Weapons are used in this ritual. Sometimes it spills over and actual injury is inflicted. Common acts in Kuthu Ratheeb include piercing the tongue, the ear and stomach with iron rods. Byths are hymns that are sung during Kuthu Ratheeb. There are more than twenty Byths and each are different.
Although some Keralites portray Kuthu Ratheeb as a folklore art, many Muslim scholars (see Islahi Movement in Kerala) consider it as a dark innovation (bid'ah) that has crept into the religion of Islam and they strongly oppose such practices.
Kuthu ratib is connected with the aufi saint Rifai who lived in Iraq. The practivce is performed with great reverence by the specialists who are well versed in martial arts. These people invoke tha names of Allah, prophet and sufis during the practice. In Malabar kuttu ratib is still practised as a popular art by the Mappilas