Possessed (Fraud, Deception and Abuse)
When it comes to the topic of Jinn possession – we’ve seen it all before.
The frightening voices, the horrific looks and the superhuman strength that comes out of people under the influence of demonic spirits; all while they are being treated with verses of the Holy Quran.
It’s a terrifying topic, yet it somehow manages to arouse the interest of Muslims and non-Muslims around the world; with videos amassing millions of views online.
The practice of removing such evil spirits and treating those who are affected is known as Ruqya and it is an Islamic form of spiritual healing. It is based on an authentic tradition of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ himself; whereby verses of the Quran would be used to heal those afflicted with sickness, black magic and evil spirits.
Abu Sai’d Al Khudri narrates:
Some of the companions of the Prophet ﷺ went on a journey till they reached some of the ‘Arab tribes (at night). They asked the latter to treat them as their guests but they refused. The chief of that tribe was then bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion) and they tried their best to cure him but in vain. Some of them said (to the others), “Nothing has benefited him, will you go to the people who resided here at night, it may be that some of them might possess something (as treatment),” They went to the group of the companions (of the Prophet (ﷺ) ) and said, “Our chief has been bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion) and we have tried everything but he has not benefited. Have you got anything (useful)?” One of them replied, “Yes, by Allah! I can recite a Ruqya, but as you have refused to accept us as your guests, I will not recite the Ruqya for you unless you fix for us some wages for it.” They agreed to pay them a flock of sheep. One of them then went and recited (Surat-ul-Fatiha): ‘All the praises are for the Lord of the Worlds’ and puffed over the chief who became all right as if he was released from a chain, and got up and started walking, showing no signs of sickness. They paid them what they agreed to pay.
Some of them (i.e. the companions) then suggested to divide their earnings among themselves, but the one who performed the recitation said, “Do not divide them till we go to the Prophet ﷺ and narrate the whole story to him, and wait for his order.”
So, they went to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and narrated the story. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ asked, “How did you come to know that Suratul- Fatiha was recited as Ruqya?”
Sahih Al Bukhar
The practice has continued to be upheld in the Muslim world for centuries on end, whereby a person suffering would employ a Raqi or a spiritual healer to read over them in the hopes that they would be cured.
However, despite the noble origins of this Prophetic Sunnah, the practice has recently found its way into the hands of fraudulent spiritual healers, as a tool of abuse and corruption.
The issue has in fact found itself the subject of a recent press release by the Australian National Imam’s Council, warning the wider public to be cautious of corrupt spiritual healers feigning religious authority.
OnePath Network has recently undergone an investigation into the malpractice of the Ruqya industry, and what we have uncovered will not only shock you but leave you deeply disturbed. Viewer discretion is advised.
Our investigation reveals stories of physical violence, financial exploitation and psychological abuse towards the most vulnerable members of our community.
We interviewed three separate women on their experiences with fraudulent spiritual healers. Their accounts revealed painful and horrifying stories of abuse and exploitation.
Throughout the course of our interviews, a common theme kept recurring – and that was the naivety of family members in placing their unconditional trust in spiritual healers. It was as though the appearance of the spiritual healer, who dressed in Islamic garb and spoke a few words of Arabic, was enough to convince family members that he was a person of religious authority – despite his clear, grievous violations of Islamic law.
Another malicious practice employed by these corrupt individuals was to convince family members that the victim was not in pain while they operated, and rather that it was the demon or evil spirit that was suffering. This deceptive technique further manipulated family members, and led to the victim feeling abandoned and helpless at the hands of their abuser.To make matters worse, in some instances the spiritual healer would be in seclusion with the female patient without the presence of any Mahram or male relative. This not only contravenes Islamic guidelines, but also opens the door to potential sexual harassment.
Another common theme amongst all victims was the absence of any medical evaluation prior to spiritual treatment. There is no doubt within Islam that people are susceptible to being affected by evil spirits and black magic, however by the same token, we do not deny the importance and necessity of first evaluating whether or not one has a valid medical condition that can explain one’s sickness.
The truth is, there is nothing new about what is happening today. For centuries, corrupt individuals have manipulated and abused religion to achieve their own corrupt personal agenda. It’s an old business that is marketed upon the vulnerabilities of people. In fact, many of our interviews proved that these fake spiritual healers were nothing more than businessmen, seeking to make a profit off of vulnerable individuals.
However what matters today is that we raise enough awareness to bring such tainted practices to an end and revive the true Prophetic Sunnah of Ruqya that befits its noble purposes of achieving spiritual healing for those that are affected.
Needless to say, Muslims should never forget that the strength of Ruqya will always stem from the Quran itself and not from the one reciting it. In fact by constantly surrounding ourselves with the book of Allah and reciting the Prophetic supplications against evil, we will ensure that we are sufficiently protected from the harms of any Jinn or evil spirit.
It was narrated that Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to seek refuge with Allah from the Jinn and from the evil eye until the Mu’awwidhatayn were revealed, and when they were revealed he started to recite them and not anything else.”
We should never undermine the importance of reciting the appointed supplications for leaving the home, entering the bathroom, upon waking up, prior to sleeping, prior to intimacy etc. All these supplications play a major role in protecting us without the need of going to see a Raqi to begin with.
Other specific ways one may protect himself or herself from evil spirits include:
- Seeking refuge in Allah from Satan (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
- Reciting Surah Al Falaq and Al-Nas (Al-Tirmidhi)
- Reciting Ayat Al Kursy (Al Bukhari)
- Reciting the last two verses of Surah Al Baqarah (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
- Calling the Athaan (Muslim)
Muslim families must remain vigilant when employing the services of a spiritual healer and only do so when absolutely necessary. Scrutiny must be applied and we all have a duty to equip ourselves with the appropriate knowledge to deal with such matters. Healing will always come from Allah ﷻ and we shouldn’t place too much reliance upon spiritual healers to the point that they are able to take advantage of vulnerable members of the community.
May Allah protect our community from all those who have brought harm and may the Sunnah of our beloved Messenger of Allah ﷺ be safeguarded and protected from all those who have abused it.