Traditional Malay medicine encompasses various kinds of ritual ceremonies intended to communicate with the world of spirits to determine whether the nature of an illness is physical or psychological. In such ceremonies, the aim is to summon and exorcise the spirits causing illness. A ritualist serves as a medium, and a small ensemble often provides the musical component.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What is Keramat?

What is Keramat?
Keramat are “tombs or reputed of saints that are believed to wonder working shrines.”

A specifically Malayan institution, the worship of innumerable saints arises from Indian-derived Shia’ belief and practices in local Islam.

This worship involves making offerings at the graves of ancestors, founders of settlements, rulers, religious teachers and even rocks or stones.

It is said that the Malays, who are otherwise Sunni Muslims do the School of Shafie, adopted the institution of the Keramat to continue under the guise of Islam, some of their former animistic practices.

While keramat worship was originally a Malay practice, members of the Chinese and Indian communities have also adopted it.

There persists a folk believe that keramat and the various religious “deities” worshipped at shrines do not only have the power to heal, protect and bless devotees, but also the ability to admonish, punish and torment individuals, should disrespect be shown to them or their abodes disturbed.
What is Keramat?
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