I feel indebted, both directly and indirectly, to many; those who helped, who gave motivation, who were discussion partners, who continually asked if my dissertation was finished, and to those who helped collect data in the field. First of all, to my parents. They both worked hard, expending much energy and time to guide me while I obtained my degrees, from undergraduate through to doctoral. In all their simplicity and with all their restrictions, they have always been a light in my life that has never flickered nor died. To my father, who is now in the presence of God (7/1/2005), I hope you are peaceful by His side. Your sacrifice was not in vain.
To my beloved wife, Emmamatul Qudsiyah who wished that I would finish this dissertation quickly in amongst the busyness of making a living. My two children, Affan F. Azka and Najma Fuaida, who have forgone their right to my love and attention, you always give me inspiration.
To my supervisors, Prof. Dr Azyumardi Azra and Dr Bahtiar Effendy, who encouraged me to finish this dissertation, and who were both teachers and discussion friends. Thank you for your advice and input in perfecting this dissertation.
To the management and academic staff at the Bengkulu State Islamic College (STAIN Bengkulu) who permitted me to study while I was still teaching there.