Monday, October 4, 2010


1.1 : Title


1.1.1 The reason for choosing the title To gain more knowledge about superstition among people.

1.1.2 My General Purpose To Inform

1.1.3 My Specific Purpose To inform my audience about the superstitions and the differences between beliefs and religion.

1.1.4 Main Ideas Definition of Superstition Types of Superstition Significance of Superstition in Life Superstition in Islamic Perspectives

2.0: BODY

2.1 Definition of Superstition

2.1.1 According to Wikipedia

Superstition is a credulous belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge. The word is often used pejoratively to refer to folk beliefs deemed irrational. This leads to some superstitions being called "old wives' tales". It is also commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy and spiritual beings, particularly the irrational belief that future events can be foretold by specific unrelated prior events.[1]

2.1.2 According to Oxford Dictionary

Superstition is a widely held but irrational belief in supernatural influences, especially as leading to good or bad luck, or a practice based on such a belief.[2]

2.2 Types of Superstition

There are two type of superstition

-Good luck or Good fortune

- Bad luck or Bad fortune

The word of “superstition” comes from the ancient language of latin and literally means stand over.

Most cultures around the world have their own particular superstition and beliefs and many of them have been around for thousand of years and some are still around to this very day.

There are other words connected with superstition such as belief, curse, folklore, hokum , jinx and omen.[3]

2.3 Significance of Superstition in Life

A person who believe in superstition can be described as superstitious they really believe something will happen to them if they do or says something in certain ways. Some people think that anyone who believes in this must be gullible or weak minded.[4]

There are some examples of superstitions that exist both were in the United Kingdom and around the world.

2.3.1 Good Fortune/ good luck

-making a wish when you pull out a loose eyelash

· The belief here is that after finding an eyelash you should blow it away and make a wish.

-Hanging a horse shoe on your wall

· The idea behind this is that all your good luck will be caught in the shoe like a cup and there will last forever.

-Some people believe that a four leaf clover can bring you lots of good luck.

-In Chinese houses the word luck is hung on the wall upside down, so the fortune does not run away.[5]

2.3.2 Bad Fortune/ Bad luck

-Beware of walking under a ladder

· It will bring you bad luck in the future.

-A black cat walking past you.

· The black cat is often a symbol of evil, so to have one walk past you is especially bad.

-Opening an umbrella indoors

· is considered very bad luck many people still believe in this particular superstition.

· Some believe that snake will enter the house if opening an umbrella indoors.[6]

-No. 13

· Many people consider this number to be very unlucky if the day of the month falls on a Friday then this is considered as an unlucky day.

· Some people will actually stay at hime on this day.[7]

-In China the number 4 is considered unlucky

· Because in the Chinese language four has similar sound to the Chinese word for death.[8]

-In Thailand, number 6 is supposed to bring bad luck

· because it is believed that it can reverse or undo your good fortune.

-Calling of a crow

· People from different part of India have different meaning to a crows call (caw). Some say that when a crow calls near a house there is going a death news, because crow is considered a symbol of evil spirits (because it is black). While some others relate a crows call for a omen, indicating the arrival of some guests.

-The great Michael Jordan wore his old college shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls uniform for an extra bit of good fortune on the court

-Tiger Woods favours wearing the colour red on Sundays.

A cow is considered good omen, while a buffalo is considered bad. If a donkey is what we are first seeing in the morning, it brings good luck, but if we see a widow it will bring bad luck. There are innumerable superstitious beliefs not only in India, but throughout the world.[9]

2.4 Superstition in Islamic Perspectives

These day people tend not to take superstition very seriously some see if as a weakness or a way of blaming something else for our own faults. But there are still many people around who follow another type of belief system that is ‘ RELIGION’.

2.4.1 Pre-Islamic Arabian culture.

People often associate certain things, events, or signs with good or bad omens that tend to differ from one culture to another. In pre-Islamic Arabian culture, when people would go out on business, they would try to determine whether their tasks would be successful or not. They would usually look for any birds they might see. If a bird flew to their right, they would consider this to be a good omen and would continue with their business. If a bird flew to their left, they would see it as a bad omen and would not continue with whatever they had intended to embark upon. In fact, this superstition was so entrenched in their culture that the Arabic name for sensing bad omens is derived from the word tair, which means bird. It is used even when the object, action, or event that causes bad omen has nothing to do with birds.

Apparently, this superstition was not limited to Arabs. In other cultures, people also looked to birds for sensing what may come about. The English word “auspice” is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “an observation of birds for omens.”

2.4.2 Superstition is forbidden in Islam

Needless to say, superstition of this nature is forbidden in Islam. It is contrary to the very concept that knowledge of the future is the preserve of God alone. It is also against the principle of putting our trust in God. Therefore the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) denounced the very idea of a bad omen, describing it as a form of associating partners with God. He said, “ (Believing in) bad omen is (a form of) idolatry. ” Ibn Mas`ud, the narrator of this hadith added, “It may occur to anyone of us, but God clears it away when we rely totally on Him.” (Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, and Abu Dawud).

This concerns bad omens, but what about good omens? There is a clear distinction between the two, as appears in the following hadith in which Abu Hurairah quoted the Prophet as saying, “Do not entertain bad omens. The best of it is the good one. ” Asked which is the good one, the Prophet answered, “A good word any of you may hear. ” (Al-Bukhari and Ahmad).[10]

3.0 Conclusion

In a conclusion, there are many people belief in superstition. I hope audience get more knowledge about the truth about superstition and the differences between beliefs and religion from my presentation.


· Master Philip Cheong, (2005), Don’t Sit On This Book, Quantum Press Sdn Bhd

· Danny lim, (2008) ,The Malaysian Book of Undead ,Matahari

· Julian C. H. Lee, The Malaysian Way of Life.

· Robert L. Winzeler, The Study of Malay Magic

· Skeat, Walter William - Malay Magic: An Introduction to the Folklore and Popular Religion of the Malay Peninsular









[4]Skeat, Walter William - Malay Magic: An Introduction to the Folklore and Popular Religion of the Malay Peninsular

[5] Robert L. Winzeler, The Study of Malay Magic

[6] Julian C. H. Lee, The Malaysian Way of Life.

[7] Danny lim, (2008) ,The Malaysian Book of Undead ,Matahari

[8] Master Philip Cheong, (2005), Don’t Sit On This Book, Quantum Press Sdn Bhd