Exorcism in Islam

Being possessed by evil spirits or demons is nothing new; especially in these climes, Allah sent down the Mu'awwidhatayn ( surah ikhlas, falaq and Nas) to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when Labid ibn al-A'sam, a Jewish man collected some strands of Prophet Muhammad’s hair from his male servant to cast a spell on our beloved Prophet.

This tells one that there is evil in this world that needs to be bonded and gagged. The Mu'awwidhatayn is for protection against harm from evil eyes and bad spirits. Imam Malik recorded from A'ishah that; whenever the Messenger of Allah was suffering from an ailment, he would recite the Muawwidhatayn over himself and blow (over himself). Then if his pain became severe, A'ishah said that she would recite the Muawwidhatayn over him and takes his hand and wipe it over himself seeking the blessing of those Surahs (Al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah). It has been reported from Abu Sa`id that; the Messenger of Allah used to seek protection against the evil eyes of the Jinn and mankind. But when the Muawwidhatayn were revealed, he used them (for protection) and abandoned all else besides them. (At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah).

Some happening in our world these days are beyond the physical and Muslims can cast out the devil in ways as approved by Rosulullahi. There was a story of a student from a known private University in Nigeria who went to urinate in a burrow at midnight. From then on, there was change in his character, he became insane and was sent home to his parents. The race began for a cure; from herbalists to alfas, but no improvement whatsoever. Then came an Imam that exorcises people, he took the young man on and after much recitation of different Qur’anic verses and audio, he became better. Meanwhile, while he was still afflicted, he could not urinate anywhere else except in a hole, this is part of what the Jinn afflicted him with as the Jinn later spoke through his mouth. There are several ways Muslims look for solutions to their problems. Problems such as insanity, childbearing, marriage, bad dreams, failure and other life afflictions. Most of the problems we face in life could either have a medical or spiritual dimension and when one has tried scientific solutions, there is no harm in going through spiritual means. Shaikh Ibn Taimiyyah said in Risaalatul Jinn when asked about the legality of exorcism in Islam. He said it is in fact among the noble deeds performed by the Prophets as well as the righteous that continuously repel the devils from mankind using what has been commanded by Allah (SWT) and His messenger (PBOH).

Abdullahi ibn Mas'ud exorcised a possessed person by the recitation of Suratul Fatiha and the prophet approved it. If exorcism must be done at all, it must be done with what Islam allows which is termed 'Ruqyah' (permissible incantation; from the glorious Qur’an). If the words written or spoken are not known, such method is illegal or if the preparation contain shirk, the usage becomes forbidden. The use of amulets or Talisman is shirk even though they may contain some Qur’anic verses along with it in order to hide their statement of shirk. It must be avoided! An exorcist can be a single person or a group of people of strong faith and full conviction that the remembrance of Allah and Qur'anic recitation will have effect on the exorcised person and the spirit. The stronger the faith of the exorcist, the more the effectiveness of the exorcism on the spirits. Let me quickly brace through some important qualities an exorcist and exorcised must possess;

THE EXORCIST - He must possess the correct aqeedah (creed) of the righteous predecessors. - He must be a true monotheist in speech and actions - He must be certain the words will be effective on the jinn - He must have comprehensive knowledge on the act of jinn and shaytan - Must know the ways by which devil influences men. - It is preferred that he is married but not compulsory - He should purify his intention to exorcise for the sake of Allah only. - He must perform ablution along with those with him - He should not be involved in any kind of innovation or disobedience to Allah in order to put shaytan to shame.

THE EXORCISED PERSON - His cloth must be clean - He must be bathed and his hair combed to make him look wholesome. - If the possessed is a lady, the whole of her body must be properly covered and tied so that she will not be uncovered during the exorcism - Charm, amulet or talisman must be removed from his/her body and destroyed. - He and his family must be educated on correct aqeedah so as to free their hearts from other besides Allah.  The exorcism must be carried out with the presence of one of the relatives of the possessed but if not present should not take place. The possessed must be asked some questions prior to the practice to ascertain the type of possession he/she is suffering from. The question must centre on what type of things he/she sees in dreams and when awake. There are also other things to put into consideration such as the place of exorcism being clean, free of musical instrument or music, and expulsion of men wearing gold or badly dressed women. There are verses of the Qur'an that could be used for the deliverance and could also be played in the house or through recitation. The following chapters and verses can be used so as to be brief ; Suratul fatiha, 2:1-5, 2:102, 2:163-164, 2:255, 2:285-286, 3: 18-19, 7: 54-56, 7: 117-122, 10: 81-82, 20:69, 23: 115-118, 37: 1-104, 46: 29-32 and others. Suratul Baqara is a very good chapter to be recited against evil spirits in the house and to a possessed person. Also, ayat kurisiy can be recited into the ear of a possessed person and splashing of water on the possessed face. Some places where jinn inhabit are deserted houses, uncompleted buildings, toilets, bathrooms, market places, garbage dumps etc. Invocation when you are entering the toilet “Allahumo inni a’udhu bika minal khubthi wal khabaa’ith” Oh Allah, I seek protection in you from unclean spirits, male and female. And when you come out of the toilet you say ‘Ghufraanaka’ ‘ I seek Your forgiveness. Islam is absolute and there is no problem beyond Allah (SWT).

Hold on to Allah without associating anything with Him and make the glorious Qur'an your music in recitation and reading. Seek for help in the right places with the right set of people or clerics but most importantly learn to read and use the Qurán by yourself. Allahu alaam. Ma salaam.

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