Wednesday, November 18, 2009


One of the most frequent question from my student here is about the Kebatinan in Silat, especially in Silat Seni Gayong. Kebatinan comes from word Batin, meaning interior. When we talk about Silat, many modern parents in Malaysia refuse to let their children to learn it because of fearing that they will teach Kebatinan to their children. Kebatinan is always misunderstood, and is always related to their "mental illness or bad behavior" (Isim) happens to the practitioners due to the failure of the "Ilmu" that they practice.

Kebatinan does exist. It exist even since the arrival of Islam in the Nusantara. The Pagans, Buddist, Hinduist, Animist and so on were already practiced sort of ritual ceremonies and practices, related to the spirits and gods that they believed can help them being stronger, invisible, incredible and thousands of virtues that they wish. It even exist since the first man created on earth, the Prophet Adam (pbuh). In Quran we learn that how the two Angels, Harut and Marut came as a temptation for human being, of teaching the Sihr (black magic) that can breaks the love between husband and wife. We see how the Firaun (pharaoh) with his magicians were lost in the battle with the Prophet Musa (pbuh)after his stick turned up to be a real giant sneak to swallow all of the unreal moving snakes by the magicians.

In history, all of this things were proven. I was shocked to learn that one Imam in france doesn't beleive the existance of Sihr and Jinn. So what does he believe actually and how he can explain the word Sihr and other to publics in the view of Islam?

In Islam, we classified the "Ajaib" (supernatural) in a clear ways:


1) Mukjizat is the supernatural abilities ONLY happens to the Rasul (Messengers of God)like the stick of the Prophet Musa turned up to be a giant snake or the travel of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)to Baitul Maqdis (Isra') and to Sidratul Muntaha and Arasy (Mi'raj) in the sky to see the God.

2) Irhas is the supernatural abilities happens ONLY to the Nabi (Prophets) that were selected to be the Rasul (Messengers) like the prophet Isa (Jesus pbuh) who talked to publics while he was just born, in defending the purity of his mother Maryam (Marie pbuh)

3) Keramat is for the religious people (Wali), obedient in God's path and live for him. It happens ONLY when the God wants, like the history of a group of man who slept in the caves for hundred of years after escaping from a tyran who wanted them to adore him as a God.

4) Maunah is for normal persons, whether he believes or not in God, like someone who survive an inch of car accident or one who falls from the skies accidently without materials but lands safely without any injuries.

5) Ihadah is an humiliation to the enemies of God, like Pharaoh who said that he will never die but still drown in the sea and the King Namrud who wanted to burn prophet Ibrahim (Abraham pbuh) but failed to do it.

6) Istidraj is the supernatural abilities happens to the sinners (which is can be the believers), or disbelievers, just before their time is end. It is like a warning for the sinners before it is too late, but sometimes it is misinterpreted by them as a "gift" of God. The Pharaoh and his army walked through the sea like prophet Mose pbuh and his fidels, just before they were all drown after that.

7) Sihr is the practices that ask the power to the Syaitan (satans). It use the Mentera (spells,charms,chants etc.) and normally ask the practitioner to do something forbidden in Islam.

8) Jinn, is the invisible creatures just like us, with many differents of course. Some are good, some are bad. They were created by God from the fire, the lightest and invisible form of flame, which is different from us created from the soil. There are some kind of Jinn called as "Qarin" (close company) that were born with us, our own twin (duplicates). The Jinns can manipulate us, but we also can manipulate them. It depends on who is stronger and smarter. One example of a boy, suddenly blinded after playing alone with his wood sword. It is done by the father of Jinn, whose child was accidently "hitted and hurt" by that boy. That boy, of course, didn't see that there is a child Jinn wanted to play with him.

9) Ainn, is the power that certain Human or Jinn has, with the "Hasad" (envy and jealous) to make others sick, failed in exam or lost in the his life, just by looking at him. Most of those who has this power do not realize what they are capable with. It can be a religous people, normal person or even the disbelievers. No ritual needed as it happens naturally. That's why the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) always recites the Doa (prayer) to his grandchilds Hassan and Hussin everytime going out. For example, a beautiful baby that doesn't stop crying because people who see him and gives him compliments without saying "Masyaallah" (as what God wants)

So, when we talk about the Kebatinan in Silat, we can distinguish them into two parts. The first one is "Ilmu Hitam" (black magic) and the second one is "Ilmu Putih"(white magic). The black magic is everything that relates to the spirits,demons,satans,and all of the bad motives behind it. The white magic, in the other hand, comes from Quran and Hadith. I've posted an article about the "Ruqya" last time. It is one of the practices to counter attacks those black magics. Here, one doesn't associate God with other creatures.

One of my master told me once, that there is three Ilmu in Silat. Selendang Putih, Selendang Merah and Selendang Hitam, which is I don't want to explain the details here. There is the Mentera to be recited whether at certain period of time, or at the moment that we want to use the power. Some "Mentera" (magic words) contain in them the association (Syirk) that must not be used. For example a Mentera that call a "Jembalang Tanah" (a spirit from the soil) during a Silat perlimau when I learned with a master (not in Gayong), I didn't practice it, as it is the Syirk.

However, there is some Mentera that we can use as it calls to God himself. It is like a Doa, with the mix of Arabic and Malay word. The Prophet Mohammad never told us that our Doa must be in Arabic. It is obligatory only during certain practice like Solat (daily prayers) or Khutbah Jumaat (Friday sermons). And God he understands any language that we use. One of the mentera that I use when massaging my legs or ribs that hurt after the training is the Solawat "Allahumma solli alaih Muhammad, wa a'la aalihi Muhammad"

Again, many europeen practitioner who went to learn Pencak Silat or Seni Silat especially in Indonesia, are confused between the Kebatinan of Islam, and the Kebatinan of Kejawen. Kebatinan of Kejawen is a "mix-religion" that practices the magics,mentera,rituals and so on. It is really important to learn the languange correctly and the Islam rightly before agreeing to dive into this Kebatinan world. Once your eyes were opened to see the invisible world, there is no turning back point.

There is funny thing about a group of interested French Maghribins that I met here in France. They want to learn Gayong, but refuse to Buka Gelanggang with me and even refuse to wear Gayong uniform that has the image of Dragon and Tiger. What interest them most is the technics, the self defense, not the culture. That's what they said to me. I taught them for couple of months, for free, only the self defense technics. but then I stopped as I am not willing to teach them the true art of Silat Seni Gayong to those arrogant and stubborn people.

Luckily (yaaayyy!!! ;p) in Silat Seni Gayong, we practices only the Wirid (Zikr) that helps us to make closer to God. We start our training with Al-Fatihah,Al-Ikhlas and solawat a'la Nabi. We end it with Doa. Other wirid that we practice is just only the additional Ibadah a part than the five obligatories in Islam (Syahadah, Solah, Syiam, Zakah and Hajj).

But the most important thing to us as Anak Gayong, is to train ourselves without thinking much on Kebatinan. God helps us when he wants. But for us, we must train so that it can be the "reason" that God will help us when we are in danger. Since this lesson of Kebatinan could be misused by the irresponsible persons, the access to this lesson is stricted only to the expert of Silat Seni Gayong, who is selected by the masters after verifying his purity and loyalty. But don't worry at all, we can still learn Gayong without learning the Kebatinan! It is like learning Aikido without converting to Shinto or mastering Shaolin Kung Fu without being a Buddist monks! lol ;p

**I am not saying that I am the expert of Kebatinan, but I'm writing all this to answer some of the questions that asked by my students. Take the good side from this, and the discussion is always open. Mohon ampun, mohan maaf dari semua.....


  1. My advice to non-malay students starting out learning Silat is to be open minded. You don't have to like the logo, but do you know why yet? You don't have to be Muslim to train. You don't have to be Malay. However, this art comes from Malaysia. If you want to learn, you should try and understand Malaysia, and Malays a bit. Most if not all of your questions of "why" (why do we do this? Why do we say that? Why is this or that on the logo?) can be understood better when you try and understand the culture. You don't have to be "Malay," be yourself, just understand. Buah 4 Kacip Emas- Golden Slicer in English. What the heck is a slicer? Nope, it's not scissors. It's a Malay cutting tool. When you see the slicer, you "see" why the technique is called such.

    I agree with Cikgu Hakim, don't worry about Kebatinan, when it's your time to learn, you will if you want. If you don't want, fine.

  2. When one believes that he can do, isn't it the most powerful Kebatinan that one has? ;)

    yes Jen, that's the way of Gayong. We learn first, and ask after. Sometime, the answer is in the hard training and pure devotion, not in the verbal answer from the masters.... but if after years of training we still don't get it, then a "special treatment" is compulsory! In that case, it's the job of our Gayong Masters, not our's! heheheheh

  3. that article might come from one of my question... sorry for asking Cikgu! your answer was interesting tho!

  4. yes, and I know that you are so curious about Kebatinan! but the best way to know what the kebatinan really is that keep training, and concentrate to build a solid Asas Tapak first! it's applicable for both the novice and and for the expert.

  5. Asalamualaikoum

    I'm a foreigner studying in international Islamic University of Malaysia and i've research quite a lot about it, i've even tried out silat cekak hanafi but it wasn't what i was looking for. am very much interested in learning this kind of silat(Silat Seni Gayong). Can u please let me know if u have any contact with people teaching it in Kuala Lumpur. I would be very grateful. my email add is