Talismans-taweez in Indonesia

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Indonesia is the land of mysticism. A land where views and occult beliefs are firmly found. In the progressive Islamic world of Indonesia, talismans have gained recognition for the help they offer though some men and women in the Muslim world. The Muslim amulets, such as a stone with a holy footprint and the taweez (Islamic talisman), originated in the 7&8th centuries AD. Thousands of people, not only Muslims but also non-Muslims, wear these taweez talismans and live their lives according to Islamic rules. In Indonesia, there are tens of thousands of talismans made and worshipped. These talismans create positive energy, bringing wealth and success into a person’s life. These are the talismans that the Indonesian people believe bring prosperity, peace, and good fortune into their lives.

‘Taweez’ has become something of a trademark in Indonesia. ‘Taweez was jism,’ or ‘economic talismans’ are used by low-income families, including small traders who sell goods. ‘Taweez was tembok’ or ‘temporary talismans’ are used by traders with temporary customers for only a few months and have enough money to buy items from the stalls on the streets. Some of these traders also use prayer talismans to increase their income potential. ‘Taweez was lantai’ are used by the poor to keep their children innocent and away from evil spirits. It is also used in funerals to protect the deceased from ghosts and other evil spirits. Traditionally, these talismans are made of thin bamboo strips. And are worn or carried around the neck. In Javanese architecture, taweez is one of the traditional decorations used on doors and windows, which is believed to keep evil off their houses. For extra protection, taweez can be placed on top of a door at night. ‘Taweez was jism’ has been reported in Taiwan since the 20th century, perhaps due to the many Javanese refugees who had settled there. ‘Taweez was jism’ is also a method of exorcism in the Riau Province of Indonesia.

The Islamic talismans are based on Quran verses and a combination of amulets. Thousands know their use of Indonesians. Stories about the Islamic talismans have been published in several Indonesian newspapers, and the Islamic talismans were featured in a TV show called “Peko Talisman.” In Indonesia, superstitious beliefs about talismans and amulets have been a popular topic in the mass media. The most popular forms of talismans are usually simple, but some are enriched with symbolism, such as the Islamic talisman called “Kubur,” which is made out of tiny black stones and is used to bring good luck.

There are thousands of types and sizes of Islamic talismans. Taweez is made of soft or paper materials like bamboo, plastic, or sheet metal; different types, shapes, and kinds by anybody can be seen anywhere in Indonesia. We do not still have complete knowledge about it…The Indonesian authorities decided that there should be no obligation on followers and Indonesian citizens to wear talismans.

Notice that the most significant demand for Islamic talismans-taweez is in Indonesia. And this is a country with a below-average GDP. However, these consumer items have been less competitive against other countries during the last four decades. So the question arises why Indonesia is so eager to import talismans and taweez. A few decades ago, Indonesia had a beautiful pagan culture and civilization that flourished for centuries. Unfortunately, this civilization was no longer followed by most Indonesians who have migrated in search of better opportunities and better living conditions in other countries. And as a result, the Indonesian population (almost half of the total people) is no longer interested in practicing their native religion. This is why Indonesia is one of the largest countries, with almost half of its population being Muslims who have predominantly migrated to other countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, and Malaysia. But Islamic talismans called taweez are still more popular and more common in Malaysia than in Indonesia.

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