Following tradition

I found this story in a book and it can also be found throught the net..


On The Importance of Spiritual Tradition

There was a master in a monastery that had about thirty disciples. They used to conduct meditation, prayer, and other spiritual exercises. The master loved cats, and therefore had a cat in his monastery. During meditation, the cat would run around disturbing the meditation. The disciples complained to the master, so the master tied the cat in the corner of the meditation hall during meditation time, in order that it would not cause a disturbance.

Thus, things went on. During meditation, the cat would be tied in the corner, while at other times it was free to roam. Several years later the master died, but the cat remained, and the disciples continued to tie the cat in the corner during meditation.

Eventually, the disciples changed; the new disciples did not know why there was a cat inside the hall during meditation, but they nevertheless continued to tie it in the corner at the appropriate time. And when in time the cat died, they went and bought a new one, and tied that one in the corner during meditation time, too.

As time went by the group grew and founded new monasteries. The new master, though he did not know the origin of the cat in the corner, said that it helped the meditation and therefore declared, “Let us have a cat tied in the corner during meditation time in all our monasteries.” So in all of their monasteries, there was a cat tied in the corner during meditation time.

Soon many learned treatises were being written about the spiritual importance of tying a cat in the corner during meditation. Some disciples even wrote that it was impossible to meditate properly without the cat.


My master reminds me that we need to be extra careful when we follow some traditions or maybe rituals or some sort of practices which are alien to us. We may reason them well with our knowledge and thought, but do they match with the real purpose of the practice?

It maybe fine if it is just about tying a cat that might disturb one’s prayer. However, if it is a practice that make two of God (syirik), and we still try to create ton of reasons to make the practice sounds fun and great, whether we realise it or not, we are actually in a great lost. nauzubillahi minzalik..

Therefore, try to avoid practices that has ambiguity in the way it is performed which can be found in throughout the Malay world especially in Silat. God may forgive our wrong deeds, but He never forgive those who worship other than Him.


  1. January 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    that is true. the only tradition that we must follow, and not questioning it, is the tradition of Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Malay tradition may be corrupted, but as long as we still in the path of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, than we are in the ‘safe zone’…. šŸ˜‰

  2. warid85 said,

    January 3, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Keep on writing good pieces of writing Faiz..

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