Bersunat or Berkhatan


It is a circumcision.

Malays called circumcision as bersunat or berkhatan.

When a Malay young boy reach the age of  6 to 12 years old. The parents will select a date to have a grand kenduri (feast) before theirs’ boy having circumcision in the kampung (village). They will invite relatives, neighbours and friends in the village to join the feast.

When comes the eve of the circumcision ceremony, either in the evening or night, the boy will take a bath, trim the hair and wear in baju Melayu (Malay traditional clothing) with a sungkit samping (short sarung). Sarung is a cloth which sewed at the end and tie around the waist .The boy will be taken for a procession in the kampung then again guide to sit on the special chair or pelamin (bridal dais).

If the boy had finished study Al-Quran then they will perform the bersunat and berkhatam Al-Quran together. The boy will sit cross legs on the mat at the back of pelamin or dais facing the guests and read the end of chapter of Al-Quran loud. When finish reading he will be invited to sit on the pelamin or dais. After the boy bersalam (hand shake in Muslim way) and kiss the guests hand then started the feast. Bunga-bunga telur (a boilded egg to be given to the guest when they attended a Malay wedding) will be given to guests too. Some of theirs’ teacher who teach Al-Quran will be given a suit as a gift.

A few things need to prepare before Tok Mudim (expert in circumcision) come to do the circumcision in the next morning. The things are : A white cloth with 5 hasta (measurement is length from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger). It’s about 45.72cm. A live cock.  A big belly-earthenware jar of water.  A banana stem.  A betel and arecanut set either put on a plate or in special betel wooden box. Parents will also prepare RM3 or more as wang pengkeras (money given as render the service of circumcision) to Tok Mudim.

In the next morning, the boy take a shower then take the water from the jar and pour to the body too. This water in the jar had been jampi (reciting the spell) by Tok Mudim before. The boy is then call to stand on the staircase or short ladder.

The boy with wearing the sarung then guide to sit wide part of the legs on the banana stem. Then encourage to read Al-fatihah and Kulhu.

Tok Mudim use the traditional way to do the circumcision and without using the anaesthetic. Tok Mudim try his best for distracting the boy attention, it has to do to reduce the pain. Tok Mudim use the blade and do it fast for the circumcision.

Just right after finish the circumcision Tok Mudim take the live cock and face the head of the cock to the sexual organ of the boy. It was believe that if the nape of the cock extend then the boy will be fierce and have many wives. The wound then been dressed. After the Tok Mudim utter a few sentences then the boy will be carry and put on the kelambu (mosquito net).

Tok Mudim will follow up and check on the wound of the boy for 3 days. Then job done for Tok Mudim.

The white cloth, live cock, set of betel, jar and money, will given to Tok Mudim and it just depend on Tok Mudim whether he want to receive or not.

Somehow now the modern Malay parents likes to send theirs’ boys to experience doctor in hospital and private clinic for circumcision.  It’s cheap, convenient and speed recovery.