An Interview with a Muslim Exorcist
Posted February 8, 2011on:
Name: ‘Abdul-Khaaliq al-‘Attaar
Date of Birth: 1920
Place of Birth: Cairo
Education: Law degree from Cairo University, 1950. Memorized complete Qur’aan and studied sharee‘ah at the College of Law.
Q. When and why did you begin to practice exorcism?
A. About forty years ago one of my sons was afflicted by the jinn – although I did not know it at the time – and his sickness became a major problem for me. I went to many psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, brain specialists and a variety of medical doctors for treatment. But after every visit to the medical specialists his sickness became worse. Around that time, I happened to be reading Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah’s book, Zaad al-Ma‘aad. In a chapter on the treatment of the possessed, I noticed that the symptoms of the possessed were the same as those shown by my son. The prescribed treatment mentioned in the chapter was the recitation of some Qur’ânic verses and prophetic supplications. So I recited over my son and he began to get better. His condition improved the more I recited until he became completely well – by the permission of Allaah. From that moment I felt a great desire to increase my knowledge of this science. Day and night I began to research the topic of the world of jinn, the devils and the angels. I read many books and many terrible ones. However – by the grace of Allaah – whenever I came across new information, I would not adopt it until after I had checked its authenticity based upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. What was confirmed, I accepted and what was not, I rejected. The correct information I recorded in my own notebooks until I had gathered many such notebooks and a large quantity of material. I then read extensively the writings of Imaam Ibn Taymeeyah (may Allaah be pleased with him) and his student Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim. Then I began to organize the information in chapters which lead – by the mercy of Allaah – to my writing of 30 books in the form of manuscripts about Qur’ânic medicine (at-Tibb al-Qur’aanee) and prophetic medicine (at-Tibb an-Nabawee). These books are ready for publication; however, due to my limited resources, I have been unable to publish any of them to date.
Q. What percentage of the cases you meet are actual cases of demonic possession?
A. When I visit someone or someone is brought to me who believes that he is affected by magic, evil eye, or the jinn, my first session is an examination (fahs) and giving advice. The method of examination is quite simple. Anyone afflicted by magic, evil eye or jinn attack must show some symptoms of the affliction, which I call, “symptoms of satanic bonding.” The symptoms have peculiarities like the symptoms of any other sickness, such as influenza and rheumatism. During the examination I, therefore, ask about the symptoms which may appear in both the walking state as well as during sleep. Symptoms during sleep include nightmares, sleeplessness, broken sleep, uneasiness, the grinding of teeth, and dreams of Satan in the form of carnivorous animals. Then I ask about symptoms while awake, such as feelings of anxiety, forgetfulness, hopelessness, lethargy and immobility. Included among the signs are being easily angered, crying, and staring aimlessly or avoiding eyes of others. If the patient displays such symptoms during his walking and sleeping states, I recite upon him some Qur’ânic verses. If he is possessed, the jinnee may begin at this point to talk either with the voice of the person or another voice. Sometimes it will use foul language, curse those present or strike and kick. It may reveal why it possessed the person and when it did so. It may also reveal if there are others present. Psychiatrists diagnose this as schizophrenia or dual personality. If a jinnee speaks through a human telling its name, religion and condition, they call it dual personality. If a jinnee does not speak but the person’s personality goes through a major change, they call it schizophrenia.
Q. Are there other signs, like bad smells or an unnatural smile, that are common to possessed?
A. In reality, when a jinnee bonds with a human, there are innumerable signs. Among them are laughter and crying for no reason. These symptoms were well-known to the medical profession and are explained as a result of overactivity or underactivity of certain glands. We know in spiritual medicine that this is due to demons playing with the glands, causing them to over-secrete or to decrease their secretions, therefore causing sudden changes in personality and swift mood shifts. The possessed person may also exhibit supernatural strength.
Q. What is the percentage of real cases of possession among your patients?
A. My shaykh and mentor, Imaam Ibn Taymeeyah (may Allaah have mercy upon him), who died more than 700 years ago, said in al-Fataawaaa the following, excellent statement, “If the veil were removed from the people of this time (Ibn Taymeeyah’s time, over 700 years ago), we would find most of the people of this time are possessed by demons.” If that was the case 700 years ago, what can we say about this age in which filth is widespread and the means of demonic possession are abundant. This is a time of sport and play, disobedience and corruption. The percentage of those possessed is very startling – may Allaah protect us all. Those spared demonic influence are very few, while those under attack are many. Allaah, the Almighty said in Soorah an-Nisaa’:
“…rebellious devil, cursed by Allaah, said, ‘I will surely take a definite portion of Your servants and mislead them. I will create in them false desires and order them to slit the ears of cattle and to deface the creation of Allaah….’”
They are many. And Almighty Allaah’s statement:
“And Satan proved his idea to be true on them, and they all followed him except a group of those who believed.”
So in reality, the percentage of those under satanic influence in the world today is extremely high. And there is a need everywhere for thousands and thousands of exorcists in order to help mankind achieve bliss in this life. There are a number of real sickness which the medical profession, past and present, in the East and in the West, has been unable to cure, and the cure lies only in the Noble Qur’aan. The medical profession readily admits it has not advanced over the years in its ability to cure problems such as epilepsy, bewitchment, and schizophrenia. In reality, those touched by Satan are so many and their percentage is rapidly increasing. Yet, those involved in treating them according to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah are so few that one cannot but fear for the future of mankind if a solution is not found. By Allaah’s blessing, I am working on passing on knowledge of this science to many young people. But resources to do this effectively are very limited.
Q. From your own experience, what are the main reasons why people are possessed?
A. I have written a chapter in my book, Iqtiraan ash-Shaytaan bi al-Insaan, specifically for this question. There are exactly six reasons: 1) extreme fear, 2) extreme anger, 3) extreme jealousy, 4) devotion to lust, 5) human aggression against devils, and 6) love of demons for humans. Human aggression could be in the form of pouring hot water on the places where devils reside or urinating in holes or cracks in the ground. The Prophet () prohibited us from urinating in holes and cracks in the earth because they are places where the jinn reside. The love of demons for humans is very, very common. When male jinn possess human females and we communicate with them, they often readily admit that they are in love with them. And when female jinn possess men, they often express the same.
Q. What is the percentage of females among your patients?
A. They are about 70 percent of the cases. The percentage of possession among women is greater then it is among men. And this percentage is consistent with the texts of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. On one occasion, the Prophet () visited a group of women and said, “Give in charity, because I was shown that you made up most of the inhabitants of the Fire.” When he was asked why, he replied, “You deny the good your husbands do whenever he makes a single mistake.”
Q. You mentioned about male jinn possessing human females and female jinn possessing men. Is this always the case?
A. No. Sometimes female jinn possess human females and male jinn possess men. But I am unable to give you percentage as I did not keep a record of this.
Q. When jinn speak through humans, do they use the same voice of the possessed? If not, what is the percentage?
A. The Prophet () used to seek refuge in Allaah from what appears at night and is hidden during the day, and what is hidden at night and appears during the day. And he also used to seek refuge in Allaah from every [evil] which announces itself and every [evil] which hides. That which appears at night is that which speaks and that which is hidden is that which does not. Thus, speaking or not speaking of a jinnee through the voice of possessed is found in the Sunnah of the Prophet (). Even in the cases when the Prophet () treated those possessed, the jinnee did not speak with him or respond to him. The Prophet () struck the possessed person and said, “Get out, O enemy of Allaah, for I am the Messenger of Allaah!” And the jinnee did not reply to the Prophet (). But, in the case of the jinnee who was searching food and was caught by Aboo Hurayrah, it spoke with him. Also, the jinnee who possessed ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas‘ood communicated with him. Likewise, the jinnee who was beaten by ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab spoke with him. Another example is the female jinnee who spoke to Imaam Ibn Taymeeyah in the presence of his student, Ibn al-Qayyim, saying, “I love him.” And Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah replied, “But he does not love you.” It then said, “I want to make hajj with him.” And Ibn Taymeeyah replied, “But he does not want to make hajj with you.” It said, “Then I will leave him for your sake.” Ibn Taymeeyah said, “No. Leave him in obedience to Allaah’s command.” This incident can be found in Ibn al-Qayyim’s book Zaad al-Ma‘aad in the chapter on prophetic guidance for treating the possessed. Likewise during the reign of the ‘Abbaasee caliph, Mutawakkil, the caliph informed Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal that one of his slave girls was possessed. Imaam Ahmad sent one of his students with a pair of wooden slippers and told him to tell the jinnee. “It is not permissible for you to inhabit this woman’s body, and Ahmad commands you to leave this woman’s body.” Al-Mutawwakil and others present heard the woman speak in a gruff, male voice, saying, “Ahmad’s command is welcome. For Ahmad is one who has obeyed Allaah, and Allaah has made everything obedient to him. If Ahmad ordered us to leave ‘Iraaq, we would leave.” Today, in many cases the jinn do speak, but in many other cases they do not.
Q. Is possession a swift process or does it take a long time, like months or years?
A. Medical doctors say that epilepsy is a sudden, unknown change in the electrical discharges of the brain. They say that there are more than 40 million electric discharges of the brain, and it is like a small electrical generating station. It produces electricity and distributes it throughout the other parts of the body. According to doctors, an epileptic fit occurs when there is a sudden surge in the electrical discharge of the brain. This overloads the circuit and leads to dysfunction in the body parts and becomes manifest in shaking, stiffness in the body parts, drooling and foaming at the mouth and staring lasting for a few brief moments. When we see such conditions, we call the adhaan in the epileptic’s right ear and call the iqaamah in the left ear and – by Allaah’s will – he becomes cured and returns to his normal state. Although the medical profession, ancient and modern, does not know the cause of the sudden increase in the electrical discharges of the brain, the Prophet () indicated a cause. In a hadeeth reported by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), a black woman came to the Prophet () and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I am overcome with fits and take off my clothes.” [and in another narration, “Verily, the evil jinnee takes off my clothes.”] In this hadeeth the Prophet () confirmed that it is the devil who causes people to fall down in fits. It has been demonstrated that the cause is demonic from the many cases in which we have called the adhaan in the ears of those in epileptic fits, and consequently the fits ceased. For the Prophet (PBUH) has stated, “When Satan hears the adhaan, he turns and flees.” This is in the case of complete possession (sara‘ kullee). There are other types of possession in which humans are affected, like migraine headaches (sudaa‘ nisfee), insomnia (araq), depression, introversion (intiwaa) or pains occurring in different parts of the body at various times. The possessing demon who inhabits the human brain is able to vary cerebral electric discharges – by the will of Allaah – and affect the body parts with a variety of ailments. For example, it may affect the man’s tongue so that he cannot speak, his ears so that he cannot hear, his eyes so that he cannot see, or his hands so they tremble and become paralyzed. These are all various types of possession.
Q. Have you experienced the jinn speaking in languages other than that of the possessed person?
A. I have found many cases in which the jinn speak in other languages or other dialects common to other regions of the country.
Q. Do the jinn enter the human body from particular points, like the mouth, eyes or hand?
A. There are three types of jinn. One type consists of animals, such as dogs, snakes, donkeys and mules. These give birth to offspring like themselves. A dog-jinnee give birth to a dog-jinnee and a snake-jinnee gives birth to a snake-jinnee. Another type flies in the air, like the one mentioned in Soorah an-Naml: “And ‘ifreet among the jinn said, ‘I will bring it to you before you can rise from your position, for surely I am strong and trustworthy for that purpose.’ ” I consider this type of jinnee like the TV picture which is transferred through the air. The jinn which enters the bodies of humans are from this type. Allaah referred to them at the beginning of Soorah al-A‘raaf: “Surely, he and his tribe see you from a position where you cannot see them…” This verse means that the jinn see us, but we cannot see them. Air is with us everywhere. We sense it and are certain about its existence, but we cannot see it. The jinn are just like air, which is the meaning of Almighty Allaah’s statement in Soorah ar-Rahmaan: “And He created the jinn from a flame (maarij) of fire.” Maarij is the hot air which is above the fire. Thus, the jinnee which enters the human body is not of the type which has a material form, like that of a human, donkey or dog. This type has a fine, invisible, ethereal (hawaa’ee) body. And it enters the body just like air does through the open orifices, like the mouth, the nose and the anus. Even the pores of the skin allow air to enter and thus become ports of entrance for the jinn. If we drink water in the summer, the water spreads throughout the body and passes out through the pores in the skin. Air also enters and along with it the jinn of this kind. However, the jinn usually live in the toilet areas use for defecation, urination and bathing. This is based upon the Prophet’s statement,
“Surely, these hushoosh are inhabited.”
The hushoosh are the places used by humans to relieve and clean themselves. Thus, Muslims are enjoined to recite the following supplication before entering such places, “O Allaah, I seek refuge in you from the evil male and female jinn.” The jinn find it easiest to enter from the anus so this is the most common entrance. However, they also gain access from other orifices, including the eye.
Q. And how do they leave?
A. From the same places that they enter.
Q. In which part of the human body do the jinn dwell?
A. When the jinn enter the human body, they settle in the control center of the body – the brain. The concentrate in the brain and conceal the human mind, making the person lose consciousness in a way similar to hypnotism. Then they manifest themselves and take control of the body through the brain. However, this does not mean that they only concentrate in the brain. They may concentrate in other body parts and organs, thereby leaving the brain.
Q. During exorcisms have you ever experienced any attempts by he jinn to possess you?
A. I praise Allaah and give thanks to Him in the way appropriate to His glory. My shaykh, Ibn Taymeeyah (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said in his book, al-Fataawaa, “Applying this knowledge of spiritual medicine and/or Qur’ânic medicine is compulsory upon whoever learns it. Because it is equivalent to relieving the troubled, helping the oppressed, liberating the distressed and supporting the weak. It is among the greatest branches of fighting in the path of Allaah (jihaad fee sabeelillaah).” He also said, “Those who work in this field are feared by the jinn because they know that they (i.e., the exorcists) do it as a means of pleasing Allaah. Thus, Allaah places in the soul of the jinnee a fear of the exorcist.” I have never experienced a jinnee attack while I was awake. However, if I go to sleep without making the protective supplications, the jinn hurt me during my sleep and make me restless. Whenever this happens, I awaken quickly and recite the supplications of divine refuge (ta’awwudhaat) and protection, and Allaah protects me.
Q. Since you began exorcising people over 40 years ago, have any of your family members been possessed?
A. I have not experienced it within my family. However, whenever devils fail in their attack on the human soul, they will try an external attack by setting his family against him, such as his wife, child, mother, father or leader. But such attacks are comparatively mild. If the exorcist has strong faith in Allaah and is truthful and pious, external attacks will also fail. I would like to advise those who wish to work in this field to be careful. On one occasion when I was exorcising a jinnee by the name of Jibreel, who had been severely hurting a woman (and this was around the time I began exorcising), I said to it, “Jibreel, leave the woman and come into my body. Give her a break. Perhaps Allaah will give me more strength and health to bear your presence.” Jibreel was silent for a moment, then he said, “From where will I enter you? From which part can I? I took this as glad tidings from Allaah that He was protecting me by sending angels who would ward off the evil of the jinn. For Allaah has made a type of angel which is specifically for the protection of humans, according to the text of the Qur’aan:
“Surely, every soul has a protector over it.”
“Each [person] has a succession of angels in front of him and behind him, protecting him by Allaah’s command.”
“He is the Irresistible, high above His servants, and He sends protectors over you…”
Whenever Allaah sees His servants being sincere and in constant worship, working in the service of mankind and Islaam, He protects the servant from the evil jinn by sending angels to protect him. I thank Allaah for protecting me and all who work in this field.
Q. You mentioned earlier that your first session with a patient is an examination. If it leads to the conclusion that the patient is possessed, what is your next step?
A. I begin the treatment sessions (jalasaat al-‘ilaaj). These sittings vary in length and number depending upon the case involved. The first of these sessions I call “purification of the heart” (“tat-heer al-qalb”). The idea being that the faith of the person whom I am to treat must be clear and pure. There should not be in his faith any paganism, evil, disbelief, hypocrisy or falsity. I therefore clean the heart first so that when the verses of treatment are read, they meet a pure heart. Otherwise, the verses will meet a defiled, sick heart not capable of treatment. This is comparable to planting a seed in infertile ground. It will not grow, but not due to any defect in the seed. The ground was not prepared for cultivation.
The Third sitting I have named “purification of the psyche” (“tazkiyah an-nafs”), for Allaah has created man with a heart, mind, spirit/soul (rooh), psyche and a body. The treatments are aimed at the first four elements. The soul (nafs) is a combination of cravings (shahwah), instincts (ghareezah), emotions (‘aatifah) and inclinations (naz‘ah). So, we purify the sick patient’s psyche. If he smokes, drinks, gambles, lusts after women or is corrupt in any way, we purify it so that the psyche can help the heart. I also try to purify the psyche of other sicknesses, like anger, hatred, malice, jealousy, conceit, pride, arrogance, intemperance, greed and stinginess. This session is no less important than the second, for it is by the way of the evil psyche that the possessing jinnee establishes itself. Consequently, this level of treatment may require two, three or four sittings until the psyche of the patient is purified and contented. After this treatment, the psyche does not whisper to itself and it will block the whisperings of the devils.
The fourth sitting concentrates on the mind, and I refer to it as “cleaning the mind” (“tanqiyah al-‘aql”). In this session I address how a person spends much of his time. If he reads useless materials, like love stories, pornographic materials, detective stories and newspaper articles, it only increase his remoteness from Allaah. I advise those who read such materials to give them up and replace them with reading the Qur’aan and its exegesis, authentic books of hadeeth, and books of law. I also encourage them to read useful books in other fields, like mathematics, philosophy, physics, engineering, etc.
The final treatment can be one session or as many as six to twelve sessions. I call it “removing the spirit” (“takhlees ar-rooh”). It consists of removing the evil spirit from its hold on the human spirit. This is in accordance with a hadeeth recorded in the Musnad of Ahmad in which a companion of the Prophet () passed by a mad person and recited over him a legal ruqyah for six days, morning and evening. Also in the hadeeth of Aboo Sa‘eed al-Khudree, Ibn Mas‘ood and others, it is recorded that the legal ruqyah should be repeated twice per day for six days. If it produces results, fine. If it does not, it means that something is incomplete from the previous steps. Therefore, I go back over all of the sessions and check the state of the patient.
These sessions are followed by the prescription of precautionary measures (tahaffuzaat). When a patient gets well, doctors usually advise him to avoid certain foods in order to prevent the reoccurrence of the sickness. I do the same. I advise the patient to give up watching TV – especially the useless programs, to be consistent in performing his daily acts of worship, to get up at night for voluntary prayer, to read certain Qur’ânic verses daily, to repeat the declaration of faith a hundred times daily, to seek forgiveness from Allaah, to pray for the Prophet (PBUH).
Q. Do you use in your treatment physical techniques like tying fingers or tying hair, burning incense, rubbing olive oil, salt or beating?
A. There are no authentic narrations to support the use of salt except in cases of scorpion stings. There is no basis for using either it, oil or other such things to treat jinn-possession. Likewise, the use of amulets (hijaab, ta‘weedh and tameemah) which are worn around different parts of the body are completely forbidden. Regarding beating, it is authentically reported that the Prophet () utilized it, and Shaykh Ibn Taymeeyah also used a stick beat a patient possessed by a jinnee. However, I advise my young brothers who are working in this field not to use beating at all, because the use of beating has guidelines and conditions. We do not beat the possessed human, but the jinnee which has possessed the human. And this requires a high level of skill and discernment to be able to accurately know who the exorcist is hitting. For if he is hits the possessed person, it is prohibited in divine law, and it would only increase the suffering of the patient. The details of this, I cannot go right into now, because it would require a very long sitting to explain exactly how to determine the appropriate time to hit. At any rate, I do advise the beginners in this field not to use beating. And even the beating used by many is far too violent and is applied to very dangerous areas of the body. It should only be on the behind, the shoulders or the extremities of the hands of feet. As to hitting the face, eyes or head with sandals and sticks, it is forbidden. However, if the exorcist has had much experience and insight, and he is absolutely certain that it is the jinnee which is present, he may do as the Prophet (PBUH) did.
Q. What is your opinion about recitation over oil and rubbing with it?
A. These methods are not forbidden according to Islâmic law. They are permissible and have some basis in the religion. Before going to sleep, the Prophet (PBUH) used to recite the quls in his palms, blow in them, and then wipe his hands over whatever his hands could reach of his body, beginning with his face. On the basis of this, the companion Ibn ‘Abbaas, and also Ibn Taymeeyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and other Muslim scholars permitted the recitation of Qur’aan on pure olive oil. There are verses in Soorah an-Noor (24) and Soorah at-Teen (95) which indicate that olive oil is blessed. Qur’ânic verses may also be read over other substances like musk oil, saffron, rose water or drinking water. Subsequently, the patient drinks or bathes with these. However, one who bathes with such fluids must do so in a place where the fuids will not flow into sewage pipes or other filthy places. The liquids used should be collected in a special container and thrown on the roadside.
Q. During treatment do you have to seek assistance to hold the patient down?
A. Sometimes when a person is possessed, the jinnee causes him to make unusual movements like punching, getting up and sitting down, and breaking things. I may need help in holding down his legs and arms, and then I begin to recite over him.
Q. Could you recount some of your more recent and unusual cases?
A. I have treated many patients and my students have recorded on tape the conversations, actions and words which are used in these gatherings. Each case is on a 60 minute tape.
Q. Do disbelieving jinn possess Muslims?
A. The world of the jinn is similar to the world of man. There are no rules in this matter. All possible permutations occur.
Q. Can more than one jinnee possess a person at the same time?
A. From my experience, this is possible. In fact, in some of my taped exorcisms, you can hear the removal of six or more jinn from some possessed people.
Q. Have you treated non-Muslims who were possessed?
A. Some have come. However, I inform them that I only treat with the Qur’aan, or I do not treat them. Most Christian Egyptians who have come to me have welcomed treatment with the Qur’aan and have experienced successful cures – all praise belongs to Allaah. And a number of them have converted to Islaam by the grace of Allaah.
Q. How do jinn benefit from the possession of humans?
A. Allaah has created the jinn to live in isolated areas, deserts, refuse dumps, graveyards and animal pens. Jinn-animals eat feces and jinn eat bones. The jinn are definitely on a level below humans, as a result of Allaah’s favors which He gives to whomsoever He wishes. Allaah said in Soorah al-Israa’:
“We have honored the children of Aadam, carried them on the land and on the sea, provided them with good things and greatly preferred them over much of what We have created.”
Consequently, jinn accompany humans in order to enjoy some of that favor with which Allaah has honored men. They try to partake of the good food, drink, clothes, sex and sleep. This good life tempts the jinn into attacking humans.
Q. Do jinn take pleasure by having sex with humans?
A. There is a verse in Soorah al-An‘aam in which our blessed, Almighty Lord said:
“Our Lord, some of us took pleasure one from the other, and we have reached the term which You appointed for us.”
Actually, all the Qur’ânic exegetes understand the pleasure taken here to refer to jinn’s misguidance of men and man’s worship of the jinn. They consider the taking of pleasure to only mean obedience and following. However, the Qur’aan should be interpreted first by its own verses. This verse should be understood along with the Almighty’s statement in Soorah Muhammad:
“Those who disbelieve take pleasure and eat as animals do, and the Fire will be their home.”
Do animals follow jinn or do jinn misguide animals? No. The taking of pleasure here refers to the fulfillment of sexual desire. Thus, the “pleasure” mentioned in Soorah al-An‘aam can also include sexual pleasure enjoyed by males and females. This is what happens when a man or woman has a wet dream. And I have dealt with many cases where male jinn were taking pleasure from women and female jinn were taking pleasure from men.
Q. Do jinn possess believing Muslims who are conscientious in their religious practices?
A. This only happens to those of weak faith. The jinn have no power over the true believers. The Almighty said:
“You will have no authority over My servants, except those among the misguided who follow you.”
“He (i.e., Satan) said, ‘By your power, I will surely mislead them all, except Your sincere, chosen servants.’”
The true believers and sincere worshippers of Allaah are protected by Him, so the devils cannot possess them. On the other hand, the devils play with worshippers of Satan who disobey Allaah in the same way that children pray football.
Q. If that be the case, how do you explain the hadeeth of the woman who was overcome by fits, yet the companions bore witness that she would be among the people of Paradise?
A. Sara‘ is of two types: fits caused by jinn and those caused by biological reasons which Ibn al-Qayyim called sara‘ min al-akhlaat. Thus, seizures may be from jinn-possession or they may be from a chemical imbalance in the brain or the nervous system. Jinn-possession is treated most effectively by the Qur’aan, because it is a spirit treating another spirit. Demonic possession is like the loss of sight or hearing. It may be a test from Allaah. The Prophet (PBUH) told the woman, “If you are patient, your reward is Paradise.”
Q. How do you explain a Christian priest’s successful exorcism of patients?
A. The non-Muslim in this field works with the jinn. The jinn may ease the pain for a week or months in order that the patient put his trust in the disbelieving healer. If he were a Muslim patient, his faith would be lost. For only the Qur’aan is the word of Allaah and only it can heal the spirit. The Prophet () said,
“Whoever visits a fortuneteller, his prayer will not be accepted for 40 days.”
And he also said,
“Whoever believes a fortuneteller has disbelieved in the religion that Muhammad brought.”
Q. How do you distinguish between someone who is suffering from bewitchment and one suffering from the evil eye?
A. They are very similar, and they are both a product of the jinnee attacking itself within a person. The distinction comes in the treatment. The longest lasting and more difficult to cure is from magic spells and the easiest to treat are seizures (sara‘). As to the Prophet’s bewitchment, some scholars have declared it false even though the narrations are highly accurate, without any discrepancy in their chain of narrators or in their text. These scholars have allowed their limited minds to determine right and wrong in the religion. This is an error on their part. There are different types of magic: habal (dimwittedness), khabal (confusion) and ‘abat (stupidity). These all effect the mind of the bewitched person. There is another kind called sihr al-jawaarih wal-a‘daa’ (magic of the limbs and the organs) which does not affect the mind but affects one of the organs, like the hand or the genitals. The type which affected the Prophet () was the second type in which his mind was not affected at all. For him to be affected is not strange because he was a human being and affected by many sicknesses. He was wounded, his incisor tooth was broken, he was cursed, made fun of, called a fortuneteller, a magician and a madman. He was an example for us of one who suffered as we do, but was patient and accepted his fate. The hadeeth about the Prophet’s bewitchment in al-Bukhaaree and Muslim reported by ‘Aa’ishah states that he used to think that he had come to his wife when he did not. And in the other books of traditions it is mentioned that he would think he had done something which he had not. That was merely forgetfulness, which all the prophets were subject to. The Almighty said in Soorah Yoosuf.
“But Satan made him forget to remember his Lord, and he remained in prison for a few [more] years.”
And in Soorah al-An‘aam:
“And if Satan causes you to forget, do not remain in the company of transgressors after you have remembered.”
And in Soorah al-Kahf:
“None made me forget it except Satan, and amazingly it took its way back to the sea.”
The Prophet (PBUH) prayed a four unit prayer and concluded it with salaams after the second unit. The companion, Dhul-Yadayn said to him, “Has the prayer been shortened or did you forget, O Messenger of Allaah?” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The prayer has not been shortened and I did not forget.” The companion told him that he only prayed two units. The Prophet (PBUH) than asked the other companions if what he said was correct, and they confirmed it. So the Prophet () got up and prayed with them two more units of prayer. Consequently, forgetfulness can happen to prophets and this is not considered mental disorder (habal) in any sense of the term.
Q. What do you recite over those suffering from possession, magic and the evil eye?
A. There are incantations called ruqyah al-mas-hoor, others called ruqyah al-mahsood, a third, ruqyah al-masroo‘ and ruqyah al-mareed. I have gathered the many narrations from the Prophet () and placed them under these headings in a large, unpublished volume, which I have entitled, Wasaa’il Himaayah al-Insaan min Masaa’ib ash-Shaytaan. Time does not permit me to go through them at this point.
 Qur’aan, 4:118-119.
 Qur’aan, 34:20.
 An unpublished manuscript, as mentioned earlier.
 See Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 7, pp. 95-6, no.125, and Sahih Muslim, vol. 2, pp. 431-2, no. 1982.
 A‘oodhu billaahi tabaaraka wa ta‘aalaa min sharri maa yazharu bil-layli wa yazharu bin-nahaari wa yakmuni bil-layl.
 A‘oodhu billaahi min sharri kulli mu‘lin wa musirr.
 A wording close to this was collected by al-Bazzaar in his Musnad: “Verily, the evil [jinnee] overcomes me….Verily, I fear that the evil [jinnee] will take off my clothes.” However, Ibn Hajr said, “We don’t know any isnaad for this wording except this one…and Farqad (one of its narrators) has a bad memory.” (Mukhtasir Zawaa’id Musnad al-Bazzaar, vol. 1, pp. 336-7, no. 535.)
 Qur’aan, 27:39,
 Qur’aan, 7:27,
 Qur’aan, 55:15,
 Collected by Aboo Daawood (Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.1, p.2, no.6) and Ibn Maajah (Sunan Ibn-e-Majah, vol. 1, p. 171, p. 296) and authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood, vol.1, p.4, no.4.
 Qur’aan, 86:4.
 Qur’aan, 13:11.
 Qur’aan, 6:61.
 The recitation was for three days, twice a day. See Mawsoo‘ah al-Hadeeth ash-Shareef, Musnad al-Imaam Ahmad, nos. 20833-4.
 The name given to an amulet consisting of a sheet of paper on which Qur’ânic verses are written and folded into a rectangle or square. It is then covered with thick cloth, leather or tin and a thread is added so that it may be worn around the ankle, waist or neck. This is usually given after recovery as a sealing treatment. See Fugara Techniques of Mental Healing, p. 44.
 Qur’aan, 17:70.
 Qur’aan, 6:128.
 Qur’aan, 47:12.
 Qur’aan, 15:42.
 Qur’aan, 38:82-83.
 Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1211, no. 5540.
 Collected by Ahmad, Aboo Daawood (Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 3, p. 1095, no. 3895), at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah, and others. Authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood, vol. 2, p. 789, no. 3304. The wording is that of Ahmad’s version.
 Qur’aan, 12:42. This verse has two valid interpretations: either, “Satan made the servant forget to mention Prophet Yoosuf’s ability to interpret dreams to his lord (i.e., his master” or “Satan made Yoosuf forget to ask help from his Lord (i.e., Allaah) instead of others.” See The Noble Qur’aan, p. 347.
 Qur’aan, 6:68.
 Qur’aan, 18:63.
 See Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 1, pp. 278-9, no. 469, and Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, pp. 285-6, nos. 1182-4.