Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Event: Demonstration by Abdur-Rahman of Islamic Martial Arts

I recently attended a talk by Hakim Archuletta (1 and 2) at my local Islamic Centre that was very enlightening. What followed the talk was a demonstration of Islamic Martial Arts by Brother Abdur Rahman of Silat Martial Arts UK which I didn’t expect to be as useful, but from which I took away a few things that have really helped me.

Brother Abdur-Rahman turned out to be a very humble and unassuming looking man who once he got moving came across as very funny, friendly and charismatic.

He began by saying that the greatest teacher of all is Allah (SWT) followed by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who he acknowledged was created first, before everything and will be there at the end of everything. Following on are the Sahabah (RA) and then the Taabien and Awliyah, or friends of Allah (SWT). After this, he said we can also learn from ourselves. However, in order to gain knowledge, we have to make a connection: mentally, physically and spiritually with Allah (SWT).

He went on to say that the energy from being a Muslim is enormous. We are energised by our sincere intentions and by our focus on Allah (SWT). He quoted the Prophet (SWT) as saying that just by making wudhu (ritual ablution) you open all of the energy channels in your body (he didn’t give a source).

We should not take wudhu and salah (prayer) for granted, it is incredibly powerful. The difference between martial arts is entirely one of intention. In martial arts the movement is for oneself, in salah the movement is for Allah (SWT).

We have to have an awareness that every time we make wudhu or pray salah we are getting the gift of energy and shifah (healing). Salah teaches us to think and live positively, it affects our breathing, flow of energy and co-ordination [for me it also affects my dress, diet and families daily routine].

He explained that Silat martial arts was part of the heritage of the Muslims, it was a skill or art of the ummah that has been lost. He said that the art of Silat is in awareness and consciouness (same as in salah) and that we should not doubt our ability. Because we make wudhu and salah every day, we have the moves for this art already (Silat martial arts are based on the moves used in salah). This art is not about violence but about accessing the power and energy you have and also about getting back to Allah (SWT).

He followed this with a demonstration with one of the brother’s from the audience which made everyone laugh (he was great fun). He finished by saying that the last thing taught in Silah is not a move but “salamun”, shaking hands as a means of exchanging energy.

The two things that stayed with me from this talk was the assertion that energy comes from intention and the assertion that great energy comes from wudhu and salah. This really helped me to have a positive attitude towards making wudhu, especially at work, or first thing in the morning when it is cold. It has helped me to feel great about salah and look at salah as healing and energising through connecting me to Allah (SWT) insh’Allah.


  1. Could you pls share their details

  2. Assalam-alaikam,
    I tried to search but could not find anything apart from the link above (