Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thought for the Day

All pleasures come to us from Paradise, even good jokes. Joy is on a higher plane than grief. Even with the new-born child, tears come first and then smiles. Joy constitutes a higher state, for it springs from the Higher Worlds, from the Glory of the Almighty.

Thus it is Joy that washes away all sin.

- Reb Pinchas of Koritz from “Midrash Pinchas”

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Perspectives on Silat pt 3

Taqwa will cultivate a true sense of serenity and tranquility. One will have no fear towards any other being in the world. Absence of fear combined with proper and compassionate action, based on the true teaching and practice of your spiritual Faith. One will have aspiration only to God. Truly and fully relying on God is tawakkal. Tawakkal must come with proper physical and spiritual action that is based on the discipline of ‘submission’ to the Lord of All Worlds.

In truth learning silat is actually an act of admitting our weaknesses, an effort in controlling ourselves physically and mentally and it is a way to train our physical body to obey tawakkal - full reliance to the Divine. It is actually among our religious obligations to learn and master the way of self-defense, thus utilizing it with proper manner. Silat – or any martial art - itself can never be the ultimate goal in our life. It is one among many tools of knowledge that can be utilized for a holy purpose.

Don't allow yourself to become obsessed with “fighting” but rather allow yourself to completely be submerged into following the path of the Divine. This is the true teaching and practice of our Faith.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Perspectives on Silat pt 2

According to our Faith, learning self defense is among the practices of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and his companions (ra.hum). It is essential for a pious man to be able to protect himself, his family, his possessions, and land from any threat from any kind of enemies, seen or unseen. So it is a religious obligation to put sufficient effort into assuring the safety of all in our environment. As a follower of The Way, let this be the only pure intention in learning Silat. This would be the very basic effort in making sure our intentions will not be clouded by bad inclinations. As murids, we learn Silat not to perfect our martial skill but to complete the practice of our Faith, and thus elevate ourselves as servants of God.

Previously I use the word mentally instead of spiritually because there is only one element that can be used to control the spiritual, and that is the study and practice of Piety. Among the most important aspect of Faith that must be acquired by all is Taqwa. Which means fearing only God, and by fulfilling all His commandments with hope towards His (swt) Mercy. Taqwa is important so that we can ensure our physical and spiritual action is correct and on the straight path. Taqwa will prevent us from making physical and spiritual mistakes or deliberate sins, because from taqwa one will fully obey God.

to be continued...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Perspectives on Silat pt 1

In the coming posts, I'd like to share (with minimal editing) a teaching prepared especially for my students (at my request) by my good friend Ustaz Saiful Muhammad of Malaysia. Read, discuss, enjoy! - JD

Silat is an art of control. Not to control others but to control oneself physically and mentally. When one master the art of controlling oneself, the need to protect oneself when facing enemy will seem like one is controlling the fight and the enemy. Actually one is controlling oneself so perfect that one's body will not be harmed in any way by the threat that been delivered. It is not a skill of controlling others but it is an interpretation of self control.

Learning and mastering Silat is actually to realize and accept one’s weaknesses and embrace it so that it can be use to the advantage. We learn how to make specific movements to protect our weak parts of the body. We are forced to master weaponry skill to face against enemy with more strength or with weapon. If we are so strong and mighty, we don't have to put so much effort in learning special skill to protect ourselves. Just let the enemy come and attack that can do no harm to our strong and impenetrable defense. So in truth we learn any self defense techniques or Silat out of our obvious weaknesses.

to be continued...