Extracts from my FB post. Thanks to Ahmad Salik Ahmad Ishak
Takeaway #4 from Dr Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied‘s talk on “Malay Muslim Thinking – Lessons from History” at Masjid Assyafaah Darul Hadith on 16 Feb 2013
The history of Malay Thinking can be divided into 5 phases.
1) The Era of Superstitious Thinking (Pemikiran Jumud : 35 000 BC – 100 BC)
2) The Era of Traditional Thinking (Pemikiran Adat : 100 BC – 1400 AD)
3) The Era of Tauhidic Thinking (Pemikiran Tauhid : 1400 – 1800 AD)
4) The Era of Westernised Thinking (Pemikiran Kebaratan : 1800 – 1957 AD)
5) The Era of Crisis of the Mind (1957 AD – today)
Malays have believed in superstition longer than they have been Muslims. For more than 35000 years, the Malays were worshiping statues.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
31:13 And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: “O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zoolm (wrong) indeed.
Because of our superstitious thinking, Malays were not known to the world until they embraced Hinduism. The Qur’an says that believing in syirik is a form of oppression to our selves. During this period, Malays worshipped the ghosts of their forefathers (ruh datuk nenek) and believed in semangat (spirits) and kekebalan (invincibility).
What is the relevance of the fact that the Malays used to believe in all these to the present context? Do the Malays still believe in ghosts? In fact, Malays have the most number of ghosts compared to any other community in this world. There are 55 different types of ghosts in the Malay world – Pontianak, Bolong, Penanggal, Pelesit, etc.
The superstitious thinking that has been ingrained in the Malays for more than 35000 years has not disappeared. Even some asatizahs are afraid of ghosts. Are there such things as ghosts? There is no such thing as ghosts. Can we see ghosts? According to Imam Syafie, whoever says that he can see a jinn, he is no longer a Muslim.
Why are Malays afraid of ghosts? Because they watch a lot of ghost movies which are box office hits in the Malay film industry.
The Malay Muslim community will not be able to progress as long as they are still trapped in this superstitious thinking. If we are afraid of ghosts, it means that our aqidah (faith) is weak.