Malay beliefs – Concept

The Malays believe in two worlds, the temporal world (dunia) and the eternal world (akhirat), a concept derived from Islam, and one that the Malays share with Muslims the world over. The names dunia and akhirat are derived from the Arabic, and are standard terms in the Islamic world. The term dunia has two applications.(…)

Malay Beliefs – Soul (Semangat)

Semangat, the earliest religion of the Malays was animism, and the most significant of indigenous Malay beliefs have to do with the idea of the soul. The earliest of these ideas come from animism, while the later ones derive from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam which in various ways succeeded animism but also accommodated it. Altogether,(…)

Malay Belief – Invisible (hantu)

The belief in invisible beings has come down to the Malays through their animistic past, and a whole range of spirits are believed to exist. In simple terms these may be defined as those inhabiting certain localities such as lakes and rivers, orchards, forests and so on, those connected with particular objects such as the(…)

Malay Beliefs – Superstitions

Two other principal beliefs affecting everyday Malay life, particularly in the villages, are those connected with kuwong, and cending. These are negative influences carried by animals, birds or reptiles, in particular the wild ones. Kuwong may also be associated with specific places, in particular those known to be haunted. Thus certain precautions have to be(…)

Malay Belief – Keramat

The Islamic tradition, inter ali, maintains a strong tradition of faith in saints, or wali, where the term wali deriving from wala, ( “to be near”) indicates the nearness of the saints to God. At the same time, wali are regarded as possessors of mystical knowledge, and, among other qualities associated with them is the(…)

Malay Beliefs – Angin

The wind (angin) is one of the four elements (anasir arba’ah) of which every living creature is composed. It is in fact the most important of these elements. Any imbalance of the elements and of angin in particular usually results in illness. Angin is thus considered by the Malays as a causal agent of many(…)