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Questions for Today
Jan 1, 1998

Contact with Jinn and the Reality of Sorcery or Magic

Some people have an innate ability to go into trance and make contact with beings from the invisible realms of existence. However, it should not be forgotten that whether angels or jinn, the invisible beings have their own conditions of life, and there are certain limits and principles to which they are bound. For this reason, one who gets in touch with jinn should be watchful in relations with them. One may easily fall under their infulence and become their play-thing.

Some assert that Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani, who lived in India in this century, became a victim to the tricks of jinn. He attempted to serve Islam by struggling against Hindu Yogism through the way of Fakirism but evil spirits took him under their control.

They first whispered to him that he was a reviver (of religion) and then suggested to thim that he was the Messiah. Finally, under their influence and control, Ghulam Ahmad went so far as to claim that he was an incarnate of God.

Sins and uncleanliness serve as an invitation to the influence of evil spirits-unbelieving jinn. Especially those of a susceptible nature and a tendency to melancholy, and

those who lead a dissipated, undisciplined life, are exposed to the influence of evil spirits. They-evil spirits-usually reside in places for dumping garbage, other dirty places, public baths and water closets.

Do jinn cause certain illnesses?

Jinn are penetrative beings with greater penetrating capacity than even X-rays. They can penetrate into men’s bodies as far as the veins and the central points of the brain. As most people know today, laser rays, which have a wide range of use from computers to nuclear weaponry and from medicine to communication and police investigations, can travel into the blood-vessels and can therefore be used to remove obstructions in them. So, when we consider that Satan and all other jinn are created from smokeless fire penetrating deep into the body, which we can interpret as something like radiation or radioactive energy, we can understand the meaning of the Prophetic Tradition: Satan moves where the blood moves. Therefore, the jinn can harm the body and cause physical and/or psychological illnesses. I think it may well be of use for medical authorities to consider whether jinn are responsible for at least certain types of cancer. For, as is well known, cancer is unordered diseased growth in the body, which we describe as a kind of ‘cellular anarchy’. It is probable that a group of jinn are settled in some part of the body and are destroying the structure of its cells.

Although sciences do not yet accept the existence of invisible beings and restrict themselves to the material world only, we think it is worth giving consideration to the possibility that evil spirits play some part in mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Everyday we witness many cases all over the world in which those suffering from mental illness or epilepsy or even cancer can recover through recitation of certain prayers. Such cases are serious and significant and should not be denied or dismissed by attributing them to such notions as ‘suggestion’ or ‘auto-suggestion’. When the sciences break the thick shells within which they have confined themselves and accept the existence of the metaphysical realm and the influence of the metaphysical forces, they will be able to remove many obstructions before them and make far greater advances, and they will be safer against errors.


Those who deny spells and sorcery do so either because they do not believe in anything related to metaphysics or what they suppose to be connected with religion or because they are completely unaware of the realities beyond the physical realm. A man in his fifties once told me:

‘Until last year I did not believe in things like spells and sorcery. However, last year one of my relatives went mad.

When he had a fit, he became rigid with his eyes fixed on a certain point. There were left no doctors to whom we did not apply, but in vain. Finally, we went to somebody known to break spells. He recited incantations and did some other things. On the way back, the patient asked in a normal tone: “Where am I? What happened to me?” He had recovered. I came to believe that sorcery is a reality.’

There are innumerable cases like the one mentioned which almost all of us have witnessed or heard of. As the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, declared that the evil eye is an undeniable fact, magic or sorcery is also an undeniable reality. The Qur’an speaks about the sorcery practised to create a rift between spouses and severely condemns it. According to the Qur’an and Islam, the practice of sorcery and magic or casting spells is as a grave sin as unbelief. However, breaking a spell is a good, meritorious deed, but it must not be adopted and practised as a profession. Although our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, met with jinn, preached Islam to them and took their allegiance, he never spoke about how one could contact them and how a spell could be cast or broken. However, he taught how jinn approach human beings and seek to control them and how one can secure oneself against their evil. He also taught how we could protect ourselves against the evil eye and be saved from it.

How we can be secured against evil spirits

The principles of Islam should be strictly followed

The safest way to be secure against evil spirits is to be strong in loyalty to God and His Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings. This requires following the principles of Islam strictly.

Prayer should never be abandoned

Secondly, we should never give up praying. A believer’s prayer is a weapon against all hostilities. That is, praying is an important means to be protected against all kinds of harm and to attain our goals.

Prayer does not mean to ignore and neglect the (material) means in attaining goals. Rather, prayer is of four kinds. In fact, what reaches to the Court of God from the whole universe is a kind of prayer. Some creatures, like plants and animals, pray through the tongue of their potential to achieve a full form and to manifest certain Divine Names.

Another kind of prayer is expressed in the tongue of natural needs. All living beings pray to God, Who is the Absolutely Generous One, for the satisfaction of their vital needs which they themselves are unable to meet.

There is a third kind of prayer which is done in the tongue of complete helplessness. A living creature in straitened circumstances takes refuge in its Unseen Protector with a genuine supplication, and turns to its All-Merciful Lord. These three kinds of prayer are always acceptable unless somehow impeded.

The fourth type of prayer, which is known to everybody, is the one we do. This also falls into two categories: one is active and by disposition, and the other, verbal and with the heart. For example, to act in accordance with causes is active prayer. Man, by complying with causes, tries to gain God’s approval for his request, for causes alone are not sufficient for the result to be produced, and it is God alone Who produces the result. To plough the earth, for example, is an active grayer, which is actually to knock at the door of the treasury of God’s Mercy. Similarly, to go to a doctor is also an active prayer for recovery from an illness. For this reason, it is incumbent upon a believer to go to a doctor when he is ill.

Believing psychiatrists should be preferred in case of mental illnesses. Innumerable cases have shown emphatically that most mental illnesses are not due to material causes and (physical) therapy is not sufficient to cure them. Most of them require ‘spiritual’ therapy.

The active type of prayer is in most cases acceptable since it is a direct application to the Divine Name, the All- Generous. As for the second category of the prayer of human beings, which is done with the tongue and the heart, this is the real one. It is to ask God from the heart for something which we ourselves are unable to obtain. The most important aspect of this sort of prayer, and its finest and sweetest fruit, is that the supplicant knows that there exists One Who hears him, is aware of whatever occurs to his heart, Whose Power extends everywhere, Who can satisfy his every desire, and Who comes to his aid out of mercy for his weakness and inadequacy.

Prayer is a form of worship and the reward for worship is principally given in the Hereafter. For this reason, we must not say, ‘Our prayer has not been answered’, when we are not given what we pray for. The prayer being answered does not necessarily mean its ‘acceptance’ in all circumstances. There is an answer for every prayer; but to accept the prayer and to give what is prayed for depends on God’s Wisdom. Suppose that a sick child is asking a doctor to give him a certain kind of medicine. The doctor either will give him that certain kind of medicine or he will give him a better one for the benefit of the child; or he will give him no medicine at all, if he judges that any kind of medicine may be bad for the health of the child.

Similarly, God Almighty, Who is the All-Hearing and All-Seeing, certainly answers the prayer of His servant, and He changes the depression of loneliness into the pleasure of His Company. But His answer does not depend on the fancies of man, rather it depends on Divine Wisdom. According to His Wisdom, He either gives what is requested or what is better or He gives nothing at all. However he answers, we must pray.

We should request those having nearness to God to pray for us

As we pray ourselves, we must also request those who we believe are near to God to pray for us. The Companions frequently asked our Prophet to pray for them. As is recorded by lbn Hanbal, Abu Dawud and Tabarani, Umm Hani reported: ‘An insane child was brought to God ‘s Messenger, upon him be peace, who touched him and said: “Come out, O enemy of God!” Then,he washed the child’s face and prayed. The child recovered from insanity.’ There are many similar cases narrated in the Bible. The Prophet Jesus, upon him be peace, was famous for healing the mad by God’s leave and power.

We must refrain from appealing to exorcists

People in trouble are tempted to turn to so- called exorcists. Although there may be a few who know how to drive out evil spirits by different ways, this is in most cases dangerous. First, most of the people known as exorcists are charlatans. Second, an exorcist must be one who is very careful about his religious obligations and refrains from sins. He should also be an upright person who knows very well how to exorcize somebody. Thirdly, patients usually rely on exorcists and attribute to them their recovery. They also rely on the written charms or amulets they are advised to carry. However, our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, declared that God would admit in Paradise seventy thousand people without calling them to account for their deeds in the world. They are those who do not wear armlets, nor amulets, and do not consider things auspicious or inauspicious, and who put their trust completely in God.

We should go to believing psychiatrists

The psychiatrist or doctor to whom we appeal should not be one who has restricted himself to the narrow confines of matter. A materialist psychiatrist who does not believe in the spirit and spirit beings may advise his patient who suffers from spiritual unsatisfaction or is possessed by evil spirits to indulgence in pleasures and amuse himself. This is like advising a thirsty person to quench his thirst with salty sea water.

There are certain, special prayers to be recited

There are special prayers which God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, recited on certain occasions and to be protected against the evils of Satan and other unbelieving jinn. The Verse of the Throne is one of them. A Qur’anic verse reads: If a prompting from Satan occurs to you, seek refuge in God immediately (Fussilat, 41 .36). That is, we should say: ‘I seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan.’

As reported by ‘A’isha, Mother of Believers, God’s Messenger recited sura alFalaq and al-Nas three times every morning and evening and, breathing into his palms, which he joined, rubbed them against the parts of his body he could reach. Again, God’s

Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, used to recite three times every morning and evening: In the Name of God, whom nothing on the earth and in the heaven can give harm against His Name, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. This recitation and the following one are among the prayers advised for protection against paralysis: I seek refuge in all of God’s words from all devils and vermin and from all evil eyes.

Imam Ghazali advises against spells, charms and evil spirits the recitation of In the Name of God, the All- Merciful, the All-Compassionate once, God is the Greatest ten times, and The magician will not be successful wherever he appears (Qur’an, 20.69), and from the evil of blowers upon knots (113.4).

Another recommended way is the recitation of the two verses above nineteen times each time after taking a sip of fluid like water, tea or soup.